for U.S. 160
forced to wait
By Tess Noel Baker
Current budget constraints at the state level mean U.S. 160 will remain a two-lane highway through Pagosa Springs a little longer than expected.
Under the current state 6-year road improvement plan for this area, the Colorado Department of Transportation has allocated about $1 million in 2006 and 2007 to begin feasibility studies for a projected four-lane project from 8th Street in downtown Pagosa Springs west to Vista Boulevard. That's down from $12 million to be spent over four years in the previous plan, the amount to have funded studies and some construction.
Representatives of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County governments met with state engineers Tuesday to discuss the change.
"I grew up here and I never envisioned we'd need a four-lane highway. Maybe even up to last year people said 'one of these days,' but that's changed," Mayor Ross Aragon said. "Today, we need a four-lane highway, not in the far future, but the near future."
The transportation department representatives agreed, but said budget constraints over the next few years will push things back. Of the over $200 million allocated for roads in the state's budget, the southwest planning region receives about 9 percent, the smallest cut.
Richard Reynolds, the state's regional manager for this area, which includes 15 counties and two tribal nations, said they had been receiving about $12-$15 million annually for capital projects. The total will drop to $10 million over the next two years to pay off some bond debt. When the price tag for intersection reconstruction can be $4.5 million, and highway reconstruction running about $1 million per mile, that doesn't stretch very far, he added.
And that's not the bad news, Reynolds said. The Denver Regional Council of Governments is pushing to put a question on the ballot that could move even more highway money away from rural areas.
The current $4 million resurfacing project on U.S. 160 will address some of the immediate concerns, the engineers agreed, buying some time before the four-lane project becomes critical.
Ed Demming, state traffic and safety engineer, said lighting under crosswalks, traffic signals at North Pagosa Boulevard and Piñon Causeway and acceleration and deceleration turn lanes at Great West Avenue and in front of the elementary school will improve corridor safety. In fact, almost all the pressing safety concerns that can be addressed without major reconstruction were added to this resurfacing project.
What isn't being addressed is capacity.
Demming said traffic counts now put Pagosa Springs at near the capacity needed to qualify for the four-lane project. In five years or more, the level of service will drop, especially going up or down Put Hill during peak hours.
If money becomes available, state engineer Mitch Kumar said, planning for Pagosa's four-lane project could begin as early as July of 2004. Of course, planning and doing can be quite far apart. Because of the reconstruction involved in making the highway four lanes, several studies will have to be completed before construction. The first would be a feasibility study that could take anywhere from eight months to a year. An environmental assessment, the next step, could take another 14 months. Then the project would move into a design phase and funding would have to be secured. Only after all that could construction begin.
The state representatives encouraged both town and county governments to stay involved in the planning process to keep the four-lane project on the regional radar. The plan promoted in the past included funding for a pedestrian trail through town along the highway and left turn lanes at key intersections.
PAWS sets moratorium
on accepting new areas
By John M. Motter
As local drought conditions continue to mount, water is becoming increasingly scarce. In recognition of the scarcity, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District's board of directors approved a moratorium Tuesday on adding new territory to the district "contingent on the water supply improving."
No new territory really means no increase to the water supply commitment already accepted by the district.
Effective immediately, the moratorium means no water for any new consumers, individual or subdivision-size, not already included within the district's 70-plus square mile area.
The district uses the term "inclusion" to describe additions to the district. The term is territorial in meaning. Consumers already living within district boundaries but not connected to water can still obtain connections.
"Inclusion means anyone outside the boundaries of the district," said Carrie S. Campbell, the district's general manager. "This is not a moratorium against new connections."
Those who have already begun the inclusion process will be allowed to continue, according to Campbell. She recalled only one inclusion application now in the works and that one for a single tap. No estimate is available for the number of existing unused taps and tap locations within district boundaries.
A public meeting involving the district board and the board of county commissioners is on tap Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. District staff will make an audio-visual presentation explaining water availability versus water demand in the district. The presentation will explain the district's ability to deliver water now and in the future, as drought and growth affect the community. In addition, certain terms common to water discussions will be explained.
The district continues to pump water from its two diversion points on the San Juan River. One diversion is located south of town and pumps to the San Juan treatment plant located at the district's central facility. The second diversion is located on the West Fork of the San Juan River and supplies the Snowball treatment plant.
Streamflow at each of the points is from 8 to 10 cubic feet per second, according to district staff.
"At this moment we are okay," said Gene Tautges, the assistant general manager. "We have sand bags and other alternatives in place in case the situation gets worse."
The primary alternative, should the river run dry, will be to supply drinking water from lakes located in the Pagosa Lakes community. The district estimates enough stored water remains in the reservoirs to supply drinking water well into next year.
Meanwhile, the amount of usable water in the lakes continues to dwindle. The exception is Lake Forest, a lake the district is attempting to keep full. Pumping from Lake Forest to Village Lake during the past two weeks dropped the level of Lake Forest by 13 inches. Consequently, no water will be pumped from Lake Forest to Village Lake until the level of Lake Forest is restored. Lake Forest is refilled from the South San Juan diversion pump only when the daily demand for potable water is satisfied. Village Lake is being used for irrigation purposes.
A chart prepared by the district comparing the percentage of usable water in the lakes Aug. 26 with the percentage of usable water available Aug. 12 reveals the following changes. Aug. 12 is shown first, then Aug. 26, and finally the percentage change.
Lake Hatcher - 37 percent, 33 percent, minus 4 percent; Stevens Reservoir - 43 percent, 39 percent, minus 4 percent; Forest Lake - 98 percent, 74 percent, minus 24 percent; Lake Pagosa - 52 percent, 51 percent, minus 1 percent. A total of 1,583 acre feet of water remain in the five lakes.
The district board conducted the following additional business Tuesday night:
- Campbell noted that Level 2 increased water rates, connected with consumption above minimum usage amounts, will appear on water bills mailed on or after Sept. 1. She anticipated negative reactions from some consumers surprised at how much their bills have increased.
Certain commercial accounts may be unhappy because they didn't increase their base when changing from a low water consumption to a higher water consumption business, Campbell said. An example would be changing from an office rental to a restaurant. An office might need only one equivalent unit, 8,000 gallons of water per month. A restaurant might need five equivalent units, 40,000 gallons per month.
The surcharge takes effect after the pre-arranged base amount is consumed. In the first instance, the surcharge kicks in after 8,000 gallons of water is consumed. In the second instance, the surcharge kicks in after 40,000 gallons of water is consumed.
Commercial consumers can increase the amount of equivalent units used as a base by making application at the district office and paying whatever facility upgrade fee or its equivalent is in effect.
Level 2 water restrictions include the following residential water consumption charges: first 8,000 gallons - $13.50 plus a temporary $5.25 surcharge; 8,001 to 20,000 gallons - $14 per 1,000 gallons; 20,001 to 30,000 gallons - $22.50 per 1,000 gallons; 30,001 to 40,000 gallons - $27 per 1,000 gallons; 40,001 to 50,000 gallons - $31.50 per 1,000 gallons; above 51,000 gallons - $90 per 1,000 gallons.
- The district board agreed to set aside $20,000 for the 2003 budget to assist with cloud seeding, should that be necessary. The money will be appropriated next year.
Area cloudseeding contract is in the works
By John M. Motter
The San Juan Mountains above Pagosa Springs will be covered with snow, deep and white, if the dreams of those favoring a five-month winter cloudseeding program come true.
Representatives of the San Juan Water Conservancy District are negotiating a contract with Western Weather Consultants of Durango, a cloudseeding organization, for a seeding program starting Nov. 1. The program is designed to increase the snowpack in the mountains above Pagosa Springs.
Last winter's snowpack in the Upper San Juan River Basin was not much over 10 percent of average. Subsequent precipitation in the area has been scanty. As a result, streamflow in the San Juan River is almost stopped. Because of the lack of water, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has enacted Level 2 water rationing restricting outside irrigation.
Of greater concern to the water and sanitation district is the fear this coming winter will be a repeat of last winter. If that happens, the area could be out of drinkable water next summer.
If a winter cloudseeding program succeeds in increasing the snowpack, next spring's snowmelt runoff will be increased. In that event, the water and sanitation district will be able to pump sufficient water from the San Juan River to refill storage reservoirs.
"It's a matter of working out the details of the contract," said Fred Schmidt, president of the San Juan Water Conservancy District board. "We should have the contract in a couple of weeks."
The proposed program is being treated as a demonstration, or test project, according to Schmidt. For that reason, his district is prepared to accept most or all of the approximately $80,000 cost. A contribution is also expected from the Southwestern Water Conservancy District.
"If this succeeds, we'll approach entities sharing in the benefits to help pay for future programs," Schmidt said.
Tuesday night, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District designated $20,000 from its as yet unprepared 2003 budget for cloudseeding. The commitment was not firm, but a "let's wait and see."
The measurement of success for the seeding program will be based on reports submitted by the cloudseeding company during and following the program, Schmidt said.
Fred Kroeger, president of the Southwestern Water Conservancy District board of directors, showed enthusiasm for the proposal. The two water conservancy districts have scheduled a joint meeting Sept. 16 at 10 a.m., according to Schmidt.
"We'll make a solid contribution," Kroeger said. "In the past, we've been matching the cost of organizations doing cloudseeding over here (the Durango area). We're getting so many requests now that we can't afford to match everyone. It's up to our board, but I'm sure our contribution will be substantial."
"You know, I don't even believe in this," Kroeger said. "It's kind of like water witching. But I wouldn't drill a well without witching. If you look at the streamflows starting with the San Juan and moving west, the rivers in the west where there was cloudseeding last year are holding up best. The increase is from 10 to 15 percent, hardly any expense for the number of acre feet involved."
Kroeger applauded the local organization for agreeing to a five-month contract, instead of a three-month contract.
"We were on a three-month contract over here that ended by Feb. 1," Kroeger said. "Considerable opportunities for seeding developed after the program closed. If we had had a five-month program, we could have done better."
Under the proposed contract with Western Weather Consultants, the total cost is divided into fixed costs and seeding costs. Fixed costs are associated with the expense of setting up to do the job. Seeding costs are directly associated with the seeding effort. Seeding will only be attempted if moisture-bearing clouds are available. If the proper clouds do not come, seeding will not be attempted and no seeding cost incurred. Western Weather Consultants proposes the use of ground generators disbursing silver iodide.
Before the program can commence, the Colorado Natural Resources Conservation Commission will conduct public hearings. The hearings will be conducted prior to issuing or denying a permit for cloudseeding.
Back to school
By Richard Walter
Summer's over, sports are in the air and classrooms are waiting.
The 2002-2003 school year gets underway Tuesday morning after kids have one last chance to enjoy the dry summer weather over the Labor Day weekend.
There are several things parents should keep in mind.
First, all bus routes will run 10 minutes earlier than in the past and there have been changes made on several routes. A copy of the new schedule can be found on page A14.
Second, highway construction traffic makes it more necessary than ever for students at the elementary school to ride the buses. In fact, even the routes into the school have been changed to eliminate the need for westbound buses to cross traffic, and an access lane has been created for eastbound traffic.
Highway construction is expected to continue through September, and parents are being urged by both school and police personnel to send their children to school on district buses.
Students new to the school district who have not already registered can do so on the first day of classes.
Initial data from school district offices indicate a slight increase in overall enrollment this year, with the largest totals in grades three through six.
One final warning:
Police will be out strictly enforcing school zone speed limits and reduced speed zone rules within the construction area will also be fully enforced.
The goal is to have no injuries and no missing children for the first day of school - or ever, thereafter.
Foul mouths could force park supervision fee
By Joe Lister Jr.
My first full summer as director of parks and recreation has produced both positive and negative issues that I've had to deal with at different times of the year.
Richard Walter has touched on many of these pet peeves of mine in a direct way. His ideas should be taken seriously.
There were many people involved in the decision to put a temporary skate park in South Pagosa Park. They supported the decision to give the kids a place to skate and bike. Others put in long hours to make the whole idea possible by donating the labor to build the nine features at the park.
Anyone who uses the skate facility must remember that the entire park is public and use varies with parents, grandparents and children enjoying a day in the park.
Our young people must respect the fact that not everyone enjoys the park when foul language is shouted out every time a skater or biker misses a trick. I had three different calls Aug. 16 about the language being used by the skateboarders and the bikers. Not only did they disrespect the other people in the park, they also disrespected the fact that I asked them to please, "watch your language." When I did, I was told that it was a free country and was told they can say what they want.
Well, needless to say, it bothers me to the point I must consider instituting park hours with supervision. A user fee could be put in place to help defray the cost of the park attendant.
No one thought we would need supervision at the skate park, however foul language and disrespect for others was not foreseen either. So, please do not lose the right to skate and bike as you please. I hope I do not get any more calls to come to the park to tell skaters and bikers to mind their language while others are trying to enjoy the park.
Pets and parks
We have installed two locations in Town Park to dispense dog mittens. These are mittens designed so the pet owner can clean up after pets without getting their hands dirty.
If you wish to take your dog for a walk in the park, please grab a mitten and carry it.
Remember, our junior high football team and youth soccer program use the field next to Town Park and families enjoy picnics in the park, so pick up after your pet and show courtesy to other users.
With school starting next week, the parks department has enjoyed a busy summer, with our parks used by great numbers of people.
Folks have had birthday parties, graduation parties and weddings in the park, thrown horse shoes, played basketball and volleyball; they've enjoyed skateboarding, biking, hiking and many other activities. Our parks offer a safe and clean place for all to enjoy.
The town board and members of the parks and recreation department are committed to keeping Pagosa a great place to recreate, so let's keep our parks clean and respect other users. Enjoy, and thanks for a great summer.
Rebuilding year for cheerleader squad nets early honors
By Richard Walter
Eighteen young women will be the point persons for Pagosa Springs High School sports activities this year, putting new cheerleading techniques and routines on the line to encourage crowd support of home teams.
Not only are all the members of the squad new to the program, they are being trained by a new coach, Renee Davis.
"I did work with some of them as junior high coach," Davis said, "but for all practical purposes we are a new group starting together, learning together and hopefully performing together."
In an effort to get the squad off on the right foot, she entered the members in an off-season cheerleading camp in Durango Aug. 5-8 and found them not only quick learners but a group that won the admiration of other coaches and judges in the contest.
The squad won four superior ribbons and two for excellent presentation. The squad as a whole captured the camp Spirit Award, awarded the team best exemplifying the teamwork to make their routines work.
And, the team won the Herkie Award for leadership, teamwork and loyalty.
Beyond that, four girls were nominated after the camp for All-American cheerleader status. That group included Nikki and Misti Davis, Arlie Johnson and Joanna Kuros.
Davis expects all that laudatory effort to be melded into a flexible, cohesive performance squad that will make its season debut at the home football game against Cortez Sept. 6.
And that leaves scant time for preparation of special stunts for homecoming, which will be the following weekend against Delta.
The coach said her girls are a varsity squad only and will be split only when there are concurrent games in more than one sport. The squad will not make road trips except for playoff and championship games.
They will be on hand for all home contests in football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling and some soccer matches.
Included in the squad are two seniors, eight juniors, seven sophomores and one freshman.
"We expect to not only stir fan support, but to entertain the crowd," Davis said. "We'll present more climbing, pyramid and dance routines than offered in the past." They've been working on those special moves in the wrestling room and Davis said coach Dan Janowsky has been very helpful to her squad by allowing use of the wrestling facility.
"We're learning some new yells to go along with the new athletic moves the girls will show," she said, "and we hope the student body will learn along with us. The more voices involved, the more spirit for the school we'll be able to show."
The girls are utilizing the Commons Area and also doing some work outside as they prepare for the opening of high school sports season.
They agreed they'll be looking for all the support they can get to make Pagosa Springs High School's cheering team the envy of the league, the region and the state.
Davis thinks they have the right chemistry and the reliance on each other to accomplish that goal.
Battle of champions looms as grid
Pirates open season in Alamosa
By John M. Motter
Local high school football fans get a treat tomorrow when Pagosa opens the 2002 varsity football season at 4 p.m. on the Alamosa Mean Moose turf.
The game features a battle of champions. The 2A Pirates are defending Intermountain League champs. Alamosa is the defending state 3A champion. No strangers to each other, the two schools shared a preseason scrimmage last year. Alamosa went on from there to record a 14-0 season, including a 55-23 win over Fort Morgan in the state title game. A few years ago, Pagosa and Alamosa competed in the same league.
The Pirates' goals this season are simple, according to Sean O'Donnell, the head coach.
"My goal is to win every week," O'Donnell said. "The kids want to play Nov. 23 (the state semifinals). I think we have the team to do it if we play the best we can. We match up well with everybody."
Pagosa warmed up for tomorrow's season opener by scrimmaging Piedra Vista last Friday. Piedra Vista is a 4A New Mexico school formerly on Pagosa's regular season schedule.
"Considering it was our first time to run the new offense against another team, we didn't do badly," said O'Donnell. "On a scale of from one to 10, we probably did a six or seven. We were able to move the ball against them and we stopped their offense except for a couple of touchdowns."
Friday's scrimmage was valuable for both teams, according to Panther coach Wilson Wilhite. He credited Pagosa Springs with having a very good program with good kids and good coaches.
"It was good for us," Wilhite said, "because Pagosa Springs ran a lot of different defenses, did things that will make us become a better football team."
"Alamosa is about the same size we are," O'Donnell said. "They aren't big but they execute very well. We played them even during last year's scrimmage."
Pagosa will open the season with a multioption offense, hitting the line a little wider than last season's offense. All of this year's seniors have worked with similar offensive and defensive schemes since they were freshmen.
In time for the Alamosa game, O'Donnell posted a varsity-junior varsity roster this week that includes 12 seniors, 14 juniors and 12 sophomores. The Pirate junior varsity plays at Dulce Saturday at 7 p.m. Pagosa also fields a freshman team.
Directing the option offense as the year begins is junior quarterback David Kern. Backing up Kern is Paul Armijo, a sophomore. On running plays, the quarterbacks will be handing off to Brandon Charles, Brandon Rosgen and Ryan Wendt. The three prime running backs are seniors.
Plenty of targets are available should the quarterbacks choose to throw. Wide receivers include Aaron Hamilton, a junior; Jarrett Frank, a senior; and Brandon Samples, a junior. At tight end is Jason Schutz, a senior.
Manning the offensive line are senior Pablo Martinez, left tackle; junior Coy Ross, left guard; senior Andrew Knaggs, center; junior Ben Marshall, right guard; and sophomore Marcus Rivas, right tackle. Clayton Mastin may handle the long snaps for punts and field goals.
The defensive line will consist of Ross, junior Mike Valdez, Schutz, Mastin and senior Jared Early.
Linebackers are, in the middle, Ross and Martinez, on the outside Marshall and Rosgen.
Punting is being handled by Wendt, kicking is still up in the air.
"The league is tougher this year," O'Donnell said. "Monte Vista is tough. Larry Joe Hunt will be coaching Centauri and they are always tough. Every team has a chance. We'll have to play good every week."
In addition to Pagosa Springs, the 2A Intermountain League includes Monte Vista, Centauri, Bayfield and Ignacio. Pagosa's first league game is Oct. 11 against the Ignacio Bobcats. The game will be at Golden Peaks Stadium.
Following the Alamosa game, Pagosa plays at home for two weeks. The Pirates host Cortez at 7 p.m. Sept. 9, then host Delta Sept. 14 at 1:30 p.m.
Pirate golfers seem ready to climb final barrier
By Richard Walter
Weather played a part in the performance of the Pagosa Springs High School golf team's efforts on the road last week, but that wasn't the only thing causing the squad to finish in the bottom third in two of three Western Slope tournaments.
The Pirates opened action at Delta Aug. 20 with wind and threatening weather that soon became more than just threatening. For several holes they played in varying degrees of rain - and then the lightning arrived.
At that point the golfers were called off the course as a safety measure and actually picked up their game when the storm ended. Still, they finished well down in the pack in the 27-team field that featured a number of 4A and 5A schools.
With the weather as a factor, it took over seven hours to finish the tournament.
Dan Coggins, with an 84 on the par 72 layout at the Devil's Thumb course, paced the Pirates. Jesse Trujillo was close behind at 85 and Garrett Forrest checked in with an 87. Also playing for Pagosa were Ty Faber and Casey Belarde. Only the top three scorers for a team are recorded in tournament results.
Coach Mark Faber said the course is an unusual one in that it lies in a totally treeless, denuded area and yet has beautiful fairways and greens. "There is a false sense of openness that the course takes away with its layout," he said.
The following day the team played with 22 others in the invitational at Gunnison and again it was Coggins leading the way with a 79 on the par 71 layout. Trujillo checked in at 78 and Faber had 89. Forrest and Steven Sellers were the other two competitors for Pagosa.
The team played well, coach Faber said, but got fooled by the degree of difficulty of some of the holes. "If you don't know the course you play by what you can see from the tee," he said, "and sometimes you choose the wrong club or over- or under-swing because the distance is more or less than what you anticipated."
Still, he said, it's all part of the learning process and the team is showing definite signs of being ready to break out.
In fact, he said, "they gave every indication of doing that in Montrose."
After 11 holes on the course Aug. 22 "they had it going good, with Dan (Coggins) just one over par and playing his best golf of the year. Garrett was just five over on the par 72 layout at that point."
But the last four holes tripped them up. And it was not the same hole. Because it was a shotgun start, each golfer finished on a different hole.
"It was a great effort that just didn't carry through to the end," he said. "We're going to be working hard these next three weeks on finishing what we've started, not letting up.
As it was, Coggins and Forrest each finished at 80 and the coach's son came in at 82.
"I'm really encouraged," the coach said, "that the team as a group is getting close enough to where they have to be to qualify as a full squad for the regionals. And there's no reason we couldn't take a full team to state."
He said the coaches are working on the confidence factor. "We know how close they are," he said, "and now we need to convince them. They're beginning to realize that shooting just one stroke better by each of them in one of these highly competitive tournaments can mean the difference between finishing in the bottom third and in the top third or better."
That's what the squad will be working on in practices this week, beginning today on the Cattails Course in Alamosa.
This was originally scheduled as the Alamosa Invitational, he noted, but it turns out the date was changed and that tournament was played Aug. 16, the same date as the invitational in Durango.
That isn't all bad news, however. The Colorado High School Activities Association has changed its playoff schedule, moving the regional from the Holy Dot course in Colorado City to the Alamosa layout.
"It will give us a chance to see a course before we have to play on it for the first time, other than our own tournament," Faber said. "The kids won't be going in cold when the regionals open."
In general, Faber is pleased with the progress of the team. "We've had four kids shooting in the same range, game after game, and if each can cut one or two strokes, the team total will be much lower and we'll finish much higher."
The Pirates will go to Monte Vista Sept. 4 and close the regular season at Ridgway Sept. 9. The regional is scheduled Sept. 19.
In the meantime, Faber hopes to work in a pair of scrimmages against New Mexico teams to keep his charges sharp.
If they keep playing the way they have in the last two tournaments, particularly at Montrose, he said, "this is a team sneaking up on and ready to climb the final barrier to success."
Pirate thinclads will open Saturday in Alamosa
By Tess Noel Baker
The Pirate cross country team heads to Alamosa Saturday for the first meet of the season.
"It'll give us a good idea of how we will stand as a team," coach Scott Anderson said. "It's going to be a large meet and a fast course." All races will be held on the golf course with few hills.
Pagosa ran time trials Monday to set the varsity and junior varsity squads. The girls' varsity includes junior Amber Farnham, freshman Heather Dahm, senior Hannah Emanual, senior Amanda McCain, junior Jenna Finney and freshman Emilie Schur. The junior varsity includes junior Lauren Caves, who recently joined the team after a two-week vacation, sophomore Marlena Lungstrum, freshman Rebecca Williams, freshman Kaitlen Simmons and freshman Adrian Young.
On the boys' side, the team leads off with returning state qualifier Todd Mees, a senior. He is joined by brothers Dan and B.J. Louder. Dan is a junior and B.J. is a senior.
In Saturday's race, the top four times from each squad will count toward the team finish. Anderson said team members will use these early races to put themselves in good position at the regional meet in October. "The way our program is focused, these are basically training races," he said.
The team will return to Pagosa Springs for a home meet Sept. 7 on Wolf Creek Pass near the ski area.
Scrimmages over, Pirate soccer varsity
preps for Front Range weekend openers
By Richard Walter
It was a busy weekend for coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason and his Pagosa Springs Pirates soccer team, starting with a full day of scrimmages Saturday leading up to naming the varsity roster Monday.
The scrimmages, against Durango junior varsity, Bayfield, Aztec and Alamosa, gave Kurt-Mason a chance to see how his team has accepted new theories introduced this year, particularly on defense, and he says he was generally pleased with the outcome.
For the players, it was the first time they've had an opportunity, after two weeks of two-a-days, to test their skills against someone other than teammates.
They left little doubt they were prepared offensively for that challenge, scoring in the first minute against Durango in the opener for the day.
But since it was just a scrimmage, no official scores were kept. And while the coaches were pleased with the practice afforded their teams, one squad, Center, was missing in action and schedules had to be revised so that all teams got in the same number of contests.
Before naming his varsity lineup Monday evening, Kurt-Mason said he saw solid defensive action by his players during the scrimmages Saturday. "I wasn't concerned about the other teams scoring, and generally when they did, it was against our more inexperienced players."
During the day, Kurt-Mason routinely rotated first the varsity onto the field for a half and then the junior varsity for a half. The defensive faults he saw "involved players staying too high on the field and being, therefore, unable get back in transition.
"As far as building for the season," he said, "no team was able to force us into midfield turnovers. I saw a lot of power transition on offense, recognition of when to swing the ball, where your teammates are on the field, and the types of offensive moves that will counter the defense the other team is employing."
Kyle Sanders, one of the state's leading scorers last year, was up to his old tricks in the scrimmages but he, admittedly, was overshooting on close shots.
Overall, Pagosa played even with each of the opponents with the possible exception of Aztec when the Pirates were outshot 17-4. Impressive in the action in addition to Sanders were Zeb Gill, Moe Webb, Kevin Muirhead and Travis Reid on offense, and the entire defensive plan.
Time and again foes were unable to clear the middle against the Pirates floating zone designed to prevent the breakaway score.
The varsity, named before Monday's practice for the weekend openers this week against St. Mary's of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, consists of 14 lettermen and two newcomers.
Added to the trip roster were Webb and Jesse Morris.
Veterans who will open the season are Matt Mesker, goalkeeper and right wing; Caleb Forest, reserve goalkeeper and sweeper; Ryan Goodenberger, left center; Muirhead, right wing and striker; Kyle Frye, left winger; Sanders, striker and midfielder; Zeb Gill moved from left wing to center-mid; Brian Hart, defensive mid; Jordan Kurt-Mason, right marking back; Michael Dach, left marking back; Levi Gill, right defense; midfield; Travis Reid at midfield and left wing; Ty Peterson, defenseman; Keagan Smith, left deep defense; Webb will play center-forward and Morris mid-left.
They'll put the Pirate black and gold on the line in the team's first overnight trip to the front range, opening against St. Mary's at 4 p.m. Friday and then playing Manitou at 10 a.m. the following day.
Lady Pirates go to the nets tonight in Cortez
By Karl Isberg
The 2002 Lady Pirate volleyball season opens tonight at Cortez as Pagosa battles the Panthers in the first match of what is arguably the toughest schedule the team has ever faced.
Lady Pirate coach Penne Hamilton starts the year at the helm of one of the most successful programs in Colorado prep volleyball and the squad she will put on the court is a mixture of veteran and rookie, tested players and novices - a team without the towering height of past seasons but with significant experience and great talent.
Tonight will be the first chance fans have to see the core of players Hamilton picked for her varsity. The lineup features five seniors - returning starters Katie Bliss and Shannon Walkup, experienced setter Amy Young, and Tricia Lucero and Alex Rigia. Joining the older players are three sophomores, all three brimming with ability. Lori Walkup returns after a freshman season as a varsity starter. She is joined by Bri Scott and Courtney Steen. A varying cast of swing players from the junior varsity team will join the varsity for each match.
Cortez promises to be a formidable opponent in this first of two matches the teams play this season. The Panthers have advanced, as has Pagosa, to the state tournament the last two seasons and returns a veteran squad this year, headed by potential all-state outside hitter Stephanie Allison.
The Ladies are no strangers to this year's Panther team, having faced it last Saturday at a scrimmage held at Bloomfield, N.M. Cortez was one of 13 teams Pagosa played in 20-minute matches during the day. The Ladies also scrimmaged three other teams they will meet during the regular season: Farmington, Durango and Intermountain League foe Ignacio.
Hamilton was pleased with what she saw at the scrimmage, noting it is often hard to tell whether players incorporate elements of play introduced at practice - where they constantly battle each other - until they take the court against an unfamiliar six.
Apparently practice has paid off.
"I thought we did well against every team we scrimmaged," said the coach. The competition, she said, also afforded a close look at Cortez.
"We put up a decent block against Allison," she said, "and Lori stuffed her a couple of times." Hamilton noted Cortez has a better attack from the middle this year, forced by the loss of all state Casey Bauer to graduation. The Panthers "don't have a predictable attack with two girls pounding from the outside, so they'll probably run a more varied offense."
Hamilton said Cortez threw a triple block against Lady Pirate outside hitters during the scrimmage. "A couple of times, we hit into that triple block instead of tipping away from it. We'll work on that."
The coach saw several things she liked as her players made their way through the day's scrimmages. "I saw a lot of good hitting from our girls and we had a pretty consistent serve receive. We've been working on our back-row footwork and we'll continue to do that; I want them to move to the ball, not reach for it."
As far as concocting a formula for success tonight, Hamilton said her team's odds will improve with accurate blocking. "We need to have our blocks in place, we have to get to the point of attack. The big thing is to play with the kind of confidence we developed at Bloomfield. Cortez probably has more overall experience, but they are very beatable. If our girls rise to the occasion, it'll be a good match, a good way to start the season."
Action begins at Montezuma Cortez High School with a junior varsity match at 5 p.m. Anticipated start time for the varsity match is 6:30.
Ernestine Martinez passed away Aug. 25, 2002, at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez. She was born Feb. 20, 1927.
In her younger days she was a grade-school teacher and took time off to raise a family, not all of whom she gave birth to. After all had left her loving arms, she decided to become a cook, since cooking was one of her great loves.
She worked at area restaurants including one owned by her daughter in Cortez. She had a way with words and before she began to have sight problems she read voraciously in her spare time. She was considered a master at the sewing machine, making quilts from old dresses, jeans and bits of cloth. She canned fruits in the summer and when young, learned to make her own clothes.
There is a story her children laugh about: They say she and her husband, John, who survives, had only one fight in their life and it was over a tray of chicos (dried corn). John asked Ernestine what she wanted him to do with the chicos. She told him to take them out. He thought she said "throw" them out. So, he did. She was to say the least, pretty mad.
Ernestine was considered to be a very kind, caring lady, always ready to help anyone who needed it on any occasion. She gained many friends throughout the community where she will be missed because she was always an inspiration to others. She touched everyone who met her in a very special way.
She was an extremely beautiful person inside and out, always giving love to her extended family.
She cared for her stepfather, Victor Candelaria, until his death in May 1977, and for her mother, Trini Candelaria, until her death Nov. 13, 1984.
She raised her granddaughter, Lisa Montoya and also cared for grandchildren Tony, Michael and Laura Herrera.
Survivors in addition to her husband are her children, Barbara Ramirez and husband, Felix, of Houston, Texas, Greg Martinez of Cortez, Margie Martinez and husband Bill of Cortez, and Lisa Montoya and husband Manuel of Cortez; brothers, Arthur Gurule of Durango and Michael Gurule of Redlands, Calif.; grandchildren Michael Herrera and wife Myrthala of Houston, Derrick, Charles, Audrey, John, Victor and Daniel Martinez, all of Cortez; great-grandchildren Stephanie Montoya of Pagosa Springs, Victoria and Amy Johnson of Houston, Matthew Herrera of Houston, and Zepphera Martinez of Cortez. She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Betty Martinez, and grandchildren Tina Marie Duran and Ricky Herrera.
The Rosary will be said at 7 p.m. today at Ertel Funeral Home in Cortez and Rosary and burial mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs with burial to follow in Frances Cemetery, Arboles.
Mary Edith Ripley
Mary Edith Lynn Ripley, 65, died Monday, Aug. 26, 2002, at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango. A memorial Mass will be said Monday, Sept. 9, 2002 at 11 a.m. at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Ignacio, the Rev. Eddy Andary officiating. Cremation will be at Hood Mortuary crematory in Durango.
Mary Edith Lynn was born Feb. 7, 1937, in Pagosa Springs and lived in the area most of her life. She was a volunteer for the Pagosa Springs fire department and also volunteered for the Navajo Dam teaching program. She worked at Peaceful Spirit in Ignacio, was very active in St. Ignatius Church and was a member of the Carmelitas.
She formerly owned and operated The Upper Room, a Christian bookstore in Pagosa Springs.
Survivors include a son, John Edward Natay of Ignacio; a sister, Marjorie LaSage of California; brothers Joseph A. Lynn of Sandia Park, N.M., and William P. Lynn of Pagosa Springs; a grandson, Keith Edward Dennison of San Diego, Calif; granddaughters Shannon Lee Dennison Ragsdale, Colleen Marie Dennison and Natashua Jo Natay Evans, all of Casper, Wyo., and a great-granddaughter, Alyssa Coral Ragsdale, also of Casper.
A daughter, Coral Lee Natay Massengale, preceded her in death.
Commissioners study eliminating airport authority
By John M. Motter
Elimination of the county airport authority and a number of other issues were addressed by the Archuleta County commissioners Tuesday.
The commissioners are questioning the need for the Archuleta County Airport Authority.
To that end, a public hearing is scheduled Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in the commissioners' meeting room in the county courthouse. The subject of the meeting is "to consider dissolution of the Airport Authority Board."
"I've been the recipient of a lot of concerns about how the airport is run," said Bill Steele, the county administrator. "Having two boards is cumbersome. The airport authority may have been necessary in the past when we didn't have a county administrator or maybe not an airport administrator. We do now."
Specifically, Steele referred to negotiations with a proposed new fixed-base operator and negotiations to purchase land as instances when the current system has been cumbersome.
Jim Carey, president of the airport authority board, is protesting the direction the county appears to be moving. At Tuesday's regular commissioner meeting, Carey said, "We've had no input on this. This dropped on us out of the blue. I thought the work session we just held was to discuss how to work together. We feel blindsided."
The Aug. 22 workshop between the county commissioners and the airport authority board was conducted to "discuss roles and the role of the airport manager." The Sept. 17 public hearing is the next step in reviewing the role of the airport authority.
The county contemplates dissolving both the authority and the authority board, Steele said.
According to Steele the airport authority owns Stevens Field, including the land with its improvements. Since the county has the authority to create or dissolve the authority, "it is my opinion the county is the ultimate owner," Steele said.
Sewer line extension
The commissioners received preliminary engineering reports on extending sewer lines from the town's sewage collection system to the county fairgrounds. Two routes were proposed.
One route involves a collection pipe starting at the Junction Restaurant on U.S. 160 and moving along the west side of U.S. 84, ultimately dipping beneath U.S. 84 to reach the fairgrounds. This route would allow businesses stretching from the Junction Restaurant to those located across U.S. 84 from the fairgrounds to connect to the new line. The estimated cost of this route is $94,000.
An alternate route would connect with the town along U.S. 160 east of the U.S. 160-84 intersection and cross the proposed Mountain Crossing subdivision. This route will cost an estimated $148,000.
It is assumed that regardless of the route, property owners will help defray costs. Action on the subject was postponed pending further investigation.
Resolution of a log jam involving the Los Pinos Fire Protection District and the Pagosa Area Fire Protection District is apparently in sight. A group of Archuleta County citizens referring to themselves as the Southwest Archuleta County Fire Protection Committee has been seeking inclusion in one of the two existing districts.
A meeting last week between directors of the two districts resulted in a compromise. The Los Pinos group agreed to new boundaries extending beyond their formerly proposed limit at Old Gallegos Road. The proposed new boundaries will extend north on Colo. 151 far enough to include Cabezon Canyon. If the proposed new territory is included, the new district will extend from Ignacio in La Plata County to include Cabezon Canyon in Archuleta County. The core of the area, Allison and Arboles, has historically been served by Mount Allison volunteer firefighters. In the past, the Mount Allison volunteers fought fires without considering the county line.
Final details of the proposed agreement are still being negotiated. Creation of the new boundaries is likely to be on the November ballot in La Plata County.
The following additional business was conducted Tuesday.
- A new hotel/restaurant liquor license was approved for the Lodge at Keyah Grande with certain conditions. Because the lodge was first built as a residence, changing its use to a lodge requires a county conditional use permit. The lodge manager agreed to apply for the conditional use permit as a condition of gaining approval for the liquor license. The lodge and property will be operated as a private hunting business. During its early stages of operation, the facility may be open to the public, according to manager Peter Stanley.
- Approval was given to spend about $18,000 for computer improvements in the office of the county clerk. Money for the purchase will be taken from unbudgeted general fund reserves. As of two weeks ago, the unbudgeted general fund reserve account contained $393,740. That account is an accumulation resulting from underestimating revenues and overestimating expenses in the county general fund.
Some fire restrictions have been eased
Fire restrictions continue in effect on San Juan National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands, including Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, in southwest Colorado, but some earlier banned activities will now be allowed.
Beginning Aug. 27, restrictions on motorized travel and chain saw use have been partially lifted. Fire officials say these two activities have a lower risk of starting fires now that nighttime temperatures have begun to cool.
ATVs and motorcycles, which have been restricted to designated roads for much of the summer, will once again be allowed on designated trails, however, travel off roads or trails is still prohibited. Most designated trails may be found on Forest Service and BLM maps and are marked on the ground with a number and icons showing the types of allowable uses. When parking off a road or trail, users should ensure the area is clear and there is no vegetation that could ignite.
Chain saws are allowed with approved spark arresters. Users must carry a shovel or fire extinguisher, stop cutting by 2 p.m. and survey the area they were working in to ensure that a spark did not start a fire. No chainsaw use is allowed 2 p.m.-midnight.
The following restrictions remain in place and will be strictly enforced on National Forest and BLM lands:
1. Fire ban: Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal broiler, or a coal or wood burning stove is prohibited everywhere, including inside fire grates in developed recreation areas. Petroleum-based stoves and lanterns are still allowed.
2. Smoking: Smoking is prohibited except inside an enclosed vehicle or building. Smoking outdoors, even in a cleared area, is prohibited.
3. Explosives/welding: The use of explosives, welding or acetylene or other torch with an open flame is prohibited.
4. Fireworks: As always, fireworks of any kind are completely prohibited.
Violators face fines up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail. Exemptions include federal, state, or local officials, and organized rescue or firefighting forces in performance of an official duty, and persons with a permit authorizing the otherwise prohibited act.
Those whose actions cause a wildfire may be held liable for the firefighting costs and may face felony charges under new state law.
For additional information, contact the San Juan Public Lands Center (970) 247-4874 or visit the San Juan National Forest Web site at: www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan.
Six million children come home
from school - to grandparents
Thinking about ordering Rover a hearing aid? Or does it seem like Whiskers doesn't hear those birds overhead? Before you visit the veterinarian, you may need to get the wax out of your pet's ears.
Excessive earwax is often caused by an infection or build-up and varies for each animal, says Dr. Robert Kennis, a veterinarian in Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Earwax is formed when glands on the skin's surface produce a greasy substance called sebum that combines with exfoliating skin cells. Excessive earwax could allow bacteria or yeast to grow in the ear canal, which may result in an infection.
"Diseases may alter the formation of earwax leading to under or over production," says Kennis. "Abnormalities can result in bacteria or yeast overgrowth, which may cause ear disease."
Basic ear maintenance is breed specific, Kennis adds. Some dogs produce excessive earwax and require routine cleaning to limit secondary infections, but most dogs do not need their ears cleaned on a regular basis. In fact, using the wrong product or technique might make things worse, Kennis notes.
Many animals will tolerate a gentle cleansing during bathing with a pet formulated shampoo. There are many commercial products that are safe for use on and in the ear. Your veterinarian may recommend an ear drying solution containing diluted alcohol or an astringent that can be dispensed into the ear canal after routine bathing.
But use caution not to irritate the ears since some dogs may be sensitive and can develop an intense redness on their earflaps.
"Yeast organisms grow well in waxy, greasy environments, but there are certain products that can dissolve earwax," Kennis confirms.
"These products are usually a combination of a wax solvent, drying solution or astringent, and an acidifying agent. In general, these products are safe and effective for routine ear cleaning and are approved for use in the ear canal. If the eardrum is ruptured or absent, avoid placing anything into the ear canal."
Over the counter products are not recommended. Kennis says to avoid using isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide since these chemicals may overly dry the skin's surface, which can lead to a bacterial overgrowth and/or excessive scale formation.
"Gentle clipping of the hair around the ear will decrease the surface area where earwax and debris build up," Kennis adds. "It's best to consult your veterinarian before performing any of these procedures."
Water district, property owner
group in joint session tonight
By Richard Walter
Representatives of Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District and Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association will meet tonight in a special workshop session at 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Lakes Community Center.
Walt Lukasik, association general manager, said the session will be open to the public and is designed to get input from both boards on what is needed in the way of water conservation efforts, how much it will cost, when it should be done, how the costs will be handled, and whether any of the efforts can be coordinated. Included will be the North Village Lake residents' plea for a pipeline stub to provide San Juan River water for that lake and for dredging proposals to eliminate sand buildup in the lake which is preventing outflow and creating a pond effect.
Long-range plans for the area may well include another reservoir for retention purposes but there has been no agreement on where it should be. Some have suggested a Martinez Creek site but others say the outflow would be inadequate for large-scale conservation efforts.
Lukasik said the questions include whether the public taxing body and the property owners association can meld operations so that dredged material, for example, can be used for fill in other projects, if needed.
The timetable also might include emptying of one lake and dredging while holding back on work on others until it is done.
All that is supposition, however, and will be food for thought as the two boards look for mutual ideas.
Women United in Christ set
annual conference Oct. 12
Women United in Christ will present their fifth annual all-day conference at the Fort Lewis College Concert Hall Saturday, Oct. 12.
With people so focused on physical fitness, they sometimes neglect spiritual fitness and this year's conference theme "Women of Strength," will address that issue.
The speaker will be Susan Hunt, a pastor's wife, author and director of Women's Ministry for the Christian Education Committee of the Presbyterian Church in America.
Feeling the need to call Christian women to embrace a biblical perspective of womanhood, Hunt is passionate in her teaching and will challenge women to embrace God's call to be women of strength.
Admission is $15 prior to Oct. 6 and registration is taking place at local churches and Christian bookstores. Registration forms may be requested by writing Women United in Christ, P.O. Box 95, Durango, CO 81302.
For more information call Barb Ugai at 259-5649.
Town panel painting new sign control document
By Tess Noel Baker
What is 50-plus pages long, difficult to understand and outdated?
The Pagosa Springs sign ordinance - but not for long.
Starting July 22, a committee of residents, local business owners and town staff began meeting to rewrite the ordinance.
"Our goals are to make the sign code understandable, easy to use, fair and to protect scenic aspects of the community while allowing all businesses to be visible," Town Planner Chris Bentley said.
Committee members started by discussing the highs and lows of the current ordinance, written in the late '70s or early '80s. Members were encouraged to take a look at current sign conditions in their own "windshield surveys." They are also reviewing sign guidelines in place or being considered by the county and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.
At first, Bentley said, the committee was scheduled to meet semimonthly, but they've volunteered to meet weekly. Over the next two months, they will consider about 12 sign-related topics, including: sign square footage limit, aggregate square footage limit per property, height, sign zones, pedestrian signage, lighting of signs, exempt signs, temporary signs, nonprofit signs, master sign programs, nonconforming signs, fees and penalties and creative signs.
"It's going slow, but good," committee member Stan Holt said. "There's a lot of stuff to look at." Holt is representing the town planning commission on the committee. When finished, he said, the ordinance should be shorter and much easier to understand.
Once the committee's work is done, the ordinance will be presented to the planning commission for a recommendation then passed on to the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees for a public hearing prior to a vote.
Anyone with comments or concerns regarding the sign ordinance should call Bentley at Town Hall, 264-4151, Ext. 235, or contact one of the committee members. Members and the fields of interest represented are: Angela Atkinson, downtown businesses; Medray Carpenter, real estate; Camille "Caz" Cazedessus, resident-at-large; Ken Harms, Chamber of Commerce board; Stan Holt, planning commission; Roger Horton, west side businesses; and Steve Schwartz, nonprofit organizations.
Two lightning-caused fires
burning in high forest
By Tess Noel Baker
A pair of fires in a remote area of the Pagosa Ranger District has kept as many as 40 U.S. Forest Service firefighters busy since Saturday.
Phyllis Decker, Pagosa Ranger District visitor information specialist, said the lightning-caused fires are located approximately 20 air miles northwest of Pagosa Springs, roughly four air miles apart. Both are burning in the San Juan National Forest in heavy fuels on steep terrain.
The largest, called the Coldwater Fire, has burned seven acres with an additional acre of spot fires. The fires are fully contained, but not controlled. A hot shot crew was expected to arrive yesterday to work the steep slopes. The Bear Park Fire nearby was fully contained and controlled after burning three acres.
Decker said two helicopters have been used to dump water and shuttle firefighters between the two blazes. Retardant was dropped on the fires Saturday.
One firefighter suffered a dislocated shoulder while working the Coldwater Fire and was airlifted out Monday.
Hearing set on county light, sign regulations
By John M. Motter
A hearing to consider adoption of countywide lighting and sign regulations is scheduled Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. in the commissioners' meeting room at the Archuleta County Courthouse. The meeting is sponsored by the county commissioners.
The public is invited to attend and comment on the proposed regulations. Following the meeting, staff from the county planning office will review suggestions and, if appropriate, incorporate them in the proposed regulations. Ultimately, a final version of the proposed regulations will be tendered to the county commissioners for approval, rejection or amendment. No county regulations become law unless approved by the commissioners.
County planning staff, in conjunction with the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission, is responsible for writing the proposed regulations. Lighting and sign regulations are recommended in the Community Plan adopted by the planning commission and the county commissioners early last year.
Commissioner adoption of the proposed lighting and sign regulations is necessary in order to enforce the intent described in the Community Plan. If these regulations are adopted, they will become the first enforceable part of the Community Plan.
Lighting regulations generally define acceptable intensity, color, location, appearance and conformation of outdoor lighting. Sign regulations do the same for signs.
Only areas under county jurisdiction would be affected by the proposed regulations. Land within Pagosa Springs or within Colorado Department of Transportation rights of way are not covered. Pagosa Springs has sign and lighting regulations, as does the state. The appropriate governing bodies must approve signs on land owned by those entities. Highways 160, 84 and 151 in Archuleta County are controlled by the state.
A permit from the county will be required before undertaking new installations or making major changes to any signs or lighting falling under the county's jurisdiction.
The listed purpose of the lighting regulations is to minimize outdoor light pollution.
According to a draft of the proposal: "Š These regulations provide outdoor lighting standards and systems which will curtail the degradation of the night time visual environment and minimize light pollution, light glare, light trespass, conserve energy and resources while maintaining nighttime and vehicular traffic safety, utility, and security. These regulations are intended to implement Policies 1 and 2 of Chapter 4 of the Archuleta County Community Plan and apply to all new development in the county. Existing development is encouraged to comply with these regulations within 2 years after their effective date Š"
The proposed regulations apply to all exterior lighting fixtures including, without limitation, commercial, industrial, residential, governmental and street lighting installed after the effective date of the ordinance. Interior lighting is not affected.
All applications for limited-impact uses and conditional use permits shall include lighting plans showing description, location, type, height, method of shielding and, where required in this ordinance, lumen output of all proposed and existing fixtures.
Changes of use of real property with nonconforming fixtures shall meet the requirements of these regulations within 90 days of the change of use.
If a nonconforming fixture is replaced, the replacement fixture shall meet the requirements of the regulations.
The purpose of the proposed signage ordinance is to regulate the number, type, location, physical dimensions and design of signs in order to protect the pubic interest and achieve community objectives.
Any sign not specifically permitted by the ordinance is prohibited, including the following:
1. Signs located within or projecting over any public street, right of way or other public property. The county or other governmental entities may install signs on their property to identify buildings and uses and to provide necessary traffic control.
2. Roof signs.
3. Any sign which interferes with or confuses traffic, or presents a traffic hazard.
4. Signs emitting sound, except for approved drive-up menu boards.
5. Signs with intermittent or flashing illumination and animated or moving signs, except for time and temperature signs.
6. Awning-mounted signs painted directly on the face of the awning.
7. Pennants, banners, balloons, flags and similar displays except for certain noted exceptions as permitted in Section E.4.
8. Temporary signs which advertise a business, commodity, service, entertainment, product, or attraction, except as permitted in Section E.
9. Billboard or other off-premise advertising signs.
10. Reader panel signs except as specifically authorized.
11. Portable signs except as provide in Section E.
12. Signs that extend below the bottom edge of a fascia board or mansard roof.
Copies of the proposed regulations will be available at the public hearing.
Only two names submitted for military honors
By Richard Walter
To date, we have received the names of only two persons on active duty with U.S. military service whose families would like to be recipients of a Blue Star flag in special ceremonies at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at Pagosa Springs High School.
Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 will award the flags as they salute America's newest veterans participating in the War on Terrorism.
One of the two names submitted so far is that of Sarah Joy, serving with U.S. Army communications-intelligence near Seoul, Korea. She is the daughter of the David Joys of Pagosa Springs. The other is Fred Beach, son of Fred and Carolyn Beach, a Navy captain who was in Washington D.C. on 9/11 but was not at the Pentagon. He is still stationed in the nation's capital and is now making his home in Virginia.
The event is planned as a tribute to those who were victims, heroes and survivors in the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001, on New York, the Pentagon and an airliner flying over Pennsylvania.
Each family that submits the name of a local member of the armed services on active duty will receive a Blue Star flag at the event. Names should be submitted, with branch of service, duty assignment and family identification, to Richard Walter at Pagosa Springs Sun, PO Box 9, Pagosa Springs CO 81147. We know Sarah Joy and Fred Beach are not the only local persons currently on active duty.
The flags feature a blue star on a white field, sewn to an 8-by-16- inch red banner. In cases where more than one family member is on active duty, the flags will hold up to five stars.
The Legion will ask all local churches able to do so to ring their bells for 11 strikes Sept. 11 at 8:46 a.m. as a show of unity in a nation determined to rebound from terrorism and maintain its freedom for all.
Firemen plan remembrance
The public is invited to a Sept. 11 remembrance program at Pagosa Fire Station No. 1 on North Pagosa Boulevard in front of the flagpole.
The service is scheduled to start at 7:45 a.m. Sept. 11 and last for about 45 minutes. Members of the Pagosa Fire Protection District are asked to wear the department uniform.
Holiday offers chance for return of monsoons
By John M. Motter
The chance for monsoon rains in Pagosa Country picks up through the coming week, according to Doug Baugh, a National Weather Service forecaster from the Grand Junction office.
Since flow in the San Juan River in town has dwindled to a trickling 6 cubic feet per second, any rainfall will be welcome. Flow records over the past weeks reveal an almost instant increase in the amount of water running down the river following rain. Because the length of the San Juan above town is just a few miles, the increased flow is short lived.
Still, Baugh's forecast is encouraging because he foresees the monsoon season lasting into mid-September.
"Thursday (today) will be mostly cloudy with a 30-percent chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms," Baugh said. "High temperatures will be in the 80 to 86 degree range, low temperatures in the 45 to 52 degree range."
Close to the same forecast holds for much of the coming week, according to Baugh.
"The best chance for rain is Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of next week," Baugh said. "The 30-day forecast calls for higher than average temperatures for the desert southwest. If that is true, weak disturbances warmed by the higher daytime temperatures could create rain, extending the monsoon system into mid-September," Baugh added.
The 90-day forecast calls for normal precipitation for the Four Corners area, according to Baugh. Normal precipitation in Pagosa Springs amounts to 1.89 inches during September, 2.03 inches during October and 1.52 inches during November.
Snowfall in town averages 0.1 inches during September, 2.9 inches during October and 10.6 inches during November. The average monthly mean temperature drops about 10 degrees per month during the fall. That number is 55.4 degrees during September, 45.4 degrees during October and 32.5 degrees in November.
Controlling current weather conditions locally is a high-pressure area in southern New Mexico and a low-pressure trough over the Great Basin states, according to Baugh. The combination brings moisture from both the Gulf of Mexico and the Baja California area into the Four Corners.
The latest rain to fall in Pagosa Springs amounted to 0.02 inches Aug. 21. So far, 2.16 inches of rain have fallen in town during August. The long-time average August precipitation is 2.52 inches. August is the wettest month of the year.
High temperatures last week ranged between 78 and 85 degrees with an average high of 82 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 38 and 44 degrees with an average low of 42 degrees.
Current local weather data is measured at the official U.S. Weather Service gauging station located at Stevens Field. Historic data quoted in SUN weather stories is supplied by the Colorado Climate Center, Atmospheric Science Department, Colorado State University at Fort Collins.
Open house for ideas on highway access control plan
By Tess Noel Baker
Pagosa residents and interested parties are invited to an open house Sept. 5 to discuss a highway access control plan for U.S. 160 from Vista Boulevard east to 8th Street in downtown Pagosa Springs.
The Colorado Department of Transportation, working with Archuleta County and the Town of Pagosa Springs, is developing a highway access control plan for that section of the road. The purpose of the open house is to solicit comments regarding the locations of highway access, frontage road systems and supporting roadway networks.
Mark Garcia, Pagosa Springs building and planning administrator, said about two years ago growth of the county spurred town and county representatives to approach the state about an access plan. Eventually, Bechtolt Engineering was selected as the subcontractor on the project and began work on traffic counts and other studies to determine the most logical points of access. The engineering led to a draft proposal for eight full-movement intersections, those with turn lanes and signals. These include intersections at Great West Avenue, 8th Street, Majestic Drive, Piedra Road, Timber Ridge Drive, Piñon Causeway, North Pagosa Boulevard and Vista Boulevard.
The signal at Piedra Road is already in place, Piñon Causeway has a temporary signal and North Pagosa will get its red, green and yellow lights when the current state project through town is complete sometime in November. The rest will be contracted in future projects, paid for by developers in many cases, if approved in the final access plan.
Other intersections along the corridor will be restricted in some form, including being limited to right-turn-only lanes in and out of the intersections.
Garcia said the intent of the plan is to smooth out the process for future development and create a plan that allows the corridor to develop smoothly instead of as part of a piecemeal arrangement.
"It helps development in the sense that obtaining access permits from CDOT is a lengthy process," said Garcia. "By having this plan, access is established and development will have to go to those points."
The open house is set for 6-8 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Comments or questions can be forwarded to Bechtolt Engineering, 259-7534, or the Pagosa Springs planning department at 264-4151.
Set record straight
I read with great interest and agreement Don Barlett's letter (Aug. 15). He hit the nail on the head that our "Servicemen and retiree's are being discriminated against." The rebuttal letter by Lee Paige (Aug. 22) is riddled with misleading information.
To set the record straight, military retirees are the only federal employees subject to the mockery of choosing between retirement pay and disability compensation. If you choose disability compensation you actually are paying penny for penny from your earned retirement pay. Further, if a family member was lost in the Sept. 11 attack, dependents will get an average of $1,185,000. If you are a surviving family member of a service member killed in action the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable. Then if you are the surviving spouse you will get $833 a month until you remarry.
There's a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. Further, each year that the cost of living allowance is reviewed, the military is treated differently than other federal employees. Some years back cost of living allowance was withheld for an extended period of time while other federal employees received adjustments. Another discrepancy is the Health Care System - when you joined the service you were promised free health care for yourself and family. This has been readjusted and changed until it is very difficult to even be seen at a hospital unless you pay dearly.
One of the biggest problems facing military retirees today - If they served in Vietnam - is the exposure to Agent Orange (245T), the herbicide used to defoliate the jungles. The lasting effects are still being discovered, but currently have been associated with prostate cancer, skin diseases, Type ll diabetes, tumors and other malignant problems.
This is another reason that disabilities claims will continue to be reviewed to ascertain what is happening to the individual long after he has retired from faithfully serving his country. If people think that there is a lot of double dipping going on - I challenge them to serve their country. Just recently three SEALS were killed in Afghanistan, and two others seriously wounded. They most likely will be returned to duty and continue to serve their country during these hazardous and trying times.
Years down the road many injuries, especially arthritis from injuries suffered during active duty will be exacerbated. Don't you think they should be compensated? In closing, if you retired in the 70s the dollar that you were receiving is now worth about 24 cents. So how far does military retirement pay go? A person gives the best years of his life serving his country and he comes back to be treated like a second class citizen.
I believe it is time to recognize the inequities of our system and write your congressmen and senator to provide equitable treatment to military the same as other federal employees.
Franklin W. Anderson
The summer has flown by and parents and teachers are getting ready for a new school year. As a health aide for the Pagosa schools I am anticipating another busy year assisting the school nurse and providing care for the kids.
For the last two years I have been a member of the Pagosa Springs Immunization Group. Our mission has been to improve the immunization rates of all the children in our community. Two years ago our community was one of the five worst concerning children not up-to-date on their shots in our state.
I'm happy to say, from my point of view, our rates in Pagosa are improving. For example, at the beginning of the 2000-01 school year there were 77 out of 103 kindergarten students who were not up-to-date on their shots. Last year there were only 34 out of 103 kindergarten students not up-to-date. That is an improvement of over 50 percent in one year.
We owe it all to the parents. It has sometimes been their sacrifice - time off of work or from their busy schedules at home - to make sure their children are protected against such crippling and deadly diseases as polio, whooping cough (pertussis) and tetanus, to name a few. Yes, there may be side effects to the vaccinations, but the risk of disease far outweighs any side effects.
There are two books currently at the Ruby Sisson Library here in Pagosa: "Vaccines: What Every Parent Should Know" by Paul A. Offit, M.D. and Louis M. Bell, M.D., and "Vaccinating Your Child: Questions and Answers for the Concerned Parent" by Sharon G. Humiston, M.D., M.P.H. and Cynthia Good. If these books do not answer your questions, please call the San Juan Basin Health Department or your family physician, and they will help you out.
Once again, a big thank you to all of the parents who have kept their children up-to-date on their vaccinations. It makes our job so much easier not mention the fact that you are safeguarding your children against some very devastating diseases. You really make a difference.
Missed the point
I want to thank Lee Page for his letter in last week's Sun. He and I have the right to express our opinions and facts, as we understand them. My letter stated fact, as I understand it.
Anyway, he seems to have missed the point of my letter. I'll restate it here more simply. The requirements to reduce retirement by disability compensation affects only disabled military retirees and not retirees of other federal agencies. I think that is wrong. I take very serious affront to a suggestion and hint that we might be "double-dippers."
A double dipper is an individual who retires from two different federal agencies and collects both retirements. I have not. I earned my retirement the hard way in Korean and Vietnam wars and was decorated five times while doing so and two additional times in peacetime.
I'm proud of my record. I served my country ably, honorably, but unfortunately I sustained injury and became partially disabled as a result. There are different levels of disability. The veterans we discuss here were able to complete their service "ably," honorably and retire, even though disabled.
The disabled can perform "ably." Congratulations, you apparently earned your retirement without being injured and disabled. I wish all of us had been so lucky.
Thank you for publishing (Aug. 22) the informative letter by Jeffrey J. Schmidt, D.C., regarding the issues surrounding vaccination and Colorado law.
In my 28 years of nursing and midwifery, I have witnessed and personally experienced both the benefits and the hazards of multiple immunizations.
The pioneering spirit of Colorado has ensured a law that provides more flexibility on immunization choices than many other states. Informed consent is your right and your responsibility. Don't waste it.
In addition to the www.909shot.com site, see archives at www.mercola.com.
Heart and soul
Regarding Karl Isberg's "Food for Thought" in the SUN, Aug. 22, I wonder what prompted his tirade against Elvis, who was loved and appreciated by so many other people.
I was an adult during his lifetime, and while I did not always agree with his lifestyle, I recognize his unique ability to put so much heart and soul into so many of his songs. They will be remembered for years to come.
Mr. Isberg, take time to listen to his recording of "How Great Thou Art"!
Rest in Peace, Elvis!
Tuesday night a woman in a small pickup "saved" our 7-year-old son and I as we were trying to evade a very large, very upset bear along U.S. 84. We think a honking car drove the bear toward us - but then even after turning away he turned back (we were singing loudly and walking away from him) and continued to come loping toward us, so close we could hear him grunting and definitely less than 30-40 yards, so we were feeling pretty threatened.
My husband, caught on the other side of the bear from us, had to back off so he wouldn't charge at us.
As it got darker, we lost sight of him which only made us more nervous. We struggled up to the highway, nerves shot and began to try to flag down a car as we had been forced quite a ways from home by our prolonged effort to keep away from the bear.
Although we were almost home by the time someone stopped, it was still a relief and we don't know who she was and just wanted to say thanks.
It's nice to know that even when all the headlines are bad, there are still some good, kind, trusting people who will help out in a pinch despite appearances, darkness (we must have looked pretty frazzled by then and I was gripping an old two-by-four).
Thanks, and consider the favor passed on whenever we get the chance.
The Lorenzen family
Insult to disabled
Last week's letter headed "Military retired II," is an insult to seriously disabled retired military personnel.
Military personnel do not claim disability. They apply for disability with the help of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans or through congressional help.
The process that the Department of Military Affairs uses to determine compensation is time consuming and complicated. The backlog of processing claims over the past 20 years is in the thousands. By increasing the Department of Veterans Affairs budget the government is seriously trying to improve this critical processing procedure. Many World War II veterans have died with their applications for disability tied up in this backlog.
Complications from service-connected injuries happen years after retirement.
My disability awarded by VA was the result of a parachute jump injury years ago in Asia and a serious hearing loss after two tours in Vietnam in 1966-68. In 1999, while taking chemotherapy for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, I was awarded 100 percent service-connected disability for this incurable cancer because I was housebound. This amounted to $2,400 a month subtracted from my Army retirement pay. This money was tax free because the federal tax code exempts all disability pay from taxes.
In 2000, when my oncologist determined my cancer was in remission, VA reduced my disability to zero. When this happened, they let my previous disability for the spinal injury and hearing loss fall through the government cracks. The congressman from my district in Oklahoma City helped me correct this VA mistake.
The fiscal Year 2003 Defense Authorization Act proposes eliminating the Department of Veterans Affairs disability compensation offset to military retired pay. The office of Management and Budget has recommended the president veto this offset. Retired disabled veterans must have 60-100 percent disability award by VA before they can qualify for concurrent receipt of full retirement pay and full disability pay.
Public support in our country for the military today is better than it has been since World War II. The president may or may not veto this legislation. The Senate and the House have enough votes to override a presidential veto.
Personally, I would gladly forego disability pay in any form if I could play golf, fly fish the San Juan River, and hike to the hot spring on the Rainbow Trail with the Grey Wolf Ski Club, like normal adults do.
Since that is not possible, I happily accept my double-dipping tax break after spending 30 years in the Army. With all the other military perks I receive, Mr. Paige can accuse me of being a triple-dipper.
The board of the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs has voted to terminate membership in the Humane Society of the United States because of its anti-hunting stance. There is a section of its Web site advocating that hunting be banned.
The text of the letter sent to the Humane Society of the United States terminating the membership follows:
"The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is one of your members. However, the Board of Directors has voted to immediately terminate our membership due to your stand on hunting. Pagosa Springs is in a rural area of Colorado and many of our big supporters are hunters. These supporters are very unhappy with the section of your Web site which advocates banning hunting.
The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs deals with companion animals such as dogs and cats and takes no stand outside of this area. We cannot afford to alienate any of our supporters. Therefore, please terminate our membership in the Humane Society of the United States. We will consider rejoining if your anti-hunting bias is terminated."
William "Rex" Shurtleff
Government in Pagosa Country often provides more fodder for editorial and critical comment than can be digested and acted upon. It is enough merely to allow news reports of activity to carry the message, to allow the reader to determine, without editorial comment, what is and what is not effective or, in some cases, what is or is not competent.
Two items originating with local governments during the last couple of weeks deserve comment, of a positive nature. Both involve attempts by governmental bodies to review the nature of their organizations and to take steps to make improvements - in one case by opening the process and prospect of change to voters, the other by moving to trim an allegedly cumbersome layer of government activity.
The first case involves the town board of trustees, which has proven it is forward-looking and willing to entertain ideas that will alter the way town government is structured and run.
Town trustees recently cleared the way for a vote in the November general election when town residents will decide whether or not to appoint a commission to investigate home rule government and to select nine members to that commission charged with the task of developing a home rule charter for the voters to examine and act on at a later date.
Home rule has many positive attributes; it is flexible and could open new doors for Pagosa Springs if the voters desire. Home rule could provide, among other things, a way of districting the town so, in the case of future residential annexations, no s voting bloc from a particular geographic area could dominate others. There are potential advantages available as well that allow for protection of tax revenues and strengthen the municipal court system. A home rule charter can be tailor-made for the municipality and it is a worthwhile option to examine, If town voters agree that a commission will be formed and a charter written for consideration, this work can begin soon.
Anyone wanting to be among the candidates running for a seat on the home rule commission can pick up a petition at Town Hall. Candidates must be registered to vote and must live within town boundaries. Each petition must contain the signatures of 25 registered voter/residents of town and every qualified resident/voter can sign up to nine candidate petitions. The petitions are due back by Oct. 4. Workshops on the home rule concept will be held at Town Hall tonight and Sept. 19 at 5:30 p.m. Anyone interested in the concept and process is urged to attend.
County government is making the sensible move as it considers doing away with the airport authority a body created years ago by the county commission. The commissioners believe the airport can be operated by an airport manager under the direct supervision of the county administrator, and recognize a measurable amount of administrative conflict and confusion can be avoided this way. They understand an advisory panel of residents with strong ties to airport facilities and operations can be assembled to assist management in the future. A public hearing on the dissolution of the airport authority is scheduled Sept. 17.
In the meantime, we say it is generally a positive thing when a layer of government or administrative activity disappears. With effective, professional administration, Stevens Field will continue to operate in the best interests of all residents of the county.
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
90 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Sept. 6, 1912
Doc Taylor is adding another addition to his nearly completed new hotel building on Pagosa St. Alex Shannon contractor and builder is doing the work.
That new apartment house of Doc Taylor's on Pagosa Street has been rented by Mrs. J.L. Nickell, who will, as soon as finished, take charge, furnish and conduct same as a boarding house.
Ira Hubler of the Hubler & Cresswell lakes, was in this week with a load of brook trout. Sold for 50 cts. per lb., every one of them.
George Cerney last Tuesday brought in from his O'Neal Park ranch a load of the finest potatoes ever hauled into town. The O'Neal Park region is sure the potato land.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Sept. 2, 1927
Four notorious stock-killing renegade bears, animals which have caused losses mounting into the thousands of dollars to the sheepmen of Archuleta County, were trapped and shot a few days ago by W.H. Caywood, hunter for the United States biological survey. All four animals were trapped in the San Juan National Forest, two of them near Navajo River and the other two on Fish Creek.
C.M. Van Pelt, new owner of the Springs property, has commenced construction work on the new outdoor swimming pool, which will be approximately 100x150 feet in size and will be located near the river bank just east of the San Juan and directly south of the San Juan Street bridge.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of August 29, 1952
The caution lights purchased by the Lions Club and installed by the REA at the intersections on either end of the school grounds are to be turned on this Saturday, August 30, in order that motorists may get used to them by the time that school starts.
Members of the San Juan Soil Conservation District Board and a number of friends honored Arch McCabe with a dinner Tuesday evening at the Los Banos Hotel.
The Pagosa Springs Lions Club is bringing Verne Byers and his famous CBS orchestra to Pagosa Springs for a dance Friday night. This is one of the outstanding orchestras of the West and the local dance enthusiasts will have a chance to dance to some first class music.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of August 25, 1977
Rainfall is heavy this month, especially during the last half. The total rainfall through Tuesday night for August to date is 3.39 inches. The rain has been extremely beneficial to the countryside. Vegetation is green and bright, streams are up and fire danger is down. The rains have caused delays, however, in haying, and in construction work of all kinds.
It is back to school for students and teachers next week. School officially opens Monday morning and buses will run at usual times.
The Pagosa Children's Theatre is presenting "Tom Sawyer's Treasure Hunt" tomorrow night in the town park. A large number of the young people of the community are involved in the production.
By Ming Steen
A couple of weeks ago Erika DeVoti's sister, Alison, had her wedding in our beautiful little town. Her marriage to Kishore Rao was most cleverly crafted.
It was two separate wedding ceremonies to celebrate two lives coming together. Each of the wedding rituals upheld and recognized the cultural and religious nuances of both Alison's and Kishore's families.
In the morning Vedic wedding ceremony, a priest and Sanskrit scholar of the Sri Venkateswara Temple of Pittsburgh, Pa., performed the ceremony. In the evening Christian wedding ceremony, Rev. Annie Ryder of Pagosa's St. Patrick's Episcopal Church did the honors.
Both ceremonies were happy and chock full of symbolic references to the age-old sacred union of man and woman in marriage.
The sari, in all of its splendor, was on full display. It's only five meters of unstitched cloth but wow, it can do a lot to a woman. It can make her look ethnic (obviously), incredibly sexy, forbidding and inaccessible.
Five meters of unstitched cloth and the men are quick to respond. They treated the sari-clad female with utmost courtesy and that to me is true manliness.
Did she get that respect from successfully managing to drape five meters of fabric around her without stumbling on her first step, or is there an in-built dress bias in the male psyche?
Do males hunger for restraint, formality, elegance and grace? Is modesty sexier? You tell me, my male readers.
United Way's golf benefit is drawing in some good sign-ups. There is room for many players and plenty of time for you to round up your four-person team for the fourth annual United Way golf tournament.
This year's format will be a scramble with only one of the team members allowed to have a handicap lower than 10. If you need help pulling four golfers together, the Pagosa Springs Golf Club (731-4755) will help you set up the teams. For non-golf club members, the entry fee is $75 which includes lunch, green fees, cart, coffee and all the doughnuts you can stomach.
Twenty dollars of the entry fee goes directly to United Way of Archuleta County. The tournament is scheduled Sept. 7, and will start at 9 a.m. Tournament organizers promise a day of fun with various contests and golf giveaways.
I love grocery shopping. I have no patience for mall shopping. I was amused to read a recent blurb by two neurologists saying women may live longer than men because they shop - a physical past time that requires both physical (walking and carrying bags) and mental (price comparison) skills.
This weekend's sidewalks sale offered by local merchants should give you another opportunity to keep your body and mind whole as you grow older.
Throw into the equation a boost to our local economy.
By Janet Copeland
A big congratulations to Lucille Arrington, who was named our Volunteer of the Month. This lovely lady does so much for our group and we really appreciate her.
Also, congratulations to Shirley Killion who was our Senior of the Week last week. We don't get to see Shirley nearly as much as we would like but enjoy her presence when she can join us.
This community is in for a real treat Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium, when the Mountain Harmony singers host a tribute, "Spirit of America." This event will honor New York and local firefighters and police, as well as local veterans and EMTs. Admission is free so we hope everyone who can will support this terrific group.
The Four Corners Folk Festival begins tomorrow, Aug. 30. Because of the fire danger, it was moved to the vicinity of the Pagosa Springs Community Center. This is really a fun event and we hope they will have a lot of support.
The Jack Hanson Trio was supposed to perform for us last Wednesday but we understand D.C. Duncan injured his hand so they rescheduled for Sept. 11. We look forward to enjoying their performance anytime they can come.
This Friday we will celebrate the birthdays of our members who were born in August. We wish a very happy birthday to Helen Schoonover, Charlotte Archuleta, Rose Perea (who works in our kitchen), Eleanor Jones, Georgo Ziegler, Bill Clark, Judy Ulatowski, Dorothy Million, Gerry Driesens, Ismael Castillo, Iris Clark, Jerry Sager, Carolyn Hansen, Larry Waddell and James Dunavant.
A big welcome to our guests and returning members this week, to include Mary Lucero (it is so wonderful to have her join us after a long absence), Pat Tyler, Sally Radigan, Barbara Wilson, Barbara Winston, Liz Messick, Thelma Lyda, Faye Ault, Susan Felts, Margie Martinez, Helen and Bill Tarver, Marjorie Nevitt, Mary Valentine, Bill and Marion Baker, George and Nancy Ziegler, Verna Sorrels, Jim Estell, Linda Van Patter, Mamie Lynch, Lucille Arrington, Vernon Day, Gene Crabtree, Julie Jesson, Mary Carpenter, Mel and Carol Pliner, Judy and John Cramer, Marcia Ferguson, Jo Rose, Liz Flowers and Jackie.
Our new facility is looking better all the time - the brochure racks were installed last week and look great. Also, we thank Gene Crabtree for providing a PA system. Now we can actually hear announcements.
AARP members can now save 10 percent on admissions to all national parks with the National Parks Pass, which is normally $50. Members 62 and over are eligible for the Golden Age Passport, which gives lifetime entrance to national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas and wildlife refuges for only $10. For more information, call (888) 467-2757 or, on the Internet, go to www.aarp.org/parkspass.
Thanks to Patty Tillerson for providing blood pressure checks last Friday. We so appreciate Patty giving of her time and talents to help our folks.
Don Hurt needs someone to teach the 55 Alive Class. Please contact Don 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.
Also, any of the seniors who would like to play pool or pingpong at the Teen Center (down the hall from the Senior Center), please just let the folks at the front desk know when you would like to play.
Art classes are scheduled to begin again in October, either daytime or evening classes, so please sign up so we will know whether there is enough interest. The classes are free and we have excellent, talented instructors.
Other upcoming events include Dru Sewell teaching chair aerobics each Friday at 10:30 a.m. beginning Aug. 16. This is a very good workout for folks used to a more sedentary life, and it's fun to, so we hope folks will participate.
The pool at Best Western is available at no charge for members of the Senior Center Monday-Friday from 9-11 a.m. Be sure to check in at the desk and show your membership card. They also offer us discounts on meals.
Mondays after lunch we have another bridge group "Bridge for Fun" starting up. Please sign up at the Center if you would like to join this group.
Yoga by Richard Harris is at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Also, a beginning bridge group, led by David Hopkins, is meeting Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
Computer class with Sam Matthews is at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays as is Chi Gong exercise (bring large towel or mat, if possible, and wear loose clothes). Card games are at 1 p.m.
Every Friday at 12:30 p.m. Jim Hanson will help with Medicare counseling.
By Andy Fautheree
I received approval last Tuesday from the Archuleta County commissioners to conduct a community veterans' conference for veterans in and around Archuleta County. It is tentatively planned for the evening of Oct. 3. I will be publicizing the event as more specific information is confirmed. It will probably be held at the Fair Building or the senior dining room at the new Community Center.
As many of you know I really enjoy reaching out to our veterans in various ways through community gatherings, fairs, hosting a radio show, and this weekly column, to spread the word about veteran's benefits. Wherever there is an appropriate public gathering you will usually find me wearing my VSO badge, carrying my laptop computer and information for veteran's benefits.
This has been highly successful in finding, interviewing, filling out forms from the computer, and generally guiding and assisting veterans with benefits right on the spot. Most recently I was meeting veterans in the senior dining room at the new Community Center grand opening.
Many of the veterans I find through these efforts do not even realize they are veterans, and that they are entitled to many benefits.
I now have over 1,025 local veterans in my Archuleta County VSO database, which is double the number when I became your officer a little over a year ago. That represents over 10 percent of total estimated county population, and I think there are a lot more veterans I haven't met yet. They keep calling or stopping by the VSO office. The number of veterans from Archuleta County enrolled in VA Health Care has grown by several hundred during that same time.
I felt having a community veterans' conference well planned and publicized in advance would help even more of our veterans learn about the VA.
I plan to invite knowledgeable persons from many areas of the VA including health care, compensation and pension claims, veterans nursing homes and perhaps some from the legislative branches. Hopefully I will be able to have a spokesperson from the Durango clinic talk about transferring veterans from other VA Health Care locations and clinics to Durango.
VA conference guests will have an opportunity to tell about their particular area of responsibility and how they work on veterans' concerns. We will have open questions from the floor to address general interests. Afterward, the plan is for representatives to meet with individual veterans for more specific information. It will be an excellent opportunity to learn about the new Durango clinic scheduled to open at about the same time. We will even be able to sign up veterans for VA Health Care right at the forum.
VA ID cards
I also hope to get the folks from Albuquerque VA Medical Center to bring their VA ID card making equipment, as many of our veterans do not have these cards. Our veterans can only get them in Albuquerque. The outpatient clinics do not have the necessary equipment to make them.
I have received an excellent response so far from many of the VA spokespersons I hope will attend. This will be a real opportunity to get the latest and correct information about VA benefits to a lot of veterans at one time. I hope to see all of you there. And, oh yes, we will have refreshments.
The best part of the whole affair is it won't cost you one thin dime. There is never a charge for any assistance in obtaining VA benefits. You already paid the admission price when you honorably served your country in the military.
For information on these and other veteran benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-2304 and e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday; Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
By Pamela Bomkamp
The Aug. 22 Chamber of Commerce and Pagosa Springs Arts Council Sundowner at our Town Park gallery was a lot of fun and a great fund-raiser. Our traditional silent auction was fabulous. We also had the first live auction with quick draws by Virginia Bartlett, Denny Rose and "Mised" Soledad Estrada.
There were also portraits by Jeff Laydon. Claire Goldrick, Kent L. Gordon, Robert Garcia, Bruce Anderson, Kate Petley and Ruth Carr donated some of the special works of art. Musical entertainment was by Rio Jazz and the barbecue dinner was delicious.
Proceeds will go toward setting up the new arts and crafts program at the Community Center. The arts council would like to thank all the volunteers who helped make this an outstanding event.
It is not too late to sneak a peek at Roberto Garcia's outstanding bronze sculptures and watercolors at the gallery. This extraordinary exhibit will be on display through Sept. 4.
Please plan to attend our gallery exhibit opening Sept. 5. We invite you to view to new artists to the area. Verna Marie Campbell will display her beautiful oil paintings and Susan Martin Serra will show her ceramic-maiolica. Their open house reception is from 5 to 7 p.m. This wonderful exhibit will show through Sept.25.
Verna Marie is an artist member of the California Art Club, Oil Painters of America, a Signature Member of the San Fernando Valley Art Club, a member of the Valley Artists' Guild and the Pagosa Springs Art Council. She has taken many awards in varied juried shows in Southern California and New Mexico, including Best of Show.
In seeking an unlimited expression of her art she has developed two styles: a very realistic one for flowers and still life and a more impressionistic style for landscapes.
She feels that beauty is a spiritual quality and if a person develops their spirituality, that person can put beauty into any thing. Taking workshops from other artists has helped her grow and share the knowledge that she finds from these encounters. To her, art is of the Soul.
During 1997, Susan Martin Serra began her master's degree program in illustration when she spent her summer in Florence, Italy, studying formal drawing techniques and traditional Italian maiolica at Student Art Centers International. It was during this time in Italy Serra says, "I discovered my love of ceramics and reached a decision that was something of a turning point."
She decided she "wanted to finish my M.A. in illustration using clay as my medium of expression. At the completion of my M.A., I was encouraged by my ceramics professor to qualify for the M.F.A. program in ceramics, which I did to further my knowledge of three-dimensional form and the technical aspects of working with clay and glaze materials."
The council will sponsor the Children's Arts and Crafts station 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Four Corners Folk Festival. Please drop off the following items for the children to use: empty single serving water bottles with lids, empty toilet tissue rolls and paper towel rolls. You can drop off what you have collected at the gallery in Town Park no later than 5:30 p.m. today. And make sure to stop by and see the art and crafts station Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The council helps ensure a flourishing and diverse community by enriching lives through the arts. We are a nonprofit organization that relies on membership, donations and volunteers to help provide meaningful and educational cultural programs for local residents and visitors to our area. By becoming a member of the council you are supporting our events as well as our divisions.
If you'd like to start receiving your discounts as a member it's easy to do. Just stop by the gallery in Town Park and fill out a membership form. Individual membership is only $20 per year and family membership is $30.
The council is looking for art instructors. We need experienced teachers for children and adult classes at the new Community Center. Please respond with resume and class or workshop ideas to: PSAC, PO Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
Anyone interested in volunteering some time at arts council functions, like our occasional snack booths, please contact Joanne at 264-5020.
The council is also looking for a writer to write the arts line column once a month. All the information needed is given to you by Joann. You just have to rewrite it. Please call 264-5020 for more information.
The gallery in Town Park is now open for the exhibit season through October, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Each exhibit runs three weeks. Traditional receptions are held on the opening day (usually a Thursday) from 5 - 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council gallery, 314 Hermosa St. Complimentary refreshments are served and all are welcome.
By Sally Hameister
The seventh annual Four Corners Folk Festival is about to commence and you won't want to miss any of the great events planned for this three-day Labor Day celebration.
We have a new venue this year, the Four Corners Meadow, located between the Bank of the San Juans and the Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard, with a bigger tent, more parking and easier access. The festival will return to Reservoir Hill when we are not so threatened by fire, but this year we need to accentuate the positive and enjoy the new and different surroundings.
Twenty-two performances will be spread out over three days and two stages with on-site camping, free kids' performances, workshops, a food court and the Four Corners Music Expo. Kids 12 and under are free.
Please join Crista, Dan, Beth Warren and all the amazing musicians like Nickel Creek, Tim O'Brien, Ryan Shupe and our own Pagosa Hot Strings, just to mention a few, for the annual event that celebrates the beginning of the fall season, the Four Corners Folk Festival. Tickets can be purchased online at
www.folkwest.com or by calling FolkWest at 731-5582.
Hopefully you've seen the ads encouraging you to take advantage of our annual Sidewalk Sale always held in conjunction with the Four Corners Folk Festival. The new and wonderful difference this year is that the sale has been extended to three days instead of the traditional Saturday only. This gives you two more days to make your way from the Far East of town to the Far West of town to hit every merchant to score some big bargains. It's the best way I know to get your Christmas shopping taken care of in one fell swoop for precious little money.
The other huge advantage is that when you "Shop Pagosa First" everyone wins, and we keep the dough rolling around in Pagosa instead of one of our neighboring communities. See how that works?
Crista assures me that lots of folks will be coming into town today and will be wandering around for the entire weekend taking breaks here and there from the festival. We're hopeful that their wanderings will take them to our local stores and restaurants and that we will all experience a great weekend.
Don't forget about the kick-off barbecue dinner Sept. 3, at the Mountain Heights Baptist Church. All current members of this group and interested prospective members are invited to attend, and a $5 donation is suggested to cover cost 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. We are all delighted that the name change (they were formerly known as the Community Christmas Choir) means we will be hearing these folks perform additional concerts throughout the year and their magnificent Christmas concert as well.
You have until the end of the day tomorrow, Aug. 30, to bring your inserts in for our quarterly newsletter, The Chamber Communiqué. It's a great opportunity for you to get the word out to our almost 800 members for very little dinero.
Simply 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.
Spirit of America
The Mountain Harmony Ladies' Barbershop Chorus will present a special commemorative concert Wednesday evening, Sept. 11, to honor those we lost and the heroes who emerged as a result of the tragedies of 9/11. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium and will boast some of Pagosa's finest voices.
Soloists Angie Crow, Kathy Jackson and Sharon Porter will be featured in patriotic and inspirational pieces along with Durango's guest quartet, Pickup and Delivery. Young Ladies in Harmony, an exceptional ensemble comprised of the younger members in the group ranging in age from 8-14, will also perform for us.
All of these folks will sing under the dynamic direction of Connie Glover, and, as always, admission is free. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is suggested that you arrive early to secure your place at what promises to be an extraordinary concert.
Just an early heads up about this year's unique Colorfest Wine and Cheese Tasting featuring the safari theme.
We've already had way too much fun ordering all the decorations, centerpieces, napkins, shirts, hats well, absolutely everything in the jungle animal design. I'm guessing you will see more than your fair share of pith helmets and khaki, not to mention the totally awesome and unique commemorative wineglasses to add to your Colorfest collection.
Thankfully, the theme fits so beautifully with current fashion trends featuring so many animal design fabrics in just about every imaginable item of clothing to include shoes, so it shouldn't be that difficult to come up with something to wear to this wonderful annual event.
This year the Wine and Cheese Tasting Colorfest Safari will take place Friday evening, Sept. 20, from 5:30-7:30 under the big tent in the Chamber parking lot, rain or shine. Put it on your calendar because you just won't want to miss it as well as the balloon ascensions on Saturday and Sunday sponsored once again by Dahl of Durango and the Colorfest Picnic and Concert featuring food by Enzo's and music by Rio Jazz Sept. 21. Weather permitting, Toby and Renae Karlquist of K.K. Paddywhacks will treat us to a Balloon Glow Saturday night at dusk. It will be a weekend to remember, I assure you.
We have four new members to introduce to you this week and seven renewals. You really don't have a choice about renewing this year because you need to see all the new renewal forms designed by Dee McPeek at Old West Press. Morna had suggested a patriotic theme this year, and Dee accommodated us with wonderfully whimsical and colorful pieces. Get outta here, you have to see them and renew, of course.
Our old pal and former board director, Mike Branch, joins us with his second business, Rockridge Commercial Park located at 132 Great West Ave. Rockridge Commercial Park is conveniently located on Put Hill and offers warehouse space for sale or lease. Mike and Curt Johnson (yet another former board director) will be happy to accommodate your individual needs with spaces ranging from 500 square feet to as large as you want. Please give Mike a call at 264-2135 for more information about Rockridge Commercial Park.
Anne Allison, RN, Health Consulting, joins us next offering appointments in her home. Anne is a nurse nutritionist for functional health, offering help and solutions for a wide range of health issues. She can help you with hot flash relief, Prempro, HRT, menopause and PMS concerns, weight loss, blood pressure, cholesterol, Diabetes II, detoxification, vitamins and saliva assay testing. Please give Anne a call at 731-9320 to learn more about how she can help you. Camille Braselman takes recruitment honors for Anne and will receive a pass for a free SunDowner with our thanks.
Yung-Sen Chen, D.O.M., joins us with Dr. Chen's San Juan Acupuncture Clinic located at 311 San Juan St. Dr. Chen offers complete traditional Oriental medical services, including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Tui Na (Chinese massage), Chi Keng, and Tai Chi. He also provides massage therapy as well as cranialsacral and energy work.
We want to thank Lynn Bishop for the recruitment and will cheerfully reward her with a pass to our next SunDowner.
Our fourth new member this week is Jennifer Lindberg who brings us Miracle of Aloe, Winning Solutions, Inc. located at 600 Cloman Boulevard, Suite A. We are delighted to welcome these folks back to fold after a short hiatus. This fine business offers high-quality aloe vera foot, skin, body and personal care products. This is a family owned and operated mail order business that would like to be your source for all your health care needs. Please give them a call at 731-6709 locally or (800) 220-9889 to learn more about Miracle of Aloe, Winning Solutions, Inc.
Renewals this week include Tammy McDowell with San Juan Timberwrights, Inc. in Arboles; April Owens with Colorado Sky; Jim Standifer with Jim's Lock and Key; Matt Poma with Poma Ranch and Outfitting; Angela Atkinson with The Pagosa Kid; The Reverend Annie Ryder with St. Patrick's Episcopal Church; and Jim Sutherland with J.E. Sutherland Construction. Thanks to all for your continued support.
By Lenore Bright
The library will be closed Monday for Labor Day. In the old days we would go camping on this final holiday, and it always snowed. Let's hope we can recreate that pattern.
High Country News
The latest issue discusses the current drought and doesn't offer much hope for the future. Is this the beginning of a sustained natural disaster?
Read John Harte's report about the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory at Gothic, near Crested Butte. Scientists from around the world come to the lab. This year's extreme conditions make for unparalleled data.
You snow birds better be sure you've purchased your raffle ticket on this Texas symbol. Come by and see it before you go, and it goes.
And Margaret Wilson is geared up and ready to get the regular Civic Club Bazaar Raffle tickets out. She has many wonderful raffle items as usual. The raffle will be held the first weekend in November at the Civic Club Bazaar.
Civic Club Bazaar
Barb Draper is getting ready to mail out applications for booths at the holiday bazaar.
If you would like to be on the mailing list, call Barb at 731-9979. Booths go very quickly for this annual event. The Bazaar is always held the first Saturday in November.
"Faith of My Fathers," by John McCain and Mark Salter is the gripping account of faith, fathers and the military. John McCain learned about life and honor from his grandfather and father, both four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy. The story is of three imperfect men who raced adversity and emerged with their honor intact.
McCain has seven children and four grandchildren. He and his wife reside in Phoenix. Salter has worked on McCain's staff for 10 years. This book is in large print.
"Fat Man in the Middle Seat: Forty Years of Covering Politics," by Jack Germond is the recollection of the races and personalities of the past four decades in politics. From Averell Harriman through George Wallace and Clinton, Germond tells of ethics and graft - the real stuff of politics.
In an age when the media have become their own worst enemy, Germond reminds us what great reporting is. This is the essential book for political junkies."
"Big Cherry Holler," by Adriana Trigiani, author of "Big Stone Gap," is a big-hearted novel that alternates moments of comfort, charm and poignancy. It is a novel of love and forgiveness about everything that really matters.
"New Crafts Cardboard," by Emma Hardy is a rediscovered gem. Few people realize how versatile and exciting cardboard can be. Twenty-five practical projects are offered. Every project is simple to make with step-by-step instructions.
This book also includes a history of cardboard and its use by the artistic community. Cardboard has been used for over a hundred years primarily as a packaging material. The qualities of the material and its availability and cheapness have made it an appealing medium to many.
Creating with cardboard is the ultimate in recycling.
April 20 at 10:54 a.m., the world became a nicer place, for Sophia Roberta Raymond was born on that day in Durango. She weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces, and was 19 inches long. She has joined the family of proud parents Lisa and Kurt Raymond, and boastful brother Bryce, now 3.
Sophia's maternal grandparents are Frank and Barbara Elges of Pagosa Springs. Her paternal grandparents are Tony Garrett and Roz Stubenberg of Carpinteria, Calif., and Jan Raymond of Weldon, Calif. Her paternal grandmother is the late Roberta Garrett, after whom Sophia has most affectionately received her middle name.
Dr. Jeffery J. Schmidt, D.C., owns and operates Schmidt Chiropractic, located at 117 Navajo Trail Drive.
Schmidt recently completed a 12-month program presented by the Northwestern Chiropractic College and the ICPA and was conferred a fellowship in the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. His study included special care and management of the pregnant patient, the impact of chiropractic care on the newborn, detailed information concerning vaccinations, safe X-ray applications, adjusting the handicapped child, scoliosis detection and noninvasive breech turning technique.
With the fellowship Schmidt is one of a small group of doctors nationwide certified in chiropractic, acupuncture and pediatrics.
Schmidt Chiropractic is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and other times by appointment. Call 731-5930.
With the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop in a beautiful hillside setting at the At Last Ranch, Carmin Carnley became the bride of Jake Cox on June 15, 2002. Their vows to each other before God and a grand assembly of family and friends were directed by Rev. Micah Wells.
Jake and Carmin, with their parents, Tom and Jan Carnley and Tim and Susie Cox, wish to express their gratitude and love for all those who shared in this special day, all done in Country-Western style. The couple honeymooned in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now residing happily in Durango.
Their families are announcing the engagement of Angela Christina Skolaut of Ulysses, Kan., to Flynn Martin Harvey, son of Ronald M. and Sharon Sue Harvey of Pagosa Springs.
Miss Skolaut's parents are Charles B. and Mary I. Skolaut of Great Bend, Kan., now living in Connecticut. Harvey was born in Salina, Kan., graduated Emporia State University in 2001 and has served as a petty officer second class in the U.S. Navy. He is currently employed by Alliance Group Health and Life Insurance in Durango. Miss Skolaut, a graduate of Barton County Community College and Emporia State, is a first-grade teacher in Ulysses. The wedding is planned May 31, 2003, in Pagosa Springs.
Air Force Airman Steven L. Denny
Air Force Airman Steven L. Denny has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
The son of Randall Denny of Pagosa Springs, Steven is a 1999 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.
During training he studied Air Force mission, organization and customs, performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training and special training in human relations while earning credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Pagosa woman three-peats at county fair
By Tess Noel Baker
Debra Big Eagle already had back-to-back championships in the Archuleta County Fair baking contest. Her kitchen was torn apart to repair water damage and the only place to get running water was an upstairs bathroom.
It was enough, she'd decided. And stuck to her guns despite her husband, Warron's, teasing. "No hair," he called her, and "Chicken."
"Think you could three-peat?" he'd taunt. And, constantly, "I know you can do it." She continued to work on her preserves, canning even after the kitchen was gutted, and tried to ignore him. It worked - right up until the night before entries to this year's fair were due.
At about 10 p.m., she went in search of a Bundt cake. After all, she won with Bundt cakes the other two years - Lemon Lavender in 2001 and Chocolate Kahlua in 2000.
She started, as she always does, with a basic Bundt cake recipe found in one of many cookbooks. She added chocolate. And then more chocolate. Eight ounces of chocolate chips. Then eight ounces of melted semi-sweet chocolate. Then a half cup of Hershey's syrup. That was just on the inside. To dress up the outside, she drizzled another four ounces each of melted white and semisweet chocolate across the top.
She had to run an extension cord through the living room to use the mixer, hunt through drawers piled on the back porch to find her utensils and climb up and down the stairs for cold water. The only thing left in the kitchen was the stove.
"It was two in the morning when the cake come out of the oven," she said. "It weighed a ton. I thought, 'Please let it be heavy from all the chocolate, not because it's all glunky.'" She finished decorating it with drizzles across the top and a few more chocolate chips, slept for a few hours and hauled it off to the fair with her preserves, a strawberry loaf and some cookies.
She couldn't guess at her chances.
"Now last year," she said, "I thought I had a pretty good chance because Lemon Lavender was pretty unusual." She'd been experimenting with herbs and used the lavender petals in the batter and as part of the frosting to add a pretty touch.
Actually, she said, part of the fun of Bundt cakes is the ease of decorating. The pan, she said, already has a pattern. It just takes a little creativity to make something beautiful. With the Chocolate Kalhua Bundt Cake of 2000 she placed a mixture of brown sugar and walnuts in the bottom of the flute shapes in the pan and then poured in the batter so the walnuts would decorate the top when finished. Then came the lavender, which turned out to be both fragrant and pretty.
"When you baked it, the whole house smelled like lavender," she said.
After the first round of judging this year, Big Eagle ended up with three blues and one red ribbon for her baked goods, and four blues and five reds for her preserves. The blues in each subcategory go up against each other for the grand champion prize.
Many times, she said, a second-place ribbon can be even more exciting than a grand champion. For instance, she was overjoyed last year when her first attempt at dill pickles won over some well-known area canners.
"When you go up against someone you know is good, then you feel good no matter what your ribbon is."
Big Eagle cooks simply because she loves it and has loved it since she was a child. She remembers sitting on her grandmother's porch swing and snapping beans fresh from the garden. She remembers the feel of pitting fresh cherries and the dreams of the coziness of friends and family gathered around a hot meal.
Her love doesn't stop with baking, although she once made 105 dozen cookies just to give out to friends at Christmas. It's with other dishes she can really let the creativity shine, adding a little of this or a little of that. She hardly ever measures, but does collect cookbooks wherever she goes, using basic recipes and adding her own notes in the margins. So far, it's been a successful method.
"My husband and I have been married 15 years and he tells me 'There's only one thing you've put on the table that was yucky.'" She sometimes copies her experiments into a letter, sending it to the cookbook as a way to share ideas. Stir-fries are one example. Those who like a little more flavor, she said, might try throwing in some radishes in place of the water chestnuts. The texture is similar but the radish taste adds a bit of a bite.
Big Eagle got involved with the Archuleta County Fair in 1995 to have something to do in the community. She started in the arts and crafts division, competing against her husband, and eventually branched out becoming the proud bearer of three grand champion ribbons in the baking division. Yes, the Bundt cake of 2002 brought home the gold. She also added a grand champion ribbon in preserves to the mix - this one for her peaches.
Her husband is as proud as can be. After all, he knew she could do it all along. As for her winning All Fudge Chocolate Bundt Cake, he had only one thing to say before picking up his hammer and heading back into the kitchen.
"I didn't get to eat it, but I got to lick the bowl and boy was it good."
Employee recalls pioneer
Byrne as an 'honest man'
By John M. Motter
"He was an honest man," Mabel Bennett said.
Mabel was speaking of Fil Byrne, this week's Pagosa Country pioneer. Mabel should know. She worked for Fil back in 1930-31, just after she graduated from high school.
At that time, Fil was Archuleta County judge with an office upstairs in the courthouse.
"He started the first title company here," Mabel said. "Everything was handwritten, he had beautiful handwriting. He had two books, a big book with the listing and a second book indexed with the line and page. He had a wide carriage typewriter. He wanted me to type those books and I did. I think Colorado Land Title still has those books. They ought to be put in the museum."
Mabel is always a delight to interview, though a bit confusing, like trying to decide what to eat at the smorgasbord. She has so many good things to say. I never know whether to talk about her life or her dad's life or Fil Byrne or other pioneers. Mabel has a good knowledge of local history. She was born here. She is part of that history.
Then there is her dad, Dutch Henry Born, for whom Born's Lake is named. With the possible exception of Red Ryder, Dutch Henry - at least in his day - was probably the best-known name ever connected with Pagosa Country. Western history magazines such as "True West" continue to write about Dutch Henry. Why?
Well, Dutch was a cook for Custer, a buffalo hunter, and an outlaw with an almost Robin Hood mystique. He was a friend of Bill Tighlman, was once arrested at Trinidad by Bat Masterson and probably did time in Hanging Judge Parker's Fort Smith jail. The anomaly that has this plainsman's daughter still living in Pagosa is simple. Dutch Henry was 62 when Mabel was born and today she is older than most all of us. We've written about Dutch Henry before and we will again, but not today. Back to Fil Byrne.
If anyone was ever entitled to talk about the good old days, it would have been Fil Byrne in 1930. Fil had come to Pagosa in 1878 when blue-clad soldiers still drilled at old Fort Lewis. The parade ground and other fort buildings have since been replaced with downtown Pagosa Springs.
Byrne drove the stage to Amargo, carried mail to Elwood and Summitville, was the first schoolteacher and school superintendent, and in other ways helped build the community in which we live today. Even so, Fil didn't spend a lot of time talking about the old days.
"He was tall, a large man, but not fat," Mabel said. "He didn't talk a lot about the old days. I remember him saying he'd been the first superintendent of schools."
In those days, probate and other responsibilities now done in district court were done in county court.
"I went in there one day after he'd held court," Mabel recalls. "He had tears on his face. They'd brought in Old Man Ewell. They thought he was crazy. He kept wandering off. I suppose today they'd say he has Alzheimer's. Anyway, Fil had to send him to Pueblo (the state asylum). It was hard for Fil to do. They were old friends."
Robert Lee Ewell was born in Vernon County, Missouri, April 23, 1863. He died Feb. 22, 1933. Ewell settled in Chromo in 1890 and later served as a county commissioner. His son Robert died at Chromo in 1965.
"Annie, Fil's wife was jealous of Muriel Bowling, but not of me," Mabel said. "I've eaten at the Byrne's house when they lived at what is now Rockridge."
Fil was a quiet, courteous, polite person, according to Mabel. His handwriting was so good he often was called on to make entries in official county record books. All of the early county and town books are handwritten, not much of the writing as clear as Fil's.
I have several pictures showing Fil Byrne. Apparently he was a hunter. One of the pictures shows him with a large black bear brought down with a new, 30-30 caliber rifle. Two pictures show Fil horseback and with a pistol, along with Henry Gordon. The two were young men in the first picture, old men recreating the past in a second picture. Then there is a picture of Fil on the Columbine Band bandwagon, probably during a Fourth of July parade. Another picture shows Fil when Mabel knew him, seated in the county judge's office. There is another picture showing Indians dancing in front of the old town hall. A man is climbing a nearby power or light pole. The man may have been Byrne.
It is hard to imagine how much technology changed everyday life for those whose lives spanned from 1858 to 1932, as did Fil's. When Fil crossed Kansas in the late 1870s, the great buffalo herds had not been wiped out. Horses and wagons were the mode of transportation when Fil rode into Pagosa Springs. Telephones, electricity, running water all lurked in the unforeseeable future. Autos and airplanes were unknown.
Still, by 1930, Fil was thinking modern enough to have purchased a modern typewriter. He had traded in his horses for an automobile. In a county book I find that, on Aug. 22, 1925, Fil purchased a 1925 Model 91 Overland (car) from C.O. Dunagan. He also purchased a 1915 Model T from U.S. Chambers. The point is, Fil did not live in the past. My hope is, for the sake of Pagosa Country school children and history fans, he will continue to live in the future.
I've received quite a lot of response lately concerning the Welch Nossaman articles. Welch's granddaughter, Sarah Masco, writes from Arizona that Welch was maybe less than diminutive, a tiny 5 feet two or three inches. I also received a visit from Elaine Nossaman. Her husband was Royal Nossaman. Elaine is Genevieve Phelps' sister and a descendant of the Johnson and King clans and other settlers we have written about. I have enough new information from these folks for several articles but, unfortunately perhaps, can't devote all of these columns to those families.
Finally, Stephen Freeman Moeser visited my desk last week. Stephen was in town searching for roots. He is a descendant of the Freeman who, in 1878, homesteaded along the old Pagosa to Durango stage road near the intersection of Yellowjacket and Squaw creeks. Since I have never met a Freeman, (they left Pagosa Country long before I was born), the meeting was a great pleasure.
I now have an e-mail address at The SUN, email@example.com. Keep those electronic messages coming. Were he around today, I'm sure Fil Byrne-throw in Welch Nossaman as well - would be on the Internet.