New machine is cutting edge of fire management
By Tom Carosello
"I hear it; I think it's coming back this way," said Bob Frye, turning in the direction of a metallic, boisterous cacophony emanating from the Monday afternoon shadows stretching through the forest just off Fawn Gulch Road.
A pause, then, "Nope, it's headed to the other side of the ridge," said Rick Jewell, "Sounds like it's getting farther away."
Frye, a biologist, and Jewell, an environmental coordinator, are both employed by the U.S. Forest Service and work at the Pagosa Ranger District. The "it" they were referring to is an innovative piece of machinery designed to quickly and efficiently reduce the risk of major fire in the area's woodlands.
The machine, known as a Hydro-axe, was in the midst of fuel thinning and mulching operations in high-risk, Forest Service land adjacent to the Logpark Subdivision this week.
Resembling an enormous road grader-lawnmower hybrid, the machine is equipped with large rubber tires and the front end boasts a 7-foot blade that rotates at the rate of 1,000 revolutions per minute within a protective metal housing.
While residents of the subdivision who live within earshot of the demonstration had reason to believe their neighborhood was under siege by a herd of rampaging wild elephants during the past week, Frye explained the end results far exceed the alternatives.
"I think it's socially acceptable. I think economywise it makes more sense than a lot of other things we do," said Frye.
Frye added that while the Hydro-axe, which is contracted by the Forest Service on a per-acre basis, costs $200-$300 per acre. The costs to fight a wildfire can range from $600-$700 per acre.
Frye explained that although there is "no perfect way" to reduce excessive fuels, and it is more expensive than prescribed burning, on level terrain the Hydro-axe is the most effective way to mulch ground fuels, remove ladder fuels and eliminate aerial fuels that contribute to catastrophic wildfires.
"We're not clear cutting here," said Frye, "but just trying to improve conditions so if we have a fire it stays on the ground or comes down to the ground." Frye stated the Hydro-axe, on average, can treat about one acre per hour.
"We're trying to educate people get rid of the opinion that simply clearing an area 30 or 40 feet around your house is enough," added Jewell. "You need to have at least some thinning on the adjoining areas as well, or you're really not lowering the risk all that much."
Due to the higher cost per acre, "hydro-mulching" will mainly be conducted in Wildlife Urban Interface areas where prescribed burns would be too risky or very difficult.
Frye and Jewell indicated that planning for demonstrations using the Hydro-axe was initiated last winter, prior to the state's unprecedented fire season. The Fawn Gulch area is the second site to receive this type of treatment; Turkey Springs served as a demonstration area earlier this year.
Both men expressed hope that new and advancing technologies with respect to the prevention of devastating fires will be met with objective sentiments from the public in the future.
"Prior to the Missionary Ridge Fire, a lot of things we tried to implement were viewed as highly controversial," said Frye, "They're not so controversial now."
Conflict resolution aide hired
By Tess Noel Baker
A consultant is on the way.
After employees of the Upper San Juan Health Service District voiced their frustrations concerning relationships with upper management for the third time Jan. 21, the board took action.
Board president, Dick Babillis, with approval of a hastily-created committee, has hired Peg Christian, a private consultant in the field of conflict resolution and peacemaking, to come in, interview the employees, outline the problems and provide some team-building as necessary.
According to her biography, Christian, of Durango, has 10 years of experience in problem-solving for individuals, groups and organizations. For the last six years she has provided mediation and other conflict resolution services for the Colorado Probation Department in Southwest Colorado. She is also the director of the Victim, Offender and Community Dialogue Project. She's provided consulting services in 14 states. In July, she will complete her graduate studies in negotiation and conflict management through the University of California at Dominguez Hills.
Babillis said two consultants were approached. Christian was not only the least expensive, he said, but also offered to provide some mediation and training while on-site to help get started on the problem-solving.
She could start interviews as early as next week. Babillis said Christian will begin by interviewing the employees in small-group sessions. That is expected to take between 10 and 15 hours. A written report with possible solutions will be presented to the board from the initial interviews. From there Christian will be available to provide team-building and ongoing facilitation as needed.
The interview phase should cost less than $1,000, Babillis said.
Employees of the district first brought their concerns to the board back in July. In October, they came again. In November, Toby Brookens threatened to begin recall proceedings against Babillis if something wasn't done.
In those discussions, they've claimed upper management, specifically district manager Dee Jackson, is making decisions she's not trained to make. They've claimed actions taken when employees resigned lacked tact and explanation. They've claimed management by an iron fist rather than a team philosophy.
Jackson claims the board is hearing the frustrations of a few and not the voice of the majority.
She was hired in February 2001 after nearly a year without a district manager. When she arrived, she was required, almost immediately, to cut over $200,000 from the district's budget and find a way to straighten out two-or-more years of financial errors, confusing billing systems and mistakes.
In fact, employees versus management issues started long before Jackson arrived from Texas. Babillis, who served as board chairman and interim district manager, from the spring of 2001 until Jackson was hired, raised the ire of some district employees early on when he wanted full access to the clinic building. Privacy issues were at stake, they said. Babillis was appointed to fill a vacancy left by district manager Bill Bright who departed suddenly for health reasons.
During Bright's era, the district experienced some significant growth and the impact of a major budget blow. In the summer of 2000, a $230,000 accidental accounting error was uncovered, requiring a substantial salary cut for part-time emergency services employees.
Later in 2001, when the district looked to be close to running out of money, employees came before the board concerned that jobs were up for the cutting to meet the bottom line.
District employees who voiced concerns at this month's board meeting agreed that Jackson had done a good job bringing the district back on its feet financially. Their current problems, they said, have to do more with her approach to management and communication with employees.
The point was also made, several times, that without interviewing everyone in the district, it would be hard to get a true picture of what is really happening.
In response, the district's board approved a motion to look into hiring a consultant to come in and do the interviewing.
Now, that's been done.
In the next few months, perhaps, a little peace might be possible.
Sheriff begins Pagosa Lakes dog patrols Saturday
By Richard Walter
Saturday is the day.
The Archuleta County Sheriff's Office will take over animal control duties Saturday for the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.
Under a contract signed by the association's board of directors at a special meeting Jan. 13 and agreed to by county commissioners, all complaints and notices concerning dogs in Pagosa Lakes will be handled by the sheriff.
Brent Finney, a previous covenant control inspector for the association, was hired for the contracted position.
He and Floyd Capistrant, the other new county animal control officer, have completed training in Arizona with the National Animal Control Association.
Both men passed their testing and were to spend two days this week riding with Durango animal control officers as an additional training exercise.
On Friday, both men visited the Vista subdivision where Garret Carothers was mauled by two dogs recently, and talked with property owners who have been vehement in their demands for greater protection.
The sheriff's office will respond to all calls pertaining to barking or nuisance dogs, dogs at-large, and threatening and dangerous dogs within Pagosa Lakes.
Schedules of officers will be staggered to assure enhanced coverage for the area.
All owners within Pagosa Lakes are to call the sheriff's office at 264-2131 regarding dog issues and the dispatcher will notify animal control.
Calls will be handled 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the officers operating under an ordinance adopted by the county commissioners in April, 2002.
At the same time, the association will revise its rules and regulations concerning dogs in order to eliminate overlapping rules and efforts.
The former Pagosa Lakes animal control vehicle will be used by Finney in patrolling the area. It will be marked with a sheriff's office decal and a magnetic Pagosa Lakes patrol logo which can be removed for activities outside the association, when necessary.
Walt Lukasik, association general manager, said the Pagosa Lakes staff has been averaging 5-7 loose animal pickups a week and was continuing the activity this week.
Pagosa Lakes, which had required all dogs to be licensed in the past, will offer licensing to those owners wanting identification on their dogs. The service will be provided at no cost to property owners.
All association information regarding dogs will be made available to the sheriff for tracking purposes.
The sheriff will furnish monthly reports concerning animal control activities in the association boundaries so the board can monitor effectiveness of the contract.
Lukasik said there is a possibility the animal control problem will be the topic of a future town meeting.
He also said there is concern about feral and loose cats in the association subdivisions, a problem seen to be growing regularly.
Only two of the 26 subdivisions, he said, have references to cat control in their individual covenants and restrictions.
And, the county's animal control ordinance seems to reference only canines.
PAWS approves study of rates
By Tom Carosello
Directors of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District passed a motion Tuesday to accept a proposal from Denver-based Integrated Utilities Group for the purpose of conducting a study of the district's rate charges.
The decision to retain the company, which will charge roughly $15,000 for its services, is contingent upon what board members called "stellar" referrals from the group's past customers.
According to Gene Tautges, assistant general manager, the district reviewed three proposals for the study, ranging in price from $15,000 to nearly $30,000. The main objective of the study will be to determine if the district's current water and sewer charges are adequate or need to be modified.
Tautges said each proposal was awarded points, with a maximum score of 100, based on equally-weighted criteria that included the price of a written proposal, the qualifications of each company, the content of the proposal and the utilization of local resources.
Tautges said Integrated Utilities Group scored highest on the scale with a total of 90 points. Carrie Campbell, general manager, indicated the company was "very reputable" and said she had received an encouraging referral from the town of Breckenridge with regard to the company's performance.
Board member Bob Frye was hesitant to approve any proposals, citing what he called a lack of adequate time to review each proposal to determine which company was best suited to perform the task.
The motion to accept the proposal eventually passed but the approval was not unanimous; Frye cast the solitary dissenting vote.
In additional business this week:
- The board voted to initiate an automated bank draft payment system which will give customers the option to have district charges deducted directly from checking accounts. The cost to implement the system software was estimated at $2,500. The board indicated a letter detailing the plan will be sent to customers in early February.
- Directors agreed to participate in a joint venture with the Bureau of Land Management to provide educational water conservation kits to area fifth and sixth-graders. The two parties will split the estimated cost of $3,800 for the kits, which will include items such as a low-flow showerhead and leak-detecting tablets.
- The board tabled consideration of 2003 water and wastewater connection fees and consideration of proposals for wetlands mitigation.
- With respect to the drought, the board indicated that Level 1 restrictions are still in effect concerning rate charges, and that Level 2 restrictions are still in effect regarding assigned watering days.
Police investigate stolen car spree
By Tess Noel Baker
Residents west of the downtown area have been the victims of a string of vehicle thefts in the past two weeks.
After two more vehicles were suspected stolen Jan. 28, police got a break and believe they may have a suspect in custody by the end of the week.
Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger said Officer Tony Kop responded to a report of a stolen van near South 10th Street Tuesday evening. As Kop responded to the call, he spotted a vehicle fitting the description of the one stolen and stopped it. The driver fled on foot and Kop called for backup from the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department.
After further investigation, law enforcement officers discovered a second vehicle, possibly stolen and abandoned, in a ditch. Further evidence gathered during the evening's investigation have led police to a suspect.
It's "entirely possible" Volger said, that the same person responsible for Tuesday's thefts is also behind three other vehicle thefts reported since mid-January. The first, stolen from the Ski and Bow Rack on the east end of town, was discovered, abandoned but in good condition in Colorado Springs.
The other two were both reported Jan. 27. Of those, the first was taken from the 100 block of North 8th Street. In that case, the vehicle was returned, unharmed. The second was stolen from South 9th Street and recovered at Hilltop Cemetery. Several items, including a computer and a gun, were apparently missing from the vehicle in that case.
Police have yet to uncover definitive evidence to pull all these cases together. However, they are "looking in that direction," Volger said.
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture
February may bring wet weather
By Tom Carosello
The high-and-dry weather pattern that has dominated Pagosa Country and the rest of the Four Corners region for most of January will likely hang around for at least another week, but the coming month may bring about change.
According to David Nadler, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, the persistent ridge of high pressure plaguing the area may give way to a low-pressure system within the next 10 days.
"It looks like the pattern will undergo some sort of change in early February, but there is no indication of a significant storm system in the next week," said Nadler.
Nadler explained that occasional storms have been hitting the California coast, but the high pressure system over much of the Southwest has caused them to shift to the north or lose energy by the time they reach the region.
While the Pagosa area is still categorized under "extreme" drought conditions according to recent Department of Agriculture analysis, Nadler said February's forecast for an above-average precipitation scenario for the southern tier of the country may stretch far enough north to provide some relief - but not in the coming week.
According to Nadler, today should remain mostly sunny with highs in the mid-40s. Clear conditions should prevail into the evening hours with lows in the teens.
Morning sunshine Friday should give way to partly cloudy skies in the afternoon. Highs are expected to be in the upper 40s to low 50s; lows should hover in the upper teens.
Saturday and Sunday call for party cloudy to mostly cloudy skies with highs in the mid-40s to mid 50s. Lows are expected to be in the 20s.
Monday through Wednesday, mostly sunny skies are in the forecast, although there is a 10-percent chance for precipitation each day. Highs should remain in the 40s while low temperatures should range from 15-25.
The average high temperature last week was 48; the average low was 12. The week's high of 52 was recorded Monday, the low of 9 was recorded Friday. Precipitation totals in the past week amounted to zero.
Snowpack in the Upper San Juan Basin was measured at 80 percent of average Jan. 29, while snowpack at the summit of Wolf Creek Pass was measured at 71 percent of average.
River flows south of town last week ranged from 27 cubic feet per second in the morning hours to nearly 60 cubic feet per second in the warmer afternoons due to unseasonable runoff.
Sportsmanship starts within each of us
By Joe Lister Jr.
I have been involved in youth sports in Archuleta County for over 40 years, as a participant, coach and now as parks and recreation director.
This year we developed a new basketball draft, which was designed to make games more evenly matched. The draft and rules changes have made all the games pretty even. With the even scores come more coaching changes, strategies to make one team more competitive.
We, as a staff, are very happy with the results thus far in league play.
In the February issue of Recreation Management magazine, I read some interesting material written by Frank M. White, a nationally-known writer and speaker.
He says that, in a survey, 71 percent of the adults said lack of respect and courtesy in American society is a serious problem. Sixty-one percent believe things have gotten worse in recent years.
So, when there is an undue emphasis put on winning, behavior changes to the negative and not the positive. Ask yourself if your behavior would be acceptable at a restaurant, at the movies or in any other public place. Degrading officials, coaches or even worse, children, can not be tolerated.
What can we do?
As administrators, we're conscious of "risk management" and protecting our participants. We look at ways to ensure our entire facilities are safe, including the floors, ballfields, locker rooms, and so on, but what about the emotional safety of the participants
It's time that youth sports associations, park and recreation departments, and school district administrators set standards for our programs and facilities that demand sportsmanship.
I invite all parents to come in and volunteer as coaches and referees. It is a lot easier to coach and referee from the sidelines. Remember, someone you are being negative toward is someone else's son or daughter, maybe even someone's husband or wife out there volunteering or putting in time for the young athletes.
- Respect - acknowledge good efforts by the opponents, officials and teammates
- Civility - be gracious in victory - and defeat
- Courage - follow the heart to do the right thing
- Fairness - observe the spirit and letter of the rules
- Responsibility - take charge of your actions and words.
Remember, sportsmanship starts with each of us.
Safety and fair play, along with equal playing time for all participants is what our department is striving for.
Our referees and other officials are always communicating, trying to do the best job we can for all the kids.
I hope that this article communicates the idea of good sportsmanship, and that we are having a great year.
The support and the efforts of all in attendance has been superb.
Boys sink Bayfield, rank ninth in 3A poll
By Tom Carosello
Fresh off a convincing win over Ignacio that vaulted it into the top ten in Class 3A rankings, the Pagosa Springs boys' varsity basketball team traveled to Bayfield last Friday night looking to stay unbeaten in Intermountain League play with a win over the Wolverines.
Prior to the pregame introduction of both teams, Bayfield cheerleaders stretched a bright purple banner across the home sideline that bore a single line of wispy yellow text posing the question, "Remember the Titanic?"
Apparently this was meant to draw comparisons between Coach Jim Shaffer's squad and the seemingly unsinkable, ill-fated luxury liner that collided with an iceberg and sank in frigid waters off the coast of Newfoundland in 1912.
But the Pirates had set sail in a different sort of vessel this night, and when the final buzzer sounded the home fans would remember only the "titanic" defensive effort of the visitors and the resulting icy-cold shooting displayed by the host Wolverines.
Bayfield took the opening tip but two blocked shots by the Pirates and a steal enabled Pagosa's Brandon Charles to put the visitors up 2-0 in the opening minute.
Charles hit for three more just seconds later; Pirate sophomore Caleb Forrest and teammate Clayton Spencer accounted for an additional six and the Wolverines were down 11-0 with under five minutes to play in the first period.
Four minutes had elapsed before Bayfield senior Matt Gonzales gave the home crowd cause to cheer with a trey that cut the lead to eight at 11-3.
The Pirates answered with nine straight in the form of a trey from junior Ryan Goodenberger, two from Forrest and four from Spencer to go up 20-3.
Bayfield hit for two, but missed an opportunity to cut into the lead further with only six seconds left when Wolverine guard Jeremy Sirios missed three consecutive free throws after a touch foul by Goodenberger beyond the arc. Pagosa led 20-5 at the end of one.
Pagosa junior Jeremy Caler sank a three to open the second, then Bayfield's Eric Nelson hit a lone free throw that was answered by a turnaround jumper from Pirate guard Ty Faber to extend the visitors' lead to 25-6.
Bayfield began to bomb away from three-point land, but only Gonzales converted and after baskets from Spencer, Caler and Pirate senior Jason Schutz, the Wolverines' deficit swelled to 20 midway through the quarter.
Bayfield struggled to find open shots, often misfired and had several attempts blocked in the midst of a smothering Pirate defense as the deficit remained at 20 throughout most of the period. A late steal by Pagosa's David Kern and subsequent free throws from Forrest pushed the margin to 21 at the half, Pagosa led 38-17.
The Pirate front line asserted itself early and often in the third as Schutz, Spencer and Forrest took turns converting in the lane and on the baseline. Gonzales was a bright spot for the Wolverines, but his occasional treys were too few and far between. With his team continuing to hustle as if the game were a tie, Shaffer watched as the Pirates ran the lead to 27 by period's end; they led 61-34.
Goodenberger hit for three 30 seconds into the fourth and the Pirate lead was 30, 64-34. Charles, Spencer and Forrest accounted for the next Pirate six but wishful thinking by the Bayfield scoreboard operator momentarily had the Pirates leading just 40-34 with four minutes left in the game.
The error was soon corrected and the Pirate faithful who made the 45-minute trek delighted in watching Faber, Coy Ross, Brandon Samples, Otis Rand and Casey Belarde close out the game for the visiting squad. Baskets by Samples and Belarde in the final minute pushed the lead to 36.
When the horn sounded, the ninth-ranked Pirates had extended their overall record to 13-1 and IML record to 3-0 with a 79-43 victory.
Forrest led the Pirate attack with 22 points, followed by Spencer with 18 and Schutz with 10. The Pirates tallied 17 steals with five each coming from Charles and Schutz.
Shaffer was pleased with the win, but downplayed the Pirate ranking in a post-game interview. "Again, it's early, so we don't pay much attention to that at this point, although now that we're in I hope we stay there for good."
The victory was the Pirates' sixth in 13 days and Shaffer said it was encouraging to see a full effort from his team in each of those games, regardless of the caliber of opponent.
"We've beaten some good teams in this stretch - some not so good - but each team we've played has come out and played hard and we were able to match them and get the job done."
The Pirates will play five more IML games in the coming weeks leading up to the IML tournament in late February. With respect to the Pirates having a less-grueling schedule down the stretch, Shaffer said, "We just played six games in two weeks; now we're at a point where we'll play five games in four weeks and may have to try a little harder to maintain our focus."
The Pirates will look to keep their undefeated streak going Saturday at 5 p.m. when Monte Vista comes to town for another IML matchup. Following that contest, the Ignacio Bobcats will seek to avenge their first lost of the season on the Pirates' home floor Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Scoring: Forrest 8-16, 6-8, 22; Goodenberger 3-5, 0-0, 8; Schutz 4-7, 2-2, 10; Charles 3-7, 0-0, 8; Spencer 7-11, 4-4, 18; Kern 0-0, 0-0, 0; Faber 1-2, 1-2, 3; Rand 0-0, 0-0, 0; Caler 2-4, 1-2, 6; Ross 0-0 0-0 0; Samples 1-1, 0-0 2; Belarde 1-1, 0-0. Three-point goals: Caler 1; Charles 2; Goodenberger 2. Fouled out: none. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 23. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 33. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 17.
Pirates wrestle to 39-25 win at Ignacio
By Karl Isberg
With a 39-25 dual meet win Tuesday at Ignacio, the Pirate wrestling team boosted its Intermountain League record to 2-1 and is positioned to finish well in the regular season standings.
The IML season championship is determined on the basis of a round of dual meets, one with each league opponent. Thus far, the Pirates have defeated Ignacio and Bayfield, and lost to Centauri.
The dual against the Bobcats started with the 189-pound class and Pagosa got off to a great start as sophomore Marcus Rivas stunned Ignacio's Adam Seibel, giving the Pirates three team points with an 8-7 decision.
"It was a great way to start," said Coach Dan Janowsky. "This was a tremendous surprise. Marcus is clearly getting better and he wrestled a good match for us."
The teams traded forfeits at 215 and 275, which brought action around to the lower weights - Pagosa's consistent strength this year.
The Pirates did not disappoint.
Darren Hockett put another notch in his belt at 103, and four points on the scoreboard, with a 15-4 major decision.
Michael Martinez dominated at 112, adding a 13-4 major decision to the books.
Pagosa forfeited six points at 119.
At 125, Mike Maestas dominated his Bobcat opponent, earning five team points with a 21-6 technical fall.
Cliff Hockett produced five team points at 135 with a 20-5 tech fall.
Kory Hart continued his winning ways at 140. The junior crafted a 9-4 decision in his match.
Ignacio forfeited at 145.
Senior Zeb Gill was dominant at 152. Gill forged a 9-2 decision over his opponent.
Ignacio won matches at 130, 160 and 171.
"I thought we wrestled well and had a pretty solid evening," said Janowsky. "We were trying to do a little more mat wrestling in this dual. Overall it was a good night."
The Pirates jump back into action tonight at a tri-meet at Del Norte where the Pirates wrestle duals against the host Tigers and Salida. The meet begins at 6 p.m.
The team then has a week off before traveling to Monte Vista Feb. 6 for another tri-meet, including a final IML dual against the hosts and a dual against 3A La Junta.
Hart pin puts buzz in stingless Pirate mat outing
By Karl Isberg
There is little doubt the Centauri wrestling team, with competitors in every weight class, has an advantage over the Pagosa Pirates in a dual meet format.
A 54-15 victory over Pagosa Thursday confirmed the Falcons are a good team. It revealed some Pirate weaknesses that cannot be strengthened and others that must be shored before post-season tourney action begins.
While Centauri has one of its best teams in years, the Pirates were flat in their home gym Thursday, providing only a few stellar performances during the dual.
Three Pirates won matches to provide the team with its point total.
The most dramatic Pirate victory left the crowd buzzing. Kory Hart took the mat at 140 pounds against Centauri's Brian Atencio. The Falcon barely had time to adjust his headgear before his shoulders were on the mat and the referee's hand slammed the canvas to signal the pin.
With his team trailing 48-9, Hart was ready to make a point and deflate the Falcon ego. The Pirate executed a takedown with blinding speed, forcing Atencio to the center of the ring, shooting, lifting and turning Atencio in one powerful and fluid move. The bout was over in a mere 14 seconds.
Darren Hockett also scored six points for the Pirate, notching yet another win with a pin at 103. Hockett is undefeated since the holiday break and pressed on Thursday in his match against Cory Quinlan.
Hockett scored a takedown at the outset of the first period then let Quinlan escape in preparation for another move. A second takedown followed in short order as Hockett completely controlled his opponent. Hockett put Quinlan on his back and put the Falcon's shoulders to the mat with 45 seconds left in the period.
Michael Martinez entered the ring at 112 against Centauri's Rory Keyes.
The two wrestlers met at the Rocky Mountain Tournament Jan. 11, shortly after Martinez returned to action after recuperating from a serious injury suffered during football season. The two fought one of the more entertaining matches at the Rocky, with Martinez emerging victorious in overtime, 8-6.
Thursday, the wrestlers battled to a scoreless tie at the end of the first period. Martinez started down in the second period and controlled the match from that point on, escaping then repeatedly taking Keyes down and releasing him, scoring at a 2-1 clip. When the final buzzer rang, Martinez had a definitive 9-4 victory.
"Centauri won a couple matches early in the dual," said Coach Dan Janowsky. "They got the momen-tum going, and it snowballed.
"We're not where we need to be yet," he continued. "We faltered in some of our matches. Our skills are basically there, but we need to develop more confidence in ourselves. A couple of our matches were heartbreakers, and the losses deflated our confidence. With our guys, momentum matters. Our guys are affected by emotions and there are some circumstances where you have to learn to avoid that."
The Pirates return to the mats tonight at Del Norte. Pagosa will dual the host team and Salida, with wrestling beginning at 6 p.m.
Big third quarter not quite enough for ladies
By Richard Walter
Snip, snip, snip, snip.
That might be the sound of Pagosa Lady Pirate fans clipping the third quarter of Tuesday's home clash against Dolores for the scrapbook.
The bad news was the first half, when the Class 2A Lady Bears built a 28-17 lead as Pagosa attempted only 12 shots from the floor and hit only four of those.
Dolores meanwhile, paced by 12 points from their leading scorer, Tracy Everett, including a trey, launched 33 shots in the half, hitting 11 of them.
After a 6-4 first quarter, Dolores exploded to a 16-9 second quarter keyed by eight from Everett and four from senior guard Jennifer Cross.
Pagosa, too, scored better in the period, but not as much better, getting two points each from Caitlin Forrest, Katie Bliss, Mollie Honan and three from Shannon Walkup.
Still, Pagosa was down only 22-13 at the half.
Then came the explosion on the home end of the court.
Bri Scott drilled three jumpers and Jewell came back with two strong moves inside for four points, while Joni Everett was converting four free throws for Dolores.
With one minute gone in the period, Pagosa took the lead at 36-34 on a steal and drive to the nets by Bliss.
Walkup, who had missed four free throws in the first half, joined in with three from the line and a driving left handed layup.
Dolores got deuces from Tracy Everett, Ashley Reed, McKenzie Reed and Melissa Schmitt, and the game was tied at 34 after three.
But the spectre of foul trouble was looming for Pagosa down the stretch.
That was to be the difference in the game as Dolores converted eight points from the stripe in the fourth period (16 of 20 for the game) to gain a 48-43 victory over the Lady Pirates.
Pagosa was not done after the big third period.
Scott had eight of her game-high 15 points in the fourth, including a pair of treys. But only Honan, with a strong rebound putback, joined her in the scoring column.
When Jewell, the leading re-bounder in the game with seven, fouled out and Honan, with five boards, followed suit, Pagosa's board control was temporarily thwarted.
Emily Buikema, a 5-foot-11 freshman, playing her longest stint of the season, responded with five boards of her own in a relief role, blocked a shot and added a steal.
As indicated, the game was actually decided at the foul line. Pagosa was 8 for 17 from the stripe, outscored by eight charity tosses in a five-point game.
Coach Bob Lynch had expressed concern prior to the game about getting some kind of continuous play from his squad after its disappointing loss to Bayfield.
After the game he was pleased with the second half play and indicated he thinks the younger players are beginning to gel as a unit and understand their roles as part of a team effort.
He noted the Lady Pirates cut their turnover total for the second straight game, to 17, after three games with 30 or more.
"You can't score when you don't have the ball," he said, "and tonight we protected it much better, though there's certainly room for improvement."
Both teams hit 17 shots from the floor but for the first time in several weeks, Pagosa's percentage was better than their opponent's, 37 (17 of 45) as compared to 34 percent (17 of 49) for Dolores.
The Lady Pirates also outre-bounded the visitors 34-25 and had more steals, 12-7.
The loss leaves Pagosa at 6-8 on the season and looking for their first Intermountain League victory when they host Monte Vista Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
One other breath of good news for Pagosa was the revelation Tuesday that Lori Walkup, out the last five and a half games with a broken bone in her hand, will return to at least limited action for the Monte Vista game.
Scoring, Pagosa: Scott, 6-11, 1-2, 15; Maberry, 1-2, 1-1, 3; S. Walkup, 2-5, 3-7, 7; Honan, 3-4, 0-0, 6; Bliss, 2-3, 0-1, 4; Jewell, 3-6, 1-3, 7; Forrest 0-3, 2-2, 2; Kelly 0-5, 0-1, 0; Buikema, 0-3, 0-0, 0. Rebounds: Jewell 7, Walkup and Kelly 3. Steals: Walkup, Honan, Bliss 3 each. Assists leaders: Bliss 5, Walkup 3. Blocks: Jewell 2, Buikema 1. Total fouls: Pagosa 21, Dolores 17. Turnovers: Pagosa 17, Dolores 11.
Wolverines toss Lady Pirates overboard
By Richard Walter
Shooting 25 percent from the field will not win many basketball games, especially when your opponent is blistering the nets at better than 57 percent.
That was the lesson learned by Pagosa's Lady Pirates Friday when they bowed 51-38 to Bayfield's Lady Wolverines on the winner's home court.
Pagosa's frustration grew exponentially from mid-first period on.
The Lady Pirates opened the game scoring on their first two possessions with field goals by Bri Scott and Shannon Walkup, and led 6-2 with four minutes left in the period.
That was the end of the good news for the team, though there were some excellent individual efforts.
From that decisive point on, Bayfield outscored Pagosa 13-4 to take a first-period lead of 15-10. They reached that mark with a 7-for-8 streak from the floor, including a trey by point guard Jackie Shaw.
The balance of Pagosa's scoring in the period came from 6-foot-2 sophomore center Caitlyn Jewell who would be the Pirate's bright spot with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 steals and four blocked shots in the game.
Jewell added four more in the second period but the only scoring help she got, as the Pirates blew 11 layup opportunities, came on a pair of free throws from freshman forward Caitlin Forrest.
Bayfield, meanwhile, cooled down to only 10 points in the period with Jamie Hill scoring four of her 10 for the game and Kim Piccoli, Ashley Hahn and Shaw each adding a pair.
The result was a 25-16 Bayfield lead at halftime.
Pagosa cut the lead to six with two quick second-half markers by Scott and Melissa Maberry, but then they went stone cold again. Jewell had the only field goal in the period for the Pagosans. Forrest had two more charity tosses and Katie Bliss hit three of four from the line for her only points of the game.
Bayfield outscored Pagosa by a single point in the period, getting five from Piccoli and two each from Hill, Lacy Beck and Cassie Dunnavant.
That left Pagosa down 37-27 after three periods.
Jewell did her best to bring the visitors back in the final frame, scoring six more and blocking two shots by Piccoli. Maberry added a deuce and freshman guard Liza Kelly drilled a trey on her first appearance with the varsity in five weeks following an calf muscle pull.
Shaw answered with five for Bayfield, Piccoli with four, Dunn-avant with three and Shaw with two as the Lady Wolverines broke a 10-year, 20-game losing streak to Pagosa with a final margin of 51-38.
Coach Bob Lynch was discouraged that his girls didn't recognize and adjust to the Bayfield pick and roll offense which repeatedly resulted in short shots for scores.
"We called time out and told them what was happening and how to defense it," he said, "but they just couldn't get it done."
The most frustrating thing, however, after the Ladies shot better than 50 percent against Ignacio earlier in the week, was their 15 for 58 performance against the Wolverines.
Only Jewell, at 9-18 had a good shooting percentage. Thirteen of the Wolverines rebounds came at the offensive end, giving them second chance shots. And they shot 24 of 42 from the floor, hitting nine more from the field than Pagosa while taking 16 fewer shots.
Pagosa had 26 rebounds in the game, but 16 came at the defensive end.
The result left the Lady Pirates at 0-3 in the Intermountain League while Bayfield improved to 2-1 in the IML with the victory. The following night, they upset highly ranked and previously undefeated Centauri to take over a share of the league lead.
Pagosa faces Monte Vista on the road at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The San Luis Valley Lady Pirates dealt Bayfield their league loss but in turn lost to Ignacio. Ignacio and Bayfield meet this week.
Scoring, Pagosa: Scott, 2-9, 0-2, 4; Maberry, 2-7, 0-0, 4; Walkup, 1-11, 0-2, 2; Honan, 0-5, 0-1, 0; Bliss, 0-2, 3-4, 3; Jewell, 9-18, 0-2, 18; Forrest, 0-1, 4-4, 4; Tomforde, 0-1, 0; Kelly, 1-2, 3. Rebound leaders: Jewell 11, Scott 4, Bliss 3. Steals: Jewell 4, Walkup and Honan 2 each. Assists: Walkup 3. Blocks: Jewell 4, Walkup and Maberry, 1 each. Turnovers: Pagosa 20, Bayfield 14. Fouls: Pagosa 17, Bayfield 15.
Pagosa teen has fastest fun race time
Alexis Loewen of Pagosa Springs, competing in the girls' 15-17 bracket, turned in the fastest time of the day in Saturday's fourth fun races of the season at Wolf Creek Ski Area.
Loewen ran the course in 25.20 seconds to win gold in her division. Close behind were Erin Laine of Monte Vista with 27.01 and Natali Atkins of Monte Vista who finished in 31.21.
Top male time of the day went to Duncan Coleman of Alpine Village who completed his run in 26.10 to win the men's 51-60 bracket.
He was trailed by Bob Filice of Pagosa Springs running in 29.77 and Gerry Riggs of Pagosa who finished in 29.95.
In girls' 12-14, Stephanie Atkins of Monte Vista and Brittany Zielke of South Fork tied in 31.74 for gold with Kelly Van Dilla of Santa Fe following in 38.50.
Lori Benninghoff of Phoenix captured women's 41-50 with a run of 36.23. Close behind in second were Marky Egan of Pagosa in 36.27 and Jean Dewart of Los Alamos in 39.28.
Women's 51-60 was an all-Pagosa finish with Lynda Van Patter first in 35.76, Marcia Haydel second in 36.24 and Katherine Cruse third in 37.83.
Devin Monkiewicz of Pagosa Springs ran the boys' 3-5 bracket in 1:03.23 while his brother, Shay, captured boys' 6-8 in 33.81 and Adam Eberharg of Los Alamos won boys' 9-11 in 48.83.
In another all-Pagosa finish, Chase Moore won boys' 12-14 in 33.29, Kevin Blue was second in 35.75 and Daniel Martinez third in 41.05.
Kyle Sanders of Pagosa took boys' 15-17 in 28.17 and Bill Johnson, also of Pagosa, was first in men's 31-35 with a run of 30.85.
Men's 41-50 went to Joe Desgearges of Boulder in 26.44. Tom Frick of Dallas was second in 27:35 and Erik Judson of Louisville, Colo., third in 28.55.
In the bracket for men 61 and over, Pagosans again were 1, 2 and 3. Dave Bryan was first in 26.49, Bryant Lemon second in 27.94 and Dennis Driscoll third in 38.46.
The next fun races at Wolf Creek will be Feb. 1.
Wolf Creek Ski Team opens season
The Wolf Creek Racing Team made its first competitive appearance of the season early this month with seven youngsters 12-15 years old placing in races at Angel Fire Resort in New Mexico.
Rick Sutphin, coach of the Wolf Creekers, said the course was long, requiring approximately three minutes in total combined time.
"The terrain was challenging with steep sections and fast, flat gliding sections," he said, "with snow conditions very firm and fast."
The Wolf Creek team competed against nearly 150 other racers.
Kala Matzdorf, 12, of Pagosa Springs, was 11th in J4 class.
Mackenzie Kitson, 12, of Pagosa Springs, was 12th in J4.
Clay King, 13, of Pagosa Springs, was 22nd in J3.
Erin Laine, 15, of Monte Vista, third in J2 class, received a bronze medal but missed a gate.
Natalie Atkins, 14, of Monte Vista was 8th in J3.
Brittney Zielke, 13, of South Fork, was 9th in J3.
Stephanie Atkins, 12, of Monte Vista, was 21st in J4.
The giant slalom Southern Series races were sanctioned by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
Eva C. Darmopray passed away at the age of 77 on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2003 in Pagosa Springs.
She was born to Gertrude and Arthur Fehlberg Sept. 11, 1925, in Berlin, Germany. After completing business college in Berlin, she married Master Sgt. Peter Darmopray on Sept. 20, 1948. They settled in Aurora, Colo., where they raised their family.
In 1970 they moved to Glenwood Springs, Colo., where they spent many happy years. Upon the death of Peter, Eva moved to Pagosa Springs where she was an avid quilter and very active with the Pagosa Springs Senior Center.
Surviving Eva are her daughters and their families: Chrissy and Nick Karas of Pagosa Springs; Shere and Steve Dayney of Denver, Suzy and Warren Wright of New Castle; four grandchildren, Aristotle and Avery Karas and Emilina and Piet Dayney and two great grandchildren, Sierra and Alexandra Karas; a brother, Karlheintz Fehlberg of Aurora, Colo., his wife, and two nephews, Ralph of Seattle and Kevin Fehlberg of Denver.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Peter, a granddaughter, Isabelle Downey, and a niece, Kendra Fehlberg.
As a celebration of her life, her family will receive guests from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in her home at 160 Pinon Causeway, No. 3040.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions made in her memory to the Colorado SIDS program, 6825 E. Tennessee Ave., Denver, CO 80224.
Ernest Filson Day passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2003.
He was born March 20, 1929, in Arkansas City, Kan., to Lotus and Minnie Mable Filson Day and was 73.
He was a 1951 graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and was a Kansas State DeMolay officer and Kiwanis Club member. He served the Lord faithfully through his work as a Southern Baptist missionary from 1956 to 1973.
Later he became a master locksmith and spent 30 years in the business. He lived in many places in his lifetime, but moved from Los Ojos, N.M., to Roswell, N.M. in 1972. He was an organizer and facilitator for AA groups in New Mexico. He was married to Irene Quintanar in 1991.
He was preceded in death by a son, Lotus Merle Day; his parents; and a sister, Jeanne Roberts.
Survivors are his wife, Irene of Roswell; his son, Stephen Day of Cortez; a daughter and son-in-law, Deborah and Doug Oakes of Bailey; his son and daughter-in-law, Louis and Eileen Day of Pagosa Springs; his daughter and son-in-law, Omega and Steve Lawrence of Roswell; his daughter and son-in-law Paloma and Tim Leach of Bailey; his wife of 34 years and mother of those children, Dolores Day of Bailey; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A funeral service was held in Grace Chapel of Pagosa Springs Funeral Options on Saturday, Jan. 25. Rev. Louis Day, his son, officiated. Burial will take place in the old family homesite, the Linda Vista Ranch in Cedarvale, Kan.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. today in First Baptist Church in Roswell.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Ernest Day to American Bible Society, 300 NW 82nd Ave., Suite 505A, Plantation, FL 33324 (Attn: Evette Rogers).
Funeral services for Wilbur Voorhis, longtime Pagosa resident and husband of Phoebe Jones-Voorhis, will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs.
Mr. Voorhis, who had celebrated his 85th birthday Dec. 3, passed away in Nevada this week.
A full obituary will be published next week. For further information, call Pagosa Springs Funeral Options, 264-2386.
Businesses add $6,000 to school library fund
By Richard Walter
Pagosans are generous and youngsters using the Pagosa Springs Junior High School Library are learning that fact first hand.
When the school district started an accelerated reading program last September, it increased demand for books in the joint junior high-intermediate school library.
Students, teachers and parents joined forces and sponsored a book fair which raised $2,000 for the library fund.
But some parents were not done. They knew the sum, though impressive, was not enough to supply the library the way it should be.
Librarian Cindy Hamilton said Shelley and Lonny Low coordinated a donation drive among local individuals and businesses - a drive that brought in an additional $6,000.
She said the library fund will be used to purchase books that both students and teachers have requested to have on hand as part of the accelerated program.
At the current average price of $15 for a good quality publication, she said, that means approximately 534 new volumes will be added to the shelves.
The community effort, Hamilton said, came at an optimum time because of the need to expand the library's collection and the increased enthusiasm students are showing in reading.
In all, at least 28 businesses donated to the library fund as did several individual business representatives and service organizations.
27 perfect marks pace junior high honor roll
Twenty-seven students, 12 seventh and 15 eighth-graders with perfect marks, head the second quarter honor roll for Pagosa Springs Junior High School.
Seventh-graders on the perfect list released by Larry Lister, principal, were Chance Adams, Patrick Ford, Misha Garcia, Bruce Hoch, Bradley Iverson, Mackenzie Kitson, Jessica Low, Travis Moore, Keith Pitcher, Hannah Price, Trey Quiller and Corey Windnagel.
Eighth-graders with top marks were Brooke Cumbie, Malinda Fultz, Alaina Garman, Jamilyn Harms, Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, Jessica Lynch, Elise McDonald.
Also, Aaron Miller, Jordyn Morelock, Laurel Reinhardt, Jennie Shearston, Grace Smith, Max Smith, Jessie Stewart and Jennifer Haynes.
In addition, 32 seventh-graders and 43 from the eighth grade were named to the regular honor roll.
Seventh-graders cited include Clara Barber, Maddy Bergon, Amanda Brown, Julian Caler, Dan Cammack, Kylie Corcoran, Cameron Creel, Stacy Dominguez.
Perle Garcia, Tamara Gayhart, Brad Gore, Eric Hurd, Whitney Jackson, Josh Laydon, Stephen Leslie, Lauren Loewen, Chase Moore, Tricia Perea.
Also, Ashley Portnell, Adam Price, Forrest Rackham, Ramonsita Salas, Sarah Schultz, Andrew Shaw, Andrea Stanton, Clayton Tamburelli, Laurena Thomas, Joshua Trout, Maria Valenzuela, Wes Walters and Isaiah Warren.
Eighth-graders on the regular honor roll were Dale August, Tad Beavers, Michael Bradford, Sabra Brown, Kimberly Canty, Westin Carey, Diane Chapman.
Also, Hannah Clark, Kristen DuCharme, YoVonda Eaklor, Lashay Fredlund, Iris Frye, Kim Fulmer, Travis Furman, Gunnar Gill, Haley Goodman.
Samantha Harris, Casey Hart, Jennifer Herd, Anna Hershey, Kristin Hopper, Shanti Johnson, Michael King, Rosie Lee, Riley Lynch, Lyndsey Mackey.
Also, Ashley Maddux, Marissa Maddux, James Martinez, Kyra Matzdorf, Tiffany Mayne, Ben Owens, Drew Parkinson, Josh Pringle, Fara Rediske.
KaTrina Reese, Spur Ross, Kelly Sause, Teresa Silva, Tamara Stanton, Trevor Trujillo, Patrick Waggener, Trina Zielinski, John Hoffman, Ellen Niehaus, Keyton Nash-Putnam and Michael Caves.
County to expand public transit service
By Tom Carosello
Archuleta County commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday enabling the board to enter into an agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation that will secure federal funding necessary for the expansion of the county public transportation system.
Currently, the county's two year-round public transit entities, Mountain Express and the Senior Transportation Program, utilize four vehicles primarily for employment purposes, shopping opportunities and activities associated with Social Services. With the acquisition of new funds, the county hopes to broaden the scope of service.
The transportation funds, which will be disbursed by the state but are described as federal Grant No. 5311 funds, will be used to increase the number of stops in higher-demand, outlying areas along the U.S. 160 corridor such as Turkey and Aspen Springs.
Improving the safety and accessibility of loading zones in such areas is an additional goal listed in the contract, as is the expansion of the current Monday-Friday schedule to include Saturdays. Also included is a proposal to provide benches, windbreak shelters and improved signage where feasible.
In accordance with the contract, the continued funding for the expansion project, including possible reimbursements to the county, will be contingent upon quarterly performance reviews by the state to ensure the improvement objectives set forth in the contract are being met.
Project cost, including administrative and operating sums, will be shared by the county and the state (from federal funds) and is estimated at $48,286. Included in the agreement is an obligation for the county's share of that cost in the amount of $22,286.
The commissioners conducted the following additional business this week:
- The board approved a change order resulting in additional expenditures in the amount of $24,000 for the completion of a vehicle storage shelter/shed for the county road and bridge department.
- The board approved the authorization of $18,631 from the general fund for the purchase of a vehicle to be used for countywide animal control services.
- A motion carried allowing the county to enter into a service agreement with Affiliated Computer Service for expenses associated with the daily operation of the treasurer's and assessor's offices and authorized the county administrator to sign the contract.
- In response to a request by Mark Hall, project manager for Hall Construction, the board agreed to send a letter of support for the attempt to gain a government grant for the purpose of creating an organization that will utilize small-diameter wood (from forest reduction programs) to create bedding for animals and mulch for gardening purposes. If a grant is obtained, the product will be labeled, packaged and sold as a recycled forest byproduct.
- The board heard an annual review/future goals report from Erlinda Gonzalez, director of social services, and approved the corresponding contracts associated with the successful daily operations of the department.
- A request by planning staff for the approval of the final plat of the re-plat of Lots 9X and 10, Block 1 of the Amended Plat of Pagosa Peaks Subdivision 2 was granted by the commissioners.
- A motion to abandon a portion of the old Blanco Basin Road (Regester Loop) from its western intersection with County Road 326 to its intersection with the eastern limits of the Regester property carried unanimously. The remaining easterly portion of the road to where it intersects with County Road 326 will remain a county road.
Four candidates for EMS operations manager
By Tess Noel Baker
By March, the Emergency Medical Services department at the Upper San Juan Health Service District could have a new operations manager.
That's the person responsible for supervising the paramedics and EMTs, assisting with the EMS budget, coordinating training, maintaining inventory controls, coordinating public information and overseeing vehicle maintenance and resource use. It's also another person trained as a paramedic in case it's necessary to go on a call.
The position has been vacant since October. In the interim, it was filled by District Manager Dee Jackson. Jackson is not a paramedic.
Employees told the district's board Jan. 21, the seat has remained unfilled too long. They also didn't want to rush the process.
Norm Niesen, a member of the screening committee, complained that with two days to go before scheduled telephone interviews, the committee had yet to meet or have an opportunity to review resumes.
By Jan. 29, that had changed.
Phone interviews originally set for Jan. 23 were postponed to Jan. 27. Instead, the committee members met Jan. 23 to review resumes, and compile a list of questions for both the phone interviews and on-site interviews.
Three candidates interviewed over the phone were invited to come on-site for a second round of interviews planned for the first or second week of February. A candidate currently employed by the district will also participate in the face-to-face interviews.
District Manager Dee Jackson said the candidates include three men and one woman. Those from out-of-town will be coming from Oxford, Mass., Portland, Ore. and Albuquerque. All have between 10 and 15 years experience as paramedics. Three of the four have at least five years experience as operations managers. The other has more limited management experience.
Following the on-site interviews, information will be assimilated and the screening committee will review the candidates again. The responsibility for the final decision is Jackson's. She said salary ranges between $38,000 and $40,000.
Niesen, a part-time EMT and president of the EMT Association, said among the candidates being considered, there is probably someone who can fill the position for the district.
"Of course, you can never be sure," he said. "This is such a critical position to the operation of the EMS portion of the district. We need to get someone who can go to Dee and express our concerns, and more importantly we need to find someone we can respect and work with on a daily basis."
Other members of the screening committee include: Scott Scols, EMS Coordinator of the Durango Fire Authority; Rod Richardson, Deputy Chief Upper Pine Fire and Rescue and former USJHSD operations manager; Dr. Bob Brown; Crystal Conklin, paramedic and Jackson.
County property taxes total $13 million
By Tom Carosello
It's tax time again in Pagosa Country, and according to Traves Garrett, county treasurer, tax statements for 2002 were mailed out Jan. 17 to anyone who owns property within Archuleta County.
According to Garrett, the total amount levied last year, including collection and late fees, amounts to just over $13 million. That figure is up from 2001's grand total of $10.9 million.
Anyone who is expecting a statement and hasn't received one can call the treasurer's office at (970) 264-2152 for a duplicate or to verify address information.
Those who received a statement can pay the full amount due by April 30, or choose to send the payment in two equal halves. Those who choose the latter option have until Feb. 28 to send the first half, and will be required to send the second half by June 15. Late fees will be assessed on any payments not received before the deadlines.
Payments can be dropped off at the treasurer's office at 449 San Juan St., or mailed to P.O. Box 790, Pagosa Springs CO 81147.
Before calling the treasurer's or assessor's office with questions concerning tax rates, it is important to note that neither determines the rate. It is the assessor's responsibility to determine assessed property values; the treasurer is responsible for the collection of property taxes.
The assessor appraises the market value of property according to rules set forth by the state of Colorado. The assessor then calculates the assessed value based on formulas provided by the state and in accordance with rules established for each class of property, then notifies the corresponding taxing entities in August of each year, stating the assessed values of each property within that entity's boundaries.
Each entity then develops a budget for the following year using assessed values provided by the assessor, and the subsequent tax rates are established by each entity and reflect the need for increases (or decreases) in revenue.
For example, people who own property within the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District will notice an increase in the amount levied by the district due to the passage of the water bond during last year's General Election.
In Archuleta County, there are 17 taxing entities, some having overlapping boundaries. Therefore someone who owns property within the Upper San Juan Hospital District, Upper San Juan Library District and Pagosa Area Fire Protection District will pay taxes to each of those districts.
The total amount due on the statement reflects the sum of all taxes owed to each district.
Anyone with questions or discrepancies concerning assessed values within a particular district can call the county assessor's office at (970) 264-5656.
Police statistics hold stable in 2002
By Tess Noel Baker
The majority of time, it seems crime still doesn't pay in Pagosa Springs.
According to the 2002 end-of- the-year police reports, 65 percent of offenses and an estimated 79 percent of reports were closed during the year.
Reports and offenses involving alcohol and drugs, weapons and drivers under the influence were all down compared to 2001. At the same time, felony arrests were at their highest in 10 years.
"I'm pleased," Chief Don Volger said. "By and large I believe the officers are active and working diligently to get the job done."
He said having a full-time investigator during the whole year probably helped boost felony arrest numbers. Misdemeanor arrests remained static at 162, the same number as 2001. Juveniles apprehended for felonies actually dropped slightly from 15 in 2001 to 10 in 2002. Juveniles apprehended for misdemeanors rose by two, from 38 to 40 and remained well below a 10-year high of 93 in 1995.
Increases in business checks and public assists Volger credited to the effect of having a parking enforcement officer downtown in the daytime.
Motor vehicle accident totals actually went up in 2002, but only slightly. Accidents investigated by the department involving damage of under $1,000 rose from 54 to 65 for 2002, and accidents involving damage of over $1,000 totaled 119, compared to 114 in 2001. Officers are not required to investigate those accidents resulting in under $1,000 damage and only do so at the driver's request, so some of these might not be included in the final statistics.
Volger said increased numbers of people coming through the area, either moving here or just traveling through, continue to play into the accident numbers. Even the fires and highway construction in the area during the summer of 2002 didn't seem to cut down numbers enough to make a difference.
Looking over the other numbers, officers investigated 20 cases of domestic violence. Of those, 10 involved alcohol and/or drugs and seven resulted in injury.
Fifty-seven dog offenses were recorded and a total of 66 animals were impounded over the year. The impound number is down from 88 in 2001 and a 10-year high of 135 in 1997.
None of the offenses reported this year resulted in a death.
Community to celebrate Garret's birthday
The community is invited to a Celebration of Life for Garrett Carothers 1-4 p.m. Feb. 1.
The event will be held in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street to celebrate the birthday of the dog attack victim who will turn 9 the following day.
Planners suggest no gifts be offered, but donations for Garrett's medical fund will be appreciated.
Peace walk planned
here Feb. 8
There will be a gathering Feb. 8 for everyone interested in promoting and celebrating peaceful alternatives to international conflict.
Those concerned should meet at 10 a.m. at the gazebo in Town Park.
A peace walk, starting at the gazebo, will make a loop around the River Walk, ending at the map site at the base of Reservoir Hill.
Participants will be invited to place a rock on a peace cairn to be constructed at this site. Because it is winter and the restroom facilities are closed, the gathering will be short, but meaningful.
For further information, call 731-5701 or 731-2307.
Following the meeting of the Upper San Juan Health Services District last week, a committee formed with the goal of representing district employees' and citizens' concerns and grievances and to work for positive change.
This group had met informally over the past several months but realized it was time for a more cohesive and legal status. The group is The Archuleta County Health Care Project.
A subcommittee of this group is the legally required committee that will carry out recall petitions and potential employee-citizen petitions requesting specific changes in the district. A current recall election petition of Dick Babillis, the chairman of the district board, is proceeding with legal research and organization.
The district's professional medical staff, paramedic staff, other employees and the general public have expressed a variety of concerns recently. The Health Care Project has reduced these to a list of proposed accomplishments, including, but not limited to:
- That the district business operation, the EMS and the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, each have its own manager dedicated to the sole management of that entity.
- That the system be reconfigured to the recent Clifford proposal so that the district manager becomes district business manager.
- That the district business manager, the medical center manager and the EMS manager act as a triumvirate managing body for subjects and areas that affect the entire district and report to the board on an equal basis.
- That compensation and general authority of these managers is equal.
- That the board create an accounting and business oversight committee checking all accounting and business decisions and activity.
- That the district board create an official and permanent planning commission as an independent entity from the board and management triumvirate except that any member of either may serve on the commission as an equal to a regular commission member. The commission appoints it own membership, leaders and committee. That the planning commission be charged with the task of making immediate to long range plans for future medical and emergency medical activity of the district. That the recommendations from the commission become the actionable items for the district board to accomplish with all reasonable speed.
- That funding from the mill levy, donations, grants and all other sources be provided and budgeted on an as-needed but, over the long term, equal basis.
- That the district board hire a professional medical grant writer or a professional medical grant writing service, serving the entire district.
That the district board unanimously pass a resolution of absolute amnesty for all employees and citizens involved in the current process, for all ill feelings and animosities so that everyone can work in harmony for the best interest of health care in Archuleta County.
The Archuleta County Health Care Project believes these accomplishments should resolve most current problems and provide an enhanced organization and policy platform for the future.
Senator Isgar, a true Democrat, believes the state should not reduce spending during the present difficult economic times, but should increase spending by growing government programs. Thankfully, we have TABOR, the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, to protect us from the insatiable legislative appetite for spending.
The senator blames TABOR for the state's financial problems but the revenue shortfall is the cause, not TABOR. Most other states are experiencing the same revenue decline, without TABOR. Most are in worse shape than Colorado because they don't have a TABOR to help control their legislature.
TABOR was adopted by the voters in an attempt to restrain expansion of state programs and the start of additional programs without taxpayer approval. By limiting total spending and requiring the refund of excess collections and requiring voter approval of tax increases, voters were attempting to restrain uncontrolled government growth and to have some influence on such growth as the voters might believe was reasonable and necessary.
However, from the beginning, the Legislature, and most other tax spending entities, adopted a rather hostile attitude toward TABOR, and thus, also, the taxpayers. The Legislature has been most flagrant in disregarding TABOR provisions and thereby, abusing the taxpayers.
The senator mentions State Treasurer Coffman and his desire to solve TABOR caused problems. The only problem caused by TABOR is tax spenders being limited in their spending and must have voter approval to increase taxes. Yes, they have a TABOR-caused problem. Mr. Coffman is not indicating a desire to remove those restrictions.
An article published Dec. 31 indicates Mr. Coffman wants to rescind 19 "special interest tax cuts" passed in the last four years, and accumulate the revenue as surplus - if any - and use it to create a Rainy-day Fund.
The fund would be used to guarantee state funding for programs during times, like now, of reduced tax revenue.
The fund would equal 6 percent of the state's annual budget and would amount to about $500 million at current figures. Quoting Mr. Coffman further, "... we are a better state today thanks to TABOR, but in 10 years of TABOR the legislature has diverted 32 percent of the surplus to special interest tax cuts."
In the same article, Barry Poulson of Colorado University, said, "the state's current fiscal problems have been made worse because of the legislative practice of delaying refunding TABOR surplus dollars to taxpayers by one year, allowing lawmakers to spend those funds in the interim."
"As a result, the state is required to refund about $400 million next year (2003) during a time when revenues are down about 14 percent." A Jan. 16 article said the $400 million may not be refunded after all.
The diversion of funds noted above was actually refunds made to a certain class of taxpayer, Colorado businesses. It was completely unfair and a slap in the face to all other taxpayers as their refunds were reduced by the amount diverted.
TABOR requires excess revenue "be refunded in the next fiscal year." Delay of the refund beyond that time is not an option and is in violation. Spending any of the excess, at any time, without voter approval, is a direct violation of TABOR mandates.
It's hard to understand the senator's desire to eliminate TABOR when the Legislature can evade its provisions at will, seemingly without censure or penalty.
Cross with Cruse
An article in your Jan. 31 edition by Cruse has me questioning why you would allow someone this unstable to write an article in the only community newspaper we have.
This is a small community where everyone could work together to resolve issues. To even suggest that we handle issues in the way Ms. Cruse has expressed is not realistic nor does it represent the type of environment in my opinion, we should foster.
I would like to address just a few of her comments.
"Barking dogs can make you have murderous thoughts."
Perhaps there is a sanity issue for Ms. Cruse.
Owners of dogs do hear them bark and try, I am sure, to discourage such. However, dogs communicate by barking. Maybe we should just rip their vocal cords out. At the same time, maybe we should also rip out human beings' vocal cords that talk excessively without any knowledge of what they are talking about.
"We even got up at three in the morning and drove over that way."
Ms. Cruse actually got out of bed and into her car and drove at 3 a.m. to look for a barking dog?
Perhaps, Ms. Cruse should try some type of relaxing therapy. Is her house insulated? Maybe earmuffs would work. Just a thought.
"We kicked around a lot of possible solutions. My favorite was strychnine. Eliminate the problem permanently."
Does Ms. Cruse realize children read this paper? Do you really think the way to deal with a problem you have is to handle it in a murderous way? Does she always just "eliminate the problem permanently" rather than trying to work it out? Perhaps the dogs were barking so much because they knew she was mentally distressed and were trying to help her. If anyone's animal in the community has died of poisoning by strychnine, they might want to contact Ms. Cruse.
"Take care of our safety first, then help our sanity."
Perhaps Ms. Cruse should seek some professional help to assist her with her sanity or lack of it. It is my understanding there are a few professionals in the area that would do well in helping Ms. Cruse's condition.
Dogs and all creatures are part of our universe. Although human beings dominate this universe, we still need to have compassion for all creatures, even though we may not always appreciate or understand their "subhuman" culture.
Kathryn and Doug Saley
Not much happening in the county news this past week; nothing really sensational or showy. But local doctors, paramedics and other health care employees were dropping savage, penetrating bombs all over the Upper San Juan Health Service District Board and it's district manager for almost four hours the evening of Jan. 21.
The marathon meeting began with a few in the audience piling continuous kudos, plaudits, accolades, etc. on some board members and the district manager regarding lofty community donations and for solving the district's financial crisis; in general, a lot of patting narrative.
Then, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story," was written. And it is a mighty scary story folks. Personally, I was well beyond being astonished. I was mortified. Some employee revelations were bizarre.
Presently, should any medical emergency come to pass, there might be no "smiling, well-qualified," medical professional in the future to treat my unhealthy, dysfunctional, dim-witted mind. I am not a happy puppy.
Hopefully, any flare-ups in my diseased bones would never occur during those proposed hours when absolutely no doctors will be on call or available. I guess my family will have to make a speed run to the emergency room in Durango and just love it; while I am consumed by fungi.
During the Jan. 21 meeting, I had to ask myself, "I wonder what type of reputation the district and the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic could have in our given state's medical education system with all their latest disorder? Will the district have serious problems trying to hire another doctor from our state's family practice doctor education system? Who would be nuts enough to want to take on or be a part of its current chaotic state?"
What difficulty does the current board have with earnestly seeking money? I asked the board how many grants it has won in the last few years and I received a tap dance answer of "we've received some large donations from grateful residents." That's nice, but I asked about very large grants - not donations. So, I can only assume they've done very little in the pursuit of grant monies.
It seems to me it is the board which must make a serious effort to obtain meaningful grants and it must be the board's lack of effort that resulted in the clinic's financial problems.
Do board members think being on the board is a two-hour a month job? If so, then we have a "do nothing" board. Only one solution, those maintaining that thought process need to leave - quickly.
I am now asking myself, "Can the present board and district manager reverse the severe emotional trauma that has consumed Archuleta County medical professionals?" I'll know it's happening when I begin to hear them making positive statements at future district board meetings.
Currently the Archuleta County health care employee morale and team spirit is by no means healthy or humorous - it is noxious.
Last week's article on the EMT's problems with the district indicates the situation is just as serious at the Mary Fisher Clinic.
Complaints are not from just a "couple of trouble makers" as I was told by the board president.
When I read Norm Vance's letters last fall, I realized what I had noticed in the unusual concern on some of the employees was not my imagination and when I questioned several, I learned that morale had been shot.
They all had the same stories of being insulted professionally as well as personally. More than one said that when disagreeing with the conclusion of management they were told if they didn't like it, they could quit and could be replaced easily.
The board is satisfied with management "because it brought our finances into the black."
Those of us in management, and there are many in Pagosa, would not tolerate this method. We have managed by inspiring our subordinates because high morale is any organization's greatest asset. This board is disastrous.
State halts funding cuts for Aging Services Program
By Janet Copeland
We had some welcome news this week: at least for now, the State Joint Budget Committee has agreed not to make any cuts in the state funds for Aging Services Program.
This is a huge relief, though we realize things could change in the future. It would still be helpful for seniors to contact our state legislators to let them know how vital these funds are to our operation and how much we appreciate their help in trying to keep these funds intact.
The AARP/TCE Tax Preparation Program will again offer its confidential and free services to senior citizens and any person with low to moderate income.
This assistance includes the preparation of the Colorado 104 PTC, Property Tax, Rent, Heat Rebate Credit for eligible people. They offer help with preparation of Federal and Colorado tax returns, assistance with specific questions on taxes if the person has prepared their own return, and/or the review of tax returns prepared by the taxpayer. Taxpayers with Schedule C with depreciation, amortization and inventory; Schedules E, F or complicated capital gains should go to a paid professional tax preparer.
Tax form preparation and assistance sessions will be offered at least once weekly during February, March and until April 15. Call 264-2167 to schedule an appointment. Please bring your 2001 tax return(s) and all 2002 tax information.
Thanks to Chief Warren Grams for briefing us on fire safety and smoke alarms. This information is very important and we appreciate being reminded about what we should do in an emergency.
A big thank you to Patty Tillerson for volunteering to teach the class on Dominos on Friday. Domino games will be scheduled bi-weekly in February.
Also we thank Phil Heitz for installing rollers on the podium and the keyboard trey on our computer desk.
Congratulations to Jackie Schick for being honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Chamber of Commerce. She is a very deserving lady.
Lucille Arrington has been named the Volunteers Coordinator for the Silver Foxes Den, with June Nelson as her assistant. Thanks so much to these two wonderful ladies who volunteer many hours at our facility.
Don't forget: Jan. 31 is Spirit Day. Wear your Silver Foxes T-shirt.
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.
Congratulations to our Senior of the Week, Karen Feldt. Karen just recently qualified to be a "senior" but has been joining us, her Mom (Dody Smith) and her aunt (Gwen Woods) for meals for a long time. We love having her join us.
Welcome to the guests, returning members and new members who joined last week: Cindy Spear, Kathryn Ide, Cora Woolsey, Myra Miller (our new dietician), Gayle Reedy, Kent Schafer, Dianna Bells, Penny and Jack Nelson, Liz and Al Schnell, Lenore Bright and Frank Cain.
The Grief and Loss Program is now meeting at Dr. Deb Parker's office in The Adobe Building, 475 Lewis St., Suite 206. For more information call 946-9001.
For all you game players, ping pong, pool and foosball are available until 1 p.m. daily in the Teen Center.
The computer class has become so popular, it's expanding. There will now be an "advanced" class , Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
Friday - Yoga, 8:30 a.m.; Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; Jim Hanson, Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.; December birthday celebration, noon.
Feb. 3 - Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.
Feb. 4 - Yoga, 9:30 a.m.; Advanced computer class, 10:30 a.m.; Blood pressures taken , 11 a.m.; Art class, 12:45 p.m.
Feb. 5 - Computer class, 10:30 a.m.
Most county vets Priority 7-8
By Andy Fautheree
As I wrote last week, the VA has sharply restructured new enrollments in the VA Health Care system.
A veteran who applies for enrollment after Jan. 17, 2003, and is assigned to (new) Priority Group 8, will not be accepted for enrollment. Under the new policy, Priority Group 8 veterans already enrolled in the VA's health care system can continue to receive care. No veteran already enrolled will be affected.
Many veterans priority 7-8
Many of our Archuleta County veterans fall into the Priority Group 7 or the new Group 8. I would venture an estimate that 80-90 percent of the veterans this office has enrolled in the past two years would be in these Priority Groups. This would be veterans with no VA service-connected disability ratings or other status making them eligible for higher priority category, and have annual incomes above both national and geographic means (income) tests.
Veterans in Priority Group 8 have incomes that exceed $24,644 in 2003 for a single veteran and $29,576 for a veteran with a single dependent and also exceed a geographically based income threshold set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for public housing benefits. For Archuleta County this figure would be $25,750 for a single veteran and $29,450 for a veteran with one dependent.
Also part of the equation is "net estate" (gross estate minus qualifying debts) is greater than or equal to the net worth threshold of $80,000.
Income based VAHC
What does all this mean? The VA has gone back to making VA health care an income based benefit, along with the other factors that have always been in place. For the past few years VA health care was opened to all veterans with honorable discharges. Hundreds of Archuleta County veterans have been enrolled in the past few years. I have been strongly urging our veterans to get enrolled because I have been concerned this would happen. Thank goodness all those already enrolled are "grandfathered" and will continue to receive their VA health care just as they have been in the past.
But if you didn't get enrolled for one reason or another, it will be more difficult now. Congress has funded a record budget for the VA this year, but it was still short of meeting the needs of handling the current and the expected increased enrollment, and the needs of existing and new VAHC facilities.
Stay in the system
I would urge all of our veterans to be sure and stay enrolled in the VA health care system. You remain enrolled if you use the service at least once a year for a physical examination. If you should fail to meet the minimum appointment schedule for more than two years, you may be dropped from active participation. It is little cost to stay in the system and none of us are getting any younger. The pieces and parts start wearing out sooner or later.
Many of our veterans enrolled in VAHC to receive low cost VA prescription drugs, since Medicare does not normally cover this at age 65. Staying in the system will ensure you can continue with this valuable benefit, whether you need it now or later in life. Cheap insurance considering there is no premiums to pay.
Work is underway with the Department of Health and Human Service to determine how to give Priority Group 8 veterans aged 65 or older who cannot enroll in VA's health care system access to the "VA+Choice Medicare" plan. The plan calls for VA to participate as a Medicare+Choice provider. Eligible veterans would be able to use their Medicare benefits to obtain care from VA.
In return, VA would receive payments from a private health plan contracting with Medicare that would cover costs. This plan would become effective later this year as details are finalized between VA and the DHHS. Since it is still in the planning stage I saw no reference in the information I received whether this would include the VA Pharmacy program for prescription drugs. Normally Medicare does not pay for prescription drugs at this time.
For information on these and other Veterans benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949, and e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
Chamber takes encounter to Hart(s)
By Sally Hameister
We thank Bob and Mary Hart once again for hosting our all-day Chamber annual board encounter last Friday at their gorgeous Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat.
They gave us our very own large cabin replete with a blazing fire, perfect view and even provided tables and chairs to facilitate our mind-boggling marathon. We are most grateful to Bob and Mary and quickly and cheerfully accepted their kind invitation to join them again next year.
One of the things we accomplish at our retreat is the election of our officers for the year.
Our warm congratulations go out to Will Spears, our 2003 president; Sally Hovatter, vice president; and Toby Karlquist, secretary-treasurer.
Toby was particularly pleased with his new title when he learned the position requires neither note taking nor money handling. Such a deal.
We had a fun and productive session and pretty much accomplished what we set out to do. It's a terrific group of folks, and I sincerely look forward to the next year and working with them.
We're delighted to wish a very happy first year anniversary to Teri Matzdorf and her very successful consignment business, Upscale Resale.
Teri's business was so doggoned good that she expanded to another building right behind UR not too long after opening her doors to hold home furnishings. She is holding a special anniversary sale Feb.1, so please stop by to congratulate Teri on her first year in Pagosa and join her for some refreshments and good cheer.
If you are interested in learning about requirements for the 2003 Archuleta County Fair Royalty Pageant, please stop by the Visitor Center and pick up the application.
Being a member of the fair royalty is an honor indeed but also requires commitment and responsible behavior on the part of each young lady. You will need to bring your completed application to the first meeting at the Parish Hall Feb.10, and all contestants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at this first meeting.
If you have questions, please call Pamela Bomkamp at 264-2388.
Clouds in My Coffee
The Springs Hot Springs Resort is proud to announce the 16th addition to their family of hot mineral water pools which has recently opened to the public.
A contest was held among the staff at The Springs to name the new pool, and "Clouds in My Coffee" was selected because it best describes the "clouds" that billow up above the hot pools especially during the colder months. This new pool maintains a soaking temperature of 104-107 degrees F. making it one of the warmer pools in the family and a real favorite with guests.
It's early yet, but the Knights of Columbus of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and Missions of Pagosa Springs are planning what they hope will become an annual Duck Race.
This event will be held at Town Park Aug. 16, and you are invited to call Barry Pavlovich for details about this event at 731-0253.
The Pagosa Springs Community Choir is proud to announce the first annual spring concert May 1 at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.
Pam Spitler is the new choir director, Sue Anderson will again serve as accompanist and Cindi Owen has been appointed to the newly created position of artistic director.
This group is looking for some new board members, so please let them know if you are interested in serving.
You will hear many familiar favorites in this upcoming concert along with fun and innovative new numbers. Rehearsals will begin Feb. 4 from 7-9 p.m., and all subsequent rehearsals will be held on the same day and time in the chorus room at the junior high school. On the first night only, come at 6:30 p.m. to check in and pick up music. The suggested contribution to help cover music costs this spring is $20.
If you are interested or have friends and neighbors who might be interested in joining this talented group, please join them at the first rehearsal or call Sue Kehret at 731-3858 with any questions.
The Pagosa Fire Protection District, Upper San Juan Health Services and Emergency Medical Services will once again combine forces to present a Winter Carnival at the Parish Hall Feb. 8 from 2-8 p.m.
Last year around 425 children participated in all the fun and games, and this year should be bigger and better than ever.
Tickets for games are 25 cents and there will be plenty of prizes to go around. You can enjoy a cakewalk, clowns and snack on popcorn, hot dogs, nachos and more.
Proceeds raised at this event are used to fund a bicycle rodeo to be held in May to educate kids and parents about the importance of bicycle maintenance and safety.
If you have questions about the Winter Carnival, please call Holly Fulbright at 731-9289 or Terri Moody-Clifford at 731-5811.
Four new members join us this week joined by 10 renewals. The good times seem to continue just rolling along for Chamber membership and we couldn't be happier about that or more grateful to our good and loyal members.
Sandy Applegate joins us first with FoPA (Friends of the Performing Arts), a group with a mission. These folks organized with the admirable goal of building a performing arts center in Pagosa Springs. They are especially interested in finding that philanthropic soul who might donate a building that could be converted into an interim theater as well as land for the permanent facility. They have already presented a couple of productions to benefit this endeavor and would welcome any and all volunteers and donations that might help them accomplish this exciting goal. If you are interested to volunteer, donate or just plain learn more about FoPA, please give Sandy a call at 731-9325.
Mark Mueller joins us next as executive director of the local American Avalanche Association. This professional nonprofit organization represents all avalanche professionals and promotes the dissemination of avalanche safety information.
Having seen footage of actual avalanches, I'm thinking that Mark and this association are good folks to know in avalanche conditions. To learn more, you can give Mark a call at 946-0822.
Dan Robinowitz joins us next as an Associate Realtor with Galles Fine Properties located at 468 Lewis Street, and Judy James joins us as an Associate Member. Thanks to both Dan and Judy.
Our renewals this week include Maria Kuros with Econo Lodge; Judy Cramer, Treasurer, with the San Juan Outdoor Club; Nathan Thomas with Talent Financial Services Inc., d.b.a. H & R Block; Liz Marchand, currently, and Mike Hanosh, beginning April 1, with Allstate Insurance Company; Teri Matzdorf with Upscale Resale; Bruce Andersen with Bruce Andersen Photo Graphics; John Graves with the Pagosa Springs Film Society; Bob Kunkel with the Durango Mountain Resort; and, last but not least, our old friends Debra and Tegan Brown with Colorado Dream Homes. Thank you all.
Weminuche Homestead letters copies on display
By Lenore Bright
We are fortunate to have the Center for Southwest Studies so close by, at Fort Lewis College.
Its history began in 1964 when Arthur Ballantine funded the center to collect and make available rare books, manuscripts, photographs and original archival materials about the multicultural Southwest.
The center often publishes occasional papers from the collection, and thanks to the Jonathan Shaw family of Massachusetts, and the Robert D. Lindner family of Cincinnati and Pagosa Springs, the first paper of the 21st century was just published.
The document consists of letters written in 1902 by Shaw ancestors from their homestead up Weminuche Creek northwest of Pagosa Springs on property now owned by Robert Lindner.
The letters and photographs and accompanying documents were donated to the center by the Shaws, and the Lindner family funded publication of these letters.
A copy of "Letters from a Weminuche Homestead, 1902," was donated to our library by Dr. Gulliford, director of the Center for Southwest Studies.
Gulliford remarks, " I am excited about this project as we have not yet published a paper in the field of women's history or pioneer settlement in the Southwest Š Homesteading itself was a unique opportunity in the American West because of the 1862 Homestead Act Š"
"Women and immigrants were not restricted from becoming homesteaders as long as they lived on their claim for five years, built a cabin, farmed the soil and then 'proved it' for a small filing fee."
Edith Shaw Taylor's "Letters From a Weminuche Homestead, 1902," gives a wonderful insight into the life of a young Boston woman who homesteaded in a rugged high mountain valley.
Norman Vance brought us a copy of his latest creation, "The Anasazi Illustrated." Norman used several techniques including hand drawing and photography and eventually Adobe Photoshop 5 to publish this guide to the homeland of the Ancestral Puebloans.
"Colorado's Historical Carousels," a video produced by the Colorado Carousel Society tells that out of the 2,000-3,000 wooden carousels built in America, less than 200 survived. Most of the remaining ones are on coasts. Colorado has saved five, and together they tell a fascinating story.
Denver has two - one at Elitch Gardens and one at the Lakeside Amusement park. Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Burlington each have one. The Kit Carson County carousel in Burlington is Colorado's oldest and is a national landmark.
Benellen and Allison Laverty are helping us at the library. This has become a family affair that we are proud to have continue. Benellen and Allison are grand nieces of Kate Terry, our volunteer program coordinator. Kurt Laverty, the girls' father, served on the library board, and Peggy Laverty, their grandmother, served on the Friends of the Library board.
Colorado State University puts out a quarterly newsletter to help parents.
"How much can a child handle," is a discussion of children and their overbooked schedules. Children are constantly on the go. One suggested rule: 9 to 12 year olds, 3-4 activities per school semester; 6 to 8 years old, 2-3 activities per semester. Kids and parents get burned out when the child is signed up for too many activities. The best advice - be sure they have time for recreational reading.
Thanks to Betty Jane James for her sponsor donation to the building fund in memory of her Aunt Louise. Thanks for materials from Doug Johnson, Warren Grams, R. Preston, Jim and Patty Latham, Carole Walters, Shirley Snider and Brenda Rottman.
Gary and Deanna Rader would like to announce the engagement of their daughter, Erica LaWanda Rader to Jesse Scott Amalfitano, son of Abraham and Anna Marie Amalfitano of Deltona, Florida. The ceremony will be held on the beautiful beach of Ponce Inlet, Fla., on Aug. 31, 2003. Erica is the granddaughter of Santana and Emma Lujan of Pagosa.
Mandy M. McCormick, daughter of Larry and Cindy McCormick, of Pagosa Springs, has been placed on the dean's list at Life Pacific College in San Dimas, Calif.
The dean's list is composed of full-time undergraduate students who earn a grade-point average of 3.4 or higher in a 4.0 system. Mandy has a 4.0 for this semester and a cumulative GPA of 3.96, in the top 4 percent of Life Pacific students.
Fourth grader practices paperfolding as hobby
By Tess Noel Baker
Start with a square of paper.
Fold. Fold again.
Mountain fold. Valley fold.
Even rabbit fold is possible.
Complete the steps correctly and a person can create a whole zoo of animals, a garden of flowers or a stable of cattle.
It's origami and for at least one Pagosa Springs resident, it's become a hobby that occupies quite a bit of his time.
Trey Gholson, 9, is a fourth-grader at Pagosa Springs Elementary School. He picked up origami about a year ago. He's not sure where, but it started with making a crane. That, he said, remains one of his favorites.
But the list of his creations now goes on and on. He's created a fox, rabbit, airplane, shrimp, mouse, butterfly, monkey, elephant, swan, turtle, a rocket, starfish, dragons, zebra, a wreath and an eagle, just to name a few.
Some, he's kept and framed for his room. Others have been given to friends, teachers, even waitresses in restaurants. At school, the library boasts a celebration tree decorated with 20 or so pieces of Trey's artwork.
"He does it all the time," his mother, Vicki Perales, said. "He says it's a good stress reliever and keeps his fingers busy."
And it requires very few supplies. Almost any piece of paper will work for something, Trey said. Although, lately, he has bought some patterned pieces from a craft store to match color with creature.
Besides paper, he sometimes uses scissors, glue or tape for practicality, but little else. For instance, Trey said, it's possible to make a turkey from a dollar bill, but to hold the tail together, a piece of tape is warranted.
As a paperfolder, Trey is following a tradition that may date back 2,000 years or more. Some believe the art must have started in China with the invention of paper during the first or second century A.D. It was most likely introduced to Japan in the late sixth century by Buddhist monks. At the time, paper was such an expensive commodity, it was available only to the very rich. Folding techniques were confined to ceremonial documents as a way of preserving the paper.
The Japanese are credited with taking the basics of paperfolding and creating a form of art. Their first written records detailing origami date back to 1797 with the publication of "How to Fold One Thousand Cranes," written by Senbazuru Orikata. That was followed by the Kan no modo (Window on Midwinter), the first comprehensive collection of origami figures, published in 1845.
According to Joseph Wu's "Origami: A brief history of the ancient art of paperfolding," the term origami was actually coined in 1880 from the words oru (to fold) and kami (paper). Previously the art was called orikata (paper shapes).
Other nations, however, also experimented with paperfolding.
The Moors, Muslims from North Africa, were fascinated with the geometry of folding the square. They learned paper folding as it spread westward through the Arab countries from the east and carried it to Spain when they invaded that country in the eighth century. It stuck, even after the Moors left. Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936), a Spanish poet and philosopher, revived the hobby by creating a number of original designs, including a gorilla, a teapot and a vulture.
As its popularity spread in the 1800s and early 1900s, paper folding flowed easily into schools both east and west as a way to teach hand and eye coordination and math. According to an article written for an exhibit of origami at the University of Texas at Austin general libraries, Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), the founder of kindergarten, introduced paper folding to classrooms starting in 1835. It also gained popularity in schools in Japan between 1868 and 1912.
Ancient or not, paper folding is much like any other art. Some students simply "get" it. And Trey is one of those.
"His concentration is incredible," elementary school librarian Kathne Holt said. "He can just look at it and do it, and in teaching other people, he finds easier ways of folding than the directions in the book."
Already, he's taught his class to make cranes. Next, flowers.
"My teacher said maybe in the spring I'd teach them to make flowers so we could decorate the room," he said. Already, he has a string of eight or nine irises. All different sizes and colors. In fact, he has a whole box of origami creatures. Take them out and the possibilities are endless. The snail might attack the zebra, or the bull talk to the crane. An eagle might fly away, or a butterfly come to light on the lip of a flower.
Trey is not a big talker. Not at first anyway. He mostly lets his parents talk. Meanwhile, he folds. Quickly and precisely, he makes the creases and finishes one more iris before we've completed the interview.
"It makes time go faster," he said.
For Christmas, Trey received a calendar with a different creature to fold each day. He also has books to work from and sometimes downloads patterns from the Internet.
"First I look through and see if I'm able to make it 'cause some they don't give good enough instructions," he said. Usually, he gets it right on the first try.
The hardest so far, he said, was the snail. It takes 36 steps to make. The dragon is faster, and easier, with 20 steps start to finish.
"It's so good for training kids to watch, listen and do," Holt said, "but most don't have the patience." Still, library books on the subject are generally checked out. Last year, she even bought a video for the kids to watch. So far, no one seems to be as enthusiastic as Trey.
Together, Holt and Trey have found a way to fold bookmarks and may make some for all the students. That way, Trey said, pages in the library books won't get folded back. Holt has also been talking to him about origami curtains, maybe out of cranes or irises, for the library windows.
The Jicarilla Apache - in search of a home
By John Motter
The Jicarilla Apaches, our neighbors to the south, occupy a large tract of land in New Mexico stretching from the Colorado border to the vicinity of Cuba, N.M.
The word Jicarilla means basketmaker, a name given to these people centuries ago by colonial Spanish explorers. As Apaches go, the Jicarilla are not as well-known as other bands of Apaches, especially the Chiricahua, Mimbrenos and Mescalero.
That is because leaders of those other tribes - men with names like Geronimo, Cochise and Nana - fought Uncle Sam's armies to a standstill at a late time in western settlement. They did not quit the fight until well into the 1880s, a time when many newspaper reporters roamed the West informing eastern readers of Apache exploits. Consequently, Geronimo, Cochise, Nana, and others became household names. The Hollywood movie community further increased the fame of these leaders by basing several movies on their accomplishments.
This is not to say that Jicarilla warriors were not equally fierce. Kit Carson earned as much respect as an American frontiersman.
Carson was well acquainted with the Jicarilla. He lived in their homeland and served as Jicarilla Indian agent for many years. As warriors, Carson and the Jicarilla were more to be feared than any other Indians.
Most of a company of 60 dragoons were killed in an 1854 battle near Taos. Perhaps the most publicized conflict occurred when Jicarillas raided a wagon train near Point of the Rocks, N.M.
A Mrs. White and her daughter were taken captive. Within a week, the army, with Kit Carson as scout, set out with 140 men on the trail of the raiding party. After a chase through the Red River canyons, Mrs. White was found with an arrow through her head. Her daughter was never found.
When Carson and other Americans first entered New Mexico in numbers, that is, after 1820 when Mexico won freedom from Spain, the Jicarilla were living mostly in northeastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado. This is the area traversed by the Santa Fe Trail. Wagons loaded with freight moving between Missouri and Santa Fe were a big temptation to many Indian tribes, including the Jicarilla.
Conflict resulted, especially during the early 1850s following the Mexican American War when the United States assumed control of New Mexico Territory. A number of battles were fought, with each side earning some victories.
Finally, Fort Garland, the first fort in Colorado, was established on the eastern side of the San Luis Valley. A punitive action conducted by American forces against combined Jicarilla/Ute warriors succeeded in subduing the two tribes for a considerable length of time. Other battles between Jicarilla and Americans followed, but they were not of major significance.
Meanwhile, more and more settlers moved into Jicarilla country occupying the land and decimating the buffalo. The Jicarilla were basically without a country and without means of feeding themselves from the 1850s until 1887, when they acquired the present reservation.
Living was difficult because, to survive, they had to stay out of the white man's way. A number of treaties were reached and agency headquarters established at various places. Rations were distributed from the various agencies located sequentially in Cimarron, Taos, Abiquiu, Tierra Amarilla, Amargo and finally, Dulce.
Early on, the Jicarilla thought they had a reservation near Abiquiu. That didn't work out, the first of a long series of aborted treaties.
Following Carson's defeat of the Navajo and their long march to Bosque Redondo near Fort Stanton in eastern New Mexico, an unsuccessful attempt was made to place the Jicarilla on the Bosque Redondo Reservation along with the Navajo. The government tried to force the Mescalero Apache onto the same reservation at the same time. The Jicarilla wanted no part of the plan. Navajos were historic enemies of the Jicarilla. The Jicarilla bands scattered with concentrations living near Cimarron and Abiquiu.
Later efforts promised a reservation in northwestern New Mexico. Because of those efforts, many of the Jicarilla camped near Tierra Amarilla, where they received rations along with the Southern Utes.
Sam Russell, the special agent located at Tierra Amarilla, wrote in 1876, "The Jicarilla Apache Indian has no home. As a people, they have no country they can call their own. No incentive to improvement has ever been placed before them; they are left to roam over a section of mountainous country of uncertain ownership; or it may be included in a Mexican land grant."
In 1878, he wrote, "They have been left by a paternal government without a home and compelled to become wanderers, by being driving from place to place when they have attempted to locate and cultivate the soil. They have, through me, been for almost four years begging for a home; a place where they could farm and have schools for their children. It has thus far been denied them."
Following an 1868 meeting between U.S. officials, Utes, and Jicarillas held in Conejos, Colo., a special agent recommended creation of a reservation generally west of the current reservation and dropping south from the Colorado/New Mexico border deep into New Mexico Territory.
By 1880, this reservation looked like a probability and agency headquarters was moved from Tierra Amarilla to Amargo, then a raw, railhead town located between today's Lumberton and Monero.
Settlers already living in the area, backed by Colorado Sen. Edward Teller, succeeded in stopping the Army's efforts. Instead, the Jicarilla were shipped to the newly created Mescalero Reservation in southern New Mexico and north of El Paso. Buffalo soldiers enforced the move. Some of the Jicarilla tried to make the idea work by joining the Mescalero, others simply returned to their ancient homeland near Cimarron.
The Mescalero idea failed to work. There were too many Mescalero and too few Jicarilla. The Jicarilla felt they were not being treated equally.
After a government agent made agreements with settlers already in the area, the present reservation was established. Many settlers who did not come to terms with the government retained land holdings inside the reservation. Notable among these settlers were the Gomez and Cordova families, many of whom remain in the area.
Finally, the Jicarillas had a home. They returned from the Mescalero Reservation, from Cimarron, from the Abiquiu area, and other areas where they had scattered.
On Feb. 14, 15 and 16, the Jicarilla Nation celebrates the anniversary of establishing the reservation. Pow wow dances open to the public are held at the community center. Food and jewelry booths surround the celebration. More traditional crafts are on sale at the culture center.
Dulce today is a thriving community of approximately 3,000. Under construction are a new elementary school, shopping center, maintenance facility, sports complex at the high school, and other buildings.
Money for the construction is Jicarilla money. The nation has considerable wealth because of the development of oil and gas wells on the reservation.
First, some civility
The ideal of civic involvement is mouthed by many and practiced well by few. When practiced poorly, it is a charade, with the substance of the involvement composed of ill-concealed self-interest. One need only listen to talk radio, watch television commentary, check the letters to the editor in a newspaper or the reports in the news concerning public gatherings off all kinds to understand this all-too-common style of civic interest and activity.
Genuine civic consciousness makes periodic appearances in the American psyche and, in this day and age, the sense of civic duty seems weak, but for flashes in times of crisis.
One Colorado Senator is making an attempt to instill a knowledge of civic duty, an awareness of the patterns and responsibilities that come with being a member of a community and nation, in the state's young people.
The Colorado Senate president, John Andrews of Centennial, has introduced a bill (SB 36) making civics a graduation requirement in Colorado's public schools systems,
"Civics" defined in the American College Dictionary, is the "science of civic affairs," that which is "civic" being that which relates to the nature of active and positive citizenship.
It is hard to argue with a course of study that acquaints our youngest citizens with the nature of their responsibilities to the community, with the mechanisms of participation in the community, the manner in which responsibilities can and should be expressed.
A conditional pat on the back goes to Sen. Andrews.
Unfortunately, such a course of study would be wasted in far too many cases - not just among some young people, but among their parents and many other adults; wasted, because civic responsibility is predicated on civility. Civility is sadly lacking in this culture, and is disappearing at an alarming rate.
Schools can provide a student an understanding of civics. It is unfair, and unrealistic to expect schools and teachers to engender civility in young people. A teacher can enhance civility, cultivate it and direct it to productive ends, but its creation rests elsewhere, in the home, and in the culture at-large with its many influences on the young mind - media, politics, business, sports and entertainment.
How can a course in civics produce a positive effect in a population nourished by the current television industry, in a population that listens to music ridiculing decency and demeaning women? Of what use is civics to a child whose ordinary language is saturated with obscenities, whose behavior toward adults, toward teachers and community authority figures is arrogant and abusive? What will a lesson in civics mean to the youngster whose lack of responsibility is excused by aggressive parents intent on rescuing the child rather than guiding and nurturing a citizen whose vision of civic affairs includes more than the satisfaction of immediate needs and an escape from meaningful demands? What good can a civics lesson be to youngsters paddling in a stream of self-gratification, self-aggrandizement and self-indulgence - behaviors practiced in loud and crude fashion by many of the adults around them?
As a culture, we need to go back to school for some lessons.
But, before that, civility.
Only when we act in civil fashion toward one another, with manners and respect, will civics serve us, our children, and our community well.
By Karl Isberg
We seniors are not responsible
By Richard Walter
I keep telling myself I'm not old.
Despite what the photo above shows, age has not caught up with me.
Oh, yeah, I'm on Medicare and a member of AARP. I get Social Security and I have a City Market Gold Card.
But, despite the accusations of a cousin's 18-year-old daughter that I'm old enough to be not just her grandfather, but her great-grandfather, I was hesitant to acknowledge the approaching greying of life.
Now, however, it is official. I'm a card-carrying member of Archuleta County Senior Citizens, Inc.
Having established that fact, reluctantly, I am pleased to endorse the feelings contained in the following missive I recently received from a long-time reader who requests anonymity.
Neither he nor I know the source, but the sentiments are real:
"Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others.
However, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was not the senior citizens who took:
- the melody out of music
- the pride out of appearance
- the courtesy out of driving
- the romance out of love
- the commitment out of marriage
- the responsibility out of parenthood
- the togetherness out of family
- the learning out of education
- the service out of patriotism
- the Golden Rule from rulers
- the nativity scene out of cities
- the civility out of behavior
- the refinement out of language
- the dedication out of employment
- the prudence out of spending
- the ambition out of achievement, or
- God out of government and school.
And, we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others!"
But there are other things local senior citizens could add.
Things like not being responsible for all the litter deposited along the streets and side roads of the county.
Things like teaching our children not to destroy the property of others or to drive out of control.
Things like not blaring music from windows - open vehicles with decibel levels high enough to waken the dead - and deafen the teens before they reach anywhere near senior citizenship.
Things like not admitting fault when we know we are wrong but trying to place blame on someone - anyone - else.
Things like not being responsible for our own debts, claiming we can't afford to live on what the government allows and can't find jobs paying a living wage.
Things like sexual abuse from the pulpit or pornography on the magazine stands, in the movies and on television.
We didn't take the enforcement out of law enforcement or the governing out of government.
We may have voted for those at least partially responsible, but don't blame us for all the nation's perceived faults.
We may be older, but we aren't dumbed down by our experience.
90 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Jan. 31, 1913
When the big sawmills leave Archuleta County, as they eventually will, the farmer must be prepared to grow stock or go out of business. This section is essentially a stock country and as there is more money in stock raising than in any other branch of farming, the ranchman who prepares himself to engage in stock raising in Archuleta County is the man who is going to have the bank account.
An effort is being made by some of our citizens to have a state fish hatchery located in Archuleta County. It is claimed that the money will be available for the purpose and that if the county will secure the site the rest will be easy. It is also said that Pagosa Lumber Co. has offered to donate the lumber for the buildings.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Feb. 3, 1928
E. De Lourdes Archuleta, water hauler for the town of Lumberton, N.M., barely escaped death or serious injury when a west bound passenger train struck his wagon at a grade crossing. Archuleta was jogging along at a lively clip for a team of horses. He said he heard the approaching train, but couldn't stop in time to avoid the crash. One of the animals drawing the water wagon was killed and the wagon was considerably damaged, but the driver came out without any serious injury.
A real estate deal of considerable magnitude in Archuleta County was consummated Monday when Montroy Brothers, consisting of Louis and Leon, purchased what is known as the Echo Ranch from Thos. Reavis.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Jan. 30, 1953
The schools are open again this week after being closed the latter part of last week because of the large number of absences attributed to the flu. Superintendent Hahn reports this week that the number of absences is back to normal and that apparently the flu incidence among school children is on the wane.
Pvt. Henry Stollsteimer, son of Mrs. Tony Stollsteimer of Pagosa Springs, is in Company I of the Airborne Training Command at Fort Benning, Ga. The course is designed to train volunteer officers and enlisted personnel from all arms and branches of the service as qualified parachutists. Students are required to make five jumps from an airplane in flight, including one with full equipment.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Jan. 26, 1978
The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has sold a better than $5.5 million bond issue. Construction bids are being called for on pipelines, lift stations, water treatment plants, sewage lagoons, and other parts of the system.
Construction of an addition to the Pagosa Lodge, the building of more condominiums and the summer rush will make Pagosa a mighty busy place this summer. The Pagosa development is growing at a steady pace and the additional construction work this summer will help the progress of the area.
Snow and more snow has been the order of the day most of the past week. Total snowfall on Wolf Creek Pass is now 209 inches for the winter to date.