Front Page

September 12, 2002

PAWS makes it official: $10.5 million bond bid on ballot

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

It's official. Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District is asking voter approval of a $10.5 million bond on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

The district board of directors unanimously agreed at their regular meeting Tuesday night to place the item on the ballot. The directors also took steps to prevent commercial water haulers and others with large tank trucks from obtaining water from the district's coin-operated water sources, and conducted other business.

The question on the Nov. 5 ballot will read, in part, "Shall the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District's debt be increased by up to $10,355,000, with a maximum repayment cost of up to $18,564,000 and shall district taxes be increased by up to $938,700 annually for debt payment?"

The question also contains language committing the district to spend the bond money on a number of specific projects including encasement of the Dutton Ditch in a pipe and enlarging Stevens Reservoir and water treatment plant.

District officials say the money is needed for capital projects designed to increase the capacity to store water and deliver it to users. They say the proposed plans are part of a 20-year plan prepared by engineers with the idea of helping the district increase water delivery capability as the area population increases.

After listening to citizen complaints that certain users of the district's two coin-operated water stations are getting water cheaper than district users, the board took steps to separate household users of the stations from commercial and tank truck users.

The district has coin-operated water stations located on 1st Street in Pagosa Springs and on Trails Boulevard west of town. The stations are open 24 hours for use by the general public. The coin-operated dispensers sell water for 25 cents for 90 gallons. The district's intent is to make water available for residents of the area who don't have viable wells. The fee seemed in line with ordinary district fees during nondrought conditions.

Because of the drought, many wells have gone dry in the county forcing people to look for alternative sources of water. Also because of the drought, a charge has been levied on district users that increases as water consumption increases. The idea is to discourage excessive consumption, thereby conserving water.

Because of the increased rates resulting from Level 2 water restrictions, water is cheaper at the coin-operated dispensers than it is for regular district customers.

Complicating the issue are fill station users who load up multithousand gallon tank trucks that exceed the 8,000-gallon monthly limit. Other users fill smaller tanks many times a month, thereby exceeding the 8,000-gallon limit.

The district's regular customers move into the higher priced, penalty phase after using 8,000 gallons. No such mechanism exists to boost the rate for fill station users.

At the Tuesday meeting, the board instructed staff to set up a metered fill station at the Vista central facility. Commercial and tank truck users are required to obtain water from the new Vista dispenser at a rate comparable with the rate charged district users.

Individual households using the already existing fill stations will be allowed to continue to use those stations.

Meanwhile, the district continues to pump water from the San Juan River at the rate of about 2 million gallons per day. The water is pumped to the San Juan treatment plant located at the Vista central facility. When daily needs are met, the remaining water is pumped into Lake Forest.

A pipeline and pumping station were completed this week connecting the San Juan plant with the water tower in the Lake Hatcher area. Potable water for Lake Hatcher users is now being supplied from the San Juan River via the San Juan treatment plant. Consequently, the Lake Hatcher treatment plant has been shut down. The idea is to conserve water in Lake Hatcher for future consumption.


Final home rule workshop scheduled Sept. 19

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Pagosa is looking for a few good commission members. Charter commission members that is.

A total of nine will be needed. If elected Nov. 5, these nine will have 120 days to put together a home rule charter, the document that will lay out local government powers and structure under home rule. Then the charter, too, will go before voters.

Home rule is a form of government based upon the theory that local government and local problems should be organized and solved locally.

A total of 84 municipalities in the state, including Durango, Denver and Rico operate under home rule charters. Each charter is different, including a government form and administrative structure specific to the needs of the community it serves. Some are short and simple. Others are long and involved. All may be amended by voters at a later date and are limited to covering local concerns. Federal laws, the state constitution and state statutes addressing matters of statewide concern still apply even with a home rule charter.

All other municipalities in the state, including Pagosa Springs, are statutory towns. That means everything, from the structure of the town board to term lengths and even the local election day, is determined by state statute.

On Aug. 13, the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees approved a resolution to put home rule on the ballot in November. Voters will be asked to decide first, if Pagosa should pursue a home rule form of government, and second, who should be elected to the charter commission. The charter commission actually writes a home rule charter. They have 120 days to do so and then the charter itself will go before voters for approval or rejection. If the charter is approved, it will become the adopted form of government. If it is rejected, the community remains under statutory authority, and the commission is disbanded.

Anyone interested in becoming a charter commission member should pick up a petition from Jackie Schick, town clerk. Registered voters who have lived within the town boundaries for at least 12 months are eligible to serve on the commission, providing a petition is completed. Petitions require a minimum of 25 signatures from registered voters within the town of Pagosa Springs and must be submitted to Schick by Oct. 4. Registered voters within town boundaries may sign more than one petition . In fact, they may sign up to nine.

To learn more about home rule, and charter commission responsibilities, the public is invited to attend an informational workshop Sept. 19, 5 p.m. at Town Hall.

Evidentiary ruling brings halt to Louis Day trial

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A case of sexual assault and tampering with evidence against local funeral director Louis Day was dismissed Monday, just over a day and a half after jury selection was completed.

District Attorney Craig Westberg said District Court Judge Greg Lyman's ruling on admissibility of certain evidence, a reversal of an earlier ruling made by Judge David Dickenson, altered the case dramatically, resulting in the prosecution's withdrawal.

"In view of the ruling, I felt the case could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt," he said. Members of the prosecution's staff, the alleged victim and several others discussed the ramifications of the ruling for about four hours before coming to their decision to request dismissal.

"In these kinds of crimes," Westberg said, "we are dealing with kids, we're dealing with credibility, we're dealing with he said-she said. These are crimes that are by their very nature distasteful and painful and difficult to prove. In these cases, my duty is to the children and doing what is best for them."

He said the alleged victim did ask to be able to address Day in open court with the jury present, and she was allowed to do so.

Day had been charged with five counts of sexual assault on a child and one count of tampering with evidence. The trial started Sept. 3 with jury selection. The first witness took the stand Sept. 6. It ended with the dismissal Sept. 9.

Westberg said there are no plans to take up the case at a later date.


Dead pair hailed from Denver area

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The bodies of two people discovered Sept. 2 in the Weminuche Wilderness twenty miles northwest of Pagosa Springs have been identified as Sharon and Douglas Balluff of Greenwood Village.

Positive identification was made Sept. 11 following an autopsy and a check of dental records.

According to a release from Hinsdale County Sheriff Bill Denison, both Sharon, 57, and Douglas, 60, were shot to death. Investigation into the nature of the deaths continues by the Hinsdale County Sheriff's Office and Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The possibilities include murder-suicide or a double murder.

The decomposing bodies were discovered by Glen and Linda Eyre, Pagosa residents working as U.S. Forest Service Wilderness Rangers. Their duties include monitoring conditions in the wilderness and checking on visitors in the area. Pagosa District Ranger Jo Bridges said the forest service had received reports about the couple's tent set up near the Poison Park trailhead. The Eyres checked the site about 12:30 p.m. Sept. 2, finding the bodies in the tent. A handgun was also found in the tent.

Hinsdale County officials took charge of the investigation once it was determined the site was in their jurisdiction. A Forest Service law enforcement officer, Archuleta County sheriff's deputies and the Archuleta County coroner also responded to the scene.

Later, investigators from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation arrived on scene. Members of San Upper San Juan Search and Rescue removed the bodies Sept. 3. They were transported to a Colorado Bureau of Investigation lab at Montrose for autopsy and identification.

Early in the investigation, evidence pointed to the Balluffs as the possible victims. Friends and family reportedly last saw them Aug. 11. The couple's car was found parked at the Rio Grande Reservoir near Creede.



Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

9/4 80 37 - - -

9/5 79 39 - - -

9/6 81 39 R - .03

9/7 78 40 R - .15

9/8 77 39 - - -

9/9 76 39 - - -

9/10 71 38 R - .16


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

Town plans volleyball camp for sixth grade girls

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

Keep your ears and eyes open for the formation of a sixth-grade girls volleyball fundamentals camp, being sponsored by the parks and recreation department.

The clinics will be held in the new Community Center with the sign-up date Oct. 3 at 6 p.m.

We have set aside hours Mondays and Wednesdays after school for this program. Fundamentals will be taught, along with some game situations and rules.

During the month of October, there will be eight sessions at a cost of $20.

For more information call Joe Lister at 264-4151, Ext. 231.

Late registration costs

Pagosa has been notorious for people registering their children late for every town-sponsored activity. We, as parents, need to get our children registered in the time frame given by the directors of the activity. We are trying to get away from the saying that we are running on "Pagosa time."

"Pagosa Time" costs everyone money. We have to base our equipment orders, practice/game schedules, sponsors, picture day, tournament play, coaches and numbers of teams on registrations. If you have a 30-percent change in numbers with late registrations, it throws everything off and we, as directors, must start again from the beginning. This is an unnecessary waste of time and effort.

We are trying to establish a policy that will be consistent. The programs will be run more efficiently and thus save us time and money that we can spend on the public, to offer better services.

Call the number above or Chris at 264-4151, Ext. 232 if you have questions about upcoming events.

Coed volleyball

The organizational meeting for the adult coed volleyball league will be held Sept. 16 in Town Hall at 6 p.m. Have any questions? Call Chris at the number above.


Lady Pirates take third at Wolf Creek cross country meet Sept. 7

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

They battled altitude, steep climbs and bigger schools Saturday and came through shining. The Pagosa Pirates cross country team battled 10 schools for top spots in the Wolf Creek Invitational, built on a hard, long course run at over 10,000 feet.

"It was a very good meet for us," Coach Scott Anderson said.

The Lady Pirates garnered third-place honors as a team, sliding in behind Bayfield and Kirtland. Freshman Emily Schur led the pack for the second week in a row, posting a second-place finish in 26 minutes even.

Senior Amanda McCain posted her highest finish of the season, crossing the line in 29:14 in 10th place She was followed by a string of Pirates led by freshman Heather Dahm.

"Heather ran a very good race," Anderson said. "Coming up the last, killer hill, she was pulling the Pagosa train." Dahm finished 21st with a time of 31:06. On her heels were junior Jenna Finney, running 22nd in 31:11.19 and senior Hannah Emanuel just a nose behind in 23rd with a time of 31:11.99.

On the boys' side of the equation, senior Todd Mees battled the geography to claim sixth in 23:37. The time was slower than the previous week's slaughtering of his 2001 state meet time, but the course must be considered, Anderson said. Times all around dropped as the runners battled the hills. Senior B.J. Louder was the second Pirate in the boys' race, finishing 38th in 28:38. In the boys' team competition, Kirtland took top honors, followed by Bayfield and Farmington.

Ladies' defense dominates Demons

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Call them Giant Killers.

When Lady Pirate volleyball players lined up before the Sept. 5 match to shake hands with their Durango counterparts the Ladies had to crane their necks to look many of the Demons in the eyes. Durango features a 6-foot-3-inch middle hitter and several players at or near the 6-foot height. The tallest Pagosan in the starting lineup is 5 foot 8 inches, with hefty soles on her shoes.

It didn't matter.

A big crowd showed up for the home opener at the Durango gym and left in a state of numb disbelief after the Lady Pirates dispatched their 5A opponents 15-13, 15-8.

Veteran volleyball observers frequently note that Class 3A competition is, year in and year out, the toughest in the state, featuring some of the most talented and scrappiest squads on the court. Since 1988, Pagosa has been one of the 3A teams most often in the mix and this year's version proved it fits the mold as the Ladies outplayed their bigger opponents all night long, taking away many of Durango's best weapons with a ferocious back court defense, and frustrating the Demons' big hitter, forcing one hitting error after another.

The Demons seemed to be cruising in the first game of the match, going out to a comfortable 6-2 lead in the early going.

The comfort was short-lived. A series of Durango errors, many of them forced by the Pagosa defense, turned over five points and Pagosa was ahead 7-6. An ace serve by Lori Walkup gave the Ladies an 8-6 lead. Durango scored, but the Ladies responded as the sophomore blocking tandem of Lori Walkup and Bri Scott stuffed Durango's big hitter, Carley Kulovitz for a point.

The momentum swung briefly and, despite some spectacular digs in Pagosa's backcourt, the Demons went on top 11-9. Lori Walkup hit another ace, Durango hit a ball out and the score was knotted 11-11.

A Pagosa hitting error and a ball hit out of bounds put the home team on the verge of a win, and Lady Pirate coach Pennè Hamilton called a timeout to cool the action &emdash; one of many key coaching moves made before and during the game.

The tactic worked. Durango proceeded to commit four costly errors; the Ladies did not. Pagosa took the first game 15-13.

In the second game the home team again took the lead, this time 3-1. Great defense frustrated the Demons and they surrendered four points. The Ladies extended the lead to 6-3 with a Lori Walkup ace to the back corner of the court.

Durango tied the score but Pagosa responded when Shannon Walkup killed to return serve and Lori Walkup hit cross-court to the line for a point. A Demon hitting error gave the Ladies an 8-6 advantage.

The last chance the home team's crowd had to make some noise and to think a victory was possible occurred when the Demons went on a 2-point run. The Demons pulled even at 8-8.

They would not score again. The noise ceased.

Lori Walkup got a point on a stuff block of Kulovitz and the home team disintegrated. Courtney Steen stuffed Kulovitz for another point and five consecutive Demon hitting errors, with hitters strangled by the Pagosa defensive game plan, led to the 15-8 Pagosa win.

"Our defense was beautiful; defense won the game," said Hamilton. " Our defense took Durango completely out of their game. Our sophomores were doing all of our blocking and they were excited. All our kids were excited. They said Durango thought they would beat us because we didn't have the height. What Durango found out is that this team doesn't get rattled. They don't try to overanalyze the situation; they just play the game. They pick things up and they move along."


Kills: S. Walkup 8, Steen 4, Bliss 4, L. Walkup 4.

Aces: L. Walkup 5, S. Walkup 3.

Digs: S. Walkup 8, Young 8, Bliss 6.

Assists: Young 10, L. Walkup 5.

Solo blocks: Steen 2, L. Walkup 2, Scott 1.

Ladies take Farmington's Scorpions to 5-game limit

By Karl Isberg

Staff writer

It was the second match in a week against an opponent from a big school, this time against Farmington, the New Mexico equivalent of a Colorado Class 5A team.

The Lady Pirate volleyball team didn't win the match, but the young squad came as close as possible and again proved they are exciting and have the potential to go to the heights this season.

In New Mexico, volleyball teams play a best-of-five match. The Scorpions, with a veteran-laden team playing before the home town crowd, managed to eke out a narrow win, taking the contest with a victory in the fifth and deciding game, in a rally-score finale.

The Ladies opened the match with a 15-11 win and the action stayed even from that point until match's end. The Scorpions took the second and third games with identical 15-12 scores, putting the home team on the verge of the win.

This year's Lady Pirates might be relatively young, with three seniors and three sophomores in the starting lineup, but there is no surrender in the mix. Farmington scored seven consecutive points to take what seemed to be an insurmountable lead.

It only seemed to be.

The seven points were all the Scorpions would score in the game, the Lady Pirates storming back to notch a 15-7 victory and force the match to the deciding, fifth game.

It was anyone's game and match. The teams battled back and forth in the frantic rally-score atmosphere where every exchange produces a point.

The teams were tied 9-9, with Pagosa getting two points on ace serves by Alex Rigia, before a raft of errors led to a 15-11 loss for Pagosa.

Once again, the Lady Pirate defense rose to the occasion during the match. Katie Bliss and Shannon Walkup paced the backcourt with 25 and 24 digs respectively. Shannon Walkup led the way on offense with 14 kills during the match. Bliss and Lori Walkup each had 10 kills on the day.

Sophomore Bri Scott was out front in the service game, hitting 26 serves with only one error and serving seven straight points in game 4.

"It was a great match," said Lady Pirate Coach Pennè Hamilton. "Every game was close and either team could have won."

Hamilton complimented the New Mexico team's strong service game and added "our passes on the serve receive were off at times. But, overall, I liked our defense; we had some good blocking going on."

On the offensive side of the net, Hamilton saw things she appreciated. "Three times we put quick sets to the floor and that's the first time the quick offense has worked this year."

The best thing about the match, said the coach, was the additional experience it gives her still developing team.

"This was good experience: a five-game match that gets down to rally scoring. We're not used to that length match or to the pressure of a rally-score format. It's a lot of pressure, with a point scored every exchange. Everything counts. Our kids were tired and they had to go on. That's how you learn."

The match ended a nasty three-match opening segment of the schedule. In two weeks time, the ladies played one of the best 4A teams in Colorado in Cortez, beat 5A Durango in Durango and took a consistently good Farmington program to the limit at Farmington.

Pagosa is ready to begin a defense of its Intermountain League title.

The quest begins tonight as Bayfield, now 6-0 on the season, comes to Pagosa for a match. The Wolverines surprised everyone last season, taking second place at the district tournament and advancing to regional competition.

Tomorrow night, a tough challenge awaits the Ladies as they travel to La Jara for the first of two regular-season matches against Centauri. Coach Brian Loch's Falcons are always in contention for the league crown and the team figures to be as tough this year as any. The gym at La Jara will be loaded with fans expecting a rare win over Pagosa and the atmosphere should be exciting.


Kills: S. Walkup 14, Bliss 10, L. Walkup 10.

Aces: Scott 3, S. Walkup 2, Rigia 2.

Digs: Bliss 25, S. Walkup 24, Steen 17, Young 12.

Assists: L. Walkup 10, Young 7.

Solo blocks: L. Walkup 4, Bliss 1.

Center Vikings dominated by Pirates' big gun offense

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Total domination.

There is no other logical way to describe Pagosa's soccer victory over Center at Golden Peaks Stadium Saturday.

The Pirates outshot their guests 33-12, scored seven goals while Matt Mesker was denying Center's access to his nets, broke up most Viking assaults at midfield, and did it all playing without two regulars sidelined with tendon injuries.

Kyle Sanders, the Pirates' leading scorer and one of the top Class 3A marksmen in the state last year, headlined the shot barrage, recording a hat trick. But four other Pirates got into the scoring frenzy in what coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason described as "a total team effort."

Perhaps the only solace for Center was that they did better against Pagosa than in their last appearance here.

The 7-0 whitewash by the Pirates rivaled the 8-0 shutout they recorded here last year, a game called at halftime by the visitors.

Sanders opened the day's scoring just 1 minute, 56 seconds into the game converting a long header from midfielder Michael Dach who, ultimately, would thrill the crowd time and again with his blocks, intercepts and play development.

After opening the 1-0 lead, the Pirates generally played keep-away at midfield until the 8:46 mark when Sanders again was on the attack but stymied by Center keeper Jorge Hernandez on a breakaway. Left wing Levi Gill captured Hernandez's outlet kick, moved it down the sideline and found Sanders with a crossing lead which was converted to a 2-0 Pagosa advantage at 9:33.

At 11:06 Sanders was stopped again by Hernandez's best effort of the day, an initial block on a pointblank effort and then a second stop on the reverse kick rebound.

Throughout the balance of the first half the Pirates were stymied time and again. At the 14-minute mark, Zeb Gill's header off a corner kick by Sanders was hauled down by Hernandez; at 16:13 Gill's 40-yard ground-hugger was turned aside. Moments later Kyle Frye and Moe Webb were stopped on the same play by Hernandez.

The Pirates carried a 2-0 margin into the second half and less than two minutes in were threatening again with Sanders hitting the crossbar and Levi Gill's rebound try just over the net.

Center's lone concerted effort of the game began at 41:58 and lasted just under two minutes with Mesker recording four saves in that time period.

At 50:57, Zeb Gill converted on a double assist from Brian Hart and Sanders to hike the lead to 3-0. After Hart was stopped twice and Drew Fisher's shot hit the left post, Webb found Sanders at 68:07 breaking from the middle and led him perfectly for a 4-0 lead and a Sanders hat trick.

Just over a minute later, Webb himself got on the scoring list, the sophomore speedster converting a crossing pass from Zeb Gill and giving Pagosa a 5-0 lead. Not yet done, Webb was wide left on a lead from Jordan Kurt-Mason then hit the crossbar on a breakaway after intercepting a Center outlet pass.

At 73:36 it was Hart's turn, taking a drop pass from Webb at 20 yards straight away and beating Hernandez to the upper right of the net. The final marker came when Frye got his first goal of the season on a header lead off a rebound by Zeb Gill.

Under new Colorado High School Activities Association rules, a team leading by seven points must pull a player from the field and give the opponent a man advantage. Coach Kurt-Mason called Peterson off but Center still was unable to threaten until the 78th minute when Mesker made his play of the day.

With an attacker coming from the left and support on the right wing, Mesker stopped the initial blast with a dive to his left, then scrambled to the corner and tipped it away as the support player closed for a possible shot.

Pagosa, with nine playoff points in hand, hosts Ridgway in a 5 p.m. contest Friday then goes on the road for a 1 p.m. game Saturday at Crested Butte.


Scoring: PS-1:56, Sanders, assist Dach; 7:46, Sanders, assist L. Gill; 50:57, Z. Gill, assists Hart, Sanders; 68:07, Sanders, assist Webb; 69:37, Webb, assist Z. Gill; 73:36, Hart, assist Webb; 73:42, Frye, assists Z. Gill, Peterson. Saves: PS-Mesker, 9; Center-Hernandez, 21.


Pirate kickers outshoot Piedra Vista 28-9; lose 3-1

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

fluke: to get, make, do or succeed in by chance or accident; to succeed or fail by chance.

That is the difference between a potential 1-1 tie and a 3-1 loss.

The latter was the result Sept. 5 when the Pagosa Springs Pirates soccer squad went to Farmington to break in Piedra Vista's new facility.

Some facts might make the loss easier to understand.

First, the home team's goalkeeper, Zack Peterson, played probably the game of his life, stopping or deflecting a barrage of Pagosa shots. In fact, the Pirates outshot the homestanding Panthers 29-8 for the game.

Second, the flukes.

The first scoring opportunity of the game came 9 minutes and 23 seconds in when Pagosa's Levi Gill took a crossing pass from Travis Reid on the right wing and ripped a shot that, at the last second, hooked just outside the left post.

Second fluke: At 9:23 Jimmy Karlin, Panther striker and co-captain, kneed out a loose ball at midfield. He raced in on Pagosa keeper Matt Mesker who came out of net and stopped Karlin's blast with his chest. The ball dribbled away from both of them but Karlin, with forward momentum, stumbled to the ball before Mesker could recover and nubbed it forward into the net as he fell.

Less than two minutes later, Pagosa's Kyle Sanders, who was destined to go 1 for 13 for the day, was stopped by Peterson on a blast up the middle. Pagosa's offense kept the ball in the Panther zone and pressed the attack. At 14:59 Sanders had a drop from Brian Hart and hit the crossbar. The ball rebounded to Hart whose shot was stopped four seconds later by Peterson.

In the rest of the half, Hart was stopped twice, Zeb Gill twice, Sanders three more times and Jordan Kurt-Mason's free kick was blocked by a leaping forward.

Piedra Vista took a 1-0 lead into the first break. Pagosa had spotted both of its first two opponents, St. Mary's and Manitou Springs, 1-0 leads and then stormed back to victory so similar expectations were evident.

Third fluke: Just 16 seconds into the second half Caleb Forrest, in net with Mesker taking on offensive duties, stopped Panther Logan Foutz' drive which dribbled right back toward the attacker and bounced off his back and behind Forrest for the lead score.

From there on it was a case of Pagosa firepower doing everything but dent the nets.

Kyle Frye's shot hit the corner of the net just behind the right post and Kurt-Mason's drive up the middle was blocked. Sanders was stopped twice and Zeb Gill once before the Pirates finally broke into the scoring column at 51:56, cutting the lead to one and leaving fans expecting more.

The marker came on a crossing pass from Hart. Sanders took it in stride, dinked it ahead of a defender and beat Peterson to his left.

Just a minute later, Sanders took a header lead from Mesker 13 yards in front of the net and headed a shot that Peterson had to leap high to his left to stop.

But then, at 64:14, Piedra Vista got a legitimate goal on a breakaway by Lindsey Barbeau from the left wing that eluded Forrest to his right.

Nine more Pagosa shots in the balance of the game were either stopped or deflected.

The Pirates played without striker and co-leading scorer Kevin Muirhead who suffered a knee injury in the Manitou Springs game. And the Pirates' Reid was unable to go in the second half after reaggravating a strained muscle in a first half scrum just inside the attack zone.

Summary: Scoring, 9:23, PV, Karlin, unassisted; 40:16, PV, Foutz unassisted; Pagosa, 51:16, Sanders, assisted by Hart; 64:15, PV-Barbeau, unassisted. Shots on goal, Piedra Vista, 8; Pagosa, 29. Saves: Pagosa, Mesker, 1, Forrest, 4; PV-Peterson, 22. Penalties: 47:24, Pagosa-Hart, yellow.


Pirate gridders declaw Cortez Panthers in 37-6 romp

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pagosa lit up the scoreboard with four touchdown runs, a touchdown pass, and scored on a fumble recovery, delighting a hometown crowd that packed Golden Peaks Stadium Friday. Six Pirates crossed into the end zone, helping Pagosa crush the Cortez Panthers 37-6. The final outcome of the game was never in doubt.

"It's always good to get a win," said Sean O'Donnell, in his first season at the Pirate helm. "But I thought we had a lot of miscues, missed assignments, penalties and mistakes. We did a better job of throwing and passing than the week before."

Despite the offensive fireworks and one-sided score, O'Donnell had a complaint.

"We didn't score a touchdown off of a sustained drive," he said. "We only scored once or twice off of designed plays. Improvision is great, but this time of year I'd like to see us march down the field with designed plays."

Pagosa faces back-to-back Panthers this year. Saturday's opponent, Delta, is also called the Panthers. The 4A Delta Panthers invade Golden Peaks Stadium Saturday at 1:30 for the Pirate homecoming. Delta is 0-2 for the season, with losses to Montrose and Monte Vista. Pagosa plays Montrose next week and opens the IML season Sept. 27 at Monte Vista.

Pagosa fans saw several Pirates lining up in new positions last Friday. Jason Schutz moved from defensive end to safety. Coy Ross moved over to the defensive end position from defensive tackle. Cory Hart moved from linebacker to defensive tackle. Brandon Charles moved from corner to linebacker. The new defensive secondary contained Jeremy Caler, Schutz, David Richter, Michael Martinez and Ryan Wendt.

Martinez earned special praise from O'Donnell for his play on Pirate special teams.

"Michael turned in some solid tackles on the kickoffs," O'Donnell said.

The junior running back also scooted through the entire Cortez eleven for a 48-yard touchdown run after O'Donnell cleared the bench late in the final period.

Pagosa elected to kick after winning the opening coin toss. Daniel Aupperle, a 5-foot-4-inch, 125-pound freshman is handling the kicking chores this season. Aupperle started slow, but by the time the game ended had kicked once to the 5-yard line, a couple of times to the 20-yard line, and was getting good height on the ball.

Aupperle was only one for four on extra point tries, but two of the three misses were not his fault, O'Donnell said. "He is a good athlete."

The Panthers put the ball in play on the 28-yard line following Aupperle's kickoff. After a pass from Ronnie Johnson to Mike Rivas gave Cortez a first down, Pagosa's defense dug in forcing the orange and black Panthers to punt. Punter Matt Knisely got a good roll on the ball and Pagosa took over on their 14 yard line.

Things looked dark for Pagosa when a 10-yard penalty pushed them back to the 4 yard line. Senior running back Brandon Charles brought Pirate fans out of their seats when he scooted down the right side of the field for 50 yards and a first down on the Panther 44. David Richter advanced to the Cortez 33 on the next play. Pirate fans were chanting for a touchdown. Instead, disaster struck. Pagosa fumbled a pitch on a veer to the right and Cortez recovered the ball.

Two plays later, Brandon Rosgen covered a Cortez fumble, giving Pagosa a first down on the Cortez 27. Four plays later, Richter slashed into the end zone from the 1-yard line. Aupperle's kick was wide to the right. With 5:59 on the clock, Pagosa had a 6-0 lead.

Jammed by the Pirate defense, Cortez was forced to punt on its next possession. Two plays later, Pirate quarterback David Kern hit Jason Schutz streaking down the right side. The Pirate senior reached the Cortez 36-yard line before being forced out of bounds. Cortez ended Pagosa's drive by picking off Kern's next pass.

On third and 4 from the 23, Pagosa's Ben Marshall gathered in a Cortez fumble and raced into the end zone. A bad snap from center forced holder Kern to run for the extra point, a run that failed. With 2:11 left on the first quarter clock, Pagosa boosted its lead to12-0.

After again stifling Cortez, Pagosa took over on the 50-yard line with 10:42 left in the half. Charles ran for 2, then 17 yards; Richter ran for 11 yards, Kern for 4 yards; Kern passed to Schutz for 2 yards; then Charles started left, cut back against the grain, and raced into the end zone. A run by Charles failed to get the extra point. Pagosa was on top 18-0 with eight minutes remaining in the half.

An interception by Caler ended the next Panther drive. Moments later Kern zigzagged 81 yards down the middle of the field to give Pagosa a 24-0 lead. A pass failed on the extra point try.

With four minutes left in the half, Cortez rode the passing of Johnson and the catching of tight end Rusty Twilley for its only score of the game. An extra point try failed. The first half ended with Pagosa on top 24-6.

Pagosa's only third-period score came on an 18-yard Kern-to-Caler pass. Martinez's touchdown run and the last score of the game came during the final period. Aupperle's extra point kick on the final touchdown was good.

Pagosa rushed 37 times for 382 yards, led by Charles' 196 yards on 16 carries. Pagosa committed four fumbles, losing three. In addition to picking up 95 yards on four carries, Kern completed four of eight passes for 68 yards. The junior quarterback threw one interception. Caler caught two passes for 27 yards, Schutz two passes for 41 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, Pablo Martinez and Rosgen tied for the lead in tackles. Martinez made one tackle and eight assists for a combined total of nine tackles. Rosgen made five tackles and four assists, also for a combined total of nine. Marshal was next with a combined total of eight, followed by Kory Hart with seven and Valdez with six.

Hart and Clayton Mastin each turned in a quarterback sack. Marshall and Hart each recovered fumbles. Charles, Schutz and Caler each intercepted passes.


Pagosa Springs 12 12 6 7 37

Cortez 0 6 0 0 6

Pagosa: Richter 1 run (kick failed). Pagosa: Marshall 10 run fumble recovery (kick failed). Pagosa: Charles 14 run (run failed). Pagosa: Kern 81 run (pass failed). Cortez: Johnson 15 pass to Rivas (pass failed). Pagosa: Kern 18 pass to Caler (kick failed). Pagosa: Martinez 48 run (Aupperle kick).


Pirate golfers win Monte Vista open; Trujillo medalist

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

With a team total of 231, the tournament medalist and leading golfer in Jesse Trujillo, and sparkling support from Garrett Forrest, Pagosa Springs won the Monte Vista Invitational Sept. 4.

Trujillo's 74 on the par 72 layout was the lowest score of the season for Pagosa but he was pushed by Forrest's 76 which was good enough for third place individually. For the team, it was the second win at Monte Vista in the last three years.

Next best for Pagosa was Dan Coggins who fired an 81 to round out the 231 team total.

"It was really neat to see Jesse step up," said Coach Mark Faber. "He'd struggled in his last two tournaments, as had Garrett. But you could see his determination from the opening tee shot at Monte."

As happened the previous week in Alamosa, heavy winds came up during the final two holes, the coach said, and "made it pretty rough for everyone to finish."

"Still," he said, "I was very proud of their determination and their (club) choices in the wind. Each made the right decision."

The squad then traveled to Ridgway Monday for the annual Fairway Pines Invitational and finished in the bottom half of a field of 16 teams with a 258 total.

"The course was in great shape but it was the exact opposite of the Monte Vista layout," the coach said. "At Monte there are fairways laid out side by side and you can see forever. At Fairway you never see another green, tee or fairway from the one you're playing on."

It was a real challenge, something totally different from any course they've played this year, Faber said.

But it's good to play on different layouts like that, he said, to get the experience they'll need as they advance.

As a team, the 258 total included 85s by Forrest and Ty Faber and an 88 by Coggins. Trujillo was one stroke back at 89, but only the top three scores count in the team total.

Today, the coach is taking his squad to Kirtland, N.M., for a scrimmage to keep them sharp for regional action scheduled Sept. 20 in Pueblo. Ten players will make the trip, five from the varsity and five junior varsity squad members.

The team can take four golfers to the regional tournament and it could be the last chance for junior varsity players to force their skills on the coach.

He will pick the tournament finalists next week. The team is currently hoping to play a round on the course the day before regionals so they can see the layout, determine hazards, make club selections and plan for prevailing winds.



Sharon E. Colby

Sharon E. Colby of Pagosa Springs died in her home Monday, Sept. 9, 2002.

She was born March 6, 1942 in Detroit, Mich., the daughter of Joseph and Virginia Elizabeth McGraw Payton.

She moved to Pagosa Springs in 1986 and was an active member of Rotary Club, having recently received the organization's Paul Harris Fellow Award.

A well-known businesswoman in the community, she opened Old Town Gifts in 1987 and later Colby's Cards and Gifts and Christmas in Pagosa. She was a strong supporter of the Pagosa Springs Humane Society.

Mrs. Colby is survived by a daughter, Kimberly A. Colby of Pueblo; sisters Kathy Peterson of Michigan, Shirley Paxton of Texas; and brothers Bob Payton in Michigan and Mike McGraw in Florida.

A memorial service was scheduled at 10 a.m. today in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with the Rev. John Bowe officiating. A lunch was planned after the service at TLC Bed and Breakfast.

Sharon will be greatly missed by her friends, family and fellow Rotarians.

George McCormick

George Leonard McCormick, 92, who owned the Archuleta County ranch now known as Hidden Valley Lake from 1917 into the 1940s, died Aug. 21, 2002, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Born in Durango, he was a rancher in the Pagosa Springs and Brighton areas in Colorado before retiring and moving to Scottsdale in the 1960s.

A Navy veteran, he was a member of the VFW in Scottsdale and worked as a groundskeeper and sanitation engineer for the Scottsdale School District.

The youngest son of Thomas and Anna Regina Leonard McCormick, he was preceded in death by his wives, Della Hatcher and Bea Berg, his parents, brothers Joseph, William, Thomas Stephen and sisters Elizabeth Vorhees, Julia Nelson, Beatrice Schoenberger, Ellen and Maria.

Survivors include numerous nieces and nephews, including Georgia McCormick (wife of the late Leonard) of Phoenix, Ariz.; Joseph of Sandy, Utah; Anna Mary McCormick Hutchens of Carson City, Nev.; Patrick of Prescott, Ariz.; Samuel of Durango; Patricia Turner of Farmington, N.M.; Mary Ellen Schoenberger Vetere of Green River, Utah; Albert Schoenberger of Vernal, Utah; Anna Schoenberger Kontas of Salt Lake City; Alice Schoenbereger Beasco of Price, Utah; and George Schoenberger of Candor, N.C.

Graveside services were held Aug. 23, 2002, in Greenwood Memory Lawn, Scottsdale. Donations may be made to the VFW Post 3513, Honor Guard, 7220 E. Wilshire Drive, Scottsdale AZ 85257.

 Inside The Sun

Proposed change could weaken subdivision rules

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A controversial subdivision regulation change proposed by certain local developers and drafted by an attorney employed by the developers is being reviewed by the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission.

If adopted, the new regulations will allow developers of land in the county to file final subdivision plats and sell lots before completing all improvements.

Instead of posting a bond equal to the cost of the proposed improvements plus completing the improvements before being allowed to file a final plat with the county clerk and recorder, the proposed regulations allow developers only to post the bond.

The big advantage for developers if the new regulations are adopted will be the right to collect money by selling lots much sooner than in the past.

Current county regulations forbid the transfer of title to lots sold in subdivisions until the subdivision final plat is approved by the county commissioners and filed with the county clerk. The same regulations forbid final plat filing until the improvements are completed. Since time is required to complete the improvements, developers have to wait longer before they can sell lots.

In addition, developers are forced to spend money already in hand to complete improvements before receiving money from the sale of lots. Under the proposed regulations, developers can sell lots up front and use the money to complete improvements.

Developers of new subdivisions now accept commitments to purchase lots before filing final subdivisions plats, but cannot issue title until the final plats are filed.

Those developers supporting the proposed change argue that the current system of requiring a bond and completion of improvements constitutes double jeopardy. They say the county would be just as well protected if only a bond was required. They say the additional time required to complete improvements adds unnecessary delay to the development process, often forcing developers to wait through a winter before selling lots. If subdivisions could be completed in one summer, they argue, more sales would take place each year adding to the well being of the local economy.

The change was proposed by Mike Mitchell, managing broker of the Timber Ridge Ranch subdivision located southwest of Pagosa Springs. Attorney Jerry Venn spoke for Timber Ridge at the June 25 county commissioner meeting. The same proposal has been made in past years. Venn later presented a draft of the proposed changes to county planning staff.

Following the meeting, county commissioners asked the county planning staff to develop the proposed changes for revue by county planning staff, the planning commission and the county commissioners.

"This was not a recommendation of this office," said Greg Comstock, the director of county development. "We have some concerns. If this is adopted, the county will be more exposed. The current regulations are more stringent. This is a more relaxed approach. This method is used by a number of counties. There is more risk. If lots are sold before the improvements are complete, the county could be in a position of having to collect the bond."

The controversy swirling around this issue revolves around how much protection is necessary to ensure purchasers of property in subdivisions that improvements such as streets, utilities and other subdivision requirements will be completed.

Some counties use the rules currently in force in Archuleta County; other counties use the proposed rules, according to Mary Weiss, the county attorney.

"I'm not comfortable with the proposed change," Weiss said. "It does not provide the most absolute protection available."

Under the proposed new rules, things could happen to make it difficult to ensure improvements are completed, according to Weiss. Examples of things that could happen are that a bonding company could go bankrupt, as happened in connection with at least one county road contract. Establishment of a proper bond amount can also be difficult, Weiss said. That is because the cost of the improvements at the time the bond is written might be far less than the cost five or 10 years later when the bond is called.

Counties relying solely on bonds must be diligent in staying on top of the bonds, Weiss said. If a bond has a two-year limit and improvements are not completed within the two years, the bond must be called or renewed at the end of two years at the discretion of the county.

Part of the problem in connection with the lawsuit involving road completion at Fairfield Pagosa was that bonds expired, improvements were not completed and no new or extended bonds were in place. Consequently, the county lost leverage to enforce completion of the improvements.

Ultimately, the county commissioners must choose to retain the existing rules or change them.

"Throughout my tenure in this office I have opposed changing the current requirements," said Bill Downey, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "I think the rules we have now are very workable in protecting the county. I am open to listening to another approach if they can convince me it is better."

"I have mixed ideas," said Commissioner Gene Crabtree. "Today's developers are more conscientious and have more to lose than in years past. My question is, if they put up a bond that they will do the work, if they die or default, do we as a county have the right to go onto private land to complete the work? We have to trust in a developer with a good track record. If he ducks out or gets killed, do we have a right to go on private property to finish the work? We'll have to pass that question to our attorney."

"Filing a plat without completing the improvements is like buying a new car without the front seats," said Bob Lynch, vice president of the planning commission.

Christian inspiration coming at weekend Women's Retreat

The upcoming Christian Women's Retreat in Pagosa Springs promises to be restful, inspiring, refreshing and challenging.

Lois Dick, a widow with years of involvement in Exchanged Life ministries, will be the speaker. She has spoken on different topics in Pagosa before and has always been well received. She is a former registered nurse who has three children and several grandchildren.

Theme for the retreat is "Awesomness of God" which will include studying His marvelous attributes as revealed by scripture and elucidated by Lois.

Hosted once again by Sonlight Camp, the ladies will be treated to exciting new menus, lots of fellowship, leisure time, worship and stimulating education.

Beginning at 5 p.m. Friday and ending at noon Sunday, the retreat will cost $85. As usual, all food, educational material and lodging is included. Registration can be accomplished by picking up a brochure at a local church or calling Sue Ashcraft at 883-5547 or 883-4321.

Prompt registration is advised as last year the event was sold out and unable to accommodate everyone on the waiting list.

The Circle of Friends looks forward to a fine weekend together and eagerly awaits your arrival.

Sixth grade 'bubble' forces board to add teacher

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

First-week enrollment in Pagosa Springs schools shows an increase of 39 students over the total for the first week last year, with Oct. 1 the date when average daily attendance for state funding will be determined.

Initially, the board of education learned Tuesday, most class sizes appear stable, with the one exception being a "bubble" at the intermediate school where a sudden influx of sixth graders hiked class size to 136.

To deal with that surprise, the board approved an administration recommendation to add a one-year sixth-grade teaching position. Current Title I teacher Trish Davis will be moved to the position and the district will advertise for a replacement for her. Principal Mark DeVoti said the change should be in place by Monday.

The current junior class is the largest in the district, with 146 registered. The eighth grade is next largest with 143 students. Largest class in the elementary school is the second grade, with 116 enrolled.

The initial enrollment, by number in class and class size per teacher, includes:

In the elementary school (568 enrolled), kindergarten, 63.5 and 21.2; first grade, 101 and 18.4; second grade, 116 and 21.1; third grade, 110 and 20; fourth grade, 114 and 20.7.

In the intermediate school (258 enrolled), fifth grade, 100 and 20; sixth, 136 and 22.7, and School Within a School, 22 and 22.

In the junior high school (259 enrolled), seventh grade, 116 and 19.3; eighth grade, 143 and 23.8.

At the high school (519 enrolled), class size per teacher was determined for the entire school, and not by grade, at 20.8. Enrollment includes 132 freshmen, 127 sophomores, 146 juniors and 114 seniors.

That means a total initial school enrollment of 1,604, compared to 1,565 at the beginning of the year in 2001.

In conjunction with the class staffing, the board made a number of personnel moves in addition to the sixth grade teaching position.

Faith Richardson was approved as a sign language interpreter for the deaf; Lisa Kraetsch was added as a Private School Title 1 teacher aide; Hannah Bachtel was named a technology assistant; and several coaching positions were filled, including Mike Kraetsch as junior high football coach, Ruby Honan as junior high assistant volleyball coach, Elizabeth Honan as junior high assistant basketball coach, Curtis Maberry as junior high B team basketball coach, Mike Blum as high school assistant football coach, and Rick Autry, Jeff Ballew and Al Abeyta as high school volunteer football coaches.

Superintendent Duane Noggle told the board the first week of classes "went smoothly and students, teachers and administrators alike seemed to be excited, showed upbeat attitudes, and were raring to go."

At the same time, the board was advised that $11,862 in Hughes Foundation grants have been approved for special projects this school year. Included were $800 to Kristen Reinhardt and Kathy Carter for "Keep the Books" program; $1,166 to Deborah Reynolds for "Reading with Sails" program; $500 to Gloria Hohrein and Pat Everett for an independent living skills program; $3,200 to Pagosa Education Center for computers; $1,800 to Summit Christian Academy for computers; $1,125 to Brent Doan for computer programs; $1,371 to Kate Lister for Spalding teacher training and an additional $1,500 for an symbol imagery workshop; and $400 to Cindy Jackson for an after-school reading enrichment program at Archuleta County Education Center.


Judges Denvir, Dickenson stand for retention in election

Two area judges are standing for retention in the Nov. 5 general election - Archuleta County Court Judge James Denvir and Sixth Judicial District Court Judge David Dickenson.

To help voters make informed decisions, the statistical results of independent judicial performance surveys conducted for each of the 104 judges on ballots statewide, including Denvir and Dickenson, are available on the Internet.

This data was produced from surveys mailed to over 55,000 court patrons, including attorneys, litigants, jurors, crime victims, law enforcement personnel, social services caseworkers, probation officers and court personnel. The average response rate was 46 percent. Each judge received a letter grade for a series of questions and these results are then compared with other county and district judges across the state

Other judicial performance evaluation information included an interview with the judge and a self-evaluation completed by the judge. Each judge was also given a recommendation of "retain," "do not retain," or "no opinion" by one of the 22 state and district judicial performance commissions. These commissions could consider public hearings, courtroom observation, caseload statistics and document information submitted from interested parties when making their decision.

The surveys can be found online at or A copy of the survey on Judge Denvir is also available for review at the Sisson Library for those who do not have access to a computer.


Injured cyclist still critical

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Mark Tully, the Pagosa motorcyclist injured in a crash Aug. 31 on the east side of Yellow Jacket pass, remains in critical condition at St. Anthony's Central Hospital in Denver.

According to Colorado State Patrol reports, Tully, 54, was driving a 1992 Harley-Davidson eastbound on U.S. 160 when he lost control on a curve. The motorcycle ran off the south side of the roadway, hit a delineator post, traveled down an embankment, over a ledge and crashed into some thick bushes. Tully was thrown from the motorcycle.

Representatives from the hospital said Tully remained in the intensive care unit as of Sept. 10.


'Homeless' definition has school officials pondering state's intent

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

With Colorado Association of School Board regulations demanding special treatment for the homeless, the definition of the word is causing some concern in local schools.

Superintendent Duane Noggle told the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint that a special meeting on state-recommended changes will be held later this week.

In the meantime, he said Tuesday, "You'd be surprised at what they consider homeless to mean. For example, if two families reside in the same household, one is considered to be homeless. If a family lives in an RV park, it also is considered homeless."

The workshop, he said, might help administrators determine what the state has in mind and how to deal with it.

At the same time, he said, "We have been lobbying CASB, other professional organizations and our congressmen for some solution to the inequity in special education funding. A 40-percent recovery level has been designated for such services but they're reimbursing at only 17 percent."

He said the district has received a letter from Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell supporting its position and that it will be discussed at the state board's regional meeting for southwest Colorado Sept. 23.

In other action Tuesday, the board went through a first reading of Section J of revised district policy, making a number of changes in the code which deals with student rights, discipline and behavior codes.

Added to the manual, because it is current policy, is allowing students on activity buses to have food and drink so long as it is not in glass containers. Similar proposals for allowing the substances on regular buses were discounted.

Also added was a section designating student publications as a public forum allowing free speech, with some guidelines, such as limiting profane or vulgar language.

Included, again because it is current policy, was a requirement that all drug and alcohol first offenses must be reported to local police. The state board recommended reporting only second offenses and those thereafter.

Adopted was a new policy on use of pagers and cell phones, limiting their use to areas outside school buildings, except for those carried for medical reasons. In conjunction, the board agreed it should have as a part of the policy manual a measure giving students a complaint, concerns and grievance procedure.

Included is a ban on corporal punishment, again a policy already in use but not spelled out in operations manuals.

Given the option to name a hearing officer for suspension or expulsion actions, with right of appeal to the board, the board voted to retain its current system of board hearings for all such actions.

Added to the code was a suicide prevention and intervention procedure to be incorporated as part of the district's emergency plan enacted last year.

Finally, the board approved a change order for the athletic field reconstruction program, delaying until spring the planned hydra-seeding project and incorporating a new press box, ticket booth and storage structure into specifications for bidding to take place next month on the final phase of the contract. Included will be addition of another layer of asphalt on the new track and installation of a professional track surface.

The board hopes by seeking bids in the fall for a spring project, it will get costs based on current levels rather than post-new year figures.


Fourteen families represented by active military personnel get Blue Star flags

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Fourteen Pagosa area families, represented by 17 persons currently on active duty in American military units, received Blue Star flags Wednesday evening in ceremonies conducted by Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 at Pagosa Springs High School.

The presentation was held in conjunction with the Spirit of America program offered by the Mountain Harmony Women's Barbershop Chorus.

The Legion presentations were designed to cite the families providing the personnel to fight the War Against Terrorism engendered by the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on bastions of American identity - the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Virginia - and the resultant deaths of thousands of innocent citizens in those two locations and at a rural Pennsylvania site where a hijacked airliner crashed.

The flags have a blue star on a white field sewn to a red banner and are intended for display in a window to indicate a family represented by a military member.

The service personnel and families honored were:

Roger Lord, son of John and the late Bonnie Lord of Pagosa Springs has received notification of his promotion to Commander, having advanced through the enlisted Navy ranks in the Submarine Corps. A 1979 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, he served in Kuwait in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm and has been deployed as a Contingency Contract Officer to the Middle East since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 at a strategic base in the Persian Gulf in direct support of operations at Kandahar Airport in Afghanistan.

Robert Gomez, son of James and Jeanette Gomez of Pagosa Springs, is an Army specialist serving with 101st Airborne home-based at Ft. Campbell, Ky. He is a 1999 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.

Shawna Snarr, daughter of Greg and Cynthia Snarr of Pagosa Springs is serving with the U.S. Army in Germany. A 1997 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, Shawna notified her parents Tuesday that her unit had been put on full high alert.

Bret Lewis Kahn, son of Gordon and Pat Kahn of Pagosa Springs is a Navy electrician's mate 3rd class and is now at Advanced Nuclear Power School in Goose Creek, S.C. He is a 2000 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.

Christopher Mark Wegner, son of Raymond and Patsy Wegner of Pagosa Springs, is an Air Force captain serving at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The 1987 Pagosa Springs High School graduate is in line for promotion to major.

CW2 Daniel B. Howe II, U.S. Army, son of Cdr. And Mrs. Dan Howe (USN, Ret.) of Pagosa Springs is serving as flight instructor at Ft. Rucker, Ala. Howe flies Apache helicopters and just returned from Korea. He is a third generation Navy officer, his grandfather having served in World War II and his father as an aircraft carrier aviator.

Illinois National Guard Sgt. Joshua Hoffmann, son and stepson of Debra and Robert Brumett of Pagosa Springs just returned from active duty in Europe as part of "Operation Enduring Freedom." Assigned now to C Battery 2, 122nd Field Artillery, he also served in 123rd Military Police unit.

Dalin L. Smith, chief petty officer, U.S. Navy, serving in South Korea presently, is the son of Bruce and Becky Smith of Pagosa Springs. His brother, Duane L. Smith, is crew chief for a KC-l35 with the U.S. Air Force now in the Middle East. The Smiths, however, don't hold the local record.

Jim and Marion Boyle of Pagosa Springs have his son and her two sons serving in the U.S. Army. Major Christopher Boyle is now an instructor at Staff and Command College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., recently transferred from the teaching staff at West Point. Spec. 4 Charles Fogarty recently returned from service in Germany and is with the 1st Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood, Texas. His brother, Timothy Fogarty, who recently returned from duty in Korea and is with the 4th Infantry, joins him there.

Robert Cairns, son of Ronald and Sharon Cairns of Pagosa Springs, is serving with the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vincent, home-ported in Bremerton, Wash.

Fred Beach, son of Fred and Carolyn Beach of Pagosa Springs is a Navy Commander, a 20-year veteran, serving in Washington, D.C. and was there on 9/11.

Marine Sgt. James M. Hoyle, son and stepson of Rebecca Kish and Cdr. Steven Kish (USN, Ret.) of Pagosa Springs is flying with the "Red Lions" a heavy Marine helicopter squadron stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

Sara Joy, daughter of the David Joys of Pagosa Springs, is serving with U.S. Army communications-intelligence near Seoul, South Korea.

James Kirkham, son of Jim and Dot Kirkham of Pagosa Springs is serving with the Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment stationed at Ft. Meyer, Va. A graduate of Pagosa Springs High School in 2000, he was one of those who worked picking up body parts at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.


Support group asking help in dealing with equine emergency

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

There is a growing equine emergency in Archuleta County, one that has left many animals starving and near death.

LASSO, for Large Animal Support Southwest Organization, is attempting to stem the tide and has 13 such animals under care in various locations around the county, attempting to feed and nurse them back to health. Some of the animals in their care were impounded by the Archuleta County sheriff's office.

The problem is growing as the economy falters, people are unable to afford feed for their horses and some turn them out to roam at will in search of their own nourishment.

LASSO, a not-for-profit organization with 501-C (3) status is looking for help in securing a source of hay and feed for the horses and financial help in paying for the shipment of that feed and for medical care for the animals.

A single bale of hay, if it can be found, is going for $7.50 to $9 according to Lynn Rogers, treasurer of the support organization. Most of the members have animals of their own to feed, she said, and it has been hard to find sources.

Rogers and several others contracted with a Texas farmer for coastal hay and paid in advance last spring by certified check. The first crop of hay was destroyed by rain. A second crop also was damaged and they received only half the load they contracted for. Much of it turned out to be mud soaked and inedible for the horses. Some of the hay also had infestation of blister beetles that are deadly to horses.

The group located a potential hay source in Wisconsin and while the price is within range, the group would have to pay shipping charges, too.

The fledgling support group, Rogers said, "is just beginning and we haven't the financial background to do all that needs to be done on our own."

She pointed out it is normal for horse owners to buy in summer so their purchases will get them and their animals through the winter. "But it has been a summer where there are no sources because of the drought throughout the entire region," she said, "and we need to appeal for the help of the public in caring for these animals."

She showed one such horse, a 7-year-old that veterinarians have told them is "about 300 pounds underweight," needs dental work and the help of a farrier. All that adds to the cost of saving the animal's life, but the organization is dedicated to the task.

Boosting the tab even more is the need to make sure the horses in custody have all the required shots and are wormed, adding up to $150 per animal to the rescue cost.

Even dealers, she said, are having trouble finding quality hay for horses so it is a huge task for a beginning support organization to find the amount needed.

The group, in addition to hay sources, needs financial support and volunteers to help clean barns and stalls and walk horses on ranches where the animals are being cared for. "The more care we can give, the better their chances of recovery," she said.

The animals are initially fed slowly because they are emaciated and starving. "You can't overfeed or they will bloat and die," she said. As they improve, the feeding schedule is changed to once every four hours in a move to control consumption until they are ready to feed on their own schedule.

Anyone wishing to make a donation of time or financial aid can call Rogers at 264-2264 or Diane Hitchcox at 264-0095.

Donations can be mailed to LASSO at 111 Pineview Court, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

They may also be sent to a special account at Bank of the San Juans, designated for use of LASSO only. Donations in either form are tax deductible and receipts will be issued for tax purposes.

Rogers said the 13 horses being cared for now may be just the tip of the iceberg. "We've heard there may be many more in the near future," she said. "That means more cost to save animals endangered through no fault of their own."


Sheriff's deputies impound starving horses

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

About a dozen horses were impounded by the Archuleta County Sheriff's Office Saturday after a veterinarian reported evidence of neglect.

According to sheriff's department reports, the horses were emaciated, little or no water was available in the pens and barbed wire lay exposed in several places where the horses could be injured. The veterinarian determined several of the animals were on the verge of death or otherwise in need of assistance and intervention was warranted.

As a result, the horses were taken into protective custody by the sheriff's office and are being cared for by Large Animal Support Southwestern Slope, a local nonprofit organization that works to rescue abused or neglected animals. They are currently under quarantine.

Archuleta County Sheriff's Captain Bob Grandchamp said the case remains under investigation. Charges against the property owner are being considered, but have not been filed yet. Under state law, the fate of the horses will be determined in a hearing before a judge. The hearing date had not been set as of Tuesday morning.


County agrees to relax fire restrictions

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

County fire restrictions have been relaxed a notch by the Archuleta County commissioners.

The amendment to county fire restrictions allows charcoal to be used outdoors at residences. Other county restrictions remain in place, as does the pre-evacuation alert.

Permission to use charcoal at family residences, granted at the Tuesday meeting of county commissioners meeting, was based on a recommendation supplied by Sheriff Tom Richards and Warren Grams, chief of the Pagosa Area Fire Protection District.

"We've received some moisture recently, the humidity is higher, and temperatures are lower," Grams said. "We can relax enough to allow burning charcoal at residences. We need to keep our other restrictions in place for the time being. I'd advise keeping a water hose or fire extinguisher nearby if you use the charcoal barbecue."

In another action Tuesday, the commissioners approved the expenditure of $13,000 for installation of a new telephone system in the county courthouse. Finance Director Cathie Wilson, who did the leg work leading up to configuration of the proposed new system, estimates the change will save the county thousands of dollars.

"Our total expenditures to Century Tel for 2001 were $89,187," Wilson said. "With this change the cost of installation and operation for 2002/2003 will be $30,491 giving us a first year savings of $58,695.87."

Regular phone numbers now listed in directories for the courthouse will not change, Wilson said. The change will involve almost no down time. A PIN system will be installed to control long distance telephone calls.

The commissioners conducted the following additional business Tuesday:

- In anticipation of hunting season, fees are being waived for emptying Dumpsters filled with refuse collected from hunters at various locations around the county. The hunter trash collection program is operated by the San Juan Mountains Association in connection with their Hunter Information Program. The county waives landfill dump fees for this program on an annual basis.

- A public hearing was conducted concerning amendment and application for a Community Development Block Grant to be administered by Region 9. This program is implemented annually in the five-county Region 9 service area. This year's program will be changed by the addition of permission to spend some of the money for feasibility and planning studies. The money is supplied by the federal HUD program through the state of Colorado. About $580,000 is being sought, of which $92,800 is used for administration. La Plata County acts as the lead county in this program. No one from the public came specifically for the public hearing.

- Tabled was a proposal to enter an agreement involving the Loma Linda Metropolitan District, developer Fred Schmidt and the county for completion of certain roads in the development using money from Schmidt and the road district along with labor and materials furnished by the county.

- Uncollectible personal property taxes due from 1977 through 2000 on 16 mobile homes were waived by the commissioners. As far as the county knows, the mobile homes no longer exist.

- $1,000 was allotted for indigent cremation costs. This allocation was for a former resident cremated by Hood Mortuary of Durango. In addition to providing the current expense, the commissioners vowed to set aside money in future budgets for the same purpose.

- A deed of trust for Lot 8, Block 57 in town was released. The lot was purchased with time payments.

- The commissioners approved spending $250 for construction of shelves in the elections closet of the courthouse. The money will be spent for shelf materials. Work will be done by the county maintenance staff.

- The commissioners agreed to allow advertising on county operated transit buses. An annual income of about $13,000 is anticipated.

- A $4,800 lease of space in the county agricultural building housing Natural Resource Conservation Services offices was renewed.

- County administrators were given permission to adapt maintenance on county roads to match shifting school bus routes.

- Final plat approval was given the replat of Pagosa Meadows Unit 4, Lots 306 and 307. Final Plat approval was also granted the Powderhorn Subdivision located on North Pagosa Blvd. Action was postponed on a conditional use permit sought by Alpine Lakes.


Chimney Rock fall equinox program set

A special fall equinox sunrise program will be presented at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area Sept. 22.

The program will include a short hike to an archaeological site that may have been used for equinox observations by Chimney Rock inhabitants 900 years ago. Glenn Raby of the U.S. Forest Service will give the presentation on the ancient astronomy used at the site as participants watch the sunrise.

Space is limited for this program. Advance reservations are required and must be pre-paid. The cost is $7.50 per person. To make reservations, call 883-5359 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Full Moon Program is sponsored by the Chimney Rick Interpretive Program of the Pagosa Springs Chapter of the San Juan Mountains Association. The mission of the association is to enhance personal and community stewardship of natural, cultural and heritage resources on public and other lands in Southwest Colorado through interpretation, information, education and participation.


Unjust war

Dear Editor:

I am appalled at President Bush's intent to wage war on Iraq. Stating that we must be pre-emptive because Saddam Hussein has the potential for weapons of mass destruction is like stating that I can kill my neighbor because he might harm me next month or five years from now. Shame on us.

Another reality is that Iraqi missiles could not possibly reach the United States, but might strike Israel, which has 200 nuclear warheads and intermediate range missiles. I cannot imagine the consequences of a real nuclear war in the Middle East.

It is time for all Americans who feel like I do - that we are becoming the villains rather than the defenders of democracy - to speak their minds to their elected officials. Please do not let America pursue another unjust war!

Barbara Blackburn

Water worries

Dear Editor,

If we only have 168 days of water left as was reported in the paper, why in the world are we still being allowed to water trees, shrubs and flowers? I see green lawns as I drive throughout the greater Pagosa area. Why? Isn't drinking water more important? Just asking.


Bobbie Carruth

Ditch dumping

Dear Editor:

It seems to be standard practice for cement trucks to dump their mixer excess in the nearest ditch or along the nearest roadside after pouring a foundation, etc. At least that is the case in the Pagosa Lakes area. Look along the west side of Talisman Drive to see many hardened cement piles. The latest offender is the company that poured the new Fairfield tennis courts. This travesty has resulted in several cement piles along the west side of Pinon Causeway near Village Drive. I called this to the attention of an employee at the Fairfield activities office over two months ago. He said he would pass my complaint on to Fairfield. As yet, nothing has been done.

I have also e-mailed my complaint to PLPOA; the problem has never been addressed. The new rules and regulations of PLPOA, dated Sept. 1, make no mention of the problem. Apparently no one cares enough to do anything about it. The solution is simple: require all contractors to post a "clean up" bond. Money in the fund would be used to clean up dumped cement; if contractors warn the cement companies against dumping and they comply, then contractors could get their money back after a period of time. My guess is that the practice would come to a screeching halt; contractors would find a suitable place for the dumping.

Another annoying problem. When the county paved Pinon Causeway a couple years ago with a "chip coat," far too much loose gravel or "chips" was laid down. The excess is all over the roadside and has spilled down the grass into the ditches. Mower machine blades probably fling this stuff everywhere. Couldn't the excess gravel have been collected at the time the paving was done? Apparently no one was concerned enough to do anything.

Are these problems typical of "business as usual" in Pagosa"?

David L. (Larry) Dunn

Lost dogs return

Dear Editor:

On August 13, 2002, as a result of a hiking accident on a trail above the Upper Blanco Basin, I lost my three labs. My family and I want to thank everyone in the Pagosa area who helped us relative to trying to find our dogs.

We felt like everyone we talked to was genuinely concerned and went above and beyond the necessary in trying to be helpful. The good news is that, incredibly, after the labs were 18 days alone in the wilderness, a hiker found two of the dogs, quite hungry but otherwise OK and they are now back home.

Thanks again.

The Norris family,

Fort Worth, Texas

High expectations

Dear Editor:

Congratulations to Matt Ford for caring about your hometown, Pagosa Springs, showing great character by standing up for what you believe.

I also read the article on the school district vision statement with the same sense of wonder, but I did not take the time to write about it, even though I know from experience how important "expectations" are. Now, Matt has inspired me.

As a teacher and doctor of psychology, I have seen how important expectations or lack of expectations are in the development and success of both children and adults. Let me share a few of my many experiences on the importance of expectation.

1. In the '70s as a novice teacher in an inner city, bilingual (Spanish/English) elementary school program I came to my new assignment full of enthusiasm and new-fangled ideas, popular at the time, such as open classrooms, values clarification, self-esteem exercises. Fortunately, my enthusiasm was appreciated by two veteran teachers, intelligent and dedicated Hispanic and African American women who shared their experience that success raises self-esteem and it was our responsibility to expect students to succeed, then equip them with the tools to do so. Our students' standardized test scores increased 20 percent that year. We were proud of our students; they knew it and were proud, too.

2. During graduate school, I taught in an institution for juvenile delinquents. The majority of the staff came to work each day, expecting young boys to be failures forever and it was their job to remind them what bad boys they were. Fortunately, I found a mentor who focused on a philosophy of high expectations. We developed a "boot camp" program and watched some young people transform from repetitive failures to successes who went to the military or college.

3. As a psychologist, I have repeatedly seen how negative expectations detrimentally impact lives and cause years of pain for many people. Children with learning and developmental disabilities, adults who, as children internalized the hurtful words and actions of the grown-ups in their lives, and our often forgotten parents and grandparents who are moved to nursing homes, have all suffered from the effect of negative expectations and have found increased happiness and success with positive expectations, a positive environment and the tools to improve.

In the September 2002 issue of the Monitor on Psychology the importance of expectation was emphasized in three articles. The first, on the White House Conference on Character and Community featured research on fostering children's ethical and moral development. William Damon summarized his research stating, "good character is promoted when adults set high expectations for children."

Joshua Aronson, researched stereotypes and negative expectations by teachers of Hispanic and African-American children and found that, "racial and sex stereotypes and teacher (negative) expectations strongly - and negatively - influence how children perform in school." Finally, Robert Sternberg wrote about the most important teachers in his life. In grade school he did poorly on a group IQ test, "and as result I was expected to be a poor student. Mrs. Alexa, who expected much more of me, pulled me out of my gently rolling descent and helped me transform into an A student."

"Expect every school, every classroom and every student to achieve without exception or excuse." By expecting teachers, parents and the community to support and model success, our children will achieve.

Deborah Parker

Regulatory woes

Dear Editor:

Today, there are at least 113 federal regulatory agencies passing laws they call rules and regulations. These rules and regulations affect everything the American people do. Their hidden costs are more than all other federal taxes combined.

According to Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., "federal regulations cost the American people about $854 billion annually." That amounts to a whopping average of $7,490 per taxpayer.

Regulatory agencies, unelected and mostly unaccountable to voters, wrote 4,132 rules (laws) in fiscal 2001. In comparison, Congress wrote a little over 100. Not one of us, nor our elected government representatives, voted for even one of those rules. That is not just taxation without representation, it's worse; it's government without representation.

The very first sentence of the body of our Constitution tells us that Congress shall make all law. Yet Congress allows the regulatory agencies to exist and function autonomously. Congress knows this. Evidently, they just do not care. Time we tell them.

Kim Rogalin


Cutting the fat

Dear Editor:

Ralph Goulds' letter to the SUN of Sept. 5 might have been captioned "Running Scared."


Just maybe our three commissioners and the county manager have finally realized it's high time they start holding someone accountable for the millions of dollars the local taxpayer has religiously pumped into the airport over the years for a few, and absolutely no one ever asking some pointed questions.

Now, the taxpayer of Archuleta County just might remove the airport authority board's "unlimited dollars" checkbook that they've managed to retain for too many years. Just that possibility indicates someone is thinking.

Mr. Goulds' letter states, "The airport authority was created and exists to provide county commissioners with advice and information concerning the most efficient management of the county's airport assets." Well, then I guess it's overdue for disintegration of the airport board since it has been nothing but a total failure in efficient management of airport assets advice.

Just once, show the taxpayer that you can "pave your own way." Then we can sit down and talk about taxpayer dollar utilization - but never for pork. Until that happens, and until you have securely attached a tailhook on spending, don't even try to baffle the folks who pay the bills for their airport to operate in this county with more airport authority board minutes.

Goulds also mentions that there are some people who are contemplating leaving the gorgeous skies of "Paradise" should there be no more improvements at the airport. That's O.K. I'm sure the Durango airport would be a facility that is more to their runway length liking - so move. And I seriously doubt there will be many who will be terribly grieved at their expeditious exodus.

There are some definite positives with those departures; it will help reduce overflying, take-off, and landing noise. Maybe we'll be able to retain some sense of local decibel serenity in "Paradise" - what's left of it.

There is a place for a busy aerodrome to handle 60,000-pound aircraft; it is not in Pagosa Springs. And you absolutely do not need an accumulation of hyped airport board aviation expertise to figure that one out. The only aviation "right stuff" gray matter requirement is a little hometown common sense.

The public meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 concerning dissolution of the airport board should prove to be an eye opener in more ways than one. Especially this close to a county commissioner election. Voters will be paying close attention to the outcome.

Will the "Three Amigos'" settle this dilemma with crushed rock and concrete? Time will tell.

Jim Sawicki


A free press

Sept. 17 marks an auspicious anniversary: on that date in 1787, the U.S. Constitution was framed. Incorporated into the document were Amendments 1-10, our Bill of Rights. We Americans love to tout the Constitution, citing amendments that favor our purposes - principles that shape our behavior as citizens of the country. It is a joy to do so.

One of the oft-cited amendments is the First Amendment, in which is guaranteed our freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the freedom of the press.

Now, as much or more than ever, with pressures on our nation from aggressive enemies and domestic decisions at all levels pending that will determine our course, our freedoms are precious. The existence of an uninhibited press is a freedom we should respect, and demand. And we should demand its companion: open government.

The press must be free wherever it functions - in our small town as much as in the great cities - in the form of newspapers and broadcast media. There can be little or no censorship and control of the facts by government if a free society is to survive.

Many elected officials prefer minimal intrusion in their business; they regard the need of constituents for information as a nuisance and an obstacle. This creates suspicion and distrust and proceeds from faulty judgement, since a clear understanding of issues and events provides a greater base for support and appreciation of officials as they undertake their work. The citizens of the nation, of our state, of our local community, must have access to the workings of their government in order to have confidence in that government.

A free press works as part of a system of checks and balances that fights for open government, to keep control in the hands of the people.

The press is the eyes and ears of the people; most citizens do not have the time to attend the many meetings at which officials debate issues and come to decisions. It is the task of a newspaper or broadcast media to do the work for them. It is also the job of the press to demand an end to closed meetings and to encourage open debate. It is the job of a responsible press to demand that most if not all the information available to elected representatives, and most if not all of their proceedings, be brought into the full light of day. Few things should be hidden from the people by their government.

We must expect that open government at all levels be the rule of the day. We must continually demand that records be open to the press and public, that the facts and figures that lead to the decisions that affect our lives be available for all to absorb and assess.

We can only benefit from this openness; our ability to govern ourselves grows from the soil of unimpeded access to the truth.

On the anniversary of the framing of our Constitution, we have an opportunity to reflect on the importance of our right to information, on the right of the press to obtain that information for us, and on the current state of our rights in general. Our rights must be protected; they must be strengthened. Information is the basis of our strength. In a democratic society, with government supported by the hard earned tax dollars of the citizen, there is little if anything we should not know.

Karl Isberg


90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 13, 1912

Please note that we are publishing each week from this date three columns of general news in Spanish, an innovation which we believe our Spanish-American subscribers will appreciate.

E.E. Friend, town marshal, was suspended by the town board at Monday evening's meeting and George Wasson appointed in his place.

After supper for a little quiet, comfortable, restful recreation drop into the Star Theatre. All the latest films.

The banner barn for Archuleta County now being erected by Dave Hersch on his ranch near town is rapidly nearing completion under the supervision of Contractor Shannon.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 16, 1927

The Forest Service cable bridge across the Piedra River at Sheep Creek has been completed, while work has been discontinued for the season on the bridge at First Creek.

Several changes have taken place the past week at the Hersch Merc. Co. store. Saturday Kenneth Hill and Mrs. Hazel Longheed severed their connection with the firm and on Monday the resignations of Mr. and Mrs. George Alley became effective. Miss Julia Patterson has since been added to the sales force, while Ralph Ludlum, the new bookkeeper arrived last week.

The Liberty Theatre has been unable to secure the Dempsey-Sharkey fight pictures for Sept. 10 and 21 as scheduled, but the same will be shown later.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 12, 1952

The start of school last week found a total of 575 students enrolled in District Fifty schools. This figure represents nearly a twenty percent increase over the registration at the start of school last year. The schools all have a full staff of teachers and have settled into the routine for the year and the high school football team has won its first game against Chama.

Preparations are already underway by many big game hunters for the coming hunting season which opens October 15. Game officials in this area predict a plentiful supply of game for the sportsmen, with many of the game department men saying that game of all kinds is more plentiful here this year than last.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 8, 1977

Town police say that the new dog bastille is ready to receive guests and that dogs running at large will be picked up and taken to the pound. Owners will have to pay a penalty, plus boarding costs to get their pets our of hock.

Weather continues to be mild here, with occasional afternoon and evening showers. There has been no killing frost to date and the days have been warm. Nights have been cool and crisp, fishing is good when the water isn't muddy, and tourist travel has declined markedly.

School enrollment continues to increase. Wednesday of this week there were 890 students enrolled in the local schools This is a again of 47 over the same time last year.


 Community News
Pagosa Lakes News

Deadline nears for Rotary Exchange applications

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is looking for applicants to be members of the upcoming Group Study Exchange Team. It will travel to Argentina in mid-April 2003 for a monthlong tour.

Applicants must be between the ages of 25 and 40, and be employed full time in the community, with a minimum of two years in a business and profession. In all, four individuals will be selected to represent Rotary District 5470, which covers 52 Rotary clubs in southern Colorado.

The purpose of the exchange is to promote international understanding and good will through the person-to-person contact. While visiting Argentina, team members will meet their professional counterparts and visit industrial, scenic, cultural and historical sites. Team members stay in the homes of local Rotarians. The Rotary International Foundation provides round-trip air transportation to Argentina; local Rotarians in Argentina provide meals, lodging and ground transportation. Team members are responsible for personal and incidental expenses.

There are no gender limitations. Candidates must have good health, a high level of energy and stamina, an even and easy-going disposition, the willingness to support a daily itinerary set by the hosts, and all-around desire to participate in the life and culture of the host country.

Living with local Argentine families for three to four days per town is an ideal opportunity to meet local people, make friends and be a part of their day-to-day cares. Locals and visitors temporarily forget passport colors and make connections on a very personal level, sharing conversation and meals. Caught in the magic of newness, you throw away your own rules and expectations, and embrace someone else's. For a few weeks, you become Argentinean.

In the realm of discovery, there's a lot to learn, both about other cultures and about you. You discover new ways to look at things, and you realize that everyone has their own ideas as to what life and the universe are all about. You see (and many do) things that are far off the scales of your own judgment system that you're forced to reassess your own personal and cultural truths.

As a visitor living in an Argentine home, you will always have an impact on the family. It will be up to the individual to choose whether this impact will be positive or negative. The team member can contribute to or negate negative stereotypes of Americans with their hosts.

My own experiences in India in 1998 as part of a Rotary Group Study Exchange Team taught me that when in Rome, don't expect more than the Romans do. My approach and mindset determined whether the local people benefited from and enjoyed my presence in their own homes - and how much I enjoyed myself.

My best travels are to places so outrageously different that the assault on senses is unsettling, but liberating. A successful cross-cultural exchange means making friends with uncertainty (and with a certain amount of vulnerability) and realizing that you will have to make compromises. You may be weary at first, but relax. You will receive constant invitations to dance, sing, eat local food, drink fiery concoctions, expound on your country's foreign policies, defend its tarnished moral image - or get married. The possibilities are limitless. Your best souvenirs will be memories.

Go to the Rotary International Web site, click on Rotary Foundation, click on Educational Programs, click on Group Study Exchanges. From there, you can download all information needed to submit an application for the exchange to Argentina.

Application deadline is Oct. 7. Submit applications to Ming Steen at PO Box 4058, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. For more information, I can be reached at 731-4596.

Senior News

First Baptist Church, Arts Council cited for donations

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

Donations to our organization are always appreciated - they help keep us operating. This week we extend a great big thank you to the folks at First Baptist Church for their generous donation. Also, we thank the Arts Council for the nice bulletin board now on display in our foyer.

A special thanks to the Jack Hanson trio (Jack Hanson, John Graves and Walt Lukasik) and their special guest, Susie Ewing from Durango, for their outstanding performance Tuesday. These folks are great musicians and entertainers and Susie has such a beautiful voice. We hope they will come to entertain us again soon.

Occasionally R.L. (Hoppy) Hopson treats us to songs and we especially enjoyed his songs from the movie "Casablanca" last Friday. Thanks so much, Hoppy.

We appreciate Andy Fautheree, the Veterans Service officer, for speaking to us Friday. He advised us of a community forum for veterans that will take place at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at the fairgrounds Exhibit Building. Representatives from VA Health Care and representatives from the offices of Senators Campbell and Allard will speak about current legislation affecting veterans' benefits. Also, the grand opening of the new Durango Veterans' Clinic will take place Oct. 17. For more information, please read Andy's column in the newspaper and listen to his radio show on KWUF from 6-9 p.m. Mondays.

Rather than risk forgetting someone who helped, I won't attempt to name the wonderful group of men who moved our piano from the old facility to our new digs, but we want them all (they know who they are) to know we really appreciate it. Dorothy O'Harra plays the piano for us daily and says it sounds better than it ever has. She is thrilled, as are the rest of us.

Archuleta Senior Citizens Inc. will sponsor an Oktoberfest fund-raiser for our seniors that will take place Oct. 19 in the multipurpose room of the new Community Center. There will be German music, German food, German beer, sodas, tea and coffee. We are very excited. This type of event is new for us to sponsor and we hope this community will support it as well as it has supported our fund-raisers in the past.

Volunteers are what make this type of event a success, so we hope many of you will sign up to help (please realize volunteers will need to purchase tickets). There is a sign-up sheet at the Senior Center indicating the kind of help needed and when. Also, we would appreciate the donation of desserts, which we will sell. Everyone mark your calendars for Oct. 19.

Our Senior of the Week is Marie Corcorran. We are so happy to honor this lovely lady.

There were a number of returning members and guests this week. Welcome to Marie and Jim Corcorran, Hilde Kukne, Steve Kish, Abby Linzie, Patty Sallini, Betty Lou Reid, Della Truesdell, Gloria and Bob Kiontke (guests of Hoppy and Evelyn Hopson), Donna and Sy Kolman, Lucy Gonzales, Cora Woolsey, Pres Valdez, Sue Walan, Georga Solenos and her daughter J.J. Ramy, Lauren Felps, Jon Montoya, Leah Dains, Nicolas Haynes and Catherine Hyde.

We welcome our new volunteer, Tricia Sierpiejko. Thanks so much for serving the drinks and helping our folks with food trays. Musetta would appreciate more help in the dining room, please let her know if you would volunteer to help set up and clean up. We also need volunteers to help once a week with shopping and carrying groceries for some of our disabled folks, a plant lover to water plants in the lounge once a week and someone to head a grief and loss program.

The Area Agency on Aging will conduct its bimonthly meeting Sept. 29 in our new "den." The AAA serves Region 9, comprised of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, Dolores and San Juan counties. AAA is responsible for allocating the state and federal funds for our programs. We hope many of you will join us for the special lunch - ham, broccoli blend, yam, muffin and apple crisp - to show your support for our senior program.

Upcoming events include the Sky Ute Casino trip Sept. 17. Free transportation is provided by the Sky Ute Casino and they hand out some freebies on the bus. Sign up in advance as we must have a minimum of six people for the trip to go.

Mondays, starting Sept. 23, we'll have chair exercise at 10 a.m., blood pressure checks, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and "Bridge for Fun" at 1 p.m. Please sign up at the Center to join this group.

Tuesday features yoga by Richard Harris, 9:30 a.m. and a beginning bridge group, led by David Hopkins, 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday there is computer class with Sam Matthews, 10:30 a.m.

Fridays we have Qi Gong with Vasuke at 10 a.m. and Medicare counseling with Jim Hanson, 12:30 p.m.

Veterans Corner

Durango clinic to open by month's end


By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

The most frequently asked question by our local veterans these days is "When will the Durango VA Clinic open and how do I get to go there?"

I'm happy to say the Durango clinic is supposed to open by the end of this month. The clinic is located at 3575 North Main St. in. Before you rush over to the location, please be advised they are not set up yet to enroll or handle VA patients. It is a very small facility, with a small amount of parking in front. It appeared to me they were nowhere near ready to start seeing veteran patients

I visited the clinic location last week with the LaPlata County Veterans Service officer John Hardardt to see how it is progressing. We noted a ramp into the entrance was being constructed for handicapped persons. A receptionist was unable to provide us with much information on the progress of installing VA computer systems to tie in with the Albuquerque VA Medical Center. It appeared to us there was much work yet to complete before they can start accepting VA patients.

Transfers to Durango

According to Albuquerque and Grand Junction VA Medical Centers there are over 500 veterans enrolled in VA Health Care from Archuleta County. The next big question on everybody's mind is how do they transfer their primary health care from an existing VA medical facility, such as Farmington, Albuquerque or Grand Junction to Durango. I wish I could give you an answer on that question. Thus far, no information on how the VA will accomplish this task has been provided.

John and I have been told to enroll our veterans in VA Health Care in anticipation of the Durango clinic opening. However, many questions remain unanswered. Consider Archuleta County has over 500 veterans already enrolled in VA Health Care, and LaPlata County has at least that amount and perhaps more. How will it be determined which veterans get into the Durango clinic first? It is presumed many veterans from Montezuma County will also want to go to the Durango clinic since they now use the same VA medical facilities Archuleta County and LaPlata County use.

Questions unanswered

My personal opinion is there are several thousand veterans from this part of southern Colorado who will want to use this facility. Some of these veterans are simply enrolled in VA Health Care anticipating the Durango clinic. But many of them are already receiving primary health care at other VA facilities, and wish to transfer or change to the Durango clinic because it is closer to home.

Obviously several thousands of veteran patients are not going to suddenly be admitted to the Durango clinic in one fell swoop. I believe there is going to be a long process of many months in transferring patients and patient records to the Durango clinic.

Another factor to be considered is whether the staff of the Durango clinic is qualified in VA matters. There is much record keeping and entry of information in VA computers systems to be done by skilled personnel.

One of my greatest fears is that they will quickly become over-taxed with patient load for their small facility and become "frozen" to new patients. I have heard that has happened at similar VA health care facilities in the past.

Like you, I wish those persons making the decisions that affect so many southern Colorado region veterans and the Durango VA Clinic would advise us the correct information on their course of action. According to their own timetable there is very little time left before the opening, yet no one is advising us a clear plan to tell our veterans. A grand opening ceremony for the Durango clinic is being planned for Oct. 17.

Veterans forum

As announced recently in this column I will conduct a community veterans' forum Oct. 3 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building. I plan to have forum guests from the Albuquerque VA Medical Center, Regional VA Claims Center, and state and county officials to report on their areas of VA concern and responsibilities. Hopefully we will get answers to all these questions "straight from the horse's mouth," as the saying goes. All veterans and interested persons are invited to attend this forum and learn more answers to these and many other VA questions.

For information on these and other veteran benefits 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; 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

Artists on display plan day in gallery


By Marsha Silver

If you weren't able to attend the opening Sept. 5 of the current exhibit in the gallery, you will get another chance to meet the artists.

Both Verna Marie Campbell and Susan Martin Serra will spend an entire day in the gallery during the show. Both will be in residence 10 a.m.-5: 30 p.m., regular gallery hours.

Campbell will be at the gallery Sept. 24. Her oil paintings range from realistic still life subjects, especially flowers, to a more impressionistic style for landscapes, called "plein air" landscapes. She feels beauty is a spiritual quality, and if a person develops their spirituality, that person can put beauty into anything. To her, art is of the soul.

Come in Sept. 24 to meet her and discuss her art.

Serra will be at the gallery Sept. 25. As a young girl, she was influenced by her paternal grandmother's pastels. Knowing very little about this woman, since she died when Susan's father was three years old, Susan was moved by her talent and became acutely aware of the power and lasting connection art brings.

The story of her odyssey, during which she earned multiple advanced degrees in art, is both fascinating and inspiring. Talk to her about her ceramic-maiolica, a unique three-dimensional form of clay and glaze materials.

The show can be viewed and the art displayed can be purchased through Sept. 25. The Arts Council has issued a standing invitation to the public to join them and enjoy art in the newly refurbished gallery space.

PSAC Angels

Our heartfelt appreciation to all who helped with and donated to our annual auction. A very special note of thanks to "Angel" Doris Green, inadvertently overlooked last week, for all her hard work in making the last Sundowner a tremendous success.

Pagosa Pretenders

This company's next production, "Escape on Broadway" directed by Sabine Elge, has performances scheduled on consecutive Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 18-19 and 25-26 in the high school auditorium.

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater encourages the participation of family members of all ages in the appreciation of live theater. Past performances have included "The Wizard of Oz," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Arabian Nights." For more information, call Elge at 731-3506.


We need writers, to produce a once-a-month Artsline column (like the one you're reading) in the SUN. All information is provided and you give it your special touch. If interested, call 264-5020. It's a great way to volunteer.

We're also looking for art instructors, experienced teachers for children and adult classes at the new Pagosa Springs Community Center. Send your class and workshop ideas compete with lesson plans and current resume to PSAC, PO Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Or e-mail to or hand-deliver to the gallery at 314 Hermosa St., in Town Park.

Any business interested in having a flyer placed in our quarterly newsletter, The Petroglyph, should call Stephanie at 264-5068.

Art project

The Council is working with a variety of community members and organizations to develop a public art program for the Pagosa Springs area. In April 2002, the Committee for Art in Public Places presented its proposal to the Pagosa Springs parks and recreation department. The goal of the program is to establish an ongoing public art program to enhance the visual environment for both residents and tourists in the community.

For information and to become involved in this project to provide exposure to art that reflects the uniqueness of the Pagosa Springs environs, contact Jennifer Harnick at 731-3113.

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. May to October.


Chamber News
Pretenders plan 'Escape on Broadway'

By Sally Hameister

PREVIEW Columnist

Here's a heads up on the latest Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater production that will be forthcoming Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26 at the high school auditorium.

"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, a recent arrival from the New York-New Jersey area where she gained a broad musical, art and theatrical background. Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater encourages family involvement in the theater process and in the past has presented "Wizard of Oz", "1001 Arabian Knights", "2002 A Space Oddity" and "Sleeping Beauty." If you would like more information about "Escape on Broadway" please give Elge a call at 731-3506.

Free counseling

There is still time to take advantage of an opportunity to receive free business counseling and meet the new director of the Small Business Development Center in one fell swoop.

Joe Keck, new director of the Center at Fort Lewis College will be here tomorrow, Sept. 13, to continue the tradition of providing free business counseling to our Chamber members. Doug will be happy to make an appointment for you to see Joe and benefit from his considerable expertise and knowledge in the area of business at absolutely no charge. Take advantage of this terrific opportunity and give us a call at 264-2360 to set up an appointment.

Volunteers for SBDC

In its effort to meet the needs of the growing number of businesses in Archuleta and LaPlata counties, the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College is looking for volunteers with specialized expertise in business such as accountants, lawyers, management and marketing and promotion. These folks will be asked to work as mentor/resources to small businesses that need assistance beyond what SBDC can provide. The goal is to provide business assistance services to help businesses attain success. If you are interested, please contact Joe Keck at SBDC at 247-7009 or e-mail to

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. Tickets are $5 at the door or $3 online at or call (970) 884-6001.

Colorfest Safari

We're washing glasses, receiving cheeses from hither and yon and making wine lists and checking them twice, which means that Colorfest Safari Wine and Cheese Tasting must be coming up in short order.

We have already had way too much fun planning this event which is a pretty good indicator that we will have way too much fun that night. Ken Harms has worked his magic once again with the safari theme design on glasses, shirts and pins to add to your Colorfest collection, and you won't believe what Toby and Renae Karlquist with K.K. Paddywhacks have done with the balloon glow commemorative jackets design.

We're hopeful that you have already received your invitations to the wine and cheese tasting and will take advantage of the presale price of $25 as opposed to the $30 you will pay the day/night of the event. You will be getting a lot of bang for your buck, I assure you, with the offerings of the evening.

Jerry Dale (local Eddie's dad) will be here with seven of his amazing South African wines in the company of wines from Australia, Chile and California. As always, we will offer four non-alcoholic choices. You will be thrilled with the unique and delicious cheese choices as well as the three desserts especially prepared for us by Kathy Keyes at Pagosa Baking Company. Dan Aupperle, president of Citizens Bank in Pagosa, will once again donate a keg of beer for the evening for all those who don't really dig the wine thing. We had a number of grateful folks last year, and we're most appreciative that Dan came up with this alternative to make everyone happy.

Once again, with the current spate of animal theme clothing, fabric and whatnots, you'll have no trouble at all finding something to adorn your body for the occasion. This year the Colorfest Safari Wine and Cheese Tasting will take place Sept. 20, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. under the big tent in the Chamber parking lot, rain or shine. Put it on your calendar because you just won't want to miss it - as well as the balloon ascensions on Saturday and Sunday sponsored once again by Dahl of Durango and the Colorfest picnic and concert featuring food by Enzo's and music by Rio Jazz Sept. 21. Weather permitting, Toby and Renae Karlquist of K.K. Paddywhacks will treat us to a balloon glow Saturday night at dusk. Colorfest weekend has become an honored Pagosa tradition, and we hope you will take advantage of every outstanding event.


I'm delighted to introduce four new members this week and 14 renewals. It always gives us happy feet to welcome so many lovely folks to our family and acknowledge those who remain so loyal.

Our first new member this week is Structures West, LLC, with offices in their home. We welcome Dee Hornbacher, Heather Hornbacher-Davey, Charles Davey and Tom Dean. These folks offer everything from custom to simple and everything in between in the areas of framing, siding and finish. Structures West, LLC, is dedicated to superior craftsmanship, reliability and customer service, and would welcome the opportunity to help you build your new home. Please give them a call at (970) 946-9828 for more information.

Our next new member brings us a business with the catchy name, Country Bumpkin, and is located in the River Center at 136 E. Pagosa St. No. 5. Sharon Vermillion is the lady in charge and offers gifts and collectibles of blown glass, wood, bronze, ceramic and metals. Please give Sharon a call at 264-0247 to learn more about Country Bumpkin. We want to thank Verna Lucas who owns Touchstone Pottery in the River Center for recruiting Sharon and will send off a pass to our next SunDowner with our gratitude.

We next welcome Greg Schick, son of long-time members Jackie and Gene Schick, and Greg brings us some rentals. One is an 1,100 square-foot cabin on a horse ranch with a pond and fishing rights. His second rental is a three-bedroom condominium close to the golf course. If you would like more information on either or both of these properties please give Greg a call at 264-0086.

Our fourth new member this week is Ed Raymond who joins us as a Real Estate Associate and owner/broker with Coldwell Banker, The Pagosa Group located at 2383 W. U.S. 160. Ed is the guy to call about vacation properties. He specializes in time-share resales, vacation condos or that chalet in the mountains. Please call Ed at (800) 731-6729 or email at

Our renewals this week include Eddie Vita, Manager of Vita Pagosa LLC, Conoco East, and Eddie again with Conoco West; Shanah Schaffer with the Best Western Oakridge Lodge; Shanah Schaffer with Squirrel's Pub and Pantry; Lynn Shick with JTL Appraisals; Jim and Rosa Layne with Layne's Shaklee Distributor; C. Sauer with Sonoco Pagosa Springs; Gerlinde Ehni, D.D.S., P.C., John and Linda DiMuccio with Cool Water Plumbing and Piping; Shirley Luhnow with Just Gourd-jus with offices in her home and Jean Taylor with the San Juan Historical Society Pioneer Museum.

Our Associate Member renewals this week include JoAnn and Ray Laird, Emmet M. Showalter and Real Estate Associate John Smith. Thank you one and all.


Library News
Celebrate freedom; read a banned book

By Lenore Bright

PREVIEW Columnist

Back in 1939, John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" had a rocky introduction in American libraries. Even today, as this year is the centennial of Steinbeck's birth, he is one of the authors most likely to be threatened with expulsion from school and public libraries.

According to the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom, "Of Mice and Men" was the second most challenged book of 2001, after the Harry Potter series, arguably a new children's classic.

We've waged wars to protect our freedom of speech, yet works of literature are challenged daily in our libraries. We fight to keep the material available to all, but our efforts are often thwarted by a small but vocal minority. The reasons for challenges are as numerous as the titles that have been threatened, which range from the Bible, to "James and the Giant Peach."

Other most challenged titles include: "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "I know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and "The Catcher in the Rye."

The ability and the opportunity to read, speak, think, and express ourselves freely are core American values. It is a time to remind us all of the importance of our freedoms now that many of them may be in jeopardy.

To raise awareness of book censorship today, we have a display of some of the classics that have made this infamous list of 100 most frequently challenged books. Please come in and see the display, and we invite you to join in reading your own favorite "banned" book this month in celebration of "Banned Book Week."

Parents and children

Children and curiosity go together; sometimes the books that challenge the minds of children the most are the books that some people feel are inappropriate for them. Children are thinkers, and they can only grow if we give them the opportunity to read all types of literature.

School librarian Pat Scales, who wrote "Teaching Banned Books: 12 Guides for Young Readers" suggests that books can provide important lessons, particularly when they are guided by the parents.

Books can help youngsters to understand and debate real-life issues, recognize and accept cultural differences, and help learn to function in a changing society. Probably the most important reason is to spark open and honest discussion.

Scales offers the following tips for parents sharing banned books with children: Read the book together; discuss why people are afraid for children to read some books. Talk about the importance of reading the entire book before forming an opinion. Encourage children to ask questions. Ask for the child's own opinions.

Civic Club bazaar

Booths for this annual bazaar are only available by getting on Barb Draper's mailing list. Call her at 731-9979 if you want to be on the list. Don't contact anyone else, especially not the folks at the fair building. Only Barb can take care of this. If you want a booth, call as soon as possible.

The Bazaar will be held Nov. 2 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Technical troubles

We continue to be plagued with off and on Internet service. We have recently contracted with Century Tel for a DSL line. When they have problems with cut lines, we will be down. We apologize for these interruptions and hope that soon all of our networks will be more reliable.


We appreciate materials from the Unitarian /Universalist Fellowship, Tom and Katherine Cruse, Carol Hakala, Marietta Gordon, Cindy Gustafson, Roger and Sandy Wickham, Carol Curtis, Susie Reno.



Courtney Boyer is pleased to announce the arrival of her son Lance Eric Boyer, born June 29, 2002, at 10:59 a.m. He weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long. He is welcomed home by his grandma, Linda Delyria, grandpa Raymond Taylor, uncle Michal Delyria of Pagosa Springs and aunt Gretchen Boyer of Muncie, Ind., and a number of other family members and friends.


Jason and Brynn Earley are proud to announce the arrival of their daughter, Katherine Ann Earley. Katie was born Aug. 17, 2002, at 8:15 p.m. at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. She weighed six pounds and was 18 inches long. Maternal grandparents are Russ and Nancy Mackensen and paternal grandparents are Don and Ruth Earley, all of Pagosa Springs.


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.


Maya Adan Nasralla was born June 26, 2002, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. The daughter of Dave and Carole Nasralla of Pagosa Springs weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long. She was welcomed home by her sister, Kayla. Grandparents are Jim and Betty Lehman of Mussoorie, India, and Nahim and Maridee Nasralla of Olympia Fields, Ill.


 Business News

Heather Hornbacher-Davey is joined, left to right, by Todd Dean, Dee Hornbacher and Charles Davey. The group owns and operates Structures West LLC. The company provides clients with all aspects of general construction work, including framing, siding and finish work.

Structures West LLC will soon have a model home available for inspection in the Pagosa area.

The company can be reached at (970) 264-9179, by cell phone at (970) 946-9828 and by e-mail at 


Dutch Henry Born: Known as Pagosa's most famous outlaw

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Dutch Henry Born was a bona fide newspaper headliner during the days when the frontier west was at its rip-roaring best.

Dutch worked for Gen. George Armstrong Custer before Yellowhair donated his golden locks to Sitting Bull at Little Big Horn. Dutch stole horses from the U.S. Army in a vengeful attempt to right a wrong. Dutch hunkered down at Adobe Walls in the Texas Panhandle, helping a handful of buffalo hunters and other frontiersmen fight off Quanah Parker and a host of angry Indians. Dutch hunted buffalo with Bill Tilghman before Bill pinned on a badge to help tame wicked Oklahoma Territory. Dutch rubbed elbows with the famous lawmen of infamous Dodge City, fast triggers such as Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Dutch dug gold in Summitville when the highest gold camp in the west was a bustling bonanza, the third biggest source of gold in Colorado

Finally, adding true romance to his adventuresome life, Dutch married his childhood sweetheart, settled down, and opened a fish hatchery near Pagosa Springs on a lake which still bears his name.

I've been doing a series on the pioneers most important to Pagosa Springs history. I've written about Joe Clarke, Welch Nossaman, Fil Byrne and Eudolphus M. Taylor, better known as Doc.

This week I'm digressing to write about Dutch. Dutch wasn't really instrumental in developing Pagosa, so he doesn't rank with our local founding fathers in that sense. Pagosa wouldn't have been much different if Dutch had never lived here.

I'm writing about Dutch because his adventures are symbolic of the American West, circa 1870-1900. I'm writing about him because he might have attracted more newspaper headlines than anyone who ever lived here. Newspapers from Denver to Albuquerque and almost every hamlet in between ran stores about Dutch. Western history magazines still write about him.

Dutch was a common name in the American West given to almost anyone of German ancestry. In my time, people still talked about the Pennsylvania Dutch, folks who had really come from Germany. Perhaps, in our ancestors' common penchant for distorting foreign words, Deutsche became Dutch.

Historians have fun puzzling over Dutch Henry Born, because there were two Dutch Henry Borns. One was an outlaw, probably from Montana. The other was our Dutch Henry, also recognized as an outlaw. The exploits of the two outlaws have become intertwined. Today it is hard to unravel who did what.

Daniel Egger, editor of the Pagosa Springs News, recorded a meeting of the two Dutch Henrys in Creede at the time when the poem "It's day all day in the daytime, and there is no night at Creede" was written by Cy Warman, another one of those newspaper yokels. Egger's minute paragraph indicated that both Dutch Henrys were well known. He assumed his readers would understand what he was writing. I have verified that Dutch, indeed, owned mining property at Creede.

A few years ago, maybe 1988, I had the pleasure of writing a weekly travel article for a central Texas newspaper. During one particular week, I traveled to a fort in West Texas to take in a reenactment of that region's frontier days. The fort was one of a string of forts built across west Texas before the Civil War in an attempt to control Comanche raiding parties. The Comanches and their buddies, the Kiowas, considered northern Mexico their personal supermarket. Comanche raiding parties regularly trotted across west Texas on their way to Mexico, often returning with thousands of horses and cattle. Between them, the Comanches and Apaches nearly depopulated the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora, not to mention southern Arizona, New Mexico, and southwestern Texas.

This particular fort had degenerated into an assortment of ragged, roofless adobe walls when I visited. Gun packing reenactors wearing animal skins, calicos and other frontier garb wandered around disguised as soldiers, Indians, and assorted other characters. I headed for an adobe wall, looking for shade. As I passed an open window, a shaggy, hair-draped form startled me. A bit of conversation with the apparition eased my tingling nerves. I was talking to a human draped in a buffalo robe. This hirsute reenactor was curator of the High Plains Museum located in Canyon, Texas. When I mentioned I had lived in Pagosa Springs, he asked if I knew Mabel Bennett. Bingo. Mabel Bennett is the daughter of Dutch Henry Born. This curator was building a file on the Battle of Adobe Walls and its participants, including Dutch Henry Born. He had been writing Mabel, soliciting information about her famous father. They know about Dutch Henry down in the Panhandle country.

A few years later, I had the opportunity to visit the High Plains Museum and read a file on the Battle of Adobe Walls, Dutch Henry and Mabel's letters. Incidentally, Mabel still lives in Pagosa Springs, as do her children and grandchildren.

And so, who was this Dutch Henry?

According to his obituary, Dutch Henry was born at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, July 2, 1849. He moved with his parents to Montague, Michigan, at an early age. At some time, he came to know Ida Rosetta Dillabaugh. She had been born at Montague Oct. 3, 1868. The family believes he fell in love with her during a visit home, a love that never waned despite the many life threatening adventures of his career. It is a fact that on July 10, 1900, Dutch Henry married Ida. He was 51, she 31.

Before embracing the holy bonds of matrimony, Dutch, at the tender age of 20, rode off to Kansas. The Kansas of 1869 was sparsely settled, still roamed by bands of Indians and millions of buffalo. Railroads drove spikes across Kansas during the 1860s and 1870s, creating cowtowns as they moved west. Texas longhorns, driven by now bigger-than-life cowboys, bawled their way north to the railroad, finally stopping at such destinations as Wichita, Abilene, Elsworth, Newton and Dodge City. Boothill cemeteries were invented to accommodate the wilder of the cowboys.

Dutch Henry legends indicate that Dutch caught on with Custer as a cook or scout, or maybe both. As a scout for Custer, Dutch Henry might have bivouacked with Wild Bill Hickock. Custer, in command of the 7th Cavalry, was fresh from an 1868 raid on an Indian Village on the Washita River that left 103 Indians dead, 53 women and children captured. Since Dutch Henry didn't go to Kansas until 1869, he probably didn't take part in this battle. Custer was relatively inactive until the early 1870s when gold was discovered in the Black Hills, setting the stage for the final confrontation with the Northern Plains Indians.

Apparently, Dutch Henry didn't remain long with Custer. According to family legend, he regarded Custer as a "mean" man.

If we assume Dutch worked for Custer upon arriving in Kansas, we might assume his next move was to join the buffalo hunters. Millions of buffalo still roamed Kansas and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas during the early 1870s. The railroad did not reach Dodge City until the mid-1870s. As the rails moved west toward Colorado, travelers through the area tell us they were never where they couldn't hear the report of buffalo rifles, so intense was the assault on the herd.

It was probably during this time that Dutch learned the buffalo hunting business. This also could have been the time he raided an Army horse herd on the southeast Colorado plains, launching his career as an outlaw. We'll talk more about that next week.