Front Page
September 5, 2002

Man, woman found dead at campsite

By Karl Isberg

Staff writer

An investigation is underway to determine the identities of a man and woman whose decomposing bodies were discovered Sept. 2 at a campsite just inside the Weminuche Wilderness Area near the Poison Park trailhead north of Pagosa Springs.

The grisly discovery was made by Glen and Linda Eyre, Pagosa residents working during the summer as U.S. Forest Service Wilderness Rangers. One of the duties performed by the rangers is to monitor conditions in the wilderness and to check on visitors to the area.

According to Pagosa District Ranger Jo Bridges, the Forest Service had received reports about the tent and the Eyres checked the site at approximately 12:30 p.m. Sept. 2.

The site where the bodies were discovered is in Hinsdale County and Sheriff Bill Dennison took charge of the investigation. A Forest Service law enforcement officer, Robert Thomas, in Pagosa on a temporary assignment, responded to the scene, as did Archuleta County sheriff's deputies and Archuleta County Coroner Carl Macht.

Dennison called the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the agency sent investigators to the scene. The bodies were removed Sept. 3 by members of Upper San Juan Search and Rescue and transported to a bureau lab at Montrose for autopsy.

"At this point in time," Dennison said Wednesday morning, "we haven't got a positive identification of the bodies."

The sheriff said he and other investigators suspect the victims might be a couple from the Denver area, last seen Aug. 11 by friends and family. That couple's car was found parked at the Rio Grande Reservoir, near Creede.

"If these are the same people," said Dennison, "then we are looking at the bodies being at the campsite two weeks or so."

Dennison said a handgun was found in the tent, but refrained from saying the firearm was involved in the death of the man and woman.

"We just don't know right now," he said, adding that additional evidence from the scene was being delivered to the CBI for analysis. "And we probably won't know for sure about the identities and cause of death until the autopsies and other tests are complete, possibly as late as next week."


Principals are ecstatic over opening day

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It was as near perfect as a first day of school can get.

Principals of the four Archuleta School District 50 Joint buildings in Pagosa Springs report no glitches, unforeseen problems or situations that need correction after the first day of classes Tuesday.

Larry Lister, junior high principal, and Mark DeVoti, principal at the intermediate school on the same downtown campus, said things went extremely smoothly for a first day, particularly lauding the advance preparations by their staffs and the transportation department.

Both cited the numerical lineup of buses as a factor in making things go smoothly and both wondered why it hadn't been considered before.

Lister said the day went so well it might have been midterm, not the first day. He said class sizes are evening out at the seventh-grade level and are better, but not ideal, at the eighth-grade level.

Students were orderly, concerned and knew the rules without having to be told, he said.

DeVoti said he, too, was impressed by the maturity of the youngsters, particularly those new to the intermediate level. "All in all," he said, "it was smooth sailing."

The same theme carried over at Pagosa Springs High School where the principal, Bill Esterbrook, was very pleased. "All routines worked, buses were here and gone at the right times; we went over the new student handbook with newcomers and freshmen, and the staff seemed at ease with the new schedules."

There were, he said, no incidents contrary to staff plans and, in fact, "it was an extremely smooth first day."

At the elementary school, principal Kahle Charles had similar responses.

"Really smooth, even with enrollment up, there were no major problems," he said Wednesday, "and the second day is going just as well."


Cyclist critical after Yellowjacket crash

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A Pagosa Springs motorcyclist was listed in very critical condition Wednesday afternoon in St. Anthony's Central Hospital in Denver with injuries suffered in a crash late Saturday on the east side of Yellowjacket Pass.

Mark Tully, 54, underwent surgery for a torn aorta after the crash and later was airlifted to Denver where he was under care for multiple rib and vertebra fractures. A hospital representative said Wednesday Tully might undergo additional surgery within 24 hours.

Colorado State Patrol reports indicate Tully was eastbound on U.S. 160 on a 1992 Harley-Davidson when he lost control on a curve.

The motorcycle ran off the south side of the roadway and hit a delineator post, traveled down an embankment, over a ledge, then crashed into thick bushes.

Tully was thrown from the motorcycle which continued sliding south before it came to a stop facing east.

Trooper Randy Talbot was the investigating officer at the scene.


Enough water for 168 days if the river goes dry

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A 168-day supply of raw water is on hand for local water users if the San Juan River dries up sometime soon, according to Gene Tautges, the assistant general manager of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.

The available raw water is stored in reservoirs located in the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions west of town.

The district continues to gather water from the San Juan River for the San Juan treatment plant, Tautges said. No one knows when or if the river will go dry. Flow in the river currently amounts to from 8-10 cubic feet per second. The district is pumping about 2 million gallons per day from the river to the San Juan facility.

Another 500,000-600,000 gallons per day is being pumped from the West Fork of the San Juan River to the Snowball treatment plant which supplies treated water to Pagosa Springs and users from the former Archuleta Water Company.

These facts and others were presented about 30 people gathered at the Pagosa Springs Community Center to learn about the district's current capacity to deliver treated water and plans for delivering water in the future.

"This is an open forum type of meeting," said Harold Slavinski, president of the district board of directors. "What we're trying to do here, Mr. Hoover (Earl Hoover) wrote a letter to the county commissioners asking very pointed questions. We're going to try to answer those questions."

"We're going to show where PAWS has been, where it is now, and where it is going," Tautges said.

The program consisted of an audio-visual presentation followed by questions and answers from the audience.

"Our problem is, we don't have enough raw water storage," Tautges said. He indicated the district's goal is to have enough storage for one year, even if the river goes dry.

The following information was gathered from the audio-visual presentation.

Raw water used to supply district treatment plants is obtained from Four Mile Creek, the San Juan River and the lakes west of town. Water has always been plentiful until this year, the worst drought year of record.

District drought plans are guided by a master plan, a plan continually under revision. The master plan addresses water rights, water storage and water treatment.

A specific figure for the amount of water rights owned by the district was not given. The district has a portfolio of water rights with differing priorities and quantities. Some local property owners have priorities ahead of district priorities. Consequently, the district can only use water from the Four Mile Creek source during the winter, from approximately Oct. 15 through April 15. From April 15 until Oct. 15, irrigators with superior rights use all of the water from Four Mile Creek. Consequently, refilling the lakes west of town from the Four Mile source must be accomplished during the April to October window. Water from the Four Mile source is carried to Lake Hatcher and Stevens Reservoir through the Dutton Ditch.

The district stores water in five reservoirs. They are Lake Hatcher, Stevens Reservoir, Lake Pagosa, Village Lake and Lake Forest. Not all of the storage capacity in the lakes is usable. Water at the bottom of the lakes is too muddy for efficient treatment, therefore the district only counts the usable capacity of the lakes when calculating storage.

The total storage capacity in district reservoirs is 3,583 acre feet, the equivalent of 1.16 billion gallons of water. The number of days of stored water is calculated by multiplying average household consumption by the number of households, then dividing the result into the total volume of water available.

The district estimates its current population at 8,500 people, the 2010 population at 14,733, the 2020 population at 21,809, and the 2040 population at 35,711.

The average per capita consumption of water by district users is 215 gallons per day. During July of this year with conservation limits, per capita consumption was 189 gallons per day. Current conservation restrictions have reduced per capita consumption by 39 percent.

Water treatment plants operated by the district are Hatcher, with the capacity to treat 2 million gallons of water per day; Stevens, with the capacity to treat one-half million gallons of water per day; San Juan, with the capacity to treat 3 million gallons per day; and Snowball with the capacity to treat 1.5 million gallons per day. The total treatment capacity is 7 million gallons per day. Distribution is through 265 miles of water main and booster pumps.

With a current estimated population of 8,500 people consuming 215 gallons per day per person during an average year, daily water usage amounts to 1.83 million gallons. Evaporative and seepage losses amount to 1.6 million gallons per day. Total daily usage amounts to 3.43 million gallons per day. If the reservoirs were full, the 1.16 billion gallons of available water divided by consumption of 3.43 million gallons per day provides a reserve water supply sufficient for 341 days.

Because the reservoirs are not full, only enough water for 168 days is available if current conservation restrictions remain. Without the conservation restrictions, today's water would last only 151 days. Using 2010 population figures with the reservoirs full, enough water would be on hand for 245 days.

The scenarios just reported assume that the river is dry. In such a scenario, all district consumers will be supplied from the lakes.

Lack of sufficient storage is seen as the district's biggest problem. Based on recommendations from engineers hired by the district, the first steps to increase storage capacity will be to encase the Dutton Ditch in pipe and to enlarge Stevens Reservoir.

Encasing Dutton Ditch will enable the district to fill reservoirs from Four Mile Creek during the available winter months at a much faster rate. That water currently runs through an open ditch.

District officials contemplate enlarging Stevens Lake from 624 acre feet to 1,500 acre feet.

In order to finance the work on Dutton Ditch and Stevens Reservoir, the district is placing a $10.4 million bond issue on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

If voters approve the bond issue, about $4.1 million will be used to finance the Dutton Ditch project and about $4.4 million to enlarge Stevens Reservoir and treatment plant capacity. The remaining $2.5 million will go for a variety of projects including upgrading the U.S. 84 distribution line, purchasing a $477,000 storage tank and other projects.

District officials estimate a 5.8-mill increase in property taxes for water users will be needed to retire the bond. If the bond is approved, the new water user mill levy will be 8.849 mills. The district estimates that the total property tax levied on water and sewer users will remain below the tax rate levied in 1997. That is because the district has paid off a number of bonds from the past.

Based on a preliminary assessed district value of $129,649,371, the district estimates the monthly tax increase for various home values as follows: $100,000 home - $4.42, $200,000 home - $8.25, $300,000 home - $13.27.

West side traffic flow changes Tuesday

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The traffic pattern on U.S. 160 on the west side of Pagosa Springs will change Tuesday.

Turn movements at the intersection of Talisman Drive and the highway will be changed to allow motorists leaving Talisman to make only right turns onto 160. Drivers on the highway in either direction will be able to access Talisman by newly-designated turn lanes.

The following day new signals at Pagosa Boulevard and Piñon Causeway will be activated.

U.S. 84 has joined the mix, creating a new traffic problem for Pagosa area motorists.

The crews which had been working on U.S. 160 west of the Pagosa Lakes area moved Tuesday to U.S. 84 and by Wednesday morning, a low-lying cloud of smoke emanating from the construction zone had people calling in fire reports.

A Colorado Department of Transportation report indicated the U.S. 84 project is just the beginning of what will be a chip and seal, plus partial resurfacing of the main route into northern New Mexico.

At the same time, CDOT said, one-lane traffic can be expected on U.S. 160 from the junction with U.S. 84 west to Elk Park as pavement rehabilitation continues. Delays of up to 20 minutes can be expected in that area from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

Work on the downtown portion of the project is expected to be the final phase and early reports indicate it will be done, in great part, at night. That effort involves the rotomilling and repaving of the highway and is expected to begin some time after Sept. 15.

Meanwhile, work continues on two Wolf Creek Pass projects.

The tunnel construction on the east side of the pass, designed to eliminate the area known as "the narrows," now has portal approaches under construction from both sides. Lane closures and delays will continue for the duration of the project, through 2003. CDOT says construction crews are able to keep one lane open at night since much of the equipment and material can be kept in an area secured by the site itself.

Daytime delays will normally be kept to 45 minutes or less Monday through Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday. For travel scheduling, this project is approximately 16 miles and up to 30 minutes normal travel time from an ongoing west side project. There is a width restriction of 10 feet in effect on the pass.

The west side repaving operations cover a 6-mile stretch starting at the snow shed just east of the ski area. CDOT said delays of up to 10 minutes are possible through mid-October. This project has a wide load restriction of 12 feet 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

8/28 80 41 - - -

8/29 78 40 - - -

8/30 77 39 R - .03

8/31 79 40 - - -

9/1 80 41 - - -

9/2 81 39 - - -

9/3 79 38 R - .02


Ho-hum; rain could come — or not

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

The coming week's weather forecast looks a lot like the forecast for last week, a 10 to 20 percent chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms and rain showers, according to Doug Baugh, a National Weather Service forecaster from the Grand Junction office. Turn that around and it is just as accurate to say there is an 80 to 90 percent chance that it won't rain.

Conditions controlling weather this week remain the same as last week: a high-pressure area over southern New Mexico coupled with a low-pressure trough over the Pacific Northwest. The result is westerly to southwesterly wind flows carrying a slight amount of moisture from the southwest into the Four Corners area.

Western Colorado weather appears to be in transition, Baugh said, moving from the summer monsoon pattern into a fall pattern featuring storm systems approaching from the Pacific Northwest.

During August, 2.09 inches of precipitation were recorded in Pagosa Country, about 85 percent of the 56-year August average of 2.52 inches. During the remainder of the year, precipitation averages in Pagosa Springs are September - 1.89 inches, October - 2.03 inches, November, 1.52 inches, and December - 1.79 inches. Annual precipitation as measured in Pagosa Springs is 19.37 inches.

Pagosa Springs' wettest year of record was 1957 when 33.86 inches of precipitation were recorded. The driest year of record was 1944 when 10.44 inches of precipitation were measured.

The snow portion of Pagosa Springs precipitation is September - 0.1 inches, October - 2.9 inches, November -10.6 inches, and December - 22.3 inches. The average annual snowfall in Pagosa Springs is 93.3 inches. The most snowfall ever measured in town was 1979 when 204 inches were measured. The least snowfall in town was the 42.9 inches measured during 1946.

Between now and the end of the year, average monthly mean temperatures will drop about 10 degrees a month. Those readings are September - 55.4 degrees, October - 45.4 degrees, November -32.5 degrees, and December - 22.8 degrees.

Last week's high temperatures ranged between 77 and 80 degrees with an average high of 79 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 38 and 41 degrees with an average low of 40 degrees.

Moisture in town amounted to 0.05 inches.

Current local weather data is recorded at the official National Weather Service office at Stevens Field. The state meteorologist from the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University in Fort Collins supplies historic weather data.


 Sports Page
Parks & Rec

Folk Fest was fantastic; park vandalism increases

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

Pagosa Springs residents had the opportunity to have a great Labor Day vacation without leaving town - picnicking and enjoying world class musicians right here in our own back yard.

Thanks to the efforts of Dan Appenzeller and Crista Munro and hundreds of great helpers, Pagosa gets to shine like a star.

As director of parks and recreation, I get to see all kinds of special events in our town, some good and some bad. Being a native and resident of Pagosa for the past 46 years, I have never witnessed an event that ran so smoothly. If there were any glitches, I was not aware, so from the outside looking in it looked great.

Pagosa is very lucky to have the volunteer base, the clubs working, cooking and collecting garbage, the ticket takers, beer vendors, massage therapists you name it. And there were workers there who could be counted on to run an event of this magnitude. The committee put together a team that has shown Colorado what a nice place Pagosa Springs is on Labor Day.

The group had a total of 12 days to put together the community's largest event of the year, and make it work. Due to the extreme fire danger, the committee decided to change venues. They moved this year's event to a tract next to the new Community Center on the Mees-Dawson property. And what a hit it was.

After making a new plan, they rolled up their sleeves and went to work. You would never have known they were working under such a tight schedule. It looked like they had been on this site for years.

Throw in our Community Center, some free shows for the children, and you have a family vacation right here in Pagosa Springs. We do not have to wonder why over 3,000 people are planning their 2003 Labor Day vacation; we got to experience it ourselves. What a class act the festival committee is. They picked up more than a few Pagosa fans this week.

I guess we are not lucky to live in Pagosa; we are blessed to live in Pagosa.

Cost of vandalism

In the past 10 days, the parks have been hit almost nightly with nonsense vandalism. At least eight cases included such incidents as breaking concrete trash receptacles, plugging a toilet, breaking windows and breaking water pipes.

The cost to taxpayers was in excess of $1,500 to repair damages. These senseless deeds just take money away from programs for kids and the general maintenance of the parks.

That sum, $1,500, could outfit 200 soccer players, buy new bleachers for the Community Center, or finance more features at the skate park. Think before you throw away taxpayers' money with your acts of vandalism.

Please report all suspicious activities in parks to town police so we can move to stop the senseless vandalism.

Adult coed volleyball

The team manager meeting for adult coed volleyball will be held Sept. 16 at Town Hall, 6 p.m. For more information, contact Chris at 264-4151, Ext. 232.


Veer offense, blitz help Pirates stand up to Alamosa

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pagosa's football Pirates forgot to read the Alamosa game clips. Or they read them and decided the Mean Moose weren't so mean.

"We showed a lot of potential," said Sean O'Donnell, the Pirate coach, "but we're in no way, shape, or form where we need to be."

Pagosa opened the season by playing defending state 3A champs and No. 1 ranked Alamosa straight across, helmet to helmet. Take away a couple of Pagosa fumbles, an intercepted pass, and too many penalties and the game was even.

Based on Pagosa's performance against Alamosa, Pirate fans are in for a season of excitement as they watch the Pirates play this season. O'Donnell's veer offense and blitzing defense kept Alamosa off balance through much of Friday's game.

Pagosa's offense generated 198 yards for the game, 134 yards on the ground and 64 yards through the air. The game was the first varsity start for quarterback David Kern and running backs Brandon Rosgen and Ryan Wendt. The offense was OK for an opening game, but the defense was better than OK, especially with a four-down goal-line stand that stopped one Alamosa drive during the final period.

Alamosa didn't salt the game away until just three minutes remained on the clock. That is when Maroon quarterback Tony Ketcher hit Cole Sutak down the right sideline for 20 yards and a touchdown. The extra point gave Alamosa a safe 21-7 lead.

Alamosa won the opening toss and elected to receive, banking on a stingy defense to hold the Pirates at bay. Pagosa got an early break from a facemask penalty allowing them to line up on their 47-yard line for the first play from scrimmage. The Pirates were unable to take advantage of the break. Alamosa's D held, but barely. Pagosa's fourth-down try was but inches short of a first down.

After exchanging punts, Alamosa launched a 12-play touchdown drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run, the only score of the first half.

Starting from their own 38-yard line to open the second half, Alamosa launched a second touchdown drive. This time, on fourth down, Ketcher kept the ball while going to his left and walked 15 yards into the end zone. Again, the extra point kick was good.

Pagosa's Brandon Charles returned the ensuing kickoff to the 27-yard line, starting a drive that put the Pirates back in the game. Pagosa picked up 15 yards on a pass interference penalty, moved for another 8 yards on Kern's keeper, continued to move on runs by Rosgen and Charles and a pass from Kern to Jeremy Caler. On fourth-and-three from the Alamosa 10, Charles raced untouched into the end zone. When freshman Daniel Aupperle's extra point kick was good, Pagosa had trimmed the Alamosa lead to 14-7, a new ball game.

Each team had one more possession during the third period, but neither scored.

Pagosa opened the final period by staging a stirring goal-line stand. Alamosa picked up a first down on the Pagosa 4 following a 29-yard scamper by Tony Aguilar. The Pirate defense stuffed Alamosa on three runs. On fourth down, Kory Hart blitzed, dumping Ketcher on the 3-yard line.

Pagosa took over on the 3, but was forced to punt. After putting the ball in play on the 30-yard line, Alamosa scored five plays later on the Ketcher to Sutak pass.

With about a minute and one-half left in the game, Caler intercepted a Ketcher pass to stop another Alamosa drive.

O'Donnell singled out as outstanding the play of Pagosa's 230-pound middle linebacker, Pablo Martinez. The Pagosa senior made 9 tackles and 14 assists for the game, along with a quarterback sack. Hart made three tackles and 13 assists to go with his sack. Ben Marshall contributed two tackles and eight assists.

Offensively Rosgen rushed 10 times for 55 yards, Charles nine times for 49 yards, Wendt four times for 22 yards and Kern four times for eight yards. Kern completed five of seven passes for 64 yards. Caler showed good hands by grabbing four passes for 34 yards. Charles caught one pass for 30 yards.

Pagosa stays home this week, hosting 4A Cortez tomorrow night under the lights at Golden Peak Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.


Alamosa 21, Pagosa Springs 7

Pagosa Springs 0 0 7 0 7

Alamosa 7 0 7 7 21


Alamosa: Gylling 1 run (Vanderlaan kick). Alamosa: Ketcher 15 run (Vanderlaan kick). Pagosa Springs: Charles 10 run (Aupperle kick). Alamosa Ketcher 20 pass to Burgess (Vanderlaan kick).

Pirates cap Front Range tour with sudden-death win

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Pirates, fresh off a win Friday over St. Mary's of Colorado Springs, stretched their Front Range victory skein to a pair Saturday morning with a 2-1 sudden-death overtime victory over Manitou Springs.

In the point system inaugurated this year by Colorado High School Activities Association, the win gives the state-ranked Pagosa team six points toward potential playoff activity.

As they had done the evening before, Pagosa spotted their hosts a 1-0 lead before storming back for the victory.

The first half was a defensive stalemate, neither team able to solve the defenses or the excellent goalkeeping. In fact, Pagosa sophomore keeper Caleb Forrest set the tone for the game just 35 seconds in with a diving stop to his left. Not to be outdone, Mustang keeper Jeff Wilson stopped Pagosa's Kyle Sanders on a breakaway at the one-minute mark.

In short order, shots by Pagosa's Kevin Muirhead and Matt Mesker were turned aside by Wilson and then it was Forrest's turn again, stopping senior Auston Marshall on a point blank 18-footer.

Manitou's junior striker Louis Collazo came close to breaking the spell when he hit the right post on a drive from left wing, captured his own rebound, and was frustrated when Forrest batted his second shot away.

Collazo and Marshall were the story offensively for Manitou in the first half, repeatedly breaking in on Forrest only to see his acrobatic stops thwart them.

Pagosa's best scoring chance in the first half came 20 minutes, 17 seconds into the game when Kyle Sanders' shot from deep in the right corner was stopped and just 20 seconds later his direct kick was wide right. Within the next minute Zeb Gill's effort from 25 yards was just over the crossbar. At 30:10, Wilson stopped a drive by Mesker and when Jordan Kurt-Mason got the rebound, stopped him, too.

As the scoreless first half wound down, Sanders was stopped two more times by Wilson and Forrest turned in a leaping block of a drive by Mustang sophomore Zack Intemann.

The second half started looking like a mirror image of the first, neither team able to penetrate the goalkeeping.

Until, that is, sophomore attacker Joey Weizenecker broke containment at 51:35 and beat Forrest with a missed-kick dribbler.

That seemed to awaken the Pagosa offense and it went into a surge. Sanders was wide right on a drive from the corner and then hit the left side of the net just behind the post. At 52:10, Pagosa evened the match when Brian Hart found Muirhead breaking from the right wing and sent him a left-foot cross that Muirhead drilled into the net.

Again, the goalkeepers took over after that score. Forrest made four brilliant saves and Wilson stopped three Pagosa breakaways, two by Sanders and another by Muirhead. Intemann had two attacks for Manitou as time ran down, the first wide right and the second hitting the left post.

Then Forrest, with 27 seconds left in regulation, leaped high to his left to stop Marshall's drive and the clock wound down to a 1-1 tie.

There was debate among coaches and officials as to whether an overtime period should be played. Pagosa assistant coach Dorman Diller, digging through the state regulation book, found a section stipulating two, 5-minute overtime periods are the proper means of settling a regulation time tie.

So the teams took the field again and Pagosa's defense threw a blanket on the Mustangs. In the meantime, Muirhead had a chance to salt the victory away but his blast from 20 yards was hauled down by Wilson. Kurt-Mason's shot off a lead from Levi Gill went wide right and the tie remained.

And then, the final moment approached. Pagosa was awarded an indirect kick from 30 yards. Hart lined up to make the play.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason called his player's attention to the wind that had picked up and was crossing into Hart's face. Get it up and hook it, signaled the coach.

Hart got it up, hooked it and watched as the wind brought it back in and over Wilson's head and into the net for a Pagosa victory.

Hart leaped high in the air and was caught by three teammates on the way down. The Pagosa fans went wild and Kurt-Mason had a big smile.

The team members quickly recovered their decorum, shook hands with their victims and then went into their traditional cross-field jog.


Scoring: Manitou, Weizenecker, 51:35; Pagosa, Muirhead, 52:10 and Hart, 3:07 in first overtime. Shots on goal: Manitou 18, Pagosa 20; Saves, Wilson, Manitou, 13; Forrest, Pagosa 16. No penalties.

Ladies lose but prove they have moxie for tough fight

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

If a defeat can be deemed positive, the Lady Pirate volleyball team's 15-10, 15-6 loss to Cortez Aug. 29 is just such a positive thing.

The Ladies went to the Panthers' den an untested squad, prospects riddled with questions.

Pagosa's starting lineup featured three battle-tested seniors - middle hitter Katie Bliss, outside hitter Shannon Walkup and setter Amy Young. But Coach Penné Hamilton started three sophomores for the first time in her tenure with the program - middle hitter Bri Scott, outside hitter Courtney Steen and setter/hitter Lori Walkup.

There was not a Lady Pirate on the court taller than 5 foot 9 inches and only one player with varsity experience waiting on the bench in the person of senior outside hitter Trisha Lucero.

How would this team do against one of the highest-ranked Class 4A teams in the state, featuring one of the state's premiere outside hitters in Stefanie Allison and a 6 foot 1 inch middle in Arista Petillo?

The answer: pretty darned good.

Pagosa stuck with Cortez through most of the first game of the match after falling behind 3-0. The Ladies closed the gap to 5-4 and to 8-6 before knotting the score 8-8.

The Panthers had a four-point run, fueled by two Pagosa errors. The Ladies closed to within 12-10 then short-circuited the effort with several mistakes. Cortez then ran the board for the 15-10 win. The Ladies earned points during the game on kills by Shannon Walkup, Scott and Steen.

The teams traded sideouts during the opening portion of the second game, with Cortez sneaking three points into the series. Pagosa turned on the burners, however, and ran off three points, with two kills from the outside by Shannon Walkup and a left-handed kill by Lori Walkup.

The remainder of the game was typical of a first match of the year. Each team surrendered points with hitting errors. Of the three points scored by Pagosa, two came courtesy of Panther mistakes. The last point of the match scored by the Lady Pirates came on an ace by Lori Walkup.

What could be positive about a loss?

First, the attitude of the players. There was no lag in enthusiasm, regardless of what was happening in the match.

Second: fans saw some of the best back-row defense the team has produced in a long time. While Allison pounded the ball relentlessly, several lady Pirates, including Lori Walkup, Steen and Lucero blocked her. When she hit free of the block, Bliss and Steen, in particular, kept the ball in play time and time again.

Third: the Lady Pirate service game. Last year, the team struggled to serve at a reasonable percentage. This year, Pagosa had only two service errors in the match.

"Our back-row defense was outstanding," said Hamilton. "We can help out a lot by working on closing on our blocks."

The Ladies will get another crack at the Panthers - considered the cream of the 4A/5A Southwestern League, - when Cortez comes to Pagosa Oct. 1. In the meantime, the early season schedule gets no easier.

Tonight, the Ladies travel to Durango for a match with the 5A Demons. The 7 p.m. varsity battle will be preceded by C and junior varsity matches.

"Durango relies on their big girl (middle hitter/blocker Carlee Kulovitz)," said Hamilton, "but there are times she's slow to her block. They have decent outside hitters and they'll run a quick offense, try to run a faster temp game."

No doubt the Demons will have revenge on their minds after taking it on the chin last season in a match at Pagosa Springs. "We'll have to be aggressive at the net," said Hamilton. "We need to be ready to play tough in the back row. But, we'll need to do that every match this year."

Saturday, it's off to Farmington for a match against yet another big program. Farmington, like Durango, lost its match last season at Pagosa and will not take the Ladies lightly. The Ladies meet the Scorpions at 7 p.m. in a best-three-of-five affair, following C and junior varsity contests.

Kickers spot St. Mary's a goal, roar back for victory

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Wilting under a fusillade of Pirate cannonballs, Tim Barone gave up three second-half goals and the Pagosa Springs Pirates poured them into a new season's treasure chest in a 3-1 victory over St. Mary's of Colorado Springs Friday.

It was Pagosa's first-ever regular season foray into Front Range waters.

Steering the Pirate brigantine was Capt. Lindsey Kurt-Mason, but it was his first mate, striker Kyle Sanders, who broke out his rapier kick and fellow swashbuckler Kevin Muirhead who broke down the St. Mary's defense as the visitors rebounded from a 1-0 first half deficit.

For many seasons Pagosa teams have hoped to get Front Range teams to play them, eyeing home-and-home series. Seldom have there been any bites on the Pagosa bait. All the Front Range teams can find plenty of games without traveling 250 miles.

When, however, Pagosa was offered a two-day package of games against first, St. Mary's, and then Manitou Springs, Kurt-Mason's fleet leader, athletic director David Hamilton, hoisted the Pirate banner and ordered the squad to set sail.

Like any Pirates sailing away with a victory, this win was keyed by outstanding team effort. Seldom was a player out of position and passes were crisp and on the spot.

That the Pagosans started slowly may have been more attributable to the five-plus hour bus ride that got them to El Pomar Field in Colorado Springs half an hour before game time than to the efforts of their hosts, also nicknamed Pirates, who play in the highly competitive Tri-Peaks League.

Still, it was the hosts who were first to dent the nets when sophomore midfielder Jack Boyd capitalized on one of the few Pagosa mistakes, capturing a loose ball in front of the net and beating Matt Mesker to the right side at 13 minutes, 32 seconds.

To that point it had been a defensive struggle with both groups of Pirates feinting, attacking, stopping and blocking. Included were two sparkling stops by Mesker and a block on a breakaway by Pagosa sweeper Michael Dach.

For St. Mary's, Barone was sharp early, twice stopping Sanders and getting a break on another play when Brian Hart's blast sailed just over the crossbar.

By the half, the 1-0 lead was secure and St. Mary's had fired 12 shots on goal, Pagosa 11.

At the break, Coach Kurt-Mason made a key move, pulling Mesker from net and inserting the speedy senior into the offensive flow. At the same time he brought sophomore Caleb Forrest into the goalkeeper slot and was rewarded with a brilliant display of dives, leaps, digs and blocks in a second-half blockade of the St. Mary's offense.

Muirhead put Pagosa back even with St. Mary's at the 44 minute mark when Hart found him breaking from the right wing and dropped a crossing pass right in stride for Kevin to score the equalizer.

From that point on, Pagosa's was the lead ship in the Pirate battle and Forrest the defensive wall that could not be penetrated.

At 48:10 Muirhead scored another goal on a lead from Sanders but officials called an offside penalty that no one else on the sidelines could see, and the score was discounted.

Pagosa took the lead for good at 58:29 when Sanders' direct kick eluded Barone. The Pagosa striker said he aimed high to the right post and tried to hook the ball back in, a move that worked to perfection.

Forrest, meanwhile, had turned goalkeeping into a calisthenics display with three brilliant stops on Boyd, all by different methods - a dive to his right, a leap to the left and a two-handed, body flat out in the air tip of the ball out of range.

Mesker's presence in the offensive set led to Pagosa's final score. He had the ball on the right wing, deked toward the corner and cut left to find Sanders streaking in on Barone. Mesker's lead pass was in perfect position for Sanders' second goal at 67:29 and the Pagosans' final marker of the day.

Forrest was not yet done, however.

Joaquin Escobar, a senior striker for St. Mary's, became the lead man in the comeback effort. Three times he had shots on goal but Forrest was up to each try. The last two coming in sequence on a breakaway. Forrest batted away the original shot but a defender fell and Escobar captured the loose ball himself. He ripped a reverse kick seemingly into the upper left corner of the net but out of nowhere came the outstretched arms of Forrest to tip it away and the lead was safe.

"We readjusted at halftime and became a totally different team," said the coach. "We began going to the ball, forcing the action, spreading the field and executing a very good passing attack.

"They showed more confidence after Kevin's goal and a lot of moxie led them to understand the win could be theirs if they played their own game," he said.

Other standouts for Pagosa were senior Zeb Gill playing in midfield for the first time in his prep career and marking back Jordan Kurt-Mason who set the on-field offensive strategy and keyed the defense along with Levi Gill and Dach.


Scoring: St. Mary's, Boyd, 13:32; Pagosa, Muirhead, 44 minutes; Sanders, 58:29 and Sanders at 67:29. Shots on goal: Pagosa 21, St. Mary's 20; Saves: St. Mary's, Barone, 16; Pagosa, Mesker, 9, Forrest, 9; Penalties: St. Mary's, Maksinowicz, yellow card at 74:40


Site for golf regionals changed again; so is date

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Pirate golfers thought they'd be playing Aug. 29 on the course where regionals will be held in Alamosa. State officials had announced the regional tournament was being moved from Holly Dot in Colorado City to the Alamosa course.

When the Pirate golfers got to Alamosa, prepared with note pads to list problem holes, clubs used and whether the choice was a mistake, they learned the course for regionals was changed again - and the date, too, has been changed.

Coach Mark Faber said the new home for the state tournament qualifying round will be the Desert Hawk course at Pueblo West (maybe) Sept. 20. He said he talked to the state's prep golf coordinator who assured him it is scheduled in Pueblo, but added, "I won't guarantee that it won't change again."

Without the challenge of learning the course, Pagosa's squad scrimmaged against themselves in winds, Faber said, that were clocked in excess of 60 miles per hour.

"They did OK under the conditions," he said and "are ready for Monte Vista."

Seventeen teams, including his Pirates, were in the Monte Vista Invitational Wednesday but were not done in time for scores to be reported today.

In another move designed to increase competition and give the nonvarsity players some action, Faber has launched a seven-day double elimination match play event with all players seeded, varsity included.

"This will give the younger players a chance to see how they stack up against the varsity, and against each other," the coach said.

"If a player has a bad hole, for instance shoots a 10 on a par 4, he or she's still only one hole down in this type of event, not six strokes down," he said.

The squad's final regular season match will be Sept. 9 at Ridgway.

Then come the regionals and Faber believes the team could qualify as a unit if every member shoots the type of game he's capable of.

Each of the four varsity starters - Jessie Trujillo, Garrett Forrest, Dan Coggins and Ty Faber - has fired rounds in the 70s this season.


Margaret Cooney

Margaret Evelyn Cooney, 93, died Saturday, Aug. 31, 2002, at the Mary Jane Brown Good Samaritan Home in Luverne, Minn.

Margaret Moore Cooney was born July 15, 1909, near LeMars, Iowa, the daughter of Clarence and Ada Moore.

She graduated from high school in LeMars and attended Iowa State Teacher's College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where she received a degree in elementary education.

She taught kindergarten for five years at the Northern Iowa School for Special Needs Children in Glenwood.

She married John Cooney on June 29, 1935 and together they owned and operated a dry cleaning plant in Glenwood until 1938 when they moved to Luverne where John, an avid hunter and fisherman, could enjoy more outdoor activities. Margaret taught kindergarten in Luverne and also served on the school board for two years.

She was a life member of the National Teachers Association, a 40-year member of the national Delta Kappa Gamma Society, and a 50-year member of Eastern Star. She served with the Pink Ladies, the local hospital auxiliary, and was a member of United Methodist Church in Luverne.

Survivors include a son, Judd Cooney and his wife, Diane, of Pagosa Springs; a daughter, Cloyce Smith and her husband, David, of Luverne; three grandchildren, Lisa (Mike) Kraetsch of Pagosa Springs; Carrie (Chad) Overgaard of Luverne; and Mark Smith of Highland Park, Ill. And four great-grandchildren, Zane, Cole and Magan Kraetsch and Nathan Overgaard.

Her husband, one grandson, Blain Cooney, and one great-granddaughter, Paige Alivia, preceded her in death.

A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at United Methodist Church in Luverne, officiated by the Rev. Bart Fletcher. Burial of the cremains was in Maplewood Cemetery, Luverne.

Memorials are preferred to Mary Jane Brown Good Samaritan Home in Luverne.

Louie Ford

Louie Ford, a long-time resident of Ignacio, died Sept. 2, 2002 at his residence after a long battle with melanoma cancer. Louie was born Oct. 18, 1923 in Dyke, Colo., the son of Earl and Pearl Ford.

Louie married Paulie Mary Ford March 20, 1979 and they resided in Ignacio where they raised Paulie's three sons and a daughter, Kenneth Smith of Ignacio, Billy Smith of Denver, Lee Smith of Ignacio and Lois Moss of Albuquerque. They also extended their love to Paulie's nephew, Dan Cummins of Helper, Utah, who they helped raise, teaching him their values and ethics. This love and kindness also touched Dan's wife and three children.

Louie will be dearly missed by his family as well as the many friends he made over the years. He was well known for his kindness and neighborly acts. His love of ranching was passed down to his youngest son, Lee, whose hard work and love of the land was instilled at a young age. Louie was either helping a neighbor, roping a calf or riding a tractor. His life was lived to its fullest every day, with his family at the top of the list.

He is also survived by grandchildren Seth, Brandi, Crystal and Dustin Smith of Bayfield, Kalinda Moss of Albuquerque, Keanna Ruby Smith of Ignacio and his adopted grandson, Thomas Bradberry of Bayfield; and many nephews, nieces and cousins.

Funeral services will be held in the Ignacio High School gymnasium at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. Burial will be in the family gravesite in Hilltop Cemetery, Pagosa Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Mercy (Pagosa Branch), 375 Park Ave., Durango, CO 81301.

 Inside The Sun

Five military families in line for flags

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Five names of currently active duty military personnel have now been submitted for American Legion recognition during the organization's Sept. 11 memorial salute at Pagosa Springs High School.

Added to the list this week were Robert Cairns, son of Ronald and Sharon Cairns of Pagosa Springs who is now serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vincent home-based in Bremerton, Wash. Marine Sgt. James M. Hoyle is on the list. He is the son and stepson of Mrs. Rebecca Kish and Cdr. Steven Kish, USN (Ret) of Pagosa Springs, serving with the "Red Lions" heavy helicopter squadron stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. A plane captain/crew chief, he is a 1998 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School. The third name listed this week is James Kirkham, a member of the U.S. Army's "Old Guard" 3rd Infantry Regiment stationed at Ft. Myer, Va., and working at the Pentagon where he was one of those picking up pieces after the 2001 attack. He is the son of Jim and Dot Kirkham and a 2000 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.

Families of active duty personnel who have registered their military sons or daughters will be cited at the Sept. 11 ceremonies and each will receive a Blue Star Flag from the Legion for display in a window at home.

Listed earlier were Fred Beach, a navy commander serving in Washington, D.C., who is son of Fred and Carolyn Beach, and Sara Joy, serving in army intelligence in Korea, who is daughter of the David Joys.

Names can be registered for the event through 5 p.m. Tuesday. They should be submitted with name of service member, branch of service, duty station and name of the family represented,

Please send that information to Richard Walter, The Pagosa Springs SUN, PO Box 9, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. The information can also be dropped off at the SUN office.

The Legion ceremonies will be held in conjunction with the Spirit of America presentation planned by the Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus, a free program saluting those who gave their lives in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, those who lost loved ones, and those who worked long hours in rescue operations.


Mercy Medical opening Pagosa clinical laboratory

Mercy Medical Center is planning to open a clinical laboratory to serve the Pagosa Springs community in October in the Dodie Cassidy Medical Building, adjacent to the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center.

Several services will be available, including routine or emergent blood draws for authorized laboratory requests, drug collections for employers in the community as required by the federal government, and a new service to the Four Corners area called "direct access testing."

Authorized laboratory tests are orders written by a medical provider, billable to the patient's insurance company, and having a supporting diagnosis for medical necessity. Many community employers may also be required to perform pre-employment drug testing, post-accident testing or collections for probable cause or suspicion of drug abuse on the job.

The laboratory will serve as a collection site for these legal collections, maintaining the chain of custody from collection to client reporting. Direct access testing is also available, allowing the patient to self-order laboratory tests from a limited test menu including a lipid panel to measure cholesterol, triglyceride and HDL; complete blood count, BHCG pregnancy test; mononucleosis test; protime, prostate specific antigen and urinalysis, to name a few.

Mercy Medical Center Laboratory also offers full service laboratory testing including pathology and cytology procedures. New to the laboratory is the Thin Prep APA smear, a new liquid based procedure replacing the conventional PAP smear and greatly enhancing the cytologist's ability to detect abnormal cells.

Additional tests are now available that are processed off the same liquid PAP vial, necessitating only one specimen collection. The main laboratory offers state of the art equipment and full testing menu with a next day turnaround time for most procedures.

The new outreach laboratory is equipped to run tests locally that may be time sensitive to protect specimen integrity, or for those tests in which a result can be obtained in a short period of time and the patient is waiting.

Tests not performed locally will be shipped via courier to the main laboratory in Durango.

There are many community benefits to having a local laboratory. Most importantly, the critical patient at Dr. Mary Fisher Urgent Care Center has access to be more thoroughly assessed through laboratory testing, prior to transport to a hospital or trauma center.

Additionally, those patients needing routine laboratory draws no longer need to drive to Durango for the blood draw. This laboratory will be able to service any patient for blood draws. Protime patients can be serviced here and have results sent to their ordering provider within an hour. Tourists can access the local laboratory for their routine collections, as well.

Equally important, consumers who wish to have greater control of their healthcare dollars may find the direct access process appealing. It allows the patient to monitor their cholesterol level, or other tests, to do so without the doctor's office visit or written order.

Today's healthcare consumer is aware of their health status and seeking alternative forms of care and preventive medicine. The option of direct access testing allows the patient to self-order laboratory procedures, which help them monitor their well being. The option is not billable through the patient's insurance, thus payment is strictly on a cash basis.

Patients must also sign a waiver of liability and are informed of test results in a report released directly to them. Results "critical" in nature or needing urgent attention alert the technical laboratory staff to refer these patients to a local provider for consultation or further medical action.

The Upper San Juan Hospital District and Mercy Medical Center Laboratory are proud to bring laboratory service to this community by improving access to this valuable aspect of healthcare. For more information, contact the laboratory director at 382-2417 or e-mail


Cloudseeding negotiations

continued by water panels

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Drought in the Pagosa Springs area is focusing attention on water, its sources and its management.

Almost two-thirds of the water consumed in Colorado results from the winter snowpack on the mountains. That same condition exists in the San Juan Basin. Most of the basin's water is supplied by the spring snowmelt.

The snowpack in the San Juan Mountains last winter was not much more than 10 percent of average. As a result, little water coursed down the various streams in the San Juan Basin to refill reservoirs. The small amount of snow on the mountains melted very early, causing diminished streamflows much earlier than is normal during the year.

Those responsible for ensuring that sufficient water is available for ordinary use are studying the idea of cloudseeding as a means of increasing the mountain snowpack this coming winter.

Two agencies that affect the Archuleta County area have accepted that responsibility. They are the Southwestern Water Conservation District and the San Juan Conservancy District. Both have indicated a willingness to fund a cloudseeding program starting Nov. 1.

Members of both district boards are meeting Sept. 16 to discuss joint financing of the proposed winter cloudseeding program in the Pagosa Springs area. Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, the Pagosa area water provider, has also indicated a willingness to help fund the proposed program.

Who are these water districts and what are their responsibilities?

The Southwestern Water Conservation District was formed April 16, 1941, by the Colorado Legislature. Conservation districts can only be created by the Legislature. Colorado has three conservation districts.

The district's purposes are many. They include: surveying existing water resources and basin rivers, taking actions necessary to "secure an adequate supply of water - present and future," constructing water reservoirs, entering into contracts with other water agencies such as the Bureau of Reclamation, organizing special assessment districts known as conservancy districts, providing for in stream flows for fisheries, and other legal responsibilities.

The district board of directors is appointed by the county commissioners from each of the southwestern Colorado counties in the San Juan and Dolores river basins. These counties are Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan, San Miguel and parts of Hinsdale, Mineral and Montrose counties. The eight board members each serve three-year terms. This board oversees the district, sets budgets, and determines the actions the district takes.

Archuleta County's representative on the board is Dennis Schutz. John Taylor, also well-known locally, is the Hinsdale County representative. The district is supported by a 0.26 mill levy.

In recent years, the Southwestern Water Conservancy District has sponsored cloudseeding in the western part of the district in conjunction with Durango Mountain Resort and Animas La Plata Conservancy District.

The district has a water information program designed to educate the public on water resources and their management in the region. That information is available on the Web at http:/ The district's office is located at 841 Second Ave. in Durango.

Since its inception, the district has conducted a number of surveys of irrigable lands, domestic water needs, and measurements of southwestern Colorado river flows. As a result, several reservoirs have been built in this area. These are:

- On the Florida River, Lemon Reservoir was completed in the 1960s to provide irrigation water for the Florida Mesa in La Plata County.

- On the Mancos River, Jackson Reservoir provides irrigation and domestic water for the Mancos Valley area.

- On the Dolores River, McPhee Reservoir provides irrigation and domestic water to the towns of Cortez, Dove Creek, the Ute Mountain Utes, and large areas of irrigated land.

One of the purposes of the district is to organize special assessment districts (water conservancy districts) for the purposes of storing, managing, and allocating water for various rivers in southwest Colorado. Conservancy districts formed include the Mancos Water Conservancy District (Jackson Reservoir), the Dolores Water Conservancy District (McPhee Reservoir) and the Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District (proposed Ridges Basin Reservoir).

In the Pagosa Springs area, the San Juan Conservancy District formed in 1990 to promote water conservation and storage, according to Fred Schmidt, president of the district's board of directors. Since its formation, the conservancy district has contributed money to the enlargement of Stevens Reservoir, helped restore the Lower Blanco River and conducted a survey to identify suitable sites for additional reservoir storage. The search for reservoir sites continues, according to Schmidt.

The local conservancy district is funded by a 0.351 mill levy.


New laws provide anti-fire enforcement resources

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

In response to this year's drought conditions, the Colorado Legislature has enacted several fire prevention laws, according to a news release from Ken Salazar, the Colorado attorney general.

The new laws were enacted during the recent special session of the Colorado General Assembly. They were signed by Gov. Owens July 18 and became effective immediately.

"These statutes provide law enforcement agencies with important new enforcement tools to combat wildfires, and provide local government authorities throughout Colorado with new fire fighting jurisdiction," said Salazar.

Passed this summer were four bills originating in the House and one bill originating in the Senate.

The first bill relating to fire bans, restrictions and other authorities enhances state and local control over fire dangers. It contains several provisions that address particular fire dangers.

Local authorities are given broader powers to regulate fire on public property. Local authorities are authorized to ban, prohibit or restrict such fires. They can designate areas where fires are not permitted. They can regulate fires in other ways to avert or lessen the likelihood of wildfires. These new powers rest with the officers or agencies that control, manage or supervise public property.

Penalties have been significantly increased for those violating an order or rule that restricts, prohibits or regulates fires on public property. Under the new law, these violations are Class 2 misdemeanors punishable by fines ranging from $250-$1,000 and up to a year in prison. The fine is mandatory and not subject to suspension.

The new law prohibits any person without lawful authority from knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence:

- setting on fire any woods, prairie, or grounds of any description other than his or her own

- causing to be set on fire any woods, prairie or grounds of any description other than his or her own

- permitting a fire set or caused to be set by a person to pass from his or her own grounds to the injury of another person.

Any person convicted of these crimes is subject to a mandatory fine ranging from $250-$1,000 and may be sentenced to up to one year in jail.

The penalty is higher if a fire ban is in effect. If a violation of one of these three conditions occurs and the violator knew or reasonably should have known that he or she violated an applicable fire ban imposed by a governmental authority, the crime is classified as a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony is punishable by a penalty of from $1,000-$100,000 and up to 18 months in prison.

The four activities specifically excluded from the Class 6 felony provision described are:

- state, municipality or county fire management operations

- prescribed or controlled fires conducted with written authority from the state forester

- lawful activities conducted pursuant to rules and regulations, or policies adopted by relevant state, tribal or federal regulatory agencies.

A new, Class 3 felony is created for anyone intentionally setting a wildfire. This crime is punishable by a fine ranging from $3,000-$750,000 and up to 12 years in jail.

In a separate provision, the general police powers of municipalities are enlarged. Municipalities may prohibit, ban, restrict or otherwise regulate fires and the designation of where fires are permitted, restricted, or prohibited. These new regulations do not pre-empt or supercede state, tribal or federal laws. Municipalities continue to possess the power to regulate and restrain the use of fireworks.

Penalties are increased for the violation of fire protection orders on land regulated by the Colorado Division of Parks and Recreation. Penalties for violation of fire protection orders on these lands have been increased from $100 to a mandatory fine of from $250-$1,000.

The new law creates a Class 6 felony for violation of a fire ban, regulation or prohibition on lands regulated by the Division of Parks and Recreation. This felony is punishable by a fine between $1,000-$100,000 and up to 18 months in prison.

During a drought, the state forester now authorizes or refuses controlled burns in conformance with local and statewide fire bans.

A new civil provision awards triple damages to a party injured by a fire set "during a state of emergency or disaster due to drought." The damages will be collected from the person setting the fire.

The increased damages are not awarded for fires resulting from any open burning conducted in agricultural operations or to any state, municipal, or county fire management operations. A person conducting prescribed or controlled fires such as grassland, forest, or habitat management activities will not be subject to treble damages while working under written authority from the state forester.

Colorado counties now possess explicit power to ban the sale of fireworks when fire danger is high.

It is now a crime in Colorado to throw burning materials, including cigarettes and matches and other materials, from a motor vehicle on a highway.

A new wildfire emergency response fund has been created within Colorado's treasury. Money from this fund can be used by the Colorado State Forest Service to pay for "the first aerial tanker flight to a wildfire at the request of any county sheriff, municipal fire department, or fire protection district."


Christie, Will Spears named

co-chairs for United Way

Christie and Will Spears have been named co-chairmen of the 2002-2003 United Way campaign in Pagosa Springs.

The Spears have been active in the community since moving here three years ago. They participate in many local organizations, including the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Rotary and church. Their three children keep them busy in many youth activities in the county.

In a prepared statement, the couple said, "We are pleased to serve as co-chairs for this year's campaign. We see, on a regular basis, the diverse needs of Archuleta County citizens - young and old. We frequently hear, first-hand, the appeals of United Way agency leaders as they work hard to improve their community programs. We know that this year they need our help more than ever."

Officials of the United Way of Southwest Colorado, Archuleta County, say they are proud to have the Spears represent the campaign effort this year. They also ask you "find it in your heart to contribute to the local United Way" and know that "99 percent of the money raised in Archuleta County stays here. Make your caring count."

United Way members look forward to seeing many participants at their fourth annual golf tournament Saturday at Pagosa Springs Golf Club. Anyone not registered may call the club pro shop at 731-4755.

Vote down

Dear Editor:

The La Plata Electric Association is asking for a "Yes" vote on Bylaw Amendment Ballot Issue No. 3 dealing with the removal of directors.

The proposed change would require a petition with at least 1,000 signatures of members from that director's district for a vote on that director's removal.

I've been informed by LPEA that there are 5,616 eligible voters in our District 1 and 1,000 of them would be a seemingly excessive number and practically impossible to achieve.

It seems that this proposed amendment should be voted down and a more reasonable one proposed.

A concerned LPEA customer,

Fred A. Ebeling

School system

Dear Editor:

I recently read the article entitled "School District vision statement called 'punitive, not visionary,'" in the Aug. 22 issue of The SUN. Being as I am now far from Pagosa, at college, and reading the articles over the Internet, I was able to take a step back and reflect objectively on what I read.

My conclusion was this: The proposed vision statement read, "We expect every school, every classroom and every student to achieve without exception or excuse." Although I am unsurprised by the resistance given this statement, I wonder why.

Every time I turn around, someone, somewhere is complaining about America's school systems. Regardless of viewpoint, all American citizens seem to agree on one thing: America is falling behind in the spectra of education. It's simple. America's students are exiting high school and ultimately college as well, with a lower overall propensity to succeed.

Now I am not yet a full-fledged adult, and I've not done any extensive research on this subject, but the one level of understanding I do possess is experience. I was educated in the Pagosa Springs School system, and through my experiences, whether educational, athletic or social, I have come to the simple conclusion that life is just one test after another. Granted, some people take tests better than others, but some people do better job interviews as well. Everyone has weaknesses.

To coin a cliche, I'm not a pessimist, I am a realist. In order to succeed, one must prepare for the task ahead, all the while taking into account their own weaknesses and strengths. This is what schools should be teaching, and enforcing as well. We should not cater to any weakness. We should help students along. We should make the extra effort to help them understand. These are concepts everyone agrees on, but we should never allow these needs to overshadow our first responsibility: focusing on the weakness that needs fixing.

In short, yes I do agree with the statement that the district's approach to education should, "show vision." It should be "uplifting" and "encouraging." It should "carry the student beyond school and into adulthood," but I also believe that today, an ideology embracing unwavering requirements and non-negotiable expectations fits these criteria well, and would better prepare students for the reality that life is a competition, and you don't want to be the loser.

Although I believe in nurturing young students, and looking out for their interests, I also believe that preparation requires honesty on the part of the teacher. We, as a society, should "expect every school, every classroom and every student to achieve without exception or excuse." That is our responsibility in preparing the decision-makers of the future.


Matt Ford

Total indifference

Dear Editor:

Karl Isberg's statement that dissolution of the airport authority is a positive step by the commissioners since it removes a layer of government, displays a total indifference to the history and importance of the airport authority as well as the importance of the airport to the county.

First, the airport authority is not a layer of government since it functions only on behalf of the commissioners. It was created and exists to provide county commissioners with advice and information concerning the most efficient management of the county's airport assets. It is no less important in sparing the commissioners' wasted time dealing with minutiae, than the existence of the planning commission, which functions in a similar manner.

In a related article in the paper, Mr. Steele is quoted as saying that having two boards is cumbersome. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one board. His concern over disagreement between the board and the airport manager, as well as with his own views, is precisely the crux of the problem.

The airport authority and the others have been concerned with the airport manager's performance (or lack thereof). The resolution of these disagreements by peremptorily dissolving the airport board is no more a solution than dismissing the airport manager. The commissioners need to examine all the facts before jumping to unwarranted decisions.

The board's membership provides an accumulation of aviation expertise far beyond that which either the airport manager or Mr. Steele can offer, either singly or jointly. The fact that runway improvement, which was scheduled to be started this summer, has been delayed and some of those earmarked funds diverted to another airport, should be of concern; the fact that a number of landowners in this county are either moving away or contemplating such a move because of the lack of improvements at the airport should be of serious concern.

The negotiations for a new fixed base operator, if successful, could bring as many as 20 new jobs to Pagosa. The failure of these negotiations would almost certainly be attributable to the failure to heed the advice of the airport authority's recommendations.

Ralph Goulds

Service on 9/11

Dear Editor:

Wednesday, Sept. 11, there will be several programs taking place in our community to mark the anniversary of the tragic events of one year ago.

One of those local remembrance services will be an early-morning program presented by the Pagosa Fire Protection District. While the primary objective of the fire department's program is to honor their comrades who lost their lives a year ago in New York City, the department's program will also offer a great opportunity for the public to come show their support for our local firefighters, EMTs, and law enforcement officers.

The fire district's program will commence promptly at 7:45 a.m. in front of the department's flagpole on North Pagosa Boulevard. The service will last just 45 minutes.

This event will provide the perfect opportunity for all of us not only to remember and acknowledge those we lost a year ago, but also to honor our own local firefighters, EMTs, and law enforcement officers, each of whom our community is so fortunate to have.

I hope these individuals will see a big show of support through the public's attendance at the fire department's program Wednesday morning.

Nan Rowe



We are at war

Across the nation, people are preparing for memorial events to take place Sept. 11. Newspapers and television broadcasts will be loaded with pieces and programs, communities such as ours will have concerts and ceremonies to give citizens opportunities to pause and honor the victims of that horrific day in 2001.

A comparison can be drawn between the atrocities of Sept. 11 and the attack nearly 61 years ago on the American military bases at Pearl Harbor. The comparisons are apt; a look at what December 7 has become for this nation, after more than 60 years have passed, is instructive and should deepen our thoughts next Wednesday.

There is a memorial at Pearl Harbor recognizing the many Americans who died there in 1941 yet, when we pause now on the anniversary of that day, we do more than honor the people who fell in Hawaii. Pearl Harbor Day has come to mean much more to us: It is the event that symbolizes this nation's entry into the most extensive conflict the world has yet seen. It marks the day America went to war.

This is what Sept. 11 will mean in years to come - the beginning of a prolonged conflict. It is necessary for us to honor the fallen next week, but we must also consider with utmost gravity the fact that we are now at war. It is, to this point, a war unlike most others - with ill-defined enemies who, fed with the a twisted passion born in the dark corners of religion, consider the crime of flying a plane full of noncombatants into office buildings filled with innocent workers to be an act of moral perfection. We are in a war that, soon, could expand at a frightening rate to include many nations, and millions of people of diverse faiths, races and political persuasions.

Remembrance services next week come at a time when many Americans are more concerned about the vagaries of the stock market than they are about the prospects of a major conflict - one that could result in the loss of many lives. During the first year after the Sept. 11 attacks, Americans were urged to "get back to normal," to deal with a foe clearly devoted to our destruction while we fret about mortgage rates, get anxious about kids' sporting events, seek zero-percent interest car loans and buy more trivial consumer goods.

We will be reminded next week, we can't get back to normal.

We are at war.

We should use the Sept. 11 anniversary to refocus our attention and help us realize this is not a time for complacency. We should use it to recognize the dangers of conciliation with an enemy whose intentions have been signaled in the crudest, and clearest of ways. We cannot be oblivious to the fact this war has barely begun.

Next week provides an occasion to ponder what we have to lose, to assess our reality. We are the Big Dog on the planet and a battle wages for control of the pack. We have projected our power around the globe, transporting it with our military, our business and our popular culture. We live the style of life desired by most, but obtainable by few.

We are a target.

Next week we can remind ourselves it is time to resist aggression, time to persevere and to ensure, in every way we can, there will be no more horrific days like Sept. 11, 2001.

Karl Isberg


Dear Folks

Old Town House to our new town

Dear Folks,

"Nea" Branson stopped by the SUN last week to say hello. She was in Pagosa visiting her relatives (Trujillo) and old friends. Raised in Pagosa during the later stages of its ranching and logging era - pre-real estate discovery - Nea enjoyed discussing Pagosa's many changes.

I first met Nea in the summer of 1974 during my first week in Pagosa. Surmising that I was one of the 13 new teachers in the school district for the 1974-75 school year, Nea introduced herself one morning at the Town House Restaurant when I placed my order for breakfast.

At that time, the Town House Restaurant and Lounge, along with Jan's Cafe and the Elkhorn Cafe, was one of the top three restaurants in Pagosa. Actually they were the only restaurants in town.

The Elkhorn specialized in tasty Mexican food. Jan's Cafe enjoyed a wide reputation for its mouthwatering Southern fried chicken. The Town House offered a fine selection of entrees and side orders on its breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. Having a bar or lounge area accessible from the restaurant, the Town House usually had the largest nighttime business. By the late '70s the Town House would enjoy an unexpected but welcome attraction in its lounge.

From time to time, a newcomer by the name of Dan Fogelberg would show up with his guitar at the lounge and gratuitously share his talents with the local patrons.

Today, Hunan Restaurant conducts its excellent business in the same space that was once occupied by Jan's Restaurant. Rather than Southern fried, the menus offers sweet and sour, kung pau and other Oriental chicken recipes. The Elkhorn has remodeled inside and out but continues to serve delicious Mexican dishes under its new name of Montoya's.

The building which once housed the Town House Restaurant probably best exemplifies Pagosa's changes during the past 28 years.

Folks no longer find fine dining or live entertainment at the former Town House site. Instead, in part of the building, customers can purchase or rent mountain bikes, snow boards, or rent inflatable kayaks or inner tubes and the clothing associated with these tourist-attracting activities.

Or they can go around back to the former kitchen area and select from a menu of services a staff of massage therapists offer including therapeutic massage, facials, reflexology, a "hot stone" massage, hand and foot care, or receive light therapy.

Folks can still find a bar at the earlier Town House site, only now it's a juice bar that offers fresh juices, desserts, homeopathic medicines, lotions, herbs, vitamins, oils and other health-related items.

The remainder of the Town House's floor space is filled by a boutique. The shop offers attractive jewelry, accessories along with stylish dresses and blouses as it rounds out the spectrum of changes Pagosa has undergone during the past 28 years.

The four shops are typical of the many other businesses that now offer the same or similar services and products in Pagosa. They can be found from the Junction and River Center to the east all through downtown, along Put Hill and beyond North Pagosa Boulevard to the west.

Some are in buildings that once housed other endeavors while others are in newer commercial developments. And for the most part, they demonstrate that whether caused by the arrival of Europeans to this area in the 1800s or by the influx of us newcomers since 1974, change is a constant in Pagosa.

Know you are loved and please keep us in Pagosa.




By Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 13, 1912

No immoral or sensational films are shown at the Star Theatre. Picture plays to amuse.

The town authorities have decided to erect a pound somewhere in the park, for the temporary confinement of stock running at large within the city limits - the flood got the old one.

Why the town spent $40 on that crossing from Lowenstein's corner to the park, and then buried it up with adobe silt, is past our comprehension. So far as convenience to pedestrians are concerned it's a d-d nuisance. There is plenty of gravel, why not use it?

Tompy, the paint man, will in a few days repaint, paper and renovate the school house on the Little Blanco.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 9, 1927

The Pagosa Springs High and Grade schools opened Tuesday with the full corps of teachers on hand and a splendid enrollment for the first of school. To date the enrollment in the grades is practically the same as last year, but the high school enrollment shows an increase. The total enrollment is 274.

Mr. Asher J. Crowley of Chromo and Miss Myrtle Putnam of Pagosa Springs motored to Durango Tuesday, and were quietly married by County Judge C.L. Russell. The couple returned to Pagosa Springs the same day and continued that evening to Chromo, where they will make their home at the P.C. Crowley ranch.

The heavy rains of last night are causing the streams to run almost bank full.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 5, 1952

The town board of Pagosa Springs met for their regular monthly session on Tuesday night of this week with all members in attendance. The water situation received further discussion and it was announced that an engineer is meeting with the board this week to discuss plans for a preliminary survey of another water system, this one to take water from the West Fork.

The Blanco Basin School opened the fall term Tuesday. The following students reported: Connie Douglas, Gary Bramwell, Carolyn Stephens and Mike and Judy Oppenheimer. Mrs. Ruby Sisson is the teacher.

John Chavez who was recently released from active duty with the U.S. Navy has rejoined the staff of the SUN.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 1, 1977

Superintendent A.D. Hahn this week reported that the opening day enrollment is up 24 students over opening day last year. Total enrollment was 867. He said that he expected more students to register this week and that there would probably be several late arrivals registering after Labor Day.

Should this be an average September, and there seems to be no year when the month is entirely average, rainfall of over two inches can be expected, the minimum reading for the month could be 24 or 25 degrees, and the maximum could be around 85 degrees.

An oiling crew is scheduled to arrive next week to start re-oiling the town streets where they were torn up by the installation of new water mains.

 Community News
Pagosa Lakes News
Looking at fall as the beginning, not the end

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Welcome back to school, dear children. Your vacation is over; sleeping in is over; long, lazy days with not much to keep your attention are all over.

Now, as you return to school, the recreation center has become quiet. We are glad for the chance to slow down but we will miss you.

Fall is the beginning of the year, not the end. It is the beginning because that is when our children go back to school to start a new grade and our college students return to their institutions of higher learning to garner new knowledge. It's all new and there's excitement in the air. It's when the leather of new shoes smells sweet, the backpacks harbor new school supplies and the children rush to school, eager and happy to see their friends and their favorite teachers.

What a beautiful time. Rejoice in it and capture that essence so our children can continue to exude that same newness and excitement when February rolls around.

In addition to the joys of new things happening in September my own internal clock moves in deep melancholic rhythm at this time of the year. It is not sad, it is just tender. The leaves turning golden and preparing to cast off are at their most beautiful. Each new September for our children is another year closer to bidding them farewell as they prepare to leave our homes and hearth.

No time to waste. Let's retire those shorts, Tevas, summer toys and get out those ingredients for oatmeal cookies. There are lunch boxes to make up, school clothes to arrange and school sports schedules to commit to the family calendar.

There will be another trail building session Saturday to work on the Stevens Draw trail in Trails Subdivision. Would you like to help? If you can, meet at 9 a.m. near Stevens Draw. To get there, follow Trails Boulevard off U.S. 160 for a mile. You will see a sign and vehicles on the right side of the road. Bring work gloves, drinking water and wear sturdy boots. Lunch will be provided. Call Larry Lynch at 731-5635 for additional information.

Esmeralda Berrich is one of Pagosa's top racquetball players. She competed this past week at the World Senior Racquetball tournament in Albuquerque. Over 300 players from nine different countries were in this highly competitive tournament.

Ask Esmeralda about the remarkable players and amazing athletes she played against. Age division, in increments of five years, ran from 35 to 85. Playing in the 45-50 division, Esmeralda placed sixth in a flight of 11 players.

Over the course of the four-day event, she played 10 matches with three games per match (a total of 30 games - sure a lot of tough women out there).

She had a great time pitting her own athleticism against seasoned players - some new and some others she's known from past tournaments.

Congratulations, Esmeralda.


Senior News
Seniors urged to wear patriotic colors on Sept. 11

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

A very special thank you to our Volunteer of the Month for September - Richard Harris. He works very hard to keep us fit and calm with yoga every Tuesday at 9 a.m.

And, congratulations to Carl Barber who is our Senior of the Week.

Thanks, also, to the Jack Hanson trio for their delightful performance Tuesday. We hope they will come back to entertain us again.

This community is in for a real treat Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. The Mountain Harmony singers will 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.

We are asking our seniors to wear red, white and blue Sept. 11 in honor of those lost or injured in the terrorist attacks. Sometimes we take our safety for granted and don't show our appreciation to those who work at protecting us on a daily basis - tell a fireman, policeman or EMT how much you appreciate them.

A big welcome to our guests/returning members this week, including: Lake Durbin, Betty Hayes, Barbara Brashar, Loretta Hildebrandt, Liz Messick, Carol Tindle, Barbara Winston, Dave Hawkins, Barbara Gibbons, Sally Radigen, Bill and Paulette Sohle, Cora Woolsey, Marlene Coffey, Lois Portenier, Susie Cochran, Marjie Martinez, Don and Nancy Strait, Andrea Sanchez, Max and Esther Peralta and Fermin Villarreal.

The Area Agency on Aging will conduct its bimonthly meeting Sept. 26 in our new "den." The agency serves Region 9, comprised of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, Dolores and San Juan counties. It is responsible for allocating the state and federal funds for seniors programs. We hope many of you will join us for the special lunch (ham, broccoli blend, yam, muffin and apple crisp) to show our support for our senior program.

The Senior Center has a "Wish List" of items we hope some generous folks will donate to us. Our piano is almost beyond repair and we would greatly appreciate a donation of one. Also, we would appreciate a portable stereo and a small table.

We need volunteers - four to help once a week with shopping and carrying groceries, a plant lover to water plants in the lounge once a week, and someone to head a grief and loss program.

Look Out for fake IRS forms. The IRS says the form looks very real but there is no IRS form W-9095, which asks a lot of personal information. Check out this and other IRS alerts at www.ustreas.cog/irs/ci/tax-fraud/2002hearings/irs-releases.htm.

Also, Colorado's Attorney General Ken Salazar issued a warning to state consumers to be wary of telephone calls purporting to "verify" their registration with the telemarketing no-call list. A company calling aitself the National Association Against Fraud is requesting credit card information to verify an Internet request to be placed on the no-call list. Any fraudulent solicitations should be reported to the Colorado Consumer Hot Line at 1-800-222-4444.

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.

Upcoming events include Andy Fautheree from Veteran's Services joining us at noon Friday to answer questions on an individual basis.

United Blood Services will hold a Sept. 10 blood drive, 2-5:20 p.m. by appointment. We hope folks will remember last Sept. 11 and the desperate need for blood, and be as generous as possible.

The Williams Lake picnic will be held Sept. 12. If enough folks sign up in advance (minimum of 10), we will have a wiener roast/potluck. Bring a lawn chair, sunscreen and a side dish if you would like. Seniors Inc. will furnish the hot dogs, chips and sodas. Get out and enjoy the fall weather with us.

The Sky Ute Casino trip will be Sept. 17. The casino provides free transportation and they hand out some freebies on the bus. Sign up in advance as we must have minimum of six people for the trip to go.

Starting Sept. 23 we'll have chair exercise Mondays at 10 a.m., and blood pressure checks by Glenda Cloward 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Bridge for Fun is at 1 p.m. Sign up at the Center to join this new group.

Tuesdays: 9:30 a.m., we have yoga with Richard Harris; at 10:30 a.m. there is a beginning bridge group led by David Hopkins.

A computer class with Sam Matthews takes place Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.,

Qi Gong with Vasuke is Friday, 10 a.m., and Jim Hanson will help with Medicare counseling at 12:30 p.m.

Veterans Corner
Join in tribute to fallen American heroes
By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

The Mountain Harmony ladies barbershop chorus will present a program Sept. 11 in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium to pay tribute to the heroes and the fallen comrades of the terrorist attacks on America one year ago.

The program will begin at 7 p.m. and include patriotic music for New York City and salute the brave firefighters, police and rescue personnel who answered the call on that fateful day, many of whom gave their lives to save others.

A portion of the program will also recognize veterans and those who are currently serving in America's armed forces. Veterans in the audience will be asked to stand and be recognized for their contribution to America's freedom.

This is a free concert and the whole community is invited to attend. So mark your calendar for this important patriotic concert.

Sept. 11 remembrance

At 8:46 a.m. Sept. 11 the bells of Pagosa Springs will ring throughout the town to mark remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This was the exact moment the first plane struck the World Trade Center in the worst act of aggression in America's history, surpassing even the sneak attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

I know I will be remembering those events on this date, remembering those innocent victims who fell, remembering those many unsung heroes both alive and dead who helped so many others live, and remembering all the veterans both alive and dead who have served their country in the armed forces so honorably.

Most of all I will remember what America stands for and why it is the symbol for free thinking people the world over. Those who would oppress people in so many places in the world can only try to tear down our symbol, but they will never destroy it, and only reinforce our resolve and our determination that all people, regardless of color, race or creed, should be free and equal.

I'm confident all Archuleta County citizens share these feelings, in their own way, at this time. Listen for the bells Sept. 11 at 8:46 am. You will hear the voice of America.

For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949 and e-mail is The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday, and Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs and for filing in the VSO office.


Arts Line
Thanks to all who helped with auctionBy Stephanie Jones

Many thanks this week to all the artists, individuals, and businesses who donated to our annual auction. The event raised valuable funds for the new rooms at the Community Center.

A very special thanks to Bill Goddard for all his help with this event and thank you to Bill Nobles for auctioneering. Thank you to Rio Jazz for their wonderful music, "Mised" Soledad Estrada-Leo, Denny Rose, Virginia Bartlett and Jeff Laydon for creating art on the spot. We appreciate "PSAC Angels" - Kathy Fulmer, Marti Capling, Jenny Schoenborn, Joan Rohwer, Bill Fulenwider, Adrienne and Dale Haskamp, Susan, Elana and Brett Garman, Arlina Faircloth and Barbara Mason - for all of their time and help with the event. Look for wonderful upcoming programs at the Community Center.

New exhibit

Our Town Park gallery will host an opening reception today from 5-7 p.m. of the wonderful artwork of Verna Marie and Susan Martin Serra. Their exhibit will be on display through Sept. 25. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. -5:30 p.m.

Verna Marie is an exceptional artist, painting a range from still life to "plein air" landscapes. In seeking an unlimited expression of her art she has developed two styles: one for flowers and still life and another style for landscapes. She has studied with the classical realistic painter, the late Frederik Grue, and with Hal Reed. She is an artist member of the California Art Club, Oil Painters of America, a signature member of the San Fernando Valley Art Club and a member of the Valley Artist Guild. She has received several awards for her works in juried shows in California and New Mexico.

Susan Martin Serra finished her B.F.A. in illustration at California State University and began her M.A. program the summer of 1997 in Florence, Italy, studying formal drawing techniques and traditional Italian maiolica at Student Art Centers International. It was during this time in Italy that she discovered her love of ceramics and reached a decision that was something of a turning point. She decided to finish her M.A. in illustration using clay as her medium of expression. Encouraged by her ceramics professor she qualified for the M.F.A. program in ceramics to further her knowledge of three-dimensional form and the technical aspects of working with clay and glaze materials.

Pagosa Pretenders

The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater proudly announces its next production, "Escape on Broadway," scheduled Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26 at the high school.

"Escape on Broadway" is an original play, a madcap romp down Broadway, with insert scenes from many favorite Broadway productions. Directing will be Sabine Elge.

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater encourages family involvement in the theater and its past productions include "Wizard of Oz," "Sleeping Beauty," and "Arabian Nights." For more information call Elge at 731-3506.

Folk Fest

Hundreds of children created arts and crafts at the Arts Council's art and craft stations at the Four Corners Folk Festival. Thank you to Tamsin and Matt Rohrich, Jennifer Harnick, Adrienne and Dale Haskamp, Leah and Matt Fairhurst, Terri, Bruce, Randi and Heather Anderson, Kelly Goodin and Andrew Jones for volunteering. The crafts included a mural, drums, music sticks, beaded necklaces, puppets and hats.


Did you know that you could support the arts in Pagosa for eight cents a day? A family membership for the entire year is only $30 and you receive discounts to art events, special notice to events and workshops, the Petroglyph newsletter and so much more. Contact Joanne at the gallery today to sign up.


Volunteering for the Arts Council is a great way to support the arts, meet interesting people and even receive free tickets to concerts, plays and events. There are several volunteer options. Currently we are looking for an individual to join our publicity Team. Call Joanne at 264-5020 for more information.


Chamber News
Free business counseling available again

By Sally Hameister

PREVIEW Columnist

This Saturday, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church presents an event for the entire family - their annual bazaar from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. at their new location, 225 South Pagosa Blvd. next to the Mary Fisher Clinic.

Featured are the Kids' Corner, a silent auction, handmade crafts, baked goods, bake-and-serve frozen casseroles, a boutique with gently pre-owned clothes and accessories, and, especially for the guys, a garage and yard sale with lots of "guy stuff."

You will also be able to purchase chili, nachos and drinks while wandering around checking out the bargains. All proceeds will go to the building fund toward completion of the new sanctuary. Hope to see everyone there Saturday.

Rotary venue

Gene Crabtree asked me to pass along to everyone that the Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs will now congregate at the new Community Center for their weekly luncheon and meeting beginning at 11:30 a.m. today. Just head on over to the Senior Center where Dawnie will feed you one of her tasty lunches prepared in her brand new kitchen.

Free business counseling

Take advantage of this opportunity to receive free business counseling and meet the new director of the Small Business Development Center at the same time. Just give us a call at the Chamber, 264-2360, and Doug will be happy to make an appointment with new director, Joe Keck.

Joe has taken Jim Reser's position and will be coming to Pagosa once a month to offer his considerable business expertise and knowledge to you at absolutely no charge. It's hard to beat that deal. If you are puzzling over a new business plan for your existing business or pondering opening a new business, Joe's your man. Give us a call to set up an appointment with Joe.

Business directories

We're very pleased - no, ecstatic is more like it - to announce that the Chamber of Commerce Business Directory is at last here at the Visitor Center for the taking. This has been a formidable project this year because, for the first time, it is being done in-house and the format has been changed completely. I needn't tell you how many hours Doug has slaved over this thing, but it's here, so come on down.

Because of our ever-growing membership (thank the heavens) we have eliminated the descriptions and have now listed the businesses in categories with another alphabetical listings in the back. We have researched other Chamber directories and feel we've come up with the best possible format to find things quickly and easily.

Doug and I will have these little beauties in our cars and drop them off whenever possible, but in the meantime, please stop by the Visitor Center to pick up your copy. Oh, the other great thing about this one is that Doug will be revising and updating with new members every couple of months, so basically, we'll never have to wait for them again. How's that for progress?

Spirit of America

The Mountain Harmony Ladies' Barbershop Chorus will present a special commemorative concert 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 you arrive early to secure your place at what promises to be an extraordinary concert.

Bridal showcase

The Western Colorado Wedding Guide presents the largest wedding show in the Four Corners area Sept. 29, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Ridgewood Events Center, Blue Lake Ranch, in Hesperus.

This informative day features seminars addressing honeymoon destinations, tips on receptions, registries, flowers and photos. Caterers will provide samples of their reception food and cake selections, photographers will be happy to take pictures of the future bride and groom and there will be a display of the latest fashions in bridal gowns. Thousands of dollars in prizes will be awarded to include a free wedding gown from Bridal Mart, a free wedding night suite at The Lodge at Tamarron, Cascade Village or the Strater Hotel, a free Carnival Cruise from Bridal Mart, a wedding decoration package from Alli's Accents or a giant basket from Dillard's Department Store. Tickets are $5 at the door or $3 online at or call (970) 884-6001.

Colorfest Safari

We're getting closer to the Colorfest Wine and Cheese Tasting Safari and just want to make sure that you have that date and the entire weekend blocked out so you won't miss a minute of the fun.

We have already 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 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, we will be treated to a Balloon Glow Saturday night at dusk sponsored by Toby and Renae Karlquist of K.K. Paddywhacks. It will be a weekend to remember, I assure you.

Corvette classic

This Sunday, the Colorado Springs Corvette Club will meet here for their second annual Pagosa Springs Classic and invite you to go down and take a look at all the cool Corvettes on display.

The People's Choice Car Show will be held on the field across from Town Park on Hermosa Street, 10 a.m. 2 p.m. We're happy to have this group for the second year and hope you will visit them and welcome them to our fair town.


We're happy to bring you three new members this week along with fourteen renewals. Very few things please us more than new members and renewals, I assure you.

Our first new member this week is the TARA Historical Society at Navajo Lake with their charming president, Ida Theys. I had the pleasure of meeting this lady recently when I attended the ribbon cutting at Navajo State Park, and she was most anxious to join our Chamber and we are most anxious to welcome her. This organization promotes and develops the historical resources of the Navajo Lake area for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations. You can give Ida a call at 883-5344 for more information about TARA.

We next welcome our second new member, Steven Potter who brings us Security Contractors with offices in his home. Steve offers professional installation of security alarm services to include cameras, intercom systems, phones, cable and satellite. He also offers structured wiring, Surround Sound and central vacuum installations. He brings 17 years experience with him and is AVD insured. Please give Steve a call at 731-6182 to learn more about Security Contractors.

We're very happy to welcome this next individual who is an existing member bringing us a new second business, and we're lovin' it. Anthony Doctor joins us with Alpenglow Builders with offices located in his home. This gentleman is a custom homebuilder specializing in unique mountain-style homes built and designed for the Pagosa mountain climate. The majority of the work is done in-house from computer design to excavation, to custom cabinets to ensure quality control. Anthony also offers a four-year standard warranty on his work. Please give him a call at 264-6126 for more information about Alpenglow Builders.

Our renewals this week include Ralph and Lynn Frank with Subway East and Subway West; Faye Bramwell (mama of the now-famous, Forest Bramwell) with Astraddle A Saddle; Joan Cole with Massage at the Springs; Karla Whitmer with Pagosa Fone Net located in Pagosa and Fone Net, LLC, located in Cortez; Susan Durkee with Pagosa Nursery Company; Tom Ferrell with the Chimney Rock Interpretive Program; Jim Kahrs with the Kahrs-Woolverton Insurance Agency (formerly the Kahrs Insurance Group); Kathryn Young with At Your Disposal; and Jon Reed with Sportsman Supply Campground and Cabins.

Our Associate Renewals this week include Chamber Diplomat Ron and Cindy Gustafson and our old pals, Cecil and Barbara Tackett. Many thanks to one and all.


Library News
Book celebrates cultures of Southwest

By Lenore Bright

PREVIEW Columnist

We've received "People of the Mesa Verde Country: An Archaeological Remembrance," by Ian M. "Sandy" Thompson. The book celebrates the cultures and the landscape of Southwest Colorado. Richard Cornelius illustrates it with historical photographs, maps and original pen-and ink drawings.

Thompson was a local community leader and journalist who lost his battle to cancer in 1998. He was a former editor of the Durango Herald and co-founder of the Crow Canyon Archaeological center near Cortez.

Thompson's untimely death cut short his effort to finish this last work, and the Center took up the project of completing the manuscript.

The Center will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, and the posthumous publication of Thompson's last writings is a further tribute to his continuing contribution to our understanding of the unique Mesa Verde country.

Thompson spent most of his life in the Four Corners area. In this book he weaves the common threads of human experience into a collection of insights that reveal the connections between communities distanced not by place but by millennia. What defines life in this difficult yet inspiring landscape? What can modern communities learn from their predecessors, whether ancient peoples or Western homesteaders?

We thank Sally Hameister and the Chamber of Commerce for this book.

Writers in the Sky

The Wilkinson Library in Telluride is sponsoring the sixth annual meeting of their festival to celebrate reading. Here's a chance to meet Colorado authors and discuss their work. The event is Oct. 4- 5. Registration is limited to 100 and the $45 fee includes morning coffee and lunch. Pick up a brochure at the desk or call (970) 728-4519.

9Teachers who care

For the first time we've received nomination applications as well as fact sheets about the program 9Teachers Who Care. It is a monthly award honoring teachers who exemplify excellence in education. The goal is to recognize Colorado teachers who go beyond the classroom to inspire students to want to learn and to be successful members of our community.

CollegeInvest, Colorado's only state-sponsored college savings plans, and KUSA in Denver sponsor the program.

One teacher a month will be chosen. The teacher will receive $900 from CollegeInvest, and will be featured on 9NEWS. Pick up nomination forms at the desk.


Financial help came from William and Joan Seilstad in memory of H. Ray Macht and Junior Clark. Materials came from Valerie Halvorson, Teri Fragier, Jim Rexroad, Danna Laverty, Joan Blue, Lyn Frank, Lynn Johnson, Carol Hakala, Dick Hillyer, Patsy Wegner, Terry Hershey, Elizabeth Leach, Bev Warburton, Bonnie Coats, Bev Worthman and Janet Donavan.


Garrett Hammer and Lisa Higgins, along with big sister Taylor, are proud to announce the birth of their 6 pound, 6 ounce son, Kyler Tate Hammer, July 20, 2002. Kyler is the fifth generation on his paternal side, to Debra Allen, Ron and Darlene Shaw and Ron's mother, Dee Shaw, of Denver. He is also a second grandchild to Allan and Lois Higgins of Missouri and longtime friends to Pagosa.



Mark Bergon of Pagosa Springs has the award to prove he's a new state champion. Participating in the State Horseshoe Tournament Saturday and Sunday in Fort Collins, he captured the men's Class E Division plaque.


The family of Johnnie and Geneva Merrifield invite friends and acquaintances to join them as they celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

Johnnie Merrifield and Geneva Catlett of Erick, Okla., were married Sept. 7, 1942, in Sayre, Okla. Johnnie served 38 months and 13 days in the military service and then started his career in civil service as a firefighter at Clinton Sherman Air Base in Burns Flat, Okla. He transferred to Crash and Rescue at Webb Air Force Base in Big Springs, Texas, in 1956 and served there until the base closed and he retired. The couple had four children, Larry Merrifield of Duncanville, Texas, Sandra Hull and Mary Pierce of Midland, Texas, and Darla Merrifield who passed away Feb. 22, 2000. They have six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A reception is being held in their honor at Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave., 1-4 p.m. Sept. 7. All are cordially invited to attend.



The Spirit of America By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

An evening of song. An evening that

captures the spirit of America. An evening to remember.

A group of women are preparing to give just that - an evening to remember - to Pagosa Springs. On Sept. 11, one year after the attacks on Washington, New York and Pennsylvania, Pagosa's own Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus will present The Spirit of America at the high school auditorium.

Walk by the Community United Methodist Church on a warm Monday night and the sound of their music spills out the doors. "New York, New York," "Give My Regards to Broadway," "God Bless America," and "An Irish Blessing" are just a few of the songs they're preparing.

"The music is some of the hardest we've tackled," chorus member Pat French said. Not that anyone in Mountain Harmony is afraid of a little challenge. Mountain Harmony was formed in 1996 when French, who was once a member of the Sweet Adeline barbershoppers in Albuquerque, met Connie Glover who was once a member of the Sweet Adelines in Baton Rouge.

"I came here and felt like I'd lost both arms with no singing groups available." Then she met Glover, the two went to lunch and Mountain Harmony was born. Glover, despite the fact that she'd never directed before, decided to take on the challenge.

A few women got together for the first meeting six years ago and the group's been growing ever since, resting at about 25 now. They meet once a week for two hours, young and old, paying $7 a month in dues and singing wherever they're asked. They've sung in Durango, in Silverton, at nursing homes and for civic groups. They perform one or two free concerts for the community every year.

The bottom line for most of them is simple - they love to sing - and sing barbershop.

"Barbershop harmony is like no other harmony," French said. It's a very close harmony that can almost sound dissonant at times. Everyone in the group must stay on pitch to achieve the ring. It does ring when it's done right," she added, "I can hear it just buzzing."

These women sing in their cars, at the lake, at home. They sing for the joy, for friendship, for fun and for a dozen other reasons.

"The only reason I got into this whole Mountain Harmony was because I wanted an ice cream," Charisse Morris said. The director promised her a cone, so she sang. That was two years ago. She was 6 years old.

Charisse and her mom, Vanessa, who's been a member of the chorus since the beginning, practice their songs at home and in the car. Each chorus member is given a binder containing their music and the words. To go with it, they receive a tape with their own parts on one side and the four-part harmony on the other. When Vanessa and Charisse have to go anywhere, Vanessa gets behind the wheel and Charisse gets behind the music book for practice all the way.

They're supposed to learn the music outside of practice, using the time together just to make things fit or learn motions to go with the words. Some practice by themselves at home, picking out notes on a keyboard. Others have to do it without the benefit of the piano. Some find the notes more difficult to handle, for others it's the words.

Even before she joined Mountain Harmony, Charisse was the master of the words, Vanessa said, correcting mom whenever it was needed. Now she has her own notes to learn.

"Once you start, you don't want to stop," Charisse said.

They're not the only mother and daughter duo in the group. JoAnn Howell has brought two girls through the ranks. One has now moved to Durango. The other is 13, and besides being busy with school, sports and open heart surgery this last year, still takes time to sing.

"It's a way to express yourself," Mariah said. She sang with the group right up to the time she went to the hospital for the surgery and was back again as soon as possible.

"It seems like wherever we are we sing," JoAnn said. "People can say a word and we'll start singing. Even when you're in the bluest mood a song can bring you out of it." Being in Mountain Harmony gives them the companionship of others who feel the same way. The friendships formed there, are the main reasons many have stayed since the beginning.

"Being with the ladies, it's like we're a family," Vanessa Morris said.

The idea for the Sept. 11 program was Glover's. It all started with an e-mail from a friend. The e-mail outlined an interview with Lisa Beamer, wife of Todd Beamer, one of the passengers killed in the plane that went down in Pennsylvania.

According to the e-mail, Lisa said, "Each of us is put on this earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end Find something beautiful to notice something you see, smell, hear or feel. Look for these and cherish these. This is the stuff of life, the things we take for granted, for it's not the things we did that we regret, but the things we didn't do."

From that point, Glover knew the chorus had gifts to give to help the community remember the tragedy and the heroes who emerged from a country suffering. The Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus will present Spirit of America Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

Local soloists Angie Crow, Kathy Jackson and Sharon Porter, will perform along with guest quartet Pickup and Delivery from Durango and Young Ladies in Harmony, an ensemble comprised of some of the younger members of the chorus, ages 8-14.

On the same night, members of Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 in Pagosa Springs will salute families of active-duty servicemen from the county with the presentation of a Blue Star Service Banner. Admission is free.


Doc Taylor shot

son-in-law, surrendered

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Grim-faced, "Doc" Taylor turned himself over to the sheriff. It was the least he could do. He'd just shot his son-in-law, the flirty Victor McGirr.

The local newspaper was almost silent about the shooting, but you know people were whispering in the coffee shops. McGirr got what he deserved, they'd say. Maybe now he'd learned his lesson. McGirr's reputation as a womanizer was well known. He was ill advised to run around on Hattie, the apple of Doc Taylor's eye. Sure McGirr was a lawyer, but Doc had a reputation as well. He'd been a community leader almost since people started living in Pagosa. You didn't mess with Doc.

Doc had money, brains and the will to use them. Folks still remembered the county election of 1886 and the battle that followed. It was the first election of county officers.

After Archuleta County was formed in 1885, the first officials were appointed by the governor to run the county until the people could hold an election. Appointed as commissioners by the governor were J.M. Archuleta Jr., Algernon S. Dutton and Judd Hallett. E.M. Taylor was appointed county clerk; F.A. Byrne county superintendent of schools; J.P. Archuleta, county assessor; Isaac Cade, county treasurer; William Dyke, county sheriff; and J.H. Voorhees, county judge.

Elected as commissioners during that first election were C.D. Scase, J.P. Archuleta and J.B. Martinez. In January of 1887, the newly elected commissioners took office.

Of that meeting, the neighboring Del Norte Prospector wrote: "The people will learn with regret that the Greatest Hot Spring resort in the United States has a large element of people who usurp the power of the law and deter public officials from the faithful performance of their duties. Such seems to be the fact, as much as it may be regretted by our people. On the third of the month Commissioners Martinez, Archuleta, and Skase (Scase) met to transact the business of a regular meeting. An armed mob entered the place of meeting and compelled the commissioners to disband and leave the work of their regular quarterly meeting. They demanded the resignation of the commissioners and it is stated under threat to burn the house of Skase, he tendered his resignation. The other commissioners refused to resign. It is feared by the good people that this will result in serious trouble. The mob deserves a little credit for coming out boldly instead of writing more anonymous letters, which some of them certainly have done before this time. If the people of Archuleta County can find no way to stop this bulldozing, they need not expect to increase their 140 votes of last election. We understand the people opposing the commissioners have called a special meeting for the election of three commissioners, which is certainly illegal."

Following the courthouse showdown Scase's building, a former bar - maybe even the well-known Rose Bud Saloon that he sold to the county for use as a courthouse - was burned. Another election was conducted, but later ruled illegal by a grand jury meeting in Durango. The Archuleta County commissioner meeting book does not show a meeting from Jan. 20, 1887, when the first meeting was summarily ended by the mob, until Sept. 24. The members of the mob, including E.M. Taylor, were indicted by the grand jury. They were later dismissed with an order amounting to "don't do it again."

The riot was said to have been part of a political battle for control of Archuleta County. The battle was between Hispanics living in the southern part of the county led by the Archuleta Family and Anglos living in Pagosa Springs. One of the indicted Anglo leaders was E.M. Taylor.

Taylor went so far as to hire a detective from the Dickerson Detective Agency of Chicago. That detective was Charley Siringo, who later wrote about the Archuleta County troubles in his memoirs.

Besides being the first Archuleta County clerk, Taylor was the first town clerk. When town lots were auctioned by the U.S. government in 1885, Taylor purchased a large number of lots. He apparently also served as a moneylender during the county's formative years.

Who was E. M. Taylor? According to his September 1934 obituary, Taylor was born Eudolphus M. Taylor in Jefferson County, New York, to Albert and Harriet Taylor. At 17, he enlisted and fought for the North in the Civil War. We hear no more about him until 1881, when he visited Pagosa Springs and obtained a contract to supply wood for Fort Lewis.

Taylor moved to Michigan for a year, then returned to Pagosa Springs for good in 1883. I believe he was among the local citizens actively involved in getting the county formed. In addition to serving for 10 years as county clerk, Doc served several years as town clerk and also as court clerk and county judge. He also raised cattle and sheep.

Taylor was not a doctor. I never have heard why he carried the nickname "Doc." I do know he served no jail time for shooting McGirr. How could you convict a man with the name Eudolphus?