October 31, 2002
Front Page

Gravel pit vote delay irks foes;

request predated

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A howl of protests greeted Tuesday's county commissioner decision to delay action concerning approval of a new gravel pit and crushing operation near the San Juan River south of town.

A 2-1 vote of the commissioners granted the delay. Voting for the delay were Gene Crabtree and Alden Ecker. Opposed was Bill Downey.

The protest was registered by residents of Holiday Acres, a subdivision located on hills on the east side of the proposed operation.

A large number of homeowners from the Holiday Acres development spoke against the operation at a public meeting conducted Oct. 22. They cited noise, dust and visual conditions expected from operation of the gravel mine as reasons for not issuing a permit. They also said gravel trucks using Light Plant Road threaten the safety of those using or living along the road.

County planning staff recommended against approval of the operation because they say it does not conform to the county-approved Community Plan. The Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission went against staff advice and recommended approval of the conditional use permit with a number of stipulations. Appointed by the commissioners, the planning commission is an advisory board that reviews applications for county subdivision and conditional use permits, then makes recommendations to the county commissioners.

The proposed gravel operation would be located on the Mask Ranch about one and one-half miles downstream from the old, long-abandoned light plant adjacent to a 90-degree bend in Light Plant Road.

The Holiday Acres residents claim the proposal for an operation classified as heavy industrial does not conform to the general, residential character of the neighborhood and therefore violates the county-approved Community Plan.

Owners of the ranch have applied to the county for a conditional use permit authorizing operation of the gravel endeavor. The owners already have a permit required by the Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology.

At the close of the Oct. 22 public hearing, Bill Downey, chairman of the board of county commissioners, scheduled the item for consideration on Tuesday's commissioner meeting agenda. Downey also announced that the county would continue to accept public input concerning the matter until the close of business Monday.

When the item came up for consideration Tuesday, a letter was presented asking that a decision be postponed. Signed by Dennis Walker, manager of the Mask Ranch, the letter was dated Oct. 21, the day before the public hearing. It was faxed to the county early the morning of Oct. 28. No mention of the letter or the activities described in the letter had been made at the Oct. 22 public hearing, even though the letter was dated Oct. 21 and denoted "hand delivered" in the heading.

"I am requesting an extension of the deadline for receiving information to the Board of Commissioners on the MASK Ranch gravel pit decision. I am gathering information from various departments of the State of Colorado. It will take at least a week to obtain all the information, and I feel this information is essential for making a just and fair decision " Walker wrote in the letter.

"The hearing was Oct. 22," said Walter Green, one of the Holiday Acres homeowners. "The petitioner was there and did not ask for a delay. One of them said they wanted to start Nov. 1. Something is wrong here."

Some discussion was held on the possibility that the rock might be mined from Mask Ranch, but the gravel crushed elsewhere.

Green pointed out that there is no commitment from the applicant to crush the rock elsewhere, and that the Holiday Acres Property Owners Association had not had an opportunity to review the prospect.

Crabtree moved to postpone action until Nov. 12. Ecker seconded the motion. Crabtree and Ecker voted in favor of the delay, Downey voted no.

"They still don't have the rock crusher and I want to hear what they have to say," Crabtree said in explanation of his action.

"They (the applicants) are not here today," Ecker said. "I want to hear what they have to say. I don't know what is going on."

Downey said he had talked with Walker the day before and did not have a feel of the way to go. He said Walker had no issue if approval was granted, but wanted time to present more information if the proposal was denied.

"According to the record, the deadline for public input was supposed to close yesterday," said Mary Weiss, the county attorney. "Are you allowing the record to stay open until Nov. 12?"

"Yes," said Downey.

Mask Ranch hopes to supply gravel for next year's U.S. 84 repaving project. At the same time, the pit resulting from removing the gravel will remain as a lake on the property.


General election Tuesday

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Voting starts Tuesday at eight precinct polling places in Archuleta County, all open 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

The ballot contains candidate names for federal, state and local offices. Also on the ballot are proposed amendments and referendums on the state level and a proposed bond issue for Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.

"There has been a good turnout in early voting," said June Madrid, the county clerk and election official. "We've received more than 1,500 early and absentee ballots and it's only Wednesday morning."

Early and absentee voting closes at the end of the work day tomorrow. All ballots, including those mailed, must be in the possession of the county clerk by 7 p.m. Tuesday in order to be counted.

Locally, incumbent Republican Gene Crabtree is being challenged by Democrat Mamie Lynch for county commissioner from Commissioner District 3. Incumbent sheriff William "Tom" Richards, a Republican, is being challenged by write-in candidate Chuck Allen for the sheriff's office.

Voters are being asked to approve or disapprove of the performance of Archuleta County Court Judge and District Court Magistrate James E. Denvir by voting yes or no for his retention.

Voters are being asked to approve or deny a $10.35 million bond requested by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District to fund proposed District capital improvement projects.

The following voting precinct polling places will be open Tuesday. Voters who aren't sure which voting precinct they live in should call the county clerk.

Precinct 1 - County commissioner's meeting room in the Archuleta County Courthouse

Precinct 2 - Methodist Church, 404 Lewis St.

Precinct 3 - Archuleta County Road and Bridge Building, 1122 U.S. 84

Precinct 4 - St. Peter's Catholic Church, 18851 Colo. 151, Arboles

Precinct 5 - Paul's Place, 43 Buttercup Drive

Precinct 6 - Pagosa Lakes Community Center, 230A Port Ave.

Precinct 7 - Community Bible Church, 264 Village Drive

Precinct 8 - Casa de los Arcos building, 503 S. 8th Street

Precinct 9 - Absentee balloting, Archuleta County Clerk's office.


Wolf Creek Ski Area opens for Halloween

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Wolf Creek Ski Area opened this morning.

"We are so thrilled to be able to hold with tradition and open on Halloween," said Rosanne Haidorfer-Pitcher, marketing and sales director.

The popular resort reported 52 inches of snow at the summit, 36 inches midway, Wednesday morning. At least 60 percent of the mountain is open today, including Alberta Peak and Step Bowl, both areas containing some of the more challenging slopes.

"We'll get expert skiers this early," said Haidorfer-Pitcher, "so it is important to have the steeper runs ready."

New this year is a computer-operated exploder system providing avalanche control for the remote Horseshoe Bowl. The six exploders are detonated using a telemetry system allowing staff to defuse avalanche threats without resorting to the old, hand-thrown explosive system.

"This is kind of a pilot program," said Haidorfer-Pitcher. "It's being used on highways, but it hasn't been tried at a lot of ski areas yet. It allows us to clear the expert terrain earlier."

A number of additional improvements will increase the comfort enjoyed by skiers, and the ease of reaching the slopes. All parking lots, including the overflow lot near the U.S. 160 snow shed tunnel, have been paved. Free shuttle service links each of the parking lots with ticket booths.

The ticket office opened today at 8:30 a.m., lifts at 9 a.m.

Snowfall this year at Wolf Creek, as opposed to the packed snow base, was 8 inches during September and 62 inches so far during October for a total of 70 inches.

Last year, Wolf Creek Ski Area opened Thanksgiving Day with 2 inches of snow on Bunny Hill and the rest of the runs closed. Plenty of snow fell during December allowing operation of the resort through the major holidays.


Highway work near end; crosswalks start Monday

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

As the snow begins to fly, orange barrels and construction cones will begin to disappear from Archuleta County. Just not yet.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is working to finish a few minor projects before calling the local 11-mile repaving project complete. Not the least of these is the installation of lighted crosswalks. Project engineer Dale Martinez said installation of the crosswalk warning system will begin Monday. Work will last through Thursday or Friday, weather permitting, with crews working from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. When finished, the two midblock downtown crosswalks will have white lights that turn on when a button is pressed by a pedestrian. The lights, a first for southwest Colorado, are designed to increase safety at the crosswalks.

The remainder of the final project items were completed Wednesday.

"We should be completely done with the entire project next Friday, weather permitting," Martinez said. Work on resurfacing U.S. 84 from Pagosa Springs to the New Mexico border has stopped completely until spring.

Up at the tunnel project on Wolf Creek pass, work continues from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. No overnight closures are planned. The width restriction has been lifted, but motorists can still expect up to 45-minute delays at times.

CDOT maintenance workers are now gearing up for winter. Crews have switched to winter hours and are preparing plow trucks to begin the snow and ice program.

"We're expanding our use of liquid deicing products this winter on our most heavily traveled areas," said Wayne Lupton, the department's Durango-area supervisor. "Last winter, we used liquid deicer in Durango, Hesperus, Pagosa Springs, Ridgway and Telluride. This winter we'll be using the products in new areas to include Cortez, Mancos, Bayfield and Dolores."

As an anti-icing method, department crews apply the magnesium chloride to roadways before a storm to prevent ice from forming or snow from bonding to the pavement. When temperatures fall below 16 degrees, crews may switch to a cold temperature-modified magnesium chloride, which contains a corn by-product additive used to lower the freezing point. For deicing purposes, magnesium chloride - or the cold-temperature modified product - is applied to the snow or ice-covered highway surfaces to melt the frozen moisture.

"Liquid deicers and anti-icers are the most efficient and economical way that we have found to combat ice on our highways," said maintenance superintendent Ed Fink. "Their use also helps us reduce air pollution by decreasing our use of sand on the highways."

When the sand becomes pulverized by vehicle tires after a storm, it becomes an airborne pollutant called PM-10.

"Any time we can reduce the impacts to our environment - dust in our air and sediments in our streams - we're going to make every effort," Fink said.

Durango maintenance crews - whose areas include Archuleta, La Plata, San Juan, Ouray, Montrose, San Miguel, Dolores, Montezuma and west Mineral counties - operate Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. during the winter snow and ice season. When inclement weather strikes, crews switch to storm-weather 24-hour coverage (usually in 12-hour shifts).

The Durango maintenance section has about 91 maintenance workers and about 110 pieces of snow and avalanche removal equipment. Thirteen trucks are equipped with liquid deicer applicator tanks. Other plow trucks will carry sand/salt and ice slicer for providing traction.

Durango maintenance crews take care of 1,750 lane miles (the combined lengths of each lane on every highway in the region), including five mountain passes. During last winter, Durango maintenance crews plowed more than 314,565 total land miles. As well, crews sprayed 1.1 million gallons of liquid deicer, spread 31,000 tons of sand, salt and ice slicer and spent 2,592 hours on avalanche control missions (down from the 6,557 hours spent during the heavier winter of 2000-01).

Nancy Shanks, Colorado Department of Transportation public relations, contributed to this report.


Third rifle hunting season scheduled to open Saturday

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Colorado's third regular big game rifle season opens Saturday and lasts through Nov. 8. Hunters with the proper licenses will be allowed to take deer or elk during the coming season.

Considerable snow has fallen on the San Juan Mountains since the second rifle season closed Oct. 25. Snow on the mountains generally means greater hunter success. Snow in sufficient quantities forces deer and elk to leave higher elevations increasing the probability they will wander into the sights of hunter rifles.

Hunters in this area during the two preceding rifle seasons have reported good success for both deer and elk. Not only have they taken good quantities of game, they have taken large animals with good racks, according to reports supplied by area providers of licenses and hunting supplies.

A fourth combined deer and elk rifle season remains after the upcoming season closes Nov. 8. The final season begins Nov. 9 and lasts through Nov. 13.

Although hunting throughout Colorado is monitored by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, specific rules apply to specific geographical areas given numbers and called Game Management Units.

Game Management Units in or adjacent to Archuleta County are 77, 78, 81, 751 and 771.

Unit 77 is specifically located in Archuleta, Hinsdale, La Plata and Mineral counties. It is bounded on the north by the Continental Divide and the divide between the Piedra and San Juan rivers; on the east by the San Juan and Piedra river divide and Four Mile Creek and the San Juan River; on the south by U.S. 160; and on the west by the Los Pinos, Piedra river divide.

Unit 78 is specifically located in Archuleta, Conejos, Mineral and Rio Grande counties. It is bounded on the north and east by the Continental Divide, on the south by the New Mexico state line, on the west by the San Juan River, Four Mile Creek and Piedra River/San Juan River divide.

Unit 81 is specifically located in Archuleta, Alamosa, Conejos and Rio Grande counties. It is bounded on the north by Forest Service roads 380 and 250, Alamosa River and La Jara Creek, on the east by the Rio Grande River, on the south by the New Mexico state line, and on the west by the Continental Divide.

Unit 751 is located in Archuleta, Hinsdale, La Plata and San Juan counties. It is bounded on the north by the Continental Divide, on the east by the divide between the Los Pinos and the Piedra rivers, on the south by the New Mexico state line, on the west by Los Pinos River, CR 501, CR 240, and the Los Pinos/Florida river divide.

Unit 771 is located in Archuleta County. It is bounded on the east by the San Juan River, on the south by the New Mexico state line, and on the west by the Los Pinos/Piedra river divide.


Date High Low Precipitation

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Welcome snow, rain boost area's precipitation

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Waving snowmen, adorned with carrot noses and raisin grins, applauded the first local snowfall of the season this past week.

A general blanket of white greeted early risers twice during the week. By noon each day, the wintry covering was gone, replaced by the traditional brown and green of the season.

Low-lying clouds placed a lid over river valleys, hiding the mountains with their sheen of new snow and glow of golden aspens. About 70 inches of snow have been recorded so far this season at Wolf Creek Ski Area, located at an elevation in excess of 10,000 feet.

Except for occasional storms at higher elevations, precipitation is not on the menu for the coming week, according to Dan Cuevas, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

High temperatures for the week, starting this morning, are expected to range between 40 and 55 degrees with the thermometer remaining below 50 degrees most of the time. Low temperatures should remain between 20 and 35 degrees with sub-freezing readings the norm.

Today should be mostly sunny, changing to mostly cloudy tomorrow, and partly cloudy through the remainder of the week. Any precipitation through the coming week will result from sporadic storms at higher elevations.

Controlling local weather conditions is a flow of air from the west-northwest. Occasional small squalls may be contained in the system. Following the current pattern drier, warmer weather is likely to ensue, bringing Indian Summer, according to Cuevas.

Normal temperatures with slightly more than normal precipitation are on the agenda for November, December and January, Cuevas said.

Last week, 1.3 inches of precipitation and 1.25 inches of snow were recorded at the official weather station at Stevens Field. The snow reading is the first measurable amount of snow in town this season. The precipitation total through Oct. 29 is 1.93.

High temperatures last week ranged between 40 and 51 degrees with an average high reading of 45 degrees. Low temperatures last week ranged between 22 and 30 degrees with an average low reading of 26 degrees.

The average mean temperature for November is 32.5 degrees, for December 22.8 degrees, and for January 19.8 degrees. The average precipitation for November is 1.52 inches, for December 1.79 inches, and for January 1.85 inches. The average snowfall for November is 10.6 inches, for December 22.2 inches, and for January 27.1 inches.

All measurements are taken in town.

 Sports Page
Parks & Rec

Co-ed basketball league for 7-8 year olds ready

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The Pagosa Springs parks and recreation department will host a coed basketball league for youngsters 7 and 8, starting early next month and running through December.

With the addition of the new community center gymnasium, organizers are trying to get the young athletes home at a decent time by deciding to start the program earlier than in the past.

We will have games on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. By doing this we can have a six-week program with approximately 10 games per team. We expect 48-60 athletes to sign up, giving us six to eight teams.

Deadline to sign up is 5 p.m. Friday. Any late entries will be put on a waiting list. Cost is $20 per child.

New sports complex

The town has narrowed the field of landscape architects down to three teams. Interviews for the job have been set Nov. 6-7. The winning team will provide a master plan for building new sports facilities (softball fields/youth baseball fields, soccer field, concession stand, bathrooms and changing facilities) across South 5th Street from the current Golden Peaks complex at the high school.

We plan to develop approximately 15 acres to help facilitate our growing demand for recreational activities for both town and county needs. All the future fields would be tied to the extension of the River Walk, which should take place in the summer of 2003.

With the addition to the raw water feed to all the school athletic fields and the future town fields, thee will be plenty of activity going on next spring and summer.


The Community Center will host a yard sale Saturday to help raise money for furnishings and equipment. If you have merchandise to donate, contact Mercy at 264-4152, Ext. 22.

We are always interested in raising money for the center, which opened Aug. 10 and has been a very active facility with bookings for many youth and adult activities. Senior citizen Oktoberfest was a great success and we will be hosting the Ducks Unlimited banquet in December.


Schur has best Lady Pirate finish ever; second in state

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The weather was perfect, sunny and mild. The crowd was pumped, many ringing cowbells for their favorite runners. The atmosphere at Kent Denver Saturday was perfect for a day of fast times and thrilling championships.

The Pirates didn't disappoint.

Of the six Pagosa Springs state qualifiers, four topped their personal best times. Emilie Schur finished second, the highest finish ever for a Pirate. And the girls' team they showed up to run their race, and finished in the top ten statewide.

"Going into it, I thought they could be a top-ten team," Coach Scott Anderson said. "My highest expectation, if everybody showed up and had a great race, was sixth." The five girls, led by a pair of freshman, did just that, finishing two points ahead of Monte Vista.

Even a pair of false starts couldn't shake them.

"All year we've tried to preach to them that there are no problems, only opportunities, and to figure out a way to take advantage of that."

Schur ran with the leaders from the beginning of the race, dropping back at one point, but fighting on to pick off two runners in the last stretch for a second-place state finish.

"She obviously did very well," the coach said. "At one point in time, she was in danger of being swallowed up by a pack. It's a tribute to her desire and competitiveness that she decided to battle back and finish second." Schur crossed the finish in 20 minutes 5.8 seconds, 16 seconds off the leader, Christy Severy, a freshman from Aspen. Michaela Muniz of Centauri was third in 20:06.7.

The other Pagosa Springs freshman, Heather Dahm, finished 53rd with a time of 21:52.2. Teammate Jenna Finney was right on her heels, claiming 54th in 21:52.7. It was a personal best for the junior.

Senior Amanda McCain also posted a personal best, running the race in 22:07 to secure 60th place. Senior Hannah Emanuel added the third top personal time on the team, coming across the finish in 23:12 to hold 96th place.

The girls closed out the day with 169 points, 28 behind Estes Park in fifth. Bayfield finished fourth with 126 points, The Classical Academy was third with 111 points, and Hotchkiss finished second with 82 points. On top of the 3A team pile was Aspen with 47 points.

"None of the girls had state experience as a team," Anderson said. "For three of them, this was their first cross country season. To see these girls come in and deal with the pressures of showing up to a meet this size. I was very proud of them."


Not to be outdone by the girls, senior Todd Mees posted the best time of his cross country career, crossing the finish in 17:53, shaving 15 seconds off his finish at state last year.

Of the 163 runners in the 3A field, he placed 41st.

"He ran actually the best race of his career," Anderson said. "Overall the competitiveness within all the field was stepped up a notch, so the place wasn't where we originally hoped it would be." However, he said, that shouldn't take anything away from the accomplishment.

"To go out in the last race of a cross country career and put up your best race ever - I just couldn't have been more happy for him."

The 3A boys' state champion was John McGuire, of D'Evelyn, who finished in a blistering 16:31.8. Rob Thayer, of Hotchkiss, claimed second with a time of 16:40.3, and Todd Tolentino, of Brush, was third in 16:46.8. The boys' top team finishers included D'Evelyn with 44 points, Denver Christian with 123 points, Platte Canyon with 127 points, The Classical Academy with 183 points and Lake County with 210 points.


Pirates fall to Bayfield; 16-game win streak ends

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs dropped its final regular season football game to Bayfield 32-13 Friday at Golden Peaks Stadium.

"Bayfield played a great game," said Sean O'Donnell, the Pirate coach. "They had some people back who have been on the injury list all year. At the same time, we did not perform well. We turned the ball over too much and we had a lot of missed assignments, offensively and defensively."

Even with the loss, the Pirates are champions of the Intermountain League for the fourth consecutive year. Pagosa hosts the Manitou Springs Mustangs at 1 p.m. Saturday in the first round of the Colorado 2A football playoff series.

Manitou Springs is the third place team from the Tri-Peaks League. Monte Vista, the second place finisher in the IML, plays Roaring Fork.

The Friday loss to Bayfield ended a 16-game league winning streak for Pagosa Springs. Pagosa's last league defeat was a 42-20 loss to Del Norte in 1998. Pagosa's last loss to Bayfield also came in 1998, an 11-8 squeaker played in bitter cold on the Wolverine turf.

Pagosa led 13-6 at halftime Friday and seemed well on the way to a seventh straight win this season. The Pirates received the second-half kickoff with fans screaming for them to march into the end zone and put the game away.

Starting on their own 35-yard line, Pagosa picked up 15 yards, then fumbled to the Wolverines on the Bayfield 46. Four plays later, Bayfield pushed into the end zone, kicked the extra point, and the game was tied 13-13. Lots of time remaining.

A David Kern-to-Jason Schutz pass completion picked up 14 yards and a first down for Pagosa. The Pirates were marching. Two incomplete passes sandwiched between a run gained only two yards, forcing Kern to punt. End of march.

Instead, Bayfield marched. The Purple and Gold mixed running and passing to move 76 yards in eight plays with Tyler McLaughlin crossing the goal line for the go-ahead TD. Steven Qualls kicked the extra point and, with 3:20 left in the third period, Bayfield moved ahead 20-13. Still lots of time remaining.

Three plays later, Pagosa turned the ball over on yet another fumble. This time, Bayfield only had to move 45 yards for the score. The extra point kick failed as the third period closed. Still some time.

On their first possession of the final period, Pagosa was again forced to punt. This time the Pagosa D held, forcing the Wolverines to punt the ball back to the Pirates. Still time.

This possession, Pagosa reached the Bayfield 48 with fourth and 5 yards for a first down. Not so much time, so go for it. A fourth-down pass flopped to the turf. Bayfield needed eight plays to again shove the ball into the Pirate end zone. The extra point kick failed, but it didn't matter. With 5:55 remaining in the game, Pagosa trailed 32-13. Desperation time.

On their next possession, Pagosa again fumbled the ball away. Bayfield took over on the Pagosa 19, threatening to pad the lead. This time, Pagosa's D met the challenge, holding the Wolverines on downs at the 11-yard line. With 3:24 remaining, the Pirates wanted at least a score.

A pass from Kern to Brandon Charles moved the ball to the Pirate 31. Another pass to Charles moved the ball to the 46 in Bayfield territory. A pass to Jeremy Caler provided a first down on the 28-yard line. After three incomplete passes, a final heave by Kern was picked off by Eric Yarina. Two plays later, the game ended.

Pagosa played the entire game without starting fullback Brandon Rosen. Rosgen was suited up, but recovering from a leg injury received a week earlier in the Centauri game. Caler replaced Rosgen and contributed a 35-yard run around right end to give Pagosa its second TD. For the game, Caler ran for 102 yards on six carries. Charles picked up 81 yards on 13 carries, and Kern 24 yards on 13 carries.

Kern's 15-yard pass to Charles provided Pagosa with its first touchdown late in the first period. The first Pagosa score consumed 68 yards on 12 plays. Kern completed seven of 26 pass attempts with one touchdown and one interception.

Defensively, Mike Valdez turned in 12 tackles and assists, followed by Pablo Martinez with nine and Kory Hart with eight. Charles had the most solo tackles with five. Kern pulled off a pass interception.

Pagosa fumbled five times and lost three, lost one interception, and dropped six passes for the game.


Pagosa Springs 7 6 0 0 13

Bayfield 6 0 20 6 32

Bayfield: Miller 1 run (pass for 2 incomplete). Pagosa Springs: Kern 15 pass to Charles (Aupperle kick). Pagosa Springs: Caler 75 run (Aupperle kick blocked). Bayfield: Miller 20 run (Qualls kick). Bayfield: McLaughlin 5 run (Qualls kick). Bayfield: Miller 2 run (Qualls kick failed). Bayfield: Miller 6 run (Qualls kick fail).


Ladies beat Ignacio; bow to Bayfield, Centauri

By Karl Isberg

Staff writer

With two losses at the district volleyball tournament Saturday, the Lady Pirate season came to an end.

This year's team struggled through a difficult schedule and scrambled to tie senior-laden Bayfield for the regular season Intermountain League title. On the basis of head-to-head competition, the Ladies entered Saturday's tournament the No. 1 seed.

At stake: a trip to a 3A regional tourney in a week's time.

It was not to be.

Four IML teams fought at the Centauri gym for two spots at regionals. Pagosa battled Ignacio, Bayfield and host Centauri during the one-day event.

The day began well for the Ladies, with a victory over Ignacio.

It did not come easy at first. The Ladies struggled against the Bobcats during the first game of the match. Coach Penné Hamilton finally put four sophomores on the court - Bri Scott, Courtney Steen, Laura Tomforde and Lori Walkup - and with seniors Shannon Walkup and Katie Bliss, they were able to tie Ignacio 11-11.

Ignacio came back to lead 14-11 and seemed ready to end the game. Lori Walkup killed an errant Bobcat pass, Scott killed to the back line and an Ignacio hitting error knotted the score at 14-14. Lori Walkup finished off the Bobcats with a solo block for a point and a kill of an Ignacio pass that strayed above the net.

The second game was all Pagosa. The Ladies trailed 3-2, then turned on the jets to go ahead 7-3, led by the outside hitting of Shannon Walkup and strong work from Steen. Ignacio closed to trail 9-4 but the Ladies got their blocks to the point of attack, forced Bobcat hitters into errors and ran off six unanswered points, capped by a kill by Steen, to win the game 15-4.

"We started slow," said Hamilton. "Laura (Tomforde) came in and did an awesome job for us. We took control in the second game; we got some nice digs, our setters delivered the ball better and we got to our blocks."


In their second match of the tournament the Ladies faced Centauri. The two teams beat each other during the regular season, each winning on the other team's court. Pagosa could not pull off another win at La Jara, however, as the Ladies dropped the match 15-11, 13-15, 12-15.

The teams tied 2-2 in the first game before the Falcons took a 6-2 lead. It was short-lived: Pagosa stormed back behind the hitting of Shannon Walkup to tie at 6-6.

It was ordained as a see-saw affair when Centauri went in front 8-6 only to see the Ladies climb back in the lead 11-8, getting points on an ace by Bliss and a solo block by Steen.

The Falcons closed to 11-10, then to 12-11. Pagosa then went ahead 14-11 as Bliss killed cross-court and the Falcons gave away a point with a hitting error. Bliss ended the game with a kill down the line.

Centauri went out to a 7-3 lead in the second game before the Lady Pirates began to inch their way back into contention. It happened slowly, through a series of sideouts in which neither team could put together a run. Scott hit an ace and Pagosa blockers forced Falcon hitters into costly mistakes.

Centauri went ahead 10-8 and again the Ladies scrambled back. Pagosa finally knotted the score at 10-10 with a kill of a Falcon tip by Lori Walkup and a kill by Bliss.

The Ladies finally went ahead, 13-10, getting a kill by Shannon Walkup, an ace by Bliss and a kill from the middle by Caitlyn Jewell.

It was a lead that would not hold. And when it failed to hold, Pagosa's fortunes in the game, the match and the tournament went downhill. Centauri scored five unanswered points, using the tip over the block to maximum advantage and forced the match to a third game.

Pagosa had the lead four times in the third game of the match - at 4-1, 7-6, 10-8 and at 12-9 - but could not muster the effort to push to the win. Falcon hitters continued to use the tip as a weapon, then Centauri made a six-point run with two aces, a tip and a stuff block to take the game and match.

"After thinking about it," said Hamilton, "I realize Centauri was better in the match because they were older. They had more tournament experience than us. We could have put them away, but didn't. We struggled in our offense all day long - struggled with our setting and hitting against Centauri. Our blocking was good: We had 14 stuff blocks against them, but it wasn't enough."


The season for Pagosa and Bayfield came down to one match. Each team had lost to Centauri; each team had defeated Ignacio. The winner of the final match of the tournament would survive to play another week; the loser's season would end.

It was clear from the outset that the Lady Pirates were fatigued, drained by the three-game match against Centauri.

Bayfield, on the other hand, with six seniors on the court and the advantage of a rest that lasted much of the afternoon, was energized and ready to play.

The Wolverines took a 4-1 lead in the first game, getting three points on Pagosa errors. The Ladies fought back, surviving a series of six scoreless sideouts to tie the game 5-5. Bayfield went ahead 7-6 but Pagosa got two points on Wolverine errors and a kill by Jewell and had an 8-7 advantage.

Pagosa mistakes proved the team's undoing. Time and again, the Ladies provided charity points to their opponents. Bayfield took the points and took the game 15-10.

A slow start by Pagosa in the second game gave Bayfield a 7-1 lead, only two of the points earned by the Wolverines.

The Ladies battled back, getting a charity point, a point on a kill of an errant Wolverine pass by Amy Young and a point on a solo block by Steen. Bayfield replied with three points, only one earned, and the Wolverines led 10-4.

Again the Ladies fought back. Scott killed down the line and Bayfield committed three errors to surrender points.

A kill inside the block put Bayfield in front 11-8 but Lori Walkup got a set from Steen and killed for a point. She then scored with a solo block and turned around with another block of Bayfield's Kim Piccoli. The score was tied 11-11.

But there was no gas left in the Lady Pirate tank. Three Pagosa mistakes handed over points and a Wolverine block ended the game and match.

"It seemed like we played tired," said Hamilton. "We seemed deflated after the Centauri match. But, there were times Bayfield seemed tired and I thought we could beat them. It was there for the taking, but we didn't do it. We had too many hitting errors and we had to make some changes. The kids we put in, especially Trisha Lucero, did a great job for us, but we couldn't get the job done."


P. Spgs. def Ignacio 16-14, 15-4

Kills: L. Walkup 7, Steen 4, S. Walkup 4

Aces: Steen 1, S. Walkup 1

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

Digs: L. Walkup 8, Bliss 8

Assists: L. Walkup 7, Young 6, Tomforde 2

Centauri def. P. Spgs. 11-15, 15-13, 15-12

Kills: Steen 8, Bliss 7, S. Walkup 7

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

Blocks: L. Walkup 6, Bliss 3, Steen 2

Digs: S. Walkup 16, L. Walkup 13, Young 10

Assists: L. Walkup 13, Young 9, Scott 2

Bayfield def. P. Spgs. 15-10, 15-11

Kills: L. Walkup 5, Scott 4

Aces: Steen 1

Blocks: L. Walkup 2, Jewell 1, Steen 1

Digs: S. Walkup 14, Young 7, Bliss 6

Assists: L. Walkup 4, Young 4, Tomforde 2


Prep football playoffs bringing Manitou Springs here Saturday

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

High school football at its finest comes to Pagosa Springs Saturday when the hometown favorites host high scoring Manitou Springs in the first round of Colorado 2A playoff action.

Game time is 1 p.m. at Golden Peaks Stadium.

Playoff games are played under rules adopted by the Colorado High School Activities Association. Admission will be charged everyone not in possession of a CHSAA pass. Non-CHSAA passes accepted during the regular season will not be accepted for the Saturday game.

Admission at the gate Saturday will be $5 for adults and $4 for students grades K through 12.

Fans will not be allowed to view the game from vehicles parked in the paved parking lot north of the football field, according to David Hamilton, the Pagosa Springs High School athletic director. Collectors will survey the vehicles and collect entrance fees from those attempting to watch the game.

Pagosa Springs earned the right to enter the playoffs by capturing the Intermountain League title. This is the fourth consecutive year the Pirates have been IML champs. Pagosa lost twice this season, 21-7 to Alamosa in the nonleague season opener and 32-13 to Bayfield in a league game to close the regular season.

"We'll be ready," said Pirate coach Sean O'Donnell. "I understand they are a very good football team, and coach Rykovich is a legend. I'm hearing they outplayed Buena Vista and should have won that game. Our work is cut out for us."

Seniors on the Pirate roster are Brandon Charles, Ryan Wendt, Brandon Rosgen, Justin Bloomquist, Cliff Hockett, Clayton Mastin, Randy Ferguson, Pablo Martinez, Jared Early, Andrew Knaggs, Jason Schutz and Jarrett Frank.

The Pirates will be near full strength, lacking the services of Michael Martinez, who broke a leg last week in a junior varsity game, and Wendt, who recently underwent knee surgery.

Manitou Springs reaches the playoff game after finishing third in the nine-team Tri-Peaks League. The green and gold Mustangs lost two games this season. Tri-Peaks champion Lamar beat them 28-21. The Tri-Peaks second-place team, Buena Vista, beat them 21-20 last week.

Manitou Springs is coached by George Rykovich, a 32-year football veteran at the school. The Mustangs operate a single wing offense, apparently very well judging from their 36.1 per game scoring average. The Mustangs have surrendered just 13 points a game.

Manitou's season record: 31-7 over Trinidad, 28-21 loss to Lamar, 56-0 over Rocky Ford, 57-23 over Lake County, 44-0 over St Mary's, 35-13 over Salida, 24-11 over La Junta, 36-14 over Colorado Springs Christian, 21-20 loss to Buena Vista.

O'Donnell's Pirates have scored an average of 24.5 points a game while giving up 16.5 points a game.

Pagosa's season record: 21-7 loss to Alamosa, 24-6 win over Delta, 49-28 win over Montrose, 14-13 win over Monte Vista, 38-12 win over Taos, 29-14 win over Ignacio, 21-6 win over Centauri and a 32-14 loss to Bayfield.


Tied 3-3 after double OT, Pirates lose shootout

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Before most of the fans were even seated the score was 1-0 and many were wondering what had happened.

Heritage Christian's senior midfielder Jordan Risma had scored 13 seconds into the opening round of the state soccer playoff game Thursday at Golden Peaks Stadium in Pagosa Springs and the homestanding Pirates were beginning to dig themselves into a deep, deep hole.

Risma's goal came after a long clearing pass off an initial Pagosa attack sailed over the defense and he had Pirate goalkeeper Caleb Forrest at his mercy.

At 9:48, after the Pirates had been repeatedly stymied in their attack by an Eagles' defense obviously designed to stop high-scoring striker Kyle Sanders, the visitors hiked their lead to 2-0 when senior and team captain Matt Bliss scored unassisted on another breakaway.

Four minutes and 21 seconds later the Eagles' attack got a free kick from the top of the box and Pagosa caught its first break when a leaping Forrest tipped it up and over the net.

Forrest stopped another free kick at 18:20 as he began to bring his team's focus back.

Pagosa's first chance to get back in the game offensively came when the team was awarded a corner kick and Matt Mesker's header off the inlet was wide right. After Forrest made two more saves, Sanders finally got off a shot, though surrounded by three defenders, but it, too, was wide right.

The hole got even deeper at 26:46 when the Eagles' freshman forward, Elliott Silvers, converted after a spirited five-exchange scrap just inside the box. Groans from the crowd indicated they believed the game was out of reach.

But the Pirates, all season, have been a team which would not quit. And they began to climb out of the hole just before the half.

Junior striker Kevin Muirhead, number-two scorer on the team this season, was taken down on an attack effort and awarded a penalty kick from the top of the box at 38:44. With Heritage keeper Michael Born expecting a blast effort, Muirhead stood calmly in front of the ball, then dribbled a slow kick to Born's left. He was so surprised to not face a blast that he was unable to react and Pagosa was beginning to claw its way back.

The process was long and tedious but the Pirates scratched, attacked and re-attacked in a second half they dominated. It took a while to get the offense going, however.

First they had to overcome a yellow card for Zeb Gill, needed key saves from Forrest, and some beautiful teamwork to get the game back within reach.

One key to the entire afternoon's action was the outstanding play at sweeper by Pirate senior Michael Dach who was individually responsible for breaking up at least nine Eagles' attacks; and the support play of senior midfielder Matt Mesker.

It was Mesker, in fact, who helped the Pirates another notch up out of the hole. At 64:54 he intercepted an Eagle outlet pass at midfield, dribbled to his left and found Muirhead breaking on net from the right wing. His crossing pass gave Muirhead the shot and the goal, cutting the Heritage lead to 3-2 and bringing the top of that deep hole in sight.

Just before that goal, the Pirates missed a glorious chance when Zeb Gill's header off a corner kick by Muirhead clanked off the crossbar.

It was that play, however, which seemed to lend new spirit to the Pirates' attack.

After Muirhead's goal, Forrest made his best save of the day, diving to his right to knock down a shot by the Eagle's leading scorer, Will Hoag, and trapping the ball under his body so there was no chance for a rebound effort.

Finally, the climb was complete on a great display of teamwork at 69:20 when senior left wing Kyle Frye took a header drop from Mesker off a corner kick from Muirhead and ripped in a left-footer.

The hole was empty, the score tied at 3-3 with 10 minutes, 40 seconds left. The stage was set for drama.

The Pirates' attack swarmed the Eagles zone but time and again their shots were just off target. Sanders fired a 20-yarder high to the left and then was wide right from the top of the box before hitting the left post from 12 yards as the relentless attack wore on.

With 14 seconds left in regular time the Pirates got one final chance. Jordan Kurt-Mason's 30-yarder from right center was stopped by Born.

The Eagles got only one shot on goal in that last 10:40 and it was stopped by Forrest.

That meant overtime was on the day's menu.

And Muirhead wanted to end it fast, as he had done against Bayfield.

He took the opening drop lead from Dach, beat a defender down the right side and at 11 seconds into the overtime ripped a shot. The clank as it rebounded off the right post drew another groan from the Pagosa crowd.

The 15-minute extra session was again dominated offensively by Pagosa, getting off seven more shots to only two for the visitors, one of which was a shot off the crossbar by senior forward Chris Mutter. Zeb Gill and Sanders were both wide left on shots from 20 yards, Mesker's header off a corner kick was just wide left, sophomore Moe Webb's 18-yarder was stopped by Born and Brian Hart's 40-yard bomb was about a 60-yard shot high over the net.

That meant the score was still tied after 95 minutes and a second overtime session was in order.

Again, though the pace slowed perceptibly, Pagosa was the aggressor, getting off five shots in the period to one for Heritage but, again, neither team was able to score, the best chance coming with 30 seconds left when Frye's somersault throw-in from the left corner was headed by Levi Gill but stopped before it got to the keeper.

Then the excitement of pure soccer faced both teams - shootout - one-on-one competition between attacker and keeper.

Each squad selects five kickers and they rotate, one from each team, with no defenders in front of them, shooting from outside the keeper's zone.

Zeb Gill was first up and gave Pagosa a 1-0 lead with a blast to Born's left. Silvers tied it at 1-1, beating Forrest to the right. Then it was Sanders for Pagosa and Hoag for Heritage exchanging perfect kicks to tie the shootout at 2-2.

A limping Muirhead was next up for Pagosa. This time Born was ready for his off-speed kick and stopped it. When Andy Greenlaw's kick was good, Heritage had a 3-2 shootout lead.

Hart gave Pagosa hope, blasting one past Born, but Heritage senior Bliss moved the lead back to 4-3.

Kurt-Mason stepped up for Pagosa. The crowd went silent. The kick was away. Away to the right side of the net, shanked out of play.

Heritage Christian was the winner. Pagosa's season finished. No final shot necessary for Heritage because, on this day, the Eagles soared at the end of what had been one of the finest prep soccer games ever seen in Pagosa.

There were tears - in the crowd and on the field - but when it was all over the Pirates took their traditional variegated trip across the field and then back to a job well-done salute from their still unbelieving fans.

Heritage Christian advances to play the winner Faith Christian, a winner over Aspen.


Scoring: .13, HC-Risma; 9:48, HC-Bliss; 26:46, HC-Silvers; 38:44, PS-Muirhead; 64:54, PS-Muirhead, assist Mesker; 69:20, PS-Frye, assist Mesker and Muirhead; Shootout: HC, 4 shots good, fifth unnecessary; PS, 3 of 5 good. Saves: HC-Born, 14, PS-Forrest, 9; Shots on goal (excluding shootout) PS-26, HC-15.



Rosemary Jean Horstman

Rosemary Jean Horstman passed away in her sleep in her Pagosa Springs home Friday, Oct. 25, 2002.

Born in Aberdeen, Wash., Aug. 14, 1926, the daughter of Milton and Wilhelmina Welsh, she completed all of her primary education in Aberdeen, graduating from high school in 1944. Her first two years of college were at Stephens College for women in Columbia, Mo., and she completed college at the University of Washington two years later with a degree in radio-drama.

She was employed by radio stations in Aberdeen and in Portland, Ore., prior to marrying Dr. Robert A. Horstman in January 1951. Throughout her life she was an avid reader and a devout Christian. She built an extensive library covering her favorite subjects, including American, European and religious history along with the literary classics of Shakespeare et al.

She retained a sincere interest in current events and was active in many conservative endeavors and a longtime member of P.E.O. She was thoroughly loved and admired by most who knew her, especially her family, and was instrumental in educational and moral growth of her sons.

Throughout the years she became adept at horsemanship, downhill skiing and as a private pilot in addition to her other accomplishments.

Her final seven years were filled with a multitude of afflictions, any one of which would have defeated most people. Through all of this she remained happy and optimistic that the Lord would protect and save her.

She and her husband moved to Pagosa Springs in 1998 from the Phoenix area and have loved every minute of being here. Previous residences were in California and in Casper and Wheatland, Wyo.

She is survived by her husband, Robert A. Horstman, M.D.; two sons, James K. Horstman M.D. and Russell B. Horstman; and four grandchildren, Ashley, Colin, Erica and Jeremy; and a brother, Milton J. Welsh of Seattle.

Needless to say, she will be missed forever.

Funeral services were held in Our Savior Lutheran Church in Pagosa Springs Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2002 and interment was in Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs.

The family requests that any commemorative donations be made to Mercy Hospice of Pagosa Springs.


 Inside The Sun

Commissioners laboring over 2003 budget

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

County commissioners focused attention on the 2003 budget in daylong sessions Wednesday and today. Meetings with individual department heads were scheduled throughout both days.

In its present form, the budget consists of wish lists presented by department heads and elected officials. A final budget is not expected until early December. State law requires commissioners to prepare a balanced budget.

"Right now, the requests total more than $1 million more than we have revenue to cover," Commissioner Gene Crabtree said Wednesday morning. "The challenge is to get expenditures down to match incomes."

Proposed general fund expenditures amount to $7.2 million, considerably above anticipated general fund revenues of $5.9 million. The general fund shows a beginning fund balance of $1.8 million and an ending balance of $557,438. The projected general fund expenditures budget for 2002 was $5.2 million.

The capital improvements fund shows a beginning fund balance of $200,592, revenues of $869,947, expenditures of $869,947, and an ending balance of $200,592.

In the road and bridge fund, the beginning fund balance is $992,698, anticipated revenues are $2.3 million, anticipated expenditures $2.2 million, and the ending fund balance about $1 million.

The road capital improvement fund shows a beginning fund balance of $1.3 million, revenues of $1.2 million, expenditures of $1.6 million, and an ending fund balance of $868,000.

Most threatened by loss of federal and state dollars is the social services fund which shows a beginning fund balance of $450,000, revenues of $1.1 million, expenditures of $1.1 million, and an ending fund balance of $450,000.

A number of other funds are also contained in the budget. Included in the general fund are budgets for the other elected officials including the clerk, treasurer, assessor and sheriff.

The commissioners are not yet talking about property tax rates, even though preliminary assessments indicate property values in the county have increased over the past year.

The commissioners conducted the following additional Tuesday:

- The terms of Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commissioner members Bob Lynch and David Durkee expire soon or have expired. Lynch says he does not want to serve again. Durkee has not expressed a desire to serve again. Action was taken to advertise for replacements. Current members of the board are William Shurtleff, Robert Walkinshaw, Robert Huff, Jerry Jackson, Betty Shahan and Lynn Constan. Tom Gibson and Sandra Bramwell are being considered as appointees.

- A contract was approved governing county application of magnesium chloride to Forest Service roads.

- The Chamber of Commerce was granted an additional $10,000 from the lodging tax fund. The increased money is needed because of increased expenses associated with added marketing activity necessitated by the impact of drought conditions on local tourism.

- Approval was granted for Elk Park Meadow Phase 3 to release an improvements agreement and performance bond and to accept a warranty bond.

- A progress report was presented by Erlinda Gonzalez, director of Social Services.

- A Social Services contract concerning childcare providers was approved.


Lawmen flock to Aspen Springs

after report of multiple gunshots

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Law enforcement agents from town, county and state were called to Aspen Springs Saturday when an unidentified man claimed others were shooting at him from a house.

Archuleta County Sheriff's Capt. Bob Grandchamp said Deputy Jon Gaskins responded to a "shots fired" call at about 11 a.m. As he approached a residence on Badger Road, he heard someone shouting at him to drop his gun. Eventually, the man told the deputy that people had been trying to break into his home since about 1:30 a.m., and that these people had been shooting at him.

The deputy called for backup. Two state patrol units, two Pagosa Springs units and eight sheriff's deputies arrived on scene. Law enforcement agents stormed the home thought to be occupied by the intruders. A dog appeared to be the only occupant. Grandchamp said officers did find some evidence of shots being fired into the house, but no evidence of intruders.

The man who originally made the report was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation and later released. Charges of false reporting to police are being considered.


Operation Winter Coat

distribution set Nov. 16

It is that time of year again, the time for the annual Operation Winter Coat collection and distribution drive, by the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club.

The distribution this year is scheduled 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 16 in the cafeteria at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

Rotarians say this is a great opportunity for residents to go through their closets and find outgrown warm coats, hats, boots and gloves.

Club representatives said the community always gets behind the drive by opening various locations for residents to drop off items and this year is no exception. Drop off points are Village Texaco, Chamber of Commerce, the elementary school, the Lutheran school and the junior high school. Drops should be made no later than Nov. 15.

"I know from past experience," said Lois Hill, last year's organizer, "that this is a wonderful time for anyone who needs these items to come by and pick them up free of charge. There is always enough to go around."

For more information on collections and distribution, call Kathi DeClerk at 946-2057 or Maryla Roberts at 264-6923.


Operation Helping Hand opens

annual drive to aid the needy

Operation Helping Hand is underway for the 2002 holiday season.

Organizers are working on collecting donations to provide Thanksgiving baskets for our less fortunate friends and neighbors throughout Archuleta County.

Donations of nonperishable food items such as dressing, canned vegetables, canned hams, gelatin mix or any other nonperishable ingredients for a Thanksgiving dinner may be dropped off at The Pagosa Springs SUN, 446 Pagosa St., 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Monetary donations to be used to purchase turkeys and other food items can be made to Operation Helping Hand account No. 6240417424 at Wells Fargo Bank or mailed to Operation Helping Hand, P.O. Box 1083, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Operation Helping Hand assists our less fortunate neighbors throughout the county during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Some families and individuals who seek help from this program are victims of domestic violence, children of single parents, physically challenged, mentally challenged or senior citizens living on a limited income.

Families seeking assistance from Operation Helping Hand for Thanksgiving or Christmas may pick up an application from the Department of Social Services in Town Hall on Hot Springs Boulevard. Forms should be completed and returned to the Department by 3 p.m. Nov. 14 for those requesting assistance at Thanksgiving. Persons requesting assistance for Christmas must return their applications by 3 p.m. Dec. 5.

Civic organizations and church groups have united to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure as many holiday season needs and wishes as possible can be accommodated.

Questions about Operation Helping hand may be directed by the message line, 731-3735. A volunteer will return your call, if necessary.


Friends of Lesbians, Gays, forming a Pagosa chapter

A new chapter of PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, is forming in Pagosa Springs. It is a national nonprofit organization with over 80,000 members and supporters, and more than 460 affiliates in the United States.

The group celebrates diversity and envisions a society that embraces everyone, including those of diverse sexual orientation and gender identities. Members believe that only with respect, dignity and equality for all will we reach our full potential as human beings, individually and collectively. The organization welcomes participation and support of all who share in the hope to realize this vision.

It began in 1972, when parents of a gay man witnessed him being attacked on a television newscast of the New York gay rights demonstration. They watched and saw the police fail to intervene. Their outrage turned them into activists. This was the beginning of parents standing up for their gay children, and has grown to include friends, families and allies.

The unit promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, their families and friends through support to cope with and adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to support equal rights. It provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

The local chapter will begin meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday. For more information, call 264-0225, or 731-2602.


Tired of hearing it

Dear Editor:

I finally have to take exception to Ms. Cruse's relentless tirade against those of us who are unwilling to accept her vision of what is deemed appropriate to do in the outdoors.

Mr. Willy Swanda graciously tried to show her the light some time ago, gentleman that he is, but apparently Ms. Cruse has an agenda of her own, one that intends to educate us all in the proper way to appreciate the outdoors and trash everyone else that can't seem to understand in the meantime.

Has Ms. Cruse ever been bluff-charged by a bear or had her stock run off by a lion? Has she ever experienced that brief but uncontrollable feeling that comes with the realization that her somewhat haughty but sacred position in the food chain might actually be in jeopardy? Likely not, or she would have used all 13 of the 5-by-5 inch squares of T.P. allotted for that trip in an inordinately rapid fashion. Maybe she'd even be "packing iron" these days.

No, the truth is in her generally antiseptic approach to the outdoors, likely she has never been 50 yards off any designated trail.

I have a few suggestions at this point:

1. I have never seen you in person, but I think you need to let your hair grow.

2. Don't attempt to tell us Coloradans, many of whom have a deeper appreciation of the concept at hand than you, how to love Mother Earth.

3. If your interest is to write about the outdoors, possibly you should consider relocating to a place where the sophisticated ignorance of the subject matter will allow you to more effectively do so.

Lastly: I would suggest to the people who write your paycheck to consider their position with regard to your future employment, before you further alienate an intelligent segment of the community on their behalf.

Randall Blackley

Former guide, lifelong outdoorsman

P.S.: Out of curiosity I was wondering: Does this character "Hotshot" always have to sleep on the couch, or does he get to sleep on the bed occasionally?

Despicable legacy

Dear Editor:

As a granddaughter of the American family of Cynthia Ann Parker, Mother of Quannah Parker, I am dismayed by John Motter's article on The Battle of Adobe Walls. While American history may paint these men as heroes, we must realize in this day and age that much of the truth is hidden behind layers of propaganda still.

We, as Americans, tout freedom as all-important. This I agree with heartily. We publicly denounce terrorist acts against American citizens. Yet we conveniently fail to realize that the true history of this country (continent) was based on invasion and terrorist acts against 500 Nations of people living here upon the arrival of men who originated from other countries.

One of the cruelest acts of terrorism was the intentional attempt at annihilation of the buffalo to render the Native people helpless to maintain their way of life so they would abandon their land to white settlers. In addition, they sought profit from the slaughter of these magnificent animals. I read nothing in the article about the heroic efforts of the Native Americans who fought bravely to preserve their freedoms, land they inherited from their ancestors and their way of life against great odds and weaponry unavailable to them. This is true patriotism.

To celebrate men like Henry Born as heroes is despicable to me. These men were almost never fair or just. Their motivation was greed, which can only be celebrated as one of the seven deadly sins.

Yet this legacy continues. When our leaders want what another country possesses, they try to acquire it, sometimes by any means necessary. Propaganda is alive and well and is served up as fact to Americans as daily repast. We have forgotten how we came by all our acquisitions. Hawaii, Alaska. The oil we depend upon. We believe our own lies instead of realizing what hypocrites we are.

As patriots, we should move into the future without blinders on about our past. We should work toward true democracy and freedom for all humanity. As individuals, we should try our best to value what we have and leave the legacy of greed in the past.

Otherwise, we should not be surprised when retribution delivered in the form of terrorist acts continues into our future.

Carol Brown

Travesty of justice

Dear Editor:

Tuesday, Oct. 29, a travesty of justice unique in the annals of Archuleta County occurred.

The Mask Ranch Gravel Pit application for a conditional use permit to mine, crush and transport gravel from a location adjacent to the San Juan River in very close proximity to Holiday Acres subdivision was to be considered.

A public hearing had been held Oct. 22 in which the county planning staff recommended denial of the application. Many Holiday Acres residents had raised points to indicate that their quality of life would be negatively impacted; Oct. 29 was set as the decision date.

However, on the specified date a letter dated the day before the public hearing was submitted requesting an extension of time. Obviously the applicant had recognized that the objections raised - months of 12-hour daily deafening noise and dust, safety issues at the access road entering Light Plant Road at it's sharpest curve, interruption of wildlife patterns, etc.- were valid and would lead to a denial.

The granting of the extension despite the absence of applicant representation on the basis of a letter of request dated before the public hearing is a miscarriage of justice. The stratagem appeared to be an obvious play to delay decision until after the upcoming election.

Hopefully, the rights of residents of a well-established subdivision will ultimately be upheld when weighed against the desires of a commercial enterprise. All Holiday Acres residents are requested to duly note these highly irregular actions.

Bill Clark

A better place

Dear Editor:

Thank you for articulating your heartfelt words remembering David Mitchell both in your editorial and at the memorial service. That was a fantastic memorial service. David could not be more pleased about what was said about him, especially by his sons.

David Mitchell was the first friend I made in Pagosa back in 1975. He and I and Leonard Carey and our wives started a home Bible study in the fall that year. In May of 1976 that Bible study became Community Bible Church.

David was the football coach for the high school then. He gave me a pair of coaching shorts and a whistle and mentored and encouraged me in many ways. He taught me the importance of being able to disagree without being disagreeable. I have disagreed strenuously with him over the years on some of our local political issues; but thankfully, we were always able to maintain our love and respect for one another.

David and I have both long felt that we "get" to live here. His support, encouragement, love and concern for the young people of our community, including our own daughters, truly made Pagosa a special place in which to grow up.

To the extent that the real strength of Pagosa (in addition to its many natural attributes) are its people, David Mitchell left Pagosa a better place.

Jerry Driesens

Due process

Dear Editor:

As reported in last week's SUN, the Board of County Commissioners conducted a public hearing Oct. 22 on a conditional use permit application submitted by Mask Ranch to mine, crush and transport gravel from a location in a canyon of the San Juan River south of town and immediately adjacent to Holiday Acres, an established residential subdivision.

At that hearing the county planning department presented a detailed report recommending denial of the permit, concluding that the proposed location is unsuitable for a gravel pit either as a temporary or permanent use, that it would be detrimental to residents of Holiday Acres, and that it would be impossible to mitigate the adverse impacts.

Numerous residents of Holiday Acres spoke of their concerns regarding how noise from the proposed operations would be greatly exacerbated by the canyon's unique acoustics, as well as concerns over traffic safety, dust contamination and wildlife disruption.

The applicant also stated his case: that the purpose of the project was to construct a lake on the property; and that crushing and selling gravel was the only way to get rid of the by-products of the excavation.

Chairman Downey scheduled the vote on the permit for the commissioner meeting Tuesday, Oct. 29. After a brief attempt to postpone the decision until Nov. 12, the other two commissioners agreed to the Oct. 29 decision date. The applicant stated that he was anxious to start the project, wanted an early decision, and made no objection to that date.

However, Monday, Oct. 28, the commissioners received a faxed letter dated Monday, Oct. 21, from the applicant requesting a postponement of the decision so that he could contact additional agencies and obtain more information pertaining to the permit. Did the applicant forget that letter written the previous day when he asked for a quick decision the night of the hearing? We don't know because the applicant didn't show up at the Oct. 29 commissioners' meeting.

Then the maneuvering to avoid a vote on the gravel pit before the election became even more apparent. In Tuesday's commissioner meeting, Chairman Downey reported the applicant called him Oct. 28 to ask him which way he thought the vote would go, and that if it looked like it might go against him, that he would like to postpone the vote until Nov. 12.

Incredibly, the other two commissioners found nothing wrong with this request. Chairman Downey rightfully voted against postponing the vote; the other two voted to move the decision to Nov. 12. We find such manipulation of our due processes appalling.

Walter Green


Bob Nordman

Scummy mailings

Dear Editor:

I'm sorry about the loss of our friend, David Mitchell and thanks for keeping the SUN available to us - "shining on us."

About your editorial, page A2 of 10/24/02:

Tuesday, Oct. 15, before the League of Women Voters' "Meet Your Candidates program started, I asked Kay Alexander about those large postcards we constituents were receiving with the return address in Denver. (I threw my card out at the post office). She said she didn't know who was doing/sending those and that Isgar also did not know either who was mailing us (something about his voting against reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in schools). In the Durango Herald published Sunday, Oct. 20, someone's e-mail letter to editor said that Isgar didn't really vote against students saying the Pledge - just the incorrect writing of the proposal.

No one benefits from these scummy mailings or?

What is "The Education Committee" that does these mailings and where does the money come from? Hope it is not from the $3 presidential campaign fund some of us say "Yes" to on our federal tax returns.


Mary A. Hannah

No new taxes

Dear Editor:

Every property owner in Archuleta County pays a 3.5 mill levy for county roads. Residents also pay a 4-percent sales tax, one quarter of which - the equivalent of a 1-percent tax - goes into the road fund.

Perhaps it is not out of order to provide some help to citizens not living on county roads. Not complete year-around maintenance, but occasional blading, a little gravel, some snow plowing after a heavy snowstorm.

These taxpayers also support the county, town, schools and various special districts with other taxes. They are, and should be treated as members of the community.

Let's not forget, part of our road taxes support the airport, which is not a road at all, just a tax-supported installation for the benefit of a few with the desire and means to buy and maintain an aeroplane.

The sales tax brings in over $2 million each to the county and town per year, about $1,000 per town resident and $250 per out of town resident.

The population division, 20-percent town and 80-percent county, dictates an 80-20 split of the revenue or, more generously, a 25-75 percent split. An extra $1 million a year would certainly help the road budget.

While not welcome, such loss would not place the town in a really serious financial bind. The 50-50 split has paved city streets and alleys, has reduced the town mill levy by 75 percent - 8 mills down to 2 mills - and provided for a new town hall and other niceties.

County taxpayers, including those in town, finance the schools, library, health services, fire protection, water system, all county services.

What does the town government provide?

In 1995, over 500 county voters signed a petition to call a vote on changing the tax split to 75-25. That petition was aborted and never reached the ballot. Now it seems, the town, assisted by Colorado Counties Inc., and the Colorado Municipal League has succeeded in duping the Legislature into revoking what little petition authority county citizens did have.

However, it appears, the commissioners can, by resolution, place a measure on the ballot to change an existing sales tax measure.

Now might be an excellent time to suggest to commissioners such a resolution is in order if they are in favor of more road and bridge funds without increasing taxes.

F.T. Havens

A soldier's note

Dear Editor,

My name is Sarah Joy. I am 18 years old. I enlisted in the United States Army and am stationed in South Korea currently. I have been a resident of Pagosa Springs for over eight years. During this time, I have watched a small town grow in to a thriving community.

I was informed by my parents, David and Petra Joy, that during the month of September a ceremony was held at the high school to give thanks to current members of the Armed Forces and veterans residing in Pagosa Springs. I would like to extend my gratitude to the people of Pagosa Springs.

Thank you.

Being in this country will open anyone's eyes. I have learned a lot and have been through a lot this past year. Being in Korea Sept. 11 was difficult for me. I was reminded of the day I took the oath, a year ago, right after the attacks. Since that day life has changed drastically for me, but if I had to go back, I would do it all over again. I do not regret my decision; in fact I believe it was the best one I've ever made.

Our country needs its soldiers now more then ever. Fighting for America's freedom is my job. My family and the people of Pagosa Springs are why I'm here. I get up every morning because their support keeps me going.

Again, thank you.

God bless America.

A soldier in Korea

Brain dead

Dear Editor:

With apologies to Mr. Jim Rains, the Brain Dead Society is inviting all those Archuletans with the knowledge and ability to vote in next week's election - and don't - to a Grand Parade and picnic.

Their induction as a member will be celebrated on the first really miserable day after the election. The parade will form at the landfill on Trujillo Road and proceed single file north to the transfer station for the ceremonies and picnic. The station's staff has been sorting the treasures brought there in all those colorful pickups for just the right tokens of gratitude for each BDS member. The picnic will be served by the candidates who lost because you didn't vote and they will show their appreciation by serving copious quantities of suet with a salad of cold cabbage in lard and a hair in it.

A Saddam Hussein look-alike will conduct the convocation. BYOB.

Watch this paper for the time and date.

The previously announced events - Women's Mud Wrestling and Men's Demolition Derby Without Cars - will take place at a future date when we hope to select judges from people on community service.

Lee Sterling

retiring recording secretary

Brain Dead Society of Archuleta County.

Health care crisis

Dear Editor:

Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County are in a health care crisis. Before the coming election I ask, why are our town and county government leaders allowing this crisis to continue and worsen every day?

Why isn't community health care a topic of local political discussion? It will take us years to overcome this disaster if it is not stopped and reversed immediately. Where are our leaders?

The Upper San Juan Hospital District is having a very negative effect on community health care. The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center and Emergency Medical service are hemorrhaging with a nearly 50-percent employee resignation rate so far this year.

The managers of both the medical center and ambulance service are gone and have not been replaced. These are all good and valuable people whose years of knowledge and expertise are lost. These people have been driven away by a management and board leadership style that is personally abusive, dictatorial, inappropriate for our area and unknowledgeable about rural health care systems.

Current leadership continues failed policy of the past and is willing to "break the back" of community health care in order to make it "break even" instead of doing the work to get grant money that would put us on a path to a healthy and progressive system.

Cutbacks and loss of workers cannot be the solution or path to better health care.

Recently, the Department Health and Human Services released $30 million for rural health care systems, just like ours. Similar grant monies have been available for decades. For all of its years the hospital district has insisted that our system can and must break even on mill levy support and have made no effort to obtain any real financial assistance.

Breaking even for a rural community health system is an uninformed and unrealistic concept. It has not worked in the past, is not working now and will not work in the future.

Archuleta County is growing rapidly and our health care system must grow with it. We have medical professionals and other local people who have the talent and knowledge to put us on the right path but the leadership at the hospital district has and is ignoring them.

We must stop operating our health care system like a civic project moving at a snail's pace. We must bring professionalism and knowledgeable expertise to our system. Current management and leadership philosophy and activity is not adequate, is forcing the system farther behind, and is a gross injustice to our people.

Be alarmed citizens. It is your health and the health care of the community that is at stake. Be alarmed, government leaders. Community health care is an important priority of responsible government in most places. It is past time for our elected leaders to step in and stop this degrading situation and help put us on a path to recovery and progress.

Norm Vance

Don't panic

Dear Editor:

This letter is to urge voters not to panic at the sight of the word "may" in the stated question(s) for Ballot Issue 5A (Water); nor at the mind-boggling, 350 (plus)-word sentence stating question(s).

In your Oct. 17 issue Jim Carson and Eugene Witkowski had good letters expressing concerns about the word "may" and contents of the question(s).

Harold Slavinski, president, PAWSD, responded in your Oct. 24 issue with a straightforward explanation for the use of the word "may," i.e. attorney's advice. He also reiterated their intent ... "to proceed on all projects listed on the ballot and in a timely manner."

I think the PAWSD board of directors and its management, have made the case for the necessity of these projects and the proposed method of financing them. I think we can trust them to recommend what is in the best interests of their constituents. All were elected by us; some, many times. Some ran unopposed, because there were no opponents. Public meetings were held, but probably not well attended; reported in the SUN, but probably not well read.

I will vote "yes" on 5A and defer any concern about "may" and long, mind-boggling statements of the questions. The projects are needed, the cost isn't unrealistic, and it would be another year before another proposal can be submitted to electors, if this one is defeated. They cannot proceed unless, and until, we say "yes."

Mr. Witkowski is asking to be educated on our election procedures and the requirements placed on PAWSD and other taxing entities by Colorado laws and Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution. That isn't PAWSD's responsibility. The library has up-to-date volumes of Colorado Statutes and Constitution in its reference section.

Before writing this letter I checked the state's Web site and printed a copy of Article X, Section 20, accompanying cross references and annotations. I got three pages for Section 20 and seven pages of annotations. The subject of Article X is "Revenue" and Section 20 is "The Taxpayer's Bill of Rights" (TABOR), often referred to as Amendment 1, which it was in 1992 when it was placed on the ballot. Mr. Witkowski and others can be glad they don't have to understand and comply with it. But taxing entities must.

TABOR is the reason for the long statement of the question(s) and the entire latter portion of the 5A ballot question(s) beginning with ... "and shall any moneys used to pay debt service and without limiting in any year the amount of other revenues that may be collected and spent by the District." This has become common practice throughout the state and has been used in recent years by most taxing entities. The approval requested in the latter part is required annually by Section 20, but voters are allowed to approve delaying that requirement up to four years. The practice of requesting, and getting, approval for "any year," i.e. in perpetuity, has yet to be challenged in court.

Earle Beasley

Against 5A

Dear Editor:

I encourage all Archuleta County voters eligible to vote on Ballot Issue 5A (Water) to vote "No" for the following reasons:

The portion of the issue on the ballot dealing with what is to be accomplished is so "weasel-worded" that the taxpayer will not be able to hold the PAWS Board accountable for anything.

The portion of the issue on the ballot dealing with financing and taxes is confusing in some areas but is crystal clear in allowing PAWS to raise taxes any time in any amount and lets PAWS collect and spend "without regard to any spending, revenue raising, or other limitation contained within Article X Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution and without limiting in any year the amount of other revenues that may be collected and spent by the district." This is not just for a couple of years, but forever.

This whole proposal says to me that PAWS is not sure what they're going to do but they want us to send money - lots of money - and maybe they'll do it.

Let's have clarification and debate on this issue. In any event, this water shortage thing is not going to be fixed real soon. We can afford to look at this proposal again in six months with a more definitive plan.

Jim Hanson

Community News
Senior News

Spirit Day: Enough T-shirts for a tour group

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

We were saddened to hear of Liz Messick's death. Liz enjoyed playing bridge here and will be missed by many.

This week we welcomed Jean Hart to lunch. Bruce Muirhead brought friends from Boulder, Jean and Bob Williams. We also got to feed some of Dawnie's relatives, Sunny, Nelly, Joe and Bessie Montoya. We were happy to see Lake Durbin and Kathrine Ide visiting again.

We had Spirit Day Tuesday this week, asking everyone to wear his or her Silver Foxes T-shirt. We had enough T-shirts on to make us look like a tour group.

Wednesday, Muriel Cronkhite gave a talk about the latest information on diabetes. The attendance was good and Muriel had a lot of handouts for everyone. More handouts are available from Musetta or Laura.

Our first grief and loss meeting was Thursday. Dr. Deborah Parker has graciously volunteered to lead this group. This meeting is for any adult who has suffered the loss of a loved one. The first two years are the hardest, so Deborah encourages anyone who is having trouble dealing with loss to attend these meetings. They are held every other Thursday from 11:30-12:30 in the Senior Lounge. The next meeting is Nov. 7.

Patty Tillerson came and checked blood pressures on Friday.

The week of Oct. 28

Monday - 10 a.m. chair exercise; 1p.m. Bridge for Fun.

Tuesday - 9:30 a.m. yoga; 12:45 p.m. art class; and a new class at 11 a.m. called Problem Solving.

Larry Blue, one of our members, is a retired math professor and wants to start a class called "Reawaken Your Brain." He will present brain teasers, make your own crossword puzzles, interesting games and whatever it takes to sharpen your thinking skills and help you problem solve. This will be an easy, fun class that will run through November.

Wednesday, we will have our Halloween celebration. Wear your best costume and maybe you will win a prize.

Friday - 10 a.m. Qi Gong class. Jim Hanson will answer questions and provide information about Medicare. Andy Fautheree will be here to help with Veteran's benefits questions.

Charles Knoop was our Senior of the Week the week of Oct. 21 and John Graves has the honor this week. Charles and John are entitled to eat free all week. Congratulations.

The next Senior Board meeting will be Nov. 8, 12:45 p.m. at Town Hall.

We will hold our Senior Board elections in December. The board meets the last Friday of every month and discusses ways to enhance the lives of the aging population through funding and other projects. Anyone interested in participating, please contact Musetta.

Free movies will begin Nov. 8 at 12:45 p.m. in the Senior Lounge and will continue the second Friday of each month. Popcorn will be available for 25 cents. Enjoy our big screen TV. If you have any movie suggestions, please contact Laura.

We are starting a Friendly Visitor Program that has people visiting shut-ins to make sure all is well, needs are met and just to pass a little time. It is a good feeling to know someone is watching out for you, and you can share that good feeling by volunteering to be a "friendly visitor."

Contact us at 264-2167 if you wish to volunteer, or if you would like to have a friendly visitor of your own.

Veterans Corner

Explaining DIC and Survivor plans

By Andy Fautheree

A survivor benefit that many do not know about is Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. Payments may be available for surviving spouses who have not remarried.

It is also payable to unmarried children under the age of 18, helpless children, those between 18 and 23 if attending a VA-approved school, and low-income parents of deceased service members or veterans.


To be eligible, the deceased veteran must have died from:

1. a disease or injury incurred or aggravated while on active duty or active duty for training

2. an injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while in inactive duty training

3. a disability compensable by the VA. Death cannot be the result of willful misconduct.

If a widow remarries, eligibility for benefits may be restored if the marriage is terminated later by death, annulment or divorce. Payments may also be authorized for survivors of veterans with total service-connected disabilities that did not cause their deaths.

Survivor qualifies

1. if the veteran was continuously rated totally disabled for a period of 10 or more years immediately preceding death

2. the veteran was rated for a period of at least five years from the date of military discharge

3. the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999 and who was continuously rated totally disabled for a period of at least one year immediately preceding death. Payments under this provision are subject to offset by any amount received from judicial proceedings brought on account of the veteran's death. Of course, the retirement or discharge must have been under conditions other than dishonorable.

Benefit amounts

The surviving wife of a veteran who died after January 1, 1993, receives $935 a month, and it is tax-free. If the surviving widow would also receive the Survivor Benefit Plan annuity benefit, the Dependency and Indemnity payment of $935 a month will reduce the survivor plan monthly benefit — or "offset". However, the advantage to receiving the prior is that:

1. it is tax-free income

2. the proportionate premiums that had been paid into SBP (for probably many years) are refunded.

Any survivor benefit monthly annuity payable that is over the $935 dependency received is then still payable to the surviving widow. So nothing is lost for having been enrolled in the Survivor Benefit Plan should you also qualify for the Dependency monthly benefit.

For information on these and other veterans' benefits call or stop by the Archuleta 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 from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs and for filing in the VSO office.

Chamber News

We're getting the skiing word out

By Sally Hameister

On the outside chance that you haven't heard, Wolf Creek Ski Area opens today and we are so pumped we can't stand it.

Morna and Kathey Fitz are headed Texas way to represent Pagosa Springs the next two weekends at ski shows, one in Austin and one in Houston. We are also being represented by Wolf Creek Ski Area in Albuquerque and Dallas, and won't we be the stars with our ski area open for business with natural snow?

I have also contacted our friends at KOB-TV in Albuquerque for statewide New Mexico TV ads announcing to the entire populace that we are open for business. Let's hope we get thousands and thousands of folks just dying to place two skis or one snowboard on the white stuff for the first time this year.

Early openings are especially good for all of us.

Halloween party

Ghouls, ghosts, goblins and games will all be on hand tonight at the Community Halloween Party at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. Take advantage of this great opportunity to provide a safe, fun alternative for your children without walking the neighborhoods in the dark. Your kids will love the games and contests, not to mention the free hot dogs, sodas and ice cream that will be served up by our Pagosa Kiwanis Club beginning at 6 p.m.

Bring your little goblins to 451 Lewis St. tonight to enjoy a safe, fun-filled Halloween.

Orient Express

I have my tickets and encourage you to purchase yours for the sixth annual Immaculate Heart of Mary Fashion Show and Luncheon to be held at the Parish Hall Nov. 9, beginning at noon. I consider this one of the loveliest, most enjoyable events of the year and wouldn't dream of missing it.

You can count on delicious food and gorgeous fashions sported by local folks who just love strutting their stuff on that runway. That old adage about never sharing the stage with children and/or animals couldn't be truer in this case - they absolutely steal the show every time with pure, ingenuous charm.

This year's theme is "Experience the Orient Express" so I'm quite sure we can expect plenty in the romance, intrigue and mystery department. Tickets are now on sale at the Chamber, and I strongly encourage you to purchase them as soon as possible because this show sells out every year. Tickets are $18, and that is small price to pay for the pure pleasure of this always-enjoyable event.

Mountain Express

The Archuleta County Transportation Department is accepting applications for advertising on Mountain Express, the public transportation bus, which travels along the U.S.160 corridor on its scheduled route. This is a terrific opportunity for you and your business to get tremendous exposure each and every day as the bus goes from one end of town to the other and all points in between fifty-two weeks per year Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 7:50 p.m. The one-way trip is 28 miles and serves the downtown area, Fairfield core areas and the Aspen Springs subdivision located seven miles west of town.

Two seasons are available, one from May-October and the other from November-April, and the available positions on the bus include one curbside sign, one streetside sign, eight interior signs and six positions in the brochure rack. Prices range from $10 a month to $200 a month for this six-month period, and all are included on the application for advertising.

The requirements for advertising include a preliminary draft submittal with verbiage and graphics five days after acceptance, a signed contract and full payment up front. Applications may be obtained at the Archuleta Country Transportation Department located on the west side of the new Community Center or the County Commissioners offices located at 449 San Juan St. Don't miss this chance to get the word out about your business and support our local transportation department at the same time. If you have questions, call 264-2250.

Business counseling

Joe Keck, current director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College will be here at the Visitor Center Nov. 15 to offer free business counseling to all Chamber members. Joe not only knows his stuff, but also has a finger on the pulse of the business climate in the Four Corners area and is happy to share his wealth of knowledge to help you out with your business. Please give Doug a call at 264-2360 to set up an appointment with Joe.

Our favorite things

Local favorite, John Graves, and Durango favorite, Susie Ewing, will combine their considerable talents on the evening of Nov. 9 to perform a concert to benefit the newly formed FoPA (Friends of the Performing Arts). Proceeds from this performance will assist FoPA in their mission to develop a performing arts center for our community.

"A Few of Our Favorite Things" will be held in the Ridge section of the Ridgeview Mall beginning with a cash bar at 6:30 p.m. and show time at 7 p.m. John Graves, who has accompanied luminaries like Rosemary Clooney and George Burns, is excited about performing with Susie and looks forward to their evening together. Susie boasts a wide variety of musical performances in theatres, saloon, churches and meeting halls. She was a featured vocalist with the Kona Choir in Hawaii, has performed in Japan and now makes her home and teaches voice in Durango.

Advance tickets for this event are $8, and advance ticket holders will be seated in the Preferred Section. You may purchase tickets at WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company or the Chamber of Commerce. Tickets at the door will be $10.

Park sculpture

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Public Art Committee invites sculptors to enter in the community's exciting inaugural sculpture project. This is every artist's opportunity to live on in Pagosa history through their art for many years to come, so I would encourage those of you with this unique talent to get busy.

The first work will be placed in the new Bell Tower Park located in the center of downtown Pagosa Springs on the main thoroughfare. Obviously, thousands of folks will see this piece with that high-traffic location.

Please stop by the Visitor Center or the Arts Council gallery in Town Park for a complete description of the criteria, specific requirements and deadlines for materials. If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Harnick at 731-3113 or email Lisa Scott at scottranch@outerbounds.net

Operation Winter Coat

That chill in the air reminds us that it's time for our local Rotary Club to conduct its annual Operation Winter Coat collection and distribution drive. At this time of year, we traditionally go through our closets and drawers and sometimes find that we have collected or outgrown far too many coats, gloves, scarves, hats and boots. This Rotary project gives you the perfect opportunity to donate these items which will be distributed Nov. 16, in the cafeteria at the junior high school from 9 a.m. -3 p.m. Please drop off your warm items at Village Texaco, the Chamber of Commerce, the elementary school or the junior high school no later than Nov. 15. Let's make sure that everyone in Pagosa is warm and toasty this winter. Anyone who needs these items can pick them up free of charge on Nov. 16.


Things have slowed down a bit in the membership area, but we are still pleased as punch to introduce two new members and eight renewals. For this time of year, that's actually a dandy number and one for which we are most grateful.

We first welcome an old friend of ours, JaNae Christians, who has returned to our fair community to bring us a new shop, Jonina's Birkenstock, with a location at 215 Pagosa St. (We'll share the opening date when JaNae gives us the high sign.) This will be a specialty store featuring a vast selection of comfortable and healthy boots, shoes, clogs and sandals. When you visit them, they will be happy to give you a free catalog along with very personalized service. Please call 264-9700 for more information about Jonina's Birkenstock.

Another old friend, Amy Hill, daughter of Lois and Jere Hill, brings our second new business to us. Amy brings us Alphabet Soup Day School located at 1819 Lake Forest Circle. Amy offers a large state-licensed childcare facility caring for children birth to thirteen. Featured are individualized curriculum planning, meals, age-appropriate materials and activities and all the comforts of home. For more information about Alphabet Soup Day School, please give Amy a call at 731-9152. Our thanks to mom and dad, Lois and Jere, for recruiting Amy, and we are pleased to send them a free SunDowner pass for their efforts.

Our renewals this week include Peggy Ralston-Poma as a Real Estate Associate; Hank Anstine with Wolf Creek Outfitters; Joy Downing with Joy's Natural Foods; Tina Graham and Ellen Gidley with Mercy Orthopedic and Sport Therapy/Mercy Home Care Service; Mike Ferrell with Rocky Mountain Maintenance; Crista Munro with Folkwest, Inc.; Todd Shelton with Century 21 Wolf Creek Land and Cattle, LLC; and Pamela D. Novack with Equus Realty Colorado, LLC. Our associate member renewal this week is John J. Taylor.

Once again, we thank each and every member for your continued support and confidence.

Library News

Poet Laureate on 'Religion of Football'

By Lenore Bright

Please join us at the Civic Club Holiday Bazaar Saturday at the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. Doors open at 9 a.m. Plan to eat lunch with the ladies; take home some of their tasty bake sale items, and enjoy all of the great gift ideas displayed by our favorite artisans.

The raffle drawing will be held at 5 p.m. You still have time to buy those tickets. As always many great items will be given away.

Religion of football

Back in the '70s, Thomas Hornsby Ferrell, Colorado's poet laureate, compared the game of football to early pagan religious rites. He wondered why Freud had never made much of an issue about it. I also wonder why no one has written a definitive book about it.

Ferrell encouraged us to view football as a synonym for a religious experience.

The religious rites begin with the autumnal equinox and culminate with the festivals of the New Year having to do with roses, oranges, cotton and even the practice of appeasing alligators.

Ferrell noted that along with the flowers and fruit festivals, life was symbolized by an egg-shaped ball used in large oval shaped outdoor churches every Sunday throughout the nation. He commented that millions of worshippers met in these open-air churches seeking an outlet for their numerous frustrations by cheering the violence and sadism performed by a young highly trained priesthood of gladiators with names like Elija, Ephraim and Jason.

He was intrigued with the ceremony that begins with music and semi-nude virgins enticing the worshipers to rise from their seats to shout and chant in unison.

The actual rites of passage being performed by 22 specimens who in turn seem to want to hurt the egg by kicking it, and conversely protecting it by tucking it to their bosom and running away.

The members of the priesthood endeavor to move the egg up and down the enclosure for four quarters which no doubt represent the four seasons.

At the end of the second quarter (implying the summer solstice) the virgins and musicians return with more celebration and form themselves into pictograms representing animal fetishes.

Ferrell wanted the Freudians to study this popular American pastime. He believed football arose from the Oedipus complex - alma mater, et al. He wondered if we should not examine and discuss the thwarted American energy that weekly seeks release through the vicarious enjoyment of this ritualized violence and infliction of pain.

With the Denver Broncos' record at 6 - 2 with a Monday night game coming up against the Oakland Raiders and the familiar stirrings of what once was, someone should definitely write a book. Anyone interested?



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 Santana and Emma Lujan, all of Pagosa Springs.

Announcing the birth of Lorah Beth Jacobson are the proud parents, Becky Condon and Keith Jacobson. Born Aug. 25, 2002, weighing 4 pounds, 4 ounces, Lorah was greeted by paternal grandparents Vaughn and Judy Jacobson of Pagosa Springs, grandmother Becky Roth and aunt Linda Jacobson, both of Pueblo. Maternal grandparents are Todd and Janice Condon of San Diego, Calif. Also welcoming Lorah are uncle Michael Condon and aunt Diane Condon, both of San Diego.


Business News

Dr. James C. Pruitt M.D. owns and operates Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center, located at 75 South Pagosa Boulevard.

Pruitt opened the clinic Nov. 2, 1981 and Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center is celebrating 21 years of service to the local community.

Pruitt is joined at the center by Dr. John C. Piccaro M.D. Piccaro specializes in pediatric medicine.

Office hours at Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 731-4131.



A.J. and Lana Schlegel of Pagosa Springs are proud to announce the marriage of their son, Jay Schlegel, to Tracy Doile. Jay and Tracy's wedding was Aug. 3, 2002, in El Dorado, Kan. The couple are making their home in Wichita, Kan.


Kelly Paige Galles of Denton, Texas, and Army Staff Sgt. Stephen Andrew Meneses, formerly of Anniston, Ala., were united in marriage at 11 a.m. Sept. 29, 2002, at the Rose Chapel in Ft. Worth, Texas, with the Rev. Douglas Estes officiating. A reception followed in the chapel.

The bride is the daughter of Doug and Judy Galles of Pagosa Springs. The groom is the son of Felix and Rebecca Meneses of Anniston.

The bride is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and is employed by Merrill Lynch in Ft. Worth. The groom is on active duty with the U.S. Army at Fort Hood, Texas, as a military policeman.

The couple will reside in Ft. Worth upon the groom's completion of his enlistment.


James C. Backus

Marine Corps Pvt. James C. Backus, son of Meryle J. and James Backus of Pagosa Springs recently completed basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Calif., after completing 12 weeks of training designed to challenge new recruits both physically and mentally.

A 2002 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, Backus and other recruits also received instruction on the Corps' core values - honor, courage and commitment, and what the words mean in guiding personal and professional conduct.

Backus ended his training phase with The Crucible, a 54-hour team effort, problem solving evolution which culminated with an emotional ceremony in which recruits were presented the Marine Corps Emblem, and were addressed as "Marines" for the first time since boot camp began.


Nicholas Cangialosi

Marine Pfc. Nicholas J. Cangialosi, son of Kathleen A. and Stephen L. Cangialosi of Pagosa Springs has completed Marine Corps basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, Calif.

Cangialosi completed 12 weeks of training designed to challenge new Marine recruits both physically and mentally.

Cangialosi and fellow recruits also received instruction on Corp's core values - honor, courage and commitment, and what the words mean in guiding personal and professional conduct.

The 2002 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School ended his training phase with participation in The Crucible, a 54-hour team effort, problem solving exercise which ended with the recruits presented the Marine Corps Emblem and being addressed as "Marines" for the first time.


Tale of Dutch Henry's hanging debunked by editor talking to him

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Dutch Henry Born is one of the most famous names in Pagosa Country history. We've been writing about Dutch Henry for several weeks.

Before coming to Pagosa Country, Dutch Henry was a western legend. During the 1870s, his fame as an outlaw spread across the West. As he often said himself, he often was blamed for crimes he could not have committed. Confusing the issue was the simultaneous existence of two Dutch Henry Borns, both with legendary reputations as outlaws.

And so, historians have a hard time separating the deeds of the two men. In some cases, the separation is not hard to make. No one doubts that the Dutch Henry who fought in the battle of Adobe Walls was the same Dutch Henry who settled in Pagosa Country. No one doubts that the Dutch Henry arrested in Trinidad in 1879 by Bat Masterson was the Pagosa Springs Dutch Henry. But, there were other stories. Even if the stories were not true, and many of them weren't, they are still evidence of Dutch Henry's tremendous reputation in the early West. You don't make up stories about nobody.

Listen to the following story, printed in the Pagosa Springs New Era, Dec. 27, 1912, by editor Charles Day. Day was a western old-timer in his own right, and would have known Dutch Henry's reputation first hand. As it turns out, he also knew Dutch Henry first hand. The article is headlined, "A Tale of Dutch Henry."

"It was the night before Christmas or rather day before, in 1872, when four clever plainsmen found themselves surrounded by a band of young Yamparikee warriors out on a killing expedition. The white party consisted of Dutch Henry and his brother and two ranch partners, Sam Walker and Charles Christy, who had located a ranch on the Dry Cimarron near the present town of Garden City in western Kansas. Dutch Henry was known all over the region as a tough one but this lamentable fact did not militate against an honest fellow in those days. Henry had appeared at the ranch a few days before with ten gallons of booze which in those hilarious times was regarded as something almost sacred because of its scarcity far out on the plains.

"On the morning of the twenty-fourth the party hitched up a wagon and struck out south to do some trading with the Indians and the cask of corn juice constituted their stock in trade. When they reached the Sweetwater, a war party fell upon them, Dutch Henry jumped out onto the ground and threw up his left hand with the peace sign. The Indians flocked around them and had it not been for Christy's wit they would have been butchered right then and there in quick order. The old scout knew his business however, and said to the leader: 'You take us to Tacoma, your chief, and we will settle this business with him.' They replied that Tacoma was at a village on the Canadian, badly injured by a fall from his horse but Christy insisted that they had to see the chief, as they carried an important message for him. Men had to be good liars in those days.

"After considerable pow wow among themselves the war party took the four whites to the village and there sure enough was Tacoma, or Black Horse in English, lying in his lodge pretty badly hurt. 'Tacoma' said Christy in the Comanche tongue. 'Tomorrow is the white man's big feast day and we have come to get you and your people to help us celebrate it. We have brought you a present,' and here he slipped a quart bottle of the precious elixer of life under the old chief's blanket as he lay there on his pallet. This is about all there is to the tale other than in passing to say that the jamboree lasted three days after the chief had required the squaws to gather up and hide all of the guns and butcher knives in the camp.

"When the whites got ready to go on, instead of being scalped and fed to the coyotes, Christy told Black Horse that they ought to be paid something for all that good whiskey which had been consumed and the chief thought so too. He called in the sons of the sun and made them chip in thirteen buffalo robes, four horses and six mules for all the fun they had enjoyed and they were glad to do it. Then the foxy whites proceeded out to Jacksboro, Texas, (During the Red River Indian campaign, more troops were stationed at Fort Richardson near Jacksboro than any other Fort in the United States) and sold the plunder for five hundred dollars. Therefore the ten gallons of hootch paid out all right. In January 1880, Dutch Henry with four others of his gang were lynched at Las Vegas, N.M. and we know who did it. - Denver Field and Farm," (a publication of the time.)

Editor Day continues: "As the above item is being clipped for reprinting, Dutch Henry, the original and the subject of the story, is talking to the editor. Dutch Henry - Henry Born - was not hung as the article declares, but is alive and well, prospering as the owner of Born's Lake, eighteen miles northeast of Pagosa. Mr. Born's reputation as a plainsman was won in 1876" (should read 1874) "when he with two score of other buffalo hunters, including Bat Masterson, successfully stood off over 2,000 Cheyennes and Arapahoes in the Indian attack on Adobe Walls."

Next week: More on Dutch Henry Born, Pagosa Country's most famous early settler.

Motter's comment: The caretaker of the Born's Lake property, Dewey Lattin, stopped by this week to remind everyone that the property is private. Since the series of articles on Henry Born started, a number of trespassers have entered the property. A six-foot easement allows the Rainbow Trail to cross the property on its path up the West Fork of the San Juan River. Lattin urges those using the trail to stay on the right of way. Trespassers will be prosecuted.


The Music Man

Students learn ins and outs of musical performance

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Listen hard and it's possible to hear the sweet sounds of music emanating from junior high school students. It might even be possible to catch them dancing a little.

After all, it's just about time for them to shine.

Nov. 8 and 9, students in seventh and eighth-grade choirs will present "The Music Man," using a Broadway Junior adaptation.

"I love the rehearsals," eighth-grader Jessie Stewart said. She's playing Mrs. Paroo. Tiffany Mayne, in the role of her daughter, Marian Paroo, agreed, adding that dressing up should be a close second.

David Smith, taking on the part of Professor Harold Hill, enjoys the choreography.

"When we worked on sets," was top on the list for Brad Iverson, a seventh-grader in the role of Mayor Shinn.

Practice started the first week of school. Director and intermediate and junior high choir teacher, Shawna Bolt, said enough students auditioned to fill the major roles. The rest of the 46-member cast came from choir classes.

"Auditions were fun," Stewart said, "but a little stressful thinking I wouldn't get the part."

Singing without music was a little nerve-wracking, Smith, an eighth-grader, said. Still, he's happy with the results.

Because of the busy schedule at the high school, site of the performances, the students started learning the music and blocking in the classroom or outside, depending on the weather.

Mayne, an eighth-grader, said everything from "learning the lines, learning to sing, breathing right and not over-pronunciating the words," was a challenge at times.

Some of the words, specifically "abominably," had to be practiced over and over to get just right.

Most of the rehearsals took place during class time with a few after-school practices at the high school planned in the last weeks. A few students also gave up weekend time to paint sets and build props, getting a chance to experience every piece of putting together a musical.

"I can't hear you," Bolt told one group of students at a recent rehearsal. Although the students know their lines, and have done a great job putting things together so far, they're still a little shy, she said.

"They had it in the classroom, it's just the stage that's throwing them."

In fact, she said, watching some of them open up and enjoy the stage has been one of the most rewarding parts of the experience, her first as director of a musical.

"They were quiet and shy last year," she said. "Now they've become more outgoing."

In another week, she hopes to conquer the final nerves and transport the audience into the small town Iowa world. In "The Music Man," a salesman, sort of a con artist, comes to town to sell the people instruments, make some money and disappear. Only he falls in love and gives the little town something to cheer about, something to look forward to, and that complicates things. The audience will be treated to some well-known favorites in the musical score, including "76 Trombones," "Till There was You," and "Goodnight My Someone."

They'll also be treated to some spectacular chorus numbers, Eulalie, played by Alaine Garman, in a pink tutu and terrific dance numbers.

The students have two performances for the public. Nov. 8 and 9 the curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $4 for adults and $2 for children under 12.


Onward to 100

With the Oct. 17 issue, this newspaper began its 94th Volume. A volume consists of 52 issues of a weekly publication. On this basis, The Pagosa Springs SUN is, if we are not mistaken, the oldest continually operating business, under the same name, in Archuleta County. With Goodman's, The SUN is certainly one of the oldest businesses here, period.

The SUN grew from the seed of its predecessors and has been a quintessential small town weekly since its creation. It has been owned and operated by many different individuals and groups and has sported numerous contributors over the decades. It is, as David liked to say, "an institution" whose caretakers and curators change periodically. We merely sustain the institution while it persists as a valuable element in the community.

In the grand tradition of the American weekly newspaper The SUN has, over the years, inspired a somewhat proprietary interest in many of its readers. For quite a few readers, the newspaper is more akin to a public utility than a private business. Some regard it tenderly; some hold it in contempt. Most residents of the area read it faithfully. It has the advantage that all weeklies exhibit, in that it arrives once each week, giving the reader time to absorb its contents, giving its producers time to gather news, opinions and advertising.

Take a trip to the SUN's files and the bound books that contain the issues from the past and you discover this newspaper has always mirrored the Pagosa area community. It has been, resolutely, our local newspaper. We strive to this day to center the publication's focus as steadily on local events and issues as is possible.

The SUN has changed as the community changed. Changes occurred in style and design, in the character of the writing and the type of people who do the writing, as well as in the kinds of news reported in its pages. As the community grew, the population increasing, the number of pages in the newspaper grew accordingly. At the beginning of the last century, the newspaper often had no more than eight pages. For most of its life, The SUN consisted of one broadsheet section. When times got better, two sections appeared when needed. In the 1980s The Preview tabloid center section was created and the total pages available to the reader climbed. During the past couple of years, the size of The SUN reflected the sudden explosion of population in Archuleta County - for which The SUN is the newspaper of record.

Changes are just as visible in the advertising seen in the newspaper. The number and kinds of businesses seen in the pages of The SUN reflect the state and character of the economy, indicate the needs and desires of the residents of Pagosa Country. The ads placed by businesses, and the products and services advertised, provide valuable insights into the society of the time.

Terri has noted that, with each new volume of The SUN, we should hold a birthday party. It is a good idea. The celebration could serve to remind the staff of the tradition we maintain and the demands it makes of us, allowing us to see ourselves as part of a continuum of custodians, trusted by the readers to provide the best possible product - on time, each week, every week.

Despite the loss of our publisher David Mitchell, The SUN remains solid on its foundation. The corporate ownership of the newspaper is intact and dedicated to continue the journey David undertook when he assumed ownership in 1981. The staff at The SUN remains committed to the community and to the steady improvement of our product.

Happy birthday SUN. We are rolling with dedication and enthusiasm toward the century mark.

Karl Isberg


Dear Folks

My dear precious friends

Dear Folks,

My salutation should read "My dear precious friends of Pagosa Springs." My family and I have been astounded and deeply moved by the outpouring of love and support that has come from you in so many ways.

David would not be surprised at the level of caring shown to us. If you have read previous Dear Folks, you know he truly believed that all of us who live here share a very special place marked by exceptionally caring relationships.

He once told me that if he had known there was such a place as Pagosa when he was a little boy, he would have run away from Houston. He loved the beauty of our mountains, but he knew that the heart of Pagosa is in her people.

David and I started talking about and planning for retirement several years ago. Along with our boys, Chuck, Tom, Dan and Drew, and Terri House, we formed a corporation of stockholders for the operation and management of The SUN.

About 18 months ago, David named Terri as the assistant publisher and Karl Isberg as managing editor. Knowing that The SUN was in very capable hands, he began easing his way out of the daily operations of the paper. You began to see less of him at the office and more of him riding his bike on the roads of Archuleta County. Some days you couldn't find him at all.

The issue you see today reflects the leadership and creativity of Karl and Terri and the hard work and loyalty of John Motter, Richard Walter, Tess Noel Baker, Shari Pierce, Kanaka Perea, Tom Carosello, Robert Penton, Todd House, Missy Phelan, April Howell, Don Jones, Ron Willett, Randi Pierce, Anna Bishop and Lauren Felts. The paper is stable and so is the future of The SUN.

David never did get to retire, but instead he "graduated" into Heaven. Along the road between our home on Four Mile and West University Place in Houston, Texas, God took him on an exciting detour. He is resting peacefully at "Home." I know he would be pleased to know that his earthly body is resting at Hilltop Cemetery next to Anika Thompson, just over the knoll from Irving Hansen and many other friends, but his spirit and soul are with them in Heaven.

Ever the scrupulous editor, I do hope he is not looking for misspelled words and misplaced commas in the angels' songbooks.

I am touched that so many of you cared for and respected David. I will miss my sweetheart and best friend, the boys and their wives will miss "Dad," the grandchildren their granddad.

David would want me to tell you one more time Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.



90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Nov. 1, 1912

Mrs. Lulu Crouse and little girl arrived in Pagosa Wednesday evening from Ohio. Mr. Crouse and the boy will arrive later and the family will locate here again after an absence of about three years.

The young people of the Methodist Church had a Hallowe'en social Thursday evening. Their terms of admission were ten cents and a pie, and a black cat acted as escort to all comers.

John Toner was in from the Piedra this week with a bunch of lambs for the market -  toppers every one of them.

Mrs. Fred Butler has accepted an offer in composing songs and poems for a music house in Washington, D.C., at good salary.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Nov. 4, 1927

John H. Brown, who was being held in the county jail to appear in the district court to answer to the charge of grand larceny involving the theft of saddles and equipment from the barn of Robt. Henry on the Navajo, took French leave of the institution early Sunday by sawing out two bars of the jail window with a hacksaw, no doubt passed to him by some friend on the outside.

The snow storm of Monday night and Tuesday not only temporarily blocked Wolf Creek and Cumbres passes, but the resultant mud has made auto travel difficult. Traffic over Wolf Creek Pass was resumed today.

Leonard Houser left Saturday for Denver after a Coleman truck to be used in the logging operations at McPhee.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 31, 1952

Next Tuesday will give every good American citizen a chance to express his or her satisfaction or dissatisfaction with governmental affairs when the polls will be opened for national, state and local elections. A record number of voters has registered in Archuleta County this year, 1,497, according to County Clerk Philip Johnson. If a good percentage of those registered vote, it will be a record vote for the county. With the interest being shown, it is likely that the vote will be large.

The 1952 hunting season is drawing to a close without reaching the record kill set in the 1951 season. The fine weather, dry underbrush and a plentiful supply of food is a contributing factor in the light kill.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 27, 1977

Notice has been given that Western Weather Consultant Inc. has applied for a weather modification (cloud seeding) permit for the coming snow season. The Colorado Water Conservation Board is the sponsor of the project. This project is designed to increase the snowpack on the headwaters of the major streams of the state. It is similar to the programs that have been used in the Pagosa Springs and Wolf Creek Pass area for many years.

Pagosa Springs High School students participated in a Spanish Festival and contest in Denver last weekend. The local students did very well and came home rated as number one. The Spanish teacher is Mrs. Ruth Marquez.