Pagosa teen, friend die in 2-car collision on West U.S. 160
By Tess Noel Baker
A head-on collision between a pickup and a car Jan. 30 left two dead, a local girl and a visitor from West Virginia.
Cassandra Pfeifle, a 2002 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, and Amanda Oldaker, of Clarksburg, W. Va., both died from injuries sustained in the crash.
According to Colorado State Patrol reports, Pfeifle was headed west on U.S. 160 near the junction of East Cat Creek Road just before the collision. Charley Bannon, of Cheyenne Wells, was driving a pickup east on the highway.
Apparently, Bannon's vehicle crossed over the centerline into the westbound lane, and hit Pfeifle's Ford. The brunt of the collision was to the driver's-side front of both vehicles.
The force of the impact rotated Pfeifle's vehicle clockwise and backward into the westbound ditch where it came to rest on its wheels facing north.
Bannon's pickup rotated counterclockwise and came to rest on its wheels in the roadway.
Pfeifle, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene. Oldaker, 26, was transported to Mercy Medical Center, then to St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver. She died Jan. 31. Bannon was taken to Mercy Medical Center where he was treated for a broken leg.
All three people involved in the crash were wearing their seatbelts. Air bags deployed in both vehicles.
Search continues for auto theft suspects
By Tess Noel Baker
The Pagosa Springs Police Department is now looking at a pair of suspects in a string of car thefts over the past two weeks.
One is in custody on a separate charge. The other remains at large.
Chief Don Volger said a total of five vehicles have been stolen since mid-January, most from an area west of downtown.
The exception is the first in the series, a vehicle taken from the parking lot at Ski and Bow Rack and located, abandoned, in Colorado Springs.
Following that, two more vehicles were reported stolen Jan. 27. Of those, one was taken from the 100 block of North 8th Street. In that case, the vehicle was returned unharmed. The other, a pickup, was stolen from South 9th Street and recovered at Hilltop Cemetery. Several items, including a computer and a gun, had been taken from the vehicle.
The next night, two more vehicles were stolen. The first, a Datsun, was taken from the 200 block of South 8th Street and subsequently wrecked in a ditch near South 9th and Piedra streets. Volger said the undercarriage of the vehicle was damaged, but it remained drivable.
The second vehicle, a van, was taken from the 200 block of South 10th Street. Police later spotted the van and attempted a stop. The driver fled on foot.
Volger said investigation into all five thefts is ongoing.
Board OKs Hot Springs
By Tess Noel Baker
Hot Springs Boulevard will get a facelift this summer. A project to widen the roadway to three lanes, improve drainage and add curb, gutter and sidewalks was approved Tuesday.
After rejecting the low bid because of concerns over the financial future of the bidders, the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees awarded a $500,000 contract for the work to Strohecker Asphalt and Paving Inc.
Both the low bidder, BWR Constructors Inc., and Strohecker Asphalt and Paving came in below engineer's estimates of about $570,000.
Town Administrator Jay Harrington said BWR is a subsidiary company of Wesodi. Wesodi is apparently a subsidiary of La Plata Electric, a publicly held electric company.
Wesodi, Harrington said, is for sale. Its financial future is in question.
"They are bidding for La Plata Electric's work," he said. "There is some concern that it may be difficult for them to survive if they don't get the bid." Because of these financial uncertainties, the staff recommended awarding the bid to Strohecker.
"I agree with staff," board member Darrel Cotton said. "I think we stay away from Wesodi. I think we computed less than a 3-percent difference in the bids. I'd give it to Strohecker." The rest of the board agreed.
The scope of project calls for adding a center turn lane in the boulevard from just past the post office north to a point just before the bridge connecting Hot Springs Boulevard with U.S. 160. Storm drains near the Oak Ridge Lodge will be moved underground. Drainage will be addressed, and 8-foot sidewalks added.
The sidewalks will run from the post office to the Spa Motel on the east side of the road and from the Spring Inn to the Community Center on the west side. A 3- to 4-foot grass buffer is planned between the road and sidewalks to give town crews a place to store snow in the winter.
The town will cover the cost of road, curb, gutter and drainage improvements. As for sidewalks, the trustees passed an ordinance Tuesday requiring property owners to pay their share only upon development or redevelopment of the property in the next ten years.
Because the bid came in so low, Harrington said the town was able to add in an expansion of the parking lot at Town Hall. For about $20,000, Strohecker will pave an additional 50 spaces south of Town Hall.
"I thought it was going to take two to three years to get that paved, if ever," Mayor Ross Aragon said, pleased it could be added in to the Hot Springs Boulevard project.
In related business, the board approved a bid of $158,487 from Strohecker Asphalt and Paving for the town's 2003 street improvement project. This is part of an ongoing effort to pave gravel streets in town. The paving is funded through a state air quality grant.
Strohecker's base bid was close to $20,000 below engineer's estimates.
Acting as the Pagosa Springs Sanitation General Improvement District board, the trustees also approved repairs to 685 feet of 8-inch sewer line downtown.
Harrington said the current clay line has been weakened over the years by geothermal water and needs relining. Cost of the relining is expected to run about $42,000. The repairs would start at 4th Street near the junior high school and continue west to the Archuleta County Courthouse.
An $800,000 project to extend sewer service three miles east of town is expected to start Monday. Harrington said the first part of the project will probably be the most intrusive to businesses. Contractors are expected to begin with work on the frontage road north of U.S. 160. Work there should begin near the miniature golf course and extend east to the Conoco station.
County apparently bucking
statewide building slowdown
By Tom Carosello
Despite a Jan. 28 report from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment indicating the statewide building industry struggled in the midst of last year's sluggish economy, Archuleta County seems to be bucking the trend.
According to Julie Rodriguez, the county building official, a record 515 building permits were issued for active construction projects during 2002. Rodriguez indicated the total number of permits "that came across the desk" is even higher at 591, but not everyone who receives approval for a permit actually begins construction immediately.
"People sometimes pull them, decide not to build or get a permit and don't act on it, and six months later it expires," said Rodriguez, who added that a portion of the 591 total were renewals, or re-permits.
According to state labor statistics, the building sector took the heaviest hit with respect to unemployment and business slowdown at year's end with most of the decline occurring in the special trades segment.
So far in 2003, at least in the county, things don't appear to be coming to a screeching halt. Rodriguez said permits issued during January this year, including eight single-family residence permits, totaled 21. That's down just one from last year's January mark of 22.
Last year, the highest number of active permits, 332, fell under the residential category. That number, which includes single-family homes, mobile homes, apartments, townhomes, condominiums and multifamily structures, is down slightly from the 2001 total of 334.
Two hundred seventy-four of last year's residential permits were for single-family homes, while mobile home permits totaled 34. Apartments, which Rodriguez explained were singular units and not apartment complexes, totaled four. The remaining 20 residential permits were issued for multifamily units.
Commercial permits issued for last year numbered 15, which is up seven from the 2001 total of eight. Public utilities permits, which Rodriguez said were issued last year to Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District and Crowley Ranch Reserve Phase 4, totaled two. There were no public utilities permits issued for 2001.
Permits classified as "other" last year amounted to a total of 166. "Other" permits include improvements such as building additions, garages, storage sheds and repairs. Also included in the category are demolitions, and Rodriguez indicated there were none last year.
Estimated construction costs resulting from the record number of building permits issued for 2002, totaling approximately $60.5 million, were down from the 2001 figure of just over $68 million.
Rodriguez said that may appear to be a discrepancy since the 2002 costs were down even though the permit total was higher than in 2001, but explained building department staff began estimating costs last year using improved evaluation data.
Rodriguez said in past years the department relied on expense reports from individual permit holders to estimate construction costs. In 2002, the staff began to base estimates on criteria listed in Building Standards Magazine, and Rodriguez said she feels the present method reflects more accuracy with regard to actual costs.
"I think we get closer to a realistic cost using their evaluation data table. Nobody can get it down to the actual penny, but this gives me a better estimate of the construction costs before I send them to the state."
In light of the recently-adopted new county building code that took effect Monday, Rodriguez said it is a good idea for anyone with questions pertaining to permit submittals to contact the building department.
"We've got information packets on just about everything you can think of," said Rodriguez, who added that an average submittal can be processed in 10-12 days (minimum of 10). However, Rodriguez said the process will likely take longer if submittals are received during the department's heavy load months of May-September.
The following is a preliminary checklist of necessary items to be included with any county building permit submittal:
- complete application
- two sets of complete plans
- plot plan
- access and right of way approval from Archuleta County Road and Bridge Department
- copy of San Juan Basin Health permit for individual septic system showing payment in full
- proof of ownership of property (copy of deed)
- flood plain determination and analysis/surveyor letter/elevation certificate (if applicable)
- airport influence area/navigation easement (if applicable).
For commercial operations, all of the above should be included in addition to a final approval from the county planning department, a permit from the fire department and wet stamps on both sets of plans from the architect or engineer of record.
For additional information on obtaining a county building permit, call the building department at 264-4785.
Home rule petitions now available
By Tess Noel Baker
The town is looking for a few good members for a home rule charter commission.
Nine members are needed and applications are now available at Town Hall during regular business hours.
The home rule charter commission is an element of a two-part question set to come before residents of Pagosa Springs in a special election April 8.
It all revolves around home rule, an option for local government organization available under the Colorado State Constitution. In the book, "Budgeting: A guide for local governments," home rule is defined as, "a limited grant of discretion from a state government to a local government, concerning either the organization of functions or the raising of revenue. Without home rule, local governments are restricted to whatever functions, organization, revenue policies and borrowing restrictions are specified by the state government."
Currently, Pagosa Springs is a statutory community, meaning that its municipal government, including terms and numbers of trustees is dictated by state statute. Under home rule, such organizational matters would become more flexible.
The shape of organization under home rule is set by a home rule charter, a document written by a charter commission of nine members and approved by residents of the town.
Pagosa takes one of many steps to address the option of becoming a home rule community in April. At that time, voters will be asked whether or not a home rule charter commission should be formed, and, if so, who should be the members of that commission.
Now is the time for anyone interested in becoming a member of the charter commission to begin the process. Those interested must complete a petition. To do so, they must collect 25 signatures of registered voters in the Town of Pagosa Springs over the next 30 days. All petitions must be completed and turned in by Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.
Should the voters approve a charter commission, the commission would have 120 days to write a home rule charter for the community. That charter would then go before voters for final approval or denial. Only if the charter is approved would Pagosa Springs become a home rule municipality.
Forecast: mainly dry with lingering snow chance
By Tom Carosello
While the thin, pearly mantle of snow that greeted Pagosans early Monday morning may have brightened spirits and surrounding hillsides, it did little to alleviate the dry conditions resulting from meager January precipitation.
According to Gary Chancey, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, although the jetstream has shifted from the far north to the south and is aiming for Colorado, any moisture the area receives will be a bonus.
"This jetstream flow will stay around through the weekend, but the cold air masses swinging down behind it out of Canada offer little chance for real accumulations west of the divide," said Chancey, adding that such fronts are usually drier than those originating in the Pacific.
Chancey explained, "Normally, with these types of winds aloft, the area would get some moisture trickling in from systems off the coast of California, but high pressure parked there is preventing any stronger systems from coming inland at this point."
While snowfall in town was barely enough to settle the dust, disappearing by Monday afternoon, Wolf Creek Ski Area fared a little better.
As of Feb. 4, the area had received five inches of new snow, raising the year-to-date total to 188 inches. Snow depth at the summit measured 67 inches and midway depth was reportedly 55 inches.
However, Chancey said the possibility exists that all of Pagosa Country could see at least some new snow in the next week.
According to Chancey, there is a chance for light snow throughout today and into this evening. Winds should be 10-15 miles per hour out of the northwest with daytime highs around 30 and evening lows from near zero to 5.
Friday and Saturday call for partly cloudy skies with highs in the upper 20s to mid 30s and nighttime lows from around zero to 10.
A warming trend is forecast for Sunday and should continue through Tuesday with partly cloudy skies, highs in the low 40s and lows in the middle teens to mid 20s predicted.
A 50-percent chance of snow and/or rain is included for Wednesday's forecast. Highs are expected to be in the upper 40s while lows should range in the teens.
Any new snow will be most welcome in the mountains as snowpack levels in area river basins are waning rapidly. As of this week, levels in the Upper Rio Grande and Upper San Juan basins were only 45 percent and 75 percent of average, respectively.
The average high last week was 43; the average low was 10. Last week's high of 50 was recorded Friday, and last week's low, 5, was recorded Tuesday. New snowfall measured Monday amounted to a half-inch.
The record high for February in the Pagosa area, 70 degrees, was set in 1986. The record low, a numbing 46 below zero, was set in 1951.
River flow in the San Juan River south of town measured 20 cubic feet per second in the early morning hours Feb. 4 and ranged from the low 30s to nearly 80 cubic feet per second during the past week.
Skating pond resurfaced and ready for use again
By Chris Corcoran
The skate pond has been resurfaced and is now skateable. The ice is thick enough to skate on but let's hope it continues to be cold enough to last a month or two longer.
The regular season is coming to a close and tournament time has begun.
In the 9-10 division the regular season standings are, from top to bottom: The undefeated Lakers sponsored by Lucero Tire; Sonics sponsored by Honda Hauls, Mavericks sponsored by Crazy Horse Outfitters; Nets sponsored by The Shirt Outlet; Blazers sponsored by Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic; and Rockets sponsored by Buckskin Towing and Repair.
As of the end of Monday's games, the 11-12 standings with one night of games remaining showed the Bulls, sponsored by Citizens Bank, in first place followed by the Kings sponsored by August and Sons Excavating, the Jazz sponsored by Pagosa Glass, the Celtics sponsored by M and M Drop Services, the Suns sponsored by Schmidt Chiropractic, and the Bucks sponsored by Ponderosa Do-It-Best.
Tournament games will conclude with both the 9-10 and 11-12 division championship games Feb. 12.
A special thanks to all the sponsors, officials and scorekeepers and of course our very own volunteer of the year, Sue Jones.
The adult basketball season will get underway Feb. 18.
This season is shaping up as a good one with six men's competitive teams, nine men's recreation teams and five women's teams.
Games will be played in both the junior high and community center gymnasiums.
If you are interested in playing, refereeing or scorekeeping, contact Chris at 264-4151, Ext. 232.
As I attend the 26th Annual Conference, I keep finding myself in classes that refer to customer service.
Our staff works hard to try to please and offer a great activity for everyone.
Inevitably someone comes up and says, "You know what you should have done?" Usually we are tired and filled with adrenaline, and we take the comment in a negative way.
Our park and recreation workers must try to remember what works, what problems arose, whether the majority had fun and if there were no injuries.
In our business the customer is not always right, but we can sure make their voices be heard.
My door is always open and my phone number is 264-4151 Ext. 231. If you have any suggestions or complaints about our service, call for an appointment to visit or discuss things by phone.
Again our goal is equal opportunity, fair price and evenly divided teams - and most importantly to look at the participants and whether our participants are having fun.
Ladies scuttle Monte Vista; host Ignacio tonight
By Richard Walter
That was Bob Lynch's answer when asked Saturday night to analyze the performance of his Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates in a 61-41 victory over Monte Vista.
And the answer was obviously apropos when looking at game statistics.
Sophomore center Caitlyn Jewell paced Pagosa with 18 points and 5-11 freshman forward Emily Buikema added 12 markers. Between, them, Buikema and the 6-2 Jewell had 15 rebounds.
It was the first time this season that the two tallest Lady Pirates had been able to spend a significant amount of time on the court at the same time.
"With both of them inside," Lynch said, "other teams can't double- and triple-team Caitlyn like they've been doing."
"It opens up all kinds of inside opportunities for our offense," he added. "The ball handlers have more options and Caitlyn and Emily can work post screens to open each other for attacks."
The win halted Pagosa's winless skid in the Intermountain League and sent a message to other IML teams that things may be different the rest of the way.
The game also marked the return of forward Lori Walkup after a five and a half game absence with a broken bone in her hand. And though she was a little rusty, she seemed to spark her teammates when she entered the game at the four-minute mark of the first period.
The leading scorer and re-bounder on the team when she was injured, Walkup had six points, eight rebounds, two steals and four assists in her return to action.
Still, it was her sister, senior point guard Shannon Walkup, who got the Lady Pirates off to a flying start on their home court.
Dropping from point to a wing position, the older Walkup drilled a pair of early treys to get Pagosa off and running.
With Bri Scott adding four points on a pair of short jumpers and Jewell contributing six of her own, Pagosa jumped to a 16-9 lead at the end of one period and was never threatened.
The swarm defense employed so effectively by Pagosa early in the season came back with a vengeance in this game.
Jen Sisneros, Monte Vista's premier outside shooter and second leading scorer on the season, hit just one of three 3-point tries, in the first period, and was blanked until a meaningless deuce late in the game when Pagosa was ahead by 22.
Defense wasn't the only Pagosa trait in the game. The Ladies hit 27 of 44 shots from the floor for a better than 61 percent mark, their best of the season.
The lone sore point for Lynch was the Pagosans' dismal 5 for 21 from the free throw line with Jewell going 2-for-7 and Mollie Honan 3-4.
Still, the coach was pleased by his team's performance, noting Monte Vista defeated Bayfield, that Bayfield defeated league favorites Centauri and Ignacio, and that Pagosa lost to Ignacio by one in overtime without Lori Walkup, Buikema and freshman Liza Kelly.
"There seems to be a growing parity in the league," he said.
After building their big first period lead, Pagosa came back with 16 more points in the second to only seven for Monte and took a 32-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Jewell again was the key to the Pagosa offense in the period, pouring in seven points. Honan's three free throws, Lori's first field goal, and matching dueces from Katie Bliss and Buikema, rounded out the Pagosa scoring in the period.
Monte Vista, meanwhile, was getting three points from Mary Beth Miles, two from her sister, Amanda, and two from Mandi Byers.
With Mary Beth hitting eight third quarter points, six of them from the free throw line, Monte Vista outscored pagosa 13-12 in the period to cut the lead to 44-29 after three.
Pagosa's scoring in the frame, all deuces, came from six different players - Scott, Honan, Lori Walkup, Bliss, Jewell and Buikema.
The final period was the Buikema show, the freshman scoring eight to pace the squad, with 3 from Jewell and 2 each from Scott and each of the Walkups.
The 17-12 Pagosa margin in the period created the final 61-41 score, and left a big smile on Lynch's face. "It's great to get out of that losing mode, to win in the league, and to get Lori and Emily working again as part of the team effort."
"We'll be shooting free throws in practice next week," he said, "Lot's of free throws. Five for 21 isn't acceptable in any league."
In addition to the 30 points from Jewell and Buikema, Pagosa got 8 each from Scott and Shannon Walkup, 6 from Lori Walkup, 5 from Honan and four from Bliss.
Scoring for the night boosted the number of Pagosa Lady Pirates with 100 or more points to four: Forrest with 138, Shannon Walkup with 124, Scott with 118 and Lori Walkup with 100 exactly.
Lori Walkup and Buikema each had eight rebounds, Jewell added seven and Shannon Walkup and Caitlin Forrest each had five as Pagosa outmuscled their foes 41-18 on the boards.
The ladies return to the IML wars when they host Ignacio at 5:30 p.m. today, looking from revenge for a one-point overtime loss on the Bobcat's home court.
Tomorrow they hope to keep the revenge motive alive when they host Bayfield at 5:30 p.m. Final league games will be at Centauri Feb. 14 and at Monte Vista Feb. 22.
Scoring, Pagosa: Scott, 4-6, 0-3, 8; S. Walkup, 3-5, 0-4, 8; Honan, 1-2, 3-4, 5; L. Walkup, 3-5, 0-0, 6; Kelly, 0-1 0-1, 0; Bliss, 2-4, 0-0, 4; Jewell, 8-10, 2-7, 18; 6-8, 0-0, 12; Forrest, 0-1, 0-2, 0. Steals leaders: L. Walkup, Bliss, 2 each. Assists leaders: S. Walkup 7, L. Walkup 4. Blocks: S. Walkup 1, Jewell 3.
Boys pummel 'other' Pirates 77-36
By Tom Carosello
There wasn't a single person inside the Pagosa Springs High School gymnasium Saturday night who wasn't cheering for the Pirates. Nor was there ever a doubt in anyone's mind that the Pirates would win the game, and they did. But not everybody went home happy.
Coach Jim Shaffer and his varsity Pirate team tipped off against their Intermountain League opponents from Monte Vista who bear the same namesake, and in the wake of a defensive broadside from the home team, it was difficult for the visiting Pirates to keep heads above water.
Pagosa took the tip but turned the ball over, and Monte Vista got on the board first with a basket from Ben Carlucci to lead briefly 2-0. The lead evaporated in the next few minutes as Pagosa got two each from juniors Ryan Goodenberger and Clayton Spencer, then five straight from sophomore Caleb Forrest to go up 9-2.
A trey from Monte Vista's Clinton Medina, the state's second-leading scorer, cut the lead to 9-5 before Spencer hit for two to put Pagosa up by six with just over five minutes left in the opening stanza.
The teams battled back and forth at an even pace until Forrest hit two free throws followed by a deuce seconds later to put Pagosa on top 17-8. Monte Vista got a point at the free-throw stripe from Micah Trujillo, then Pagosa's man-to-man defense asserted itself and clamped down, holding the visitors scoreless the remainder of the period.
After Pagosa junior Casey Belarde converted two free throws with 21 seconds left, Monte Vista struggled to simply keep possession and failed to get off a shot attempt before the buzzer signaled the end of the first. Pagosa led 19-9.
Pagosa stretched the lead to 21-9 early in the second following a basket from senior Jason Schutz. Trujillo answered with two for Monte Vista to knock the lead back to 10 before Shaffer called timeout with six minutes left in the half.
On his team's next possession, Pagosa's Jeremy Caler found enough room behind the arc to nail a trey. Stellar defense from Pagosa's David Kern and teammate Ty Faber resulted in frustration fouls by Monte Vista, and the resulting double bonus enabled Faber to sink four straight from the line to put his team up by 17.
More defense, then Spencer scored off an assist from Schutz with under five to play in the half and Pagosa led 30-11. Monte Vista tried to claw back into it with four points from Medina and Trujillo, but several alternating baskets from Forrest and Schutz widened the gap to 24 at 39-15.
At the one-minute mark, Pagosa's Brandon Samples snared an offensive board and was fouled on his successful put-back, making the score 41-15. Pagosa fans had reason for concern when Schutz, who apparently rolled an ankle during the play, limped from the court prior to Samples' free throw and sat the remaining minute. He would return later in the game.
Samples' free throw rimmed out but a follow by Forrest put his team up by 28, and with under thirty seconds left Pagosa's Brandon Charles fed Samples to make the lead 30 at 45-15. Monte Vista, completely outgunned the last four minutes of the half, remained stuck on 15 when a Trujillo offering was rejected by Forrest at the horn.
Monte Vista, seemingly reluctant to take the court after the half, refused to participate in warmups and emerged only after the initial third-quarter buzzer sounded, promptly falling behind by 32 after a jumper from Charles.
Then it looked as if Medina would get on track, scoring four straight for the visitors. But Spencer answered, breaking away from the Monte Vista defense and jamming home two more for the home team to keep the lead at 30.
The offensive rhythm for Shaffer's squad continued throughout the first half of the period. Charles sank a three, and Schutz, into the game at the four-minute mark, showed no ill effects from his mild ankle sprain while scoring four consecutive points for Pagosa.
The defense held, giving up an occasional hard-earned basket, and Charles racked up assists with slight-of-hand dishes to Spencer, Goodenberger and Forrest. By the end of the third, Pagosa led by an eye-popping margin of 42, 70-28.
Shaffer sent an all-guard unit to the floor in the fourth, and Samples, Coy Ross and Otis Rand scored the last Pagosa six while allowing just eight to a much larger Monte Vista team down the stretch. When the final second expired, Shaffer's seventh-ranked Pagosa squad had bolstered its IML record to 4-0 and overall record to 14-1, winning 77-36.
Shaffer credited Kern and Faber with keeping Medina in check all night. "I thought they did a really good job; he scored some, but had to take an awful lot of shots to do it," said Shaffer.
Shaffer lauded the defensive effort, attributing his team's success thus far this season to a sustained defensive barricade that is giving up an average of only 40 points per game. Said Shaffer, "We've been selling them the idea all year that defense wins championships, and the kids have bought into that."
Shaffer went on to say the unselfishness of the team goes a long way also. "Our guards are willing to sacrifice their opportunities to score and get the ball into the big kids, and if (the opponents) take away the inside, we've got some kids who can shoot it."
Pagosa will look to keep rolling and shut down Ignacio tonight at 7:30 in a rare home showdown between two IML teams ascending the 3A polls. Tomorrow night, Bayfield comes to town for another IML matchup; game time is set for 7.
Scoring: Forrest 9-13, 7-7, 25; Goodenberger 2-4, 3-3, 7; Schutz 5-7, 0-1, 10; Charles 2-5, 0-0, 5; Spencer 5-8, 0-1, 10; Faber 0-1, 4-4, 4; Rand 0-1, 1-2, 1; Caler 1-3, 0-0, 3; Ross 1-2, 1-3 3; Samples 2-5, 3-5 7; Belarde 0-0, 2-2, 2. Three-point goals: Caler 1, Charles 1. Fouled out: none. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 23. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 38. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 14.
Pirates fluff away dual meet foes
By Karl Isberg
If there is anything like fluff in the world of prep wrestling, the Pirates encountered it Jan. 30 as they met Del Norte and Salida at Del Norte.
The Pirates defeated each team easily in the dual meet format. Salida went down 69-6 and Del Norte fell 52-21 to a Pagosa team with many of its wrestlers taking a break from the stress of maintaining weight and wrestling one weight class higher than normal.
The match against the Spartans started fast for Pagosa and the momentum built at light speed.
Kory Hart took on Salida's Kyle Kaester at 145 pounds and the Pirate secured a first-period pin, setting the stage for repeats by the next three Pirates on the mat.
Senior Zeb Gill made short work of Robert Wycoff, with a first-period pin at 152.
Senior Clayton Mastin did the same to Jake Hightower getting the pin in the first two minutes of action.
Matt Lattin was next. The Pirate nailed the first-period pin against Salida's Roger Phillips.
Pagosa was ahead 24-0.
Sophomore Marcus Rivas entered the ring at 189 and worked his man at will to secure a second-period technical fall and add five points to the team total.
Salida forfeited at 215 and each team turned in a forfeit at 275. Salida got its only win of the night at 103.
Following a forfeit to Darren Hockett at 112, Pirate Michael Martinez went into action against Justin Martinez of Salida. The Pirate got the pin in the second period.
Freshman Ky Smith got a crack at a varsity match at 125 and performed very well, Smith secured the first-period pin over Cain DePriest.
Michael Maestas moved up to 130 from his accustomed spot at 125 and showed no effect. Maestas continued a torrid streak, pinning John Lanza in the first period.
Justin Bloomquist fought at 135 against Salida instead of his usual 130. Bloomquist earned a 17-2 major decision over Joe Goodman.
The match ended with a Salida forfeit at 140.
"Salida was young," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky. "We didn't give them anything. Sometimes, when you wrestle an inexperienced opponent, you tend to wrestle down. We didn't do that; it looked like veteran wrestlers out there on our side."
Following a close loss at 145, the Pirates started a serious run against Del Norte at 152 as Gill, after failing to score in the first period, pinned Daniel Owsley in the second.
Mastin got his second pin of the night at 160, putting Thad Hill's shoulders to the mat in the first period.
Del Norte got a win at 171, but James Martinez turned the momentum back to Pagosa. The freshman made a statement at 189 with a first-period pin of Julian Sanchez.
Rivas kept the train rolling at 215, scoring four team points with an 18-7 major decision over Denny Myers.
Both teams forfeited at 275 and Del Norte got a win at 103. Darren Hockett (112) and Michael Martinez (119) each won by forfeit before Smith came back on the mat at 125 to pin David Owsley in the second period.
Maestas won again with a first-period pin of Del Norte's James Arlotta.
The Tigers scored points with a win at 135 before Pirate senior Cliff Hockett finished the evening at 145, pinning Tyler Kerr of Del Norte in the third period.
"Del Norte has a good little team," said Janowsky. "We fought them in a dual earlier in the season and it was a lot closer. This was a good match for us good enough to keep us working hard. Our guys were executing and staying true to what we've been working on. Obviously, we've put some distance between them and us. Our freshmen did really well in both duals and our older guys got a rest from trying to hold their weights down."
The Pirates have a tri-meet of an entirely different kind awaiting them tonight, at Monte Vista. Pagosa fights dual matches against two perennial top-10 teams in Colorado 3A - the hosts and La Junta
"Matchupwise, against Monte Vista, it could be hard to beat them in a dual," said the coach. "They've got strong guys where we have strong guys and the bonus points could be hard to earn. And, at some of the weights where we're inexperienced, they have some experienced guys. We'll probably forfeit at 119, 215 and 275, so it will be a hard match for us.
"La Junta is tough, but the matchups are a bit more interesting. When all is said and done, at this point in the season we're concerned with maintaining our style of wrestling. In those cases where we wrestle someone more experienced than us or better than us, we want to get close to them, wrestle hard and see how far we've come and what we need to do."
The dual with Monte is the final Intermountain League meet of the season for Pagosa. The Pirates are 2-1 in league action and the district title is determined on the basis of the four-meet go-round with league opponents.
"We had a chance against Centauri a couple of weeks ago to move to another level," said Janowsky. "We didn't do it then. Now we have another chance."
Action at Monte starts at 5 p.m. in an unusual format. Pagosa will wrestle La Junta's seven lower weight classes simultaneous to Monte and La Junta fighting it out in the seven top classes. Then the teams will switch, with La Junta finishing its two duals in the time it takes to wrestle one regular dual meet.
After a 45-minute break, Pagosa and Monte will go at it in the latest episode of one of the area's top wrestling rivalries.
Out of towners have fastest ski times at Wolf Creek
Erin Laine of Monte Vista and Duncan Thayer of Alpine Village were the speed leaders in the weekly fun races Saturday at Wolf Creek ski area.
Laine ran the course in 28.05 seconds for the fastest female time competing in the bracket for girls 15-17. She was followed in the bracket by Natalie Atkins, also of Monte Vista, in 32.02.
Thayer, racing in mens 51-60, had a time of 26.60. Second place in the bracket went to Bob Filice of Pagosa Springs in 28.93 and third to Gerry Riggs of Pagosa in 29.84.
Other top female racers were Mackenzie Kitson of Pagosa Springs winning girls 12-14 in 30.93, with Stephanie Atkins of Monte Vista second in 31.53.
Meg Kurtin of Albuquerque was top racer in women's 31-35 with a time of 1:03.69.
In women's 36-40, Thea Bland of Tulsa, Okla., was first in 36.83 and Sherry Schram of Tulsa second in 1:08.07.
Marcky Egan of Pagosa Springs was first with a time of 31.73 in women's 41-50 with Julie Reardon of Pagosa second in 32.39 and Sue Huritz of Salida third in 37.11.
Women's 51-60 was an all Pagosa finish with Lynda Van Patter winning in 36.66, Katherine Cruse second in 37.89 and Linda Warren third in 39.82.
Substantially more males were in competition this week.
In boys 3-5 Devan Monkiewicz of Pagosa was first in 1:01.49 and Zack Devooght of Pagosa second in 2:13.54.
Shay Monkiewicz of Pagosa was first in boys 6-8 with a time of 35.66 and Peter Grotemeyer of Breckenridge was second in 36.71.
Boys 9-11 laurels went to Bradley Evans of Fort Collins in 35.82 with Kyle Aragon of Pagosa second in 37.32 and Jeff Reardon of Pagosa third in 39.39. Chase Moore of Pagosa won boys 12-14 in 33.86.
Ken McDowell of New Zealand captured boys 15-17 in 29.91, followed by Caleb Jennings of Pagosa in 36.12 and Gentry Copelin of Manitou Springs in 37.95.
Amarillo, Texas, was home for all leaders in the boys 18-20 bracket. First went to Adam Lewis in 33.07, second to Chad Munkres in 33.32 and third to Tedd Monkres in 33.84.
George Geer of Cortez captured mens 21-25 in 29.80 with Nick Ross of Pagosa Springs close behind in 30.29. Nick Heinia of Tulsa, Okla., was first in mens 26-30 finishing in 27.59 with Tim McGinnis of Pagosa second in 37.97.
Brad Bruce of Durango captured mens 41-50 in 24.48 with Greg Clements of Stotham, Ga., second in 32.63 and Scott Evans of Fort Collins third in 34.07.
Mens 61 and over was an all Pagosa finish. Dave Bryan won in 26.67, Ron Chacey was second in 28.04 and Bryant Lemon third in 32.72.
The next fun races will be Saturday.
Cassandra 'Cassie' Josephine Pfeifle, 18, died Thursday, Jan. 30, 2003. Cassie was born Aug. 21, 1984, in Hemet, Calif., to Catherine and Eric Pfeifle.
She moved to Pagosa Springs from Hemet in 1995. Cassie graduate from Pagosa Springs High School in May 2002. She was active in Future Business Leaders of America and enjoyed soccer, basketball, fishing, music, traveling, eating, friends, sleeping, video games and computers. She played both soccer and basketball for Pagosa Springs High School.
She was active in church and Sunday School, attending Mountain Christian Fellowship with her family.
She is survived by her mother, Catherine Cline and stepfather, Tim Cline, both of Pagosa Springs; her father, Eric Pfeifle of Hemet, Calif.; sisters Ashley and Crystal Pfeifle of Pagosa Springs; her sister and brother-in-law, April and Brad Pollock of McChord, Wash.; her grandparents, Chuck and Betty Pelton of Pagosa Springs and Fred and Dorothy Pfeifle of Hemet; her great grandmother, Ruby Lowry of Pagosa Springs; uncles Mike Burdett and Tom Marin of Pagosa Springs, Dan Marin of Los Angeles, Andy and Tom Pfeifle of Hemet and Kirk Pfeifle of Fresno, Calif; her uncle and aunt, Gary and Christine Fuller of Castle Rock; uncle and aunt Tom and Margo Morris of Costa Mesa, Calif.; uncle and aunt Clark and Johanna Berry of Tucson; a half brother, Nicholas Pfeifle of Hemet; a half sister, Kylie Pfeifle of Florida and numerous cousins.
Funeral services were held Feb. 3, 2003, at First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs, the Rev. Louis Day and Pastor Dan Sanders officiating. Interment followed in Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs.
Andrew Max Hatfield, born June 28, 1915, in Belle Plaine, Kan., passed away Jan. 27, 2003, at the Montbello Retirement Home in Albuquerque.
After retiring in 1975 following 38 years service with Boy Scouts of America, he joined his son, Steve, working with Hatfield Construction in Pagosa Springs for the next 15 years.
Hatfield and Helen Stoner were married on Sept. 6, 1936, and she is among his survivors. They had moved to Bosque Farms, N.M., in 1991 and then to Montbello Retirement Home in 1998.
Also surviving are his daughters, Judith Lambert and her husband, Don, of McKinney, Texas, and Nancy Hatfield of Albuquerque; sons Stephen and his wife Linda of Aragon, N.M. and James and his wife, Susan of Bosque Farms; grandchildren, Erin Clark of McKinney, Texas, Christopher Buck of Stamford, Conn., Audrie Malin of N. Andover, Mass., Raymond White III of Bristol, Tenn., Bret White of Boston, Mass., Corrie Hatfield of Smyrna, Ga., Elizabeth Birchfield of Twentynine Palms, Calif., Wynn Sandoval of Bosque Farms, Jason Hatfield of Albuquerque; and 10 great grandchildren.
A graduate of Wichita State University in 1937, Hatfield taught Sunday School for 64 years and remained active serving in many different capacities in his church. He was elected as Conference Lay Leader of the Rocky Mountain Conference of United Methodist Church in 1984 and served eight years in that capacity. He was presented the Bishop's Award Medal.
He held offices in Rotary Club and was a member for 56 years, receiving the honored Rotarian Paul Harris Fellowship Award. He also was a 32nd degree Mason.
Hatfield loved his dogs, was an avid sailor and spent hours in Bible study.
A memorial service was held Jan. 31, 2003, in Peralta Memorial United Methodist Church, Peralta, N.M.
It is suggested that memorial donations be made to the memorial fund established in that church at 25 Wesley Road, Peralta, N.M. 87042.
Cremation arrangements were by Sunrise Society of New Mexico.
Phil Price, 70, of Maumelle, Ark., went to be with the Lord on Jan. 30, 2003. He was born in Bryan, Texas, Oct. 16, 1932.
Survivors are his wife, Marge; daughter, Susan and her husband, Darrell Powell and their children, Allison and Shawn of Zale, Texas; a sister, Linda and her husband, Jack Crawford of Irving, Texas; a niece, Pam, and her husband, Eugene Oard; and a nephew, Russell Rubac and his wife, Susan.
He was preceded in death by a son, David.
After graduation from Texas A&M University, he was a civil engineer in Texas and California from 1954-1967, with two years as an officer with the U.S. Army 1955-1957. He remained a member of the Texas A&M University Former Student Association until death. From 1967 through 1983, he served on the staff of Campus Crusade. He was pastor at Christ Community Church in Omaha, Neb., from 1983 through 1989. As pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Ark., he encouraged mane people from 1990 through 1995 when he and Marge retired to Pagosa Springs where he continued to disciple men.
Visitation was Friday, Jan. 31, 2003, at Ruebel Funeral Home in Little Rock and a memorial service was held in the Special Church Feb. 1, 2003. Graveside services were at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas on Monday with Jim Edwards, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church officiating.
Memorials may be made to the building fund of New Hope Baptist Church, 782 New Hope Road, Boyd, TX 76023 and to Bethany Christian Services, 1100 N. University Ave., Little Rock, AR 72207.
Wilbur Russell Voorhis, a lifelong resident of Pagosa Springs, passed away Monday, Jan. 27, 2003, in Las Vegas, Nev. Born Dec. 3, 1917 to Helen Biggs Voorhis and Arthur Russell Voorhis, he was 85 years old.
Wilbur was born and raised in Pagosa Springs where he attended and graduated from Pagosa Springs High School.
He married Phoebe Jane Jones in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 24, 1949. He worked as a car salesman for Chevrolet in Pagosa for 39 years, retiring in 1985. He was a member of the Lions Club and a charter member of the Pagosa Springs Volunteer Fire Department and was instrumental in bringing the first fire truck to Pagosa Springs. He enjoyed fly fishing, camping with his family, and hunting.
Preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Art, a sister, Genevive, and a granddaughter, Jayme Voorhis, he is survived by his wife, Phoebe, of Pagosa Springs; a daughter and son-in-law, Vicki and Steve Buck of Pagosa Springs and Rockport, Texas; a son, Russell, of Pagosa Springs; a son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Barbie Voorhis, of Pagosa Springs; daughter and son-in-law, Vanessa and John Gurule, of Ridgway; and eight grandchildren, Terry and Matt Buck, Jessica Voorhis, Michael, Makala, Myron and Breanna Voorhis and Travis Gurule.
Funeral services were held Friday, Jan. 31, 2003 at Community United Methodist Church with interment following in Hilltop Cemetery. Rev. Phil Janowski officiated the service.
Contributions may be made in Wilbur's name to the Lions Club Eyeglass Program, c/o Ralph Manring, 1175 Shenandoah Drive, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
Margaret Ellen "Margy' Watkins, of Delta died on Friday, Jan. 24, 2003, in Delta. She was 44.
She was born May 1, 1958, in Del Norte, to Ronald and Nellie (McManus) Robinson. She married Lance Watkins Oct. 4, 1997 in Paonia. He survives.
Mrs. Watkins was a medical assistant for Delta Family Physicians. She attended Mesa State College and the Institute of Technical Trades in Grand Junction, graduating in June 1977 with her medical assistant certificate.
She enjoyed camping, horseback riding, the outdoors and reading.
Mrs. Watkins is survived by her husband, Lance of Delta; her father and his wife, Ronald and Connie Robinson, of Cortez; her mother, Nellie Snow, of Montrose; a son, Don Wood, of Delta; two daughters, Tellina Lynn Kerns and Desiree Austin Kerns, both of Delta; a brother, James Claude Robinson, of Hinckley, Minn., a sister, Laura Sue Hoel, of Delta; four stepbrothers, Butch Robinson, Carl, Kenny and Jerry Snow, and a stepsister, August Storm; and four grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, and her stepfather, Dick Snow.
A memorial service was held Jan. 30, 2003, in the Paonia Town Park gazebo.
9Health Fair seeking 200 volunteer aides
By Pauline Benetti
Special to The SUN
Pagosa Springs has the reputation of having one of the best 9Health Fairs in the state.
Our community has earned that compliment by coming out in force every spring to work together on this project. This year they will be on duty at the Pagosa Springs High School 8 a.m.-noon April 5.
For newcomers to the area - 9Health Fair provides health education, free basic health screenings and low-cost blood chemistry analysis to everyone 18 years of age and older in communities across the state.
The 9Health Fair is a program of 9Health Services Inc., a nonprofit organization endorsed by the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Health and Hospital Association.
Fair coordinators are reaching out to past volunteers and seeking new ones to help with the myriad of tasks that such an event must involve. In the nonmedical area they need people to greet, register and check out participants, to direct traffic, to register height and weight.
In the medical area, they need people who can take blood pressure, draw blood, and examine data and make referrals. In addition, they are hoping to provide the services of several specialists such as a podiatrist, dermatologist, and an ENT specialist. If you qualify in any of these areas please give the coordinators a a call.
If you are interested in being on the core team - the group of 10 or so who will have responsibility for the different medical and non-medical areas and who will begin their efforts very soon - call and leave your name and phone number.
The fair needs up to 200 volunteers to make this year as successful as past years. Organizers are working hard to increase the number of volunteers who can draw blood. Last year, of the almost 600 people who attended the fair, 517 had blood drawn. This figure explains why people had to wait in line at peak hours.
Organizers also want to remind local residents they should save old eyeglasses, laser printer cartridges and cell phones. The Lions Club and United Cerebral Palsy will put them to good use.
To volunteer, or for more information, call fair coordinators Pauline Benetti, 264-5232, and Sharee Grazda, 731-0666.
Archuleta High has funding for nonprofits
By Richard Walter
Area nonprofit organizations have an opportunity to win funding for their special projects thanks to the efforts of students at Archuleta County High School.
The student body of the school - about 40 students involved in various programs - will determine which applicant receives funding from $10,000 they have available.
The program, sponsored by El Pomar Youth in Community Service, required local students to raise at least $500 on their own in soliciting donations from community merchants.
If they could do so, the foundation would match their funds with a $9,500 grant.
The youngsters, over the past several weeks, raised $520 and the matching grant has been approved.
Nonprofit organizations can apply for funding from the grant for projects in the student mission statement which reads:
"We the students of Archuleta County High School are dedicated to improving our community in these key areas - parks and playgrounds, helping the developmentally disabled, or contributing to community education centers."
There is no specific application form to be filed, but applicants must submit in writing their proposal for a special need project within the areas noted, and specify how the funds would be used.
Deadline for submission of proposals is March 1. Proposals must be submitted at the Archuleta County High School office, Lewis and 4th Streets.
After they have been received, the students will review each proposal and will make the actual decision on where the funding will go.
Jim Cruice, school director, said they may decide one applicant gets it all or may decide several have good ideas and split it between them.
All proposals filed must include the organization's 501-C form signifying nonprofit status in order for the proposal to be considered.
Cruice said the program is one designed to get students involved in learning how community service works, how funding is achieved and how grants are awarded.
"They actually make the decisions themselves," he said. "They find out by calling on businesses for donations which ones are more community-oriented .
"They worked hard, put in a lot of time and effort to secure this grant money," he said. "It was an excellent way for them to get involved, to know and understand how foundations work, how and why they make grants, and to experience for themselves how to make grants."
Selected finalists for grants will be called in to make a personal presentation to the students and to be interviewed by them.
The final decision on grant recipients will be made by the student body by March 20 and grants will be presented sometime in April.
State patrol investigates rollover
By Tess Noel Baker
A sport utility vehicle stolen from Hi Mesa Truck and Auto Center near Vista Boulevard was recovered Feb. 3 after rolling on U.S. 84. The driver is still missing.
Colorado State Patrol Trooper Doug Wiersma said the 2002 Chevrolet Suburban was found at about mile marker 7 near Chromo. The driver apparently lost control of the vehicle on icy roads on the back side of Confar Hill. Following the accident, the driver left the scene.
License plates on the vehicle were stolen from a different Suburban parked in Pagosa Springs. That vehicle was owned by tourists.
Wiersma said the theft and the accident remain under investigation.
Police search for pit bull accused of biting 10-year-old
By Tess Noel Baker
The search for a pit bull accused of biting a Pagosa Springs boy continues.
According to Pagosa Springs Police Department reports, the incident was reported Jan. 29. A 10-year-old boy, the cousin of Garrett Carothers, was outside his apartment on South 9th Street when a pit bull jumped at him, tore his coat and left minor bite marks on one arm.
His mother, Kimberly Cox, said Logan was lucky, receiving just a scratch and some bruising because of the coat he was wearing.
"The important thing is that they need to find the dog," she said and praised the police department for its quick response to her call.
According to reports, the pit bull was being walked by a young girl at the time of the incident. It either broke away from the leash or was never leashed.
A summons for harboring a vicious dog was issued to Mary Gurule in the incident. However, there is a chance Gurule is not the dog's owner. The dog remains at large. Chief Don Volger said investigation into the case continues.
Health board sets rules, bans sewage lagoons
By Tom Carosello
The board of directors of the San Juan Basin Health Department adopted several wastewater regulation changes at a Jan. 27 meeting.
The most significant rule modifications concern the regulation of on-site sewage disposal systems, and highlighting the update is a prohibition on the issuance of new permits for domestic sewage lagoons throughout Archuleta, La Plata and San Juan counties.
Wano Urbonas, environmental health director, explained the ban took effect immediately following the meeting and said the three counties were the last in Colorado to implement the ban on lagoons. Urbonas cited several reasons for the decision.
"We had concerns about West Nile Virus, public nuisances, smaller parcels and lagoons in proximity to human populations, and so the board decided to adopt those changes," said Urbonas.
West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitos, which reproduce by laying eggs in stagnant bodies of warm water. Though rarely harmful to humans, the virus is potentially lethal to horses and birds. Sewage lagoons provide ideal habitat for breeding mosquitos.
Associated with concerns of the spreading virus is a stipulation set forth in the new regulations stating "homeowners must minimize mosquito populations around existing absorption lagoons through the utilization of approved larvicides, or by demonstrating approved, effective mosquito control techniques."
According to the new regulations, existing absorption lagoons will be permitted until they fail to meet department standards. However, any plans to expand current lagoons will require the approval of Urbonas.
Any approval of lagoon expansions will be limited to the addition of one bedroom, or the equivalent, for primary dwellings. Second dwelling units will require the installation of a subsoil sewage treatment.
Urbonas added that any applications for lagoons that were turned in before Jan. 27 of this year will have a "grace period" for approval expiring Jan. 27, 2004, but reiterated that no new applications will be accepted.
Repair of existing lagoons on ground which exceeds a 25 percent slope will require the assistance of a Colorado-licensed engineer.
Other changes with respect to wastewater disposal systems determined by the board include:
- The department terminology changed from "individual sewage disposal systems," or ISDS, to "on-site wastewater systems," or OSWS.
- The installation of pit privies is prohibited.
- No permits shall be granted for a lot platted after April 21, 1997 that is less than one acre.
- No person shall occupy any dwelling or any other structure which is not equipped with allowable facilities for the sanitary disposal of sewage.
- Grouting around pipes is prohibited; pipes are to be sealed with watertight materials.
- Commencing Jan. 1, 2004, OSWS contractors initial fees will increase from $25 to $50 and renewal fees will increase from $10 to $20.
For more information on the new regulations, contact the San Juan Basin Health Department, Pagosa Springs office, at 264-2673, stop by the office at 502 South 8th St., or visit the department's Web site at www.sjbhd.org.
Area streamflow, reservoir
By Tom Carosello
Despite a weekend weather system that swept across Colorado and deposited the first measurable snowfall in several weeks, the outlook for streamflows and reservoir levels in the southwest corner of the state remains grim.
A snow survey report released by the Natural Resources Conservation Service for Feb. 1 indicates below-average snowpack levels stretching from the Dolores River Basin east to the Upper San Juan and Rio Grande basins.
Consequently, the water contents for the basins are also well below average at approximately 60 percent, which means area lakes and reservoirs stand little chance for recovery due to abnormally low streamflow forecasts for the coming spring.
Water contents are defined as a measure of snowfall or snow height in terms of the equivalent amount of liquid water that can be expected when snow begins to melt. While levels this year are exceeding those of last year, they are nowhere near what would be needed to end the persistent drought conditions.
According to Jerry Archuleta, NRCS district conservationist, the scant five inches of snow received Sunday at the summit of Wolf Creek Pass will do little to improve the water content level for the area. "It might have changed things a little bit, but it won't make much of a difference, possibly two or three percentage points at the most," said Archuleta.
As of Feb. 1, water content measured in the Upper San Juan basin west of Wolf Creek Pass amounted to 12.2 inches, which is below the long-term average of 19.0 inches. Wolf Creek Summit had a water content of 10.6 inches, approximately half of the 20.1-inch average.
Pagosa area streamflows and runoff are forecast at below-average levels as well. The Rio Blanco is predicted to flow at 66 percent of average, the Navajo River at 70 percent, the San Juan at 69 percent and the Piedra at 65 percent.
As a result, boating and fishing enthusiasts will find it hard to navigate Navajo Reservoir this spring, let alone successfully launch a boat. The lake's level is currently over 75 feet below full pool, and the lake is holding roughly half 815,000 acre feet of its maximum capacity of 1.7 million acre feet. An acre foot is defined as the amount of water necessary to cover one acre to a depth of 12 inches.
To the west, reservoirs within the Missionary Ridge Fire area are holding even less water. As of Feb. 4, Lemon Reservoir was holding only 6,300 acre feet, or 16 percent of its maximum capacity of 40,000 acre feet. Vallecito Reservoir was measured at 35,670 acre feet, only 28 percent of the maximum 125,000 acre feet.
The NRCS survey indicated that unless a significant amount precipitation is received in the coming weeks, these already-low figures could be adjusted downward on a monthly basis until temperatures reach averages high enough to melt snowpack at a rapid rate, which usually occurs sometime in April.
Two arraigned in local dog attack case
By Tess Noel Baker
Two Pagosa residents accused of owning dangerous dogs that attacked an 8-year-old boy Dec. 23 were arraigned in Archuleta County Court Jan. 30.
Both David Martinez, owner of the dogs, and his mother, Sandra Schultz, were scheduled for pretrial conferences Feb. 20 to give them a chance to consult with their lawyers and the district attorney.
Each has been charged with two counts of unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog that inflicted serious bodily injury on a person, a Class 1 misdemeanors under Colorado state law.
The dogs apparently attacked Garret Carothers while he was standing on a neighbor's porch in the Vista Subdivision then dragged him into the street. By the time the boy was found, he had sustained bites on more than 80 percent of his body and severe lacerations to his head, ear and face.
Both dogs suspected of the attack are now dead. One, a pit bull, was shot attempting to attack a deputy. The other, a retriever-Rottweiler mix was captured and later euthanized.
Judge Jim Denvir ordered both Schultz and Martinez to pay a $250 personal recognizance bond, told them to refrain from owning any other dogs until the conclusion of the case and issued restraining orders for both, ordering them not to harass or intimidate the victim, his family or any witnesses in the case.
Both defendants said they had visited the boy since the attack with permission of his parents.
Denvir said the restraining orders were mandatory and both could continue visits as long as they had permission, but cautioned them to be careful not to say or do anything that could be misconstrued later.
If found guilty, Schultz and Martinez could face 6-24 months in jail, a fine of between $500 and $5,000, or both and restitution.
22 scholars pace intermediate school honor list
Twenty-two students, seven fifth-graders and 15 in sixth-grade, are scholastic leaders for the second quarter of the school year.
They recorded perfect all-A grades during the period. An additional 37 third-graders and 54 sixth-graders were named to the regular honor roll.
Top fifth-grade scholars were Julie Adams, Casey Crow, Josie Snow, Presley Payne, Ashley Brooks, Courtney Hudnall and Amber Lark.
Sixth-graders with perfect marks were Dylin Burkesmith, Jacklyn Harms, Teale Kitson, Raesha Ray, Shelby Stretton, Drew Portnell, Anna Ball, Joe DuCharme, Zel Johnston, Maegan McFarland, Sackett Ross, Kade Skoglund, Skye Sarnow, Stephanie Lowe and Ryan Candy.
Fifth-graders scoring 85 percent or higher were Andrea Burch, Richie Goebel, Ryan Hamilton, Josh Jones, Rose Quintana, Dakota Ross, Austin Willis, Gary August, Jessie Bir, Seth Blackley, Megan Bryant, Taylor Cunningham.
Also, Paul Hoffman, Teralynn Rediske, Becky Riedberger, Sam Bard, Lucas Chavez, Mike Flihan, Michael Gallegos, Kiaya Humphrey, James Garlinghouse, Tamara Leavonworth, Amie Shearston-Webb, Shevi Tunnell.
Also, Jessica Blum, Rachel Carrell, Amanda Oertel, Trenton Pinson, John Price, Doug Rapp, Christine Richardson, Jamie Salazar, Jacob Koontz, Denise Bauer, Bridgett Brule, Victoria Espinosa and Trenton Maddux.
Sixth-graders on the A-B honor roll were Stormy Harrison, CT Bradford, Aniceta Gallegos, Kyle Monks, Eric Freudenberger, Tawney Kaiser, Jessica Martinez, Juniper Willett, Benny Gallegos, Andy Abresch, Jennifer Mueller, Jada Salazar, Matthew Brown.
Also, Clinton Cruise, Shasta McMurray, Anthony Spinelli, Gabrielle Winter, Joie Zielinski, Joshua DeVoti, Ashley Iverson, Destiny Poirier, Alicia Cox, Jenny Low, Steven Smith, C.J. Cartrette, Cheyenne Steiner, Kyle Brookens, Caleb Pringle, Leah Silver.
Also, Cherese Caler, Bruno Mayne, Cheyenne Spath, Destiny Sterner, Kyle Aragon, Mitch Martinez, Jordan Boudreaux, Jacob Faber, Jacob Haynes, Ryan Hujus, Justin Johnson, Bailey Wessels-Halverson.
Also, Ashlee Courtney, Libbi Long, LeeAnn Phillips-Martin, Xander PeBenito, Daniel Roeder, Betsy Schur, Myron Voorhis, Jennifer Wanket, Tyler Lynch, Clark Reidberger, Zane Gholson, Kaitlyn Potter and Jackson Walsh.
Kiwanis scholarship applications available
By Tess Noel Baker
The Kiwanis Club of Pagosa Springs is currently taking applications for scholarship grants. Graduating seniors from the Pagosa Springs area who plan to continue their education by attending a vocational school or a community or two-year college program are eligible.
Applications are available at the high school counseling office and the Archuleta County Education Center. Applications should be completed and returned to the counseling office or the education center no later than April 1.
Winners will be selected based on a variety of qualities, including work experience, school and community activities, academic record and financial need. Recipients will be awarded their scholarships at the Kiwanis Club of Pagosa Springs Honors Luncheon in May.
The club is also working to build its scholarship fund. Members believe the value of vocational and/or community college training and education is for the most part overlooked. To help students going in that direction, a citizen gave a generous contribution to get the program started. A few other smaller contributions have been added to the fund, but the club is hoping to continue to increase funding.
Anyone who would like to make a contribution to the scholarship fund should contact Vickie Kimble, treasurer, Kiwanis Club of Pagosa Springs, at 264-1818 days or 731-3203 evenings, or forward a check to Kiwanis Club of Pagosa Springs, Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 3246, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
When a couple of local service stations were asked about the outrageous gasoline prices in Pagosa Springs, the reply was that they have no control over prices and that the corporate headquarters control their prices.
The corporate headquarters was contacted about this problem and this is a brief excerpt from their written reply:
"We do not own or operate these locations, and thus do not dictate or control the price in Pagosa Springs. Both of these locations are owned by independent operators who are free to make all business decisions regarding the operation of their locations, including the retail price of gasoline to consumers. Contrary to the station employee's statements, in accordance with U.S. antitrust laws, we do not interfere with the independent dealers' pricing decisions."
So, why did these stations feel that they needed to provide misinformation to their customer and why is the price of gasoline four to six cents higher on the west end of town than prices downtown?
It certainly does not cost any more delivery charges to deliver to the west end than downtown, since the wholesalers for the west side stations are in Cortez, Albuquerque, Farmington and Santa Fe, and probably approach the Pagosa area from the west on U.S. 160. Isn't greed a sinful offense?
Editor's note: A check of local gas prices early Wednesday morning showed price differences among some stations in the downtown area (not including stations on the west side of town) of nearly four cents. It would seem the owners of the business have the right to set product price at whatever level they desire. The long-standing question is why the general price for fuel in the Pagosa area is often significantly greater than in nearby parts of the state. Efforts to get a satisfactory answer to this question have never been successful.
Riled at Rumsfeld
As a citizen/soldier veteran of two wars (WWII and Korea as both a private and company officer ranks) I am moved to express my astonishment at the statement made by Secretary Rumsfeld discrediting the service of draftees in the Vietnam War.
His statement is an insult to every draftee, National Guard member or reservist who has been called on to serve this country. I cannot believe that he could be that ignorant of American military history.
The first armed forces of the United States were citizen/soldiers. When the first shot was fired at Concord, it was citizen/soldiers led by citizen/soldiers.
In every major war since, civilians have been called to fill the ranks. Taking nothing away from the old regulars who were "lifers" and were the backbone of the armed services, it was the "short-timers" who furnished the muscle and took most of the casualties.
The officer ranks were equally dependant on the ROTC grads from the Land Grant Colleges, the OCS grads out of the ranks from the infantry, artillery and engineering service schools and direct commissions in the field.
Yes, Vietnam was a disaster in all ways, and yes, the "short-timers" on occasion looked and acted a lot like Mauldin's "Willie and Joe." Respect was given for an officer's ability to lead and not the brass on his collar or his "academy ring."
No individual, including Secretary Rumsfeld, who has not been there in ground combat, can know what the ground troops faced plus the burden of fighting an unsupported war that should never have happened.
It is a matter of concern that the man who has the strongest voice in the actual deployment of our troops may be as ill informed on critical issues of the mid-east conflicts. He should be given the same treatment as Sen. Lott and relegated to a place where he cannot put our children and grandchildren in harms way.
My suggestion would be as a permanent latrine orderly.
In the fair Pagosa, what is more dangerous than hunting the feared mountain lion? What is more intimidating than to be face-to-face with a bear and armed with a bow and arrow?
The answer is, my dear sir, the crosswalks of Pagosa Springs.
They are most deadly places.
We have repainted them and then striped and have placed blinking lights on the pavement.
It is like candy to a child. We have spent money and time to pretty up the candy cane lanes of death.
What we didn't do is put up a great big lighted sign saying "Colorado law says stop for people in the crosswalks."
Drivers from other states do not know this.
Our poor citizens are lulled into false safety by the new paint and the blinking street.
I really do care. How about you?
Growth is a big concern for many in this community. Good and bad, many want a cap on growth, as myself and developers, of course, want growth. Many developers build and leave.
Water is our No. 1 issue and has been for a long time. But to many it appears it's only a recent concern. With our now low snowpack again we will be faced with as bad, or worse, a drought season as in 2002.
Now that many realize we do not have enough water, growth and water can really become one issue.
Moratorium seems to be a difficult word to be used in this community, but I know it can be done if monies would have a lesser value to some in the community. Moratorium, cap on growth.
We finally got a moratorium on new subdivisions, but with our water situation, I believe even it needs to be on the build-out already in a plan. How can we continue to build and question water for this community?
Another issue: please don't let this area look like everywhere else. Keep our rural nature and protect our wildlife., i.e. with less pavement.
Know that there are people out there who care and want to keep the air clean, even though we may not go to meetings.
Folks, write to the county and town planners and commissioners, express your wishes for the future. Help save our area.
Editor's note: There is no moratorium on new subdivisions in Archuleta County.
Wow, am I confused about the Upper San Juan Health Services District and the Board of Directors.
Last year a board member and I had a talk in which I mentioned it sure would be better for the property owners if they would seek a slight increase in our sales tax (where everyone who makes a purchase in town pays rather than just the property owners). This was based on the sorry situation of USJHD - where it had somehow gotten into a big dark financial hole.
I was told it was a lot easier to get it on the ballot as a bond issue and a lot more paper work would be involved if trying to get a slight sales tax increase.
This individual also told me that the board was interviewing for a district manager. After the board had made its final decision I talked again to this individual. I was told the person hired was going to be great and had wonderful "conflict resolution skills" and that things would be much better.
I am really confused as I read the front page of Jan. 30 The Pagosa Springs SUN. Why are we having to hire a conflict resolution aide? If our current district manager is so good at resolving conflicts and there is still a problem - why not get some more training for our district manager? Why not send the district manager and a representative from the group that is dissatisfied to a class on resolving conflicts. Maybe that way they can get on the same track. Maybe they are mixing apples with oranges. Why hire another individual? What happens if there are still conflicts? Will we hire another person?
I don't know where the problem lies, if it is the board, the district manager or some of our EMTs. What I do know is that it appears the USJHD is still in turmoil. The problem is not being resolved and we are not getting out of the red and that this is costing all of us money. Something is not right, so let's get it right. What happened to teamwork? I am a very confused person.
It was with great enthusiasm and hope for the future that my staff and I began supporting public radio. Many (perhaps most) of the views expressed and sponsors credited on KSUT I disagree with, I would however, defend with my life the right of these people to express their views.
We proudly began our sponsorship spot with the motto of our dental practice: "Gently restoring the health God created."
You can imagine our dismay when we were informed that our message was being censored. It seems that our freedom of speech is only ours so long as we agree with the staff of KSUT. So much for the First Amendment.
The irony of the term "public radio" is inescapable. My staff and I appear not to be part of that public.
In our free country, established with a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution; represented by a Pledge of Allegiance and common currency, all of which mention our creator, it is deeply saddening to suffer this blatant censorship.
How much of our "public" is thus disenfranchised?
Over the past few months I have been watching our nation's capital prepare for war and that concerns me. So far I haven't heard anything that would justify sending our children/grandchildren into harm's way, only government rhetoric.
Our government is even thinking about the use of a small scale nuclear device for getting at underground bunkers that conventional bombs can't reach. Doesn't that send chills down your spine?
If they were to do such a thing it would give the world permission to do the same.
If we are concerned about possible terrorist threats now, how much greater the threat after something like that.
That doesn't count the possibility of biological or chemical weapons being used.
What price are you willing to pay for oil? We are asking Iraq to eliminate their weapons of mass destruction for the "safety of the world."
But what about our weapons capability? If we're going to demand that Iraq and North Korea stop, then shouldn't we? What about others that have these?
Are we going to "force" them to disarm?
Are you willing to send your children, grandchildren into harm's way when the price to humanity can be so high? I wouldn't, and I spent eight years in the navy serving this country. The time for war is over. It is time for us to see that the common people of the world are the same as us. We have the same hopes, dreams and desires. We want to love and be loved, for our families to be happy and prosperous and to live in peace. When you can look at another person and see yourself, then you are not so willing to put their lives and dreams at risk. We can disagree with Saddam Hussein and what he and his government have done, and deal with him, but not at the expense of the Iraqi people.
We live in a country that is "by the people, for the people." That only works if we tell our elected officials what we want them to do!
At the moment we let Corporate America tell our elected representatives what they want instead. Tell them no more war. Tell them to put real effort into alternative energy. Tell them no more pollution in our air, water and soil.
Let your voice be heard. Our constitution only works if we "The People" do our part. If we don't stand up and voice our opinions at times like these, with all that is at stake for the world, then we are throwing away everything the constitution stands for.
Become an informed citizen, read the Patriot Act that was written under the guise of national security against terrorism and ask yourself, am I willing to give up my constitutional freedoms? You can find the Patriot Act at http://news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/terrorism/hr3162.pdf.
More information, on protests: www.notinourname.net.
Health care status
"We must put our doctors, our nurses, and patients back in charge of American medicine."
President George Bush
State of the Union, 2003
Our president was speaking of bureaucrats, malpractice lawyers and HMOs but the point is exactly the same as some of us have been trying to make in Archuleta County. Having people in charge of health care who do not understand medical practices and whose primary concern is the economic bottom line does not work nationwide and does not work here.
The Archuleta County Health Care Project intends to become a mini political action committee as future health services district elections approach. We will seek out and urge local medical personnel and retired medical personnel to become candidates and promote their election. We also intend to do an education program, informing the public of the need to elect citizens who have medical backgrounds and citizens who have the interest and time to devote to the job.
We believe there must be a balance between medical and business knowledge on the district's board and that the entire board must be informed and involved in the process of operating rural medicine and emergency services.
We believe that safeguards should be put in place so that each board member is appointed duties, leadership of committees, etc., that report to and educate the entire board at each meeting. Never again should one chairman and one manager hold virtually all the knowledge and have absolute power.
We want to create an atmosphere around the district that shows interest and invites the public to become involved in community health care. The Archuleta County Health Care Project will open its membership to all district employees and the public in the future and welcome your involvement.
Kay Grams, board member, has floated the idea of forming a "Friends of the Health Service District" program. This is an excellent idea.
From running for the board to The Health Care Project to a friends program, there would be excellent opportunity for citizens to be involved at all levels. As we advance into the future we will need this wealth of interest and help.
The district has had a long period of bad news. I firmly believe that good people will make correct decisions and that this is the point in time of turning our health care system in the direction of healing its wounds and advancing to a bright new future.
Thanks for all the support and thank you George.
Deaths concern members of Senior Center
By Janet Copeland
We are so sad to learn of the death of Eva Darmopray; our prayers are with her family.
Eva was very active in our group until ill health forced her to slow down. We all love her and will miss her.
Also, our prayers are with the families of the accident victims who were killed or injured near Pagosa last week.
Serious accidents in this area are happening entirely too frequently lately - folks really need to slow down and be more responsible drivers.
The highway between Pagosa Springs and Durango is especially dangerous, with folks passing on hills and curves and ignoring traffic rules.
Friday we celebrated January birthdays of our members. We wish a belated Happy Birthday to Dody Smith, Dawnie Silva, Charles Snoop, David Lucero, Charlie Martinez, Robert Baumgartner, Victoria Snoop, Paulette Sohle, Mary Lucero, Vernon Day, Mabel Bennett, Delpha McFatridge, Patricia Sterling, Jim Estell, Betty Ann Meyer, Ken Fox and Billie Evans.
The AARP/TCE Tax Preparation Program will offer its confidential and free services to senior citizens and any person with low to moderate income. This assistance includes preparation of the Colorado 104 PTC, property tax, rent, heat rebate credit for eligible people.
They offer help with preparation of federal and state tax returns, assistance with specific questions on taxes if the person has prepared their own return, and/or 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 see a paid professional tax preparer.
Tax form preparation and assistance sessions will be offered Mondays through April 15. Call 264-2167 to schedule an appointment. Please bring 2001 tax return(s) and information and all 2002 tax information.
Congratulations to our Senior of the Week - Phil Heitz. Phil just completed his second year as president of Archuleta County Senior Citizens Inc., and frequently repairs and assembles various items for the center. He is a very valuable asset for our group.
Welcome to the guests, returning members and new members who joined us last week: Fred Cain, Larry and Linda Viek, Rita Werner, June Beck, Diana Owen, Bud Moreau, Ken Bailey, Angie Furer, and Bill and Betty Sample (from Okmulgee, Okla., and parents of Dru Sewell).
There has been some information disseminated by the National Senior Advisory Council which indicates our senior group endorses them. This is not true.
There also have been groups phoning seniors and saying they represent the police and requesting donations. Please be wary of these calls; check with your local police department to see if they are legitimate.
There will be CPR classes for seniors 9:30-11:30 a.m. Feb. 12 and 1-3 p.m. Feb. 21. The classes will be held in the Terra Cotta Room at the Silver Foxes Den and there is a suggested fee of $5. They are sponsored by the Archuleta County Education Center.
A big thank you to Patty Tillerson for again volunteering to teach the class on Dominos Friday (this is a second try - no one came the first time). Domino games will be scheduled the first and third Fridays of each month.
Thanks to the Johnsons at Liberty Theatre for holding a special seniors-only matinee showing of "Catch Me If You Can" Wednesday.
Thanks to the generous donations of so many folks, our library is full. We request no more books be brought in and no magazines more than three months old.
Volunteer meetings will be held at 10:30 a.m. on the third Monday of every month (except the February meeting, which will be held the 24th because of the holiday).
The Grief and Loss Program is now meeting at Dr. Deb Parker's office, 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.
Friday, Feb. 14, we will celebrate Valentine's Day. Bring a decorated bag or box for your valentine cards and we will give a prize for the prettiest. We will exchange cards before and after lunch, plus enjoy a wonderful meal planned by Dawnie and the kitchen staff.
Feb. 7 - 10 a.m., Qi Gong; 11 a.m.; Jim Hanson, Medicare counseling.
Feb. 10 - 12:30 p.m., Red Cross needs volunteers with John Melcher; 12:45 p.m. art class in the arts media room of the community center; 1 p.m., bridge for fun.
Feb. 11 - 9:30 a.m., yoga; 10:30 a.m., advanced computer class; 11 a.m., blood pressures taken.
Feb. 12 - 9:30 a.m., CPR class in Terra Cotta Room; 10:30 a.m., computer class; 12:30 p.m., senior blindness program with Deb Drago.
Feb. 14- 1 p.m. Valentine's Day and movie day ("Happy Accidents" a romantic comedy).
Updated e-mail addresses sought
By Andy Fautheree
Use of the Internet has come a long way the last couple of years and the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office is making use of this technology to reach out to our veterans.
As many of you know who have visited this office since I became your Veterans Service Officer in April 2001, I now make e-mail a part of our information on our local veterans.
In every interview of a new veteran, or when I encounter a veteran who hasn't been in the office for quite a while, I ask for their e-mail address.
Current e-mail address
It is very important that I have current e-mail addresses. Some of the early e-mail addresses I was given by veterans are no longer valid. I receive a reject notice for the e-mail address, which means my e-mails do not reach a veteran.
I urge veterans to call me or send me an e-mail contact to the VSO e-mail address shown below so I can add them to my e-mail database.
I now have 131 correct, active e-mail addresses for Archuleta County veterans. But I'm sure there are many more addresses I don't have. Call me or write me with your current information.
Every week I publish the Pagosa SUN Veteran's Corner article on the e-mail addresses of local veterans. It's a great way to communicate, to send out the weekly column, and sometimes other important VA information.
I never send out any junk e-mail or solicitations, and I never give out any information in my veteran's database, including e-mail addresses, to anyone.
This information is considered extremely confidential and is not open to anyone outside the Veteran Service Office. The information is kept in locked files, in my locked office. My computer systems require a password that only I have.
I have been asked by various individuals, groups, attorneys, and even high ranking elected officials, for information from these files.
I was once threatened with a court order to divulge some information from my veterans' files and I refused and told them they would probably have to take it up to the federal level to force me to give out any information. I also suggested they were certainly welcome to talk to the county manager or county commissioners if my answer was not sufficient. I guess they gave up, because nothing came of it.
Please call me or contact me via Internet e-mail with your current e-mail address. And while you're at it, please provide your current mailing address and phone numbers. They often change over time, and we want to make sure we have the most current information on our Archuleta County veterans.
For information on these and other veterans' benefits call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949, and e-mail is email@example.com. 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.
Balloon ascensions highlight Winterfest
By Sally Hameister
If Mother Nature had been slightly more accommodating - okay, a lot more accommodating - we would have been inviting you to attend a number of Winterfest activities that require reasonable amounts of snow, but alas, wishing does not make it so.
We do, however, encourage you to take part in the two ascensions that are scheduled with over 40 balloons doing their things Saturday and Sunday mornings in the area behind the Ralph Eaton Recreation Center.
There are few things as stunning as wildly-colored balloons rising against a Colorado morning blue sky, and I hope you will take advantage of these occasions.
A Balloon Glow is scheduled at the same location Saturday evening, so plan to take the kids and friends to this magical event.
After the launchings and/or the Glow, you can head out with friends to enjoy food and libations at your favorite eatery. There are always opportunities to create your own parties, and this may very well be one of them.
Please read on for some other Winterfest weekend options.
For something altogether different, I would suggest you plan to participate in the first-ever Pagosa Lakes Winterfest Perch Tournament Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Hatcher Lake.
You can attend the morning ascension, have breakfast and head right on over to compete in this unique ice-fishing event which guarantees at least $200 for first place.
The tournament will end at 3 p.m. when fish will be checked in and weighed to determine winners.
All place finishers in different categories will receive excellent prizes. Kids12 and under will fish free and will receive their own prizes. Knights of Columbus will be there serving up chili, hot dogs, hot apple cider and hot chocolate to benefit their scholarship fund.
This tournament is open to the general public, and a Pagosa Lakes permit or state fishing license is not required.
Pre-event tickets can be purchased for $5 at Ponderosa Do It Best, the Chamber of Commerce, Ski and Bow Rack and the PLPOA Recreation Center and Administration offices. Tickets purchased on tournament day will be $7.
In the event the tournament needs to be rescheduled for any reason, your entry fee will be refunded or you can keep it to use at an open water event in April or May.
Please contact Larry Lynch at the PLPOA offices with questions at 731-5635.
If you are not the ice fishing type, the folks at Navajo State Park have an alternative for you and your children Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. at the Navajo Visitor Center.
With the help of a video and various other activities, children will be able to watch animals at play and learn about the reasons they play and how this helps them as they grow older. Part of this program will take place outdoors, so please bring appropriate outerwear.
This program is free of charge with a Colorado State Parks pass, and you can call 883-2208 for more information about "Animal Games."
Our quarterly newsletter, The Chamber Communiqué, is coming up the first part of March, so if you would like to include your insert, please bring them to us by Feb. 21.
To acquaint those who might not be familiar with this economical marketing tool, allow me to explain: Basically, all you have to do is bring us 750 copies of your piece on 8 x 11 folded colored paper and a check for $40, and we will do the rest.
There simply isn't a more economical way to reach more people for less money, and in times like this, we all can use a break in the savings department. Feel free to use both sides of the insert to get even more bang for your buck.
Give Doug a call at 264-2360 with questions about your insert.
The Pagosa Fire Protection District, Upper San Juan Health Services and Emergency Medical Services will again combine forces to present a Winter Carnival at Parish Hall, Saturday 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, call Holly Fulbright at 731-9289 or Terri Moody-Clifford at 731-5811.
Bowl for kids' sake
Big Brothers Big Sisters is holding their annual bowling fund-raiser March 1 and 2 at Durango Bowl and invite you to organize a team or join a team to benefit this organization.
BBBS supports and guides children who are in need of mentors, and by participating in this fun event, you can do your part to help them accomplish their goals.
Call Dearle Ann Ricker, at 264-5077 or the La Plata office at 247-3720 to sign up, get pledge sheets or for a team assignment to Bowl for Kids' Sake.
It's a dandy week in the area of Chamber membership with four new members to introduce and 15 renewals. Snow or no snow, this always brings a bright spot to our day.
Our first new member this week is Karen McVay who brings us Universal Funding located at 785 Aspenglow Blvd. These folks buy all kinds of notes and invoices to include real estate, mortgages, contracts, accounts receivable, business notes, structured settlements, lotteries, annuities, inheritances and more. To learn more about Universal Funding and for a free consultation, call Karen at 731-3121.
Peter Dybing joins us next with CPR First Aid Training with offices in his home. Peter offers all levels of CPR certification and First Aid training at your location by a certified Emergency Medical Technician. If you would like to learn more about bringing this service to your business, give Peter a call at 731-0296.
High Plains Nursery with Larry Sprague at the helm is our next new member located at 900 C.R. 331 in Allison. High Plains Nursery grows native and xeric shade and fruit trees, shrubs and other plant materials for landscaping, conservation, borders, etc. Stop by and say hello or give Larry a call locally at 731-0352.
Fun Included is our next new member brought to us by "Pockets" the clown. Fun Included would be happy to provide mimes and clowns for your next birthday or private party, grand opening or any other special occasion. "Pockets" has 20 years experience and would be happy to talk with you about your special needs at 731-0296.
Renewals this week include Linda Erskine with Design A Sign; Carl R. Jolliff with Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; Claudia Bishop Faubion with Bishop Publishing, LLC; Valerie Green with Canyon Crest Lodge 201A Yeoman Drive; Arthur Fox with Rocky Mountain Scenics in Ouray; Ben L. Lynch with Jackisch Drug; Larry Page with Anco Southwest Insurance Services; Robbie Schwartz with the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs; Robbie Schwartz with The Humane Society Thrift Stort; Rick and Marcia Kraus with Dancing Winds Lodge; Mary Weiss with Law Office of Mary Weiss; Harold Walter with Walter Body Shop, Inc.; Monika Murphy with Astara Clothing and Jewelry, LLC; and Darin Murphy with Farm Bureau Insurance. Our associate member renewals this week are valued friends and Diplomats, Bruce and Nettie Trenk.
Book examines what's at stake in biological warfare
By Lenore Bright
"The Demon in the Freezer," by Richard Preston takes us into the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases - now the center of national biodefense. Peter Jahrling is the virologist working to develop a drug that will take on smallpox.
Officially, smallpox virus resides in two freezers in the world. At the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and in Siberia at a Russian virology institute called Vector. But scientists are sure that illegal stocks are in possession of hostile states including Iraq and North Korea.
Everyone connected with the Institute of Infectious Diseases went on alert after Sept. 11 and the anthrax letters appeared. This book gives the details of the government responses, and what investigations are ongoing.
Jahrling is leading a team of scientists doing controversial experiments with live smallpox. Preston dramatizes this work and the conflict it has provoked within the scientific community. The book tells what may be at stake if the experiment fails.
Gifts from grandmothers
Often people ask us for suggestions of materials to buy as gifts.
We always recommend a series of magazines for the little folks. The "Cricket" Magazine Company puts out "Baby Bug for age six months to two years; "Click," ages 3 to 7; "Spider," ages 6 to 9; and "Cricket," 9 to 14.
They've recently added two more, which we will be getting soon. "Muse," and "Ask." Come by and see these excellent magazines. They make the perfect gift for children and the idea that they get something new each month in the mail for their age level is most appealing.
Cricket has a Web site www.cricketmag.com or call (800) 821-0115.
The world was jolted recently by a widespread virus that knocked out many computer networks. Ours was mildly involved. All week we have had interruptions that are just enough to briefly knock out the system forcing staff to stop all work and re-boot. We're growing to hate that term, "re-boot."
A friend sent me this wonderful piece that is for all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives:
"At a recent meeting, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated that if General Motors had kept up with the technology like the computer industry had, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.
It is purported that GM put out a press release that stated: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the window before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
4. Occasionally, executing maneuvers such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine Š and every time a new car was introduced, car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again, because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car."
Our building fund is growing thanks to sponsors Earle and Betty Beasley in memory of Nancy Hayles, and associates Bruce and Nettie Trenk. Materials came from Sharee Grazda, Paul Day and Judy Armistead.
Kevin Valentino Segura is welcomed home by his older brother, Joseph Mario. Kevin was born Jan. 27, 2003 at Mercy Medical Center in Durango, the son of Benjamin and Jennifer Segura. The young man weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces and was 17 1/2 inches long. Grandparents are Tom and Nancy Torrey and Joe Ben and Eufilia Segura, all of Pagosa Springs.
Natalie Koch and Eli Carpenter were married Christmas Day 2002, in the Little Church of the West wedding chapel in Las Vegas, Nev. The couple resides in Pagosa Springs.
Pagosa Springs High School graduate Corrilee Patterson is among the 25 Fort Lewis College students to be listed in the 2003 edition of Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Patterson, a senior music education major, graduated from Pagosa Springs in 1999.
Campus nominating committees and editors of the annual directory included the names of students selected on the basis of their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities, and potential for continued success.
John E. Passant
Marine Corps Major John E. Passant IV, son of retired Air Force Major and Mrs. John E. Passant III of Pagosa Springs, recently competed a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf while assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Passant was one of more than 10,000 Pacific Fleet sailors and marines aboard ships of the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Battle Group and the USS Belleau Wood Amphibious Ready Group.
Passant's unit is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment. The units are composed of more than 2,000 personnel and are divided into an infantry battalion, aircraft squadron, support group and command element.
Major Passant joined the Corps in 1991 after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy.
Education center offers chess club for all ages
By Tess Noel Baker
They gather in a classroom around six boards of various colored squares, line up their pieces and play.
Pawns move. And knights. Bishops. All in search of the elusive king. The "priceless" piece.
Some have played for years, others are just starting. None, at this point, are older than fifth grade. All are participating in the new after-school chess club sponsored by the Archuleta County Education Center.
Monday, about 10 gathered to learn the game, learn the game better or just to play. David Snyder, the class instructor who learned the basics of chess when he was in junior high, moved from table to table, getting things started, answering questions and listening to quite a few stories along the way.
"It (chess) really helps a lot of skills," he said. "Math, spatial skills, cognitive skills, plus it's a lot of fun. It's something they can do forever."
Over one of the boards, Thomas Levonius, 8, squared off against Austin DeVoogt, 9. Thomas had the edge in experience, learning chess at age 4 or 5, compared to just two years of play for Austin.
They were both very serious, moving pieces quickly and confidently as the game developed.
"I like the medieval time stuff," Thomas said when asked what drew him to the game. "Chess is like medieval time stuff."
"I just like playing it," Austin said between moves. "It's fun to me."
In fact, nearly Austin's whole family was there to play, including brothers Luke, 6, Zach, 4, and his mother, Marianne.
"It's nice that he (the instructor) lets us stay," Marianne DeVoogt said. "It's nice to offer a game that uses your mind instead of just sports."
Austin, who learned to play chess from his dad and grandfather, is not a big basketball fan, his mother said. So when he brought a flier on the club home from school it seemed like a great thing to try. On the club's first week, just he and Luke, who is starting to learn chess, attended. But Zach wanted to see what his brothers were doing. So this week, the 4-year-old and mom tagged along, hoping to learn a little too.
Across the room, Kayla Olguin, 11, and Allonah Podvin, almost 8, ate a snack while they waited for the instructor to come around to them. Neither had ever played chess.
"I thought it would be a fun game and make me think," Kayla said. Allonah agreed.
In a corner, Gabriel Rael, 7, was hard at another game.
"I've been playing chess forever," he said. "I beat my grandfather three games in a row." He also appeared well on the way to defeating a less-experienced player Monday.
After one round of play, Snyder stopped the group for a brief lesson. He said plans are to mix in instruction on opening moves, chess etiquette and history as the group learns to play. Much of his information is downloaded off the Internet, especially www.chesscorner.com, a Web site designed to get families involved in playing the game together, he said.
This week's lesson included a list of short tips, including the first step, placement of the board.
"White is right," he said. In other words, while facing the board, the white, or lighter colored square, should appear in the right corner. If it doesn't, the game simply won't flow right.
"The center two pawns should always move first," was another tip.
Moving the center pawns helps a player begin to control the center of the board, Snyder said, key to winning any chess game.
"It's about building a defense, a solid foundation," he said. "This game is about slowly moving out, making sure each piece is protected."
Pawns should be the focus of at least the first two or three moves, he told the class. Only after establishing protection should a player begin to consider moving knights. And knights should always move before bishops ... and so on.
"Do not bring the queen out too soon," Synder cautioned. To do so means risking the chance of losing valuable time protecting her while the opponent chases her around the board.
And, finally, "don't give away pieces without a good reason," he said.
From there, except for a few stories from the audience, a second round of games began. Snyder moved among the groups explaining some opening moves, showing the newcomers how each piece is allowed to move and demonstrating some of the tips he read earlier.
After awhile, cries of "Check," and "Checkmate," can be heard. The losers show a little frustration, but pay more attention to what went wrong than worrying about a win or a loss.
Snyder said in the next month the goal is to teach the students to play and take home what they've learned to their families so that everyone becomes involved. Hopefully, he said, interest might even be great enough to get a permanent chess club started in the community.
After all, it's a game that knows few boundaries. It apparently started somewhere in the East, perhaps China or India as far back as 200 A.D. and has spread throughout the world.
"I play a lot of computer chess," Snyder said. "If you have a computer, you can play alone and you never feel like you're wasting time playing chess."
The chess club is open to all ages and meets Mondays from 3:45-5:30 p.m. in the junior high school through March 17. Tournament play is scheduled to start March 3. For more information, call the Archuleta County Education Center at 264-2835.
A look at county's 1880 census
By John Motter
Who hasn't asked, "I wonder where old so and so went?"
Personally, that's one of my great weaknesses. Just last week, while filing some stuff, I ran across a copy of the 1880 census for this area.
Since Archuleta County wasn't formed yet, this was part of Conejos County. It was a Conejos County census. Settlement in Pagosa Springs started in late 1877 or early 1878.
At the same time, some settlement was taking place on the Navajo River, Piedra River near the current U.S. 160 bridge, probably at Carracas on the San Juan River, and maybe in places we don't know about.
Page 1 of the census listing the population for the Navajo River shows three heads of households:
Martin A. Nutter, age 28, was keeper of a toll gate. He had a 24-year-old wife who was keeping house, a one-year-old son born in Colorado, and a three-month-old daughter born in Colorado. If the son was born in the Navajo Valley by August of 1879, he would have been one of the first white babies born in the county.
The Nutter's had servants, Theodora Pacheco, an 18-year-old female, and Francisco Sanchez, a 19-year-old male laborer. Both had been born in new Mexico.
Another household head living on the Navajo, Barzillai Price, age 50, is well-known as a founding father of our local community. He listed his occupation as retired lawyer. Price's wife, Martha, was also listed age 50. He listed three sons and a daughter ranging in age from 18 down to four. None were born in Colorado.
Price's close relative, George Weisel, was the third family head living on the Navajo. George listed his occupation as miller. His 25-year-old wife's name was Addie. They had a three-year-old son and a nine-month-old son, both born in Nebraska. The Weisels apparently had come to the Navajo some time after the Prices.
The Weisels had two boarders, Juan de Dios Quintana and Jose Dolores Sanchez, both mail carriers who had been born in New Mexico.
Two days later, on June 7, 1880, S.E. Newcomb, the census taker, was on the Blanco River. There apparently were no families and no women living on the Blanco at that time.
Four names of men not born in New Mexico are listed: Charles McClellen, a 30-year-old miner born in Maine; Henry Wright, a 31-year-old miner; a 33-year-old laborer named Selebar (sic) born in South America; and Frank Pulver, a 24-year-old stock raiser born in Michigan.
Hispanics living on the Blanco were Juan Silva, a 48-year-old freighter; Augustin Baca, a 26-year-old freighter; Jose Cordova, a 27-year-old laborer, Antonio Martin, a 24-year-old laborer; Juan Ignacio Lopez, an 18-year-old laborer; Jose las Luz Balerio, a 16-year-old laborer; and Joseph Herra, a 49-year-old laborer.
More names are listed for Pagosa Springs than we care to mention. A large proportion of the population consisted of single males. Most of the adult women listed their occupations as housekeeper.
An exception was Alice Stafford, the 16-year-old daughter of John and Ditha Stafford, who was teaching school. John listed his occupation as selling sewing machines and Ditha, you guessed it, was a housekeeper.
The distribution of occupations, as we would expect, was significantly different than the 2000 census. The 63-year-old Tully Kemp was post master. He has also been identified, not on the census, as a lawyer and was a justice of the peace.
Thomas A. White, age 34, identified himself as a scout for the U.S. Army. You don't run across a lot of those any more. Charles M. Reynolds was listed as an "essayer." I'm not sure how many of those remain, either.
It is well to be reminded that Fort Lewis was located in Pagosa Springs at the time and the census taker dutifully canvassed the fort. In addition to quite a few soldiers, there was John J. Chochran, assistant surgeon.
One of the few married soldiers was Ernest Boerner, a 31-year-old white male born in Prussia. Ernest's wife, Sarah, was a 30-year-old housekeeper who had been born in Ireland. The couple had four sons, a daughter and had lost a six-month-old daughter. The children were all under eight years old. A niece, 17-year-old Julia Geoghen, lived with the Boerners. Julia had been born in Ireland.
William Peabody listed himself as a merchant, but he was the post trader and a close relative of a Colorado governor of the same name.
The names of folks with occupations of distinction include Charles Bennett, a barber from Pennsylvania; John Conless, a jeweler; Robert Chambers, who keeps a dairy (along with some of his brothers); Harrison J. Clifford, an engineer; Joseph F. Renfro, a physician; William F. Stringer, a potter; Joseph Clark (Clarke?), printer; and Ethereal Walker, you remember E.T., the unreconstructed rebel, lawyer.
Occupations most commonly listed were laborer, herder, freighter, miner and farmer. While a few names remain in this community 123 years later, most are gone, scattered we know not where.
I wonder where they all went, and how they explained to their grandchildren where they'd been.
I wonder if anyone in their families remembers where those old pictures were taken.
Take off the cuffs
The ship of state in Colorado is sailing in shallow water. Our legislators are doing their best to right the course, but there is no wind, the sails are slack. All the crew can do is bail at a frantic pace.
The state's current budget crunch continues to weigh heavy on the legislature and on state-supported programs. Our elected representatives are struggling, doing everything they can to come up with ways to keep the budget shortfall at a minimum and deal with the problem before the end of the fiscal year June 30.
The picture is clear: the legislators are faced with making $850 million dollars in cuts, absent any way to avoid the surgery.
Some creativity has surfaced among the solons: clever accounting procedures have been proposed to move expenditures forward in time, against good sense and probably in violation of the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights, an amendment to the constitution generated by a petition process and approved by voters that severely constrains the ability of taxing entities, absent deliverance by voters, to raise expenditures and revenues.
With no ability to increase collection of revenues beyond the TABOR limit, even by different means such as tax on services or sin taxes, and real doubt raised about the creative accounting tricks, the only hope is to cut programs. Monies are being moved from funds, the legislators are pulling out all the stops. If the legislators make the cuts required by the TABOR limits, they could keep a 14-percent shortfall from reaching as high as 18 percent and they could put us in position to face no further cuts next year.
If revenues do not decline further.
The problem: the state looks for all intents and purposes like it is in a recession. The nation's economy is uncertain, there is a threat of war.
In our current scenario representative government is handcuffed by our constitutional amendment. The amendment works fine in prosperous times, when employment is high and revenues are robust. It works fine in the mind of parsimonious citizens and those who live comforted by the memory of times and conditions long past. It does not work as well when the wind dies and the ship runs aground, carrying not only the self-satisfied recipients of tax refunds, but the helpless, the infirm, the children whose educational and social needs must be met, the uninsured, the users of highways and health programs and countless other Coloradans.
When the ship hits the reef, it carries with it all the programs burdened by mandates, without sufficient muscle to make the programs work. When the ship can't set sail, our ability to flourish as a community of interconnected individuals and interests is endangered. And, should the economy rebound, the amendment does not allow us to make up lost ground fast.
Residents in many, if not most, taxing entities in the state have availed themselves of the provision in TABOR allowing them to avoid the restrictions of the amendment. All the significant tax collecting entities in Archuleta County have done so.
Our situation statewide is such that we must ask ourselves whether, if revenues continue to decline, we want to continue to operate in the grip of TABOR and its oversimplified solution to legislative carelessness. Rep. Mark Larson makes a none-too-subtle comment to end his column in this week's SUN. While he acknowledges the fact the voters of Colorado approved TABOR, he indicates those voters can do something about it.
He hints that action is possible. Perhaps it is time to think seriously about a process to rid ourselves of this roadblock and, at the same time, find other ways to ensure our elected officials spend our money in an efficient manner.
Meet the candidate, send cash
By Richard Walter
It was a heartrending decision, one which required deep philosophical soul-searching.
But it was one which had to be made.
I have decided to throw my hat in the ring. Not just any, but all rings.
I will be your candidate, for any and all openings.
I have only one requirement: Send Cash.
Conducting a campaign is financially exhausting and I must add to the coffers (actually there is no coffer, so it must be begun) to conduct my rabble-rousing trip to victory.
I have no big oil money to back my platform and no powerful military ready to make war at my whim.
I have no children in school and therefore no longer owe a tax loyalty to the classroom frenetics we now call education.
My lawn and flower beds all died from thirst last year so I have no longer have any hidden agendas with the bulb purveyors, seed spreaders, mulch makers or fertilizer factories.
I have not falsified my tax returns nor have I seceded from the union, declared war on the United States, surrendered, and demanded reparations.
As you can see, I owe no allegiances to anyone or any organization. I am, therefore, the logical person to serve on any corporation's board of directors, or in any organization's presidency.
As I said, I will need just the basic funds to make the race.
Of course, I will not hit the stump. I will wait for the press to come to me. My ideas will be those espoused by everyone else running for office - Me, Me, Me!
Hands out, we'll all be looking for green to grease our palms, silver to smooth the transition from wordsmith to rich candidate.
Rich? Of course. You didn't expect me to spend that campaign money when I can get free press releases on the Internet, plead for funds by e-mail, and stand on the street corner with a tin cup handing out pencils, did you?
No, my candidacies will be the ultimate in self-fulfilling, self-supporting promises which can't possibly be kept.
I will have no party affiliation, not, therefore, being beholden to any contributor or organization which might then try to capitalize on my largesse to win backing for their own ideals.
I shall cast no votes which would reflect on my constituents. In fact, I shall not vote at all, but will expound at length on the things of importance in the nation today - money, health, money, love, money, and of course the biggest concern of all, money.
I will discourage the use of poll watchers and, instead, will declare my victory to the media at least one hour before the polls have closed - even if my name does not appear on the ballot.
I will import tons of Florida chad from a warehouse in Tallahassee and distribute it freely to all polling places so they can live up to American election tradition.
Impervious to attacks from both the left and right wings, I shall walk a middle course taking only the cash bags containing all your contributions.
What? You already elected officeholders like that? Does that mean you aren't going to send cash? Then, count me out.
90 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Feb. 7, 1913
There is no good reason why potatoes or other vegetables, hay or grain, should be shipped into Archuleta county. The county can produce plenty of all of these things and have a big surplus to sell.
The people of the Betzer District east of town are considering the matter of forming a separate school district and thus do away with the fight every summer of getting a three or four months term of school.
The Star Theatre is to be made 15 feet longer, a sloping floor and opera chairs put in and probably a gallery built.
We are pleased to note that taxes are appreciably lower in Pagosa Springs than they have been during the past two years.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Feb. 10, 1928
County Commissioners John E. Walker of Arboles and J. Jacobson, Sr. met in monthly session Monday for the transaction of routine business, mainly the allowance of bills. Chairman Fred Catchpole was absent, being on a motor tour in southern states.
Earl Mullins, who has discontinued his engineering course at Denver University, arrived home Saturday night, and for the present will be employed in his father's barber shop.
Garvin Snook returned home Saturday after an absence of several months, during which time he attended aviation schools at Denver and San Antonio. For the past few weeks he had been engaged in coal mining at Kenilworth, Utah.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Feb. 6, 1953
Earl Mullins, local member of the State Game and Fish Commission, announced to The SUN this week that the Commission had placed the San Juan on the list of streams open to year around fishing. Their action opened the river from the bridge at Highway 160 in east Pagosa Springs to the New Mexico line.
The Wolf Creek snow and water content gained some during the last 30 days, but is still below the 1952 totals and the 10 year average. The past week has seen more mild weather. While the groundhog certainly had an excellent chance of seeing his shadow on Groundhog Day, six weeks more of the kind of winter weather we have had in January won't be very severe.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Feb. 2, 1978
More snow arrived the first of this week, but the temperatures were warm enough so that most of it melted rapidly. It was wet snow and brought the January total precipitation to well above average for January. This January was an exceptionally warm month.
Today is Groundhog Day and there may or may not be six more weeks of winter. The winter to date has been mild, so another six weeks of it won't be too great a hardship.
The winter carnival last weekend was a great success with large crowds witnessing snowmobile races and events. This weekend is the second weekend of the carnival and there will be cross country ski events, dances, and chili suppers as well as a minstrel show.