November 7, 2002
Front Page
Lynch wins commission seat; Crabtree ousted

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Mamie Lynch garnered 57.2 percent of the vote Tuesday to unseat Gene Crabtree in the race for Archuleta County Commissioner from Commissioner District 3.

Lynch, a Democrat in a county with predominantly Republican registration, attributed her win to "working tirelessly" and campaigning door to door.

"We worked hard and it paid off," Lynch said. "I've been working tirelessly since the start of the year."

The unofficial tally Thursday morning showed Lynch with 2,274 votes to 1,684 votes for Crabtree. Lynch topped Crabtree in five of the eight voting precincts in the county. Lynch also seized the early/absentee vote total 1,069 votes to 692 votes.

Crabtree won in Precincts 3, 4 and 5, all rural precincts with lower vote totals than the core population areas of the county. Precinct 3 contains the eastern part of the county including Chromo; Precinct 4 contains the Arboles area, and Precinct 5 contains the Chimney Rock area in the western part of the county. In those three precincts, Crabtree bested Lynch 272 to 179.

Lynch won Precincts 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 by a margin of 1,026 votes to 720 votes, precincts containing much of the town of Pagosa Springs and the subdivisions immediately west of town.

Crabtree, a Republican, who has served Commissioner District 3 since being elected four years ago, was gracious in defeat.

"I thought the election went fine," Crabtree said. "I'm sorry I didn't win. It's the will of the people and that's who we serve. I'll walk out of here with no regrets. I can look anyone in the eye. I tried to do what I could to improve the county and I will continue to do so during the last days of my service. I've tried to serve all parts of the county, not just special interest groups. When I step down I'll retire for the fourth time and try to stay retired. I'll always be interested in the welfare of the county."

Lynch is not unknown to county voters, having served as county commissioner from 1989 through 1992.

"Right now, I'm going to take a month off and rest," Lynch said. "This has been a long, hard road. I certainly want to thank all of the people who worked so hard to help me." She expects to spend a month with a daughter in Pismo Beach, Calif.

Lynch and other county officials elected Tuesday will be sworn into office Jan. 14, 2003. The exception is treasurer Travis Garrett, who will be sworn in Jan. 2.

Lynch is elected to a four-year term. Under current term limit regulations controlling tenure in county offices, Lynch will be limited to two consecutive terms in office.

Archuleta County is governed by three commissioners who make up the board of county commissioners. Each commissioner is elected by an at-large vote but must live in a specific commissioner district. Lynch and Crabtree live in Commissioner District 3 which begins in the northeastern corner of the county and swings down and around the eastern and southern sections of the county ending with the southwestern corner of the county.

The remaining commissioners, Alden Ecker and Bill Downey, represent commissioner districts 2 and 3. Both are Republicans and both will be on the ballot in 2004 if they choose to seek re-election. They are also subject to term limits; they can only serve one more term if re-elected.


PAWS bond wins by 142-vote margin

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Voters have approved a $10.35 million general obligation bond sought by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District by 1,490 to 1,348. The margin of victory Tuesday was 52-48 percent.

"We won it, but not by much," said Harold Slavinski, chairman of the district's board of directors. "I'm pleased with the results, but sorry about the confusion. We will do what we said we would with the money."

Public confusion was voiced because wording on the bond ballot said "may" instead of "shall" spend when describing what the bond proceeds would be spent for.

Before Tuesday's election, district spokesmen attributed the choice of words to recommendations from lawyers and to TABOR requirements.

In addition to TABOR requirements, following the election Wednesday, Slavinski attributed the choice of "may" instead of "shall" to concern by district lawyers because permits required to construct the Dutton Ditch pipeline and enlarge Stevens Reservoir are not yet in hand.

When asked about "may" or "shall" Slavinski said, "It's true, but that was the opinion of our attorneys. I don't see any reason we won't get our permits. We've been working on them for a couple of years."

The Dutton Ditch enlargement requires an environmental permit from the U.S. Forest Service. Stevens Reservoir enlargement requires a 404 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Work on getting the two permits has been underway for at least two years, according to Slavinski. An environmental assessment has been completed by the Forest Service for the Dutton Ditch project.

"There is a very slight, almost nonexistent chance that a permit won't be issued," said Carrie Campbell, district general manager. "If that happens, our lawyers tell us by using the word 'may' on the ballot we can use the money for a related project, such as water storage, without having to wait a year to go back to voters. We wouldn't do anything without first talking to the voters."

Both Slavinski and Campbell say the district board has every intention of completing the two major projects funded by the bonds: encasing Dutton Ditch in a pipeline and enlarging Stevens Reservoir.

"I firmly believe in doing what you say," Slavinksi said. "We will put in Dutton Ditch and we will raise the dam on Stevens Reservoir."

The district's list of projects to be accomplished with the bond proceeds contained at least 12 items. Most of the money, however, was expected to be spent on the Dutton Ditch pipeline, about $4 million, and Stevens Reservoir enlargement, about $4.4 million.

"We will begin work on both projects as soon as the permits are issued," Campbell said. She said the dirt could fly on the Dutton Ditch project as early as next year. The Stevens Reservoir project might have to wait longer.

Because Stevens Reservoir must be drained in order to accomplish the enlargement, the district will take a wait-and-see attitude, gauging how much water is received this winter. The reservoir is currently very low and perhaps does not contain enough water to fill Lake Pagosa, according to Campbell.

"We're not going to drain Stevens until we know how much water we have on hand going into next summer," Campbell said.

Stevens Reservoir is likely to be dry for two years after the enlargement starts.


Missing man search changes

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

What happened to Greg Myers remains a mystery.

The 48-year-old rock climber was last seen sometime in late June or early July when a friend and fellow climber dropped him off at a trailhead northeast of Pagosa Springs in Hinsdale County, according to sheriff's department reports.

Two weeks ago, The SUN reported Myers was let off at the Williams Creek Trailhead. That information was erroneous. Myers was, instead, dropped off at the Middle Fork Trailhead. He has not been seen since.

According to department reports, officials were first notified of the man's disappearance Aug. 10. Since the reports, Terry Baker, a member of Upper San Juan Search and Rescue and a climbing partner of Myers, has spent several days of his own time, including four days in one stretch, searching for Myers with no luck.

According to the investigation, prior to Myers' disappearance, he apparently sold his vehicle, indicated mail should be returned to sender and sent his belongings back to Texas. Because he spent time between Pagosa Springs and Texas, these actions are not considered all that unusual. He was also an experienced rock climber, but one who apparently took chances.

Sgt. Karn Macht, search and rescue coordinator, said a larger scale search is being planned for spring. Anyone with information about Myers, his last days in Pagosa Springs or where he might have been headed is asked to call Archuleta County Dispatch at 264-2131 as soon as possible.


Cloud seeding begins over area mountains

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A five-month cloud seeding program for the upper San Juan River drainage started Monday.

Operated by Western Weather Consultants of Durango, the program could add as much as 30 to 35 percent to the normal moisture received during the five-month time frame, according to Larry Hjermstad, owner of the weather modification firm hired to undertake the project.

Paying the approximately $85,000 bill for the program are the San Juan Water Conservancy District and the Southwestern Water Conservation District. The sponsors hope to counteract drought conditions that have plagued the area in recent years.

"Friday, I got a verbal okay to begin from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources," Hjermstad said.

Cloud seeding requires a permit from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources - a permit issued only after a public hearing is conducted.

The local program calls for cloud seeding using ground generators starting the first part of November and lasting through March. The generators are located at private residences scattered in the path of prevailing winds that cross the target area. The winds can enter the target area in a wide continuum arcing from the southeast to the northwest. Targeted are the upper San Juan and Piedra basins between the elevations of 10,500 and 11,000 feet.

Silver idodide crystals from ground generators trigger the moisture release from clouds already containing moisture. Individual operators start each generator manually when they are called by Western Weather Consultants. Included in the call are instructions on how much of the silver iodide to release. The release is caused through heat generated by burning propane gas.

"We hope to increase the moisture content of precipitation in the target area from 130 to 135 percent of normal," Hjermstad said.

During the first months of the seeding, a higher than 30-35 percent of normal precipitation may be allowed, according to Hjermstad. If and when it appears that the overage will exceed the limit for the length of the program, cloud seeding will be curtailed.

Cloud seeding will also be curtailed if seeding appears to increase the threat of avalanches and other dangerous weather activities, according to Hjermstad.

SNOTEL sites already located on Wolf Creek Pass and at other locations in the San Juan Mountains will be used to establish a baseline for determining to what degree snowfall exceeds normal. SNOTEL readings will be taken from a wide area surrounding the target area, as well as from within the target area. The amount target area precipitation exceeds precipitation in surrounding areas will be used to calculate cloud-seeded versus nonseeded precipitation.

Western Weather Consultants conducted cloud seeding in the target area from 1970 through 1975 under the auspices of the Bureau of Reclamation. Information gathered during the 1970-1975 program is being used to support the current program. Record amounts of snow fell during 1974 and 1975 on Wolf Creek Pass.

The increase expected will not be in the snow depth, but in the amount of water in the snow, Hjermstad said.

Cloud seeding activity could increase precipitation downwind from the target area for as far as 30 to 80 miles.

Taking moisture out of the air at one point does not diminish the amount of moisture available downstream, according to Hjermstad. That is because at the point moisture is removed, a vacuum-like condition is created. Moisture from the air around the vacuum rushes in to fill the void, returning the moisture content to normal.

Cloud seeding will not cause precipitation when moisture-laden clouds are not available, Hjermstad said.

Western Weather Consultants is also conducting cloud seeding operations in the eastern San Juan Mountains and for the Denver Metropolitan Water Board.

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture











































Chance of snow for Saturday's playoff

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Possible snow is the forecast for Saturday, the day the Pagosa Springs Pirates host Eagle Valley in a quarterfinal matchup of the Colorado 2A football championships.

"There is a good chance for snow Saturday," said Jerry Smith, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

The chance for snow increases with elevation, with a good chance for heavy snow at higher elevations, Smith said.

Skies will be partly cloudy today, with cloudiness increasing during the evening, according to Smith. A chance for rain exists tomorrow, snow Saturday, then clear Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

High temperatures will range from 50-60 degrees today down through the upper 40s or low 50s tomorrow and Saturday, in the 30s Monday, then back to the 40s Tuesday and Wednesday. Low temperatures will be in the middle 20s throughout the week.

A storm originating on the West Coast will move across the area bringing Friday's and Saturday's precipitation, according to Smith.

Since 7 a.m. Oct. 29, 1.25 inches of snow and 0.13 inches of precipitation have been measured at the official National Weather Service gauging station located at Stevens Field.

Total October precipitation amounted to 1.93 inches, slightly below the 54-year October precipitation average of 2.03 inches. October snowfall totaled 1.25 inches compared to a longtime average of 2.9 inches.

High temperatures last week ranged between 39 and 52 degrees with an average high temperature of 48 degrees. Low temperatures last week ranged between 18 and 22 degrees with an average low temperature of 20 degrees.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reported a summit snow depth of 45 inches as of 6:30 yesterday morning. Yesterday's high temperature at Wolf Creek was 42 degrees, the nighttime low 11 degrees.


 Sports Page
Parks & Rec

Youth basketball underway; Hoop Shoot scheduled Dec. 14

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

Approximately 50 young athletes signed up for our co-ed basketball league at a Nov. 5 meeting.

We expect six or seven teams in this year's league. Games will be played Tuesday and Thursday evenings with some Saturday morning games. All games will be played in the Pagosa Springs Community Center gymnasium.

There will be no games scheduled Nov. 27-30 during the Thanksgiving break.

Elks hoop shoot

The National Elks Hoop Shoot free throw shooting contest will be held Dec. 14 with the starting time to be announced. The free throw shooting contest will consist of three age groups - 8-9, 10-11 and 12-13. They will compete locally with the winners advancing to a regional shootout Jan. 10 in Durango.

Over 3 million young shooters throughout the U.S. will be shooting to try to advance to the finals at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Bell Tower

The Bell Tower Park at the old Town Hall site is shaping up into quite an attractive park, right in downtown Pagosa Springs. Town crews have jumped in and helped bring in fill dirt and top soil for the park. Shrubs and trees have been purchased so the park will look good in the spring.

A contest for the type of art to be displayed at the park is underway through the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. Call Jennifer Harnick at 731-3113 for details.


Pirates in Elite Eight after 28-27 double OT win

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs vaulted into the Colorado 2A football quarterfinals by nipping Manitou Springs 28-27 in double overtime Saturday on Pagosa turf.

The win earns the Pirates, one of only eight teams remaining in the state 2A title chase, a quarterfinal contest against Eagle Valley Saturday at 1 p.m at Golden Peaks Stadium. For the second week in a row, Pagosa hosts a playoff game.

Eagle Valley is 10-0 for the season after trouncing Wray 35-0 last week.

Saturday's game with Manitou Springs was a nail-biter from the opening kickoff to the final play - a dropped pass that would have won for the Mustangs.

Regulation play ended with the score knotted at 14 all. Overtime rules established by the Colorado High School Activities Association allow each team an equal number of opportunities to line up offensively on the 10-yard line. The offensive team has four plays in which to score. The other team, of course, defends the goal line. A coin toss decides which team goes on offense first.

Brandon Charles, one of the Pagosa team captains for the game, called the toss correctly. Pagosa elected to defend during the first overtime. Mustang quarterback Dan King threw two incomplete passes, then connected with Mike Wupper for a TD. King kicked the extra point putting Manitou on top 21-14.

Now the pressure was on the Pirates. Four plays and score to tie the game, or fail to score and end of season. Quarterback David Kern squirmed for five yards on the first play. Fullback Brandon Rosgen hammered twice at the center of the line, bulling into pay dirt from 3 yards out on the second try. Freshman Daniel Aupperle kicked the extra point, tying the score at 21-21. Time for a second overtime: same rules, but Pagosa Springs on offense first.

Brandon Charles made it look easy, taking Kern's pitch and racing around the right end to pay dirt on the first play. Aupperle kicked down the middle again, putting Pagosa on top 28-21. Now, the pressure was on Manitou Springs.

On the first play from the 10, King carried to the 6-yard line. Jared Kinkead then ran to the 2. On the third play, King passed to Kinkead for a TD. Pagosa Springs 28, Manitou 27. Should someone try for two, gambling on winning or losing with a two-point try? Manitou's coach of 32 years, George Rykovich, gambled. King threw to Kellen Starr on the left sideline. The ball struck Starr's hands, then fluttered to the ground. End of game. Pandemonium in the Pirate stands. Tears for the Mustangs. Pagosa Springs 28, Manitou Springs 27.

Pirate coach Sean O'Donnell attributed the win to a superb effort by the Pirate defense.

"We were playing versus an offense that is very difficult to defend," O'Donnell said. "I feel our defense gave us an opportunity to win."

The game had no turning point until the dropped pass that ended it all during overtime.

Each team had the ball twice during the opening period before a Kern fumble gave Manitou the ball on the Pirate 29-yard line. Eight plays later Wupper plunged 6 inches for the first score of the game. King booted the extra point putting the Mustangs on top 7-0 with 1 minute, 46 seconds left in the opening period.

Following an exchange of punts, the combatants exchanged mistakes. First, Manitou intercepted a Kern pass stopping a Pirate drive on the Mustang 5-yard line. Pagosa's defense held Manitou deep in its own territory until, on fourth down, the snap rolled around on the ground. Pirate Kory Hart covered the ball on the Mustang 3-yard line. Rosgen punched across the goal line for a TD. Aupperle's first EP try squibbed to the left. Score: Mustangs 7, Pirates 6. Time: 4:03 remaining in the half.

Pagosa's defense shut the door on Manitou's next possession, forcing King to punt again. Starting on their own 45-yard line, Pagosa needed only six plays to score a second TD. The clincher was a flea- flicker pass starting with a lateral from Kern to Charles who hit a streaking Jeremy Caler for the score. Rosgen ran for two giving Pagosa a 14-7 lead with 56 seconds left on the first half clock.

Manitou was unable to move the ball on their next possession. The half ended with Pagosa on top 14-7.

Forced to punt on their first possession of the second half, Pagosa got a break when Manitou fumbled on their own 34-yard line three plays later. The Pirates were unable to capitalize on their good fortune, fumbling back to Manitou. This time, starting on their own 23-yard line, the Mustangs scored, then kicked the extra point to tie the game 14-14 with 3:21 left in the third period.

After an exchange of punts sandwiched around the beginning of the fourth period, Manitou threatened with a first down on Pagosa's 13-yard line. Again the Pirate D was equal to the challenge. With a fourth down on the 8-yard line, King's field goal was wide right.

Pagosa mounted a final threat by driving to the Manitou 11-yard line. On fourth and 6 with 24 seconds left in the game, Aupperle's field goal try missed.

Manitou was unable to move the ball during the final seconds, sending the game into overtime.

"Overtime was new for everybody," O'Donnell said. "Their kid was wide open and he dropped the ball. You've got to get lucky in the postseason."

Pagosa's veer offense picked up 264 yards on the ground, 27 yards through the air. Rosgen rushed for 142 yards on 22 carries, Charles 68 yards on 12 carries, and Kern 54 yards on 12 carries. Kern completed two of nine pass attempts for 8 yards, no TDs, and threw an interception. Charles threw one pass for 19 yards and a TD, and caught two passes for 8 yards.

On the defensive side of the pigskin, Pablo Martinez turned in 11 tackles and tackle assists, followed closely by Hart with 10; Charles, Caler, and Kern with nine each; and Ben Marshall and Rosgen with eight. Hart and Kern each covered a fumble, while Marshall registered a quarterback sack.

Team captains for Pagosa were Charles, Rosgen and Martinez.


Pagosa Springs 0 14 0 0 7 7 28

Manitou Springs 7 0 0 7 7 6 27

Manitou Springs: Wupper 1 run (King kick). Pagosa Springs: Rosgen 3 run (Aupperle kick fail). Pagosa Springs: Charles 19 pass Caler (Rosen run). Manitou Springs: 33 pass 15 D. Copeland (King kick). Manitou Springs: King 10 pass Starr (King kick). Pagosa Springs: Rosgen 3 run (Aupperle kick). Pagosa Springs: Charles 10 run (Aupperle kick). Manitou Springs: King 4 pass Wood (Pass for two failed).


Pagosa hosts unbeaten Eagle Valley in quarterfinal

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A real treat is in store for local football fans Saturday at 1 p.m., Pirates in mortal combat with Devils.

The Pagosa Springs Pirates, fresh from an overtime squeaker over Manitou Springs, entertain the Eagle Valley High School Devils, fresh from a 35-0 romp over Wray.

Both teams are among the final eight in the hunt for the best 2A football team in Colorado. Pagosa Springs, the Intermountain League champion, is 8-2 for the season. Eagle Valley, the Western Slope League champion, has yet to lose, posting a 10-0 season record.

Contrasting offenses will be on display. The Black and Gold Pirates feature a veer offense operated by junior quarterback David Kern. Eagle Valley will be wearing black and white as they unleash a double wing offense that has outscored opponents 38-11 for the season. Pagosa coach Sean O'Donnell is in his first year as a head coach. Devil coach John Ramunno is in his 21st year.

Neither team has played a common opponent. During the regular season, Eagle Valley beat Battle Mountain 28-14, Steamboat Springs 28-20, Cedaredge 39-13, Olathe 36-23, Hotchkiss 48-13, Basalt 57-0, Gunnison 55-14, Aspen 40-12, and Roaring Fork 19-2.

"They run the double wing very well," said O'Donnell, "running or passing. The two teams match up fairly well for size."

Pagosa has relied on a stubborn defense all season, led by middle linebacker Pablo Martinez. Offensivley, two Brandons - Charles and Rosgen - lead the Pirate rushing attack with over 800 yards each. Option quarterback David Kern has passed for 10 touchdowns, gained more than 600 yards through the air, and run for more than 350 yards. In addition to Charles, Jeremy Caler and Jason Schutz are regular targets for Kern.

Saturday's game will be played under Colorado High School Activities Association rules. Only CHSAA passes will be recognized at the gate. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children kindergarten through the 12th grade, and senior citizens.

Fans will not be allowed to remain in cars and watch the game from the parking lot. All cars will be checked to make sure this doesn't happen.


Eight Pirates win all-league recognition

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Anyone who might have doubted the Pagosa Springs High School boys soccer team need only look at the list of all-league selections to see how they were regarded by their foes.

Five members of the varsity squad have been named to the Intermountain/Southern Peaks All-League team and three more were added as honorable mentions. And, coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason was named the league's coach of the year.

The team won the conference title and hosted Heritage Christian of Fort Collins in the first round of state playoffs, losing in a shootout after double overtime in what many say was the finest soccer game every played at Golden Peaks Stadium. Heritage then lost 2-1 to Faith Christian in action the following week.

Named All-League selections were sophomore goalkeeper Caleb Forest; junior striker Kyle Sanders, the state's leading scorer in any classification with 30 goals; junior defender Ryan Goodenberger; senior midfielder Zeb Gill; and senior marking back Jordan Kurt-Mason. Getting honorable mention were junior forward-striker Kevin Muirhead (the team's second leading scorer with 11), senior sweeper Michael Dach and senior midfielder Matt Mesker.

Unofficial statistics compiled by The SUN show the following scoring for Pagosa, in addition to Sanders and Muirhead: Brian Hart, 5; Mesker, 4; Kyle Frye, 3; Moe Webb, 2; Zeb Gill, 2; Levi Gill and Kurt-Mason, 1 each.

Sanders and Hart tied for the lead in assists with 8 each; Dach and Zeb Gill were close behind with 7; Mesker and Muirhead each had 6; Webb and Levi Gill followed with four apiece; Kurt-Mason had 3; Frye, Travis Reid and Keagan Smith each had 2; and Ty Peterson and Goodenberger both checked in with one.

In a perhaps most telling category, one not normally kept - blocks/takeaways - Dach was far and away the leader, recording 34.

Defense was the team's key to success all year and this category shows why it was so good. Following Dach was Hart with 21, Kurt-Mason with 20, Frye with 15, Zeb Gill with 14, Goodenberger with 13, Levi Gill with 12, Webb with 10, Muirhead and Sanders with 6 each, and Peterson, Smith and Reid each with 2.

Keeping the other team from being able to attack by taking the ball away from them was a key element of the Pirate game scheme.

The mystery to everyone in Pagosa is how Hart could have been omitted from the all-conference team, given his statistics.

Coach Kurt-Mason, while losing seven seniors off this squad, anticipates challenging for playoff contention again next year.

"We have our top two scorers back and a bunch of youngsters who are now seasoned veterans and just chomping at the bit to show me what they can do," he said. "Anyone who knows the game recognizes this was a great team. But we won't have to take a back seat to anyone next year, either. We proved we could play with teams among the best the Front Range has to offer."

The top scorers, Sanders and Muirhead, will be back and Kurt-Mason anticipates getting additional firepower from Webb and Levi Gill, both just sophomores this year. The latter and Goodenberger will be back to anchor the middle, along with Drew Mitchell who missed this season with a shoulder injury. Kurt-Mason expects to get additional help from Peterson, Smith, Jessie Morris, and from junior varsity players Chris Baum, Chris Nobles, Casey Kiister, Derrick Monks and Drew Fisher.

And, of course, Forrest will be back in the nets with all his acrobatic moves and a full season of goalkeeping behind him and Kurt-Mason will have the veteran support of assistant coach Dorman Diller, whose defensive expertise he cited as another key to Pirate success this year.


Spikers mature by 'rebuilding'; gird for future

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

There's only 41 weeks left.

With the 2002 Lady Pirate volleyball season coming to an end at the Oct. 26 district tournament, it is time for coaches and returning players to take stock, to recognize the lessons learned and to sharpen the skills for 2003.

This year was the first since 1994 that the program failed to advance to the regional tournament level and only the second time in that period the team did not qualify for the state championship tournament at Denver.

The Ladies entered this season tabbed as a team in the midst of a rebuilding year. At the same time, the team faced a schedule certifiably tougher than any during the last decade - alive with large-school opponents.

When the dust cleared, a young team had matured and forged a 12-10 record, going 6-2 in Intermountain league action, tying Bayfield for the regular season league title to extend a tradition of championships extending back to 1994.

A glance at the Lady Pirate schedule shows losses to teams that prospered this year. The Ladies lost twice to Bayfield, which went on to 3A regional competition. The team lost twice to Centauri, another 3A regional team. Pagosa lost to Lamar, which advanced to this weekend's 3A state tournament. The Ladies lost twice to Cortez, one of the highest-ranked 4A teams in the state, and a regional tournament team in that division. Perennial 2A power Fowler, making a trip to the state tournament this year, also beat Pagosa.

That's eight of 12 losses to teams that went at least to the regional level in their respective classes.

The other two losses came to 5A equivalent Farmington and to 5A Palmer.

Not a bad record at all, considering Pagosa rarely had fewer than three sophomores on the court.

"We grew up," said Lady Pirate coach Pennè Hamilton. "I think our sophomores learned an awful lot about varsity competition - how little mistakes can be costly and how you have to produce at a moment's notice or you are lost. We have some incredible potential in our younger players and they know now, if we get our hitters a good set, they're going to crush it. With some physical maturity and continued high-level competition, these girls are going to be tough. As a coaching staff, we tried to be patient in the early going. As the season went on, though, our younger players had to step up and, for the most part, they did."

The season's overall success was a tribute to the seniors on the team, said Hamilton. The three senior starters - Katie Bliss, Shannon Walkup and Amy Young - were joined by Trisha Lucero and Alex Rigia who performed valuable service off the bench all season long.

"Our seniors had a lot to do with the fact our younger girls grew up as fast as they did," said the coach. "The seniors stayed with our younger girls and pushed them. Our seniors did a great job for us this year."

Looking back over the just completed schedule, Hamilton thought the first match, against 5A Durango, set a tone. "That win over Durango, at Durango, was a highlight defensively. We won that match with defense. That continued all season, In general our defense was our strength as far as our back row moving and reading well."

There are things that must be worked on, said Hamilton, if the program is to return to the heights next year.

"Our passing has always been a problem," she said, "but not as much this year. Our passing improved but we still need to work on offense."

When the next season rolls around, the Ladies will be ready, said the coach. "I see the young girls who played this year as our leaders next year, and not one of them will be a senior. That's exciting to me. They have to stand by themselves now, and I think, with a few additions to the lineup, they will do it well. If we put our talent where it will hurt our opponents the worst, we will be trouble for anyone who steps on the court against us."


Special Olympics winter program

The local Special Olympics winter program has evolved rapidly and while some Pagosa athletes still need the specialized instruction and equipment offered through the adaptive sports program, participants are looking forward to a third year at Wolf Creek.

The program will begin mid-December or early January and continue through February. The local group will participate in the regional competition in Durango and athletes qualifying for state competition will travel to Copper Mountain Resort.

Any person between the age of 8 and 80 with a developmental disability or any student enrolled in special education is invited to take part in the Special Olympics program.

The organization needs experienced skiers who are willing to volunteer some time to spend on the slopes with these special people. Special Olympics is a private nonprofit organization and is recognized by the United States and International Olympic Committees.

Anyone interested in participating as an athlete, coach or volunteer should contact Kathy Pokorney at 264-5113.

Lila Gomez

Lila Gomez, of Aztec, N.M., passed away at her home Sunday, Nov. 3, 2002, after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. Lila was born June 14, 1925, in Pagosa Springs, to Louis Padilla and Sarah Ruybalid.

Lila is survived by her husband of 60 years, J. Cristobal Gomez Jr.; daughters Sister Sara Marie of Aztec, Melesia (Ron) Atchley of Bloomfield, N.M.; sons Juan C. (Carla) Gomez III of Center, Louie (Diane) Gomez of Farmington, N.M., and Bart (Dianne) Gomez of Covington, La.; nine grandchildren and one great-grandson. In addition she is survived by brother Andy (Priscilla) Padilla of Aztec and a sister, Dora McMillan of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Jesus and Amos (Lilliosa) Padilla and sister Prescilla. She was a retired school bus driver with 23 years in the Gobernador school system and was widely known for her southwestern cuisine cooking, especially her empanadas, fruit pies and homemade jellies.

Cremation has taken place under the direction of the Alternative Society of Farmington. There will be a Vigil Service with recitation of the rosary at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2002, with Deacon Pete Peterson, presider. A Memorial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2002, with Rev. Joe Blonski, celebrant and Rev. Msgr. Leo Gomez, con-celebrant. All services will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 2100 20th St., Farmington.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the National Parkinson Foundation Inc., 1501 NW Avenue, Bob Hope Road, Miami, FL, 33136-1491.


 Inside The Sun
Rock Ridge Commercial Center approval tabled

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Neighbors of the Rock Ridge Commercial Center left the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday with big smiles after trustees tabled final approval of a project at the commercial site.

The project, when complete, will include three metal commercial buildings adjacent to the Rock Ridge Mobile Home Park and Rock Ridge Estates subdivision. It has raised concerns among the neighbors since clearing began on the site early this year. In February, the town planning commission reviewed proposed uses at the site as provided by the developer. These uses included an operation to cut already-milled logs to desired lengths and warehouse space for distribution centers and contractors' shops.

Later, plans changed. An auto mechanic and excavation company, both requiring equipment be left outside the buildings, replaced plans for the timber-cutting operation after that company backed out. Developers Curt Johnson and Michael Branch also decided to sell the units as condominiums. Condominium development falls under the town's subdivision regulations, which initiated a more comprehensive review of the site to include an updated grading plan, landscape plan, lighting, traffic counts, drainage and method and location of screening.

The planning commission reviewed the initial sketch plan, with two buildings already constructed on the site, in September. About 15 residents of the Rock Ridge area voiced concerns at that time, according to meeting minutes. Several of those concerns, including landscaping, screening, snow storage and drainage were addressed in the preliminary/final plan presented to the commission in October.

Noise, and the orientation of the third building, which has not yet received its building permit, seems to be the remaining hurdle. This building will house the auto repair shop and excavation company. As planned, it would face south or southwest, toward the residences. Neighbors called on both the planning commission and town board to require the developers to turn the building so that it would face northeast toward Great West Avenue and the other commercial developments already in place across the road.

The planning commission stopped short of that requirement after Johnson said that bedrock removal, the ice problem with a north-facing building in the winter, and the fact the building was already ordered based on the south-facing specifications made changing the orientation difficult. The commission recommended approval of the final plat on the condition that all landscaping, drainage and screening projects be completed to the staff's approval with the understanding that the certificate of occupancy on the final building could be withheld.

The trustees, with final approval or denial authority, were the last hurdle.

About five residents of the area appeared Tuesday to voice concerns one more time.

"I'm here with other neighbors to comment on the third building," Janet Valdez said. She pointed out the town already required the developer to soundproof one of the buildings. If they can do that, she said, why not require the developer to turn a building around so that noise from the auto repair shop travels away from the neighborhood. As far as having to blast more bedrock for a southerly orientation, "That's part of Rock Ridge," she added, saying everyone who has property there must blast no matter what they're doing.

As far as ice problems in the winter, Valdez said, "They have been adamant about not building a northeast-facing building, but they already have a building facing that direction on the site."

Another resident, Kathy Ruth, raised questions about the size of trees required for landscaping, orientation of the building, drainage through the winter, planning oversight on phase two of the project and environmental hazards.

"If the plantings go in as seedlings, I probably won't see a buffer there in my lifetime," she said.

Developer Mike Branch said the other north-facing building was intended for use as storage and owners would not be required to raise and lower bay doors as frequently as the auto repair shop, reducing the hassle of snow and ice removal.

"We addressed soundproofing in the other building because the company was going to exceed maximum noise limits established by the town," Branch said. "We have no reason to think our noise in this building would be any greater than levels established by the town." If it did exceed limits, he said, it could be addressed through town ordinances at that time.

Town Administrator Jay Harring-ton said noises other than amplified noise, such as the horns being tested in the now-soundproof building, were only covered under a nuisance ordinance. That ordinance is meant to address one-time problems such as late-night parties and has no decibel level limits.

Several board members asked questions regarding the building orientation and how much of a burden it would be to turn it to keep noise away from neighbors.

"I have properties on 7th and 8th (streets) and the noise from the Lucero Tire wrenches does impact those properties," board member Jerry Jackson said. After all questions were answered, Mayor Ross Aragon called for a motion and received none. The issue was tabled until the board's next meeting.

Later in the meeting, Harrington asked the board for some direction to give the developer prior to the next meeting.

"He should try to work out some of those issues one on one with the neighbors," Aragon said.

Board member Bill Whitbred said he would like to see a cost estimate for turning the building to help determine feasibility.


Town budget reflects 1.68 mill levy

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Some say change is one of life's constants, but at the Town of Pagosa Springs, the budget is bucking the trend.

The total proposed 2003 budget sent to the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees Oct. 11 sits right at $3.7 million, very close to 2002 figures. The totals reflect a 1.68 mill levy, the same as the past three years, and a modest 3-percent increase in sales tax numbers. Total property tax revenue is estimated at $49,722.

Town Administrator Jay Harring-ton said the board positioned itself well for the economic downturn this year by being conservative in 2002. This year's projections are based on sales tax numbers through September and conservative projections for the final three months. As more numbers come in, he said, the 3 percent increase might have to drop to 2 percent just to be safe.

"We're actually still ahead of the game compared to some other communities," Harrington said at the board's regular meeting Tuesday.

The proposed 2003 budget does include funding for two new positions: a building maintenance person and administrative assistant for the police department.

With about $5 million in new construction over the past few years, Harrington said, this could be the ideal time to bring in someone to oversee all of the town's building maintenance, including public restrooms, the community center and Town Hall. Currently, such duties are split up between the parks department, Harrington and Mark Garcia.

Harrington suggested funding the second position, a secretary for the police department, starting in June. Filling this position would free up some time for the deputy clerk and could improve efficiency of officers, he said. A basic 4-percent raise was suggested for current employees earning over $30,000. For those under $30,000, an 8-percent raise is proposed in an effort to keep quality employees in midlevel positions.

Harrington estimated health insurance costs will probably be up by about 12 percent.

In capital improvements, the town has budgeted $590,000 for sidewalk, curb and gutter on Hot Springs Boulevard from the United States Post Office to U.S. 160. Harrington said completion of work on the entire length of the project, which includes widening part of the roadway to three lanes and putting a sidewalk on the west side of the street to the community center, will cost about $800,000. The proposed budget would give the town a good start, however. If approved, that project could go to bids near the beginning of the year.

Other budgeted projects include several asphalt overlays, matching funds for the Riverwalk trail extension, planning funds for the sports complex and continuation of the annual chip-seal project. Equipment purchases are also listed, as well as a portion of an estimated $120,000 for the Pagosa Springs Community Center. In the first few years, Harrington said, it will be important for the town to continue to subsidize the building to insure it gets off to a solid start financially.

A public hearing and vote on a final draft of the budget has been set for Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.


Hunter found dead from heart attack

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A Louisiana hunter was found dead in Archuleta County Tuesday afternoon.

County coroner Carl Macht said Paul Schmeltz, 71, of Lake Charles, La., died of a heart attack. Schmeltz, who had a history of heart problems, was found in his vehicle on First Notch Road, slumped over the wheel. He had apparently been warned by his doctor of the dangers of coming to high altitude with a heart condition, but chose to make the trip anyway.

Detective T.J. Fitzwater, of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, said Schmeltz had been coming to the area to hunt for 40 years. His habit was to eat lunch each day at the Happy Camper RV Park. He never showed up Tuesday. A group of hunters found him about 1:30 p.m. and called 911.

Macht said similar cases occur in the county each year involving either hunters or skiers. The higher altitude in combination with increased exertion puts extra pressure on the heart and lungs, which in some cases can be fatal.


Sheriff's office considers

civilian advisory panel

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The door is open for some increased communication between the community and its county law enforcement officials.

In the near future, the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department will consider forming a Civilian Advisory Panel which would meet periodically to discuss a wide variety of issues including law enforcement procedure.

Captain Bob Grandchamp said he felt the need to form this type of panel after hearing complaints about the sheriff's department. He said in his time with the sheriff's department he has found some of the complaints he has dealt with were true, but many were based on misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding the way law enforcement works.

A civilian panel made up of a cross section of community members would afford the public an opportunity to voice their concerns to the sheriff's department and for the department to explain how law enforcement works.

The bottom line could be better communication between law enforcement and the people they are sworn to serve and protect, he said. Grandchamp is looking for a diverse group of volunteers with a variety of opinions, people genuinely interested in the group's goals and people capable of representing a wide variety of their peers in Pagosa Springs. He would prefer participation from all areas of the county.

Captain Grandchamp stressed that the panel is not a civilian review board, but an advisory panel.

The panel is not intended to be a public forum for constant complaints, he said, but a place for discussion and clarification and, hopefully, a forum to help improve law enforcement in Archuleta County. Solutions fostering the community good are the key. This type of panel has been tried and used in other parts of the country and, when used constructively, have proven to be very successful.

Anyone interested in learning more about the panel, or participating in panel meetings, is invited to call 264-2131, Ext. 1017 and leave a message. Meeting frequency and times will be decided once the group is formed.


Sheriff Richards coasts to fourth term

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

It's a four-peat for incumbent Sheriff Tom Richards.

Richards, a Republican, won his fourth-term bid with 83 percent of the vote, unofficially beating write-in Republican candidate Chuck Allen, 2,589 to 512.

"I'm very elated and pleased with all the people who supported me," Richards said Wednesday morning, "and I'm looking forward to continuing to work within budget constraints to improve law enforcement in Archuleta County."

During the campaign, he pointed to four main issues facing Archuleta County law enforcement today: the number of law enforcement officers available, the difficulty in keeping salaries at a level to attract and retain qualified candidates, apathy among the public and a lack of youth-oriented programs. It will take the whole community coming together to find solutions, he said.

Richards, who has 48 years of experience as a law enforcement officer, including 31 years as a state highway patrolman, swept all eight precincts in the county. Among early and absentee voters, he led the race, 1,168 to 240.

Born in Bayfield, he moved to Pagosa Springs in 1972. Since his beginnings in law enforcement, he has participated in continuing education classes at least one week per year, including specialized classes with the U.S. Treasury Department, Secret Service, Governor's Security, livestock, riot control and public speaking.

"Thank you is an awfully small word, but sometimes that's all you can say," he added. All vote tallies remain unofficial until being certified, a process that will be completed over the next few days.


Fifty percent voter turnout in county

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Archuleta County voters marked and turned in ballots in near-record fashion for Tuesday's general election, according to results released by June Madrid, the Archuleta County clerk and election official.

Of the 8,112 voters registered in the county, 4,074 voted according to Madrid's unofficial tally Wednesday. Remaining to be counted were approximately eight or so provisional ballots. Madrid expected to complete the counting process and certify the vote within a couple of days of the election.

"It was hectic," is how Madrid described election day for the eight precincts, plus early and absentee ballots. "We had a lot of small glitches, but no major problems."

One change adding time to the ballot counting process this year was the provisional ballot process. That process allows voters registered elsewhere to vote at the nearest handy polling place. People who obtained absentee ballots but forgot to mail them were also allowed to vote at a convenient booth. Voting officials are allowed two weeks to make sure the vote is legitimate, but Madrid expects to complete the process in a couple of days or less.

Only two races for county office were contested. Mamie Lynch topped incumbent Gene Crabtree in the race for county commissioner from Commissioner Precinct 3. Incumbent sheriff Tom Richards defeated write-in challenger Chuck Allen.

Unchallenged and re-elected were Madrid - the top vote getter on the ballot with 3,497 - treasurer Traves Garrett, assessor Keren Prior, surveyor David L. Maley and coroner Carl Macht.

Archuleta County Judge Jim Denvir was endorsed for retention on the bench by a margin of 2,327-1,490.

A $10.35 million general bond proposal submitted by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District was approved by 52 percent of the voters.

In the race for U.S. Senator, Republican incumbent Wayne Allard bested Democratic challenger Tom Strickland 2,399 to 1,399.

Republican Scott McInnis retained his U.S. Congress District 3 seat over Democrat Denis Berckefeldt by a 2,925-914 margin.

Republican Kay Alexander edged Democratic challenger James Isgar 2,010 to 1,920 in the county vote for state senator from District 6. Isgar won across the district vote, however, by a 60 to 40 percent margin.

Republican incumbent Mark Larson was unchallenged in the state representative District 59 race.

In other state races, the local vote went as follows: governor&emdash; Republican Bill Owens 2,881, Democrat Rollie Heath 991; secretary of state - Republican Donetta Davidson 2,500, Democrat Anthony Martinez 1,180; state treasurer - Republican Mike Coffman 2,387, Democrat Terry L. Phillips 1,053; attorney general - Democrat Ken Salazar 1,894, Republican Marti Albright 1,838.

Voting was also conducted for the state board of education and various judicial positions. Five amendments and five referendums were also on the ballot.

Archuleta County voting results on these measures were: Amendment 27 - yes 2,789, no 1,009; Amendment 28 - no 1,934, yes 1,752; Amendment 29 - yes 1,872, no 1,738; Amendment 30 - no 2,254, yes 1,510; Amendment 31 - yes 1,937, no 1,874; Referendum A - no 2,613, yes 1,062; Referendum B - no 1,894, yes 1,655; Referendum C - yes 2,500, no 1,093; Referendum D - yes 2,542, no 984; Referendum E - no 3,111, yes 708.


Forest Service approves

Dutton timber sale, burn

On Nov. 1, acting forest supervisor Rick Brazell approved the Dutton Timber sale and prescribed burn project, involving the harvest of approximately 978 acres yielding approximately 3.7 million board feet and prescribed burning approximately 960 acres.

The project also involves constructing four-tenths of a mile of new road and a half-mile of temporary roads, reconstruction of 5.8 miles of existing roads, and decommissioning 1.9 miles of existing roads.

The project area is in portions of Townships 36 and 37 North, Range 2 West in Archuleta and Mineral counties.

The associated decision notice and environmental assessment are available for review upon request from the Pagosa Ranger District, P.O. Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147; by calling 264-2268; or on the Forest Service Web site at

This decision is subject to appeal, pursuant to Forest Service regulation 36 CFR 215.7. Any written appeal must be postmarked or received by the appeals deciding officer, Rick Cables, regional forester, Rocky Mountain Region, 740 Simms St., P.O. Box 25127, Golden, Colo., 80225 within 45 days from today.

Appellants are required to simultaneously send a copy of the notice of appeal to Rick Brazell, acting forest supervisor, 15 Burnett Court, Durango, CO 81301. Appeals must meet content requirements of 36 CFR 215.14.


No call? Assume test was CWD-free

Hunters who have had their deer or elk tested for chronic wasting disease and do not receive a call from the Colorado Division of Wildlife telling them the test was positive should assume the disease was not detected in their animal, Division director Russell George reminded hunters this week.

However, hunters who want to check the results for themselves can now call a special hot line and get the results automatically. The CWD hot line number is (800) 434-0274. Hunters will need the head submission number from the test form to activate an automated response system similar to those used by airlines to provide arrival and departure information.

The hot line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the call is free.

Hunters also can get test results by visiting the Division's Web site at They should click on CWD on the left hand side of the home page and then look for test results.

Completing the test has been taking between seven and 14 days, George said. "But if a hunter hasn't heard from the DOW within a month of turning in their sample, they can assume the test did not detect CWD."

George said that customer service representatives in the Division's call center at (303) 297-1192 will check results for hunters needing help.

However, he said the call center already is getting more than 17,000 calls a month, making getting through to the representatives difficult.


Vandals hit BLM sites near Cortez

Vandals have caused several hundred dollars worth of damage to the south end of the Sand Canyon Trail in McElmo Canyon in Montezuma County. Graffiti was spray-painted on the Canyons of the Ancients sign and BLM informational bulletin board.

Nearby sandstone rocks, a highway sign and both lanes of McElmo Canyon Road (County Road G) were also spray-painted.

BLM crews have repaired the damage to BLM property. Labor and materials have cost about $500. If the large sign is not repairable, replacement cost will be an additional $450.

BLM law enforcement officials say it appears the vandalism occurred on the evening of Oct. 18. The perpetrators face federal charges of vandalism to government property, which can carry up to a one-year prison sentence and $100,000 fine.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Anasazi Heritage Center at (970) 882-4811.


Share your Christmas favorites with us

Everyone has a favorite Christmas gift or a favorite Christmas story - something from their past that stands out as an all-time event.

We'd like you to share them with us and with our readers.

What could be more entertaining to Pagosa readers than Pagosa memories of Christmases past? Maybe an event, maybe a person who made just one Christmas special, perhaps a gift which stands out in your mind as the best ever.

Give us your favorite Christmas memory - 1,200 words or less - and all our readers will get to see why it is important to you.

Perhaps you have a special, family favorite Christmas recipe. We'd like to share it, too.

How about a special decoration or craft item that means more to you than any other. Why? Where did it come from? What makes it so special?

Let us know.

We will publish the items selected in the issues starting Wednesday, Nov. 27, and continuing through the pre-Christmas issue Dec. 19.

You can e-mail your "favorites" to, drop them off at our office downtown at 466 Pagosa St., fax them to 264-2103 or mail them to Editor, The Pagosa SUN, PO Box 9, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

We hope this presentation of 'favorites' will become a tradition for both us and our readers as we continue to keep the community involved in the newspaper's content.

If it is special to you, it is special to us.

Please join our family of contributors with your entries in the categories described above.


Litter problem

Dear Editor:

Hats off to the many Pagosa organizations which have adopted a portion of our roads. Picking up other people's trash has never been a fun exercise, but it's more necessary now than ever.

Hats off to the town administrator Jay Harrington, and the town crews for their hard work in keeping Pagosa Springs in good shape. This is especially evident in the town's parks.

We have taken responsibility for a portion of Hersch, just as many of you are doing the same in your neighborhood. In talking with a good friend recently, she confided her discouragement after her family took half a day cleaning up a vacant lot behind a fast food restaurant, only to return a week later to the same old thing.

In Rudy Giuliani's recent book "Leadership," he mentions the "Broken Window Theory." The theory holds that when a building has one ignored broken window, soon there will be two, then graffiti, etc.

The same is true for our litter problem.

When some people see trash along the highways, subconsciously they feel they have permission to add to the same.

Thanks again to all of you who are part of the solution.

Lyn DeLange


Dear editor:

As you know, I haven't written a letter to the Sun since I offered to trade pickup trucks with the "Weld Spatterer" back on Oct. 25 of '84, but with David's passing I was moved.

Thinking about David recently, I envisioned him sitting on the porch of his new home with a couple of his pals namely Glen Edmonds and Worthe Crouse, maybe playing checkers and musing on things Pagosa. Just picture it. I'm sure Glen and Worthe pressed David shortly after he arrived about the modern marvels of Pagosaland since their departure.

David probably referred them to the last couple of issues of the Sun and said "Heck fellas, lets play some checkers."

Worthe probably commented that judging by the headline a couple of weeks ago, there really is a place called "Pagosa Lakes." I'm sure he questioned David as to its exact location. "Is it west of Sunetha, east of Dyke, north of Eaton, south of Fairfield, near Skunk Holler where the Bucket of Blood used to set?"

Glen probably wondered why the heck the Mask Ranch Gravel folks and Holiday Acres residents didn't lock themselves in room together and try to knock out a mutually acceptable compromise, then drop in to the planning office and commissioners' meeting. I'm sure he asked David why it seems that Pagosans of late are quick to turn to our elected officials and judges as the ultimate arbiters when he remembered so much getting accomplished across a fence post.

Worthe mused on the Brain Dead Society and wondered if a hall of fame had been established to honor scallywags from his era. He also thought it would be a good idea for Ms. Cruse and Mr. Blackley to swap pickup trucks for a week or two.

Glen, the ever vigilant editor, no doubt wondered how a couple of misspellings got past you. After a quick scan of the Oct. 31 issue he pointed out to David and Worthe that the patriotic article in the "Preview" misspelled the word flag. "I think it is spelled f-l-a-g not p-f-l-a-g" he said as he executed a brilliant double jump.

Couldn't find a definition for the word "transgender" in my dictionary either. "Oh, and I hope Karl stays away from those French words too. Looks like he made another faux pas letting FoPa slip by him." I'm sure David defended you Karl, and explained the acronyms, to which they both simply replied, "Oh."

Certainly David must have drawn their attention to the article announcing the "Messiah Sing Along" slated Nov. 24 in Durango.

After conceding the checker game to Glen, David excused himself and told his pals he was going on a bike ride no doubt to visit a long time "local" he'd heard a few stories about. Worthe rattled off the directions and David was off to visit a guy named Solomon.

Worthe pulled his chair up to the checkerboard and reflected on a story from an admired philosopher by the name of Paul Harvey ... something about too many paved roads.

"Your move Glen good to have David with us, eh?


Andy Donlon

Mark calendar

Dear Editor:

Next Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 1:30 p.m., our county commissioners will meet to consider the Mask Ranch gravel pit application.

This decision is extremely important to the homeowners of Holiday Acres and to all residents of Archuleta County who are concerned about property rights.

Heavy industrial operations, such as a rock crusher, should not be located adjacent to an established residential neighborhood. There are current written laws on the books in Archuleta County which apply in such circumstances. We, as citizens of Archuleta County, need to see that these regulations are enforced.

Please mark your calendar - we need your attendance at this meeting in the commissioners' chambers.

Walter R. Green

Obvious truism

Dear Editor:

With great dismay did I read in the Durango Herald about $16 million worth of improvements foreseen for the expansion and extension of the Stevens Field airport.

Soon, larger business jets will be able to land in Pagosa Springs. So, indeed, the airport will become a plaything of the rich. It is precisely this obvious truism which Mr. Fred Olsen so vehemently dismissed in his most recent letter to The SUN.

With larger jets landing here, the citizens of the county will be subjected to higher noise levels than in the past, not to speak of the inherent dangers in landing and starting of larger jets at 7,000 feet. Air turbulence developing so close to the implications of the physical laws of fluid dynamics on aircraft stability can prove fatal.

For sure, the majority of the citizens of Archuleta County will pay the price, to benefit the few, in more ways than one.

Marty Margulies

Stupid animals?

Dear Editor:

I went to pick up my mail today and met three dogs. One was walking down the middle of U.S. 160, one was heading in the same direction and one was just hanging out.

It made me wonder just how many village idiots live in Pagosa Country.

How can any pet owner allow their pet to run loose near a highway? It's nice to believe that all of our pets are as smart as Lassie, but this just isn't the case. I have heard it said that "the stupid dog just ran out in the road and was hit."

It is easy to blame the animal, but the only reason the animal was put in such a position was because the stupid owner didn't take the time to insure their animal was safe.

I have seen more road kills of pets in this area than any other place I can think of, except Espanola, N.M., and it makes me sick.

I have always been impressed with our Humane Society and its high adoption rate but I am beginning to wonder if this is a by-product of our high road kill rate.

It is very apparent that these pet owners don't care about the animals, so maybe it's time to start fining the owners of road killed pets for neglect. Maybe after a few fines, they will pop out of their hillbilly frame of mind and invest a few bucks for a leash - or maybe even a pen.

Tomorrow I will take my son to the bus stop and there will be a few future road kills that will follow the children to the bus and they will be there when the children come home, because, you see, they love children.

There will come a time when these pets' luck will run out and they won't be there, but that's OK, because they can just get another one. After all, they are just stupid animals.

Richard Sutherland

Enjoys articles

Dear Editor:

Katherine and Tom Cruse need no defense but Randall Blackley's letter of last week prompts me to tell you how very much I enjoy Katherine's articles.

There are many valid approaches to the enjoyment of the outdoors.

Why would Randall think that his is the only one? I believe our "Cruising with Cruse" author would be far more tolerant of his concept than he is of hers.

Barbara Tackett

Losing "old time"

Dear Editor:

Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County have changed a lot over the last decade. In community meetings people state that they want the older country ways continued, that the rural charm and "laid back" pace and attitude is why they are here. It is time to realize that we are losing a very important part of our past.

My concern is that we are losing our "old time" and much more appealing medical and health care attitude and tradition. The Upper San Juan Hospital District's current policy mandates shorter doctor-patient time, and a more assembly line-pill factory-HMO type of health care. I do not believe the public wants this type of medicine and it is obviously a less than satisfactory standard of health care.

The reason for the need to "see more patients - write more bills" is the historic policy of the Upper San Juan Hospital District to grossly underfund the clinic while making zero effort to obtain more grant funding.

There is an unstated, but still just as real, policy of federal government that allows rural health care to survive and make progress. The government forces a series of technology, equipment, inventory, paper work and professional standards. When compounded with problems caused by Medicaid, Medicare, the medical insurance system and nonpaying charity patients makes it impossible for small community medical systems to survive. In its infinite wisdom, government makes millions of dollars available, in grants, to "make up the difference." Our problem is that we have been paying the price for all the paper work, regulations and free care but not getting the "make up the difference" grants. This is a woefully failed policy that you, fellow citizen, are paying the price for, in tax dollars and lowered health care standard.

The news is good. The medical center has come close enough to breaking even that moderate amounts of grant funding will "make up the difference." More grant money will allow the medical center to return to a less HMO-type experience and provide for progress in technology, capability and health care standards.

Grant writing is not an item that can be part time and added to a current employee's job description. For a system as large and as far behind as ours, we need a person who has proven experience "working" the Colorado, federal and independent grant systems.

It cannot be said often or loud enough, we must move away from our tradition of failed policy, cutbacks and survival status. It is time for work, action and change in our health care system that includes long term planning and getting our fair share of grant funding.

It is an ironic footnote to history that when the citizens voted for the original mill levy it was specifically intended to build and operate a new medical facility. That effort failed and the money was diverted to develop a new ambulance service. The clinic has received only a very small fraction of the funds originally voted and intended for it.

Norm Vance


Dear Editor:

Thank your for publishing my letter about West Nile Virus a couple weeks ago. It contained an error (mine): Only 61 horses in Colorado had died of the disease while 242 horses had tested positive as reported in The SUN Sept. 26.

Now, the Colorado Department of Pubic Health and the Environment Web site reports the number of infected horses is up to 378 as of Oct. 29. The increasing numbers of infected horses reinforces the need for creating a comprehensive prevention program by next spring.

Annie Waterman


Community News
Senior News

Halloween party a hoot; prize winners named

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

It is so good to be back from our vacation and enjoying visiting with all our "family" at the Senior Center. We spent two weeks in Texas and Oklahoma and it rained or was cloudy the entire time. Guess we brought the moisture home with us. I'm certainly not complaining - we need the moisture too much.

As usual, when we are gone we miss something fun: the Halloween party apparently was a hoot and a good time was had by all. Winners of prizes for best costumes were: first - Lena Bowden as the "fancy lady"; second - Elaine Nossaman as a hunter from Peter and the Wolf; and third - Curt Killion as the Grim Reaper. Thanks to Judy Cramer for prizes she furnished.

The Volunteer of the Month is Patty Tillerson. This wonderful lady is always available to help when and where needed. What a privilege to honor her this month.

Congratulations to Donna Modarelli, who is our Senior of the Week. Donna is a very active member of our group and we appreciate her willingness to help wherever needed.

Special thanks to the following folks for their donations to the Senior Center: Bonnie from Slice of Nature for the T-shirts and preserves; Adelina Lobato for coat hangers; Richard Harris for videos and books; April from Colorado Skies for the windsocks and tea; Josephine Paluch for the books; the Methodist Thrift Shop for the yarn; the Knights of Columbus for the monetary contribution; Charlie Martinez for the playing cards; Matt Mees for the big screen TV; Jimmye Day for the plant and toiletry samples; and everyone who helped at Oktoberfest.

Welcome back to John Larson. We have missed him since he has been away. Also, welcome to the guests and returning members who have joined us this week, including William A. Smith, Jim, Brenda, and Sarah Isgar, Carol Freaes, Kathy Betts, Marie and Jim Corcorron, Tommy Cole, Chuck and Cathy Guisinger, Pat Boyce, and Norm and Anna Denney.

Elections for board members for the Archuleta Senior Citizens Inc. are coming up in December. This board meets the last Friday of every month and discusses ways to enhance the lives of the aging population through funding and other projects (i.e. the recent Oktoberfest). Candidates for the board must be members of the group. We desperately need folks who are interested in serving and helping our seniors to submit their names as candidates for the election.

There will be a new class in November designed to help you creatively solve problems, make your own crossword puzzles, and figure out your chances of winning at the casino. Larry Blue has taught people how to exercise their brains in fun and creative ways for many years. The classes started Oct. 29 and will run every Tuesday morning in November at 11 a.m. Come and reawaken your brain!

Free movies will be offered in the Senior Lounge at 12:45 p.m. on the second Friday of each month. The popcorn is 25 cents - a real bargain. Come and enjoy the movies and offer suggestions to Laura for movies you might enjoy seeing.

There will not be an art class Nov. 12; class will resume Nov. 19.

As most of you know, the cost of living raise (COLA) for Social Security and retired federal employees will be 1.4 percent (which averages $13 per recipient). Medicare Part B premium for 2003 will be $58.70. It gets tougher and tougher for some of our folks to meet their medical needs when prices keep escalating.

Upcoming events:

Today: Grief and Loss Program 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Senior Lounge.

Friday: 10 a.m. - Qi Gong; movie matinee at 12:45 p.m in the Senior Lounge;

Senior board meeting; Medicare counseling.

Monday: Closed for Veteran's Day.

Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. Yoga; 11 a.m. - problem solving class.

Wednesday: 12:30 p.m. - Presentation by Muriel Cronkhite on the "Forgotten Nutrient"; 10:30 a.m. - computer class.

Friday, Nov. 15:

10 a.m. - Qi Gong; 11a.m. - Medicare counseling.

Monday, Nov. 18: 10 a.m. - chair exercises; 1 p.m. - bridge for fun.

Tuesday, Nov. 19: Sky Ute Casino trip.

Veterans Corner

Many special veterans' events planned

By Andy Fautheree

The eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month

In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This site, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of Washington, became the focal point of reverence for America's veterans. (It is interesting to note the Arlington Cemetery site honoring "America's" soldiers, is the former estate of General Robert E. Lee, which he gave up to lead the Confederate Armies during the Civil War.)

Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation's highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe). These memorial gestures all took place on Nov. 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I fighting at 11 a.m., Nov. 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The day became known as "Armistice Day."

On Memorial Day 1958, two more unidentified American war dead were brought from overseas and interred in the plaza beside the unknown soldier of World War I. One was killed in World War II, the other in the Korean War. In 1973, a law passed providing interment of an unknown American from the Vietnam War, but none was found for several years. In 1984, an unknown serviceman from that conflict was placed alongside the others. To honor these men, symbolic of all Americans who gave their lives in all wars, an Army honor guard, the 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), keeps day and night vigil.

A law passed in 1968 changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that Nov. 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978, Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.

With that very short background on observing Veterans Day, it is worthy to note there will be a number of tributes to veterans in Archuleta County. I'm sure there will be other observances in other areas of the county, but these are the events I am aware of as I write this week's column.

Sunday, Nov. 10

American Legion Post 108 in Pagosa Springs will conduct a Veterans Day potluck dinner Nov. 10 at 1p.m. at the Legion Hall in Town Park. The American Legion Auxiliary ladies will host the potluck centered on traditional Thanksgiving themes. I know from past experience these ladies prepare some wonderful dishes. The public and all veterans are invited to attend and bring a dish of food. You do not need to be a member of the American Legion to attend the events.

Following the potluck will be a flag disposal ceremony at 2:30 p.m. The Post received a large number of old flags, not suitable for display, with requests to take care of them properly.

Monday, Nov. 11

The eighth graders of Pagosa Springs Junior High School, led by teacher Dan Janowski, will start things off Nov. 11, 7- 9:30 am, by paying tribute to our veterans with a free breakfast of pancakes, eggs and sausage or bacon, and beverages at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

These young people will prepare the breakfast and serve the veterans. I'm sure there will be some appropriate comments and tributes paid, flags waved by both veterans and students. All veterans are invited to be the guests of the eighth graders and are encouraged to wear their uniforms if possible.

This activity is in conjunction with the students' history studies. What better way to express our feelings in these trying times than to bring youngsters and veterans together to show how and why the price of freedom must be continuously paid.

Please attend this Veterans Day breakfast and allow these students to show and express their gratitude and pay honor to our Archuleta County Veterans.

Veterans Day program

At 11 a.m. Monday, Pagosa Springs High School students will conduct a flag ceremony complete, I believe, with the high school band playing patriotic music. Representatives of veterans groups will be on hand and the public is certainly invited and encouraged to attend.

Along with the flag ceremonies, the winner of the Rueben Marquez Memorial Patriotism and Writing contest will be announced. The essay contest is sponsored by the Marquez family to honor the memory of Reuben Marquez, who was a veteran very proud of his military service and was a long time resident of Pagosa Springs. Cash prizes are awarded in several categories of essay winners.

Marine Corps birthday

The U.S. Marine Corps will hold its 227th birthday party Saturday at the Greenhouse Restaurant. Social hour will begin at 5 p.m. and dinner is at 6:45 p.m. There is limited seating and it is suggested you call Dick Akin at 731-3315 with your RSVP.

For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949, and e-mail is The office is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., 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

Orient Express steams in Saturday

By Sally Hameister

This Saturday offers one of the year's premier events, and we hope you will join us at the Parish Hall for "Experience the Orient Express" sponsored by the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

This always-fun event boasts delicious food, wonderful fashions modeled by our friends and neighbors, their children and animals, and it is just an altogether charming experience. If memory serves, there are also many fabulous door prizes given away whilst we consume the scrumptious food fare served by the lovely volunteers.

Romance, intrigue and mystery are sure to be a part of "Experience the Orient Express" and I will be there with bells on to savor every moment of the fun. 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. Eighteen dollars buys you tons of fun and supports the IHM big fund-raiser of the year. Don't delay, and I look forward to seeing you there.

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 exposure each and every day as the bus goes from one end of town to the other and all points in between, 52 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, Pagosa Lakes core areas, and the Aspen Springs subdivision located seven miles west of town.

Two seasons are available, one from May through October and the other from November through 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 drafts 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 Pagosa Springs Community Center or the county commissioners' office located at the courthouse. 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, please 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.

Favorite things

While you're picking up your tickets for "Experience the Orient Express," by all means pick up tickets for "A Few of Our Favorite Things" being held at the Ridgeview Mall Saturday evening featuring the formidable talents of our beloved John Graves and the talented vocalist from Durango, Susie Ewing. The cash bar opens at 6:30, and the performance will begin at 7:00 p.m.

This event will benefit FoPA's (Friends of Performing Arts) mission to develop and build a performing arts center in Pagosa Springs. A wide range of music genres will be performed by this talented duo, and I understand that Susie Ewing delivers a huge wallop while singing everything from classical to show tunes. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company. Advance tickets are $8 and those ticket holders will be seated in the preferred section. Tickets at the door will be $10, and I hope to see one and all at the performance.

Ho ho ho

Just a little heads-up about the season that is rapidly approaching, replete with many events sure to bring great pleasure to you and your little ones.

The Christmas season in Pagosa is about as festive as it gets, and I always encourage folks of all ages to take advantage of each and every offering. We will address them individually at the appropriate times, but for now, I just want you all to be able to mark your calendars.

The Seeds of Learning Holiday Home Tour pretty much opens the season Dec. 5 along with the Music Boosters' holiday presentation of "A Christmas Carol" with performances Dec. 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11. Community Christmas Choir performances will be held Dec. 6 and 8, with Christmas in Pagosa, Santa, caroling by the Mountain Harmony Ladies and the big annual lighting ceremony at the Visitor Center Dec. 7. The Fourth Annual Parade of Lights will take place Dec. 13 followed by the Kiwanis Chili Supper. The San Juan Festival Ballet will present a Holiday Gala Dec. 20 and 21 and I'm sure I've missed some events about which we simply haven't been told as yet. Just hope this helps with filling in your December calendar.

Holiday Tour of Homes

Seeds of Learning is proud to present its Holiday Tour of Homes Dec. 5, 6-9 p.m. This year you will be able to see four homes decorated to the hilt for the holidays so you can "borrow" some ideas for your own decorating tasks.

The Scotts, the Neders, the Nelsons and the Davises have generously agreed to share their homes for this evening and should be commended for agreeing to have around 200 folks traipsing through their abodes. The ticket price is $15, and tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce and Wolftracks Bookstore and Coffee Company. A limited number of tickets will be pre-sold, and tickets will not be available at the door, so be sure to pick yours up before 3 p.m. the day of the tour. This is a lovely way to initiate the holidays, so don't miss this year's Holiday Tour of Homes.

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 historical 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 gallery in Town Park for a complete description of the criteria, specific requirements and deadlines for materials. If you have questions, contact Jennifer Harnick at 731-3113 or e-mail Lisa Scott at

Operation Winter Coat

The falling snow is beautiful and welcome to most of us, but not at all welcome if coats, scarves, boots and hats aren't available to keep folks warm.

The Rotary-sponsored Operation Winter Coat project gives you the perfect opportunity to donate these items which will be distributed Nov. 16 in the cafeteria at the junior high school 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. Anyone who needs these items can pick them up free of charge Nov. 16. Let's make it our business to make sure that no one in Pagosa is without warm clothing this winter.

Photography contest

I know that it seems premature to be talking about an event in February, but this particular event requires some work well ahead of time. The annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Photography Contest at Moonlight Books will open Feb. 1 from 5-7 p.m. and entries will remain on display until Feb. 28.

There is a Jan. 29 deadline for submitting your entry or entries, so it would be a good idea to pick up your entry forms at Moonlight Books, Mountain Snapshots or the Arts Council gallery in Town Park to learn what needs to be done. Matting and framing takes time, as does attaching screws and wires for hanging, so get on it, photographer dudes and dudettes. If you have questions, I'm sure that Joan and Jerry at Moonlight Books, 264-5666, or Joanne at the Arts Council, 264-5020, will be happy to help you.

Ole Miner's open

Paul Aldridge, owner of Ole Miner's Steakhouse, just stopped by the Visitor Center and shared his concern about rumors that Ole Miner's is closing for the winter season. Simply isn't so, folks; they are open and welcome your business all year long.


We are pleased to welcome one new member this week and nine renewals. It's always a pleasure to acknowledge our members and salute them for being so clever, insightful and progressive as to recognize membership in the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce as a clear priority in their business decisions. Ever so clever, our members.

Our first new member is actually the new owner of a former member business (Tipi River Ranch, Inc.) sporting a new name, The Last Resort RV Park and Campground, Inc. located at 256 CR 339, right off U.S. 84. Stacey Fitzwater is the lady in charge at The Last Resort and offers full and partial hook-ups with campsites on the beautiful Blanco River. They also offer a bathhouse that is open 24 hours a day as well as a small grocery store. Give Stacey a call at 264-6464 with questions concerning The Last Resort RV Park and Campground. We are grateful to Camille Braselman once again for her recruitment efforts and will happily send her a free SunDowner pass.

Our renewals this week include Paul N. Aldridge with Ole Miner's Steakhouse; Mary and Poor Don McKeehan with Old West Press; Karen Cox with Taminah Gallery; Shirley Sprague with Acres Green RV Park, LLC; Chad Johnson with Enterprise Rent-a-Car; Troy Ross with Troy Ross Construction, LLC; Dave Belt with Echo Mountain Alpacas, Inc. and, last but far from least, our old friend, Rolly Jackson with Radio Shack of Pagosa. Thanks to one and all.

Library News

No final figures, but here's raffle winners

By Lenore Bright

Our thanks to all who took part in the Civic Club Bazaar this year.

Barb Draper did a marvelous job of pulling everything together after the Extension building troubles. The new Pagosa Springs Community Center is a marvelous spot for all kinds of activities. Our thanks to Mercy for her assistance. The Civic Club Ladies spent many hours cooking, and preparing the food and baked goods.

We don't have final figures yet but we do have a list of the raffle winners:

Bill Bang, Helen Bartlett, Nick Boyer, Theresa Bradford, Carol Curtis, Vivian DeYoung, Eugenia Dzielak, Bernadette Garig, Cindy Gustafson, Joanie Hearing, Susan Kanyur, Sue Kehret, Lori Lucero, Carla Lyon, Genelle Macht, Betty Miller, Denise Mudrock, Kathy Mymern, Lisa Oney, Elija Price, Yvonne Ralston, Helen Richardson, Joan Sager, Jean Sanft, Patti Stewart and Stanley Tyer.

Thanks to Margaret Wilson for her continued support with the raffle through the years.

We have a few cookbooks left for sale at the library. They sell for $15 and will make special gifts for this holiday.

Marvel of existence

Jerry and Diana Martinez gave the library a book written by Donna Lancaster titled, "The Short and Tall of It: The Marvel of Our Existence is Incredible."

Tanya Sulak, who lives in Pagosa Springs, wrote the introduction to Donna's book. Tanya had tried to get Donna to write her story for 17 years. At first she resisted but finally Tanya prevailed. We're glad she did. This is a good story.

Donna was born without legs. She stood at 3 feet 10 inches. When wearing her artificial legs she was 5 feet 8 inches tall. She actually lived in a tall and short world at various times. No matter what her height, her stature is that of a very special person. Donna's life and story portray an incredible journey of an individual who can teach us all a great deal. "The Short and Tall of It," is truly an inspiring story.

Small business help

Chris McCracken and the Colorado Small Business Development Center sent us a "start-up" package for people wanting information about state guidelines for beginning businesses. It may be checked out.

Good medicine

The latest issue of this magazine covers the health risks of high-protein diets, and how to stop HRT among other current subjects.


Financial help came from Billie Sue Bell in memory of Dan Evans and Terry Hershey in memory of David Mitchell. Materials came from Chris McCracken, Billie Riggs, Joan Young, Scotty Gibson, Betsy Chavez, Sue Iverson, Lisa and Bob Scott, Jack Rottman, Don and Mary McKeehan and Helen Richardson.


Business News

Kim Griffin and Renee Johnson, own and operate Cs' Deli and Ice Cream Parlor, located in the Pagosa Country Center.

Cs' offers customers a wide variety of meals and treats. Cs' provides take-and-bake dinners, prepared foods and homemade specials including meat loaf and lasagna. There are fresh-made soups, sandwiches and salads.

The deli offers meats and cheeses by the pound as well as party trays and special skiers' box lunches.

There are 24 flavors of ice cream available at Cs', with extreme freezes and smoothies made on-site.

Cs' Deli and Ice Cream Parlor is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Call 731-1142 to order or for information.


Born operated a Creede silver mine before coming to Pagosa

By John M. Motter

Preview Columnist

We've written a lot recently about Dutch Henry Born, Pagosa Country's best-known pioneer. We'll just write a couple of more articles and wrap it up. We've also received more reader comments about Dutch Henry than any other Oldtimer columns we've done.

A descendant of Billy Dixon wrote us from Albuquerque, where she read the article. Billy Dixon was a buffalo hunter and scout who fought at the Battle of Adobe Walls with Dutch Henry. We've heard from Henry Born descendants. And last week, we heard from a descendant of Quanah Parker, the legendary Comanche leader who also fought in the Battle of Adobe Walls. Maybe we'll take a column soon and talk about the public comments.

Little information is available about Dutch Henry Born's activities after 1879 when he was found not guilty by a Dodge City jury. He first shows up in Pagosa Country in December of 1888, when he purchased two town lots on his own and two more lots in partnership with Hans Wiek.

It is known he owned property in the Fort Garland area around 1880. He prospected for gold in the San Juan Mountains and is known to have filed claims at Summitville, Creede and Silverton.

He operated a silver mine at Creede for a number of years before settling at Born's Lake.

Born came to Pagosa Country to stay after marrying Ida Dillabaugh from his old hometown of Montague, Michigan. The marriage was July 10, 1900. For a short time, the couple lived near Creede, where Born operated the Happy Thought Mine. They ultimately settled on the West Fork of the San Juan River where Born operated a fish hatchery and resort on property he had homesteaded in 1899.

Down through the years, local papers reported on Born's doings. The family seemed to summer at the lake, winter in Pagosa Springs. And Born got around, as evidenced by items in Creede and Silverton newspapers.

For example, we learn from a 1912 Pagosa Springs newspaper Born had recently been in Creede, the Mineral County county seat, and obtained funds to work on the West Fork roads damaged by the flood of 1911. The county would furnish $2 cash for every dollar of labor contributed by Born. Wolf Creek Pass was not open yet. How did Born travel to Creede?

In 1918, Born was showing a Pagosa editor samples of what appear to be "rich nickel ore." In 1919, Born was in Creede again, looking for county money to help with road work. Shortly after visiting Creede, Born showed up in Silverton with a stop in Durango along the way. Born lamented to the Silverton editor that "he has got to get busy and dig some more of that rich stuff our of the Little Maude."

On Aug. 27, 1920, the Pagosa SUN announced, "Bill Tilghman United States marshal for some thirty years during the halcyon days of the Oklahoma outlaws, came down from Pueblo with his family last week on a visit with his old friend Herny Born, with whom he hunted buffalo on the plains for six years. While here he presented his picture show 'The Passing of the Oklahoma Outlaws,' at the Liberty Theater Sunday evening to a packed house."

In the SUN, on Jan 14, 1921, we read the following obituary, a fair summary of Born's life.

"Henry Born, after an illness of only four days from bronchial pneumonia, passed away at his home in Pagosa Springs early Monday morning, Jan. 10, 1921, at the advanced age of 71 years. The last enemy did not find him in his prime and he was in no condition to withstand the siege.

"Deceased was born at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, on July 2, 1849, but moved at an early age with his parents to Montague, Michigan. At the age of 20 he cast his lot with the then far west and came to western Kansas in 1869, and to Colorado the following year.

"Returning to Kansas the next several years of his life were replete with adventure. He spent six years in the buffalo hunt on the plains of what is now Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado, when the red man disputed every inch that the white man occupied. He was engaged in the famous Indian battle at Adobe Walls in 1874 and served as government scout for the U.S. Army.

"He came to Colorado permanently in 1880 and for several years engaged in mining, being one of the pioneers at Summitville and at Creede. In the latter camp he discovered the Happy Thought mine, and was present during the boom days and later decline of this famous gold camp; though he still retained some interest in the Happy Thought at the time of his death.

"He located his present homestead in Mineral County, better known as Born's lake, in 1899, and has made this his home ever since, although he generally spent his winters in Pagosa Springs.

"Returning to Michigan, the home of his childhood, in 1900, he married Ida Dillabaugh. To this union were born four children, three of whom survive: Helen, 16, James, 14, and Mable 9. George, the eldest child, died in infancy. Besides his wife and children, he leaves two sisters, Mrs. Perry of Colorado Springs and Mrs. A.N. Hatcher of La Mesa, Calif., and one brother, "Ying," of Espanola, N.M. Ed Dillabaugh of Ignacio is a brother-in-law.

"Funeral services were held at the Methodist church Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock and were largely attended. Rev. J.D. Leach, local pastor, delivered the funeral address. Internment was at Hilltop.

"Henry Born, or, as he was familiarly known on the plains 'Dutch Henry' was one of the few remnants of that great army of the past who took their lives in their own hands and wrested this continent from the savage occupants of the soil and gave it to civilization and progress. They cleared the supposedly arid plains of its hordes of savage men and roaming buffalo and left it open to civilization and enlightenment. In as brief a sketch as this we cannot follow him in the hand-to-hand battles with the Indians, sometimes wounded nigh unto death, creeping flat on the ground, painfully making his way back to the camp of his friends; or watch his lone vigil out on the bare plain where the wild beasts howled and wilder men watched their opportunity to scalp their victim. Such deeds as these, while not written in the halls of fame, are imprinted in the records of the progress of civilization and triumphs of advancement over barbarism.

"These twenty years of quiet home life, succeeding the thirty years of adventure and storm, made a quiet halo about his sunset like the golden bars of a summer evening sky after a tumultuous stormy day."

And finally, one week after the obituary we read: "Mrs. Ida Born, wife of the late Henry Born, announces that she will continue Born's as a fishing resort and engage in the marketing of trout and trout fry as heretofore, being her own manager. She hopes to get a new road to the lake branching from the state highway at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass and reaching the lake at a good grade in about two and one half miles, all in Mineral County."


Christmas Craze

Homes decked out for holiday tour

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

It's official. Christmas is coming. Lights, trees and decorations have already reached the shelves and racks of the stores. In just a few weeks, most of us will start hauling out tubs and boxes to display our own holiday décor.

A few, however, started early.

The Davises have been collecting Christmas items for at least 25 years, maybe even 35. Decorating can take several weeks, even a month or more, and as their home is one of four on the Holiday Tour of Homes presented by Seeds of Learning, they've started even earlier this year.

"I inherited my grandparents' nativity scene and an antique Santa and it took off from there," Carol Davis said. "I just couldn't resist Santas."

Although Santa Claus in all his forms, including a "naughty-children's Santa" in black complete with a sack of coal and licorice, was her first love, the Christmas trees came in a close second. "You've got to have something to stand Santa under," she said.

Carol and her husband, Joe, started hauling boxes out of the attic about the second week of October.

"You just start," she said. The Santas come out and are sorted to blend in with the themes of the rooms they'll decorate. Eventually, they will cover every surface, over 200 of the jolly old soul in all. They occupy mantle, kitchen counters and shelves already. Even the elk head above the fireplace has a Santa mask. On one end of the living room a Christmas tree is dedicated entirely to carved Santa ornaments created by Wayne Mann. In the kitchen, the wooden spoons, rolling pins and even the handle of the potato mashers are adorned with Santa.

"That's Joe's favorite," Carol said, pointing to an 18-inch tall Cowboy Santa having a great old time playing the fiddle. He came from Estes Park, she said. On the adjoining end table is her favorite, a Santa of similar size with skis and a real fur cape, also acquired in Colorado.

Another Santa in a cape, perched on the kitchen island, catches the eye immediately. This one is Carol's own creation, its clothes made from leaves collected at the family farm in Nevada, Mo. and preserved. She saw a similar Santa in the gift shop at Biltmore Estates, but thinking that one might be too expensive for her taste, bought some leaf preservative and made her own.

And then there are the trees. Spaces not covered by Santa are filled with trees, everything from floor-to-ceiling beauties to six-inch tall table-sized trees.

In the downstairs bedroom, visitors will find a fishing tree, decorated with ornaments especially for Joe. Birdhouses decorate another tree, flags and other patriotic displays cover yet another. In the Victorian-style bedroom, fans, beads and demitasse cups cover the tree. In the office, space is more limited, so a tree made of wrapped grapevines and cloth balls decorates the desk. The kitchen tree is decorated with branches covered in cookie cutters and sugared fruit. It's poised before a window for guests to see as they walk up.

Since she had to dust Victorian furniture as a child, Carol vowed never to have such a fluffy room to clean again, but when her grandmother died, she couldn't part with the furnishings.

"I decided I'd have one fluffy bedroom where she could come back and haunt me," Carol said. With pink satin adorning the ceiling above the two twin beds covered in delicate quilts, it's a perfect fluffy fantasy.

The other upstairs bedroom is done in a patriotic theme with early American samplers, a trunk that traveled with her family in a covered wagon, an antique nativity scene, except for the porcupines of course, and a rope bed with a trundle underneath.

Once arranged, Carol said, the Christmas decorations will stay up until about the end of January, after the relatives visit.

"If it wouldn't get so dusty, I'd leave it up longer," she said. The family is planning to videotape the house over the holidays this year just in case she decides not to go full out again.

She's hauled out all the treasures especially for the tour of homes, she said, something they did once before at the farmhouse in Missouri. That time, it was a benefit for the Jaycees. This time, it will help support quality affordable childcare in Pagosa Springs.

"I've kind of gone a little berserk on Halloween, but not this year because we had to start on Christmas," she said, "I have one box of Easter stuff."

Christmas has simply consumed them because she can't resist a Santa Claus. She said she is cutting back, however.

"I've decided I've got enough stuff."

Her home full of Christmas "stuff" will join the Scott, Neder and Nelson homes on the tour, Dec. 5 from 6-9 p.m. All are sure to wow those who choose to participate with unique Christmas décor that fits their family and lifestyle.

The great ideas for decorating aren't the only great opportunity for participants in the tour. Light refreshments will be served at one home, casseroles will be available for purchase at another to help you in this hectic season, greenery will be sold at a third home to help with your decorating needs, and carolers will serenade you at another home. Children six and under are kindly discouraged from attending.

Proceeds from the event will go to Seeds of Learning to continue providing quality childcare for toddlers and preschoolers. Seeds of Learning is able to charge less than its actual costs due to grants and donations. However, with the slow economy, fewer grants are being made. The proceeds of this event will go toward the general operating budget.

A limited number of tickets for the tour of four homes will be available through pre-sales at a cost of $15 each. Tickets must be purchased by Dec. 4 and will not be available at the door. They are available downtown at the Chamber of Commerce and at WolfTracks Bookstore. Directions will be available with tickets. Don't wait too long, either. This was a sold-out event before the date last year, so hurry.



At last, it's over

It's finally over - a difficult and sometimes disappointing political season. The votes are cast and tallied; we know who survived the test, who has failed. We know who will take office come the new year and who will need to find other work; we have two new amendments to the state constitution and we have made our decisions regarding local government leaders, increased taxes and the retention of judges.

Finally we will be able to turn on the television without being bombarded with one grimy insult after another, without witnessing another attack on character, without seeing out-of-context quotes - at least until the next election cycle when ethically-challenged campaigners will again be tempted to travel a negative trail.

We know Wayne Allard has been elected to go to back to Washington. It is not distance enough. Nor would it have been enough distance between us had his opponent won. Each allowed disgraceful nonsense to be played out on his behalf.

We know Jim Isgar defeated Kay Alexander and will go back to Denver to serve us in the Colorado Senate. Fortunately, we will receive no more mail from mystery groups in Denver supporting Isgar's and Alexander's campaigns.

Mark Larson relaxed with no opponent and heads back to Denver to do his regularly solid job as our representative in the House. Scott McInnis surfs a landslide back to Washington D.C. as our representative from District 3.

There is a lot of political news on the local front and we can celebrate the manner in which most hometown political business was conducted.

Neither of our candidates for county commissioner descended into the mire. It is to their great credit they did not do so. Mamie Lynch has been elected to the commission. She will replace Gene Crabtree as the commissioner from District 3 and brings with her a wealth of experience from a former stint on the board. Crabtree should be thanked by all of us for the time, concern and effort he provided during his tenure on the board. He worked hard, guided by what he believes are the best interests of his constituents and the county.

Neither Tom Richards nor Chuck Allen took the leap into the campaign muck in their race for sheriff. Our hat is off to both of them for their honorable approach to the process and our congratulations go to Richards on his victory.

Local voters gave a slim nod to a request to boost taxes to allow the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District to enhance water delivery systems and expand reservoir capacity. What message this close vote sends to the district, its management and directors is of great interest.

A move to urge a vote against retention of Archuleta County Court Judge and District Court Magistrate Jim Denvir failed; our county clerk, assessor, treasurer, coroner and surveyor faced no opposition and were returned to office. They each have another four years to do what has been, thus far in their tenures, a fine job for the citizens of the county.

Now, it is time to put out the emotional brush fires started during the last few months, to smooth over the bad feelings that inevitably follow hotly contested races, to move ahead for the best of nation, state and county.

When the cycle returns us to major elections in two years, we should demand proper decorum from all our candidates. Perhaps we will witness a change in the overall political atmosphere.

Let's congratulate our local winners, commiserate with the losers, and move on together to deal with life in Pagosa Country. After all, without a Cesar Chavez holiday we will have an extra day available for our work.

Karl Isberg

 Dear Folks


A responsibility and much more

We will run select "Dear Folks" columns written by the late David Mitchell until the new year. The following column appeared in The Pagosa Springs SUN on April 23, 1981.

Editors note: One of the real, honest-to-goodness benefits of running a newspaper is the right to publish your own opinions in that newspaper. Dave Mitchell, new assistant publisher of the Pagosa Springs SUN, is exercising that right by writing a column entitled, "Dear Folks." "Dear Folks" will be placed on the editorial page. In his column, Dave will be talking to his parents and the community of the things he sees and feels on a day-to-day basis. Here is the first of "Dear Folks."

Dear Folks,

It has been a while since I enclosed a note for you on your Pagosa Springs SUN subscription. I never dreamed I would someday be able to write you a letter which would be printed in an edition of the SUN.

It is difficult to realize Don and Herman have actually made this opportunity possible. I am truly grateful that Glen and Mrs. Edmonds gave their approval to the proposition. I am very thankful that John, Mary, Ronnie, Mary Kay, Dennis, Worthe, Ellyn, Karen, Kathy, Ron and Dan have agreed to stay and educate me in the newspaper, job printing, and office supply business.

My friends have responded in many ways to my decision to enter the newspaper business. "That sounds exciting." "Boy, what a challenge." "Man, that should be a lot of fun." The most realistic and encouraging response was by a man I really admire and respect. Ron Shaw said to me, "That's great," and then added, "It's going to be a lot of responsibility."

Mom, it is going to be a tremendous amount of responsibility. I pray I can appropriate the strength to handle it wisely. In the December 25, 1980 issue of the SUN, Mr. Edmonds wrote, "The advice and counsel of such men as George Alley Sr., Ben K. Lynch, Paul Decker, John Galbreath, and many others has helped me along the way," in reference to his time as owner of the SUN. I know I cannot make it by myself. Still, I feel confident that with the advice and counsel of the many quality people who live in this area, The SUN will continue as a publication the community will want to support.

Someone asked if I was going to take Glen Edmonds place. Mom, that would be impossible. That gentleman is an institution in himself. One person could not replace him. It would not matter if you had three or four people; they could not equal him in spirit; mind or strength.

I'm not going to try to be a new Glen Edmonds. I will try to be the best Dave Mitchell I have ever been. I am ready to learn. Ready to admit and correct my mistakes. Ready to make unpopular decisions when necessary. Ready to take a risk. From time to time I might be like the double-jointed man who worked at the Swedish massage parlor and rubbed people the wrong way. I realize criticism comes with the job. I know I won't be perfect but I will try to be sensitive, fair and honest.

Mom, this will be challenging, fun, exciting, a responsibility and much more. It is also one of the greatest privileges I have ever experienced. It is most humbling to realize there are people who trust me enough to make this opportunity possible. Know you are loved and know more than ever I truly cherish your prayers.




90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Nov. 8, 1912

At the meeting of the town council Friday evening the annual tax levy was fixed at 25 mills. This is a reductions of 7 mills from the past two years, but still 5 mills higher than it was previous to 1911.

D.K. Bean, a renter this season on the McGirr ranch, was arrested this week on a charge of horse-stealing brought by McGirr, a charge that Justice Hayden promptly dismissed when he heard the evidence.

The result of this election will be to rearrange the lines on the local option fight that is expected to occupy attention next spring. No doubt a number of voters who have heretofore acted with the prohibitionists will go over to the opposition, while others who have been against prohibition will probably go the other way.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Nov. 11, 1927

In addition to the Chrysler coupe found abandoned near Ignacio last week, a 1926 Chevrolet coupe in good condition was found abandoned last week near Pagosa Junction and to date no one has come to claim ownership of either car. The supposition is that both cars were connected with the attempted safecracking of the Cortez bank.

The town board held its regular monthly meeting last evening and, aside from usual routine business, passed the annual tax levy resolution, which calls for 13.822 mills for the 1927 tax, an increase of about 6 mills over the 1926 town tax. The board also voted to take drastic action to collect all delinquent dog taxes now due the city.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Nov. 7, 1952

The Town Board held a special meeting on Friday. They talked with Herkenhoff and Turney, engineering firm from Santa Fe, regarding a preliminary survey of a proposed water system. The plan, as proposed by the Town Board, would be to go up the San Juan to a point above the junction of the East and West Forks where an intake would be constructed. A pipeline would then be laid to town and one or two steel reservoirs would be erected. Such a system would do away with the present pumping plant, or pumping of any kind.

Anyone interested in helping to purchase and wrap gifts for the Christmas on the High Seas Red Cross program for servicemen, is asked to meet at the court house on Friday, Nov. 14, at 2:00 p.m.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Nov. 3, 1977

Some light snow fell in the mountains this past weekend. It was not enough, however, to start a base for the snowpack and there is little snow remaining except back in the trees. The storm did start some of the big game animals moving down to lower elevations.

A 14-year-old youth from Arizona was shot and subsequently died from the gunshot wound in a hunting-related accident last weekend. The boy was shot with a .22 caliber pistol. The incident took place on the trail just above Poison Park toward the Weminuche Valley.

The Pagosa Pirates made it three conference wins in a row last Saturday when they scored the game's only touchdown in the last three seconds of play.