October 17, 2002

Front Page
David C. Mitchell

Publisher dies in sleep

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

David C. Mitchell, owner, publisher and editor of the Pagosa Springs SUN since 1981, died Wednesday in his sleep and went home to be with his Lord.

Mitchell, 68 and an avid cyclist, was in the midst of an adventure, riding his bicycle from Pagosa Springs to his boyhood home of Houston, Texas, for his 50th high school class reunion. His son, Chuck, accompanied him on the trip. He died in Marble Falls, Texas, of acute coronary thrombosis.

Donations in David Mitchell's name can be made to Samaritan's Purse International Relief, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607.

A service will be held Monday at 2 p.m. at Community Bible Church, 265 Village Drive.

An obituary for David Mitchell will be published Oct. 24 in The SUN.


Paving projects nearing completion

Lighted crosswalk plan next

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The 11-mile paving project through Pagosa Springs is just a few weeks from completion.

Nancy Shanks, of the Colorado Department of Transportation public relations office, said the paving portion of the project could be complete as early as tomorrow, weather permitting. At that point, crews will work on shoulders for about a week and a half. Work hours will be cut to 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Finish work on manholes and other items will take another two weeks or so and by mid-November, everything, including the lighted crosswalk project downtown, should be complete.

The Crosswalk Warning System will be installed in front of the county courthouse and near the Liberty Theater. The system will be the first of its kind installed in southwest Colorado and involves placing white lights in the pavement that will activate when a pedestrian presses a button. The conduit for the electrical system was extended to the curb earlier this year. In about two weeks, installation will begin on the rest of the system and motorists can expect short delays. When complete, the lights are expected to flash for about 14 seconds when activated, making it safer for pedestrians to cross the highway.

The 6-mile paving project on Wolf Creek pass from west of the summit to the snow shed is also nearing completion. In fact, no more delays are expected and the 12-foot width restriction has been lifted at that site.

Motorists will still encounter up to 45-minute delays at the tunnel project. It's not expected to be complete until early 2003. However, travel is possible through the area 24 hours a day.

Paving crews continue to work on U.S. 84 from Pagosa Springs to the New Mexico border. Single-lane closures on the 28-mile project are planned and motorists can expect 5-10 minute delays. This project will extend into the summer of 2003.

For updated information regarding closures and delays, go to the department's Web site at www.dot.state.co.us/US160SW, or call the Wolf Creek pass tunnel project hotline at (719) 873-2221 or the toll-free road condition hotline at (877) 315-ROAD.


Hospital district board receives

preliminary draft of new budget

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Ready or not, it's budget time at the Upper San Juan Hospital District.

Over the last several years, budgets have meant bad news for the district as staff and the elected board members have struggled to correct some significant accounting errors.

But 2003 is a new year. The district now has a full-time manager on staff, a full-time accountant and a new way of preparing the budget.

District Manager Dee Jackson and board members Wayne Wilson and Sue Walan, also members of the budget committee, presented a first draft of the budget to the board Tuesday night. Some key format changes were made, Jackson said.

First, the budget was created using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. According to Jackson's attached report, "We have redrafted the chart of accounts and will be using the terms synonymous with fund accounting."

District administration costs, which have always been included in the emergency medical services portion of the budget, have been separated into their own section. This will allow tax dollars to flow into the umbrella district organization and be distributed to each branch of the district as needed, Jackson said.

Another change, she said, was that expenses, not revenues drove the process. "We have reduced our expenses considerably and have based our next year's budget on following the same philosophy. We are also recognizing the relieved enterprise status of the clinic, by allowing a transfer of tax revenue to assist, as needed, in the funding of their operations." The Doctor Mary Fisher Medical Center carried an enterprise status, which restricted the amount of tax dollars it could receive, until earlier this year. The board voted to remove the status to allow more flexible transfer of dollars needed to cover bills.

The preliminary 2003 budget summary page presented projected total revenue for the district to equal approximately $2.5 million. Total expenses are predicted to run at about $2 million. With three percent put away for reserves as required under the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, and debt service covered, the budget shows the district with about $250,000 surplus.

Of course, with all budgets, Jackson said, "it's only a guideline and best guess."

"We are still catching up from our prior debt situation and will have accounts payable carry over from 2002," she continued, "so we must be vigilant in not committing every cent until we have attained prudent cash reserves."

Wayne Wilson seconded her caution. The district, he said, is moving into its slow period and will receive no influx of tax money until February or March. He guessed that by October of next year, the district's financial outlook might finally make it possible to accomplish the beginnings of a strategic planning process, something that's been on the minds of the board and the staff.

The board will have two weeks to review the draft budget and make suggestions to administrative staff. A final draft of the document will be presented to the board for approval or denial at the regular November meeting.


Cloud seeding permit ruling due in a week

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A public hearing conducted in Pagosa Springs Monday by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources concerning issuance of a cloud seeding permit was attended by approximately 20 people.

The hearing officer was Joe Busto, program administrator for the state's weather modification program review department.

"I will review the information gathered today and then make a recommendation to Greg Walcher, the executive director," Busto said. "He will make the final decision in a week or so.

Larry Hjermstad, owner of Western Weather Consultants of Durango has been retained to conduct a winter weather modification program in the San Juan River Mountain drainage above Pagosa Springs. Western Weather Consultants applied for the permit. State law requires the state to conduct a public hearing to gather pros and cons concerning the proposed program.

Speaking on behalf of the proposed weather modification effort were Hjermstad and representatives of the two public water districts that have hired the weather-altering firm. Fred Schmidt spoke on behalf of San Juan Water Conservancy District, John Taylor on behalf of the Southwest Water Conservation District.

Both water district representatives said the program is needed to mitigate drought conditions impacting the area. This winter's program is designed to last five months, starting Nov. 1. The estimated cost is $85,000.

Ground generators emitting silver iodide particles would be used to stimulate clouds to surrender moisture in the form of snow. Targeted are the upper Piedra River and San Juan River valleys with a maximum effect about two-thirds of the way up the mountains between 9,500 and 11,500 feet above mean sea level.

Historically, similar projects have increased precipitation between 5 and 20 percent. Cloud seeding will not take place in the face of avalanche conditions, or if the snowpack appears to top average to a threatening degree.

Silver iodide particles are not an environmental threat, according to Hjermstad. When they fall to the ground, the density is approximately one-half a thimble full per acre, according to Hjermstad. They are in the form of hard crystals approximately like grains of sand. Known natural processes do not cause them to break down.

The generators used in the process burn petroleum fuel that emits vapors similar to automotive exhausts, Hjermstad said. One generator will use about 40 gallons of fuel over a five-month period, he said.

No specific objections were voiced against the proposal. Davey Pitcher, representing Wolf Creek Ski Area, said his organization prefers to take a more natural approach to solving weather created problems.

"Rather than contribute money to support the cloud seeding, we would contribute money to buy concrete for storage reservoirs," Pitcher said.

Hjermstad conducted a cloud seeding program in this area during the 1970s. He currently conducts cloud seeding for the Western San Juan and San Miguel programs and has recently signed a contract to conduct cloud seeding activities for the Denver Metropolitan Water Board.


Commissioners argue costs of road treatment

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

The three Archuleta County commissioners disagree over billing for magnesium chloride applied to certain roads not included in the county road maintenance system.

Roads in the county maintenance system receive magnesium chloride applications annually according to a predetermined schedule. Those living along the regularly maintained roads are not billed because the magnesium chloride is paid for from the county road and bridge budget with taxpayer dollars.

Magnesium chloride is applied to roads by a contractor hired by the county. The chemical helps firm the road surface and reduces dust.

Property owners along roads not included on the county road maintenance roster can purchase magnesium chloride from the county by pre-arrangement and when the solution is available.

Conditions outside the usual prevailed recently, according to a report delivered to the commissioners by Bill Steele, the county administrator.

Apparently some, but not all, of the people living along an unmaintained county road agreed to pay for magnesium chloride. County road crews applied magnesium to the entire road.

The new question is, who does the county bill for the magnesium chloride application? Some of the people living along the road agreed in advance to pay and that is no problem. Can the people who did not agree be billed? That is a problem.

If the county forgives the entire bill and swallows the cost, what will people say who live on other roads and pay for the treatment?

The board of county commissioners was faced with answering the problem at their regular Tuesday meeting. Not a lot of money is involved, perhaps less than $9,000 if the county swallows the entire bill.

A principle is involved, said Bill Downey, chairman of the board of county commissioners.

"I object," Downey said. "It's not consistent with our policy for nonmaintained roads. We're supposed to be following a plan, get out of residential road maintenance."

"We're running into a boondoggle," said Commissioner Gene Crabtree. "There is money in the road and bridge budget to cover this. Fred (Fred Chavez, the county road superintendent) is planning on adding this to the road system."

"We're not talking budget. Somebody is doing unauthorized work," Downey said. "Doing this without authorization is totally wrong. You're trying to put this on Fred."

Several motions were made to decide how to bill for the work done. Crabtree's first motion was for the county to pay the entire cost from the road and bridge budget. His motion got no second and died.

"Let's bill those who agreed to pay, and get the rest from the road and bridge budget," Commissioner Alden Ecker suggested.

Downey moved that all property owners along the street be billed. Downey's motion died for lack of a second.

Finally, Crabtree moved and Ecker seconded that the homeowners who previously agreed to pay be billed, and the county absorb the remaining costs. Crabtree and Ecker voted yes on the motion, Downey no.

"This is a dangerous precedent," Downey said. "People won't want to pay next year, roads may be added for maintenance, we'll be doing freebies."

When asked who authorized the application of magnesium chloride to unscheduled roads, none of the commissioners would admit knowing.

"I don't know. I asked, but I didn't get an answer," Downey said.



Date High Low Precip.
Depth Moisture












































Chances of rain slim after another dry week

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A slight chance for thunderstorms accompanied by rain will prevail in Pagosa Country today and tomorrow, according to Jerry Smith, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"Thursday (today) will be partly cloudy with a slight chance of thundershowers during the afternoon and night," Smith said. "Highs will be in the low 60s with lows in the middle 30s."

The 20-percent chance for thunderstorms and showers continues through tomorrow, Smith said. Saturday through Tuesday local skies will be partly cloudy. High temperatures through that time should be in the low to middle 60-degree range. Low temperatures will range between the middle 20s and the low 30s.

An upper level low-pressure area off California is controlling local weather, according to Smith, and creating the chance for showers.

"It could go farther south as it moves inland," Smith said. "If it does, you might not receive any rain."

In any case, after the low passes through, a high-pressure area will return, Smith said.

No precipitation was recorded last week at the National Weather Service station located at Stevens Field.

High temperatures ranged between 65 and 72 degrees with an average high temperature of 68 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 29 and 33 degrees with an average low temperature of 31 degrees.


 Sports Page
Parks & Rec

Volleyball camp opens; tournament scheduled

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

Approximately 25 young athletes have pre-registered for a sixth-grade boys and girls volleyball session.

This skills camp started Wednesday with 10 full sessions scheduled in the Community Center Gymnasium Mondays and Wednesdays, 4-6 p.m.

The total cost is $20 with the goal of the recreation department to teach some rules of the game and to help start the young athletes learning the proper fundamentals of volleyball.

Volleyball tournament

Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation will host an eight-team, co-ed volleyball tournament Dec. 7. Cost to enter the tournament is $200 per team. Proceeds will help pay for new volleyball standards for the center.

Pool play followed by a single elimination championship bracket and a consolation bracket will determine winners. Coaches' meetings are set for 8:30 a.m. at the Pagosa Springs Intermediate School gymnasium.

Call Joe Lister Jr. at 264-4151 Ext. 231.

Hershey Foundation

The Town has applied for a grant that has local ties.

The Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation has money available for outdoor recreation and hiking trails. The foundation was set up by the late Jake Hershey and is being carried on by Mrs. Terese Hershey, owner of Fourmile Ranch here in Pagosa Springs.

The grant, if received, will help pay for the development of an extension of the River Walk from the Hot Springs to the bridge on Apache Street. The grant would be used to fund a viewing area with some interpretive signage and park benches for hikers and birders to enjoy.

We are looking forward to hearing back from the foundation.

Bon voyage

Jim Miller, our dedicated parks superintendent, will take a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of Pagosa Springs. The next two weeks will be filled with airplanes, cruise ships, hiking and snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands off the South American coast.

We all envy Jim; however, after our summer drought and constant duties of park maintenance, Jim deserves this trip of a lifetime.

Another goodbye goes out to Tye Davidson, a parks worker who is leaving us for sunny Florida. We wish him well; meanwhile we are taking applications at Town Hall for his position. Applications are available during regular business hours.

Open gym basketball

Every Thursday evening starting at 6:30 p.m. the Community Center gym will be open for adult basketball. There is no charge to use the facility as long as you are planning to register for the adult basketball program in January.


Stickball is a game of basketball played with a broomstick or mop handle and a rubber ball. All that is required is tennis shoes and a willingness to learn. No fees are associated with this program.

Games will be played at the Community Center gym Tuesdays from 4-6 p.m. This is an exciting game that helps build hand-eye coordination.

If you are interested, please contact Ted Wozny at 883-2568 or Chris at Town Hall, 264-4151 Ext. 232.


Ladies beat Ignacio in three, stay in volleyball title hunt

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Lady Pirates needed to beat Ignacio Tuesday night to stay in the hunt for the Intermountain League title.

It wasn't pretty.

It wasn't easy.

But they won.

It took Pagosa three games to cinch the fifth league win of the year, against two losses, as the team finally won a home match, 15-6, 12-15, 15-6.

The evening was marked by spotty play against a Bobcat team that has transformed from a scrappy defensive unit of former years that sent free ball after free ball over the net, to a unit that can serve, attack and kill the ball for points.

The match highlighted once again the fact that the IML is better balanced than it has been for the last seven years, and any team can win on any given night.

Fortunately, for the Lady Pirates, Tuesday was such a night for them.

The Ladies came out strong, cruising to an 8-1 lead in the first game. The charge was forged with a well-balanced offense, with an ace by Shannon Walkup, two kills by senior outside hitter Katie Bliss and an ace by Bri Scott — the first in a superb performance at the service line by the sophomore.

Ignacio scrapped back to 8-4, then 9-6 using a strong serve that would aid the Bobcat cause all evening.

The Ladies regained the momentum as Shannon Walkup killed down the line and Courtney Steen nailed a solo block for a point. The rest of Pagosa's winning margin was provided by Bobcat errors.

Ignacio had the lead at the beginning of the second game. Getting two aces on a slow moving Pagosa serve receive and using three Lady Pirate errors to gain the 4-1 advantage.

Scott scored with two consecutive aces and a Bobcat lift put the Ladies in front 5-4. Following an Ignacio tally, the Ladies put together a three-point run with earned points on a tip by Amy Young and an ace by Steen. The teams traded scores and when Lori Walkup crunched a wayward Bobcat pass, it looked like Pagosa was pulling away 10-7. With the Ladies up 12-8, a victory still seemed easily within reach.

Before the bottom dropped out. The Lady Pirates' focus dissolved and a string of serve-receive and hitting errors gave the visitors seven unanswered points and the win.

At the completion of the second game, the Lady Pirates disappeared from the gym with their coach Penné Hamilton. They returned at the buzzer and got a 4-1 lead but the advantage was precarious, with poor judgment on serves and hits and a failure to close the blocks. Several serve errors on both sides of the net kept the teams from running up the points until the Ladies got the serve back, ahead 6-4, and used a Bobcat hitting error, an Ignacio net violation and an ace hit short by Shannon Walkup to gain some distance, 8-4.

Ignacio scored with an unblocked cross-court kill but Bliss took the serve with a rollshot. Steen demolished a set from the middle but the Ladies could not hold serve.

The Bobcats fought back again, putting a sixth and seventh point on the board.

That would be it for Ignacio.

Shannon Walkup returned serve and Lori Walkup stuffed a quick attack by Ignacio for a point. Young hit an ace and after an exchange of sideouts two Ignacio hitting errors, a block by Lori Walkup and Scott put the game on ice.

"We came out strong," said Hamilton, "but once we got the big lead in the first game we went flat and didn't play with enthusiasm. We had a long tournament at Fowler this weekend and we had some practice disruptions Monday. The kids were tired and it showed: people weren't moving their feet and weren't making good judgments on balls. We have three days of practice left this week and we'll work on our blocking and on being consistent on offense. The victory kept the Ladies tied with Bayfield for first place in the IML and Hamilton was pleased with the fact a relatively young team - with three sophomore starters - is still at the top of the rankings.

"We won when we had to," she said. "Between the second and third games, I took the girls out of the gym and I told them they had to understand everything was on the line, I asked them if they wanted to lose to Ignacio and lose their opportunity. They came back and did the job."

The final IML match of the season for Pagosa is Saturday, at home, against Monte Vista. The team from the San Luis Valley, like Ignacio, is greatly improved this season and took the Ladies to three games in Pagosa's win in late September.

"We need to take care of business with Monte Vista from beginning to end," said the coach. "It's all on the line again and we need to respond with a consistent effort."

Saturday's action begins with C team matches at 4:40 p.m.


Kills: L. Walkup 8, S. Walkup 6, Steen 5

Aces: Scott 5, S. Walkup 2

Blocks: Bliss 1, Scott 1, Steen 1, L. Walkup 1, S. Walkup 1

Digs: Bliss 6, L. Walkup 6, S. Walkup 5

Assists: L. Walkup 8, Young 8


Lady spikers stop Fountain-Ft. Carson in tourney

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Why not make it as difficult as possible?

The Lady Pirate volleyball team adopted that approach for the first game of the Fowler Invitational Saturday as they met and defeated a weak Class 4A team, Fountain Ft. Carson, 15-10, 15-13.

The Trojans were disorganized and ineffective on offense, with a less than stellar defense at the net and in the back row. Most of the points on the Fountain Ft. Carson side of the scoreboard were put there by the Lady Pirates who took the entire match to shake out the kinks and get in the groove.

The Trojans led three times in the first game of the match: 2-1, 6-5 and 9-8. Only three of their 10 points were earned, all with ace serves.

Pagosa got earned points in the first game from Courtney Steen, Lori Walkup, Bri Scott, Shannon Walkup and Katie Bliss. Steen's solo block led a three-point run that put her team into a 4-2 lead. Scott killed for a fifth point.

Shannon Walkup hit an ace that sparked another three-point rally to bring her team from a 6-5 deficit to an 8-6 lead, the run capped by a kill by Lori Walkup.

Again the Trojans capitalized on Pagosa miscues, to go ahead 9-8.

It was at this point the Ladies looked as if they were finally off the bus and into the game. Following points off two Trojan hitting errors and a rotation mistake by the 4A team, Shannon Walkup hit a ball to the back line and the Ladies were on top 12-9. The senior outside killed again for a point and the Trojans hit a ball out to give Pagosa a 14-9 lead. The Trojans scored one more time, courtesy of a Lady Pirate hitting error but Scott took serve back with a blast from the weak side and Bliss killed for the win.

Fountain Ft. Carson zoomed out to a 7-1 lead in the second game, gave up a point on a hitting error and surrendered a point on a kill by Bliss. The Trojans nailed a kill inside the Lady Pirate blockers than scored yet another earned point to take a 9-4 lead.

Amazingly, the Trojans put together a three-point run and Pagosa coach Penné Hamilton called a timeout to settle her troops.

It worked.

Lori Walkup put a soft shot to the back line to return serve and Shannon Walkup served the first of five consecutive points. Lori Walkup crushed a Trojan pass that strayed above the net. Scott got a point with a kill, Shannon Walkup hit an ace, Bliss killed from the strong side and the Trojans committed a hitting error in the face of the suddenly formidable Pagosa block.

After an exchange of sideouts, yet another Trojan miffed a hit, Bliss killed and a Fountain Ft. Carson player ran into the net. Pagosa had tied the game 12-12.

The Lady Pirates gave up a point with a hitting error but Steen attacked successfully from the weak side to return serve. A Trojan hitting error and a kill by Shannon Walkup ended the game and match.

"I thought Fountain Ft. Carson was improved over last year when we played them at Fowler," said Hamilton. "This time, for us, it was the start of the day; the other teams had played once, and we had trouble getting going. The good thing about the match is there were a lot of long volleys. I like to have the kids try to win long volleys; it's good practice for them. We had to come back a couple of times, and the girls did it. It's always good when you start a tournament like this with a win."


Kills: Bliss 10, S. Walkup 6, Scott 5

Aces: S. Walkup 2, L. Walkup 1

Blocks: L. Walkup 1

Digs: S. Walkup 16, Bliss 10, Steen 7, Young 7

Assists: Young 20, L. Walkup 10


Lamar gets revenge for Lady Pirate bump in 2001

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Last year, Pagosa knocked off Lamar to win the Fowler Invitational volleyball tournament.

This year, it took three games, but the Savages got their revenge, 15-10, 14-16, 15-8.

Lamar trotted out a relatively undistinguished squad this year, with some fresh faces in the lineup - a decidedly less skilled team than the one that advanced to the Class 3A state tourney the last two years.

The one thing Lamar still had: A giant at the middle hitter/blocker position, Laura Gottschalk - a player easily 6 foot four inches tall, with no movement or vertical leap but a left-handed kill that can put craters in the floor. The Lady Pirates countered with sophomore middle blocker Lori Walkup, no taller than 5'9" and no bigger around than the Savage's leg.

All in all, Walkup and the young Ladies did fairly well against Gottschalk and her cohorts, but wore themselves out during the attempt, scrambling to get the big middle hitter out of the front row before she could do maximum damage.

Pagosa took a 3-0 lead in the first game only to see Lamar come back to knot the score. The teams tied at 4-4 and again after the Lady Pirates put together several two-point spurts, at 9-9. From that point on, Pagosa's game consisted of kills and blocks to take the serve, but had no scoring punch to follow. Lamar scored its remaining points in fits and starts and took the win.

In the second game, Pagosa went ahead 5-2, but Gottschalk took over, finding open holes in front of the Lady Pirate back row. The Savages strung together 10 unanswered points and it looked as though the Lady Pirates were headed for seats in the stands.

Lamar went ahead 12-6 and seemed certain of sealing the victory, but this year's Lady Pirates seem to realize volleyball is a game played one serve at a time. It is a sport in which a team, playing one rally at a time, can come back and win, regardless of how lopsided the score against them.

That's just what the gutsy Ladies did. Lori Walkup scored with a stuff block and, though Lamar managed a 13th point, the Ladies got back the serve. Shannon Walkup killed down the line, a Savage was called for a hand over the net and Amy Young scored with a kill down the line on the weak side. Pagosa had 10 points.

The teams traded four sideouts before Lamar scored with a block to edge one point away from the win.

It wasn't going to happen. A Lady Pirate block returned serve to Pagosa's side of the net and Bliss killed off the hands of Savage blockers. A ball hit out of bounds gave Pagosa another point. The teams traded sideouts and Bri Scott put a ball to floor in front of a Lamar block. A Savage hitting error tied the score 14-14. A Lamar receive mistake and passing error gave Pagosa the 15-14 advantage and another ball put out of bounds by a Savage hitter produced the 16-14 Lady Pirate win.

You can't give up a long run in a third game of a match, in particular when your young middle blockers are tiring. That's just what the Ladies did, surrendering eight unanswered points, most of them unearned. It was too deep a hole to climb out of.

Down 10-2, Pagosa battled valiantly, getting kills from Courtney Steen and Shannon Walkup, and two points on Lamar mistakes.

The Savages were able to score several points in the midst of a series of sideouts and led 14-6. Pagosa made another try at a comeback, as Shannon Walkup hit a kill cross-court and Young crushed an errant Lamar pass, but it was too little too late. Lamar got a point on a hitting error and the game and match were over.

Hamilton was impressed by her team's grit and by the play of her senior hitters Shannon Walkup and Bliss. She was less than impressed with Lamar, thinking her team, on another day, could emerge the victor.


Kill: Bliss 11, S. Walkup 11, L. Walkup 7

Aces: Bliss 1, S. Walkup 1

Blocks: L. Walkup 3, Steen 1

Digs: S. Walkup 23, Bliss 18

Assists: Young 21, L. Walkup 15


La Junta scores first, then bows quickly to Lady Pirates

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

La Junta was no match for Pagosa Springs at the Fowler Invitational volleyball tournament as the Tigers fell quickly and easily to the Lady Pirates, 15-5, 15-3.

La Junta can spotlight the fact the team scored the first point in the first game of the match. From that point on, the Tigers never had a lead and were able to score only two earned points during the match.

When Pagosa returned serve, the Ladies ran off five unanswered points, two of them earned: a kill by Katie Bliss and an ace by outside hitter Shannon Walkup. The Ladies handed over two points with mistakes then had La Junta return the favor with three points given over on errors.

Again Pagosa gave up two points on errors. That would be the end of La Junta's scoring in the game. As the Ladies turned on the cruise control, they got points on two kills by Shannon Walkup and a kill by Bri Scott as they finished off the Tigers.

The Lady Pirate offense livened up in the second game, taking an insurmountable 12-0 lead.

Shannon Walkup scored on three kills. Trisha Lucero killed from outside and Courtney Steen nailed an ace. Pagosa blockers stuffed Tiger hitters for two points and Lori Walkup put a kill to the floor from the middle.

La Junta's two ace serves produced points, but the Tigers gave up a point on a hitting error and Shannon Walkup blasted a stray Tiger pass to the floor. Ahead 14-2, Pagosa surrendered a point on a ball hit out of bounds. A Tiger was called for a lift and the affair, mercifully, was complete. Pagosa had won its second game of the four-match round-robin tournament.

Coach Penné Hamilton saw a few bright aspects in the otherwise lackluster competition. "La Junta didn't have basic skills," she said. "They had trouble passing and we could serve to anyone. Sometimes, in a match like this, it is difficult for your players to remain focused, bear down and get things over with. We did all right; we didn't let up and we got the win."


Kills: S. Walkup 5, L. Walkup 4

Aces: S. Walkup 2, Scott 2, Steen 2

Blocks: Steen 1, L. Walkup 1

Digs: S. Walkup 12, Young 11

Assists: Young 11, L. Walkup 4


Fowler takes pair from Ladies to snare tourney finale

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It was the end of a long day.

Six Lady Pirate volleyball players had been on the court the majority of time during three previous matches at the Fowler Invitational tournament.

The team had won two matches and lost one.

Now, in the final match of the event, the Ladies faced Fowler on that team's home court. Fowler had beaten its three opponents and had rested for several hours.

It was a tough task for the Lady Pirates and, despite the loss in two games to the Grizzlies 16-14, 15-10, it was a match that at another time of the day, or on another day, the Ladies could have won.

Fowler and Pagosa are two programs with great traditions and it is a treat to see the teams square off each year at the tourney on the plains. This year was no different.

Fowler got the early 2-0 lead, but Pagosa came back to tie.

Fowler got the 4-2 lead, and Pagosa came back to tie.

The Grizzlies went ahead 5-4 but senior outside hitter Shannon Walkup, starting what would be an outstanding offensive performance for her, took serve back. Courtney Steen put a kill to the floor to tie the game, Shannon Walkup killed for a point and Amy Young hit an ace. Pagosa had a 7-5 lead.

The teams traded sideouts and Fowler gave up a point with a hitting error. Pagosa could not hold the serve and capitalize, and the Grizzlies struck quickly and effectively, nailing three aces and a kill off the block and receiving a charity point on a Pagosa mistake. The Grizzlies were back on top, 10-8

Again the teams traded sideouts, four to be exact, and the Grizzlies scored again with a hit off the block.

Lori Walkup returned serve with a kill to the back line, Shannon Walkup came up big with an ace, and after two sideouts Scott hit an ace. But the Pagosa momentum could not be maintained. Fowler came back with three unearned points to sit on the edge of the win 14-11.

There has been no surrender with this year's Lady Pirate team and, after three sideouts, Shannon Walkup scored from outside. Fowler hit a ball out of bounds over the Pagosa block then committed a hitting error as the Lady Pirate blockers frustrated the Fowler middle.

The score was tied 14-14. A Fowler ace and a Pagosa error gave the game to the home team.

Undaunted, Pagosa shot out to a 6-0 advantage at the start of the second game, but it was obvious the legs were tired and the feet were slow.

On the way to the lead, Lori Walkup got a point with a solo block; Bliss tagged a rip to the middle and Lori Walkup hit three aces.

Then it was Fowler's turn. The Grizzlies benefited from five Pagosa mistakes, got a kill off the block and an ace, to put eight unanswered points on the score board.

Pagosa was not through. Fighting through the fatigue, the Ladies tied the game 8-8, with Shannon Walkup getting a kill from outside. The Ladies followed two sideouts with another kill by Shannon Walkup, but the 9-8 lead would not hold up.

Fowler got the momentum going, hitting two aces and taking advantage of Lady Pirate errors. Only a final kill by Shannon Walkup put a bump in the road as the home team went on to the 15-10 win to finish the tournament undefeated and take the crown that belonged to the Lady Pirates the last two years.

"Our kids were tired," said Coach Penné Hamilton. "They got to where they couldn't move their feet. The truth is, we were evenly matched and it could have gone either way. In the end, Fowler was more consistent; they are well coached but we still forced them to hit out quite a bit. It is always a good tournament and a good team for us to play."


Kills: S. Walkup 11, Bliss 3

Aces: L. Walkup 3, S. Walkup 2

Blocks: Scott1, L. Walkup 1

Digs: S. Walkup 16, Bliss 11

Assists: L. Walkup 9, Young 9


Pirates stop Bayfield 2-1, clinch soccer playoff spot

By By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It was showdown time. Many wondered how this version of the Pagosa Springs High School soccer team would react to adversity.

With two veteran senior starters sidelined because of penalties received in Saturday's game against Center, the question was how the rest of the squad would respond.

Not to worry. This is a different breed of Pirates. If one is hurt another is plugged in. If starters are absent, others fill in.

Of course, the regular scorers were on hand and scored. The defense, missing Jordan Kurt-Mason and Matt Mesker, got outstanding play from Michael Dach, Brian Hart, Keagan Smith and, in the second half, from Ryan Goodenberger.

The result? Pagosa beat Bayfield 2-1 Tuesday at Golden Peaks Stadium and, with a game left Saturday at Telluride against the winless Miners, the Pagosans clinched the league championship.

For fans of two of the most rapidly improving prep soccer programs in the state, the game was a delight. But for Bayfield, it was more of the same. Earlier this season the Wolverines carried Pagosa to overtime on the Bayfield turf and lost in the first minute of the extra period on a goal by Kevin Muirhead.

This time it was Muirhead who gave Pagosa a 1-0 lead 7 minutes, 29 seconds into the game, a lead which held for just over 21 minutes. Muirhead was on the spot when Kyle Sander's shot hit the crossbar and came out for a perfect header.

Bayfield's Nick Potter tied the game with a shot from the right wing after Pagosa keeper Caleb Forrest made his only mistake of the contest, coming out too far from goal and allowing the speeding attacker to get behind him.

The tie held behind outstanding goal keeping by both Forrest and Bayfield's Dan Rhode until 64:03 when Sanders, the state's leading scorer in all classes, drilled his 30th of the season. On the bench, coaches and substitutes were crying "team assist, team assist."

And well they might have. It was a team effort. Bayfield could not get the ball out of their zone on the play thanks to defensive efforts of the Gill brothers, Zeb and Levi, by Goodenberger, and wing support from Kyle Frye.

They moved the ball back to attack zone and Sanders was the beneficiary of a perfect set-up lead from Frye.

Pagosa outshot the Wolverines 17-5 in the first half and 17-11 in the second for a 34-16 margin in the game.

With the win, Pagosa is expected to draw a bye in the first round of playoffs and should, according to David Hamilton, athletic director, host a team from Denver Metro League in the second round. Dates and times will be determined this weekend when coaches submit their state rankings and Colorado High School Activities Association officials make the official pairings.

Unofficial state rankings have had Pagosa in the No. 6 slot for several weeks.

Aside from the three goals scored, both teams had ample opportunity to put the game away but stout defensive play on both ends complemented the goal keeping performance.

A good example was the 9-minute period after Muirhead's goal when Pagosa pressure resulted in nine of their 17 period shots, six of them stopped by Rhode, one by Sanders off the post and one by Moe Webb over the crossbar.

After Potter's goal, Bayfield's best chance for a score was by striker Chip Ferguson at 39:04, a drive stopped by Forrest diving flat out to his left and held onto as two attackers poured in for the rebound.

The second half was more of he same. Though Bayfield did manage to nearly double its shot output, almost all drives were stopped by Hart, Keagan Smith, Levi Gill or Michael Dach.

Dach, in fact, seemed to be everywhere on the field. Not only did he control midfield play development, he blocked two shots before they got to Forrest, and invariably was first to loose balls. His play control kept teammates involved and his voice directions kept defenders in the right spots.

Bayfield's Lorik Kogani came away shaking his head just over nine minutes into the second half when Forrest held his ground, refused to go for a fake on Kogani's breakaway effort, and stopped his 12-yarder with ease.

But Forrest was saving his best effort.

At 78:07, Ferguson broke free again for Bayfield and ripped a 20-yarder to Forrest's right. He not only stopped it, but dived from his knees back in the opposite direction to stop Ferguson's rebound effort, and then curled over the ball as he sprawled out to keep other attackers from getting off a shot.

A number of Pagosa shots following Sanders lead goal were near misses. Perhaps the best effort was Hart's 20-yard blast stopped before it got to Rhode by hitting Bayfield's Derek Norman in the head.

The Pirate Junior Varsity hosts Trinidad Catholic this afternoon and the varsity closes out the regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday in Telluride.


Scoring: 7:29, PS-Muirhead, unassisted; 44:48, B-Potter, unassisted; 74:03, PS-Sanders, team assist. Saves, PS-Forrest, 12; B-Rhode, 22; Shots on goal: PS-34, B-16; Penalties: B-Kogani, yellow.


Pirates play 77-plus minutes of perfect prep soccer

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

They're a group who have learned the meaning of team.

For 77 minutes 31 seconds Saturday, the Pagosa Springs High School soccer team put on a demonstration of both offensive and defensive teamwork, building up a commanding 9-0 lead over the Center Vikings on the latter's home field.

The events of the last 2 minutes 29 seconds are anathema to what the team had done prior to that time and through the season.

At that point it ceased to be a soccer game and became a contest of tempers and wills.

When the Pirate lead reached 7-0 at 60:57 coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason was anxiously waiting a play stoppage to get a player off the field in order to meet state high school rules requiring a team to pull a player when leading by seven or more goals.

Eventually, the Pirates added two more scores and pulled two players from the field.

When a ball went out of bounds at 77:31, Pirate senior Matt Mesker was whistled for an interference call and given a yellow card, his third of the season. Three yellows mandates a one game suspension under state prep rules and he, therefore, became ineligible for the showdown game Tuesday against Bayfield.

And then, 1 minute and 9 seconds later, with just 1:20 left in the game, senior midfielder and team captain Jordan Kurt-Mason got a red card for retaliation. That act dictated that he, too, miss the Bayfield game.

The Center player involved in the incident received a yellow for his part in the disputed play.

When the game ended, both teams completed the traditional midfield handshake and were heading for their respective sidelines when Kurt-Mason sought out the player he had the confrontation with in order to shake his hand and apologize. The Center squad, thinking their player was about to be attacked, poured back onto the field.

Pagosa players turned and headed off to their side as the referee, who had left the field headed for his car, came running back to restore peace.

The first three minutes of the game featured about the only hope Center had in the game. At 3:01, Viking midfielder Jorge Hernandez had a pair of shots on goal, the first blocked by Pirate sweeper Michael Dach and the second trapped by Pagosa keeper Caleb Forrest after Hernandez got his own rebound and fired again.

From there on, it was an all-Pagosa show.

At 3:55, Mesker had the first scoring chance, ripping a left wing shot just over the net. The Center shutout would last only another 35 seconds.

Pirate Kyle Sanders, already the state's leading scorer, ripped in the first of his six goals of the game (29 for the season) at 4:27, converting a header lead from midfielder Keagan Smith. At the seven-minute mark, Forrest made his second stop of the game snaring a drive from Viking right wing Irvi Gonzalez.

Two minutes and 10 seconds later, Dach again blocked a shot before it could get to Forrest and then Brian Hart's 35-yarder clipped off the right post and out of bounds. Forrest made easy stops at 10:18 and 16:05, a diving stop to his right at 21:08, a leaping grab of a free kick at 25:07 and hauled in a breakaway effort by Hernandez at 28:10.

Pagosa's Gill brothers, Levi leading Zeb, made a bid to increase the lead at 28:57 but Zeb's drive sailed wide left. Just a minute later, as Pagosa increased the offensive pressure, Hart was wide right, Mesker's header was stopped, Kevin Muirhead's corner shot clanked off the right post and Sanders was wide left on a breakaway.

The frustration ended at the 34-minute mark when Zeb Gill, running the left wing, found Muirhead open in front of the net for a score and the margin was 2-0 Pagosa. At 36:16, Sanders hit his second marker, scoring unassisted to boost the lead to 3-0 after stealing an outlet pass that left the Center keeper out of the net.

Center opened the second half with a bit of determination but Forrest made a double stop on Mario Resendiz, first blocking a drive from 15 yards, then diving to his left to tip away the rebound. Resendiz knew he was snakebit when his kick of the second rebound hit the right post.

At 42:35 Sanders raced the right midfield slot and, as defenders closed on him, dropped a centering pass to Hart who blasted one of his trademark power shots into the net and Pagosa was up 4-0.

Then, at 50:36 Sanders was on the prowl again. This time his cohort was Dach who swept in from the left middle to block a pass, chested it a step ahead and the headed a perfect lead to Sanders for the score and Pagosa was up 5-0 as a demoralized Center squad tried to regroup.

The beat continued for Pagosa. At 59:34 the Kyles paired up with Kyle Frye from the left wing hitting Sanders in stride for a goal and a 6-0 Pagosa lead. Then, one minute 37 seconds later, the two reversed roles. Running almost the same pattern, Frye hit Sanders and broke for the left post where he took Sanders' return pass on the give-and-go play and recorded the seventh Pagosa point.

Sanders was like a scoring machine and Center couldn't find a gear capable of stopping him.

With Dach assisting on both, he got Pagosa's eighth goal at 72:07 and, after Zeb Gill crawled off the field after reinjuring an ankle, converted the ninth and final Pagosa marker at 74:37, setting the stage for the believable finale of fractured feelings and waving penalty cards.


Scoring: 4:27, PS-Sanders, assist Smith; 34:00, Muirhead, assist Z. Gill; 36:16, Sanders unassisted; 42:35, Hart, assist Sanders; 50:36, Sanders, assist Dach; 59:34, Sanders, assist Frye; 60:21, Frye, assist Sanders; 72:07, Sanders, assist Dach; 74:37, Sanders, assist Dach. Saves: PS-Forrest, 16, C-Hurtado, 22; Shots on goal, PS-34, C-19. Penalties: C-Gonzalez, yellow and Resindiz, yellow; PS-Mesker, yellow and Kurt-Mason, red.


Schur wins third straight and Runner of Year honors

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Pirates swept up several awards at the Intermountain League Meet in Monte Vista Saturday. They collected a Runner of the Year award, two second-place league team finishes and a pair of all-conference honors.

Racking up her third straight cross country victory this season, Lady Pirate Emilie Schur swept the individual competition in 20 minutes 11 seconds. The freshman earned all-conference and Runner of the Year honors for her efforts and looks well-positioned for a run at a state slot this weekend.

Heather Dahm, yet another freshman runner, stepped up to run her "best race of the season," Coach Scott Anderson said, finishing the day 10th with a time of 21:59. "She has exceeded any pre-season expectations we might have had," he said.

Junior Jenna Finney came up with another solid race to cross the line 13th in 22:21 and senior Amanda McCain closed for 15th with a time of 22:49 to round out the team score. Only, it was still too close to call.

With just the top four runners totaled for the team score, Monte Vista topped the charts with 39 points. Both Pagosa Springs and Bayfield finished with 38 points. To break the tie, officials turned to the fifth team runner. Pagosa senior Hannah Emanuel pushed the Pirates ahead of the Wolverines with a 22nd-place finish in 23:18.

"She also ran her best race of the year taking a minute off her best time," the coach said of Emanuel. The other individual runners included: junior Lauren Caves, 26th in 23:58; freshman Adrian Young, 29th in 24:24; sophomore Marlena Lungstrum, 39th in 26:55 and freshman Rebecca Williams, 40th in 26:56.

In the boys' race, Todd Mees earned all-conference honors with a fifth-place finish in 18:02. Anderson said the senior ran a solid race after sitting out several practices last week because of a slight strain.

Junior Dan Lowder continued to work his way up the pack, finishing 18th with a time of 19:33. New teammate, senior Jeremy Buikema, was right on his heels, posting a 19th-place finish in 19:42. Senior B.J. Lowder crossed the finish in 27th with a time of 20:15, and freshman Orion Sandoval claimed a 35th-place finish with a time of 21:34. Overall, the boys finished fourth place in the meet and second place among just the Intermountain League teams.

The results bode well for this week's pressure races. The Pirates will take their shot at a trip to state this Saturday at the municipal golf course in Monte Vista. They will run the same course as last week, a challenge they are ready for, Anderson said.

"They are excited about competing," he added. "They will take on anybody, anytime, anywhere."

The Lady Pirates will be up against a tough crowd. In 2001, four ladies' teams from this region made it to the big race at Kent Denver, and all four finished in the top 10. This year, Anderson said, six teams will run neck and neck for the four team slots to state.

"If any girl on any of those teams has a bad day, that team probably won't go," he said. "If our girls, across the board, run like they can, I feel good about our chances."

On the boys' side of things, three teams have separated themselves from the pack and look to have a good shot at state, leaving one or two slots up for grabs. The number of teams that qualify will ultimately depend on the number of teams that show up for the meet, Anderson said. Under the rules, 45 percent of the teams that race at regionals, qualify for state. What matters is that the Pirates may have an outside chance of qualifying both girls and boys teams.

The boys' race begins at 10 a.m. with the girls following at 10:45 a.m.


Two adult men's basketball programs are underway

By Joe Lister Jr.

Staff Writer

Adult men's basketball has begun with open gymnasium at 6 a.m. Tuesdays. The earlybirds get it going by having pick-up games. To this date we have been playing half court, hoping that we get more people to go full court.

Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. we open the Pagosa Springs Community Center gym for men's league open gym night. All are welcome with "winner stay" for full-court basketball.

Youth basketball

We are in the process of organizing youth basketball. Seven and 8-year-olds should keep a lookout for registration forms. We will be passing them out at the public schools soon.

Our goal is to get started earlier so we don't keep the young ones so late during the winter. Also, by doing this, we have full use of the gymnasium for the young athletes.

So keep your eyes and ears open for the new season to begin sometime in November.

Park news

South Park bathrooms have been shut down for the winter and all the irrigation pipes winterized. Skating and biking are still going strong with the good weather.

Thank you for picking up after yourselves, the park has not received any complaints in quite some time. Keep our parks clean for all to enjoy.

Town Park bathrooms are open to the public 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Chaperones of Friday afternoon groups using Town Park are asked to do a walkthrough to make sure trash and general cleanup is done.

Job update

We have narrowed down the applicants for the master design of our new Sports Complex to four architect design teams, with interviews set for early November.

Bid documents for the new raw water feed from the river to the school and future town athletics fields are due. We expect to award the bid in the next few days.

Last but not least, the job applications for the Maintenance 1 job for the parks are being taken until Oct. 31. At this time we will take the top four applicants and interview them, hoping to fill the job on or before Dec. 1.

Garage sale

The Pagosa Springs Community Center is having a Fall Garage Sale Nov. 2, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

The sale will take place in the parking lot in front of Town Hall, with all the proceeds going toward furnishings for the center. Items to be donated must be cleared by the coordinator prior to the date of the sale. To donate items, call the number listed below.

For more information, contact Mercy Korsgren at 264-4152.

Free wood

Bring a chain saw and a truck to collect free firewood on Reservoir Hill.

Trees have already been cut and limbed into 10-foot sections as part of a planned thinning process. Anyone interested in sawing this into firewood lengths and carting it away is welcome to check out a key to the gate from Joe Lister Jr. at Town Hall during business hours.



Al Croce

Al Croce, loving husband, father and friend, died Monday, Oct. 14, 2002.

He is survived by his wife, Fran Croce; children Lauri Streeter, Freddie Croce, Elaine Durham and Joni Bussoli as well as his grandchildren, Jack, Sam and Antonia.

A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, 2002, in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church of Pagosa Springs, followed by a potluck gathering in the Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to the Cancer Institute or the American Heart Association.

Gladys De Lisle

Gladys Einger De Lisle, 101, formerly of Pagosa Springs, died Monday, Sept. 23, 2002, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. Burial was in Hillside Cemetery in Scotch Plains, N.J.

She was born Aug. 31, 1901, in Friendship, N.Y., the daughter of Charles and Jennie Benjamin. She spent most of her life in New Jersey. A former nurse, she went on many private cases for doctors there. She was also a dental assistant.

June 23, 1923, she married Harold L. De Lisle of Oak Tree, N.J., where they built their home and lived for many years. A life member of Martha Washington Council No. 23 D. of A., she loved bowling and played in both women's and mixed leagues with her husband and son. She enjoyed knitting and playing the organ.

Her husband preceded her in death in 1966 and she moved to Pagosa Springs to be closer to her son Le Roy, of Durango, who survives along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Addie Marie Reese

Addie Marie Reese died in her Pagosa Springs home Monday, Oct. 14, 2002. Born to Sidney and Ollie Goolsby Rhoades in Centerville, Texas, April 21, 1921, she was 81 years old.

She completed 11 years of school but was so in love with Abner Wesley Reese that she left high school with just six months remaining to marry him. She moved to Pagosa Springs from Texas in 1992. She worked as a restaurant manger and was employed by Pagosa Lodge and Riverside Restaurant.

Marie loved the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and regularly attended church while living in Texas. She was saddened to be physically unable to attend in Pagosa Springs.

Marie was preceded in death by her husband, Abner, and her mother, Ollie.

Survivors are a son, Dennis Reese of Pagosa Springs; a granddaughter, Katrina A. Reese and grandsons Daniel W. and Mikeal D. Reese, all of Pagosa Springs; and sisters Jackie Millender of Teague, Texas, Mary Blue of Cleveland, Texas, and Bille Touma of Lake Palestine, Texas.

Visitation was Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2002, at Pagosa Funeral Options and services were at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2002, in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She will be taken to Buffalo, Texas, for graveside services and burial in Buffalo Cemetery.

 Inside The Sun

Rock Ridge commercial units win planner approval

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A commercial development that came to the attention of town planners back in February, changed scope in September and has consistently raised concern from neighbors, passed muster at the Pagosa Springs Planning Commission meeting Tuesday.

The commission recommended approval of the project, which includes three commercial buildings adjacent to the Rock Ridge Mobile Home Park and Rock Ridge Subdivision, after nearly an hour of presentations by town staff and local residents. Despite a month of negotiations between staff and the developer to mitigate neighbors' concerns with noise, appearance, lighting and drainage, not everyone left the meeting happy.

Trees began disappearing on a triangular piece of property at the corner of Great West Avenue and Gold Mine Drive at the beginning of 2002. When neighbors alerted town planning staff to the tree removal and dirt work, no formal development proposals had been filed. Staff contacted partners on the project, Terry Smith and Michael Branch, and learned they planned to develop the site for commercial uses, all of which were allowed under the designated zoning for the site.

The commission reviewed proposed uses, which included an operation to cut already-milled logs to desired lengths, and warehouse space for things like distribution centers and contractors' shops, outlined in a letter from Branch. In February, they recommended that staff move forward with the project under a building permit review process. Traffic and drainage studies would be required. At the time, the commission was presented a letter signed by several residents in the area citing concerns about the appearance of the development and noise levels.

As time passed, plans for the buildings changed. Curt Johnson became a partner, whereas Smith was no longer involved. An auto mechanic and excavation company, both requiring equipment to be left outside the buildings, replaced plans for the timber-cutting operation, and the owners decided to sell units as condominiums. Condominium development falls under the town's subdivision regulations, which initiated a more comprehensive review of the project to include an updated grading plan, landscape plan, lighting, traffic counts and method and location of screening.

The initial sketch plan, with two buildings already constructed on the site, was reviewed by the planning commission in September. About 15 residents of the Rock Ridge area voiced concerns about the Rock Ridge Commercial Center at that time, according to the meeting minutes. Eleven residents signed a letter dated Sept. 17 outlining concerns with traffic safety, parking, drainage and snow storage, environmental hazards, noise pollution, unsightly views, landscaping and exterior lighting. The commission authorized staff to move forward to the next stage of review, a combination of preliminary and final plats, providing all the necessary documentation came in on time and no further changes were made to the project.

Following the meeting, planning staff visited the site to discuss mitigation measures. As a result, more landscaping to help buffer the view will be required. Both large trees and an understory of shorter vegetation is planned in the 25-foot setback on both the southern and eastern sides of the project where most of the residences are located. Staff also requested that explicit language be included in the condo declarations to insure that future owners maintain the landscaping. A wooden fence will be required in one area to act as a screen for the auto repair shop, and concrete swales were required across both driveways to prevent erosion of the public road surfaces.

Kurt Johnson, one of the applicants for the project, said the lighting used will be set on a combination of photo cells, timers and motion detectors to prevent bright lights from glaring into homes continuously in the evenings. Lights will be mounted on the buildings only.

On Tuesday, the commission recommended approval of the plat with the condition that staff sign off on the final screening required for the auto shop and excavation business building, which has yet to be constructed.

Several residents of Rock Ridge attended the meeting and voiced approval for some of the landscaping, screening and drainage alterations being required.

Noise, they said, remains a concern. Janet Valdez asked the developers and the town to alter the plan so that the third building faced northeast toward the rest of the commercial development in that area, instead of toward residences.

"Whether testing vehicles or warming up their trucks, all the noise needs to go away from the neighborhood," she said. Turned around, the building would face toward Great West Avenue, the same direction as the warehouse already constructed.

Because of the bedrock that would have to be moved, the problems with a north or northeast facing building in the winter, and the fact that the building has already been ordered based on specifications for the south-facing site, moving it was not an option, Johnson said.

"I certainly understand your point of view," commissioner Rice Reavis said to Valdez, "but it's not something we can force them to do."

Other commissioners asked if additional screening might help with the noise reduction, but no good solution seemed to present itself.

Bearing the commission's approval, the preliminary and final plats for the project will be considered by the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees at the board's regular meeting in November. The trustees have final approval or denial authority on the plans.


Commissioner candidates answer SUN's questions

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Early balloting in Archuleta County for the Nov. 7 general election starts Monday.

Voters wishing to cast early ballots must do so at the county clerk's office in the courthouse in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Balloting on Nov. 7 will be conducted at the various voting precincts located throughout the county.

Two candidates are in the race for Archuleta County Commissioner from Commissioner District 3 which is located along the eastern and southern portions of the county, stretching from the county line on U.S. 160 near Wolf Creek Pass south to Chromo and west to Arboles.

Archuleta County has three commissioners elected to four-year terms. They are all subject to term limits. While commissioners must live within one of the three districts in the county, they are elected by the vote of electors from all of the districts.

The candidates are incumbent Gene Crabtree, a Republican completing his first term in office, and challenger Mamie Lynch, a Democrat. Both candidates reached the Nov. 7 ballot through the county caucus process. If elected, Crabtree can only serve one more term because of the term limitation.

Lynch served as a county commissioner from 1989 through 1993. If elected, she will be able to serve two terms.

In order to help voters make a choice in the coming election, The SUN staff prepared a list of questions. The same questions were asked of each candidate. In the following paragraphs, the questions are numbered and listed first. Candidate answers follow, identified by the appropriate question number.

The questions are:

1. How would you describe your style in carrying out the duties of county commissioner?

2. Should other elected officials have more say in developing the county budget?

3. Concerning zoning, how will you resolve the conflict between private property rights and community rights?

4. What is your response to the pace of enacting the Community Plan?

5. Do you favor county government by liaison? Why?

6. Will you go to the voter to get approval and funds for a new county courthouse facility?

7. What is the most important issue facing county government and how do you propose to solve it?

8. Do you expect county income to drop next year? If income drops, what will you do about it?

9. Are the county roads okay? If not, what will you do about it?

We give Crabtree's answers first because he is the incumbent.

1. Gene Crabtree basically sees his style as a policy setting, managerial type. He says the commissioners are responsible for knowing what's going on. He wants to know what is going on and where to go to get information to solve it in order to settle the situation. He says he gathers information by understanding the problem, talking to the persons involved, researching, getting legal advice, then drawing a conclusion from both sides.

Mamie Lynch sees herself as conducting business on a professional basis. She says she conducts public business in public. She believes in informing the public about issues because an informed public makes for better board decisions. She believes in keeping open the lines of communication between the commissioners and other elected officials.

2. According to Crabtree, when he started four years ago there were no elected official or department head meetings. He says he instigated monthly meetings and through the process the commissioners obtain input from other elected officials and department heads. He said the system works well, even if the others do not get all of the money they request because of budget limitations.

Lynch says she will probably give other elected officials more input in terms of their goals and objectives. An example, she says, is when an elected official requires a larger than usual capital expenditure for a particular year, while others may be able to operate at the same level as previous years.

3. Crabtree says he believes in zoning. He wants the county zoned according to specific kinds of land usage. He sees a need to protect both sides, private and group rights. While county rights are primary, Crabtree believes individuals have the right to build what they want on their own property if they don't damage or infringe on community rights. For example, he says, no one has a right to build a junkyard in Chromo.

Lynch says first she will study the many models existing for zoning. Then by using the expertise in this community, she will involve as many citizens as possible to develop an integrated approach meeting both needs.

4. Crabtree said he does not feel the Community Plan has the outlook of all of the citizens, particularly old-timers who did not get involved until late in the process when they saw what was happening, people who have lived here more than six or seven years. He wants to reach a few more people that he will choose. "The Planning Department has asked me to pick representatives from my District. This is too important an issue to rush into. I will listen to the new people and try to see if what they say fits the Community Plan."

Lynch says enactment of the Community Plan has been far too slow. She firmly believes a time frame must be developed for implementing the suggested action items. "The Community Plan is not set in stone. As the community changes, the plan will have to be adapted to changing needs."

5. According to Crabtree, the liaison style was brought into play when the county manager left. "A lot of frustrations and questions surfaced from department heads including budget and hiring practices." Crabtree says he instigated the liaison process to allow the commissioners to understand departmental problems before hiring a new manager, thereby having a better basis for judging the new person's qualifications. In addition, the commissioners gained hands-on experience in running the departments. "Before it was dictatorship," Crabtree said. "Department heads were told what to do, destroying any creativity."

"I don't favor governing by liaison," Lynch said. "Too many things fall through the cracks when someone is not available on a daily basis." Lynch compares government by liaison to operating a school without a superintendent and having every principal report to the school board. "The result would be utter chaos." Lynch wants a professional administrator working with and guiding department heads in their daily tasks.

6. Crabtree says before taking the issue to voters, a foundation of facts must be established to determine if a new facility is necessary, feasible, how it will look, where it will be and what it will cost. He says he will consider financing other than a voter-approved bond issue in order not to raise property taxes. If there is no other alternative, he will go to the voters.

Lynch says she will most certainly take the issue to voters. "It's my belief they pay for it, they should have a say in doing it." Otherwise it would be taxation without representation, Lynch said.

7. Crabtree sees growth and the economy as the most important issue facing the community. "This is no longer a sleepy mountain community." While the area is expanding, the commissioners must be mindful not to go over budget, Crabtree said.

Along with the Community Plan, Lynch sees roads as the major issue. She wants to develop a comprehensive road plan identifying roads as arterials, feeders and residential with a 5-year time line to work on roads. She wants the public informed as to what work is being done on roads in their neighborhood.

8. Crabtree feels by watching the news and listening to the governor and legislature, he will have a feel for how the economy is going. He expects next year to see more of a squeeze on county funds with less money from state and federal sources. If local funds dwindle, the county will have to downsize the budget.

Lynch does not anticipate a significant drop in county revenue. If revenues drop, she will resort to belt-tightening involving the cooperation of all elected officials, department heads and employees.

9. Crabtree says county roads are in better shape than in a long time. The problem started years ago when developers were not controlled, according to Crabtree. Work was decided by the county manager. Today the work is determined by the manager plus three commissioners starting with a work list provided by the road superintendent. In subdivisions, where the county does not accept roads, and population is growing, the county has an obligation to supply men and materials to bring those roads up to county standards so the county can maintain them.

Lynch says county roads are not in as good as shape as they could be. She said, through a comprehensive plan, the roads could be put in better shape.


Full house hears candidates, issues at LWV forum

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

About 150 citizens crowded into the Vista Clubhouse Tuesday evening for the local League of Women Voters forum presenting candidates and issues that will appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

Taking part were candidates in the Colorado 6th Senate District race, candidates for Archuleta County Commissioner from Commissioner District 3, and candidates for Archuleta County Sheriff.

Also speaking were Gene Tautges, on behalf of a Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District bond proposal, and Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez, not on behalf of, but in explanation of, Amendment 29, a proposal to change the existing caucus system of selecting candidates for office.

"I am very pleased with the turnout," said Nan Rowe, president of the local League of Women Voters organization. "I am also pleased at the excellent quality of the questions asked."

Time did not allow reading all of the questions, even though they were excellent, Rowe said. Consequently, the questions not read during the public forum are being mailed to the appropriate respondent.

Tuesday's format allowed each of the candidates to give a four-minute talk. At no time did the format allow for debate between or among candidates. Following the talks, questions from the League and from the audience were presented to the candidates. Following the questions, one minute was allowed each candidate for a closing statement.

The candidates for Senate District 6 are incumbent Democrat Jim Isgar of Hesperus and challenger Kay Alexander of Montrose, a Republican. Isgar was appointed about one and one-half years ago to replace Jim Dyer, who resigned to take a position with the Public Utilities Commission. Alexander currently represents District 58 in the Colorado House of Representatives. Both took part in Tuesday's forum.

Candidates for Archuleta County Commissioner from District 3 are incumbent Gene Crabtree, a Republican, and challenger Mamie Lynch, a Democrat. Crabtree is seeking a second consecutive term in office. Lynch served as a commissioner from 1989 through 1992.

Candidates for county sheriff are incumbent Tom Richards, a Republican, and write-in challenger Chuck Allen. Allen's name will not be on the ballot. Those people choosing to vote for Allen must write his name on the blank line labeled "Write-in" and blacken the adjacent oval.

About 14 questions were presented to the candidates.

The League asked the senatorial candidates, "What will you do to resolve the state's economic challenges?"

After explaining why the state is in its present position Isgar said certain TABOR stipulations must be changed, specifically those causing the economy to ratchet down.

According to Isgar, state prosperity followed by sudden economic decline is at the root of the problem. When times were good, TABOR forced the state to rebate surpluses. When income declined, demands for services did not decline. At the same time, TABOR prevents the state from increasing revenues sufficiently to maintain the level of services.

Alexander repeated Isgar's explanation as to the cause of the problems, then said that certain state departments need to be reviewed with the idea of downsizing in order to affect economies. The Departments of Education, Human Services and Transportation will be excluded from the initial study, Alexander said.

The league asked county commissioner candidates, "What do you consider the most important issues of 2003?"

Roads, including a comprehensive plan for road maintenance, said Lynch.

Water and low income housing, said Crabtree.

The sheriff candidates were asked, What is the most important law enforcement issue?

"That's easy," said Richards. "Keeping you safe and secure. That's good law enforcement."

"I agree," said Allen, "but they need training. We can't send men out on the job without proper tools."

The League of Women Voters has presented candidate and issue forums regularly for several years.


Yard/barn/garage sale set to benefit LASSO organization

A yard-garage-barn sale to benefit the LASSO organization of Archuleta County will be held Oct. 26 in the Proline Parking lot, North Pagosa Boulevard and Navajo Trail Drive.

The organization, dedicated to the welfare of large animals in need, is urging friends to clear out their barns, stalls, garages and closets to donate goods for the sale.

The group expects to have tack and household items as well as usual garage sale fare.

Anyone who wishes to donate goods may call Melissa at 731-5014 or Diane at 264-0095 for details on getting their wares to the scene. Planners can arrange pickup, or will tell donors when and where to deliver.


PAWS concerns

Dear Editor:

In their information releases PAWS asks for $10,355,000 to:

1. Rework Dutton Ditch to increase flow during the winter;

2. Increase the capacity of Stevens Lake and to increase the capacity of its Water Treatment Plant; and

3. Carry out 10 relatively minor improvements.

Now we see on the official ballot that they still ask for the full $10,355,000; but they now state they "may include the Dutton Ditch" and they "may include Stevens Reservoir."

If their plans are this uncertain they do not need the money at this time.

There is still time for PAWS to explain the lack of commitment to their much publicized plans.

Jim Carson


Dear Editor:

I, and probably all registered voters in Pagosa Springs, recently received a postcard from a group known as "The Business Education Committee." This postcard sought to discredit incumbent state Sen. Jim Isgar with "misinformation" - as pleasant a way of saying "bald-faced lies" as I can manage.

I was angry when I received the postcard and even angrier to find there is no phone number where this so-called "committee" can be reached so that I might ask the members to substantiate their claims.

The postcard accuses Isgar of attempting to wrest highway funding away from southwest Colorado and redirect it to Denver, when it was Isgar who fought to protect that funding for his district.

The postcard makes it appear Isgar supported plans to destroy property rights. He did the opposite.

The card says Isgar voted against students saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school. He didn't.

Who is behind the lies, the deceit, the dishonesty? This alleged Business Education Committee uses an old political ploy: a so-called committee with a self-important title is formed by persons directly or indirectly involved in a candidate's campaign, maybe several candidates' campaigns.

Without identifying a political affiliation they trash a candidate over trumped up issues. All of this is done in the name of altruism, but once the election is over, regardless of who won, that "committee" disappears, having fulfilled its goal.

By all appearances the candidate the committee supports has little or nothing to do with what is published by this group. She can't. It would look far too biased, far too seamy, far too underhanded. The group or committee or whatever it is called goes about bashing their candidate's competition with impunity. They've got nothing to lose since the organization technically doesn't exist.

What it really amounts to is lying. The lie begins with the formation of a front and continues its crooked course, disseminating irresponsible propaganda designed to dupe the voters, not to better the community, the district or the state.

At this precarious time in American history we want people of integrity in the political process, above rolling in the political manure. Voters are not stupid. More and more voters are turning to people they can trust, forsaking party lines in search of an honest politician to represent them. We want to hear candidates' ideas, what they believe in, their timetable for change and why they think they're the right person for the job.

If they tell us the truth we will decide which is the right servant for the people - and make no mistake, that's the job they're running for, a servant of the people. They should not sully themselves and their opponent and discredit the democratic process with underhandedness, insulting the intelligence of the voting public with accusatory lies.

Crawl up out of the gutter and conduct yourselves like statesper-sons.

Yours truly,

John Egan

Judicial issues

Dear Editor:

I have been told by a number of people that you and Judge Denvir are long-time friends. If so, that indicates you are no more objective than you accuse me of not being. In your article "Retain the judge" in last week's newspaper, you should have stated your relationship with Judge Denvir. This article only further exemplifies how pervasive the "good old boy system" is in Archuleta County. Also you might want to get your facts straight before you put them in the paper. My case did not involve a divorce in Judge Denvir's court.

Whether real or imagined, there is a fear or concern among Archuleta County residents and voters of publicly opposing Judge Denvir. I am not the only one involved in this effort to improve the judicial system in Archuleta County. There are many contributors and literally hundreds of supporters who wish to remain nameless. Few people are willing to take the personal risk and be as public as I am on this issue. All our signs, leaflets, ads etc., will do is get the voters talking and asking questions. If Judge Denvir's record is good then he has nothing to fear from an informed Archuleta County electorate.

Judge Denvir is not the underdog in this process; the voters are the true underdogs. After all, Judge Denvir has power and powerful friends, as in the local newspaper editor, giving him free advertising. The Coalition for the Removal of Judge Denvir gets no such free advertising.

In a meeting I had with you, Mr. Isberg, you stated to me that there is always a winner and loser in every court case and the losers would vote against Judge Denvir. If that were in fact true, then every judge would automatically get a 50 percent no vote. I, on the other hand, have a much higher opinion of Archuleta County residents and voters who appear in Judge Denvir's court.

I believe that the vast majority of people know when they lose a case it's because that is what the statutes, case law and facts of the case dictate. On the other hand, losing because a judge disregards the statutes, case law and facts so he can rule the way he wants to is quite another matter. Some of my most adamant supporters won their cases in Judge Denvir's court, but feel his courtroom demeanor was so abusive that whey want him removed.

When your paper published the announcement for the Judicial Performance Commission's meeting in Pagosa Springs you buried this announcement on page 14. Your "Retain the judge" article is on page 2 with a very large heading instead of the minuscule heading you had on the announcement for the public meeting on Judge Denvir's performance held by the Commission on Judicial Performance.

Curtis Hannay

Editor's note:

This one exception to our Letters to the Editor policy will be allowed since the topic of the Oct. 10 editorial dealt, in part, with your personal activity. Since your response is personal, it will not go without comment.

1. Neither acquaintance nor conspiracy is required to disagree with your position. All that is needed is the recognition of the illogic in the jump from justifiable personal distress over a court decision to a poorly supported and hasty generalization about a judge's overall performance.

2. "Real or imagined" fear or concern? If there is no basis to establish "real" fear or concern, of what value is "imaginary" fear or concern? Again, the citizens of this county have given no indication at all over the years that they fear this or any other judge.

3. For the sake of accuracy, the "article" you refer to was an editorial. It is not advertising; it is a statement of the editorial opinion of the newspaper. The editorial always appears on page 2. Editorials take stands on issues to provoke opinion and thought in readers. The size of headlines on editorials and news articles depends on the number of words in the headline and the space available for them.

4. For the sake of accuracy, the "announcement" you mention was, in fact, a news article dealing with the vote on retention of two judges and it included comments made by you during an interview with our reporter. News articles are not "buried" in our publication; they are put on those pages where there is room for them.

5. In our conversation, I noted that in contentious civil actions, half the persons involved leave unhappy with the ruling and could let that anger influence their votes. This is no indication that all of them will be unable to separate their feelings from the ability to reason.

6. No court of appeals has ruled that the judge in question disregarded statutes in your or any other case. That judgment is pending.

7. We did indeed forget that your case deals with a child support issue, and we apologize for that error. Please accept our apology. Consider this a correction and consider the debate in this forum over.

Grading judges

Dear Editor:

In the upcoming election voters are going to be asked to vote on the retention of judges. Most voters have never met a judge and have little information on which to base a vote. Not long ago, a grading of judges was printed in the newspaper. This grading was done by lawyers, other judges, and, amazingly, by the subject judges.

This is hardly an unbiased analysis and is of little value. It is not practical to sit in a judge's courtroom long enough to form an opinion of his judicial ability. Talking to litigants is of little value since half of them (the losers) will dislike him and the other half will probably love him.

So, what is one to do on election day?

While discussing a recent legal issue with a local attorney, I was told that I must think of the case in more political terms than legal. I was shocked to hear such a frank admission that the judicial process has been corrupted. This sparked my interest. Upon further investigation, I found that a new term is in widespread use in our country.

The term is judicial activism.

Simply described, it refers to judicial decisions not based on law but rather on a judge's bias and social beliefs. In effect, it is legislation from the bench. We have been led to believe that our elected officials make laws and judges interpret law. This is often not true and results in an erosion of our Constitution and democracy. Judges thus become dictators in black robes.

My research on the solution to this problem resulted in two possibilities. First, we could have legislative review of judicial decisions. But this would add another layer of bureaucracy to an already gridlocked and expensive system. Second, and more practical, we could have term limits for judges. This would limit the available time that lawyers, judges and local political processes could become intertwined and thus encourage judicial decisions based on law rather than outside influences.

Colorado does not have term limits for judges. So, we the voters can impose term limits by voting no for retention of all judges at every election.

This may sound reactionary but if examined closely will show itself to be the most democratic method of insuring an independent judiciary.

Gil Johnson

Referendum B

Dear Editor:

The Colorado Health and Hospital Association and the Colorado League of Women Voters agree - Referendum B will help improve access to healthcare, especially in rural Colorado.

Referendum B fixes an outdated law. It allows publicly owned hospitals and healthcare services to partner with doctors and other private entities to jointly provide services needed in a community.

By sharing the cost of new facilities, technology or services with partners, public health care facilities reduce overhead and equipment costs. The end result is containment of health care costs and health insurance premiums.

Join with us in voting "yes" on Referendum B.

Larry Wall, Colorado Health & Hospital Association

Gerry Cummins, League of Women Voters of Colorado

Water riddle

Dear Editor:

Please help me solve a riddle. We recently received our September water bill and had quite a shock. Naturally, we checked our records and felt like there was a mistake, so my husband went to the PAWS office and they sent out someone to check our meter.

He could find no leaks, so my husband went in again and was told there are no mistakes on the books. Here is my riddle:

In July we watered four days (Thursdays) and had two weeks of company with 6,000 gallons of water used; in August we watered five days and had one week of company, using 5,000 gallons of water; in September we watered two days (Thursday but on two it rained) and had four days of company, using 11,000 gallons of water.

My riddle is, "How can any logical person not realize that the meter was misread in either July and/or August?"

P.S.: During the first 10 days of October we have used only 1,000 gallons of water.

We have tried to save water like good citizens but feel like we got kicked in the teeth by bureaucracy.

Mary K. Meyer

Not funny

Dear Editor:

RE: Letter to Editor: Voters Beware, SUN, 10/10/02

Lee Sterling, I stated months ago that if you ever again snidely mentioned your "brain dead society/dempster award" in a letter to the editor, I was going to respond in an effort to suggest you put to rest an era of this community (1997-98) when lives were adversely affected and negative feelings were running rampant.

It is not clever or funny, as you evidently think of yourself as a master jokester, to ridicule another person who was caught up in a vendetta perpetrated by some very vicious control freaks.

If you must persist in your harpings in keeping this "society" active, I strongly suggest that you ridicule yourself and initiate a "nickel-plate award" and perhaps rename the "society" the "Buckaroo Society."

The motto for this new "society" should be "Stupid is as stupid does."

Jim Rains

Local prices

Dear Editor:

I have been a resident of Pagosa Springs for nearly three years now, and I absolutely love it here. I live and work in this community and am proud to call Pagosa home. In addition, I am the type of person who would prefer to spend my money locally (rather than traveling out of town to get a discount) in an attempt to keep the revenue in the community.

But I am so tired of being overcharged by the local businesses. It is almost as if I am being penalized for living in this community.

While traveling out of town, I find the price differences to be so extreme. From $1.64 per gallon for gasoline in Pagosa, to $1.41 in Durango, and as little as $1.26 in Farmington. And I don't even want to mention the grocery store, but that is one exception to my shopping rule.

I simply cannot afford to purchase groceries for a family of four at the local market. I have to drive to Durango, Farmington or elsewhere. The amount I spend in gas is only a portion of the money I save. I'm sorry to say that, but it is true.

Another thing I have noticed is that some businesses in Pagosa Springs are still charging 7 percent for sales tax. The current sales tax rate is 6.9 percent, and come tax time, these businesses are only required to collect, report and pay 6.9 percent of their gross sales. Basically, this means that for every $100 I spend at one of these businesses, an extra ten cents is being taken from my pocket, and is not being reported. This is very upsetting to me. Can you tell me that these establishments aren't aware of the current sales tax rate?

Finally, many local establishments have a marquee sign in front of their business in order to promote current specials, sales or events. All around town, I have noticed these signs to contain misspelled words and inverted and/or transposed letters. You would think that the person(s) responsible for managing these businesses would notice this sort of thing. I'm sure the customers or potential customers do.

P. Shoffner

Pro choice?

Dear Editor:

We are being inundated with TV political ads proclaiming some of the candidates' "pro-choice" positions and their support of a woman's right to choose.

This example of politically correct speech illustrates language twisting designed to hide the real meaning of the words.

Instead of saying "a woman's right to choose," why can't they say what it truly is: The willful killing of an unborn child?

Gene Takach

West Nile Virus

Dear Editor:

I was in New York City when West Nile Virus hit there a few yeas ago and they began spraying with Malathion and slathering kids with Deet. There was panic and fear on all sides with some physicians testifying that the pesticides were doing more harm than the disease.

West Nile Virus, spread by mosquitoes, has appeared in many other states since then, including Colorado where some 240 horses have died this year in counties statewide even during drought conditions. Recently some human cases have been reported.

I believe we need to begin an organized public education campaign on West Nile prevention, and that strategies should begin to be implemented by early spring of 2003. Once a human case is diagnosed, broad scale toxic pesticide spraying is the least effective remedy.

Basically, prevention is about eliminating mosquito habitat: stagnant and standing water. Our lakes and septic and stock ponds can be treated with a relatively non-toxic bacteria called BT which kills mosquitoes in the larval stage. The public needs to understand this bacterial treatment - its environmental effects, low toxicity to other life forms, etc. The public also needs to be enlisted to help reduce standing water around their homes. For details about these methods, look for information I placed at the Sisson Library, and make copies for friends and neighbors.

Fortunately, Frank Ratliff of Archuleta County Weed and Pest Control is on board for prevention, and he has some supplies of BT for folks who request it.

But, I believe we need a major countywide or multicounty concerted prevention effort. If West Nile Virus hits here, public funds will surely be used to combat it. I propose that public funds be allocated now to prevent or minimize any outbreak.

If you agree that we need serious, lest toxic prevention measures, please let San Juan Basin Health in Durango (247-5702) and the county commissioners (264-2536) know.

Annie Waterman

Ballot issue 5 A

Dear Editor:

I just received the flier in the mail about the Amendment 1 Notice of Ballot Issue 5 A (water). Concerning the Summary of Written Comments, there were five paragraphs for the Ballot Question (no indication of who wrote them) and no comments against filed by the constitutional deadline.

Perhaps most people, myself included, received no notice of request for comments, no notice of a deadline and no copy of the proposed increase of taxes. We certainly would have responded before whatever the deadline was.

Since I was given no opportunity to respond, I do so now, submitting the following comments and questions to give me time to prepare an informed vote.

Fundamentally, why do we need to vote to authorize PAWS to increase debts and embark on projects? This was not made clear. Do not the recent exorbitant increases in water usage fees cover the proposed activities? Does not PAWS already have the authority and mandate to provide adequate services and assess fees?

Three of the stated purposes on the ballot use the words "may include." There is no indication of the estimated costs of these projects or even that they are planned to be undertaken. How can any taxpayer be asked to vote for something that "may" or "may not" happen and not knowing what it will cost if it does happen?

Why are the proposals to be paid for by increasing taxes of homeowners? As questioned above, are they not paid for from water usage fees? Furthermore, there is no indication of what commercial property owners or tank fillers, who already pay too little, might be expected to be taxed. Why not? How will they be affected?

As stated, the proposal would authorize the Board of District to levy taxes without limitation as to rate or amount or any other condition, to constitute voter-approved revenue changes, but to spend the money without regard to any of the revenues that may be collected and spent. Is this totally unrestricted money management at our expense really the intent?

Please explain why I, a retired homeowner on limited income, or any homeowner for that matter, should vote for such a nebulous proposal. Unless I get a clarification that shows my interpretation is faulty and answers my questions satisfactorily, shall I not be forced to vote No and encourage others to do likewise?

Eugene Witkowski


 Community News

Senior News

Oktoberfest debuts Saturday at Community Center

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

It's here. The Oktoberfest fund-raiser will take place in the multi-purpose room of the new Community Center from 6-11 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are on sale at the Chamber of Commerce, the Senior Center, or from some of the Senior Center members. We hope to see a lot of you folks having a good time eating the delicious German food, drinking the German beer and dancing. A little bird tells me that Dave Krueger will teach a couple of German dances.

Our Volunteer of the Month is Delphi McFatridge. This lovely lady has been a mainstay of our volunteers for years and we really appreciate her.

Bonnita Lynn was our Senior of the Week last week and Jimmye Day is Senior of the Week this week. Congratulations, ladies. We appreciate your helpful attitudes and your happy faces.

Thanks to Roy Craig for his presentation on "UFOs: An Insider's View." Mr. Craig was a field investigator for the Colorado Project and wrote a book about his experiences. It should be very interesting.

A big thank you to the person who donated the packages of Celestial Seasoning Teas.

A big welcome to our guests and returning members this week, including Sherri and Tracy Barcus, Liz Davis, Rita Moody, Bee and Mo Holman, Catherine Holt, Judy Armistead, Beatrice and Jim Holmes, Angie Furer, Kathy Cole, Kathryn Cook, Donna Formwalt, John and Marilyn Dahm, Carol Iglehart, Denice Tostin, Chris Bentley, Lore Lord and Ruth Schutz.

Muriel Cronkhite, the nutritionist for our region, will talk with us about good eating habits Oct. 25.

There will be a grief and loss support group, led by Dr. Deborah Parker, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. beginning Oct. 24 and on alternate Thursdays after that, in the Senior Lounge. Anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, please come and meet Dr. Parker and let her help.

On Oct. 30, we will have a Halloween Party during the noon hour. Wear your fun costumes and join us for some silliness. You might even win a prize.

Weekly events

Mondays: Chair exercise led by Dru Sewell, 10 a.m.; blood pressure checks by Glenda Cloward, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesdays: Yoga by Richard Harris, 9:30 a.m.; art classes, 12:45 p.m. Bring art supplies and have some fun. Cost is $2 per class for use of the Arts Council facilities. Any senior needing financial help with this fee should talk to Musetta or Laura at the Senior Center. George Golightly and Cecelia Arnold will be the instructors.

Wednesdays: Computer class with Sam Matthews, 10:30 a.m.

Fridays: Yoga by Richard Harris, 8:30 a.m.; Qi Gong with Vasuki, 10 a.m.; Medicare counseling with Jim Hanson, 11 a.m.

Veterans Corner

New transport vehicle due here soon

By Andy Fautheree

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new Archuleta County veteran's VA health care transportation vehicle. We should have it in the next week or so.

As you may recall, in a cooperative effort between the American Legion Mullins-Nickerson Post 108 and Archuleta County government, we were fortunate to be awarded a $25,000 grant from Colorado Veterans Settlement Fund to purchase a new transport vehicle.

This money comes from the Colorado Tobacco Settlement Fund, of which a portion has been earmarked for Colorado veteran's programs such as our transportation program.

American Legion is the recipient of the grant. They will lease the vehicle to Archuleta County for $1 a year, for the purpose of providing veterans transportation to VA health care appointments. Archuleta County has agreed to provide insurance and maintenance.

Transport vehicle

We are purchasing a Silver 2003 Ford Taurus 4-door sedan. This is similar to the 1999 Dodge Stratus 4-door sedan we currently use. This vehicle was generously purchased new in 1999 by Archuleta County for this purpose. It was felt a sedan vehicle would provide the easiest visibility, especially when backing up.

Some of our veteran drivers have some physical impairment that limits their twisting and rearward vision. Vans may not offer this ease of rear visibility. Jim Young with Archuleta County road and bridge pointed this out early in the selection process and all agreed it was an important consideration.

Jim made all the purchase arrangements for us with High Country Auto in Durango.

Archuleta County veterans can be very thankful for the support we receive from county government for veterans' affairs. Archuleta County certainly sets a high standard and role model for other counties to take note of. Next time you see commissioners Bill Downey, Gene Crabtree and Alden Ecker, or any other member of county government, take the time to thank them for their continued strong support of our services. By the way, Ecker is a veteran and is enrolled in the VAHC system.

Vehicle scheduling

Since our American Legion post is very small and does not have financial resources for a transport vehicle, this office will coordinate scheduling of the vehicle for the veteran users as I do with the current vehicle.

The scheduling process takes a great deal of coordination as veterans contact me with their appointment schedules. In the case of multiple needs to the same VA facility I coordinate who is going, how long they will be gone, who is driving, their phone numbers, and appointment times and dates. This information is maintained in a computer program.

The vehicle is for use by any Archuleta County veterans for VA health care appointments only. To qualify for use of the vehicle the veterans must have a valid driver's license, sign a waiver of responsibility and must not have adequate or dependable transportation of their own.

In other words, the vehicle is for those veterans who do not have reliable transportation of their own. The veteran provides fuel costs for the vehicle to get to his appointment, and returns the vehicle with a full tank, clean and ready for the next veteran to use. It is a system that has worked well for several years.

In the case of a disabled or handicapped veteran we can provide or arrange a volunteer driver to take the veteran to their appointment. Currently we have a very good network of volunteer drivers who are willing to donate their time for this need. Of course, we can always use more volunteers to distribute the duties to more persons. Please give me a call if you would care to be a volunteer veteran driver.

Two vehicles

Frequently we have two vehicles on the road at the same time, going to different VAHC locations. Our veterans are enrolled in Albuquerque, Farmington, Chama, Durango and Grand Junction. The Archuleta County commissioner's office has been generous in supplying us with a back-up vehicle when our vehicle is already scheduled for a trip.

With the purchase of the new vehicle the VSO will now have two vehicles for this purpose. We will use the older vehicle for the nearest appointments and use the new one to go to Farmington, Albuquerque and Grand Junction. Our old vehicle now has about 130,000 miles on it.

VAHC shuttle

I am also working on a new cooperative transportation effort with the Disabled American Veterans organization in New Mexico to make use of their daily shuttle between Aztec, Farmington and Albuquerque. Several of our veterans recently made a test trip using a combination of our transport vehicle to Aztec, and then the DAV shuttle van for the final leg to Albuquerque VA Medical Center.

They returned on the shuttle the following day and then picked up the VSO car in Aztec and returned home. There is no charge for veterans using the DAV shuttle van. This combination transport system could result in much reduced mileage on our VSO vehicles as well as driver fatigue in those long trips to Albuquerque. We will continue to pursue this alternative transportation system when possible.

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

Arts Line

Jackson exhibit opens tonight in gallery

By Marsha Silver

Plan to attend the opening tonight, 5-7 p.m. at the Town Park Gallery. The current show features the art of Jay Jackson, a first-time exhibitor from nearby Chromo.

Jackson works in oils on canvas producing both still life and landscape subjects. He also makes unusual jewelry and unique vessels and containers from recycled piano keys, elk antlers and semi precious stones. Women's and men's necklaces, earrings, bracelets, belt buckles and cuff links will be on display through Nov. 6.

Imagination Station

"Imagination Station" is an after-school program sponsored by the Arts Council. Taught by Tessie Garcia, an elementary school art teacher in Pagosa Springs, the program meets at the new Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard and is already underway. Children in kindergarten through fourth grade meet each Monday from 4-5:30 p.m. and children in grades five through eight meet Tuesday from 4-5:30 p.m.

In October, the students are making masks. In November they learn weaving, and in December they will be making candles.

The cost for children is $20 in October and $15 each for November and December. Children are encouraged to bring an old shirt to use as a smock.

To register stop by the gallery at 314 Hermosa St. Space is limited so don't delay.

Photo club

Meetings will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. To join, or for more information, contact Jeff Laydon at 264-3686.

Upcoming Workshops

Donna Brooks will give a pine needle basketry workshop Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Reserve your space at the gallery today.

Donna teaches you how to create beautiful vessels from the pine needles all around us in Pagosa Springs. You will take home a completed project from the workshop.

Cost of the workshop is $75 with a 10-percent discount for members, $67.50. Bring a sack lunch the day of the class.

"Unleashing the Power of Watercolor" will be given by Joye Moon Nov. 11-14 at the new arts and crafts space in the Community Center, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Cost is $175 for the general public and $157.50 for members. Coffee and rolls will be provided, but participants are requested to bring a sack lunch and an old smock each day. The workshop is targeted to the non-novice beginner (some experience required) to advanced watercolorists and will present experimental watercolor techniques that can be incorporated into your individual style of painting.

To learn more about Joye Moon check out her Web site at Joyemoon.com. Call the gallery to reserve your space today.

Pretenders Theatre

"Escape to Broadway" opens Oct. 18 and plays Oct. 19, 25, and 26 at the high school auditorium. Sabine Elge directs this production and can be reached at 731-3506 for more information or to become involved in this great Pagosa Springs family activity.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. They can be purchased now at the Arts Council gallery, Moonlight Books, the library, the Plaid Pony, and WolfTracks Coffee and Books. Council members will receive a discount of $1 off adult and 50 cents off children's tickets when purchased at the Town Park Gallery.


It is that time of the year and the San Juan Ballet Company will present a holiday gala featuring excepts from the Nutcracker Ballet and other favorite holiday classics Dec. 12-14.

The company is currently looking for volunteers to help with sewing and backstage assistance. If you are interested is participating please call Stephanie at 264-5068.

Photo Contest

A reception held at Moonlight Books Feb. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. will open this year's Pagosa Springs Arts Council Photo Contest. Entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. Jan. 29 at Moonlight Books. They will be on display at the bookstore until Feb. 28.

If interested, please pick up an entry form at the Arts Council gallery or Moonlight Books.


We need a volunteer to write this column once a month. Please call 264-5020 for the details. If you enjoy writing, it is a great way to volunteer some of your time.

Art instructors are needed to teach both adult and children's classes and workshops. Experienced teachers should mail, drop off or e-mail resumes and ideas for a class. Our e-mail is psac@frontier.net.

Stop by the gallery at 314 Hermosa St. for your copy of "A Local Gathering" Volume 1 and 2. This lovely recording is a sampler of Pagosa Springs musicians. Only a few copies of Vol. 1 are available so hurry down to make sure you get your copy. Also available are posters featuring photos of the Pagosa area.

We still have room for flyers from local businesses to go into the next issue of the quarterly newsletter. Call Stephanie at 264-5068.

The Town Park gallery is open from May-Nov. 6 with changing exhibits every three weeks. Hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Each exhibit opens with a reception, usually on a Thursday from 5-7 p.m. Our mailing address is PO Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO. If your would like to become a member and receive discounts on workshops, classes and events, pick up a membership application during open hours at the gallery. Individual memberships are $20 annually and family memberships are $30. Our phone number is 264-5020.

The gallery will be open for business 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, December through March.

Chamber News

Count volunteers among your blessings

By Sally Hameister

It's the time of year that we look to doing something special for those who keep many of us afloat - our priceless volunteers.

As I have said many times in the past, we simply could not keep our doors open at the Visitor Center without our diplomats. They host thousands of visitors a year with patience, grace and great aplomb when asked questions that would stump most card-carrying MENSA members. These folks basically work for all of us when they hand them the Chamber Business Directory, our dining guide, our accommodation guide, etc., etc.

The fact that has always astonished me is that these living, breathing non-paid staff members pretty much love their "jobs" here at the Visitor Center. They do indeed have a choice about coming to work here, and we are ever so grateful that they choose to do so on a regular basis.

I encourage those of you who are lucky enough to count volunteers among your blessings to do something special for them during Volunteer Appreciation Week, Oct. 21-25. A three-week cruise may be out of the question, but I'm guessing that you can come up with something far less expensive and very much appreciated. A handwritten note or a bag of "hugs and kisses" come to mind as a small token of your affection and appreciation or how about a great big "thank you for all you do for us?"

At any rate, I hope you will join us in honoring this generous group who so selflessly contribute thousands of hours of their time each year to our various organizations. Take advantage of this annual opportunity to do something nice for your volunteers.

Escape to Broadway

The latest Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater production opens Friday at 7 p.m. with additional performances on Oct. 19, 25 and 26.

"Escape To Broadway" is an original play, a madcap romp down Broadway with insert scenes from many favorite Broadway productions. 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 Sabine a call at 731-3506. Tickets for "Escape to Broadway" are $6 for adults and $3 for children and can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce.

Fall Dance

The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club proudly presents the Baile de Otoño (Fall Dance) at The Timbers of Pagosa Friday at 8 p.m. Latin Express will provide the music for this festive celebration that will rock on until 1 a.m. Your $10 donation at the door will benefit the Spanish Fiesta to be held in June 2003.


Get out those lederhosen and dirndls and head on over to the Oktoberfest Saturday evening from 6-11 p.m. for some proper German beer, music and food. The fun takes place in the Pagosa Springs Community Center all-purpose room and, if you're an "oom-pah-pah" fan, you'll be in heaven listening to German music proved by Pauken Schlagel.

This is a brand new fund-raiser for the Archuleta County Senior Center, so we sincerely hope that you will come out in great numbers to support the maiden voyage. There will be brats on a bun, sauerkraut, German potato salad, applesauce, tea and coffee for $12 and hot dogs, chips and applesauce for children for $5. If you are interested in just the German beer portion of the evening, entry will be $6.50. You will also be able to buy various single items like desserts and sodas if you so choose.

Door prizes will be awarded and a silent auction will be held for a gorgeous handmade lamp to make the evening more interesting. Hizzoner Mayor Ross Aragon will tap the keg in true German tradition to start the festivities, and a good time will be had by all. Please join us on Saturday night for what is sure to become a terrific annual affair in Pagosa Springs.

Opening reception

Jeff Laydon of Pagosa Photography fame invites you to join him Oct. 25 for the opening reception of the show featuring the photography of Brett West from 5-7 p.m. at 480 San Juan St. Fittingly named "Shades of Gray," this show will boast the landscapes of Southwest Colorado in black and white. Please plan to join Jeff for fun, refreshments and beautiful photography. If you have questions, just give him a call at 264-1010.

Watercolor workshop

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is offering a four-day watercolor workshop, "Unleashing the Power of Watercolor," with Joye Moon Nov. 11-14 from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. The cost for this workshop is $175 for four days with a 10-percent discount for Arts Council members.

The workshop will be held in the arts and crafts section of the Pagosa Springs Community Center and is targeted toward watercolorists with some experienced to advanced.

This workshop will deal with exploring experimental watercolor techniques that can be incorporated into your individual style of painting. Bring along an open mind and the willingness to experiment and have fun.

Registration forms for this workshop can be picked up at the Arts Council gallery, and you are encouraged to do so soon because attendance will be limited to fifteen students. Please call 264-5020 with any questions.

Community party

The Community Halloween Party is set for Oct. 31 at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. This is a safe alternative for kids in Pagosa Springs to enjoy Halloween without canvassing neighborhoods in the dark. The festivities get underway at 6 p.m., when the Kiwanis Club serves up free hot dogs, soda and ice cream.

Coordinators are looking for a little community support to help make this evening of spooky fun a success. If you would like to donate candy or prizes for the games and contests, please drop them off at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church office (451 Lewis Street). They are also looking for a few actors to add to the scary atmosphere. If you have what it takes to be an entertaining monster, call 731-6223. Your help is greatly appreciated.


Somehow or other, the new members continue to sign up, and we couldn't be happier. We will continue to just enjoy our good fortune and not to question why.

Carol Muratides joins us this week with Timber Homes located at 49 Turkey Lane. These folks bring us Fleetwood Home Dealer, which is a seasonal business offering land and home packages. They are closed during the winter from November until February or March, depending upon the weather. You can reach Timber Homes at 731-0007 for more information.

Our second new member is April A. Holthaus who joins us with April's Apple with offices located in her home. April offers desktop design services for holiday and business newsletters, publication ads, small books, brochures, business cards and flyers. Please give April a call at 731-9832 for more information about April's Apple. We want to thank April's son, Chris Smith, for recruiting her to membership and will cheerfully send off a free SunDowner pass to Chris pronto.

We next welcome August Vanderbeek who brings us A Rainbow's Den located at 581 Rainbow Drive, just two miles from downtown Pagosa Springs. A Rainbow's Den is a cozy and sun-filled guesthouse with beautiful mountain views and a one-acre fenced corral, which you are welcome to use for an additional fee. For more information about A Rainbow's Den, please contact August at 264-6216.

Renewals this week include Charles R. Parker with Buckskin Cabin; Michelle Martinez with MJM Ranches Land and Marketing; Colorado's Timber Ridge; Don and Mable Headrick with Country Lodge in Aspen Springs; Sky Ute Casino and Lodge located in Ignacio; Elmer Thomas with Our Savior Lutheran Church and school; Judy Smith with 160 West Adult R.V. Park; Maggi Dix-Caruso with Envelopment Architecture; Mark Dold with Skyhawk Aviation in Durango and David Pokorney with Diamond Dave's Jewelry and Pawn Shop.

We're happy to renew Curl and Dot Jones as our associate member renewals, and we sincerely thank each and every one of you for your continued support and confidence.


Library News

Ex-Pagosa teacher moving up book lists

By Lenore Bright

Will Hobbs writes books for children. He lives in the Durango area and is becoming quite famous. His work appears on many national best book lists. He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Mystery, and one of his books made the American Library Association Top Ten Best Book List for Young Adults.

Mr. Hobbs taught here in the junior high school several years ago.

He often writes about this area. However his latest book, "Wild Man Island" takes place in Alaska but still has Colorado connections. This story was inspired by his kayaking adventures along the coasts of the Admiralty and Chichagof Islands in southeast Alaska. He also drew on his caving experiences and research into recent breakthroughs in North American archaeology.

This book, while written for young adults, is of valuable to anyone interested in the revolutionary discoveries in the search for the first Americans. We recommend all of Mr. Hobbs' books for a good read.

Voter pamphlets

We have a few League of Women Voter's pamphlets on the ballot issues. These will go fast. Ask for one at the desk. We also have the Judicial Performance Report recommending the retention of Judge Jim Denvir, and Judge David Dickinson of the 6th Judicial District.

Civic Club

Come by and buy. You can see all of the items to be raffled off Nov. 2 at the Holiday Bazaar in the new Community Center.


I am admittedly a packrat; I have so many treasures I can't bear to part with. Every once in awhile, I uncover one to share. Rudyard Kipling gave us this gem: "I keep six honest serving men. (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When, and How and Where and Who."

New book

"Marking Time: the Epic Quest to Invent the Perfect Calendar," by Duncan Steel gives us a fascinating look at how the calendar came to be. Here you will discover fun facts and anecdotes about the many people who had something to do with how we record time. You will gain a look at the role religion, politics and even war played in various systems. This is a provocative history lesson and a unique, entertaining read rolled into one.

Steel is a space researcher who teaches at a University in England. He has appeared in several Discovery Channel Emmy-winning programs.


Jeremy Black and Jacquie Aragon are very proud to announce the birth of their "Little Angel," Patty Mary Black. Patty was born July 12, 2002, weighing 7 pounds, 2.8 ounces and was 18 3/4 inches long. Patty is named after her late grandmother, Patty Aragon. She was welcomed home by grandpa, Ross and grandma and grandpa Black of Colorado Springs along with many cousins, aunts and uncles.

Vicente and Lynette Manzanares are proud to announce the birth of their son, Dylan Lee Manzanares. Dylan was born in Penrose Community Hospital in Colorado Springs at 5:46 a.m. Sept. 25, 2002. He weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 19 1/2 inches long. He is welcomed home here by his sister Meghan. Paternal grandparents are Allen and Dorothy Trefethen and maternal grandparents are Raymond Martinez and Darlene Lujan. Maternal great-grandparents are Able and Clara Martinez and Emma Lujan, all of Pagosa Springs.

McKenna would like to announce that she is the proud big sister of Trevor James Moore, born Sept. 10, 2002. Equally proud and considerably blessed are his parents, Michael and Debbie Moore.

River Carpenter Travis and Kitty Carpenter are very proud to announce the birth of their second son, River Lee Carpenter. River was born five weeks early at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nev., Aug. 22, 2002. He weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 18 1/2 inches long.

River was welcomed home by his big brother Hunter Lee Carpenter. His father, Travis, is a long-time resident of the community and Kitty is from Orange, Texas. River and Hunters' grandparents are Onis Carpenter of Pagosa Springs, Gloria Carpenter of Grape Creek, Texas, and Floyd and Billie Rice of Waco, Texas. Hunter and River cannot wait to become residents of the Pagosa area themselves.


Business News

Chris Smith owns and operates Smith Construction Services, specializing in construction with commercial and residential applications.

Smith Construction Services builds custom homes, cedar log and timber frame homes, with design and engineering as part of the business package. The company also sells and builds steel buildings for many purposes, including commercial buildings, hay storage, riding arenas, airport hangers and more.

Smith Construction Services can be reached at 264-5998 or 946-1784.



Dutch Henry's role in

Battle of Adobe Walls

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Pagosa pioneer Dutch Henry lived a charmed live. A man who chose to steal horses for a livelihood certainly couldn't expect some of life's rewards, such as living to a ripe old age.

Life insurance? In 1874, men on the High Plains carried life insurance in holsters on their hips. Dutch Henry was even more radical, however, even for a time of radical extremes. Today we would say he "lives on the cutting edge, pushes the envelope."

Appropriating an unbranded horse, especially a stray, wasn't such a bad thing at the time, although it could win a necktie party with the only trial being a test of the rope to make sure it wouldn't break. If even a small part of the stories about him is true, Dutch Henry went far beyond stealing a few horses. Dutch Henry stole horses from tribes of Indians. Dutch Henry stole horses from Army forts and supply trains. In addition to being described on posters plastered over knotholes in every law office in the West, Dutch Henry was on the ten most wanted list of every Indian tribe and Army commander.

And so, how did he survive? We can only guess. First, he said he never stole from a white man. Whether the statement was true or not, Dutch seemed to get the idea across. Ordinary people seemed to support him, as evidenced by the not guilty verdict of his 1879 Dodge City trial. He even managed to escape the grasp of Hanging Judge Parker, the Fort Smith, Ark., nemesis of lawbreakers in general and Oklahoma - read that Indian Territory - desperados, in particular.

Some historians suggest that Dutch Henry's ability to escape legal retribution might be traced to his participation in the Battle of Adobe Walls. At the time, the survivors of that shootout were certifiable heroes. Knowledge of what was happening at the time in the Panhandle Country of Texas and Oklahoma, along with nearby New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado, makes it easy to understand why folks made heroes of the assortment of ragged frontier types who defended the old edifice.

The average westerner believed "the only good Indian is a dead Indian." Many regarded Indians as less than human. Even though the West was not completely settled by whites, no unknown land areas of any consequence remained, including the Panhandle country. Several Indian tribes clung to independence even as the last buffalo died and wagon trains of white settlers violated supposed reservation lands. Some tribes found refuge in Indian Territory, sites from which they ventured outside on hunting or raiding expeditions.

The end was in sight, but the Indians of the West were not completely tamed yet. Custer's defeat at Little Big Horn was not to be until 1876. The Meeker Massacre involving the Utes of Colorado was not until 1879. The Red River Campaign, which ended most of the white man/Indian conflicts in the area roamed by Dutch Henry, was not resolved until 1875 with the surrender of Comanche Chief Quanah Parker.

The Battle of Adobe Walls was one of the conflicts precipitating the final campaign against Comanche and Kiowa Apache Indians sometimes known as the Red River Indian Wars. A collection of U.S. military units surrounded the lands surrounding the Red River, then closed in pincer fashion. The campaign ended when Quanah Parker surrendered following a number of defeats during 1874, including the destruction of a Kiowa village in Palo Verde Canyon.

Adobe Walls is located in the Texas Panhandle a little west of the road running north from San Antonio to Dumas. A few roads, scarcely more than wagon ruts, penetrated the area at the time of the battle. One of the roads linked Adobe Walls with Dodge City, Kansas. Still another road linked Dodge City with Clarendon, Texas. Still more roads made connection with Fort Sill and other military posts in the region. A few roadside inns sprouted along the lonely, rugged roads. Travelers could get grub, water and maybe a place to sleep, sometimes even a change of horses. The bed might be shared with the innkeeper's family or with other travelers. It was best not to ask too many questions of strangers. The man you slept beside might have a price on his head. He just might get touchy if he thought you were comparing his face with a "Wanted" poster, especially a poster reading "Reward - Dead or Alive."

Buffalo hunters swarmed the Adobe Walls area in 1874, fresh from decimating the bison herds in western Kansas and Eastern Colorado and hungry for more. Enterprising merchants from Dodge City were reviving the old post, catering to the whims of the hunters.

Also crisscrossing the area were bands of angry Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians. They were supposed to be on reservations in Indian Territory, but they still roamed at will. They were convinced the buffalo hunters were violating yet another treaty when they entered the region, a treaty made at Medicine Lodge. They also watched with alarm the total destruction of buffalo, their chief source of survival.

Adobe Walls already had a history, had heard the growls of warfare and the screams of dying men. An early, unsuccessful Bent Bros., trading post, abandoned in 1846, had occupied the site. Comanche and Kiowa warriors who had been wreaking havoc with travelers along the Santa Fe Trail, stepped up their activities during the Civil War. Most of the U.S. military had abandoned the west in order to fight Civil War battles. During one particular assault on a wagon train at Pawnee Rock, Kansas, five men had been killed and five boys carried off into captivity. The viciousness of the raid demanded an answer.

Consequently, during 1864, Kit Carson was ordered into action. Taking 335 New Mexico and California volunteers, and aided by Jicarilla Apache and Ute scouts, Carson scattered a Kiowa village about 4 miles from the abandoned ruins of Adobe Walls. Carson's troops used the adobe ruins as a hospital and horse corral.

Several Indian villages were located nearby. As many as 3,000 Indians took part in the battle which followed, according to Carson's estimate. Carson's mountain howitzers kept the Indians at bay, but he eventually retreated, destroying a village with 176 lodges as he went. Some say Carson's propitious retreat saved him from setting a precedent for Custer.

By 1874, buffalo hunters were restoring the ruins. The adobe walls were still four or five feet high. Hanrahan's Saloon, Rath and Company's Trading Post, and another store run by a man named Leonard called Myers and Leonard's store. Several sod cabins had been erected to serve the needs of the growing army of hide hunters. The estimated number of whites and Indians involved in the 1874 battle varies widely. The Indian count ranges from 300 to several thousand. The white count ranges from 28 men and a woman upward to about 100 men.

In any case, the Indians were madder than yellow jackets in a bucket. The whites were well armed, veteran plainsmen accustomed to using firearms. Most were armed with the buffalo hunter's favorite weapon - a Sharps .50-caliber. The whites had the additional advantage of being inside behind the walls. Among the defenders were Dutch Henry Born, Bat Masterson and Billy Dixon.

Leading the Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors were the Kiowa chief Santanta and the Comanche chief Quanah Parker. Quanah's mother was a white girl, Cynthia Ann Parker, captured as a small girl during an 1836 Indian raid on a small settlement south of today's Dallas. She was recaptured by whites in 1860, but never adjusted well to living among whites.

The Indians had the advantage of numbers and surprise. Their raid must have been much like similar raids we all have seen in western movies. Riding at breakneck speed on lightly saddled ponies, the nearly naked attackers swept into the sleeping settlement, killing two white men in the initial assault. Only a fluke saved the whites from annihilation.

Next week, the attack at dawn.

Motter's note. Last week the photograph published with this series of articles was identified as a view of the Born's school, formerly located on the West Fork of the San Juan River not so far from Born's Lake. I picked the photograph after squinting at a 35-mm negative. I was so certain it was the Born's School I didn't bother to look at the much larger print which is what all of the viewers see in the newspaper. Much to my chagrin, that was not a picture of the Born's School at all. A school it is, but I am at a loss to identify it. All of the kids look Hispanic. Can someone help me identify that schoolhouse? In the meantime, I do have a photograph of the Born's School and will publish it just as soon as I find it.



Pagosa 10-year-old lives with little-known syndrome

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Happy. Healthy. Responsible. Wonderful sense of humor. A joy.

That's how Christopher Brown is described by those who know him best. His parents. His teacher.

In many ways, he is like any other 10-year-old. In one way, he is not. Christopher has fragile X, the most common genetic cause of mental impairment known today. According to the FRAXA Research Foundation, some studies suggest the syndrome could affect 1 in 2,000 males and 1 in 4,000 females of all races and ethnic groups. It's caused by a defect in the patient's X-chromosome. If the full mutation is present, this gene, thought to possibly shape connections between the brain cells that underlie learning and memory, shuts down.

Christopher can't read. Basic math concepts are extremely difficult for him to grasp, and he will probably never be able to live on his own, or drive a car unless science can produce a cure, be it actually inserting a new piece of DNA, reactivating the gene, or some kind of drug to alleviate the symptoms.

It's something to hope for, his parents Tim and Patty Brown say. But right now, the money simply isn't there. Awareness isn't there. As common as multiple sclerosis, fragile X is way outside the public consciousness and therefore, way at the bottom of the list for contributions or research dollars.

The way to change that, people believe, is education. On Oct. 5, Fragile X National Awareness Day, one of the groups working to raise awareness of the condition challenged families of fragile X patients to help. To start talking about the problem. To encourage 100 newspapers around the country to write stories.

The Browns decided to take up the challenge.

"People here are so good to him," Tim said. "You go to the grocery store and in every aisle someone's saying hi to him. He might not say anything back, but there they are. Because we never talk about it (fragile X), I don't know if the other kids, other parents understand, but they're wonderful to him."

It's time, they decided, to tell their fragile X story.


Christopher was born two months premature. Because of that, doctors cautioned, he might develop a little more slowly. Eventually, he was expected to catch up to others his age. It never happened.

Once he started school, it was apparent he wasn't learning certain things at the same speed as other children. The Browns took him for psychological testing. It revealed little. At age 7, Christopher underwent genetic testing. Although a first look showed little for concern, on Jan. 3, nearly three years ago, the Browns received a call and a diagnosis. Christopher had fragile X.

The couple took Christopher to Children's Hospital in Denver that summer.

It was a week of education, of tears and of hope.

Facts on fragile X

The genetic glitch that causes fragile X was discovered just 11 years ago, part of the reason so few people know about it. The condition, usually more severe in boys than girls, because boys inherit only one X-chromosome, causes a wide range of mental impairment, including everything from mild learning disabilities to severe mental retardation. According to the National Fragile X Foundation, other common symptoms include: attention deficit and hyperactivity, anxiety and unstable moods, autistic-like behavior, long face, large ears, flat feet, hyperextensible joints, especially fingers and, in about 25 percent of cases, epilepsy. Approximately 1 in 400 males receiving special education services in the U.S. are affected, according to a screening study cited on Center for Disease Control's summary of the syndrome.

"We feel we're extremely fortunate," Tim Brown said. Christopher is actually at the high end of the fragile X scale. Although when he was younger, he exhibited some of the signs of anxiety and unstable moods, those seem to have vanished as he learned to communicate with those around him. His attention span is also increasing, Patty said. Whereas once he wouldn't sit through a whole book, now he can. Christopher rides his horse, rides a bike (still with training wheels but he's working on it) and enjoys hiking, camping and fishing with his family.

"He's healthy," Patty said. "He's simple. He's happy. He's so happy."

She explained "simple" with this example. Christopher normally rides the bus to school from Aspen Springs, something he loves to do. In the afternoons, he rides a different bus to childcare until Patty can pick him up after work. Recently, he was given the opportunity to ride the bus all the way back home to meet Mom.

He was so thrilled to ride the bus home, he was almost wriggling out of his clothes with joy when he came down the bus steps, Patty said. He hopped in the car and said, "I just rode the bus home backwards."

"It took me a minute to get it," she said, "but he was exactly right."


He has a very concrete way of looking at the world, said Laurie Riley, resource teacher at the elementary school.

"He doesn't do well taking the parts and making them into the whole," she said. "He has to have something concrete to attach it to."

Because of this, learning to read through phonics doesn't work. Instead, Christopher works on a program of sight words. They start with a group of about 30 words on flash cards. The entire word is printed on the card along with a picture of the word. A corresponding sentence uses the word in a concrete way. Eventually, the student learns to recognize that word.

Then the picture goes away. The word might be presented in text, in different fonts or on the computer to increase recognition, Riley said. She even takes the children to different parts of the school to use the flashcards so they understand they can recognize the same word outside her classroom walls.

The word groups also correspond to books. For instance, the sight words Christopher is working on now, are the same words found in Dr. Seuss' "Cat in the Hat."

To help him grasp math concepts, Riley has given Christopher a job. He picks up the attendance slips from various teachers and takes them to the office. For his work, he gets paid 25 cents. After four times, he learns the 25 cents translates into a dollar he can use at the juice machine. Eventually, they will work on two dimes and one nickel equaling a quarter, and so on.

Christopher spends part of each school day in Riley's resource room, and part of the day in a regular fourth grade classroom. "We look at his schedule and his needs and try to develop a program that matches those." While in the resource room, he receives very individual attention. Only six students are in his room at a time, with one teacher for every two students. He moves to the regular classroom for things like computer work, work centers, videos or science projects.

"His social skills are very good," Riley said "He's very good at meeting adults, maybe better than the average 10-year-old, but he doesn't look you in the eye. He has a wonderful sense of humor, he's very responsible and his gross motor skills, running, kicking, hiking the ball are good."

Patty Brown said it's almost like watching a blind person. Their eyes might not function right, but hearing and smell are heightened. Christopher has an excellent memory for certain things, like directions, and a joy in life that makes him so easy to be around.

"It's not a sad thing," Brown said. "He brings just as much joy to us as a normal kid. It's just that he doesn't have to hit a home run. He just has to catch the ball every once in a while."



Goodbye, friend

We've lost our dear friend. We've lost The Boss. Nothing else that's happening now is of any importance. We'll get this week's paper out, but we will do it in a daze. David died in his sleep sometime Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. He was in Marble Falls, Texas, on his way to his 50th class reunion in Houston.

Typical of David, he was doing it his own way, an adventurous way: He was bicycling to Houston, accompanied by his son Chuck.

It was not unusual. He did everything his own way.

And like the true newspaperman he was, David left us on deadline day, with the first issue of the 94th year of The SUN set to begin when the presses ran.

David came to the newspaper business after a career as a teacher and a coach, buying The SUN in 1981. Through practice, observation and sheer diligence he became a newsman and an editor. And a good one. But he never put his accomplishments at the forefront. He frequently referred to this newspaper as "an institution" rather than a business. He considered himself, and all of us who work each week to produce the paper, as its caretakers and curators.

If anything characterizes David Mitchell's credo, it is that he regarded his work here as a service to his community. He had a well-defined and well-realized sense of obligation to the community and he abided by it, absolutely, without exception.

David's work life mirrored his character - defined by his compassion, his generosity, his dedication to the principle of fairness. He was the kindest, most considerate person any of us have had the honor to know. He was also a genuinely humble man who shunned the limelight, refusing credit for the many charitable acts that typified his role as a member of the Pagosa community.

More than anything, David was a man who was devoted to his family, a man whose love for his wife, his children and his grandchildren was paramount in his life.

He was a man of great and honest faith. David took his Christian ideals to heart and put them into practice in his life. His love of his Lord was his guide and he was a sterling example of the way such a person should live.

Our love and deep condolences go to David's wife Cynthia; to his sons Tom, Chuck, Dan and Drew; to his daughters in-law Sheila and Jennifer; and to his grandchildren Macey, Payton, Taige and Trey. They have lost a wonderful husband, father and grandfather.

Pagosa Springs has lost a publisher, an editor, a newsman, but more than that, the community has lost its most dedicated advocate.

We at The SUN are without the greatest boss who ever ran a business and the truest friend one could ask for.

Near the end of his Dear Folks, printed below on this page, David, writing about his absence in typical self-effacing style, said: "I'm not so confident that ... any of the staff will be glad to see me whenever I return."

Boss, you couldn't be more wrong.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks

Injury, vacation 'pressing' issues

Dear Folks,

Earlier this month I mentioned that followers determine leaders. I failed to mention that it's best to use caution when engaged in following a leader or in leading a follower. As a result, I wound up in everyone's dog house at The SUN.

It all started about 15 years ago when I performed some rather creative alterations on my left knee. Apparently, besides making a serious impression on the bones and ligaments involved, it made quiet an impression on Todd.

So about three weeks ago Todd decided he'd follow the leader and mess up his knee. He did it on his own time. So it appeared there wasn't a lot I could gripe about until the doctor told Todd not to return to work until Tuesday, Oct. 1.

This would not have been a problem except about four months earlier Terri had scheduled a four-color press run for the Fall Real Estate Guide for Friday, Sept. 27. So in Todd's absence, Robert had to prepare the page negatives, burn the plates, clean the black ink out the first three ink wells prior to putting red, blue and yellow ink in the proper wells respectively. For some reason it takes one person longer to do the work of two.

Even with a best-case scenario this type of press run is difficult when both pressman are on hand. When one or the other is missing, it can prove to be impossible. By late afternoon Sept. 27, Robert and I had indeed proved it was impossible. So I told Robert to shut it down for the day. Get some rest over the weekend and we would give another go on Oct. 1 when Todd would return.

Two pressmen, even one on crutches, are more effective than either one trying to run a four-color job solo.

The "two heads are better than one" adage proved true Oct. 1 as Todd and Robert burned the plates again, made a few phone calls to technical support, and called Larry Hauser (a recently retired production director of the Cortez Journal who learned the trade by operating the letter press for Benjamin Franklin's newspaper).

By the time Robert, Todd, Terri and I left the building about 9 that night, some of the nicest-looking real estate guides were stacked on the tables in the mail room. It was quite an accomplishment except for one major detail.

Tuesday mornings are normally the day that Robert and Todd run the TV guide section. This makes it possible for the people in the mail room to start stuffing that week's inserts (five inserts that week not counting the two sections of the real estate guide) into the TV guides. This in turn allows them to stuff that collection along with both sections of the Preview into section 2 of The SUN when they come in Wednesday afternoon.

Yes, the hurrier we went that week the "behinder" we got. And as editor and publisher I was the head behind.

The menu for the Oct. 2 press runs started with the TV section, followed with Preview Too, then the Preview's first section, then section B of the newspaper and finally the main dish of the first section.

This left us until late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning to complete the inserting, attach the mailing labels, get the subscriptions to the post office and the street sales to the newsstands on Thursday.

So I assigned myself to a three-week vacation starting Oct. 4. I know that Terri and Karl can keep The SUN coming up as it has for the past 94 years. I'm not so confident that they or any of the staff will be glad to see me whenever I return.

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




90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 18, 1912

Pagosa Springs is certainly eager for educational advantages. The influence of this desire is so strongly felt that even the animals partake of it. An intellectual goat has been a frequent visitor at the school and as a preliminary to mental pabulum he devoured the scarf of one of the pupils. A bull-dog has also shown a hunger for learning.

W.O. Dutton is slowly recovering from the grippe. He would rather not get gripped so hard the next time.

Fool stories that seem to be inseparable connected with all political campaigns are beginning to circulate, the latest and most ridiculous being that Mrs. Gaylord will, if elected county treasurer, deposit the county funds in some bank outside the county.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 21, 1927

The only buck deer reported slain in this section during the open season last week was one by Whitney Newton on the Silver Creek branch of East Fork. We have two versions as to how the buck met his death, but we'll let Doug Garvin tell one and Whit the other.

The appointment of Mrs. Alice M. Parmenter as postmaster at Pagosa Junction was announced last Friday by the postmaster general's office at Washington.

The last one of the three old bathhouses on the Springs property is being torn down this week and will be replaced with the third unit of new structures, thus providing three plunges under one roof, besides dressing rooms, etc.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 17, 1952

The past weekend saw an influx of hunters into the town and county that has probably never been equalled. The hunters will find tough going the first few days of the season because of the fact that the game has not started down to winter feed grounds due to the warm weather and the elk and deer are still ranging pretty high up.

The volunteer fire department was called out twice this week to put out fires in town. The first one was at midnight Monday when the car belonging to Louis Quintana caught fire and was a total loss. The second fire was Tuesday noon in south Pagosa. A shed full of coal caught fire and burned fast and furiously before the fire tuck could get there and it was a total loss.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 13, 1977

Enrollment in School District 50 Jt. has, for the first time ever, passed the 900 pupil mark. A.D. Hahn, superintendent of schools said Monday that the enrollment in local schools stood at 902 pupils; 300 of these are in the high school. That building was originally constructed and planned for a maximum of 150 students.

The town police car was declared a total loss after it was rear ended while parked in front of the town hall last Sunday morning. The driver of the other vehicle has been charged with driving while under the influence. A spare police car is now being used by the department.

The first of three big game seasons opens here this Saturday.