January 16, 2003

Front Page


County, PLPOA in animal control pact

Lynch takes seat on board

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Archuleta County commissioners Bill Downey and Alden Ecker made it the first order of business to take time to welcome newly-seated, fellow commissioner Mamie Lynch at the onset of Tuesday morning's regular board meeting.

Lynch, who is making a return visit to the board after serving from 1989-1992, was sworn in by District Court Judge Greg Lyman prior to the commencement of the weekly proceedings. She is the new commissioner representing District 3 after defeating former commissioner Gene Crabtree in last year's General Election.

As required by Colorado law, the new board reorganized in the opening minutes of the session, and Ecker was chosen to replace Downey as the new chairman. Lynch will serve as vice chairman.

Following the board's reorganization, the main topic of discussion was a proposed contractual agreement between the county and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association concerning animal control services.

In late December, the county hired a full-time animal control officer to be supervised by the sheriff's office and, originally, was expected to routinely patrol all areas of the county.

That officer, Floyd Capistrant, is currently undergoing training at the National Animal Control Association Training Academy in Phoenix, Ariz.

According to Bill Steele, county administrator, recent discussions between the county and the PLPOA resulted in the conclusion that hiring a second officer to meet the animal control needs of areas located exclusively within PLPOA boundaries would be appropriate.

In short, the resulting contract indicates the second animal control officer, also under supervision of the sheriff's office, will be paid as a full-time county employee, with the county being reimbursed by the PLPOA for various expenses associated with the officer's performance.

However, each officer's responsibilities will occasionally overlap. For example, if the county officer is busy on a call within county boundaries, the PLPOA officer can be called upon in the event of another call or emergency within the county - and vice versa.

According to Steele and Mary Weiss, the county attorney, the decision to make the second officer a county employee results from the understanding that county regulations are more stringent than those set forth by the PLPOA.

Therefore, county rules provide more freedom with regard to the officers' job expectations (entering private property, immediate animal impoundment, etc.). Steele also said the sheriff's office can more appropriately supervise each officer, especially since each will eventually be equipped with a firearm.

According to Steele, Capt. Bob Grandchamp of the sheriff's office and Walt Lukasik, general manager of the PLPOA, will serve as liaisons between the parties and will be responsible for ironing out any problems arising from the agreement.

Commissioner Lynch had no reservations concerning the agreement. "I have no problem as long as the sheriff agrees to be supervisor," said Lynch.

Steele echoed Lynch's sentiment, stating "I am personally satisfied we can keep an eye on things and make this work."

Due to the lack of opposition, Downey moved to approve the agreement. Lynch seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.

As a result, the agreement became effective immediately, although Steele indicated patrols will commence no later than Feb. 1, and said all calls concerning animal control are to be directed to Archuleta County Central Dispatch.

Some additional stipulations outlined in the agreement to hire a second animal control officer include:

- Salary, benefits and associated overhead costs will be paid monthly as reimbursements to the county by the PLPOA in the amount of $2,716.

- Uniform, equipment and training expenses in the amount of $2,400 will be paid by the PLPOA within 10 days of execution of the contract.

- The PLPOA will lease the vehicle used for the officer's duties to the county at a negligible amount. The county will pay for routine maintenance while the PLPOA will pay anything outside routine maintenance unless the costs are deemed excessive, in which case the amounts paid by each party will be negotiated.

- The county will bill the PLPOA, at the rate of 15 cents per mile, for mileage driven within the confines of the Pagosa Lakes community.

- The Pagosa Lakes officer's primary office will be located at the sheriff's office, but the PLPOA will supply office space for the officer while the officer is on patrol within the Pagosa Lakes community.

Commissioner Downey, speaking after the approval, said "We hope these people can make a positive impact; hopefully people will begin to take responsibility themselves on these issues."

On a separate note, it was learned from Grandchamp a few hours after the meeting that the county, in apparent anticipation of an agreement being reached with the PLPOA, had already hired Brent Finney as the second animal control officer Friday, Jan. 10.

Grandchamp indicated Finney previously served as a PLPOA code enforcement officer and was one of six applicants interviewed for the position.

According to Grandchamp, Finney, like Capistrant, is attending the National Animal Control Association Training Academy in Phoenix. Grandchamp said topics covered at the academy, in addition to those related to animal control, include self-defense techniques, report writing and weapons qualification training.

Grandchamp said Finney will supplement his training by riding along with La Plata County Animal Control officers and employees of the La Plata County Humane Society prior to starting his patrols in Pagosa Lakes.


One more surgery due for Garrett

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Garrett Carothers, the 8-year-old boy attacked by dogs in the Vista Subdivision Dec. 23, is healing well from most of his injuries.

"His face looks just scratched now," Deanna Hockett, an aunt and spokesperson for the family, said. "He looks like himself, but every time he has surgery, he swells up again."

Carothers, who had injuries on 80 percent of his body following the attack, faces at least one more surgery. Hockett said he returned to the plastic surgeon Jan. 8 for a skin graft on his scalp. He's scheduled to return for more grafts Jan. 21.

About three-quarters of the youngster's scalp has now been replaced with grafts from the top of his leg, his aunt said. The grafts are extremely delicate and must be treated very carefully.

"Anytime you touch the graft area, it breaks the blood vessels and therefore that sections dies," she said. It's kept him from returning to school full time, although he plans to attend a pizza party with his class tomorrow.

The family has been informed that his health care coverage is not accepted at the facility where Carothers is being treated.

"The family had to come up with $1,700 before 6:30 Wednesday morning (Jan. 8) to cover just the cost of the facilities," Hockett said. Cost of the doctor or anesthesiologist were not included. They will need another $1,700 before Tuesday morning to cover the next procedure and are asking the community for help.

Accounts for Carothers have been set up at Vectra Bank and Bank of Colorado. At Vectra Bank, donations may be made out in the name of Garrett Carothers or Deanna Hockett. For the Bank of Colorado account, checks should be made out to the Garrett Carothers Medical Fund. Checks for that fund will be accepted at any Bank of Colorado branch.

Hockett said the family hasn't had a chance to call the insurance company yet to determine where they would have to go to receive coverage.


Refinancing opens view for Casa de los Arcos

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

It took many hours, tons of work and a little luck, but Casa de los Arcos has a new look and a better budget.

"It's just daylight in my bedroom all the time," resident Dorothy Million said. "I just love it."

Rehabilitation of the disabled and senior housing included replacing the arches with smaller poles to let in more light, replacing heating units and one window to improve efficiency and safety in the apartments, and adding a window to each apartment.

Susan Stoffer, Casa de los Arcos manager, said the original architect for the eight-building complex was from Arizona. His design was in keeping with desert conditions with many elements to keep out the sun. Unfortunately, his design worked so well, residents couldn't even grow plants in their rooms.

For the last 20 years, budget constraints have kept the housing authority's board from trying any type of major remodeling. And kept residents in the dark.

"We were paying a monthly mortgage of $8,000 which took up most of the budget," Stoffer said. Most of Casa de los Arcos' funding comes from rent payments and subsidies from federal Housing and Urban Development programs.

Residents are required to put 30 percent of their income toward rent. The rest comes from subsidies. Stoffer said 80 percent of the 18 people housed in Casa's 16 apartments fall under the category of extremely low income. For the year, those in that category bring in somewhere under $9,200.

With an $8,000 mortgage payment, Stoffer said, and something like $10,000 a month in income, things had been really tight since the apartments were built back in 1982.

Then, in May 2001, while the board was considering refinancing options, they were introduced to a special HUD program which would allow them to reduce interest rates on their mortgage and forgive some debt.

"The Mark to Market program was a total blessing," Stoffer said. It was introduced to the five-member board by independent developer Dale Greenwood.

"She found it and followed through," Stoffer said. At the time, Casa de los Arcos was faced with a very small time frame in which to get all the paperwork done and the hoops jumped through. But, with many hours of hard work by Greenwood, staff, the board, federal and state representatives and Dan DeLisle from Heskin Signet Partners, it all came together.

This was a new program, Stoffer said, and everyone faced it on the same learning curve. At all levels, from federal to the state authority, Colorado Housing Finance Authority, to the local board, people worked to make Casa de los Arcos the prototype for other programs to follow. Greenwood even donated her time, valued at about $29,000, to see that more money was left over for on-site improvements.

In the end, the Mark to Market program allowed Casa de los Arcos to reduce its interest rate from 13 percent to four percent and included a forgiveness of debt totalling approximately $400,000. The program has also been extended, allowing other such housing developments to take advantage of the savings.

Today, Stoffer said, the monthly mortgage payment with insurance is about $1,100, freeing up far more money for other projects.

"We've got the best budget we've had for 20 years," she added. That allowed them to access other HUD funds for the rehabilitation and replacement projects.

The focus, Stoffer said, was on the residents, improving their safety and quality of life. That meant focusing on utilities and lighting. Prior to the remodeling, which began at the end of November, residents had just two windows to the outside. With the shadow cast by the arches, many couldn't see the sky from their apartments.

To change that, Bill Martinez, of Martinez Maintenance, replaced 16 windows and put in 15 new ones, giving each resident an additional window in the utility room or bedroom and improving efficiency of the apartment.

His bid for everything came in at half of the first bid they received, Stoffer added. That allowed them the extra money needed for the new windows.

Residents, Stoffer said, pay their own utilities. With the former system - electric baseboard heat - that sometimes meant bills of over $100 in the winter, a hardship on a fixed income. To help out, the electric baseboards were replaced with Electric Thermal Storage Units installed by All Phases Electric.

"LPEA said we could expect bills to be at least one-third of what they were," Stoffer said. Installation started in November, so most will begin to see the savings on this month's bill. She thanked Mike Alley and Debbie Bass at La Plata Electrical Association for their help on the project.

Besides all that, the arches for which the buildings were named were replaced with simple posts to let in even more light.

"They (the contractors) were out there working like crazy, even when it was cold and snowy," Stoffer said. "Everyone involved cared about the people here."

Now, it might even be possible for residents to grow plants in their rooms.

Stoffer said as funding is found, projects around the complex will continue. The next item on the agenda is updating and replacing the medical fire alarm system. They will also be looking at replacing the exterior of the buildings with either new siding or stucco to reduce the painting costs.

The key, Stoffer said, is that they now have the option.

"Everything we're doing now will affect these people for the next 20 years," she said.

Members of the Casa de los Arcos Board include Curtis Miller, Gene Crabtree, Judy James and Barb Draper.


All-day kindergarten, new playground grant proposed

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Two elementary school proposals could mean dramatic changes for the facility if they win approval by the board of education.

In separate presentations Tuesday before the board of Archuleta School District 50 Joint, Kahle Charles, elementary principal and members of his staff outlined proposals:

- development, based on a year-long study by faculty, of a full-time kindergarten program with an initial start-up cost estimated at $335,000

- seeking to apply for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant, with the Town of Pagosa Springs as the governmental co-applicant, to finance a new playground development south of the building with an estimated cost of $80,000.

The kindergarten study involved all kindergarten and Title 1 teachers along with other faculty.

Charles said the group spent a year researching other programs, polling parents in the district and staff.

He said their study revealed that in location after location, when a full-day kindergarten is instituted, achievement levels for succeeding grades will increase dramatically. The study carried that research conclusion through the fourth-grade level.

He noted the researchers found that when school districts are taken over by state action because of poor performance, invariably, one of the first actions taken is to institute full time kindergarten.

"It becomes a means of improving the overall school performance," he said, "because it gives youngsters an earlier exposure to not only word and character sights and sounds but to social interaction."

For many kindergartners, Charles said "it is their first experience with groups and with school. When I became principal," he said, "I was amazed to learn the number one discipline problem in the school was kindergarten boys.

"They have an attitude, they stake out their ground and they begin to learn social skills," he added.

Citing the work of Title 1 teacher Kathy Carter in researching costs, he acknowledged starting such a program would be a huge decision.

"But down the line," he said, "we could anticipate less remedial instruction, less social problems and more balanced students advancing to higher grades."

The basic start-up cost figures cited were $150,000 for three teachers; $60,000 for three aides, $100,000 for three classrooms and $25,000 for remodeling of another classroom.

However, Charles said, there may be ways to cut that cost. He noted there are two separate areas within the school where a single wall could be removed to create a three-classroom equivalent area for team teaching.

That would reduce construction cost and allow better utilization of existing staff.

The study surveyed possible effects on health, technical supply, transportation, food services, custodial needs and special services.

Only the food service might be affected to any extent, Charles said. And that is because the cafeteria can legally hold only 162 at a time.

"We might have to double up kindergartners with first and second graders for meals, but it is workable," he said.

The school now houses 122 kindergartners in half-day sessions, substantially higher this year than local average between 90 and 100.

"Certainly, we're teachers," Charles said, "but this is not just an academic proposal. It provides hands-on time, interaction time, opportunity for language skills development and a chance to work with parents to develop a more workable partnership."

Board director Russ Lee asked Nancy Schutz, business manager, if the district can afford the program.

She said, "It's a huge amount to remove from the general fund with no additional funds to replace it, but it could be done."

She noted the funding for kindergarten is based only on half day classes, no matter how many students are involved before decision time."

Director Randall Davis, board president, said "We seem to have more and more students struggling these days. The bigger head start we can give them, the better off they'll be and the better the district will be."

Director Jon Forrest, reflecting on a statement regarding first grade teachers expressing discouragement at the level of development of incoming kindergartners, said "I can see a great need. But I can see the dollar signs flashing, too.

"We need to look at this excellent study by our teachers and see what we can do," he added.

Lee agreed study is needed. "If we decide its a program we need to institute, we need to determine what we have to give up elsewhere."

Noggle told the board the impacts and possibilities will be addressed in budget preparations.

And Davis urged the administration to keep in mind the distinct possibility of saving money down the road by advancing better prepared students.

Charles told the board playground equipment which once stood at the south end of the school was removed when the fifth and sixth grades were transferred out of the building.

The action was necessary, he said, when smaller children began recording numerous injuries while playing on jungle bars and other equipment.

Since that time, there has been relatively little use of the playground area south of the building.

Charles said he learned of the possibility of a GOCO grant while studying other school facilities, particularly one at Del Norte Elementary School which was secured through a GOCO grant.

He noted playgrounds can be designed for specific sites and topography and that the town has agreed to his initial feelers that it would be a co-op applicant for the grant.

He told the board the application indicates the grant will fund up to 70 percent of the anticipated cost, 10 percent must be a cash match by the district, and 20 percent can be in-kind contributions such as earth removal, volunteer labor, etc.

He told the board an intergovernmental agreement already exists between town and school district, but there are deadlines looming if the grant is to be sought.

Applications must be secured this month and filed no later than March, with decisions announced in June.

Following his presentation the board directed Charles and Superintendent Duane Noggle to proceed with the grant study to get things going for the town to act on.

Charles noted the early start could mean help down the line. "If we file early, they will review the application and tell us if we need to adjust or supply additional data. It would give us an extra advantage if we had to amend the application."



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Snow chance slim in coming week

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

While the chance for mountain snow exists to the north of Pagosa Country in the coming week, the possibility for a new dusting here remains slim.

According to Jim Smith, a forecaster at the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, there is "almost no chance, not right now" for snow within the next five days.

As a result, snowpack levels in the San Juan Basin, currently hovering around 75 percent of average, are likely to dissipate even further.

According to Smith, skies should remain partly cloudy through this morning then give way to sunny skies in the afternoon hours with highs from the lower to mid-30s. Tonight clear skies should prevail with lows near 10.

Friday and Saturday call for partly cloudy conditions and high temperatures in the 30s. Lows should dip into the teens.

Sunday and Monday highs should approach the middle 30s to mid-40s. Partly cloudy skies are expected each day.

Tuesday, the partly-cloudy pattern continues with highs again in the mid 30s to mid 40s and lows in the teens.

A 50-percent chance for snow is forecast for Wednesday. High temperatures in the low 40s are expected while lows will plummet into the single-digit range.

Only a scant half-inch of snow was measured in town last week and that amount equates to just five-hundredths of an inch in actual moisture. The average high temperature last week was 42, the average low, 12.

The record high for this day in Pagosa history is 63 degrees, recorded back in 1944. The all-time low, recorded in 1947, is minus 31.


 Sports Page
Parks & Rec

Explaining how raw water use saves money

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

There have been many questions and concerns expressed to me in the last few months regarding the cost of installation of a raw water irrigation system.

Hopefully, I can answer some of those basic questions and fill you in on why the town of Pagosa Springs, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, and Archuleta School District 50 Joint are working together so diligently to provide a raw water feed at the sports complex area on South 5th Street.

The town and PAWS have a master plan for five raw water feeds throughout town to be used to water different parks and plant medians. Each diversion has a specified amount of water that can be drawn from the river at a specific outlet. The first diversion was activated and used in the summer of 2002 in Town Park with great success.

An example of our largest feed would be at the sports complex where there is over eight acres of turf that, in the past, has been irrigated with treated drinking water.

We water this area five to seven times a week in the summer, depending on the rains and usage of each field in a given week.

The amount of water allocated at the site is one cubic foot per second or approximately 26,000 gallons per hour or 650,000 gallons per day.

Water allocated but not used goes on downstream.

The water installation is not related to your monthly water bill, as some people have believed. These projects by all three entities help save money and utilize our raw resources. Only the school district and town will be involved in the maintenance of the pump station. Permits from the Army Corps of Engineers are pending.

The amount of money saved is equated to the amount of water used to irrigate these fields and parks that does not have to go through the water treatment stage, saving on storage and chemical costs.

We are very aware of the savings that occurred during our drought last summer. We also concluded the turf areas watered by raw river water seemed to do better than those areas irrigated with treated water.

So, when you see a public park nice and green and the rest of the community on water restrictions, please remember we are watering directly out of the river and this water is allocated to us by the Colorado Division of Water Resources.

Youth basketball

The divisions for both the 9-10 and 11-12 brackets are off and running. There were no major setbacks, however some minor quirks in the new rules need to be worked out and improved.

Come on down and enjoy a game or two. They're being played at the Community Center Monday through Thursday evenings starting at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 10 a.m.

Elks hoop shoot

The regional hoop shoot held in Durango this year was staged Jan. 11 and three Pagosa entrants were high placers in their age brackets. They included Mary Brinton, a second place; and Kane Lucero and Taylor Shaffer each with a third place. Thank you all for your participation and we hope to see you try again next year.

Teen Center

A karaoke and coffee night is planned Jan. 24, with pizza from 6-7 p.m. and coffee and karaoke 6-10 p.m.

The Teen Center is one of the sections of the new Community Center. It is for the teens of the community providing free games, movies and special events nights like this one.


Pirates wrestle to third in prestigious Rocky

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

If all develops well during the rest of the season, Pagosa Springs wrestlers could become a formidable tournament team.

A dual meet and a tournament in wrestling each require certain characteristics from a team in order to produce a successful outcome. A great dual meet team puts together a full squad, gives up few or no forfeits, and has strength at a majority of weights.

At a tournament, on the other hand, wrestlers at all levels can make a contribution through a series of matches, adding points to the team total. A winning team might have a few athletes who take first place in their classes, but wrestlers finishing in other positions, if enough contribute, can make the difference.

Pagosa hosted the annual Rocky Mountain tournament Saturday and, with a third-place finish behind winner Aztec, N.M. and second-place Centauri, the Pirates were one of the better teams in the 14-team field.

"This tournament was a big contrast to a lot of our early outings," said Coach Dan Janowsky. "We still have a lot to do but, emotionally and technically, we were more focused on what we needed to be doing. We looked good and we need to keep working to get better."

The Pirates placed four wrestlers in the finals at the Rocky - more than in any other year.

Pagosa also had two tournament champions - more than in any other year.

Darren Hockett put together an excellent day at 103 pounds to dominate the field.

Hockett started his day by pinning a wrestler from Bayfield with 3 minutes, 40 seconds gone in the match.

A 12-4 major decision in the championship quarterfinals over an opponent from Aztec, N.M. put the Pirate sophomore into the semifinal round.

Next up for Hockett was a wrestler from Espanola Valley, N.M. The visitor went down 16-2.

Another overwhelming decision, 19-6 , over a Del Norte athlete gave Hockett the title.

Michael Martinez continued his inspirational trip back from injury winning three matches to take the championship at 112. Martinez drew a bye in the first round then demolished a Bayfield opponent with a 23-8 technical fall.

Martinez had a tough match against Centauri's Rory Keyes in the semifinals. The wrestlers battled to a 6-6 tie in regulation. Martinez secured the win in overtime, 8-6.

The final - an 11-4 decision over an athlete from Aztec - put Martinez at the top of the bracket.

Two Pirates ended the day in second place: Mike Maestas at 125 and Kory Hart at 140.

Following a first-round bye, Maestas pinned an Alamosa wrestler in the first period then got a pin against a Bayfield athlete in the second period of the match. Maestas' only loss was to Centauri's Joel Polkowski.

Hart steamrolled his first three opponents, getting first-period pins against wrestlers from Monticello, Taos and Bayfield. Hart's only loss came to a competitor from Durango.

Marcus Rivas was described by his coach as "one of the most pleasant surprises of the day" as he fashioned a fourth-place finish at 189, earning significant points for his team. Rivas started the day with an 8-7 decision over an opponent from Bayfield and also pinned a wrestler from Aztec in the quarterfinals.

Cliff Hockett was fifth at 135, going 4-1 at the tournament. Hockett got a major decision over Durango and managed three third-period pins defeating opponents from Ignacio, Centauri and Center.

Clayton Mastin also earned points, at 160. The senior pinned a man from Del Norte and earned decisions against Espanola Valley and Centauri.

Zeb Gill was 3-2 at 152 with wins over opponents from Del Norte, Center and Durango.

Aaron Hamilton contributed to the point total at 145, beating an unattached wrestler and a wrestler from Center.

Craig Lucero posted two wins at 215, getting victories over Center and Del Norte.

Justin Bloomquist earned points with a win over an opponent from Bayfield.

"It's been a long time since we had a champion at our own tournament," said Janowsky. "It was a real accomplishment to have four guys in the finals. For the most part, I felt Darren Hockett and Michael Martinez were in control. I was concerned about Michael's conditioning and I could tell it was bothering him. But this tournament was the perfect thing for him at the perfect time. I was real pleased with everyone, and we'll just keep working at getting better."

The first chance out of the gate is tonight as the Pirates host Intermountain League rival Bayfield. Junior varsity matches begin at 6 p.m.

Saturday, the Pirates attend one of the toughest small tournaments in the state, at Alamosa.

Beside the host, the lineup will include highly-ranked 4A Montrose, Broomfield and Centaurus from the Front Range, and the always-strong Aztec.

"This is a tough one," said the coach. "It's the perfect place to continue what we've been doing, a perfect place to take another step up, wrestling against some pretty physical kids from bigger schools."

The Alamosa tourney begins Saturday at 10 a.m.


Grapplers lose to Durango, halt Monticello

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pirate wrestlers returned to the mats after the holiday break and split a pair of dual meets, losing to Durango 39-32 at Durango Jan. 9 and returning to post a 44-21 victory at home Jan. 10 against Monticello, Utah.

Coach Dan Janowsky thinks his team could have won the Durango dual, but accepted the loss with a philosophical turn. "This was our first competition back since the break," he said. "We weren't good or bad, there just wasn't a lot of energy on our part. I think we could have won with a better performance, but we had some guys do well to set us up for Friday."

The Pirates who won matches against Durango won them big. There were no tight matches when the Pirates came out on the winning end of the score.

Darren Hockett went on the mat at 112 pounds, perhaps for the last time of the season. Hockett secured a pin in the first round.

Michael Martinez returned from a severe football injury and wrestled at 119, likely a one-time-only appearance at the weight. Martinez won a major decision, 19-7.

At 125, Mike Maestas won another match, earning the victory with a first-period pin.

Cliff Hockett put points on the scoreboard with a pin at 135, in the second round of his match.

Zeb Gill continued to look strong at 152. He nailed a major decision over his Demon opponent.

The next night, in the home gym, the Pirates scored the win over the visiting Monticello Broncos.

Darren Hockett again made short work of his opponent, this time at his natural weight, 103 pounds. He pinned the Bronco in the first period.

Martinez slid down to his preferred weight, 112, and nailed the pin in the third round.

A double forfeit at 119 led to Maestas' victory with a third-period pin.

Cliff Hockett got a second pin in two nights, scoring in the second period of the match.

Kory Hart looked good at 140, earning a 14-12 technical fall.

Aaron Hamilton scored a win by decision at 145. Marcus Rivas and Craig Lucero took wins by forfeit at 189 and 215 respectively.

"Friday night helped generate momentum going into Saturday when we hosted the Rocky Mountain tournament," said Janowsky. "We lost a few at the start of the dual, then won several in a row at the end in aggressive fashion. The guys started enjoying that, whether they were on the mat or not, and that helped them pursue the same path Saturday."

The pirates battle Intermountain League rival Bayfield at the Pagosa Springs gym tonight. Junior varsity matches begin at 6 p.m.


Forrest shines, Pirate boys tame Tigers 62-45

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs' Caleb Forrest can cause a lot of headaches for opposing coaching staffs when he's in his groove.

Maybe that's why a bottle of aspirin graced the far right side of the scorers' table adjacent to the Aztec Tigers' bench just before the opening tip Monday night at the Pagosa Springs High School gymnasium.

Perhaps they knew what was to come. Maybe they watched him during warmups and sent a gofer off to the drug store in the minutes leading up to what would prove to be a most dominating performance by the 6-foot-7-inch Pirate sophomore.

Whatever its purpose, the aspirin was there - and the entire Aztec basketball community, fans included, would have good reason to need it.

From the opening minute, it was evident that Forrest and the rest of Coach Jim Shaffer's squad had come not just to play, but to run their New Mexico adversaries right out of the gym.

Forrest easily scored the first six points of the game while his Pirate teammates kept the Tigers off balance and frustrated at the onset of the contest.

Forrest continued his onslaught throughout the first quarter and, with two minutes and 39 seconds left in the period, the Tiger coaching staff was forced to call its second timeout in an attempt to quiet the storm. Pagosa led 18-3.

Pirate junior Clayton Spencer scored off a turnover immediately after the timeout and the Pirates led 20-3. A couple treys from Aztec's Michael Lambern and a few foul shots got the Tigers to within nine at quarter's end. They trailed 20-11.

Pirate junior David Kern scored 10 seconds into the second stanza and again Pagosa led by double digits, 22-11. The Tigers tried to spread the court and find open shots, but a swarming Pagosa defense shut down the effort, converting steals into points at will.

After an Aztec layup, baskets by Forrest and senior Jason Schutz extended the home team's lead to 26-13 at the four-minute mark. The Tigers squeezed off a few successful threes, but field goals from Pirate guard Jeremy Caler and Forrest rendered them insignificant.

The defensive barricade never weakened, and by halftime the scoreboard read 34-23, advantage Pirates.

Forrest picked up right where he left off early in the third, converting a free throw, then beating Aztec defenders downcourt on Pagosa's next possession and finishing with a thunderous jam that put Pagosa up 37-23.

Pirate senior Brandon Charles, who led the team with 10 assists, got into the scoring act seconds later and converted a drive down the lane to extend the lead to 16. At the next whistle, Forrest left the court with a bloody nose, but returned a short while later.

His teammates never missed a beat in his absence, and Spencer scored the last three points of the period to boost the lead to 20 as the third-quarter buzzer sounded. Pagosa led 50-30.

After a few Tiger free throws opened the fourth period, consecutive baskets by Schutz were followed by a perfect lob to Spencer on an out-of-bounds play to put the home team on top 56-35 with 4:20 left on the clock.

Shaffer substituted without reservation from that point on and the Pirates kept the lead hovering around 20 for the remainder of the game. Pagosa's final basket, a reverse layup by sophomore Otis Rand, was met with a deafening roar from the crowd.

The Tigers managed one last trey in the waning seconds, but fell 62-45 in the end. Forrest accounted for nearly half of Pagosa's winning total with 27.

Remember that bottle of aspirin?


After the game, a beaming Shaffer had good things to say about the overall effort, especially with regard to the way the Pirates handled the slow-down style of Aztec.

"It doesn't make for a very exciting game, but our kids were patient and did a good job of being smart in key situations," said Shaffer.

Shaffer viewed the win, which boosted his team's record to 9-1 on the season, as an indication the Pirates can adapt to several styles of play.

"It's hard to do, to slow down, especially when we want to get out and run. It's a good sign we are able to adjust. And we still had a lot of good things happen on the break."

With Bloomfield and a strong Centauri team coming to town this weekend, the Pirates will look to build upon this effort and continue their winning ways.

Game time for tomorrow's home battle with Bloomfield is 7 p.m. The Pirates stay home to face Intermountain League foe Centauri Saturday night at 7:30, then travel to league powerhouse Ignacio Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. matchup.


Scoring: Forrest 12-15, 3-4, 27; Goodenberger 2-6, 0-0, 4; Schutz 3-7, 2-2, 8; Charles 1-1, 0-0, 2; Spencer 4-8, 3-4, 11: Kern 1-2, 0-0, 2; Faber 0-3, 1-2, 1; Rand 1-3, 0-0, 2; Caler 2-5, 0-2, 5. Three-point goals: Caler 1. Fouled out: none. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 22. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 29. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 12.



Pagosa boys top Durango in "varsity" hoops duel

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs boys' varsity basketball team and Head Coach Jim Shaffer set foot inside the Durango High School gymnasium early Saturday morning fully anticipating a spirited challenge in the form of the Class 5A Demons' varsity basketball team.

What they got instead was an unexpected surprise that must have felt like a lighthearted slap in the face.

Even though the schedule clearly indicated a varsity matchup between the squads, Shaffer was informed shortly after his team's arrival that they would be playing Durango's junior varsity (actually a hybrid team consisting of several standout varsity regulars accompanied by junior varsity players).

Shaffer was not offered a satisfactory explanation for the bait and switch, and the disappointment on his Pirates' faces was obvious as they took the court for warm-up drills. Minutes later, Shaffer sent his starting five to the floor for the tip-off.

It was soon apparent that at least one of the Pirates, 6-foot-7-inch sophomore Caleb Forrest, had taken personally the apparent lack of respect displayed by the host Demons.

Forrest, feeding on a steady diet of low-post passes from fellow Pirates, scored five straight field goals as Shaffer's squad raced out to an early first-quarter lead.

Durango didn't get on the board until a lone free throw fell through the net with three minutes and eight seconds remaining in the opening stanza. Pagosa led 12-1.

Another Demon free throw, followed by a layup, cut Pagosa's lead to eight at the 1:45 mark of the first quarter. But Forrest found room on the right baseline less than a minute later and his driving jam extended the Pirate lead back to 10.

Durango chipped away at the lead in the final minute and a half, and as the buzzer sounded the scoreboard read 14-9 in favor of the Pirates.

Pirate junior guard Ryan Goodenberger opened second-quarter scoring, nailing a free throw that completed a three-point play after he was fouled on a successful drive. Pagosa led 17-9. Durango responded by implementing a full-court press on Pagosa's next possession.

It didn't matter; Goodenberger and Pirate guard Jeremy Caler converted layups to extend the lead to 21-9 with just over five minutes left in the half.

Then came the drought. Maybe the psychological letdown before the game got hold of them; for whatever reason, things got a little sloppy for the Pirates in the final minutes leading up to halftime.

Leading 24-12 with under four minutes remaining in the half, the Pirates committed unforced turnover after turnover and missed foul shot after foul shot to let the Demons slowly narrow the gap.

With three Pagosa starters on the bench in foul trouble, the opponents were able to even the halftime score at 24 all.

Whatever a frustrated Shaffer said to his group at the intermission, it must have been taken to heart. After Durango jumped out to an early 28-26 third-quarter lead, the Pirates decided they had seen enough.

After a Pagosa steal and layup knotted the score at 28, the Pirates never looked back. Pagosa senior Jason Schutz seemed determined to take charge in the period, scoring repeatedly on strong moves along the baseline and on the block.

The Pirates, sparked by Schutz's surge, were quicker to the ball defensively and smoother offensively than the Demons throughout the quarter. Back on track, Pagosa closed the third period up 37-32.

Forrest scored Pagosa's first points in the final quarter to put Pagosa up 39-32. Pirate junior Clayton Spencer and senior teammate Brandon Charles wore down their Durango counterparts with an in-your-face defensive effort that led to steals and several breakaway scores for the Pirates.

At the 4:02 mark, Pagosa led 43-34. Spencer scored at 3:51 to make it 45-34, and as the defensive fury intensified, the Pirates pulled away down the stretch. When the final buzzer sounded, the Pirates had earned a 57-42 victory.

After the game, Shaffer attributed the temporary collapse in the second quarter to a three-week layoff and the carryover from the varsity-versus-junior varsity debacle.

"We hadn't played in three weeks," said Shaffer, "and we find out we're playing their junior varsity; that was a huge letdown for us.

"Most of it was a mental deal. We had three starters on the bench in foul trouble. We missed 10 free throws in the quarter. For five or six minutes, it was about as ugly as it gets."

Shaffer was pleased, however, with his team's effort later in the game. "We were doing the right things in the second half," said the coach. "Bottom line, it's a win."

The win boosted Pagosa's season record to 8-1. Forrest led all Pagosa scorers with 21 points, followed by Goodenberger with 12 and Schutz with six. Spencer, Caler and Charles added five each, David Kern, two and Brandon Samples, one.

The Pirates will play at home against Bloomfield tomorrow at 7 p.m. and remain home for a Saturday night contest with Centauri at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night the Pirates will travel to Ignacio for a 7:30 p.m. game.


Scoring: Forrest 9-15 3-4 21, Goodenberger 5-6 2-6 12, Schutz 2-6 2-3 6, Charles 2-2 1-2 5, Spencer 2-6 1-2 5, Kern 1-3 0-0 2, Faber 0-0 0-0 0, Samples 0-2 1-4 1, Caler 2-4 0-2 5. Three-point goals: Caler 1. Fouled out: none. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 17. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 24. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 16.


Ladies bow to Aztec, lose Lori Walkup to broken hand

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It's tough to win in the gym they call The Jungle.

It's even tougher when you lose your leading scorer and rebounder to a broken hand early in the second quarter.

Those were just two obstacles faced by the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates Friday when they lost 41-39 to Aztec's Tigers in a game which could have gone either way - and actually did, several times.

Coach Bob Lynch told his Pagosa squad before the game that he didn't want them to have to pull themselves out of a huge deficit as they had against Manitou Springs.

"Start early and keep the pressure on," he said.

The Ladies seemed to take the advice to heart, scoring on their first two possessions, the plays almost mirror images.

Each score went to sophomore forward Bri Scott breaking off screens by Lori Walkup and converting assist passes from Shannon Walkup with 10-foot jumpers. The Lady Pirates built a 10-3 lead but, before the period ended, trailed 13-10.

Most of that surge was traceable to Aztec's Cassie Davis who drilled two of her three treys in the game in the period.

Shannon Walkup added four points for Pagosa in the period and Lori drove the length of the court, split two defenders and layed in a left-hander for the other marker.

After a stern lecture from Lynch between periods, Pagosa surged to a 15-9 second-quarter margin and a 25-22 halftime lead.

That edge was the result of five more points by Scott who was two-for-two from the floor in the period, including the first of her two three-pointers.

But the Pirate edge was quickly dulled just 1 minute, 21 seconds into the frame when Lori Walkup jammed a hand on a successful back court steal and moments later blocked a shot before coming out of the game holding her right wrist.

Swelling began immediately and after halftime, Lynch told the family he did not want to put her back in action, fearing the worst.

That worst was confirmed Saturday when X-rays showed the break and the Lady Pirates lost the leader of the Super Soph brigade for 3-4 weeks.

Perhaps it was that loss, but the Ladies opened the second half stone cold and stayed that way, going 0-12 from the floor in the period and scoring only four points, all from the free throw line.

Still, tenacious defense had them down only 30-29 at the end of three periods.

Aztec's Brittany Gillespie, who had been guarded by the injured Walkup, was the producer of all eight Aztec points in the period on three field goals and two from the charity stripe.

With Scott drilling first a two-pointer and then a trey, Pagosa jumped right back into the lead in the final stanza.

But Kelsi Elkins hit a pair of driving layups to bring the lead back to Aztec.

From that point on it was anyone's game. But, except for a short jumper by Katie Bliss, the Pirates could not find the range again. They got two free throws from Laura Tomford and Shannon Walkup drilled another, giving her 9 of 15 for the night from the line.

With 2:11 left Pagosa had a 38-35 lead and Shannon Walkup went to the charity stripe fouled in the act of shooting. But her spell had worn off and she missed both shots.

Davis nailed a long trey to tie the game again with 1:43 left. Walkup was fouled again while shooting and converted one of two to give the lead back to Pagosa by one with 39 seconds left.

Just six seconds later Caitlyn Jewell went to the foul stripe for Pagosa and missed the first shot. Her second toss was true but officials ruled she stepped over the line and the margin stayed at one - for four seconds.

Davis tied it for Aztec with the last of her 11 points in the game, hitting one of two from the stripe with 34 seconds left.

And then Gillespie, who had been silent after her big third quarter, got her only offensive rebound of the night and put it back for a two-point lead the final margin of 41-39.

The Lady Pirates hit only 10 of 36 shots from the floor and only 16 of 37 from the free throw line while committing 23 turnovers, their biggest giveaway game of the season.

Aztec, meanwhile, shot 15 of 39 from the floor and 8 of 17 from the line.

Pagosa outrebounded Aztec 40-19.

Without a starting guard, the Ladies will have to regroup, said Lynch, who also promised a lot of free throw practice this week before the girls host Bloomfield Friday night and then open the Intermountain League season hosting league favorite Centauri Saturday evening.

"We'll have to get strong performances from some of the other players," he said. "This is a challenge to them. They lost a strong player but we have others who can fill in adequately."

"We will, however, need to see some self-motivation from those we put on the floor," he added. "They won't be able to look for Lori to pass to, to bail them out. They'll have to make the shots themselves."

In addition to the loss of Walkup, the squad also temporarily lost swing player Liza Kelly to a calf muscle tear on a stop-and-go move in the junior varsity game. Prognosis indicates a two-week absence.

The loss dropped the Ladies season record to 6-3.


Scoring: Scott. 6-10 (2-2 on three-point shots), 14; Maberry, 0-2, 1-2, 1; S. Walkup, 2-7, 9-15, 13; Honan, 1-3, 0-2, 2; L. Walkup, 1-2, 2; Bliss, 1-1, 1-3, 3; Jewell, 0-7, 0-5, 0; Forrest, 0-1, 1-4, 1; Tomford, 0-2, 3-4, 3. Rebounds: Jewell, 11 (6 off.); Bliss, 8 (5 def); Maberry, 7 (4 def); Scott, 4(3 def); Steals: L. Walkup 4, S. Walkup 3. Assists: S. Walkup 4, L. Walkup, 3. Blocks: Jewell, 2



Les Bleeker

Les Bleeker, formerly of Pagosa Springs, died peacefully Dec. 30, 2002, in Yuma, Ariz. He was 70 years old.

Les was born Dec. 28, 1932. Before retiring to Yuma he was a resident of Pagosa Springs for 29 years.

He is survived by his wife, Frances, and by a son and daughter.

A memorial service was held in Yuma.

Dora McMillan

Dora Angela McMillan, born July 19, 1934, in Pagosa Springs to Louis and Sarah Padilla, died Jan. 8, 2003, at the Marian Center, a nursing home in St. Paul, Minn., of pneumonia.

Dora married Henry (Mac) McMillan, a Fort Sumner, N.M., native in June, 1955, in Pagosa Springs. They then lived in Pagosa Springs, Silverton and Dolores, where Mac worked as superintendent of schools in the local school system.

Dora and Mac were blessed with three children during this time and they remained in Dolores until Mac's untimely death in an airplane crash Oct. 29, 1964.

Dora and her children then moved to Durango in 1965 where she worked as a secretary at Park Elementary School and later as a store clerk until her children graduated from high school. In 1977, she moved to Aztec, N.M., to be near her father and siblings, living there until 1995 when she moved to St. Paul to be near her daughter.

After her husband's death, Dora struggled valiantly with bipolar disorder and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1997. When feeling well, Dora was a wonderful and caring mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to many people who loved her dearly. She spent her last years magnificently cared for at the Marian Center.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Jesus and Amos, and sister, Lila Gomez, all of Aztec. She is survived by her children, Marcheta (Terry) Madden of St. Paul; Sheila (Warren) Witler of Buena Vista, and John Irvin (Kathy) McMillan of Hobbs, N.M.; seven grandchildren, Henry, Francesca, Michael, Aaron, D'Shae, John Ross and Rachel; a brother, Andy, of Aztec; brothers-in-law Johnny (Winona) of Ft. Sumner, N.M., and J. Chris Gomez Jr. of Aztec; and sisters-in-law Helen Shaw of Ft. Sumner, Carol Ann Senowich (Ron) of Woodstock Ga., and Lilliosa Padilla of Aztec, as well as many loving nieces, nephews, friends and cousins.

Visitation was 9-10 a.m. Saturday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs where a Rosary was prayed at 10 a.m. Saturday. Mass of Christian Funeral followed at 10:30 a.m. and she was buried next to her husband in the Padilla family plot in Pagosa's Hilltop Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to Healtheast Care Center, Marian, third floor, Attn: Gloria Wilke, 200 Earl St., St. Paul, MN., 55106.

The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and generosity.

Tony C. Perea

Tony C. Perea, a lifelong resident of Archuleta County, born in Trujillo on March 25, 1915, died in his Pagosa Springs home Jan. 13, 2003. He was 87.

The son of Pedro and Margarita Perea, he was married to Juanita Nickerson in Durango, Colo., in October, 1945.

A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he was a member of the American Legion, and had been employed as a construction supervisor for Eaton International.

Tony enjoyed reading Western novels and watching his great granddaughters.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with burial to follow in Hilltop Cemetery. The family suggests any memorial donations be to the American Legion Scholarship fund.

Tony was preceded in death by his mother and father, his wife, Juanita, and brothers Dewey, Pete, Costello and Joe.

Survivors are a daughter, Rose, of Pagosa Springs; grandsons Tony Perea and wife Anne, Daniel Perea and wife Kanaka, all of Pagosa Springs and great granddaughters Kasey Perea, McKenzie Perea and Makayla Perea; daughter Alice Martinez and husband Conrad of Cedar Hill, N.M.; granddaughter Juanita Martinez of Farmington, N.M.; great granddaughters Amy and Alicia Linker; granddaughter Loretta Navarro and husband

Art of Albuquerque, N.M.; great granddaughter Katherine Navarro and great grandsons, Steven and Arron Navarro; grandson Conrad Martinez and wife Rosie; great grandsons Conrad and Conrad Christopher Martinez; a brother, Jess Perea and wife Rose of Monte Vista; sister Virginia Buckel and husband Herb of Colorado Springs; sister-in-law Maryanne Perea of Alamosa and numerous nieces and nephews.


 Inside The Sun

Mining permit focus of planning session

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Questions concerning gravel quality and reclamation timetables were at the heart of a public hearing for a proposed gravel pit near Chromo held during last week's meeting of the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission.

Pending approval of a conditional use permit sought by Canon City-based Hard Rock Paving and Redi-Mix Inc., the 22-acre Bramwell Sand and Gravel Operation will be located along the west side of U.S. 84 and the north and south sides of its intersection with County Road 391. An asphalt batch plant, approved in September of last year, will also be located on the tract.

The targeted parcel is adjacent to the Navajo and Little Navajo rivers and is owned by Planning Commissioner Sandra Bramwell and her husband. Commissioner Bramwell recused herself prior to any discussion of the project at the Jan. 8 meeting.

A recent analysis of the site and subsequent report was completed by county planning staff. The findings were presented at the onset of the hearing by Greg Comstock, director of county development.

Comstock said that, based on adherence to county land use regulations, minimal threat to natural resources and wildlife habitat, and his own personal experience during a weekend visit to the property, the site is appropriate for a gravel mining operation.

The planning report and an accompanying visual presentation by Marcus Baker, associate county planner, reiterated Comstock's assessment. The presentation cited the lack of occupied residences in the immediate area and the property's proximity to U.S. 84, thereby facilitating the repaving of the highway, as additional reasoning for support of the project.

The planning staff's recommendation for approval, subject to certain conditions, was then reviewed by the planning commission.

During the public comment portion of the hearing, Paul Kessler, representing Rock Paving and Redi-Mix Inc., spoke in support of the project and said the gravel quality at the site exceeds that of gravel found at other mining areas within the county.

Speaking in opposition of the proposal, Commissioner Lynn Constan asked, "How do we know this is higher quality than the gravel at the existing mine in Chromo?"

Kessler didn't offer absolute proof, but said that present Colorado Department of Transportation requirements for asphalt call for the use of the type of gravel found on the property.

Constan also asked why the project should be extended from its initial completion date, including reclamation, of August 2004 to June 2006, wondering why the company couldn't simply mine a two-year supply of gravel within an approximate one-year time frame.

Kessler replied, "We're here to help you guys as much as we possibly can, but with the constant changes in grading, you can't go in and mine for a two-year supply of asphalt any more."

The recommendation, subject to other conditions set forth by the planning commission, ultimately met with preliminary approval. The vote was not unanimous, however; Constan cast the solitary dissenting vote.

In other business, the planning commission:

- elected Robert Huff as the new chairman and William Shurtleff as vice chairman

- granted conditional approval of a final plat review requesting division of a 35-acre tract located approximately 1.5 miles south of the U.S. 84/U.S. 160 intersection into four lots and an open space tract to be known as Summit View Estates

- granted conditional approval of a sketch plan review requesting the subdivision of 41.15 acres into two lots split by County Road 326; the property location is 11810 County Road 326 and is currently described as the Harvey Minor Impact Subdivision.


Commissioners mull abandonment of Regester Loop

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

"When a portion of the county primary system is relocated and because of such relocation a portion of the route as it existed before such relocation is, in the opinion of the board of county commissioners, no longer necessary as part of the county road system, such portion shall be considered as abandoned, and title to it shall revert to the owner of the land through which such abandoned portion may lie ..."

Those phrases, taken from Colorado Revised Statute 43-2-113, served as the nucleus for arguments concerning the abandonment of a portion of the historic Blanco Basin Road during a public hearing conducted by the county commissioners Tuesday night.

The portion in question, most commonly known as the Regester Loop, has recently been mired in controversy due to an apparent oversight dating back to 1966.

According to an affidavit dated May 15, 2001, and signed by William Seielstad Jr., the abandonment was implied during the summer of 1966, but never put to paper.

The affidavit states Seielstad was a county commissioner during that summer and conveys the board "put together a series of swaps between the county, the U.S. Forest Service, and several private landowners" in an effort to facilitate logging and tunnel projects in the area.

Seielstad reached an agreement with Chuck Regester, who owned the property through which the controversial portion of "old" Blanco Basin Road runs, to grant a right of way on a separate portion of his property for the "new" road.

The "new" road is now known as simply Blanco Basin Road, or County Road 326. The problem is that no documentation can be found that would officially indicate an abandonment of the old road.

Seielstad's affidavit speaks to that issue, stating "I assure you that it was the intent of all the parties that the "old" road, the portion running through the Regesters' place, would be abandoned ... and remain the private property of the Regesters."

Enter Burke Stancill, attorney representing the current owner of the subject property, Tiger Regester (son of Chuck Regester).

Stancill, arguing in favor of abandonment of at least the segment running through the Regester property, said the language of the statute is palpable and self-explanatory.

Stancill said the statute is proof in itself that the road is appropriate for abandonment, reiterating that the commissioners have the power to make such a choice.

Stancill said he and his client thought that, among other things, due to the rough nature of the section of the road and the fact that abandonment would not prevent access to Forest Service lands, the commissioners would be justified by opting for abandonment since the public did not engage in heavy use of the portion except during hunting season.

On the flip side, Robert Smith, who said he lives 12 miles in on Blanco Basin Road, contended that abandonment was not the alternative.

Smith argued that because of its historic value, aesthetic qualities and possible use as an alternate escape route in the event of a fire, the road should keep its designation as a county road to be used by the public.

"I believe abandonment would set a precedent in which roads would be given up for personal gain at the expense of the public," said Smith.

According to Mary Weiss, the county attorney, a review of past commissioner meeting minutes turned up no proof that abandonment of the road was ever discussed, at least during the summer of 1966, and cited the Seielstad affidavit as the primary indicator of such sentiments.

Stancill pointed out that, in his opinion, the fact that "these i's and t's were not dotted and crossed" should not weigh against his client's argument. He added that he was strictly concerned with only the portion running through the Regester property and not the portion running through adjacent properties.

Alden Ecker, commission chairman, near the hearing's end, said "Personally, I would be in favor of closing the whole road, but now there's a monkey wrench thrown in."

The monkey wrench is a gas well located just off of the road. Ecker wondered if there is alternate access to the well if the road is abandoned. Regester said there was an old jeep trail that accesses the road and said he hadn't seen any recent activity around the well anyway.

Commissioners Mamie Lynch and Bill Downey then concluded that perhaps they should contact another former commissioner, Lewis Lucchini, to see if he had any input on the situation.

Apparently, Lucchini had also served on the board during the summer of 1966 with Seielstad and it was thought he could provide background lacking with regard to the "handshake" land deals struck during that time frame.

At night's end, with no decision looming, the commissioners ultimately decided to continue the discussion at their regular Jan. 28 board meeting. The public can attend the hearing at 10:30 a.m. in the Archuleta County Courthouse meeting room.


PLPOA agrees to fund second county animal control officer

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Emotions ran the gamut, from the predictable tears and near breakdowns over the mauling of an 8-year-old, to plaudits for the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association for work done to date to eliminate dangerous animal problems.

After amending their Jan. 9 agenda to allow full public comment with no time limit and moving the animal control question up to the time period immediately following the public statements, directors approved what they hope will be a first step to providing continuous animal control in the 26 association subdivisions.

Specifically, on a motion by Director Tom Cruse, board president, the directors agreed the association will fully fund an animal control officer position, primarily for work within association boundaries.

Cruse's approved motion specified "the sheriff's office will be responsible for the hiring, staffing, scheduling and coordination of all assigned animal control persons to assure the association of patrolling and response coverage consistent with the position."

It also specified the association will no longer take animal control as part of its rules and regulations after the contract is enacted with the sheriff's office and the new control officer is hired, trained and operating in the Pagosa Lakes area. County ordinances on animal control will be taken as operative documents within the Pagosa Lakes communities and current association rules and regulations will be revised accordingly.

Funds for the contract with the sheriff's office were authorized by the motion, amount to be determined, and it was noted required budget adjustments will be made, on the general manager's recommendation, when all details of the contract have been worked out and approved.

The action Jan. 9 came in the wake of two dogs attacking young Garrett Carothers Dec. 21, dragging him to the street and biting him repeatedly.

The attack stirred a neighborhood uproar and ongoing criticism of both Pagosa Lakes officials and those of the sheriff's office.

One of the two dogs was shot by a deputy sheriff when it charged him after the attack on Carothers. The other was put down with the agreement of the owner, David Martinez, who along with his mother, Sandra Schultz, faces possible fines of $500 to $5,000 and three to 18 months in jail if found guilty after answering a court summons expected to be issued the district attorney's office.

The attack in the Vista community was the latest in a series of events there which resulted in creation last year of a Neighborhood Watch Association and its efforts to acquire additional lighting as a crime deterrent and additional funding for safety features from PLPOA along with additional patrols by sheriff's deputies.

Time and again the point was made that even if the association still had an animal control officer on staff that person could not legally go onto any property without agreement from the property owner.

To do so, under current Colorado law, noted Cruse, "would constitute trespass and subject the person to possible arrest themselves."

A county authorized, employed and paid officer, however, has the power of law behind them and could help solve at least a part of the problem.

"There are legal limits on what we can do," Cruse said. "It would be trespass even if an association officer went onto a green belt area."

He added, "It's easy for people to say 'keep us safe.' But they don't know what our legal limitations are. We are and have been working on the problem, even before the unfortunate incident with Garrett Carothers. This action gives us more leverage and does not preclude us from enforcing existing codes in the future if the sheriff's office fails to satisfy our needs."


Mauling spurs flood of tears, anger and ideas

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Members of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association got their first public opportunity Jan. 9 to react to the recent attack on a young boy by two dogs in the Vista subdivision.

And react, they did.

Here are some of the comments made, in order of their appearance and in all cases edited for content and length. It should be noted the comments were made before board action:

Mojie Adler of Meadows 4 said "I just do not understand the dog mentality that exists in this community. Irresponsible dog owners and failure of the board to do more than 'discuss' the continuing dog problem in our community is absolutely intolerable. In the absence of a dog control officer and a safety office, I hereby volunteer to personally patrol all 26 subdivisions to rid PLPOA of all roaming dogs - and I do not mean capture and release, I mean rid! I estimate there would be at least 100 dogs gone during the first week of my patrol."

Paul Lerno said, "Thank you for serving. You have a job I wouldn't do. But I must say it is obvious the dog policy we have does not work."

Denise Carothers, aunt of the attacked child, said "... it has become degrading to live in Vista. It is not the place it used to be. There is no safety for residents. You can't imagine what that child has gone through and must still go through ... and the problem goes on. As late as this afternoon I had to chase a stray dog out of the family's yard. The children are afraid to go out. They saw what happened to Garrett and were sickened by the sight."

Rebecca Apodaca of Vista said she, too, is a neighbor of the Carothers family and "It was I who called you about those same two dogs several times ... It was I who got no response to my complaints. It was I who helped the child into the house. It was I who was not heard."

Mary Sealy of North Village Lake said wild dogs are all over the area. "They come in with contractors. They're big dogs and they make us all unsafe. It seems the builders must have a big pickup, a big dog and no conscience."

Joe Marion of Vista asked directors, "If you can't enforce the rules and regulations for safety of our residents, What the Sam Hill are you doing in those seats?"

Ronald Bach told of a renter who was attacked by a dog on the street outside their house. "If you can't take a walk on your own street," he asked, "where is safety found? Where do you end this? Dogs at large have to be controlled."

Terry Hain said everyone in the community has "been let down by the sheriff and PLPOA. We need to put some forceful codes together and enforce them. How about requiring a $1,000 bond for first offense and forfeiture of that bond if the same dog is a second offender? You have to make the punishment painful: $50 or $100 fines won't be the answer. This little boy had to pay the price of our neglect."


Tenets of animal control code far reaching

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

First there were two. Then there was one. Then two again, and now three. Starting around the first of February, three animal control officers will serve Pagosa Country.

One is employed, and has been employed, by the town of Pagosa Springs and upholds the town's dog control ordinances. The other two, currently in training in Phoenix, are county employees.

One will be responsible for the county at large. The other will spend most of his time in the Pagosa Lakes area. Both will work to uphold the county's dog control and vaccination ordinance adopted April 30, 2002.

This ordinance outlines prohibitions against dogs running at large, nuisance dogs and vicious dogs. It also requires that all dogs in unincorporated areas of the county receive rabies vaccinations.

Basically, the ordinance requires all dogs to be under the "control" of their owners at all times. In the ordinance, a "controlled" dog is one "on a leash of sufficient strength to restrain the dog; or confined in a building, fence, enclosure, motor vehicle, or other structure in such a way that it does not escape; or is on property possessed by its owner and is confined thereon in such a way that is does not escape or is in the presence of the owner."

A dog within sight and hearing distance of its owner, and one who returns to within four feet of its owner on command is considered in control. A dog that bites, jumps on, harasses, chases or attacks a person, domestic animals or wildlife is considered out of control unless it is acting in defense of the owner, owner's family or property.

Dogs not under control, which includes nuisance dogs, vicious dogs and dogs at large, can be cited under the ordinance or under applicable state statutes.

A vicious dog is defined by the county's ordinance as "a dog that bites or attacks a person or other animal without provocation or a dog that approaches any person or other animal in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an apparent attitude of attack, on any public or private property." Exceptions include times when the dog is defending the owner's property, owner or family.

If found in violation of the policies of the ordinance, owners can be penalized with fines, jail time or both.

A violation of the ordinance that does not involve bodily injury to any person is considered a Class 2 petty offense. For a first offense, the owner may be fined between $25 and $50. A second offense could net a fine between $51 and $100. Third or subsequent offenses require the owner to appear in Archuleta County Court. Penalties in these cases can include a fine between $150 and $300, or jail time of up to 90 days, or both, for each separate offense.

If a person is injured during the violation, the charges are bumped up to a Class 2 misdemeanor as outlined under the Colorado Revised Statues. Currently, penalties range from a fine of between $250 and $1,000 or imprisonment for three months up to 12 months, or both.

Any dog not under control of its owner may also be impounded at the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs. Notice of impoundment is given to the owner, providing an address or phone number can be found on the dog, or posted at the humane society. If the dog is not claimed within five days of notification, the dog is deemed abandoned. At that time, it may be placed for adoption or euthanized in accordance with the policies of the impoundment facility.

If the dog is claimed, the owner is responsible for paying all impoundment fees, boarding, care or veterinarian costs. The owner must also show proof of rabies vaccination before the dog can be released.

This current ordinance replaces a "dogs at large" ordinance passed in 1980 and a nuisance dog resolution adopted in 1992.


PAWS finalizes bond issue

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The directors of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District finalized a resolution Tuesday to execute the sale of nearly $5.7 million in general obligation water bonds.

Revenue resulting from the bond sale will be aimed at several improvements within the district, the encasement of Dutton Ditch and enlargement of Stevens Reservoir heading the list.

According to General Manager Carrie Campbell, discussions with the U.S. Forest Service and Army Corps of Engineers concerning the necessary permits for the Dutton and Stevens projects are ongoing. Cost for the two projects is estimated at about $8.5 million.

In other business, the board took public comments considering the inclusion of three additional properties into district boundaries for water purposes.

Campbell said that although the district still adheres to the moratorium set for new inclusions, extenuating circumstances with regard to easement grants ultimately resulted in the inclusion of the properties, each assigned three equivalent units, into the district.

Campbell also noted that the board tabled a consideration of 2003 water and wastewater connection fees until its Jan. 28 regular meeting.



Lack of manners

Dear Editor:

Last night, (Jan. 8) my husband and I attended the showing of Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers.

As the theater started filling up, people were talking to each other while the advertisements and credits were being shown. As the main feature began the audience very quickly stopped talking except for one woman who talked throughout the entire show.

We were located six to eight rows in front of her and the people she was with and on the opposite side of the theater. When I say this woman talked the entire time, I mean it literally. She not only talked, she was using a voice that carried throughout the audience.

I kept turning around trying to locate her position and was very shocked when the lights came on to see that we were sitting so far away from her and her group.

As we started to leave the lady in front of me commented how she would have enjoyed the movie so much more if it hadn't been for the rudeness and lack of caring of this one particular woman. I can only wonder why no one in her group did not ask her to please be quiet.

I guess I'm partly at fault for not seeking her out and asking her to tone down her comments, but I didn't go to the movie to be so rudely interrupted and play movie cop.

This letter must seem very unimportant to some, but if we all don't take responsibility for ourselves and practice manners and good judgment then this will possibly give others, especially our children, the idea that since an adult was talking it must be acceptable. This woman probably whispers all the way through church and meetings she attends.

It is my hope that when she attends another movie that she takes into consideration that everyone else paid the same amount of money she did and would appreciate her quietness throughout the entire movie.

Sharon Becker

Capitol rally

Dear Editor:

Colorado will rally to protest nearly $14.5 million in mental health funding scheduled to be slashed from Community Mental healthcare budget in Colorado's current budget crisis.

Up to 2,000 mental health consumers, providers, advocates, legislators, family members, business professionals and others will gather at the State Capitol today to urge elected officials to protect mental health funding. The importance of protecting mental health services that help people recover from major mental illness will be stressed in hopes that the thousands of Coloradans whose wellness depends on these services will not lose them.

"With mental illness affecting one in five Coloradans, reducing the psychiatric care of thousands whose wellness and productive living depends on it is something we can not afford," said George DelGrosso, executive director of Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council. He is a member of a Colorado coalition organizing the event that includes the Mental Health Association of Colorado, The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and Federation of Families.

While one in five Americans suffer from some form of mental illness during his or her lifetime, less than 30 percent will receive the needed treatment, according to the 2002 U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health. Stigma, fear and a lack of understanding must be addressed so individuals can freely access treatment that is successful in nearly 70 percent of all cases.

Mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia have a proven biological basis. These illnesses are real, common and treatable. Take a stand and join Colorado in bringing mental illness to the public domain for a healthy Colorado.

Ben Heath

Southwest Colorado

Mental Health Center

Charity help

Dear Editor,

I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who were a part of Pagosa Springs' effort in collecting 700 boxes for Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan's Purse. Our boxes were included in the 6 million international total that went to children around the world. OCC helps children regardless of race or religion in areas where there have been earthquakes, floods, war and other devastation with these gifts as expressions of love and hope.

Many from our community helped to more than exceed our goal of 500 boxes this year by selecting small toys, school supplies and candy to pack in brightly decorated shoeboxes. Many men told me they found it a great way to get into the holiday spirit and play with the toys. Yes, on Nov. 21, we delivered over 700 boxes to the relay station in Pueblo. Over 26,000 boxes were collected from southern Colorado and Pagosa Springs was one of the 18 relay centers. Neighbors in Durango, Ignacio, Cortez, Bayfield and Silverton gave as well and were involved as part of our total.

Then, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10 over 3,500 volunteers came to the Denver Processing Center to help ship out the 326,969 boxes that left Colorado bound for Latin America, with 3,500 staying in New Mexico for the Navajo reservations. This year's total was a 33 percent national and international increase from 2001.

April Holthaus

Southwest Coordinator, Operation Christmas Child

Pagosa Springs

Dog laws

Dear Editor:

I was pleased to learn that the owners of the dogs involved in the Dec. 23 attack on Garrett Carothers are being brought to justice, even though the laws seem inadequate, as stated in last week's SUN.

Originally from the UK, a country one associates with dog lovers, I was researching, out of curiosity, their dog laws and one of many Web sites on the subject http://www.doglawuk.cwc.net gives information on the UK's handling of all types of dog issues, and includes a segment of their Dangerous Dog Act 1991.

Section 3 of the Act refers to dogs of all types and makes it a criminal offence to allow any dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place or a private place where the dog has no right to be.

It further states (with a notation that more research is required) that a dog is regarded as being "dangerously out of control" if there are grounds for suspecting that it will injure a person whether or not it actually does. If NO injury is caused, a fine of approximately $3,000 or six months imprisonment can be imposed. For actual injury it carries a penalty of two years' imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. If appropriate, destruction of the dog. A court can specify muzzling or leashing, or disqualify the owners from custody of the dog for any period.

While this is, of course, not the UK, I think it is amazing that such a dog-loving country has recognized the need for such laws. I would like to see Archuleta County take the lead in Colorado and review/change their laws, as necessary, to make the ownership of all dogs a responsibility that if not taken seriously will be adequately punished.

Only then will we be able to walk/play in our neighborhoods without fear, and enjoy the peace and quiet of our own properties without the constant barking of neighbors' dogs.

Yours sincerely,

Patricia Waters

Community News

Senior News

'Want' list reveals need for a 35mm slide projector

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

NOTICE: The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center will be closed Jan. 20 for the Martin Luther King holiday.

A big Happy Birthday to Dawnie Silva who celebrated her birthday Wednesday. She is getting close to catching up with us "seniors."

Erik Petersens of Warrenville, Ill., (nephew of Susi Cochran) entertained us with violin music Wednesday. He is very talented and we really enjoyed listening to him. Erik, we wish you the very best in your future with music, and we hope you can play for us again when you are in the area.

Thanks to Radio Shack for donating use of the movie "Walk to Remember" for Friday. The second Friday of each month we offer a free movie after lunch; please join us.

The Senior Center keeps a "want" list of things that would help us provide better service or more comfort for our folks. This week we are in need of a 35mm slide projector to be used in presentations provided by guest speakers. If anyone has a good one they are willing to donate, we would certainly appreciate it.

Everyone over age 55 please remember to renew your membership in Archuleta Senior Citizens Inc. For the $3 fee you receive many benefits, including a $10 deduction on the cost of using the medical shuttle to Durango.

Many businesses in Pagosa offer senior discounts and this week we wish to thank Ponderosa Do-It-Best for its participation. They offer a 10-percent discount on most regularly-priced merchandise to folks 65 and over.

For seniors who are homebound, call Seth Crain at 731-4111 for further information about delivery during the month of January.

The Colorado on the Move walking program kicked off Monday with nearly 50 folks signing up. If you missed it, please contact Musetta or Laura to get signed up.

We will be walking on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the multipurpose room of the Community Center. We ran out of pedometers but should receive more soon. As long as the supply lasts, pedometers will be issued to those who sign up; if you continue the program for three months, you may keep the pedometer. Thanks to Musetta, Laura and all their helpers who made this program a possibility.

We are sad to hear that Paul Cronkhite has been ill. We had planned to honor his wife, Muriel (our former dietician), with a luncheon Wednesday but she wasn't available since she is caring for Paul. We hope Paul recovers quickly and they can join us soon.

We are so happy to have Lena Bowden back with us. Lena helps so much with our senior transportation and other activities; we miss her when she is away. We appreciated Donna Modarelli filling in for Lena; good job, Donna.

Our Volunteer of the Month is Marjorie Nevitt who has been instrumental in keeping our library in order.

Congratulations to our Senior of the Week - Lois Portenier. She is one of our newer members and we love having her join us.

Welcome to the guests, returning members and new members who joined us last week: Liz and Al Schnell, Diana Belles, Darlene Wilson, Paul Williams, Billie Evans, Eve Kirton, Sharon and Ray Pack, Genelle Macht, Helen Miller, Larry Sturm, Wilson Parlgne, Ruth Schutz, Virginia Sheets, Alice Young, Barbara Brasher, Carl Krauter, Barbara Tackett, Ralph Goulds, Richard Irland, Carlo and Lee Carrannante, Bill and Glenda Clark, Kathy Guisinger and Bill Gibbons.

The Sky Ute Casino trip will be Tuesday, Jan. 21. Please sign up in advance at the Senior Center.

Jan. 22, Debbie Drago will give a presentation of Senior Blindness programs.

At 1 p.m. Jan. 24 we will offer a one-time session of Dominos instruction. Domino games will be offered on the first and third Fridays of each month after lunch.

The Grief and Loss Program is now meeting in Dr. Deb Parker's office, 475 Lewis St. Suite 206. For more information call 946-9001.

Upcoming events:

Monday, Jan. 20 - Center closed for Martin Luther King Day.

Tuesday, Jan. 21 - yoga at 9:30 a.m.; blood pressure taken

by Glenda Coward at 11 a.m.; art class in arts media room at community center, 12:45 p.m.; caregiver program with Leslie Davis, 12:45 p.m.; casino trip, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 22 - Computer class, 10:30 a.m.; senior blindness program by Debbie Drago, 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 24 - Qi Gong., 10 a.m.; Medicare counseling with Jim Hanson, 11 a.m.; blood pressure checks by Patty Tillerson, 11 a.m.; Dominos class, 1 p.m.

Veterans Corner

Dispelling the benefits myth

By Andy Fautheree

I attended an out-of-town event recently along with a lot of fellows that I've known for many years. Naturally when anyone is around me, the subject of veterans will come up.

When I started talking about some of the great VA benefits for veterans one of my friends suddenly remarked, "I'm not a veteran, I wasn't in any wars. I just served my military duty."

Since my friend was near my age I realized what I took as common knowledge about VA benefits was not shared by some veterans. There are many myths out there about who is a veteran and who is eligible for VA benefits, etc.

Let's dispel some myths.

Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and some other special agencies of the United States as recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Members of a National Guard or reserve component called to active duty by order of the President may also be eligible to receive benefits.


Eligibility for VA benefits varies depending on the benefit. Some benefits require wartime service. Many others, such as the VA Health Care program, do not require wartime service. Length of active duty service also affects eligibility. Disabilities incurred while in the military affect VA benefit eligibility.

Honorable and general discharges qualify a veteran for most VA benefits. Dishonorable and bad conduct discharges issued by general courts-martial bar VA benefits. Veterans incarcerated may be eligible for some VA benefits.

The VA recognizes these war periods: Mexican Border Period - May 9, 1916 through April 5, 1917; World War I - generally April 6, 1917 through Nov. 11, 1918 with some other circumstances; World War II - Dec. 7, 1941 through Dec. 31, 1946; Korean War - June 27, 1950 through Jan. 31, 1955; Vietnam War - Aug. 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975; Gulf War - Aug. 2, 1990 through a date to be set by law (still ongoing). The War on Terrorism has not been defined to date.

VA Health Care

Another Myth I often hear is: "I make too much money to get VA Health Care benefits." I must have heard that a hundred times over the past year. A person's income level, under current guidelines, does not determine their eligibility for veteran's health care. Income can determine if an enrollee will be required to pay co-pay fees for their health care needs, but it is not a barrier to enrollment.

About the only basic requirement for health care enrollment is that a veteran be discharged under the earlier stated guidelines, and served active duty in the military for other than military reserve training purposes. A veteran qualifies for VAHC if they served as little as one day prior to Sept. 7, 1980. After that date a veteran must have served two years active duty to qualify for health care benefits.

Many variables can affect eligibility for VA benefits, and this is certainly only a very basic guide. I would urge any veterans to contact me for more specific information.

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

Chamber News

Cajun fare for Mardis Gras

By Sally Hameister

This Saturday night marks our fourth Annual Mardi Gras, and we hope to see each and every one of you.

The price of admission, $25, is the same as last year and the year before, so clearly we've made every effort to make this wonderful event as affordable as possible. It's not too late to give us a call to get the "good price" as opposed to the $30 that you will pay at the door. Just drop in or give us a call to reserve your spot at the Mardi Gras.

This year we are back at Pagosa Lodge beginning at 6 p.m. with five rooms - four of which will feature authentic Cajun fare in true New Orleans tradition. In the Bayou, you will find jambalaya, crab cakes and fried catfish, and the French Quarter will boast Cajun-spiced chicken strips and hush puppies. Bourbon Street will offer a cash bar, pretzels and peanuts, and the Red Hot Jazz Room will top off the food chain with pralines, beignets and the ever-lovin' Mardi Gras must, a real-life King Cake.

Those of you who are familiar with our Mardi Gras blast know that you can win a free year's membership in the Chamber if you are lucky enough to find the baby in your piece of King Cake. Dick Warring was the deserving winner last year and was pleased as punch.

After you have visited all four food stations, around 7:30, we will all head into the Ponderosa Room for our meeting and awards presentations. Once again I will mention that we are dedicated to making the meeting portion of the evening as short and to-the-point as possible. We do have some new and different awards in addition to Pagosa Pride, Volunteer and Citizen of the Year awards, and I think you will find the recipients exceedingly interesting and worthy. We're trying to incorporate the "more party, less meeting" rule and will make every effort to do our thing in a timely manner.

All who attend will receive complimentary souvenir beads, masks and cups, and prizes will be awarded for the best male and female costumes. Costumes are certainly not required, but we love to see you arrive in costumes because it seems to make the evening so much more festive.

This will also be your last opportunity to vote for the three new board directors if you haven't already done so. The SUN was good enough to publish the pictures and profiles of the six candidates in the Jan. 2 edition, but we have plenty at the Visitor Center if you need to refresh your memory. Please exercise one of your most valuable Chamber benefits, that of voting for the folks who comprise the governing body of our fine organization.

Don't miss our annual celebration and the opportunity to meet and greet all your fellow Chamber members, the movers and shakers of Pagosa Springs.

Reader Board

An advertising space has just opened up on the bulletin board located right outside the Visitor Center, and we are offering that space on a first-come, first-served basis. It's a dandy space and basically reaches the eyes of everyone who visits us, even when our doors are closed. All you need to do is present us with a check for $50 (for a full year) and an 8 x 11 colored photo or ad or whatever it is you would like to advertise and the deed is done.

Colorado Sky

It always saddens us to say goodbye to a Chamber member business and this time is no exception. April Owens, owner of Colorado Sky, is closing her doors at the River Center after five years in Pagosa, and invites you to take advantage of the going-out-of-business sale currently in progress. April will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 4 p.m.

April is grateful to all who have supported her through the years and appreciates the wonderful friends she has made here. She looks forward to seeing all her friends around town and hopes they will come in to say goodbye to the store.

We thank April for her contribution to our business community and wish her all the very best in her future endeavors. Thanks, April, and don't be a stranger.

Fire Presentation

You are all invited to a very special program sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club and the Pagosa Fire Protection District featuring a slide presentation of a day-by-day account of the Missionary Ridge fires of last summer.

This visual diary shows the daily progression of the fires and explains how and why the decisions were made to extinguish and control the fires. The slide presentation was created by the Durango Fire Rescue Authority and is narrated by Durango Fire Chief Mike Dunaway.

I have seen this slide show and can testify that it is a stunning, spectacular and emotional program that features never-before-seen images of the event that changed the course of the summer of 2002 in both Durango and Pagosa Springs.

The free presentation lasts approximately 80 minutes and will be held at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium Jan. 27, beginning at 7 p.m. I would suggest you arrive early to secure a seat as I anticipate great interest in this program that so vividly brings a better understanding to this devastating event in our recent history.

AAA Encompass article

If you would care to take a peek at a very nice feature article about Pagosa Springs, the January/February issue of AAA Encompass Magazine offers delightful coverage on our little Paradise for All Seasons.

Margo Ellis headed her piece, "Schussing and Soaking in Pristine Pagosa" and had some mighty fine comments replete with a map and information about other attractions in Pagosa. If you can't find a copy of Encompass, drop by the Visitor Center and I will be happy to share our copy. The Chamber also placed a gorgeous ad created by Ken Harms on Page 3 of this magazine, and to quote Margo's lead sentence in the Pagosa article, "location, location, location" provides all of us great PR.

Photo contest

As always, the Pagosa Springs Arts Council will hold its photography contest during the month of February.

This means all you shutterbugs out there need to get cracking, since Jan. 29 is the deadline for entries and that day is fast approaching. Each entry is only $4.

If you have never been to this show you are really missing out. Each year Pagosa's local talent shows off at this contest and the results are always stunning. Entries will be displayed in Moonlight Books for the month of February for all to see. If you like taking pictures, pick out one or two of your favorites and get them into the show. Entry forms can be picked up at Moonlight Books, Mountain Snapshots or the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in Town Park.

Entrepreneurial training

The Fort Lewis Small Business Development Center will offer a 12-week course entitled Nx Entrepreneurial Training starting Jan. 22.

The class is targeted toward existing and some start-up businesses that want to develop their business management skills. The class will cover a variety of key business management areas including business goals/mission statements, market research, legal structures, customer profiles, understanding financial statements, financial planning and much more. The final course product needed to graduate will be a business plan for your business.

Tuition for the class is $250. For more information, a class schedule, or application contact Joe Keck at 247-7009 or sbdc@fortlewis.edu.


We're happy to bring you two new members this week accompanied by eight renewals. Life is good.

Our first new member this week is actually a group of folks who have combined their resources, time and talents to form Main Street Antiques located at 438 B Pagosa St. right next to Montoya's. Main Street Antiques offers a wonderful melange of antiques and collectibles including but not limited to coins, glassware, paintings, prints, orientalia, furniture, jewelry, quilts, pottery, mirrors and so much more. They are proud to offer investments you can live with right in downtown Pagosa. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 1-5. Please call 264-1100 to learn more about Main Street Antiques.

Our second new member is the Loma Linda Homeowners Association with F. C. Trask Jr. as the contact. If you have questions, please call 264-0140.

Renewals this week include Tony Gilbert with Elk Meadows River Resort; Larry Fisher with the Ski and Bow Rack; Nan and Gary Rowe with Oso Grande Ranch Outfitting and Oso Grande Ranch; Nan Rowe with Rocky Mountain Reefs and Ponds of Pagosa; J.R. Ford with Pagosa Land Company; Bud Short with Bud Short-Civil Engineer/Land Surveyor; and Denny Rose, watercolor artist (or Carol and Bill Fulenwider). Our associate member renewal this week is our friend and Chamber Diplomat, Sara Scott. Many thanks to one and all.

Library News

Library donors aid building fund

By Lenore Bright

Our building fund is growing thanks to the generosity of the people in the following categories:


Bank of the San Juans

Judith A. and Thomas E. Clark in honor and memory of Janie Mae Gautschi

Lynn D. Constan in honor of Robert A. and Joan S. Devaul

Robert W. and Carole M. Howard

Glenn and Cathy Rutherford


Victor J. Bilbo Jr. in honor of Jessie K. Bilbo

Bob and Jessie Formwalt in honor of their parents

George Reeves in memory of Dorothy K. Reeves

Pat Howard and Donald Logan in honor of Bob and Carole Howard.

The Regester Family in honor of Chuck Regester

William and Joan Seielstad in memory of Marguerite Hersch Wiley


Tony and Holly Bergon

Marilyn and Ralph D. Copley

Jerry and Kerry Dermody in honor of Jim and Mary Cloman

Dallas and Lucy Johnson in memory of Sue Childs

Rick and Sherry Murray in loving memory of Dorothy K. Reeves

Joan and Jerry Rohwer — Moonlight Books



Astraddle - A - Saddle and Gary and Faye Bramwell in honor of Robert Lauren Hill

Leo R. and Marjorie Beard

Gilbert and Lenore Bright

Boyd and Patsy Broyles

Ron and Windsor Chacey

Ralph and Maureen Covell

Jack and Marilyn DeLange

Dr. V. Alton Dohner

Arvold and Carol Fisher

Charles and Donna Formwalt in honor of Mr. and Mrs. J. Hood Formwalt and Mr. and Mrs. Don W. Bennett

Ralph and Lois Gibson

M.E. and Marietta Gordon

William Hallett in honor of Marjorie L. Hallett

Earland Bonnie Hoover

Carland Gloria Macht in Honor of Frank Campbell

Genelle Macht

Rice Reavis in honor of Allen Hardy

Betty and Lloyd Reynolds

Malcom and Joan Rodger

Fran and Fred Shelton Jr.

Gerald Sawatsky

Jack and Catherine Threet

Dick and Ann Van Fossen in memory of E. Reeseman and Ione Fryer

Don and Kathy Weber in memory of Mark Weber

Karen Wessels

James and Carol White in honor of Clola Neville

Martin and Gerda Witkamp

Howard Zacher

Randy Zimmer and Julie Gates


James and Meryle Backus

Donald and Helen Bartlett

Ken and Jan Brookshier in memory of Paul Snyder

James Denvir and Barbara Parada

Ray and Teddy Finney

John and Carol Frakes in honor of Hospice of Mercy Pagosa Springs

Michael and Susan Garman

Beverly Haynes

Charlotte and David Hemauer in memory of Pastor Bob Kamrath

Ron and Sheila Hunkin

Mark and Pam Kircher

Dave Krueger

Beverly Ann Luffel in honor of good buddy Kate Terry

Maime Lynch

Sidney and Phyllis Martin

Jim and Waynette Nell in honor of Julia and Liam Nell

John Treanor and Margaret B. Smith

Glenn and Lynda Van Patter

Judith Wood in memory of David Mitchell


Ronald and Geraldine Anderson

Erna Bone in memory of Beth Moore

John and Bernice Brungard

James and Jean Carson

Katherine and Thomas Cruse in honor of Patricia Pantzar

Harold Cunningham

Randall and Patricia Davis

Phyllis Decker

Dorman and Betty Diller Jr

Paige and Jean Gordon

Sally Hameister in honor of Whoopi — my companion and friend for 17 years

H.C. and Drue Hartong

Mr. and Mrs. Jim Horky

Bob and Mary Ann Huff

Sherwin and Shirley Iverson.

Russel and Charlotte Lee in honor of Jayme D. Lee

Dr. Elizabeth Ann Morris

Judith Meyer in memory of Beth Moore

Bob and Margaret Page in honor of Pagosa Springs Students

Sepp and Tanice Ramsperger

Mike and Jacky Reece in memory of Mary Jane Reece

Rosner Creative Design and Communication

Reverend Annie E. Ryder

Barbara Sanft

Albert and Elsbeth Schnell

William and Ann Shurtleff

Don and Melinda Volger

Dalas and Carrie Weisz


Paul and Lorrie Carpino

John and Ann Graves

Robert and Ruth Newlander

Carole Young

Other 2002 donations

Gladys Bannan in memory of Allan Handy and Ray Macht

Mary Alice and Paul Behrents in memory of Allan Handy

Billie Sue Bell in memory of Dan Evans

Barbara Blackburn in memory of Connie Armstrong

Mavis and Merton Burkhard

Sandy Caves

Bart Cox Family in honor of Juju Cox's 95th birthday

Ruth Engwall in memory of Allan Handy and Ray Macht

Susan Favro

Film Society

John and Ann Graves

Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation

Terry Hershey in memory of David Mitchell

Mountain View Homemakers Club

Parelli Natural Horsemanship

Bill Queen

Don and Ethel Rasnic in memory of Jean Keane McWhirter, Dorothy Masco, Mary Edith Ripley, Julie Bissel Thomas

William and Joan Seielstad in memory of Ray Macht, Lloyd Jr. Clark, Julie Bissel Thomas

Jill Snider

John and Shirley Snider

Barry Thomas

Bob and Patty Tillerson

Larry and Lou Ann Waddell in memory of Dixie and Gary Burkett's mothers


Congratulations to Brian Clifford of Pagosa Springs and Crystal Crawford of Dove Creek who were married Dec. 26, 2002, with a small holiday celebration following. A reception for friends and family is planned later this summer.




Getting a kick out of self-defense

Class teaches women skills to fend off attacker

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"Hit me like you mean it, otherwise you have victim written all over your forehead."

That said, the instructor positioned a large red punching bag in front of him.

"No," the student said, standing before the bag in a defensive posture, one hand ready to block, the other to punch. With a roll of her hips, she kicked the bag, hitting it with a resounding pop.

"Better," the self-defense instructor, Chuck Allen, also a Pagosa Springs police officer, said. His student beamed.

"It felt better."

And they moved down the line, giving each person in the class a chance to practice the kick before tackling the next one.

A total of three people, two teenagers and one adult woman, completed the self-defense class taught Friday and Saturday at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Both the teens said they signed up to give them an edge over the guys, especially as they prepared to leave home for college.

"I'm here so I can knock the snot out of a guy if he gets fresh with me," junior Roxanna Day said.

Allen, who's been teaching self-defense courses for women for about 20 years, said it's the first time the Rape, Aggression, Defense Systems, or RAD, classes have been taught here. The difference, he said, is in the depth.

"This is a different way of doing things. Most of my other classes lasted about three hours, this one lasts a minimum of nine hours and is much more hands-on." It's also part of a nationwide program. Anyone who passes one course can participate in any other, for practice, for free. All they have to do is show up with a signed manual.

The first several hours are spent in regular classroom format. Each student, up to 15 to an instructor, receives a manual.

To begin, the class covers the definitions of sexual assault, consent, the law as it pertains to self-defense and the four "risks" of personal safety.

These risks - risk awareness, risk reduction, risk recognition and risk avoidance - are 90 percent of self-defense education under the RAD philosophy.

According to the manual, awareness means going beyond the myths of rape. These can include such statements as: "Women are physically powerless against men;" "Women secretly want to be raped;" "Only young, attractive women are raped;" or "Only women with bad reputations are raped." In truth, anyone can be at risk.

FBI studies showed as many as one out of three women can expect to be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. "In the United States one forcible rape occurs every seven minutes," according to the manual handed out at the training, "Each year about 90,000 forcible rapes are reported to the police. But it's estimated that 90 percent of all rapes and attempted rapes are not reported at all."

Because there are no guarantees, it's important for women to take control of their own environment, this is where risk reduction strategies are important.

For instance, windows should have locks and the locks should be used. A peep hole or other device is suggested to be able to see people who come to the door without opening it.

Personal safety tips are also listed for dating, vehicle checks, parking and public transportation.

Another part of the formula is self-confidence. It's important, Allen said, to make eye contact, to walk and talk with self-confidence, all of which makes a person appear less like a victim. "Little things like that make a big difference," he said.

For instance, most cases of "date" rape follow a certain pattern, Allen said. The rapist is usually familiar to the victim. This "date" may take physical or conversational liberties, they do not respect the wishes of the person they're with and attempt to isolate the victim. Rapists also may attack subtly at first, but escalate in intensity when resisted.

Someone who is constantly aware of their environment, of the entrances and exits and of their comfort level may be able to remove themselves from the situation before it escalates into an attack.

However, in any circumstances, if a woman says, "No," when it comes to sexual contact, any physical restraining or attacking behavior after that point is rape aggression. And rape is rape no matter what the setting.

If the situation does escalate to one of potential physical danger, Allen said, it's important to continue to focus, avoid panic and practice positive visualization.

"Remember, if your brain freezes, your done," he said.

The training manual outlines ten basic principles of defense: increase reaction time, obtain good balance, develop a plan of action, use distraction techniques, identify his vulnerable locations, use your personal weapons (including the head, knee, elbow and foot,) avoid confronting force with force, avoid panic, disengage and run and practice.

Allen used the example of being trapped in a car as a way of getting the class to think about some basic defense techniques.

Screaming, he said, might not help because many people won't stop and look, won't want to get involved or take it as a form of playfulness.

The first thing a victim of such an abduction should probably do is figure out a way to stop the car, he said. Speed is always a concern, so a person should take care when thinking about grabbing the wheel on a highway.

However, he said, reaching over with one foot and pressing the gas while at a stoplight so that the car rear-ends the car in front might be a possibility. Others might be able to feign sickness.

"How about losing your lunch right in the seat next to you?" he said. "Anything to take his mind off what he has in mind."

Those who aren't capable of physical defense for whatever reason, should constantly scan for possible exit opportunities, talk about themselves, "anything to show your a person, too," and concentrate on taking a precise mental image of their abductor.

From there, the class adjourned for the night. The next morning, they arrived ready to get physical. After 15 minutes of stretching, the hands-on portion of the class began. During the next few hours, the students learned the vulnerable areas of the body and how to kick, punch and block their way out of a dangerous situation.

The whole goal, repeated often, was to "disengage and run."

Each of the students was encouraged to put all of the force available into each maneuver. To think. To plan. To twist out of holds. To avoid being trapped on the floor. To protect their own vulnerable areas while exploiting the attacker's.

It started with a basic stance. Feet should be shoulder-width apart and set at an angle. Arms are up and active. One is bent out in front to block. The other is positioned just above the waistline ready to attack.

"No," the students said. The first step. The verbal defense. From there, they practiced blocking first and then striking with elbows, feet, knees, head and hands.

At first there were a lot of smiles. Even some giggling. Students were a little timid to put themselves out there and really hit the practice bags.

"Hit me like you mean it," could be heard often. And, "use your hips, that's where your power is."

As everyone took a turn with the instructor, it got more serious. They kicked and punched until pops resounded in the room. On solid kicks the punching bag would fly upward.

The "No's" became more serious, sounding like a decision rather than a question.

There were no victims in the room that day.

Allen plans to hold a second Rape Aggression Defense Systems class Feb. 21 and 22. The course will run from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $5. Meanwhile, he plans to work on finding funding for the "red man" suit.

The "red man" suit is a protective outfit complete with helmet and mask worn by the instructor for full-out assault practice. The complete set also comes with protective gear for the student. Allen said the cost is about $2,000. He is currently looking into grant possibilities.


'Take the outside of the road, my horses are not dependable'

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

The 1916 opening of Wolf Creek Pass connected the San Juan Basin with the rest of Colorado in a way never known before.

Except for the narrow gauge railroad over Cumbres Pass, prior to Wolf Creek Pass, often the only good means of reaching Denver from the San Juan Basin was by first going south into New Mexico. When the railroad was snowed in so trains couldn't cross Cumbres, the San Juan Basin was literally shut in for weeks at a time.

At first, Wolf Creek pass was only open for a few short months during the summer. Even those few months were a boon to tourist travel to Mesa Verde National Park and other points of interest in the Basin.

Slowly, cars, buses and trucks replaced the railroads as a means of moving people and freight into the basin. Residents on both sides of Wolf Creek could hardly wait to get the pass open.

That opening became a source of community competition and pride. One crew, all community citizens mostly from Pagosa Springs, started from the western end of the pass. A second crew made up of citizens living in South Fork, Del Norte and Monte Vista started from the eastern end. The race was on to see which crew would be first to reach the top.

Finally, by the 1930s, the state assigned crews and equipment to the pass full time. Their task was to keep the pass open all winter. Even so, snowslides closed Wolf Creek for serious lengths of time. Even as late as the 1970s, Wolf Creek was closed for several days by snow slides. Modern avalanche control methods make closure by slides improbable today, but not impossible.

When contemplating Wolf Creek Pass, one must bear in mind that today's version is a much refined improvement over the original, narrow gravel road that snaked across the mountains. Crossing Wolf Creek in a motor vehicle during 1916 was quite an adventure as attested by the recollections of Myrtle Hersch, who was a member of the first motorcade over the pass. This week we conclude Myrtle's description of crossing the pass in 1916.

After camping several days on the east side of the mountains, the motorcade has just begun to move, the first crossing of Wolf Creek. Myrtle was aware that history was being made. The date was July 26.

"As we were nearly a mile from our camp, on the steepest pitch, with mud slick as soap, the Ford stopped. The driver ran back to flag down the line of cars. We all walked down to see if there might be a rock slide, a possibility.

"Here they had come face to face with a wagon train, three big, loaded wagons, with several extra horses leading behind each wagon, and quite a number of people in their group.

"These people had been camping for three weeks on Wolf Creek, at the west foot of the pass, also waiting to cross. The engineer had told them to wait until he gave the clearance, as five cars were on the way over, and it would be impossible for either group to pass the other, excepting at certain places.

"As the wagon train waited in its camp, the head man's patience wore thin and 'if the pass was to be open on July 27 - By Gar - he'd take his right and go, let come what may.'

"Before leaving his camp, he laid in a supply of Pagosa firewater and when he met our group he was all set for battle. He got out of his wagon, buckled on his revolver and, with unsteady steps and loud abusive language, ordered all cars to back up some place where he could pass.

"'Take the outside of the road as my horses are not dependable. I'm giving orders to be understood and followed and I'm going through if I have to shoot the last ... to make way for my wagons.'

"He was so angry and unsteady we could not even guess what he might do. Finally, the men of our group told him to shut up and get back into his wagon, until they could find a workable plan, or they'd pitch him down into the canyon. He sat.

"Then began the most terrifying experience of backing inch-by-inch on that narrow slick, steep grade. David always believed in going forward, so was not expert at backing - especially under such conditions. Joseph's experience in the Cadillac garage paid off. He showed real efficiency in this case. Finally, one by one, we managed to pass each other.

"When we got down into the flat lowland, there was no road at all, just mud and water soaked trails, each driver making his own guess which set of workmen's' wagon tracks to follow through the willows until he could connect with the next section of ascending road up the mountainside.

"At Box Canyon we had to wait until fifteen heavy dynamite blasts tore away a section of the rock, then all this debris had to be cleared away before we could attempt to cross over. At one place a steam drill stood against the rock wall, and we had to drive round it on the point of broken rocks. The Cadillac was too long to make the turn around the drill, so again Joseph had to seesaw, inch-by-inch, to make the turn. Just as we got around, the whole point slid off into the stream below.

"None of the other cars carried food, so when we found a slightly dry spot under a spruce tree, the Hatchers and we invited the group to eat with us, as we had an ample supply from our camp. Every man had shoveled, pushed, lifted and worked his best for everyone who needed help. We had showers all day long. There seemed to be no bottom to the road with this rain on the new construction.

"Again we began to climb, the road was slick, or again so sticky, it took the five cars three hours to cover only a quarter of a mile. Added to all these delays, the Chalmers and Cadillac each had a flat tire. Now, night was coming on and we were still two and one-half miles from Mr. Logan's work camp. The lighter weight cars passed through the mud holes all right, and drove on toward camp, but the heavier cars just sank.

"Marguerite and I walked the distance through mud and rain to the road camp for help. Mr. Logan sent over four big horses to assist, but they couldn't move the cars. When this didn't work, Eugene Hatcher backed their Velie from camp carrying heavy log chains. With the horses and chains, the cars were pulled out.

"The high altitude and the excitement of the day, besides the wet and cold, was more than I could take. The cook and his buddy moved their beds into the dining tent, and fixed a place for me to lie down and rest. My family didn't get to camp until 8 p.m. I was too tired to eat, and didn't get warm all night.

"When morning came, I still couldn't eat, but the sun came out and we were ready to make a fresh start. Mr. Logan sent his crew ahead early to fill a one hundred foot bog with spruce boughs. Still, every car had to be pulled through. We still had tough going to the top of the pass, which is over ten thousand feet high. We were told that our troubles were all over, as it was a down grade, and work done the previous fall was well packed by highway equipment.

"We were all in good spirits, for we knew no one would meet us toady. Each car took its own pace coming down, not too close because of the sharp curves - Joseph and I still following at ten miles an hour, and in low gear. We came to a section of the road which was supported by a built up rock wall, and noticed that the tracks of the cars ahead were only four or five inches from the rocks, but it looked safe enough when CRASH! That entire wall gave way and let the left side of our car down and hanging in mid air .

"Only a very small rock below our left front wheel kept us from going down. As we carefully slipped out on the upper side, the car teetered as if it were on its way down. Only a miracle caused it to hold, for it seemed that a puff of wind could set it off.

"We stood and looked - all the cars had gone ahead, and we were alone with miles to any work camp. We knew that my husband would stop soon, if Marguerite didn't see us coming behind them. After about fifteen or twenty minutes a wagon with two men and carrying heavy cables and a bicycle came along. The men tied the car to the trees on the upper side with ropes. One man rode the wheel down two miles where he met David walking back with some of the work crew. The men cut down several small trees and built cribbing which they filled with rocks. They then jacked the car up little by little, built again, until it was in a near level position. Six men held the cables while David drove onto solid ground.

"While they were working, I carried drinking water in a pint cup from the creek below up that bank for the men, for now it was midday in a July sun. It was forty feet to the nearest tree to stop the car's rolling, had it gone down.

"When the task was nearly completed, I took photographs, then the three of us went on down the two miles, where Marguerite sat waiting all these hours alone - not knowing what had happened to any of us.

"As my family was reunited and no one was hurt, I began to weaken, and became so shaky I couldn't stop trembling. Kept growing weaker and more frightened as the miles passed until we were within two miles of Pagosa Springs and home. I did as some other women in the past have done - fainted.

"At the Todd ranch, they stretched me out on the grass beside the highway, and with water and spirits of ammonia, I was soon revived. I have heard of people being scared to death. This was the next thing to it.

"Even with such experiences, I love our Wolf Creek pass, with its forty-seven years of memories and happy associations."



A good start

A new county commission went to work Tuesday after Mamie Lynch was sworn in by District Court Judge Greg Lyman. The commission has a new chairman, Alden Ecker, a new vice-chairman in Lynch. Commissioner Bill Downey remains on the board.

At the new commission's first meeting, a cooperative move designed to coiunter the growing problem of animal control in the unincorporated parts of the coiunty was made, much to the credit of all involved.

Archuleta County and the pagosa Lakes property owners Association developed a plan fora second animal control officer, under the auspices of the county and the sheriff's department and funded by the association. That officer will work primarily in the pagosa lakes subdivisions with his or her duties overlapping those of an officer hired by the conty in December.

This one positive move on the part of the commissioners will, with luck, be followed by more.

Perhaps one of the first thing the new commissione will do is divest itself of the so-called "liaison" style of government, in which a single commissioner is glued to a particular department. There is no clear indication this style has led to anything but micromanagement and the creation of obstacles to effective operation of county departments.

With the budget picture - in particular as it pertains to state monies - growing dimmer by the day, the need for cooperative action is paramount. The county and other entitiees in the area - most notably the town of pagosa springs - have established a record of cooperation that can be built upon.

There are at least two cooperative matters with the town that ned immediate attention. First is renegotiation of the agreement between town and county on how sales tax funds are to be spent. The agreement between the entities technically expired Jan. 1. The agreemen should be formally established in order to protect joint projectss for road construction and to set long-term project priorities.

Second is the need to deal with the agreement between county and town regarding municipal use of the Archuleta county Jail facility. Considering the facility is often crowded, this agreement has long-term ramifications for both parties.

Another of the things the new commission could do is divest itself of the so-called "liaison" style of government, in which a single commissioner is glued to a particular department - a dubious attachment if effective departmental management is in place. There is no clear indication this style has led to any progress, and many would argue it has created obstacles to the effective operation of some county departments.

With some prodding, perhaps this commission will move ahead to deal with issues many residents have deemed important to them and the future of the county. There are road projects that can be engineered and planned from a reasonable distance, and funds to be bettter spent. There is a Community Plan still not completely implemented with the creation of regulations. This commission should move forward to provide an answer to the demand for land use planning and zoning - whatever that answer will be.

This list is all too short and, no doubt, there are those in and out of government who will add more items to the agenda, and be better informed about them than this writer. No doubt, these commissioners will hear them.

Good luck to the commissioners; they are off to a good start. Let's encourage them to maintain their momentum.

Karl Isberg

Pacing Pagosa

First paycheck's always largest

By Richard Walter

For many people, the next paycheck's date has become a matter of conjecture.

Unemployed or unemployable persons aren't sure when or where the next source of income might be.

In the old days it wasn't unusual for a herder or ranch laborer to be paid just once or twice a year.

When the crop came in or the herd was back in camp and sold, the salary would be delivered and the worker would go about catching up all the bills, and the purchases on credit allowed at the general store which knew he was good for it - eventually.

No I don't go back quite that far, but I can recall my first major paycheck.

I worked the full summer vacation from school as a chainman on a survey crew running a new course line for the Ute Irrigation Canal from north of Bayfield through the Missouri Center area to Ignacio.

Day after day, we measured (chained) the line of survey, dropping stakes every 100 feet to be driven into the ground by a following team to mark the line exactly.

Three months they said the job would take. We finished in a week less.

And the following day there was a knock at the door. A representative of the Department of Indian Affairs was there with a check. My first real paycheck - a whopping $150 - and it looked like all the money in the world to me.

Of course, like other youngsters of the day, I'd done lawn mowing and wood chopping and odd jobs for pittances so I could save money for a fancy new bicycle.

But, $150 was more money than I'd ever seen at one time in my own hands.

Sometimes, it seems, there are those who would turn up their noses at a paycheck because it doesn't fully meet their needs or self-inflated value.

They'd rather live on the dole, letting you and I and Uncle Sam support them, than lower themselves to accept a wage inconsistent with their estimated self-worth.

I am by no means denigrating the efforts of those who truly want to work, to find jobs. Nor am I saying the jobs available will pay a comfortable living wage.

I am convinced, however, that there are jobs - often paying below the regular employment level the worker is accustomed to - that will at least help them get over the hump.

It means lowering standards, giving up the extra pack of cigarettes and the six-pack of beer. It means looking at what is within the realm of reality at the moment, not what was or is to be at some future better time.

My mother struggled to put me through college some 50 years ago on a postal clerk's salary. Then, Uncle Sam came along with a regular monthly military paycheck and training for a career.

When it came time to go out in the world of reality. I was offered a job at a small daily newspaper in Worland, Wyo., at $42.50 per week.

With a wife, young son, and no promise of moving expenses from Illinois, I couldn't see how making the move would make ends meet.

With luck, I found a job that paid more and promised security. For 38 years plus, it lived up to that promise.

But that first $150 check is still the biggest.




90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Jan. 17, 1913

Rocky Farrow recently bought the Woodruff Cooper ranch on the Piedra, which formerly belonged to John Peterson, and is one of the fine ranches of that section.

Following is the altitude of railroad points in Archuleta County: Arboles 6,001; Carracas 6,173; Dyke 6,816; Hall's Siding 6,901; Hatcher 7,388; Juanita 6,329; Nutria 7,054; Pagosa Springs 7,095; Pagosa Junction 6,259; Sunetha 7,514; Talian 6,612.

D.R. Archuleta has purchased the George Scase interest in the Happy Land Theatre and will move the show into the Archuleta building.

John Kyle has leased the Archuleta well drilling outfit now at Edith and will bring it up here and put down a well on his place.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Jan. 20, 1928

The San Juan National Forest in the year 1927 earned a total of $9,103.64, which was exceeded by only one other forest in the state. The revenue may be used for schools and roads in the counties in which the forests are located.

Beavers in recent months have caused the loss of two valuable steers belonging to W.H. Hurt of Dyke. Mr. Hurt reports that the animals in both cases fell through crusts of earth under which the beavers had burrowed. Property owners who have suffered damage from beavers feel they should be allowed to kill the beavers without having to go through a lot of governmental red tape.

Another excellent Jitney dance was held at the Carlsbad Lodge on Wednesday.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Jan. 16, 1953

The County Commissioners met on Tuesday of this week to terminate their business for 1952 and to swear in new members. The last official act of the old board was to buy a new maintainer-grader out of the 1952 funds.

The weather the past week was typical of that in a January thaw with warm days and chilly nights. The threatened cold snap last week did not materialize and the thermometer rose to comfortable highs each day.

The Pirate's View. Published every two weeks by the Pagosa Springs High School - due to the absence of Richard Walter, our editor, an assistant editor is taking his place for the time being. Richard was takin ill during the Christmas vacation. (He's back in school now.)

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Jan. 12, 1978

A real winter snowstorm hit this area the first of the week and is continuing late Wednesday. The storm left four inches of new snow, which had a high moisture content. It caused some snowy roads, a few minor fender benders but was received with welcome by winter sports enthusiasts and water users.

The town board adopted a resolution agreeing to a mutual aid compact with the fire department at Pagosa. The two departments will cooperate wherever possible, and will assist when needed and possible with equipment and men.

Snowfall on Wolf Creek Pass is starting to get a little more like normal this past week. A total of 48 inches had fallen there the past few days.