March 20, 2003 
Front Page

Let your letters support county's military

It is a time of peril for those serving in the American military around the world.

As they put their lives on the line for freedom, they often aren't sure of how the people at home are reacting.

The SUN believes these servicemen and women need messages of support from their home community and as a result will compile and publish these letters.

We will print a "From the Home Front" section in the newspaper and put the section on our Web page so they can be kept up to date on the news from friends in Pagosa Country.

We expect there are many more Archuleta County military personnel than were singled out for flags in a program last fall by the local American Legion Post and we imagine the letters from home will be greatly appreciated.

We want to compile a list of all current Pagosans on active duty. If you have a name and a photo, send them to us.

Please send your messages, and the names and photos (if available) of local service men and women, to From the Home Front, The Pagosa Springs Sun, PO Box 9, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, drop them off at the SUN offices on Pagosa Street, fax them to 264-2103 or e-mail them to


Probe of American flag thefts here intensified

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs police remain on the hunt for those responsible for stealing flags.

Since early February, United States flags have been stolen from outside the U.S. Post Office, Archuleta Housing residences, La Plata Electric offices, the Community United Methodist Church, and South Pagosa Park. Colorado state flags have been stolen from the post office and the park.

The post office was hit again last week. This time, just the United States flag was stolen. Officer Chuck Allen took the report on March 13.

According to police reports, the ropes, and in at least one case, cables, have been cut to allow the thieves access to the flags. None of the flags have been recovered. Each is valued at between $35 and $65.

Police Chief Don Volger said the case remains active. A $100 reward from the police department and a $1,000 reward from the Archuleta Housing Corporation are still available for information leading to a conviction in these thefts.


Health district weighs, delays morale options

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Mediation or conflict resolution? Perhaps both. How about a plan to help employees of the hospital district get to know their board members? Counseling? Training? A permanent employee representative position?

The Upper San Juan Health Service District board considered several suggested options for improving morale issues within the district at Tuesday's regular meeting. In most cases, they tabled any final decision in favor of giving employees two more weeks to comment.

However, they did approve a motion to divide the employees into seven groups - one group per board member - and begin to meet.

"We need to have the employees get to know us and we need to get to know them," board member Sue Walan said. The motion gave the board members three months to meet with their group for the first time.

Dee Jackson, district manager, presented two proposals received from outside conflict resolution consultants. Both offered very different things.

One, requested by the board at the last meeting, was from Peg Christian, a consultant used by the board in January to talk with employees and report on conditions within the district. The board asked her to put together a bid for healing circles, a form of conflict resolution meant to help open communication between groups.

Christian proposed facilitating a series of 14 healing circles, at a cost of around $2,500. The first five group sessions would be made up of employees in the same divisions within the district. The next nine would mix employees from different divisions.

The board also received a proposal from Western Employee Assistance Service, a Durango group backed by Mercy Medical Center. For $3.25 per employee per month, staff could utilize a wide variety of support services, Jackson said. For instance, if all district employees went on the plan, both employees and their families could request a visit with one of four counselors up to eight times a year. Two free inservices on topics like communication and conflict resolution would also be provided. Additional training is available at $75 per hour.

The employees assistance service also provides mediation services that would work in with the district's employee complaint policy, Jackson said. Their mediators work in the traditional fashion, helping two people who are at an impasse resolve issues.

John Farnsworth, a district employee, said Christian overstepped her boundaries and exceeded her authority the first time she worked with the district.

"Some of us gave her feedback that never made it to the report," he said. He also accused her of making management restructuring suggestions she wasn't qualified to make. The board, he said, should have paid the additional money to have employees interviewed individually instead of in small-group sessions where peer pressure could have played a role.

"I want somebody highly qualified, independent and not from Archuleta County to come in here and help us get through this," he said.

The board's decisions, or lack of them, were met with mixed reviews. Representatives from both Emergency Medical Services and the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center said they still do not feel concerns about communication and trust between management and employees are being heard.

"As my medical director's report tonight I need to say this," Dr. Mark Wienpahl said. "There is a growing crisis at the clinic that I believe is affecting medical care."

Since the last special board meeting, a part-time registered nurse and a radiology technician have quit, reducing the nursing staff from four to two.

Both resignations, Wienpahl said, are a direct result of the management issues the employees have been bringing to the board for months and means that the "remaining staff are unfairly burdened.

"This is the business of none other than you, the board," he said. " If management is not succeeding in some fashion, it is your job to rectify the situation." He then requested an executive session to discuss specific problems between staff and the district manager. Wienpahl's request was granted, and he met with the board in executive session following the public meeting.

Peter Dybing, a member of the public in attendance, said all bets should be off when a medical director tells the board patient care is being compromised.

"I don't know what his issues are, but this is his show," Dybing said. "I urge you to take radical steps if that is what he requests."

Jackson told the board advertisements for the open positions have been placed in newspapers in the area as well as on the district Web site.

Terri Clifford, public information officer for Emergency Medical Services, presented the board a statement signed by 30 district employees.

It read: "We, the employees of Upper San Juan Health Service District wish to clarify the number of 'distraught and concerned' members continuously referred to as a 'few' by our management and board of directors. These outstanding employees have all served well in the health care field and wish to continue. We stand unified in requesting the support of our community to resolve the severe problems within our organization. The employees listed below stand in agreement that management has failed in gaining the majority support of the group. Without this support health care has and will continue to suffer great consequences."

A special meeting of the district board has been set for 6 p.m. April 1 to discuss several issues, including the district's organizational chart, a general job description for managers of the clinic and emergency medical services and possible conflict resolution measures.

In other business, the board voted to schedule a training session on special district meeting rules and procedures once the two vacant seats are filled. They also decided to hold off on committee appointments until after the new members are appointed. In the last month, two members of the board, including the board chairman, resigned. The board has 60 days to fill those slots.

Currently, two board positions on the grants and funding committee and one on the personnel policy manual committee are open. Forming two new committees, one for personnel issues and another for board development was yet another topic of discussion.

Following the regular meeting, the board voted to go into executive session to discuss several personnel issues.

Around midnight, the board reconvened briefly and voted to suspend three employees involved in an incident with a firearm on district property.

Walan said a firearm was apparently discharged on district property about two weeks ago. At this point, she said, it appears the weapon was discharged into the ground.

Walan said the district expected an opinion on the issue from legal counsel Wednesday. As of press time Wednesday, the district had not yet heard from counsel and the suspensions had not been imposed. Officials of the district did not release the names of the individuals allegedly involved in the incident.


Dog victim's family files suit against owners, PLPOA

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The parents of Garrett Carothers, the 8-year-old attacked by dogs Dec. 23, have filed a civil suit against the dog owners and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

The suit, filed in district court March 10, alleges that David Martinez and Sandra Schultz, owners of the dogs, were negligent in their care of the dogs, training them to be vicious and then allowing them to run at large.

It also claims that the PLPOA willfully and wantonly broke a contract with residents of the association to provide an animal control officer and failed to enforce animal control rules equally and fairly. The suit seeks emotional distress, punitive or exemplary damages.

Carothers was attacked by the dogs, a pit bull and Rottweiler-retriever mix, while on a neighbor's porch. The dogs allegedly dragged the boy 20 to 30 feet into the street, biting him on over 80 percent of his body. Since the attack, he's undergone four surgeries.

According to the lawsuit, Carothers suffers permanent nerve damage on his face, will never be able to completely close his left eyelid and will never grow a complete head of hair.

Martinez and Schultz are facing criminal charges as well. Both are charged with two counts of unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog, in this case, Class 1 misdemeanors. If convicted, each charge carries with it the possibility of three to 18 months of jail, a $500-$5,000 fine, or both.

Walt Lukasik, PLPOA general manager, said they became aware of the lawsuit when papers were served at the office March 14.

"All information has been forwarded to insurance counsel and legal counsel," he said. "No further comment will come from this office."

The attorneys for the Carothers are L. Kathleen Chaney and Jeffrey Boncek, of Denver.


Committee formed to discuss on-call services by community's physicians

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"I find it appalling that we don't have full-time doctor coverage," Debra Brown told the Upper San Juan Health Service District Board Tuesday.

Brown, a resident of Pagosa Springs for 23 years, said having local doctors on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week was a critical aspect of health care for both residents and the economy.

Providers from the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center and the Pagosa Family Medicine Center announced in January they would be reducing weekend on-call hours on a trial basis to give themselves more time with their families. As a result, no doctors are on call in Pagosa Springs from 6 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday and from 5 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday. During those hours, people have the option of calling 9-1-1 to get help in an emergency or driving themselves to Durango to see a physician.

By cutting out those times, Dr. Mark Wienpahl, a provider with the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, told the board back in January, each medical provider in town is at work or on call about 60 hours a week - a reasonable amount of time that still allows doctors to take care of their own mental and physical health and be available for their families. To provide 24/7 coverage and still keep their hours reasonable would take six medical doctors instead of four.

Brown said nothing should be taken away from the ambulance service personnel, or their capabilities, but some people simply don't have the money for an ambulance trip to Durango and might not call for help if they know a doctor isn't available locally.

Another community member, Charles Hawkins, suggested contracting with a part-time physician to cover the open weekend times.

"Why cannot we spend the money - whatever the costs? We're talking about saving lives here," he said.

Wienpahl said the on-call issue was one the providers and the board had struggled with for years. Costs have to be weighed for more than just the physicians, he said. Support staff is essential and currently not available. While on call, physicians in Pagosa Springs work without the benefit of nurses or laboratory staff. Some also do their own X-rays when needed, something unheard of in other places.

"The quality of care we're able to render by ourselves without support staff is minimal," Dr. Bob Brown, of the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, said. "I really feel that if you're going to give care, you need to give quality care."

Debra Brown asked if emergency medical services personnel couldn't provide some of the support services.

"We use EMS," Dr. John Piccaro, of Pagosa Family Medicine Center, said, "but that kind of situation is not the first time I should be working with somebody. To solely rely on EMS is hard for them when they've got to run on another call."

Dr. Jim Pruitt, also of Pagosa Family Medicine Center, said a proposal outlining some of the costs of providing 24-hour on-call coverage in the county was provided to the district manager last spring.

"We didn't hear anything back," Pruitt said. Apparently the proposal was given to then board chairman Dick Babillis. It is unknown where it went from there.

When the physicians began meeting to discuss long-range strategic planning for health care in the county late in 2002, the issue was one of the first on the table. When they began listing priorities, time with family popped immediately to the top of the list, followed by patient care. The result was the current system.

All agreed it wasn't a perfect solution.

Board member Sue Walan suggested forming a committee to begin to look at the options and costs for 24-hour on-call services. Volunteers for the committee included: board member Patty Tillerson, Dan Keuning, a family nurse practitioner with the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, community members Debra Brown, Pam Hopkins and Dick Blide, a retired physician.



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Forecast: Continued chance for rain, snow

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

While blizzard conditions in the northern half of the state had some Colorado residents measuring snow totals with yardsticks, Pagosa Country received a relatively modest - yet welcome - amount of precipitation during the past seven days.

However, indications are there is a good possibility for continuing moisture in the coming week. According to Ellen Heffernan, a forecaster in the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, a break in the wet-weather action over the weekend could be sandwiched between one system arriving tonight and another expected to reach the Four Corners region early next week.

"Over the weekend, it looks like we may see an isolated shower, but for the most part Saturday and Sunday look to be partly cloudy to mostly sunny. The next trough of low pressure should begin to move into southwest Colorado some time Monday afternoon," said Heffernan.

According to Heffernan, partly cloudy skies this morning will become mostly cloudy throughout the afternoon and into the evening. There is a 40-percent chance for rain or snow showers after midnight; highs are expected in the upper 40s, and lows should read in the mid-20s.

The 40-percent chance for precipitation holds for Friday's forecast, with the possibility that rain may turn to snow as the day progresses. Highs should approach 50; lows should fall into the upper 20s.

A blend of clouds and sunshine is expected as the norm for Saturday and Sunday. Highs should stretch into the low to mid-50s, and lows should register in the upper teens to low 20s.

The chance for afternoon rain or snow is predicted in Monday's forecast; highs in the mid 40s to mid-50s are expected, and lows should settle into the 20s.

Tuesday and Wednesday call for mostly cloudy skies and a 25 to 50-percent chance for showers. Highs should hover around 50 while lows should dip into the upper teens.

Wolf Creek Ski Area's slopes got a 23-inch boost in snowfall from the latest storm, pushing summit depth to 109 inches and midway depth to 104 inches. Year-to-date snowfall total for the area amounts to 320 inches.

Snowpack levels in area river basins made slight gains in the past week; snowpack in the Upper San Juan Basin hit 96 percent of average while the level at the summit of Wolf Creek Pass reached 80 percent of average.

The average high temperature last week was 50; the average low was 20. Precipitation totaled 1.16 inches, most of which fell in the form of rain Saturday and Sunday.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center rates the risk level in the San Juan Mountains above timberline as "considerable" and danger level below timberline as "moderate."

Flows in the San Juan River as measured south of town last week consistently peaked above average for the first time this year, ranging from roughly 70 cubic feet per second to approximately 180 cubic feet per second. The river's historical mean flow for late March is 151 cubic feet per second.


Sports Page
Parks & Rec

Youth baseball season opens next month

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

Youth baseball season is right around the corner with the organizational portion of the recreation league starting up after spring break.

Tee-ball, involves players ages 5-6, with age groups determined as of April 30. If you petition for your child to play up an age group, you must be willing to be head coach or an assistant coach. 

Tee-ball sign-up and registration deadline will be 5 p.m. April 1 at Town Hall. Please bring all registration forms there, not to the schools.

If we have enough girls sign up to make up at least four teams, we will split them up into their own league and try to build up the numbers so we can carry them on into the older girls softball program. Our enrollment seems to drop off in the older ages, and we would like to see if this type of program will help.

7-8 coach pitch

In this league we have the coaches pitch to the young athletes; the athlete gets four swings at the ball. If they have not hit the ball by the fourth attempt, we give them the option to hit off a tee or one more attempt at their fifth and final swing. If no contact is made, the player is called out on strikes.

This is a very instructional league, with a lot of one on one with the coaches from both teams.

9-10 rookies

This is where the athletes start to develop all the skills and put them together for a real baseball experience. The athletes pitch to each other and play the game with some modifications, including equal playing time, a limit on innings pitched per week by these young arms, and all players bat, even if they have not played in the field.

11-12 bambino

These kids have probably played some sort of baseball for the past five years and are ready for "America's Game."  We do have some pitching rules to protect the young players' arms, but at this age the kids love the competition, the coaches teach fundamentals, and the learning curve is at its best.

Late sign up

Those arriving late to sign up will be put on a waiting list. There will be a discount for coaches' children, and multiple children playing baseball.

Workouts for everyone but the Tee-ballers, and coach pitch will be announced on registration forms and in The SUN. Workouts probably will be in mid to late April.


We are in need of baseball sponsors, coaches and assistant coaches. Please call Chris Corcoran at 264-4151 Ext. 232. Your help is what makes this whole program possible.

Thanks sponsors and coaches.


Pirates fall to Broncos, finish season 20-5

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Taking the floor at 8:45 a.m. for their third game in less than 72 hours, a physically and emotionally tired Pirate boys' basketball team battled Platte Valley evenly for three quarters before succumbing to exhaustion and falling 57-36 in Saturday's Class 3A consolation championship.

Ranked near or at the top of the polls throughout the year, Platte Valley entered the contest having suffered only one loss and boasted the Class 3A player of the year: Junior 6-10 center Jason Smith.

Smith proved to be worthy of the honor, blocking several shots and displaying a soft shooting touch from the outside throughout the course of the game, but wasn't able to take complete advantage of his wingspan until the Pirates ran out of gas early in the third quarter.

Platte Valley controlled the tip and got a quick trey from Justin Greenly. Pagosa junior Ryan Goodenberger answered with a short jumper to make it 2-3, then Caleb Forrest put the Pirates up 4-3 with two from the block.

The Broncos' Adam Cheney took back his team's lead with a three, then Goodenberger sank two foul shots to even the score at six apiece.

Two each from Pagosa senior Jason Schutz and the Broncos' Dominic Navarro knotted the count at eight with two minutes left in the first, then Forrest traded a deuce with Colt Pier to tie the game at 10.

Schutz got a layup that was countered by two from Platte Valley's Ross Cheney, and the first quarter ended in a 12-12 tie.

Smith struck for two to open the second before Schutz and Clayton Spencer got two each to put the Pirates up 16-14.

But Platte Valley would get the next seven. Navarro responded with a trey, Greenly and Cheney each sank a free throw and Navarro hit for two more as the Broncos jumped up 21-16 with under four minutes to play in the half.

The game tightened up in the final minute; Spencer narrowed the gap with three straight from the line and the Pirates headed to the locker room trailing by two at 19-21.

Cheney scored a deuce for the Broncos to open the third, then Goodenberger and senior teammate Brandon Charles converted two each to tie the game at 23 all.

The Broncos scored the next six before Forrest and Charles each sank two free throws to pull the Pirates within two at 27-29.

However, fatigue took its toll on Pagosa late in the quarter, and the Pirates would get no closer. Smith asserted himself inside and began a shot-blocking rampage. Pier hit two from the line, and in the final seconds Smith was fouled on a jam and his free throw to complete the three-point play put the Broncos ahead 27-34.

Platte Valley scored the first five of the fourth and led 39-27 before a steal by Pirate junior David Kern led to a Jeremy Caler layup to cut the lead to 10.

Smith responded by taking his game outside, stepping behind the arc on several occasions and draining threes, and the Broncos gradually pulled away from the Pirates in the game's final six minutes.

Coy Ross scored the final three points for Pagosa, but when the buzzer sounded the scoreboard read 57-36 in favor of Platte Valley.

As a result, the Pirates finished the 2002-2003 season with an overall record of 20-5, with two of the losses coming in the state playoffs and all five losses coming against top-10 teams.

After the game, Pirate Coach Jim Shaffer reflected on his team's successful season.

"It was a great year overall, unfortunately we picked today to play our worst basketball game of the season; obviously we weren't the team we've been all year."

When asked if getting up at 6 a.m. for two consecutive days and taking the court at breakfast time may have affected the Pirates, Shaffer responded, "So much of the game is mental, but today we got physically tired; I don't make excuses, but I do think the past three days caught up with us a little bit.

"But there are still so many positives. We went 20-5, won the Intermountain League, beat a good Lake County team, defeated the No. 4 seed (Cedaredge) and pushed the No. 1 team in the state to overtime."

On what to improve upon for next season, Shaffer indicated the team's success will depend on how hard the returning players work over the summer.

"It's phenomenal what the team accomplished between last year and this year, and we're going to work hard at doing that again.

"The biggest question is — will they spend a lot of time in the off season working to get better. If you judge by what happened this year, indications are they will.

"We'll certainly give them the opportunities, probably play 40 to 50 games over the summer, hold open gym and work on some strength training."

To summarize what he and his team would prefer to accomplish when they return to the court this fall, Shaffer commented, "We get most of our kids back, and next year at this time, we'd certainly like to be playing Saturday night instead of at 8:45 in the morning."


Pirates rout Cedaredge in consolation opener

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

After Thursday afternoon's heartwrenching loss to Colorado Springs Christian, Coach Jim Shaffer's varsity Pirate squad vented it's fury and made short work of No. 4 seed Cedaredge in Friday morning's first round of "consolation play, " defeating the Bruins 67-52.

Cedaredge jumped out to its only lead of the game when Jeff Hajny hit a trey to put the Bruins up 3-0 in the opening minute.

Then Pirate sophomore Caleb Forrest proceeded to score Pagosa's first seven points - two by way of a steal and dunk - and Pagosa led 7-6 with three minutes gone in the first.

Clayton Spencer and Ryan Goodenberger knocked in two each to put their team up 11-8, and a basket by teammate Jason Schutz was sandwiched between five points from Pagosa's Jeremy Caler as the Pirates closed the first quarter with an 18-10 lead.

Goodenberger and Brandon Charles were on the mark from the three-point line early in the second, and after an inside deuce from Spencer, the Pirates led 26-15 with under five minutes to play in the half.

After Hajny missed the front end of a one-and-one, Schutz and Spencer scored the next five for the Pirates as they extended their margin to 31-15.

Kurt Kissner hit a field goal and a pair from the stripe for the Bruins, but in the closing minutes the Pirates took control. Caler hit a three and Charles scored the last five of the half, including a trey in the final seconds, to push the Pirate lead to 39-19.

Behind a solid defensive effort, the Pirates dominated early in the third. After Forrest hit two free throws and converted an assist from Schutz shortly after, Pagosa's lead swelled to 46-24.

The Pirates pulled away in the final two minutes of the stanza; Goodenberger hit both ends of a single bonus, Charles pumped in a free throw and Ty Faber fed Forrest for a baseline jam to close the quarter. Pagosa led 51-24.

Charles hit for two to open the fourth widening the gap to 53-24 before Hajny completed a three-point play to cut the lead to 26.

The Pirates coasted the remainder of the quarter, and although the Bruins crept within 15 on several occasions, the outcome was never in jeopardy as the rotating lineup of Faber, David Kern, Brandon Samples, Coy Ross, Casey Belarde and Otis Rand protected the lead down the stretch.

Rand scored in the final minute to put Pagosa up 67-52, and a steal and heave by Kern at the horn preserved the margin, resulting in Pagosa's 20th win of the season.

Afterward, Shaffer indicated he was pleased with the way his team responded in light of the prior day's events.

"It was nice to see the team come out, send a message and stay focused after yesterday," said Shaffer. "For the first time all year we played a team that was able to match us man-for-man in size on the inside, but our kids held their own."

With the win, the Pirates advanced to Saturday morning's consolation championship game against powerhouse Platte Valley.

"This gives our seniors the opportunity to go out and finish the season on a good note tomorrow," said Shaffer.


Pirate title bid ends in OT heartbreaker

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

They tamed the Lions throughout the game, but got little respect from the zebras in the midst of coming up one rebound and a Christian prayer short of a spot in the Class 3A Final Four.

Such was the case Thursday for Coach Jim Shaffer and his Pirates during the controversial fourth quarter of Pagosa's Great Eight playoff thriller with undefeated, No. 1 seed Colorado Springs Christian.

After leading the flashy, bleach-blonde entourage of Christian cagers by double digits for the majority of regulation, Shaffer's squad grew tentative as the Lions' share of calls went against them in the final eight minutes of the contest and eventually fell 62-59 in overtime.

The Pirates controlled the tempo from the opening tip, getting their first five points from junior Clayton Spencer before Christian's Andrew Hoxie put up two for the Lions to get his team within three at 5-2.

After two scoreless minutes, Isaac Westbrooks scored a deuce for the Lions off a turnover before Pagosa's Caleb Forrest sank two from the line to put the Pirates up 7-4 with three minutes left in the first.

Austin Hoxie got the next basket for Christian, but the Lions would score no more in the first. Christian struggled with a determined Pagosa defense, and behind five straight from Pirate senior Brandon Charles, Pagosa led 12-6 at the end of one.

Charles opened second-quarter scoring with two from inside that were answered with two from Austin Hoxie. Then Forrest pushed the Pagosa lead to double digits with four straight before Andrew Hoxie hit a free throw to cut the lead to 18-9.

The Lions, attempting to press and trap, fell behind by 11 when Charles found a wide-open Ryan Goodenberger on the block for two to stretch the Pirate lead to 20-9.

But Christian answered, and after a three-point play and a deuce off a Pirate turnover, the Lions trailed 20-14 with just under five minutes left in the half.

Following a Shaffer timeout to halt the surge, the pace quickened as Spencer hit Charles for a deuce, Christian's Josh Carrer hit for two and Pirate senior Jason Schutz scored on the inside to give Pagosa a 24-16 lead.

After a Westbrooks deuce, Pirate junior Jeremy Caler struck from outside for a pair of treys and Pagosa led 30-18 heading into the final minute of the quarter.

Westbrooks and Spencer traded baskets, and a late steal by Schutz preserved a 12-point lead for the Pirates; Pagosa led 32-20 at the half.

After the Lions got a free throw to open the third, Schutz and Spencer combined for four to extend the Pirate lead to 15 at 36-21. The lions fought back to cut the lead to 36-25 before Forrest hit a baseline jumper to give boost his team's lead to 13.

Then a prelude of sorts came at the midway mark of the quarter when Charles picked up his third personal; one referee initially called charging on Westbrooks but was overruled seconds later by the other who felt blocking was the appropriate call on the play.

Nevertheless, Charles found Forrest on Pagosa's next possession and the Pirate lead stretched to 15 for the second time in the stanza. Then things got a bit heated as a frustrated Christian team attempted to literally claw and scratch back into the game.

During the skirmish-filled final minutes, Schutz and Spencer collaborated for the final Pirate six in the quarter, Christian opened up from outside and at the end of three Pagosa led by 10, 46-36.

Spencer snared the first rebound of the fourth quarter, but lost control of the ball while being pulled to the floor by a duo of Lions. As a result, Andrew Hoxie surfaced with the ball and Charles was whistled for his fourth personal while attempting to block the Lion's drive.

Hoxie sank both attempts from the line, the Pirates turned the ball over and Forrest was immediately charged with fouling Christian's Tanner Johnson to bring his personal foul total to four. Tanner hit one of two charity tosses and the Lions trailed 46-39.

The Pirates bounced back, and Spencer tallied a putback for Pagosa, then scored again on an assist from Caler and the Pirates led 50-39 with six and a half minutes remaining.

But Westbrooks countered with a trey and teammate Alec Shepard converted a steal into two to get the Lions within six at 50-44.

Gambling with aggressive defense, slapping and reaching for the ball at every opportunity, the Lions continued to cut into the lead. The Pirates struggled on offense and were forced to endure the quarter's increasingly-physical nature, benefitting only occasionally from a whistle while their team-foul total grew at an increasing pace.

Andrew Hoxie scored off a turnover to cut the Pirate lead to four, then the teams exchanged giveaways before Shepard nailed a trey to cut the lead to one at 50-49.

Spencer put the Pirates back up by four at the three-minute mark with a free throw followed by a deuce off an assist from Charles, then Johnson hit for two to make it 53-51 with 90 seconds left.

After being pushed and stumbling into Westbrooks, who had just launched an unsuccessful trey, Charles was whistled for his fifth foul and went to the sidelines with under 45 seconds remaining.

Westbrooks hit two of three from the line to knot the game at 53 all, and the Lions fouled Pagosa's Ty Faber on the Pirates' next possession. Faber's front end rimmed out, but after a steal and foul, Goodenberger knocked down two from the stripe with 13 ticks left to give the Pirates a 55-53 lead.

But just five seconds later, Goodenberger was called for a block on Shepard, who's one-and-one attempt clanked high off the iron and, after a mad scramble, was retrieved by Andrew Hoxie. Hoxie retreated to the three-point line, where he was swarmed and forced to launch a desperate trey with two seconds left.

Jostling for the rebound, none of the Pirates saw Austin Hoxie sneaking in along the right baseline, and the Lion caught his brother's errant three in midair, laying it in off the glass at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. Lion fans erupted; Pirate fans stood in heartbroken disbelief.

After taking an early one-point lead in the extra period after a Forrest free throw, the Pirates couldn't find a rhythm on offense and trailed for the first time in the game when Westbrooks scored with two minutes left to put the Lions on top 56-57.

The Pirates trailed 56-61 when Caler hit a trey with 12 seconds left to cut the lead to two, but in an ironic twist of fate, Spencer's blatant attempt to foul Shepard along the baseline in order to save precious seconds went unnoticed.

After a foul by Goodenberger with 6 seconds left, Shepard hit one of two from the line, and Faber was forced to fire an off-balance three at the buzzer in an effort to tie the game. The attempt glanced off the left side of the rim and the game ended in a 59-62 Pirate loss, resulting in the end to the bid for Pagosa's first state title since 1960.

After the contest, a tongue-in-cheek Shaffer briefly recounted the deciding fourth-quarter scenario.

"It's amazing the way momentum starts to swing," said Shaffer. "And it really hurt to lose our point guard. After that point, I thought we got a little passive on offense.

"But we still had a chance to win the game; we forced a bad shot at the end but unfortunately didn't put a body on (Austin Hoxie) and he was able to come up with a big play for his team."


Ladies hold Telluride to double-overtime 1-1 tie

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates delivered a stern notice to the rest of the Southwest League Mountain Division Friday.

Playing near perfect defensive soccer in their league opener, the Ladies took perennial league powerhouse Telluride to a double-overtime 1-1 tie on a neutral field in Durango.

In fact, the Pagosans carried a 1-0 lead into the 78th minute of the game before Telluride's Caitlin Kirst knocked in a rebound of a corner shot with just 69 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Until that point, the story had been a combination of Sara Aupperle's fourth goal of the season for Pagosa at 20:26, fierce midfield defense by Pagosa and diving stops in goal by Sierra Fleenor.

As had been the story in the Ladies' earlier wins over Durango and Denver West, the midfielders were at their best.

Consider 18 blocks-takeaways which kept Telluride bottled in their own zone for most of the contest.

Seven of those attack breakers came from Jenna Finney, who seemed to be everywhere a Miner attack headed.

But she wasn't alone in the statistic. Kyrie Beye had four, Sarah Smith three, and Aupperle, Bri Scott, Melissa Diller, Amy Tautges and Tricia Lucero all chipped in with one.

Fleenor was called on early and sparkled with her answer. At 4:46 she stopped Telluride's Lindsey Chandler with a diving grab to her left and six minutes and 28 seconds later proved she could go the other way, with a diving stop on Telluride's Joanie Dix.

Chandler then was wide right with a shot and Fleenor stopped Shelly Hale twice and then blanked Kirst on a breakaway.

Pagosa's first shot on goal came at 18:58 when Scott's drive from the right wing was corralled by Miner keeper Genna Kirsch.

Before Telluride could clear the zone, Aupperle found Meagan Hilsabeck breaking up the middle and hit her with a crossing pass. Hilsabeck's drop to Brittany Corcoran was just tipped by Kirsch.

Action stayed in midfield temporarily, but at 25:40 Kirst had a breakaway on the right wing. She bore in on Fleenor who stood her ground. The shot was a hugger, just inches off the ground. But so was Fleenor, trapping it for another stop.

Aupperle opened the scoring when she was led from the left wing by Lucero and beat Kirsch just inside the right post.

After the first of Finney's block-takeaways, Aupperle attacked again and was within a finger nail of hiking the lead to 2-0 when Kirsch, diving flat out, barely tipped her drive away.

Before the half ended, Fleenor blanked Kirst again, Tautges made a great block of a midfield breakaway, and Finney turned in the second of her defensive gems.

Just 50 seconds into the second half, Fleenor stopped Telluride's Sarah Lamb who tried to go high to the left.

Then it was Smith, twice, and Diller, breaking up Miner attacks before Hilsabeck got her best scoring chance.

She broke from the middle just across midfield, crossed a pass to Scott and took the return drop in stride. Her blast just inside the right post was blocked by Kirsch.

Smith, Scott, Finney and Beye were next up on center stage, each blocking and turning away a Telluride attack.

Beye added to her total with a great block on Kirst who had outraced Diller on the right wing but tried to beat Beye to the middle and found herself without the ball.

At 67:16 Hilsabeck was again frustrated by Kirsch, this time on a breakaway left footer.

After a Fleenor save on Hale's dribbler, Kirst was wide left with the rebound at 71:30 and two minutes 15 seconds later, Lamb's drive from the left was high over the net.

At 77:02, Fleenor made perhaps her best save of the game stopping Kirst again, this time on a point-blank breakaway drive.

Finally, at 78:51, Kirst's afternoon of frustration ended.

Awarded a corner kick, Telluride was stopped by Fleenor, but the rebound dribbled away and Kirst was there to tap it in for the equalizer.

With time dwindling down, Pagosa lost the ball at midfield, but Finney again was on the spot to break up Telluride's final run at the goal and the teams thought they had finished in a 1-1 tie.

The officials, however, huddled on the far sideline and eventually decided the league rules provide for sudden death.

There would be, they decreed, two five-minute overtimes with a two minute break in between.

The first team to score would be the winner.

Telluride had first possession and Finney, true to her game record, broke up the initial drive.

Then Kirst was stopped again by Fleenor and the tone was set.

Neither team got an actual shot on goal during the balance of the first overtime and it ended with the teams still tied at one.

With the oft-shrouded sun gone behind the clouds, darkness approaching, and a cold wind ripping in from the southwest, the final overtime opened.

Again, it was a story of defense.

Neither team had a shot on goal in the final five minutes and the keys were defensive gems by Beye and Finney.

And that was the end. Ninety minutes of great defensive soccer concluded in a 1-1 tie.

An emotionally drained coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason told his squad they had played "great Pagosa-style soccer" and that he could not be more proud of their effort.


Scoring: P-Aupperle, 20:26 assist Lucero; T-Kirst, 78:51, unassisted. Pagosa blocks-takeaways, 18; Telluride, 7. Saves: P-Fleenor, 10; T-Kirsch, 6. No card penalties.


Weather stops prep games; some rescheduled

By Richard Walter

Local weather has not been as bad as that in the northern part of the state, but it was bad enough to force prep sports cancellations.

The Lady Pirates' soccer game scheduled Tuesday in Bayfield was delayed as was the Pirates' baseball game scheduled for a 4 p.m. start in Aztec.

The baseball contest has not yet been rescheduled, but the soccer game will be played as a Pagosa home game at 4 p.m. April 14.

In addition, a return clash with Bayfield has been scheduled on the Wolverines' home field at 4 p.m. April 22.

David Hamilton, Pagosa athletics director, said it also is likely the scheduled soccer game Friday in Ridgway will be cancelled until a later date.

The Pagosa varsity baseball action scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday in Cortez is still on the books.

Meanwhile, the final missing piece of the soccer schedule, a road game against Telluride, has been slated for 4 p.m. April 25.


Lady Pirates hold on for 4-3 win over Denver West

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Just 55 seconds into the game Denver West's goalkeeper made a double save against Pagosa attackers.

It was to set the stage for what would be a 4-3 soccer squeaker for the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates over the visiting Lady Cowboys.

That start, however, had been much delayed.

The game, originally scheduled to be played on Pagosa's home field, was moved to a neutral site in Bayfield because Pagosa's field still is unplayable.

The Denver squad was contacted by telephone and advised of the change. But their arrival at the Bayfield field was nearly 40 minutes after scheduled game time.

The Pirates went immediately to the attack, but drives by both Sara Aupperle and Tricia Lucero on the opening effort were both turned aside.

And, at 2:10, the Pirates found themselves trailing after the Lady Cowboys' first shot on goal. The drive, from 20 yards on the right wing, fooled Pagosa keeper Sierra Fleenor and sailed past her for a 1-0 Denver West lead.

After a pair of saves by Fleenor, Pagosa got another scoring opportunity at 7:02 but Lucero's rip from the left wing clipped the near post and bounded back into play.

Just over three minutes later, at 10:05, Pagosa got the equalizer on a picture play.

Lucero was on the prowl again on the left wing when she spotted Meagan Hilsabeck breaking up the middle.

It was senior to senior as Lucero crossed a left-footer into the middle and Hilsabeck ripped it in for her initial goal of the season.

The three-time all-conference striker, who had been hampered by a tight muscle in the team's first two games, leaped with exuberance after scoring and gave a signal she was ready to go.

After a number of defensive gems by Pagosa defenders, including two block-takeaways by Sarah Smith and two saves by Fleenor, the Lady Pirates were on the attack gain.

At 20:07 junior midfielder Melissa Diller had an open drive but it went wide left. Aupperle intercepted the outlet crossing kick but her drive was stopped by the sweeper before getting to goal.

At 20:16, Brittany Corcoran's first shot on goal of the season also sailed wide left.

But Pagosa kept the ball in the Lady Cowboys' defensive zone. Finally, at 24:28, Pagosa took the lead.

It came on a midfield steal by Diller who advanced to her right, then dropped a crossing pass to Aupperle who drilled her second goal of the season.

Action was back to midfield exchanges for several minutes before Aupperle, Corcoran and Hilsabeck were each stopped on superb efforts by the Lady Cowboys keeper.

Mixed in were several more block-takeaways by Pagosa defenders, particularly Smith and Jenna Finney.

But Pagosa wasn't yet done.

With just three seconds remaining in the first half, Hilsabeck increased the Pagosa lead to 3-1.

Setting it up for her was left wing Bri Scott who led her perfectly as she broke up the middle on a three-on-one attack and ripped in the drive.

The first half defensive effort, in addition to the block-takeaways mentioned for Smith, also featured two each by Scott, Kyrie Beye, Diller and Lucero. That was just a sign of things to come in the second half.

It opened with a tackle takeaway by Smith on a Lady Cowboy breakaway effort and two saves by Fleenor as Denver West mounted a full sweep effort to get back in the game.

And they cut the lead to 3-2 at 46:53 with a header off a corner kick directly in front of the net.

In between two more takeaways by Smith, Hilsabeck was stopped on a left footer and had a takeaway herself. Christina Lungstrom added another takeaway and Corcoran's bid for a score was thwarted.

Then Finney became the defensive demon, turning in the first of her six block-takeaways in the half.

But still, Pagosa could not add to the lead.

Lucero's bid for a goal hit the right post at 59:02 and 14 seconds later a bid by Denver West to tie the score went wide left.

After two more saves by Fleenor, Pagosa was prowling again deep in the Cowboy zone. First Lucero was wide left and then Hilsabeck was stopped on a head-on drive.

Pagosa got what would prove to be the game winner at 67:48 when Aupperle got her second goal converting off a corner kick by Scott.

In the ensuing 12 minutes, Finney had three more blocks, Fleenor two more saves and shots by both Hilsabeck and Lucero were turned aside.

Denver West got one goal back on a fluke play at the 68-minute mark.

A shot blocked by Fleenor rebounded into the field and a Denver West player moving toward a possible rebound ran into a teammate.

The latter was pushed into the path of the ball and it rebounded off her knee past Fleenor into the net.

The balance of the game featured two more stops by Fleenor, two more takeaways by Finney, and shots by Hilsabeck and Scott stopped in net.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason was particularly pleased with the play of his defense, citing Finney and Smith for continuous key plays.

After the game, the teams both returned to Pagosa Springs where Pagosa players hosted Lady Cowboys in their homes overnight.

Denver West was set in Bayfield again Friday as their southwest Colorado tour wound down.


Scoring: DW - 2:10; P-10:05, Hilsabeck, assist Lucero; P-24:28, Aupperle, assist Diller; P-39:57, Hilsabeck, assist Scott; DW-46:53; P-67:48, Aupperle, assist Scott; DW-68:00. Saves: Fleenor, 14; DW keeper, 14. No penalties.


Fun races produce bevy of medal winners

The races came before the new snow, but winners aplenty garnered medals in the 11th fun races of the season Saturday at Wolf Creek Ski area.

Fastest times of the day were 27.90 seconds by Mike Evans of South Fork and 29.26 by Erin Laine of Monte Vista.

Other award winners on the female list were Marty Frances Harris of Dallas, first in girls' 9-11 in 53:20; Sara Harris of Dallas first in girls' 12-14 in 38.95 and, following Laine in girls' 15-17 were Natalie Atkins of Monte Vista, second in 36.14 and Racheal Pearson of Dallas third in 43.14.

Abby Hopkins of Wichita, Kans., was first in women's 36-40 with a time of 40.02. Jean Dewart of Los Alamos, N.M., won women's 41-50 in 38.18. Kate Harris of Dallas was second in 39.84 and Jill Lenzini of Monte Vista third in 32.78.

Lynda Van Patter of Pagosa Springs won women's 51-60 in 38.78, with Barbara Eberhart of Los Alamos second in 1:20.79.

Male medalists included Myles Evans of South Fork first in boys' 6-8 with a time of 37.60 and Jeff Reardon of Pagosa Springs first in boys' 9-11 in 38.33.

Paul Muirhead of Pagosa Springs won boys' 12-14 in 30.08. Aaron Landrum of Denton, Texas was second in 41.37 and Adam Eberhart of Los Alamos third in 55.14.

Aaron Butler of Waxahachie, Texas was first in boys' 18-20 in 34.30 and Ben Witting of Pagosa Springs first in men's 21-25 in 30.19.

Men's 36-40 was an all-Texas race with Warren Waterman of Georgetown winning in 33.66, Frank Hopkins of Wichita second in 34.35 and Doug Street of Dallas third in 46.90.

Men's 41-50 went to Don Lenzini of Monte Vista in 42.41 and second to Kraig Eberhart of Los Alamos in 1:36.29.

Following Evans in men's 51-60 were Barry Eversol of Pagosa Springs in 30.73 and Daniel Pearson of Dallas in 40.02.

Mens' 61 and over was an all Pagosa Springs affair.

Winning in 29.41 was Glenn Van Patter. Bryant Lemon was second in 30.32 and Jim Cole third in 33.34.


Strong hurling, key hits bring twin bill sweep

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Coach Tony Scarpa blended three strong pitching performances with some exceptional defense and then stirred in some timely hitting.

The result was a doubleheader sweep in Antonito Saturday, the Pagosa Springs Pirates taking the first game 13-8 behind Josh Stone and the second 15-2 with Jarrett Frank getting the win and strong relief from sophomore hurler Tom Hutchins.

Game 1

Stone, batting in the leadoff position, got things rolling with a single to center to open the game.

He went to second when Antonito pitcher Sam Duran was wild on a pickoff throw.

Frank fanned but the catcher missed the third strike and Jarrett was safe at first, Stone advancing to third. Catcher Ben Marshall delivered both runners with a ringing triple.

First baseman Lawren Lopez grounded to first for the second out, Marshall scoring.

But, after third baseman Clayton Mastin walked, second baseman Levi Gill grounded out second to first to end the opening half inning with Pagosa holding a 3-0 lead.

Derrick Gallegos reached as the leadoff batter for the host Trojans when Lopez dropped his short windblown popup.

After Stone fanned both Jeremy Sisneros and Sam Duran, Justin Duran drew a walk and Antonito had a pair aboard.

Stone then made his lone serious mistake of the game, hanging a breaking ball to the left-hand hitting catcher Justin Trujillo, who lined it over the left field fence to tie the score at three.

Jonathan Rodriguez fanned to end the inning in a 3-3 tie.

The Pirates came right back with two more runs, starting with Zeb Gill's triple over the center fielder's head. He held at third when Matt Mesker walked. After Hutchins fanned, Mesker advanced on a wild pitch but Gill held at third.

Stone delivered both runners with his second single in two innings. He went to second on an error by Duran, again wild on a pickoff attempt, and advanced to third when Frank bounced back to the pitcher. He was stranded there when Marshall struck out to end the inning with Pagosa on top 5-3.

The Pirates, however, let Antonito get both runs back in the bottom of the second - without benefit of a hit.

John Garcia struck out to open the frame but John Atencio was safe on a Pagosa error. Matthew Berry walked and then Antonito executed the double steal putting runners on second and third.

Atencio scored on a wild pitch by Stone, Berry moving to third. Then Stone stiffened and fanned both Gallegos and Sisneros to get out of the inning.

Pagosa went quickly in the third with Lopez and Levi Gill striking out on either side of a ground out to third by Clayton Mastin.

Antonito followed suit, with Sam Duran grounding to first. Jason Duran drew a walk but Trujillo and Rodriguez both went down on strikes.

That set the stage for Pagosa to grab the lead back.

Zeb Gill opened the fourth drawing a walk. After Mesker took a called third strike, Hutchins singled, Stone reached on an error by Jason Duran, Frank walked, Marshall reached on a fielder's choice and Lopez had an infield single before Mastin walked and Gill struck out to end the inning.

The Pirates had pushed across four runs on just two hits and had a 9-5 lead.

Despite a walk to Berry and an error by Mastin, Stone allowed no runs in the Antonito fourth, fanning a pair.

Pagosa got a single run in the fifth when Zeb Gill reached on an error, stole second and went to third on a passed ball while Michael Dach was batting for Mesker.

Dach struck out, but Gill scored on Hutchins' grounder to short before Stone struck out to end the frame.

Antonito got one run back in their half of the fifth when Sam Duran singled, stole second, went to third on an error by Mastin, and scored on a fly to Zeb Gill racing out into short left to make the catch. Rodriguez drew a pass but Stone got Garcia on strikes to end the inning.

Frank singled to open the sixth but was picked off at first and Marshall popped to first. Lopez was hit by a pitch but was out attempting to steal second.

Antencio opened the Antonito sixth with a double and was driven home by Berry. He was thrown out by Marshall while attempting to steal and both Gallegos and Sisneros struck out.

The Pirates, wanting to put the game away, opened the seventh with Mastin popping to short. Levi Gill reached on a Jason Duran error at third and moved up to second when his brother grounded to third. Mesker reached on an error by the shortstop and Hutchins tripled in both runners. Stone was hit by a pitch and Frank singled driving in Hutchins for the final Pagosa score.

The Trojans got a single marker in the bottom of the seventh when Sam Duran drew a walk leading off. Jason Duran grounded to short, Sam moving up. He scored when Trujillo tapped back to Stone but the throw to first got away from Lopez.

Stone then struck out both Rodriguez and Garcia to end the game at 13-8.

Game 2

The visiting Pirates again jumped on top quickly, plating four runs on four hits in the first half inning.

Stone, now playing shortstop, opened with a line single to center and advanced to second when his shot was misplayed. Frank, the starting pitcher, worked Antonito starter Gallegos for a walk. Marshall singled to score Stone and Pagosa had a quick 1-0 lead.

Then, Lopez doubled in a pair and went to third on a passed ball. After Mastin fanned, he scored on a single by Zeb Gill, the designated hitter for the second game. Levi Gill reached on an error by the second baseman, but Hutchins lined to short to end the inning.

Antonito got one back in their half of the first, all the action coming after two were out.

Gallegos flied to center to open the frame and Sam Ruybal grounded out second to first. Sam Duran singled and stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a passed ball before Atencio struck out.

And then the Pirates struck with a vengeance, scoring seven runs on four hits while sending 11 men to the plate in the second.

It opened innocently enough with right fielder Terry McAlister striking out.

Stone singled, stole second and went to third on a passed ball as Frank was drawing a walk.

Marshall popped to short but Lopez singled in a pair. Mastin reached on a shortstop error and Zeb Gill doubled in two more. Levi Gill was hit by a pitch and Hutchins doubled for two more runs batted in. McAlister reached on a shortstop error and stole second but died there when Stone fanned.

Frank set the Trojans down in order in their second, getting ground ball outs from Trujillo and Garcia and striking out Derrick Blea.

Pagosa added a single marker in the third after Frank struck out.

Marshall was quickly down two strikes, one called and one a swing and a miss.

After waiting out two balls, he ripped into a fast ball and delivered it to the middle of the football field beyond the fence in left for the Pirates' first round-tripper of the year.

Lopez followed with a single and moved up on a passed ball, but stayed at second as both Mastin and Zeb Gill struck out.

Rodriguez walked to open he bottom of the inning but Shawn Maez struck out and Gallegos hit into a 4-6-3 double play and the inning was quickly over.

Pagosa's fourth was just as fast, Levi Gill grounding to first, Hutchins fanning and McAlister also grounding to first.

Scarpa sent Hutchins to the mound to open the fourth in his first varsity pitching action.

He gave up a single to Ruybal and then wild-pitched him to second. Ruybal scored from there when Marshall's throw to third was wild. Duran and Atencio each struck out and Trujillo grounded to short to end the frame.

The Pirates came right back with a three-run fifth inning which opened with Stone singling and advancing on a center field error.

Michael Dach, now playing left field, bounced to the first baseman, Stone advancing. Marshall singled him in and then moved up on a passed ball. Lopez reached on an error but Mastin struck out. Zeb Gill delivered another RBI double and moved to third on a wild pitch. Levi Gill was hit by a pitch, but Hutchins grounded to short to end the inning.

Antonito's fifth was a study in contrasts for Hutchins. Garcia led off with a single but Blea struck out. Junior Rodriguez singled but Maez struck out.

And then Hutchins put the finishing touches of a fine relief performance by fanning Gallegos to cause the 10-run mercy rule to be enacted after five innings.

Game 1 Summary

Pagosa: 13 runs on 9 hits and 5 Antonito errors. Strikeouts: Stone 15. Walks: Stone 5. RBIs: Hutchins 3, Stone and Marshall 2, Lopez, 1.

Game 2 Summary

Pagosa: 15 runs on 14 hits and 5 Antonito errors. Strikeouts: Frank 3, Hutchins 5. Walks: Frank 1. RBIs: Marshall and Z. Gill 3, Lopez and Hutchins 2.


Porpoise swimmers score well at recent meets

The Pagosa Lakes Porpoises have experienced two successive weekends of top competition.

To be eligible for competition at the Silver State Swim Meet, all competitors had to have qualifying times posted between Feb. 28 and March 2.

At the Lakewood pool in suburban Denver, Porpoises Aaron Miller, Michael and Dylan Caves and Teale Kitson competed against 818 other swimmers from 53 Colorado swimming clubs.

Chris Nobles and Della Greer had also qualified for the Silver State meet but were unable to attend.

Dylan Caves was 33rd in the 100 meter backstroke.

Michael Caves was ninth in 50 meter freestyle, 15th in the 100 meter free, 10th in 200 meter free, fifth in 100 meter breaststroke, 29th in 200 meter individual medley, 30th in 100 meter backstroke and 15th in 200 meter breast stroke.

Teale Kitson was third in 200 meter individual medley, fifth in the 100 meter IM, fourth in 50 meter free, fifth in 50 meter butterfly and 32nd in 50 meter breaststroke. His performance qualified him to compete in six events in state competition the following weekend.

Aaron Miller placed 31st in 50 meter frees, 33rd in 100 meter free, 14th in 200 meter back, 25th in 200 meter free and 26th in 100 meter back.

In state competition at North Jefferson Pool in Denver March 7-9, Kitson swam against 844 other competitors from 52 teams and brought home two 10th place ribbons while breaking the Pagosa Lakes pool record with his time of 1:09:11 in the 100 meter free.

He was also 10th in 100 meter frees and tied for 10th in 100 meter back. He was 17th in 200 meter free and 50 meter back, 19th in 200 meter IM, 23rd in 50 yard free, 27th in 100 meter IM and ranked 22nd overall for his age group.

The Porpoises will hold their annual swim-a-thon in the Ralph Eaton Recreation Center Pool in April and invite the public to watch local swimmers complete up to 100 laps during a two-hour event to raise money in support of their program's coaching and entry fees.

Some club swimmers compete in 10 or more meets every season and are now training four afternoons a week.


Pee Wee grapplers keep on winning

Thirty three of 41 Pagosa Pee Wee wrestlers competing placed in competition last weekend in Farmington as the second week of the season ended.

Winners in Division I were Noah Sisneros and Tyler Cowan both finishing first; Spencer Hill was third and Christian Martinez fourth.

Division II produced first-place finishes for Morgan Shelton and Chris Rivas, seconds for Cody Kimsey and Keith Archuleta, thirds for Nikolas Monteferrante and Walker Dowe and fourth place finishes for Chris Archuleta, David McKee, Chase Purcell, Ryder Dermody and Carter Walsh.

In Division III, first-place finishes were recorded by E.J. Romero and Preston Sandoval. In second were Jesse Reed and Amario Guthrie. Third-place finishes went to Cody Snow, Kayleen Smith, K.C. Lord and Tyler Johnson; and Robert Koontz was a fourth-place finisher.

Division IV honors went to Justine Smith and Chris Pacheco with second-place finishes; Shasta McMurry, Jefferson Walsh and Boone Stahlnecker with fourth-place finishes.

Division V brought second-place laurels to Steven Smith and Andy Abresh, a third for Caleb Pringle and a fourth for Jackson Walsh.

The team will compete this weekend in a tournament in Shiprock, N.M.



Robert Coen

Robert G. Coen, one of three sons of Glen C. and Ann Coen, was born Oct. 10, 1949, in Trinidad, Colo., and died March 6, 2003.

He was married to Bonnie Cox in 1996 and they moved from Kansas to live in Pagosa Springs.

After two years here, they moved to Kinsley, Kans.

He is survived by seven children, 17 grandchildren, four stepchildren; and a brother and sister-in-law, Everett and Marilyn Coen, of Pagosa Springs.

Frank Conner

Frank Conner, 86, a former Pagosa Springs resident, graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, Archuleta County official and long- time resident of Durango, died March 17, 2003, in Denver.

Mr. Conner was born to Mary and Brenzel Conner on Oct. 3, 1916, in Miami, N.M. The Conner family moved to Pagosa Springs in 1919 and Frank graduated Pagosa Springs High School in 1934.

After graduating he engaged in numerous occupations including running a movie theater, silver mining, logging, construction and auto salesman. In 1940 he lost his right arm in a construction accident working on Vallecito Reservoir.

In 1942 he moved back to Pagosa Springs where he was elected county clerk of Archuleta County. On Sept. 5, 1942, he and Wilma Eaklor were united in marriage. In 1946 he and his family moved to Durango where he worked as an accountant for General Motors.

In 1955 he started a most rewarding and successful 35-year career with State Farm Insurance Companies. However, the job he did the very best was being a daddy.

Survivors are his wife, Wilma; a daughter, Cheryl of Lakewood, Colo.; two sisters, Tinnie Lattin and Ione Patterson, both of Pagosa Springs and many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews. He was loved by all and will be missed more than words can express.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 21, 2003, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Pagosa Springs.


Inside The Sun

Pagosa sixth-grader wins science best of show

Three Pagosa Springs intermediate and junior high school students scored impressive wins in regional science fair competition Saturday in Durango

One of them, in fact, recorded a first for Pagosa Springs.

Julia Nell brought home the sixth grade division traveling trophy, the Da Vinci Award for best in show.

Pagosa held the junior high traveling trophy last year, but this is a first for the intermediate school program.

Joining Nell in the trip to state science fair competition in Fort Collins April 10-11 will be fellow sixth-grader Kade Skoglund and seventh-grader Mackenzie Kitson.

Both Nell and Kitson were winners in Health and Behavioral sciences while Skoglund was second in Environmental studies.

Other Pagosa students placing in the regional but not advancing were Betsy Schur an honorable mention and Anna Ball third in chemistry; Dylan Burkesmith honorable mention and Joe Ducharme second in engineering; Jordan Boudreaux honorable mention and Drew Portnell third in earth and space; John Sharp third in environmental science; Jaclyn Harms, third in zoology; Stacy Dominguez second in environmental sciences; and Hannah Price and Maddy Bergon honorable mention in the team category.


CollegeInvest readies scholarship program

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Are you planning to attend a two-year or four-year college, university or vocational college in Colorado next fall?

If you answered yes, or know someone who would have, Marilyn Quinn has a message for you.

She was in Pagosa Springs Friday bringing news about the CollegeInvest program.

And she's the one who should know, she's the chief operating officer.

While there are a number of new programs in the state's not-for-profit education financing resource, chief on her mind because of the approaching deadline was the CollegeInvest plan to award 60 scholarships totaling $200,000 in the categories listed above.

Anyone interested can register online at

The registration deadline is April 18. Winners will be drawn at random, and will be announced in May.

Lynn Tindall, the plan's student loan coordinator, said "Our mission is to help create access to higher education for all Coloradans."

"We want this new scholarship program to demonstrate our dedication to Colorado students and encourage all to view a college education as a realistic opportunity."

"This program is a first for us," said Quinn. "It was planned to get more students interested in entering college and to get people aware of what CollegeInvest is and how it can help."

The program will offer 25 $1,000 opportunity scholarships to a graduating high school senior or a student enrolling in college already as an underclassman.

An additional 35 service scholarships of $5,000 each will be awarded to undergraduate students in the fall of 2003 and 2004, who can demonstrate need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid program which does not have to be completed before registering for the drawing. These scholarships will be awarded in consecutive year $2,500 increments.

As a qualifier for the program, Quinn said, CollegeInvest Service Scholarship will require the recipients to serve 40 hours each year, for two years, in a service-to-children volunteer program.

Volunteer opportunities will include working in a school where you are attending college or working with one of CollegeInvest's volunteer partners such as Denver Kids Inc., Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation, or College Summit.

Tindall said the goal for the service scholarships "was to create a 'circle of giving' with Colorado students where we give money to students for college and these students give back to the community."

All those registering for the service scholarships will automatically be registered for the opportunity scholarships, too.

Official rules and the entry forms are available at the Web site listed earlier. No purchase or payment of any kind is required to register or win.

Quinn said many readers are probably familiar with CollegeInvest but may not know it has been reorganized to provide all services under one umbrella.

It still offers, she pointed out, the only state-sponsored 529 college savings plan that allows you to deduct contributions from your state income tax.

There is another new program called Stable Value Plus which offers a guarantee on earnings backed by Travelers Insurance.

In the first five weeks of the program, she said, state families already have invested $10 million for their children's education in Stable Value Plus which has an investment limit of $20 million.

It offers earnings this year of 4.01 percent guaranteed by Travelers which manages the fund for CollegeInvest.

"With the guarantee from Travelers, investments in Stable Value Plus are not exposed to general market risk and fluctuations," Quinn said. "The fund provides an excellent investment option for investors looking for an alternative to the stock market."

The program, she said, is designed to protect the principal investment, provide a minimum rate of return, and provide earnings that could be greater than the minimum rate.

Each December, Travelers announces the rate of return it will pay for the next calendar year on existing balances and new accounts. The current net rate is 4.01 which equals a rate of 5 percent less a CollegeInvest administrative fee of 0.99 percent.

Savings Value Plus is one of six college savings options offered by CollegeInvest as 529 plans under the Internal Revenue Code. Earnings grow tax free at both state and federal levels.

Families can start an account with as little as $25 and anyone can contribute to it - mothers, fathers, grandparents, good friends, anyone.

After applying, it can take up to three weeks to establish an account, Quinn said.

"Because we're a nonprofit," she said, "we can return money to the community through scholarships. And it helps families reduce the stress factor involved in planning for a child's college education."

Automatic deduction from bank accounts can be arranged.

For additional information, in addition to contacting the Web site, prospective participants may call (800) 478-5651.

"We feel we offer the average family in Colorado the chance to make the most of their education dollars," Quinn said.


Street becomes target for burglars

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Many of the residents of Carrico Street have left for warmer climes. While they've been away, thieves evidently found time to play.

Detective T.J. Fitzwater of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department said nine homes and two recreational vehicles were broken into on Carrico Street south of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 84.

The burglaries were discovered when a couple went down to look at a home for sale or rent and realized it had been burglarized. Further investigation revealed the rest of the damage.

Fitzwater said doors were kicked in at some places, windows broken at others. Medicine cabinets and drawers were rummaged through. In some cases, television sets and VCRs were reported missing.

A final estimate of damage will have to wait until everyone returns to inventory their belongings. Evidently most of the residents of the area only live here part-time.

Investigators have recovered some fingerprints which will be evaluated for suspects. Fitzwater said the burglaries most likely happened in the last three weeks and before February's snowstorm.


Commissioners approve county budget overhaul

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

"I'm out of questions, ready to move along."

Such was Commissioner Mamie Lynch's final review of proposed budget amendments prior to initiating the first of several motions passed by the county board Tuesday in order to compensate for a variety of fiscal shortfalls surfacing in the first two months of the year.

After all was said and done during the public hearing, Lynch and her fellow board members, Bill Downey and Alden Ecker, approved changes allowing for the expenditure of $171,414 in excess of what had been originally included in this year's county budget.

Covering a broad spectrum of issues, the list of expenses ranges from $1,200 for grease trap maintenance in the county kitchen to $41,672 to facilitate workload improvements for staff members in the county assessor's office.

Other amendments include:

- approval for the expenditure of $27,500 for the purchase of a new pickup truck and appropriate equipment to be used for county firefighting efforts

- approval for the expenditure of $1,209 in order for the weed and pest department to promote and hold a public, educational presentation focusing on the spread of the West Nile Virus

- approval to divert $17,205 from the county clerk and recorder's budget and $16,057 from the county administrator's budget to the sheriff's budget to offset the expense of hiring and properly equipping a second animal control officer (Pagosa Lakes patrol officer hired in January).

While acknowledging the amendments carry a hefty price tag, Cathie Wilson, county finance director, indicated the dent to the county's general fund balance probably does not pose an overwhelming threat to county operations — at least in the short term.

To that effect, when Downey asked Wilson if she had "any idea as to where we are with the collection of county revenues," Wilson responded that the most important variable this year will be the amount of sales tax revenue the county collects.

"It doesn't look too bad right now," said Wilson, "but I can never say it will stay that way."

Ecker, board chairman, speculated that the war with Iraq and soaring gas prices are likely to negatively impact state and county tourism, which could adversely affect area businesses in turn.

Wilson indicated that scenario may already be taking shape, and told the board that recent state Highway Users' Tax Fund figures, which can be included as an indicator of tourist activity, are down 25 percent.

Members of several county departments were present at the hearing, and a few wondered aloud how the current — and future — amendments will affect them individually.

"I think I'm asking a question that has an obvious answer," said Marcus Baker, associate county planner, while pondering whether or not the budget changes will affect employee salaries in the future.

Lynch responded, saying that although such decisions always carry with them a multitude of ramifications, she believed the amendments would have a "minimal impact" on individual salaries.

Downey did not share Lynch's optimism and disagreed, stating, "Quite frankly, I see more than a minimal impact, especially relating to the salary issue."

In other business, the board:

- appointed itself the review committee for the selection of two area students who will receive the county's environmental awareness scholarship ($500 each)

- denied a request from U-Can-Afford Landscaping for the release of retainage money for work performed on the pedestrian trails project, citing a letter from Davis Engineering stating the firm (Davis) believes the work has not adhered to an appropriate timetable

- approved a resolution establishing/renewing this year's fees for county services and information and set the effective date as March 18

- accepted a bid from Rifle-based GMCO Corporation for the purpose of county road dust abatement (magnesium chloride application) in the amount of $182,336

- approved a request from the building department to reappoint Harold Slavinski to the building board of review (to serve a one-year term)

- tabled a consideration of an agreement with the Humane Society for the provision of animal impoundment services

- approved a special use permit for the Builders Association of Pagosa Springs allowing the annual home show to be held April 12-13.


Questioning war

Dear Editor:

Just a few questions before our country unilaterally embarks on ridding the world of evil at gunpoint. Perhaps someone who is more convinced, such as Dr. Boutwell or Mr. Bennett, can assure us all that war is the only way.

It is my understanding that our justification is that we believe Iraq is evil because they have perpetrated atrocities against their own people in the past, and now threaten us. They also may still have chemical and biological weapons.

My first question is: Have we created a catch 22? If we attack and there are chemical or biological weapons used by Iraq to defend, are we willing to accept responsibility for the casualties on both sides because we had the opportunity to add more inspectors and give them enough time to find the weapons if they exist? On the other hand, if we attack and there are no such weapons how do we justify our action to the rest of the world?

What about the Middle East neighbors of Iraq? Are we embarking on a latter-day crusade? Are we going to smite the heathens and convert them to democracy or else? Is this our new "Manifest Destiny"? Do we dream of empire?

Now a question about Mr. Rumsfeld's "all-volunteer army" who are expected to accomplish all of the above. Did they volunteer for what we are proposing? Are they all professional soldiers? Like the Roman legions of old? Or are most of them citizen/soldiers who joined the Reserves or National Guard because they were willing to defend their country if attacked and needed the few bucks a month to help raise a family? How many of the "regulars" joined because adequate employment was not available outside of the service? Do we need a draft to level the playing field?

Are you aware that 225,000 reserve force personnel have been activated since 9/11? How many of them were in critical civilian jobs? How many young families were left behind?

How many noncoms and company grade officers with any combat experience are available to lead this army?

When will we finally dispel the myth of war?

Chris Hedges, a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, in a new book, describes the reaction of soldiers going into combat:

"The myth of war rarely endures for those who experience combat. War is messy, confusing, sullied by raw brutality and an elephantine fear that grabs us Soldiers in the moments before real battles weep, vomit and write last letters home All are nearly paralyzed with fright You do not think of home or family One thinks, so far as it is possible, of cleaning weapons, of readying for the business of killing. No one ever charges into battle for God and country."

Is this the only solution to human relations? Is it worth the price?

Now the final question: Can an unscrupulous administration demand our support because they have placed our children and friends in harm's way?

Glenn Bergmann

Renew energy

Dear Editor:

The Colorado House of Representatives recently passed a strong policy to kick-start the market for renewable energy in our state.

CoPIRG thanks Rep. Mark Larson for his support of HB 1295, which calls for 8 percent of our electricity from PUC governed utilities to come from renewable sources like wind and solar power by 2010.

Renewable energy is good for the economy, providing a price hedge from rising natural gas prices and boosting rural economies. This is especially important in our struggling agricultural communities where a farmer can earn $3,000-$5,000 per wind turbine per year in lease payments.

Neighboring states like Minnesota, Texas and Nevada are already taking the lead on developing these resources. We can't wait any longer. Colorado's energy demand is growing at 3 percent every year and we need new solutions that offer economic growth and stability. Renewable energy is an important part of this solution.

Stephanie Bonin

Energy associate, CoPIRG


Voice of reason

Dear Editor:

William Bennett's bellicose letter of the 13th struck a dissonant chord. Calling citizens of conscience, who are questioning the logic of the impending war, "disgraceful," "arrogant" and "smug" is not only ludicrous but shameful. It seems to me that debating opposing ideologies is what democracy is all about.

Since when is it un-American to vocally disagree with government policy? The outrage heard throughout this country and around the world is not merely "liberal rhetoric," it is the voice of reason and sanity.

The vitriolic tone of this letter is the same that our government uses when blasting our allies and friends for not agreeing with U.S. policy. The president said, with much bluster, "Either you're with us or against us."

Basically, he meant to say that there would be no debate when it comes to America's War on Terrorism or who and when we choose to attack. Either you agree with us or you are on the side of the enemy. That's absurd - and counterproductive.

Mr. Bennett, liberals in America are not ignorant. But an administration that thumbs its nose at public opinion and the opinions of our friends and allies, the Pope, the United Nations and millions of voices around the world is the pinnacle of arrogance. With arrogance like that, is it any wonder that not only terrorists and others hate us, but our fellow countrymen and friends are beginning to wonder if they have a point?

In a democracy every person simply does not lock step with the government. I hate to tell you, sir, but this nation is already divided on a score of issues - the war being the most consequential at the moment.

As far as the sixties go, I was a soldier from 1969 to 1971. What were you doing back then besides screaming, "Love it or leave it"?

DC Duncan

Hard reality

Dear Editor:

I've always respected your editorials; however, although it appears from your 3/13 editorial that you're pro-Constitution Amendment 1, you've laid me open to vacuous and vapid attacks and refused to allow any response in defense of reason via either of two opportune and brilliant letters.

I have shown who has caused our problems and what to do about it. You and your friends have done nothing but label and talk. Talk does nothing but cause more problems because nothing gets done while people talk and because of their talk and this has jeopardized our country's security.

Unfortunately, you appear to be against the very document you are for. You've made it your document - not the majority's and not the ultimate minority's - the individual's.

This recent dissent against America that you so cherish is nothing higher than sedition, even per the Sedition Act of 1918, keeping in mind that we've been at war since we were bombed on 9/11/01. During war there are some things that citizens should not do or say, especially when they can be witnessed internationally.

As you wrote: "We hear chest-beaters on both sides of the political spectrum urge the gagging of their opponents." My opponents should have done some real thinking based upon hard reality first before they wrote anything. There should be freedom of thought before freedom of speech, but evidently, the schools they/you went to didn't allow independent thought, thanks to Marxist indoctrination.

You claim to want lively discourse but stifle it at the same time. The real brainy stuff you would not print. When you wrote, "There is no conceivable situation in which we should allow our First Amendment rights to be taken from us," you did just that.

You also say "don't let silence and secrecy be the seeds of our undoing." This is what you're trying to cause, unfortunately.

No, our Constitution is not for the United Nations or any foreigners either, so you're wrong on this item also. Dismantling our Constitution is an anarchistic action.

In view of the foregoing, you disagree with your very own statement that "if there's any time we've needed the solace of our spiritual and religious beliefs and the guarantee that we can practice them openly, this is it."

So, are you content to write empty words just to fill space or do you somehow intend to honor your own words? You cheapen the SUN greatly and this makes you look like an ordinary pulp editor; whereas, ordinarily, you're not.

Word for word, none of these "extremists" as you call them can match me. You know that I can handle six at once as I tried to do. Obviously, my words are not empty.

And another thing, those who brandish labels such as racist, bigot and right wing need to define them so we can tell what they're talking about. Otherwise this is just malicious intent instead of serious discussion which you claim to want.


John Feazel

Editor's note:

The constitution does not give anyone the right to have a letter, regardless of quality, printed in a newspaper. It is a privilege granted by the newspaper.

Heeding the demands of space, we are often forced to make decisions concerning which letters run and which don't.

Recognizing no letter shines so bright as it does in the eyes of its author, we have several other standards we apply when making our decisions. When space demands, those letters that are poorly written, that lack coherence and substance, that serve simply to aggrandize the author or, as a submission from the author of a previous letter, are redundant, do not often find their way to print.

Dog quota?

Dear Editor:

I live in Aspen Springs. I chose to live here because I wanted to live a lifestyle more consistent with country living, and I did not want to be regulated by the rules of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

I have real sympathy for the boy attacked by dogs in the Vista, and hope everything is done to compensate him. It has, however, even affected my life.

My dog, a very friendly black Lab, has been "incarcerated" twice since the county has decided to respond to this incident.

I suppose to justify their existence (and new equipment) the county has gone to the much less densely populated area of Aspen Springs to pick up stray dogs. I guess that is much easier out here, where friendly dogs walk up when called.

For two years, that dog has run around the 10 acres surrounding my house, but last week they picked her up 30 feet from the front door.

Why can't animal control concentrate on areas where there is a threat to the population? Maybe they need to meet a quota.

In any event, when the ground has thawed enough for me to put up a fence, I will. I'm just wondering if I need someone to approve my color selection.

John Fortin

Here in spirit

Dear Editor:

Thank you for putting my Dad's (Bob Hill) picture on the front of the PREVIEW section of last week's Pagosa Springs SUN.

When I opened last week's paper and saw my dad on the front page I smiled and then I cried. He was so "proud" of his leprechaun costume. And being the ham that he was, he would have gotten such a big kick seeing his silly face representing the "World's Silliest Parade."

We miss him a lot but seeing his picture made us realize that he's still here with us in spirit. My mom, sister and I wish to thank you again.

With much appreciation, the family of Bob Hill:

Karen Bartholomew,

Patty Carter and

Sue Hill

In loving memory of Bob Hill, Nov. 3, 1933-Oct. 7, 2002

New Patriots

Dear Editor:

The Pagosa Coffee Shop Patriots have recently welcomed some new members into their tent. These folks were fortunate to escape the al Qaeda terrorist region of the Middle East and have adopted conservative philosophy in this land of freedom and will soundly renounce all liberal ideology.

The new Patriots were educated in our southern states. After graduating with cum laude kindergarten honors, they became romantically involved with some local redneck girls but eventually decided to settle down in Colorado and chose Archuleta County.

They were made aware in these columns about Bob Dungan's no charge, advanced letter writing class and now wish to publicly and proudly announce the enrollment of their offspring. I'm certain the Arbolese coloring book guru is equipped to handle this unique, possibly thrilling challenge and will warmly welcome them into his classroom as they are anxious to learn and sharpen their Crayons.

Just so Dungan can plan ahead and arrange his desk assignments, please welcome Mohammed Jethro Bin Thinkin Boudit, Bobbie Joe Bubba Amgood Atit, Betty Jean Hasbeena Badgurl, Lunda Su Bin There Dundat and Mohammed Rubba Dub Dubba Bubba.

In the interest of sound international relations at this critical time of war: We are confident that Professor Dungan will expeditiously graduate all of his new "Islamabubbas" with flying right wing colors.

Jim Sawicki

Center serves

Dear Editor:

A church group of teen-agers from Abilene, Texas, visited Pagosa last week. As they were leaving for home, one of their vans gave out on them. They called us for help as to what to do with all these youngsters while they waited for the van to be repaired.

We met them and helped transport them to our wonderful community center where they were greeted warmly and welcomed into the Teen Center by Mercy Korsgren, center director.

She made them feel at home and made available to them all games and equipment. Her hospitality and that wonderful facility made their delay a pleasant one.

There were ever-so appreciative.

Patty Tillerson

Community News
Senior News

Celebrate spring solstice with us Friday

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

Once again, I want to remind you that we are celebrating spring solstice tomorrow. We want people to bring a friend to lunch. We are having BBQ pork chops, by the way, so it shouldn't be difficult to convince them to come.

We are also celebrating spring by wearing festive spring hats. We will whip up our own spectacular creations and wear them with style and panache, because there will be a prize for the best hat.

If you are not creative, then perhaps you can find a funny hat on your own. Just don't be the only one here without head coverage.

We will honor Muriel Cronkhite March 21 for her service as our nutritionist. Be sure to stop by and say hello to Muriel and her husband, Paul.

We will show "Woman as Butterfly" March 25 at 12:30 p.m. It is only 36 minutes long. This is a true and inspirational story of a wife and mother who follows her dream to become an artist. Now in her 80s, she paints daily, and through her actions, motivates us to follow our own dreams.

The film features wonderful music by renowned Colorado musicians Julia McKay, Marina Raye and Phil Volan.

Are you interested in taking part in a chronic illness support group? We will share information, stories and encouragement. If enough people are interested, we will get this set up. Contact Musetta at the Senior Center, 264-2167.

Next month we will have a baby picture contest. During the first two weeks of April, bring in a picture of you as a baby and people will try to guess who you are.

The most correct guesses will win a prize. We will also award a prize for the funniest picture, so find the goofiest you can and you might be able to stump your friends - and win a prize.

AARP Bulletin excerpt

The Bush administration says it plans to find a way to give older Americans prescription discount cards - even if it takes an act of Congress to do it.

A federal court recently ruled, for the second time, that the administration lacks the authority to create the plan.

"We had anticipated this for months," said Tom Scully, administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Center officials say the discount cards remain a priority, even as the administration pushes its new Medicare reform package, which includes a drug benefit.

Even though the agency has not decided whether to appeal, officials say it will "definitely pursue" the card plan in Congress. The program would allow Medicare beneficiaries to sign up for discount cards offered by private drug companies for an estimated average savings of 10 percent a year.

AARP Colorado asks that you call the following today:

- your state representative at (800) 811-7647

- your state senator at (888) 473-8136; or

- Gov. Bill Owens at (800) 283-7215 or (303) 866-2471.


"Hi, my name is I'm a member of Colorado AARP as well as a constituent. I am calling to tell you how important Medicaid is to Colorado. Without Medicaid, thousands of Coloradans would be uninsured or without long-term care coverage. We ask rather than supporting more cuts to eligibility or services that hurt seniors, the disabled and chronically ill, you support adding an evidence-based preferred drug list to Medicaid. Michigan saved an estimated $42 million with its preferred drug list. AARP is working with Sen. John Evans to make Senate Bill 140 the model bill to create the preferred drug list. Please support the evidence-based preferred drug list and not more cuts that hurt the most vulnerable members of society. Thank you."

If you do not know who your state representatives or senators are, visit

Upcoming events

Friday - 10 a.m. Qi gong; 11 a.m. Medicare counseling; noon, spring hat day, bring a friend to lunch, honor Muriel Cronkhite; 1 p.m. dominos

March 24 - 1 p.m. bridge for fun

March 25 - 9:30 a.m. yoga, 10:30 a.m. advanced computer class, 12:30 p.m. the film "Woman as Butterfly"

March 26 - 10:30 a.m. beginning computer class; 12:45 p.m. art class

Veterans Corner

A comparative look at prescription drug prices

By Andy Fautheree

One of the most frequently asked about benefits for veterans these days is prescription drugs, especially with the current soaring cost of drugs.

Many of our veterans are at retirement age, or suffering from poor health, and have no alternatives to obtain low-cost drugs.

The VA has a great prescription drug program through its VA health care mail order pharmacy .

To be eligible for this program, you must be enrolled in the VA health care system and assigned to a VA primary health care provider at a VA clinic or hospital. Your VA provider will then review your prescription needs and make the appropriate schedule of prescription drugs in the VA pharmacy program. The drugs can then be sent mail order to you at home.

VA co-pay

Currently, the co-pay cost of VA prescription drugs is $21 per 90-day supply, regardless of the particular drug. These are generally generic drugs.

Your VA health care provider can usually review any prescriptions from other doctors based on a copy of your medical records, and determine your current needs. However, they will not prescribe a medication until they have examined you personally. No doctor will.

This is all great if you're in the VA health care system. But what if you are not able to get in the VA program under the current financial priority guidelines I've been writing about recently?

I recently received some information from a colleague about price comparison of prescription drug sources. I noted in national news recently there is a move on to restrict the availability of prescription drugs from low priced Canadian sources. The information I received is about a certain, well-recognized US pharmacy company.

Price investigated

I decided to do a little investigation of my own on this source. Normally this is not something I would pursue as your Veterans Service Officer, but I felt it was important to learn as much as I could about alternative drug sources that might help our veterans.

I was amazed at the differences in prices from various pharmacies.

I did a price comparison on a common pain medication called Compazine. This drug is available in both brand name and generic version. I asked for a price quote for the generic brand from all the pharmacies I called, on a supply of 50 pills, in 5 mg and 10 mg versions. All sources of the quotes I obtained are available by purchasing in person, or purchasing via mail order. All are here in the United States. All were retail prices, with no discounts.

Drug prices vary

For obvious reasons, I'm not going to go into comparison of local sources, though I did find some differences in price. The 5 mg Compazine varied in price locally from $35.22 to $47.41. The 10 mg price was $36.44 to $51.38.

Now, the big difference in price comes from other than local sources. I checked with two different nationally known retail discount pharmacy chain stores. I am not going to name them here, since it is not my job to recommend particular sources of anything outside of VA related information.

I will tell you this: I found the prices were much lower, and even varied between these two sources. The 50-pill, 5 mg price varied $8.19 to $29.78. The 10 mg ranged from $12.89 to $34.78. This is a huge difference in price. These prices were quoted to me as a retail consumer, over the phone, as they would be to anyone that called them.

So, in conclusion, the price for the same generic prescription 5 mg drug varied from $8.19 to $47.41. The 10 mg drug price varied from a low of $12.89 to a high of $51.38. I am fortunate I don't personally need prescription drugs, so perhaps I am a little naive about the cost of drugs. But I can certainly understand why there is so much concern from those that do need prescription drugs and their high costs.

Information provided

I will be most happy to provide specific details on this information upon request. I prefer you stop by my office in person. Hours and location are listed below. Since some of the information is Internet related, I will be happy to assist any veteran with this procedure if you do not have Internet service.

I also talked to one of our local medical clinics about prescription drug availability for persons unable to afford drugs at any price. The clinic said most pharmaceutical companies have a program with medical care providers to provide drugs to indigent persons. This source of information said most medical clinics could provide information and help with this need and you should contact them direct on this program

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

Chamber News

Weather halts St. Patrick's parade

By Sally Hameister

We sure hated doing so, but the better part of valor on Monday morning dictated that we cancel our annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

We received a report from the National Weather Service that announced a winter storm warning for that afternoon replete with rain and snow accumulations of 3-6 inches and winds of 10-20 mph creating reduced visibility and drifting.

Somehow I just couldn't imagine our babies at Seeds of Learning and the puppies at the Humane Society battling those conditions, so cancel we did. Next year we hope to carry on the tradition and have a whale of a parade.

In the meantime, our sainted Police Chief Don Volger said it best when we discussed the cancellation: "We'll enjoy the green that the moisture produces instead of the green in the parade this year."

Ross tournament

Don't forget to get your deposit in for the Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament coming up on April 10, 11, 12 and 13.

This will be the eighth year for this event, and it just gets bigger and better every year with proceeds donated to a scholarship fund for local youths in Pagosa and Ignacio.

The deadline for entry is April 1, and I was told last week that they already had 16 teams lined up, so don't delay.

A nonrefundable $100 entry fee will hold your spot in this annual tournament which will boast the first 24 teams to qualify.

College competition is expected with three divisions: Open, 6 Feet and Under and 35 and Over. The fee is $175 per team with a 10-player maximum and double elimination. A $100 nonrefundable deposit must by made by April 1 for the first 24 teams to qualify, and all teams will receive discount coupons for food and lodging.

Prizes will be awarded to first, second, third and fourth place teams, an All-Tournament Team, Tournament MVP, Mr. Defense, Mr. Hustle, Slam-Dunk Contest and a Three-Point Shootout. Door prizes will be awarded as well.

For more information, contact Troy Ross at 264-5265, Cody Ross at 264-4315, Larry Ash at 264-4594 or Jon Forrest at 264-4544.

Movin' members

Patsy Harvey was good enough to let me know about the recent move made by Elements, formerly with two locations in the Pagosa Plaza.

All the goodies in both stores have been combined and are on display in a brand new, beautiful spacious loft in the Ace Hardware Store.

I personally visited the new location Saturday and was amazed with what they had done. They have increased their small appliance department and offer new lines of gifts, accessories and furniture that's arriving daily. Congratulations on the new digs.

Another member move has taken place in the Country Center Plaza with Sundance Shoes and Essentials. The Byers have moved "across the street" from where they were before right next to JEM Jewelers to a larger corner spot right across the parking lot. Stop by and check out the new, larger space and additional inventory offered by these good folks.

Taste of Pagosa

Wow, Heather Hunts and Kelli Hudson are sure on top of things with plans for this year's Taste of Pagosa.

They faxed me some info just this morning about some of the positive changes they are making with this year's Taste along with their request to pay booth fees ($90) by April 18. Your early response will get you in on all the newspaper and radio advertising.

This year will begin the "signature taste" with each restaurant providing just one signature dish presented on same-size plates issued by the Fair board. Elegant black and white decorations will adorn the booths, and winners will be determined by the popular people's choice vote. Please give Heather a call at 731-1146 with questions about Taste of Pagosa.

Food for Friends

Please remember to bring your nonperishable food items to the Chamber or drop them by Curves so that we can all do our part to replenish our local food banks. This last year has been a challenging year economically for a lot of folks, and I'm thinking that our banks could use a little pumping up. Pagosa always shines in the giving department, so please deliver your nonperishable food items to the Chamber Visitor Center or to Curves located just behind the Hogs Breath on Navajo Trail Drive.

You still have a chance today or tomorrow to take a bag of food to the Curves location. Please call April with questions at 731-0333.

Trade workshop

The Small Business Development Center in Durango will offer a workshop on International Trade presented by Claus Weidner, trade consultant for the International SBDC in Colorado Springs.

This free workshop will be held April 2 from 7:30-10 p.m. in Durango. Weidner will discuss why Colorado firms should become involved in exporting and take advantage of opportunities in global trade, how to ship from Colorado to world markets, how to get paid for goods sold internationally and provide sources for affordable assistance available to Colorado exporters.

He will also illustrate how a Colorado manufacturer added to his company's growth by starting and maintaining an export program. If you are interested, please give us a call at 264-2360, and we'll hook you up with the Durango SBDC.


The annual 9HealthFair will be held April 5 at the Pagosa Springs High School 8 a.m. until noon. As always, there will be free and optional health screenings, a blood chemistry analysis for $30 and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) for $25. Keep in mind that you must be 18 years old to participate.

For information, you can call (303) 698-3799 or (800) 332-3078 or visit their Web site at

FoPA presentation

"An Evening of Shorts— Revelations" will be presented by the Footlighters March 28 and 29 to benefit FoPA (Friends of the Performing Arts) and their goal of creating a future performing arts center.

This debut performance will be presented at the Fellowship Hall of the Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street beginning at 7:30 p.m. both nights.

Felicia Lansbury-Meyer directs this humorous and thought-provoking exploration of the human condition. Some of the subject matter may be more suitable for adults although the topics are those we all may have dealt with from time to time.

Sandy Applegate wears both producer/actor hats in this presentation, along with John Porter, Julie Gillentine, Sabine Baeckmann-Elge, Jon Bernard, Frank Elge and Sarajane Meyers.

Advance tickets will be available for $12 at the Chamber of Commerce, WolfTracks and Moonlight Books. Tickets purchased at the door will be $15. Doors will open at 6:45 and you can enjoy coffee, tea and desserts until the performance begins at 7:30. Don't miss out on what promises to be a very special evening.

PSAC Photo Club

There will be a PSAC Photo Club meeting this evening featuring the work of action photographer Scott Smith, and the products of his recent trip to several European ski resorts. His outstanding action work appears in several regional and national publications, and his digital slide show presents some interesting insights into the European skiing lifestyle.

The meeting will be held in the art room at the community center at 6 p.m., and a $5 dues fee will be charged.

A September goal has been set for completion of the darkroom to expand photo opportunities for shutterbugs of all ages. All meetings include time to review member portfolios. Volunteers are needed for the club committee and if you would like to learn more about this, contact Jeff Laydon at 264-3686.

Wildfire mitigation kiosk

Please come to the Visitor Center to see the wildfire mitigation kiosk we have in the lobby, which displays an interactive educational program about improving your home's chances of surviving wildfires. There are three sections in the program: Are You Firewise?, Firescaping, and Firewise Construction.

Additional sections on behavior and forest health will be added later this year.

This program was developed by the Colorado State Forest Service in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, the American Red Cross and the USDA Forest Service.

The kiosk was displayed at the 2002 Colorado State Fair and will "live" at the Chamber for a couple of weeks.

Tree and shrub seedlings

March 31 is the deadline for ordering seedling trees and shrubs from the San Juan Conservation District for conservation planting, shelterbelts, reforestation and wildlife habit enhancement.

To participate, landowners need to own at least two acres of land and need to agree to use the seedlings for conservation purposes only and not landscaping. They also need to agree not to resell the seedlings purchased through the program as living plants. The seedlings come from Colorado State Forest Service Nursery in Fort Collins, and orders must be placed by March 31.

Landowners with property in Archuleta, southern Hinsdale and southwestern Mineral counties can obtain order forms from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service or CSU Cooperative Extension Service at the fairgrounds. Seedlings will be available for pick up at the fair building one day only, April 16. For more information, please call 264-5516.


We have three new members to introduce this week, and as a testimony to the old adage, "Sometimes nagging really pays off big time," we have 21 renewals. Mind you, not every one is a result of my nagging, but there are one or two who needed a little gentle prodding from moi.

It might also be the mere mention of sending "Guido, The Bodybreaker" to pick up the renewals, d'ya think? Whatever, we're just delighted for each and every valued member, even Guido.

Chris Feely and Barry Cohen join us with located at 401 West Meadow Road in Durango. These folks are about the business of helping sellers and buyers save thousands of dollars in Real Estate fees by advertising and promoting the sale of their home, property or business. To learn more about how can help you, please give Chris and Barry a call at 259-5733 or (800)854-8115.

Mia Hewett joins us next with Mia's Skin Spa, LLC, located at 2035 West U.S. 160, No. 103. Mia would like to help you restore the beauty of your skin and spirit with a professional facial and clinical skin care. Mia also features Jane Iredale mineral cosmetics. You can call her with your questions at 731-3391.

Wally Rediske is our third new member this week and joins with Coyote Appliance Repair located at 355 Coyote Drive. Wally specializes in appliance repair on all major appliances but offers general handyman services as well. He is insured and guarantees 100 percent of his work, which is quite the bonus these days. He can fix, remodel and build just about anything and would welcome your call to see how he can help you at 264-3555.

Renewals this week include Karen Cox with Taminah Gallery and Gifts and Taminah Frame Center; Karen Cox (again, busy girl) as a Real Estate Associate with Galles Fine Properties; Sabra Miller with Timothy Miller Custom Homes; Mary Mingus with Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship; John M. Wells with Airport Self Storage; John A. Eustis, DVM, with the Pagosa Veterinary Clinic; Ron Maez with Shear Talk Hair Salon; Nancy King, Associate Realtor with Jim Smith Realty; Kenny King with Big O Tires; Lvonne Johnson with Home Again; Peter Dach with Silver Dollar Liquor and Peter Dach again with Pagosa Bar; Steve Scearce with Homes and Land of SW Colorado in Durango; William L. Bishop with Bishop Real Estate in Chama; Maurice (Mo-Reece) Woodruff with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; April Bergman with Curves for Women; Sharla Gallegos with The 19th Hole; Jeff Greer with Summit Ski and Sports; Diane Davis with Cabinets Plus; Craig Vrazel with Brighton Custom Homes, LLC; Associate member renewals this week include Merilyn Moorhead and Mr. and Mrs. Ho-Ho-Ho, Tom and Wyoma Richards. Thanks to one and all.

Library News

Playing the funding waiting game

By Lenore Bright

I spent last week in Aurora, preparing for and presenting a request for funds to help us build an addition to our library.

Each year, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs gives several million in grants to counties statewide to help them cope with energy development. The requests are for such things as road repairs, fire trucks, emergency vehicles and a myriad of other things stemming from a shortage of funds at the local level.

This particular pot of money comes form severance taxes on minerals like coal, oil and natural gas. There were 61 entities vying for these funds. We were one of them. It was a real learning experience. I found out that there are too many needs and not enough money to pay for all of the services that people want, but resent paying for. Something must change as our state infrastructures are deteriorating rapidly, and there is no relief in sight unless there are some legislative changes.

Of the 61, many will get no money. Some will get partial funding. We won't know for several weeks if we will get any. The good news is that we probably will get some unless the governor chooses to use this money for some other purpose. We were well received and I am optimistic. Now we play the waiting game.

As soon as I know, we will announce the results. Keep good thoughts and be glad we live where we do.

Many people at the meeting congratulated us on having Jay Harrington as Town Administrator. He is highly regarded around the state. It's good to hear such nice remarks about our leaders.

I was also proud of our fire district and EMTs. We are very fortunate to have such dedicated people serving. There are many places in this state that are not so lucky.

This is a short article this week as I am still recovering from my trip to the big city. I'll cover donations next week, and maybe I'll have more good news.

In the meantime, thanks to my staff and volunteers for covering for me while I do fundraising.

Personal note

This week Gil and I are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. My wonderful husband has had to build me bookshelves in every home we lived in. When we moved to Pagosa 23 years ago, I promised he'd never have to build another bookshelf. Little did we know, he'd end up helping me build a whole library, and now even having to add to that! And after this, I promise no more bookshelves, honest Gil  no more.



Christopher M. Gallegos and Jessica A. Quick announce the birth of their daughter, Rheanna Angel Gallegos, born Jan. 16, 2003. She is loved by her sisters, Alyssa and Tianna, her grandparents, Scott and Valarie Quick and Christopher and Darlene Gallegos, of Pagosa Springs, her great-grandparents, Alfredo and Juanita Gallegos and Beatrice Espinosa of Pagosa Springs, and John and Nan Perkins of Belen, N.M., and too many aunts, uncles and cousins to count.


Business News
Dennis L Eamick is an attorney-at-law in general civil practice.

Eamick moved to Pagosa Country in January and has established his practice. Eamick has worked with a variety of local, state and federal government entities and is able to handle government, natural resources (water, oil and gas, etc.) and native issues as well as family law. He is licensed to practice in Colorado, Wyoming and Alaska.

Eamick's office is located at 3000 U.S. 84, Unit D. His phone number is 264-1134.



Gilbert and Lenore Bright are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary March 22. The two Colorado natives were married their senior year at the University of Denver. Their three children will be in town to help them celebrate.


Logan Marlatt, a Pagosa Springs High School graduate and Western State College sophomore has been named a member of the 2003 orientation team.

The math/education major's duties will include working with students and parents to help with the transition into college.

Qualifications for becoming a member include a 2.5 or better GPA and a team member must relate well with students, parents, faculty and administration, and be willing to dedicate the required amount of time.




Prayer service mixes song, meditation

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The sanctuary at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church was quiet. A young girl slowly traveled the perimeter lighting candles. People trickled in, both old and young, to wait for the service to begin. Some sat, others kneeled.

At 7 p.m., Rev. Annie Ryder welcomed everyone to the first of six Taizé services during the Lenten season.

"I hope that it's a refreshing and fulfilling experience for you tonight," she said to the 11 people in attendance.

Taizé is an ecumenical Christian prayer service that originated about 50 years ago with a group of monks in Taizé, France, a tiny community near Lyons. Their goal - to find a place to pray and cultivate hospitality for all peoples in the aftermath of World War II.

Pagosa's prayer service started with two simple songs, or chants, repeated six or eight times apiece, in unison. Scott Hollenbeck, a former resident of Pagosa Springs currently at seminary in Austin, Texas, described the service as contemplative, with a "distinct folk kind of music interwoven in it."

One of the first songs, from a small book, "Songs and Prayers from Taizé," simply repeated the lines: "Bless the Lord, my soul, and bless God's holy name. Bless the Lord, my soul, and bless God's holy name." The words to another were: "Stay here with me, remain here with me, watching and praying, watching and praying." A small choir, accompanied by Dawn Hollenbeck on piano and Deb Aspen on guitar, led the audience.

Songs were followed by a scripture reading, another song, a short meditation, another song, or chant, and then a time for prayers. Once again, the audience was given a chance to participate. People prayed for the president and leaders of the nations, for peace in our world, for the armed forces, for women in Pagosa Springs who may need assistance for any reason, for children in the community, for joy in the safe return of Elizabeth Smart, for all who mourn, for torn relationships and for those who are ill.

A unison recitation of The Lord's Prayer and one final song ended the service.

Taizé, Ryder said, is meant to help people slow down, to reduce the stress that sometimes accompanies springtime and the Easter season and simply reconnect spiritually midweek.

"A lot of people out there are looking for something to do in Lent - something that adds to their life instead of simply adding stress to their life," she said.

This is the second year the weekly Taizé service has been offered in Pagosa Springs during Lent - the time on the Christian calendar leading up to Easter. Last year, the prayer services were held in conjunction with Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on Lewis Street. Now, they have moved to Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. in St. Patrick's new building on South Pagosa Boulevard.

A year ago, Ryder said, the services drew between 15 and 40 people each week. It's the hope to draw that many people again.

"It's a very peaceful, unifying service," she said. "Anybody can come to it and feel comfortable."

Ryder spent a week in the village of Taizé in 1995. Today, the monks there welcome about 15,000 visitors each summer. People are invited to camp in a meadow or stay in communal quarters with bunk beds three or four high in places. The bathroom is down the sidewalk and showers are cold, Ryder said. Three times a day, everyone gathers in a darkened prayer chapel to sing, to pray, to sit in silence and to allow God to speak to them. In between, people gather in groups, arranged by language, for a Bible study. At any one time, 10 or more languages might be spoken.

"It's meant to be a place of reconciliation," Ryder said, "A place people could come to mend their differences."

According to "Spiritual Gold," an article in The Living Church, April 11, 1999, Taizé was founded by Brother Roger, who arrived in the village in 1940, at a time when war had already caused much pain and suffering in the area. For two years, he worked alone, providing assistance to refugees and Jews fleeing from the Nazi occupation. By 1949, six other men from several different Protestant denominations joined Brother Roger. When the war ended, they assisted the German soldiers stranded in France after the liberation. Today, many in the community come from a Roman Catholic background. Their goal of promoting unity and hospitality remains the same.

The chants used in the Taizé service all stem from Bible verses. Originally, they were written in five languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian and Latin. They have since been translated into English but retain a meditative style.

According to an excerpt from the prayer book: "Singing is one of the most important forms of prayer. A few words sung over and over again reinforce the meditative quality of prayer. They express a basic reality of faith that can quickly be grasped by the intellect and that gradually penetrates the heart and the whole being. These simple chants also provide a way of praying when one is along, during the day or at night or even in the silence of one's heart when one is working."

Taizé services are planned for every Wednesday at 7 p.m. during Lent in the St. Patrick's Episcopal Church sanctuary. The church is located two blocks south of the intersection of U.S. 160 and South Pagosa Boulevard.

Pagosa's Past

Starving Utes search for a real home

By John Motter

By the middle 1870s, southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico were in turmoil. Many feared an Indian uprising. The Army regarded the Utes as well-armed and dangerous.

A series of treaties between Americans, Ute, and Apache Indians led settlers to believe much of the area was open for homesteading. The Indians thought differently. War clouds loomed over the San Juan Mountains.

The government wanted to close rented facilities housing the Cimarron Agency and used to deal with the Ute and Jicarilla tribes.

S.A. Russell of the Abiquiu Agency, also in New Mexico, agreed that the Utes should be moved, but not to the Los Pinos Agency established in the 1874 Brunot Treaty. The Utes were refused rations at Abiquiu. It was a long journey to Los Pinos, between Gunnison and Saguache in Colorado.

The Indians were poorly fed and poorly clothed. Wild game no longer existed in sufficient numbers to support them. During the winter, many died from malnutrition and exposure. Because people living in the Abiquiu area could make money selling alcohol to the Indians, they did. The hungry Utes, feeling much abused, did what they could to feed their children, even if the meals were prepared from settler livestock.

Finally, in December 1877, the government explained to angry settlers that the Cimarron Agency had been closed in 1876. The plan was to locate the Moache Utes in Colorado, the Jicarilla on a yet-to-be-formed agency north of Abiquiu. The Jicarillas were moved, but the Utes refused to go.

An Indian appropriations bill passed by Congress in 1877 established an agency in southern Colorado to house the three bands of Southern Utes. A sum of $10,000 was appropriated to begin the agency and Francis A. Weaver was appointed agent. A site was located on the Rio de Los Pinos, the site now known as Ignacio. The Rio de Los Pinos at Ignacio is not to be confused with the former Los Pinos Agency located on Cochetopa Pass.

By January of 1878, however, the Utes had not moved from Cimarron or Abiquiu. The government acted again. Congress passed two acts by July of 1878 calling for the immediate removal of the Jicarilla and Southern Utes from Cimarron and Abiquiu. The Cimarron Utes were forcefully escorted to their new home on the Los Pinos between July 18 and Aug. 15, 1878. Finally, the Utes had been moved from New Mexico. Those still in Colorado, however, had not moved to their new home.

Establishing the new agency was complicated because, after the Brunot Treaty was signed in 1874, the remainder of the Ute lands in southwest Colorado had been opened for homesteading, and the homesteaders came. The land being settled was known as the San Juan Cession. Those who remember the dates of first settlement in Pagosa Country will recall that those settlers arrived in late 1877 and throughout 1878.

By April 26, 1875, at least 186 of these new settlers had asked the land office for surveys defining the boundary lines of the ceded land. In December, 1876, 17 settlers located in the San Juan Cession asked for public land surveys. These surveys were made over the valleys of the Rio Mancos, Rio Florida, and Rio Animas. In addition, the land office recorded the subdividing of 10 townships with seven located on the southern border of the San Juan Cession. Nine towns had been established. They were Animas City, Animas Forks, Howardsville, Eureka, Lake City, Mineral Point, Ouray, Silverton and Telluride. By Dec. 1, 1877, about one third of the homestead filings in the San Juan Cession were in the Rio Florida and Rio Animas valleys and along the northern boundary line of the Southern Ute Reservation.

Because of the influx of settlers and the government's failure to enforce boundary lines established in the agreement of 1868 and the treaty of 1874, the Utes were operating on a short fuse. The Colorado legislature began calling for Ute removal to somewhere, anywhere else. In response, the federal legislature adopted a bill calling for the removal of all Utes in Colorado to the Northern Ute Agency at Meeker. President Rutherford B. Hayes signed the bill in May, 1878.

A commission was named by the Feds to negotiate with the Southern Utes in order to carry out the removal to Meeker. The commission convened at Fort Garland but later met at the Los Pinos Agency, where they were joined by Co. Albert Pfeiffer. The Utes were not anxious to move, since they had just arrived in Ignacio. While the commissioners waited for enough Utes to arrive to form a general counsel, they talked with chiefs Ignacio, Aiguillar, and Severo, each representing one of the three bands of Southern Utes.

Aiguillar's testimony summarized the Indian viewpoint concerning their displeasure with previous treaties. He had been party to those treaties.

"We never knew the land was sold; never were asked; never knew anything about the treaty that was said to have been made. The great father took it and wanted to give us money, and that money didn't come. We didn't know anything about it and the white people came and settled on it.

"The agent didn't know about it either. You now come here - the great father has sent you; you see us, and we see you, and we are contented, you see us here, and you see we are poor.

"Many years together at Cochito we were made many promises; we were full of hopes; we went to Santa Fe and had letters with big seals, but the commissioner lied; he was a big fat man; maybe he lied. He as an Indian could not find any place so bad to come back to as Cimarron.

"We sold only the mines and we told them they could take the mountains; not for horses or anything, only for money, but we didn't receive any money. It's now six years (1872) since money came; we have not received anything for it. Who deceived us?"

From the Ute viewpoint, they were now without land, without money, and without a future.

What was to be done?

(More next week).


Letters from home

As this is being written, war seems a certainty. There is still room for debate and disagreement, for analyses concerning what must happen from this point on and the debate must focus on the aftermath of conflict, on how we should proceed following battle, in what is one of the greatest gambles in our history.

A number of uncertainties confront us: the post-war administration of a country of 20 million-plus citizens, broken into factions whose traditional animosities have long been subdued by tyrannical rule; the cost of occupation and reconstruction of Iraq; how to handle the inevitable backlash in the Islamic world and the possible stimulation to terrorism; the mending of broken alliances; the effects on our economy; the maintenance of rights as we confront threats to national security, as we deal with dissent.

The list is long, the topics complex.

With conflict certain, there is a group and topic that should be untouched by criticism: the members of our military and their role in serving their country.

We owe love and concern to the men and women who are now in harm's way. As the conflict that now seems inevitable proceeds, we need to regard the sacrifices and loyalty of our fellow Americans with the greatest respect.

Whether we are for or against war in Iraq, we should support those who serve on our behalf, who are called upon to fight, to spill their blood and, in many cases, to die for us. Not one of us is absent the connection with our fellow Americans who wear the uniform and heed the call.

We have a chance to indicate our support in an effective and immediate way. We can let the members of our armed forces know how much we care about them and how much we appreciate their situation. We can send a message to the people who are serving, whether we know them personally or not.

Beginning this week, The SUN sets to work on a "From the Home Front" feature to provide readers an opportunity to express themselves to their friends and neighbors serving in the military. We have printed information about this campaign on the front page of this edition.

The first part of the effort is the solicitation of messages from local residents to our men and women in uniform. Compose your message, write it down and send it to us. When we have accumulated enough messages, we will print them and put them on our Web page. Service men and women can access the page on the Internet or family members can mail them a copy of the newspaper feature.

We also want to know who from Pagosa is serving their country and want you to know as well.

If you have a family member or relative serving in the military, send us their name and a photo. If you know of one of our own in the military or one of the support services involved in the current conflict, send us their name. We will assemble the names and photos and produce a feature concerning our local men and women now in military service to their country.

These are our neighbors, the children and grandchildren of our neighbors. These are people, primarily young people, who have committed themselves to serve our country and defend our interests as best they can. It is time to tell them and show them how much they mean to us.

Let's continue to argue about war and its consequences, to test our ideas in the public forum. At the same time, let's support those who take their commitments seriously enough to put themselves at risk on our behalf.

Let's send each of them a message from the Home Front.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa
Good sportsmanship scorned

By Richard Walter

I was tempted not to write this column, but events reported from the state basketball championships in Colorado Springs convinced me I can't hold it back.

Despite the pregame announcements about fair play, sportsmanship and the thrill of athletic competition at tournaments in Ignacio and Colorado Springs, the conduct of fans in both locales was way beyond even minimally acceptable.

Starting with Ignacio, and not even considering the furor over fans from Pagosa being locked outside in the snow, the treatment of visiting teams, their fans and cheerleaders was unbelievable and unforgivable.

From those chanting for the dismemberment of Pagosa players and swearing with impugnity, to those interrupting cheerleader routines with vulgar comments about the girls' anatomies, the wording of their cheers and the community from which they came, Ignacio fans were among the worst I've ever seen in more than 60 years of attending prep contests.

And, at Colorado Springs, the fans of eventual 3A state champion Colorado Springs Christian were apparently anything but what their name implies.

From those dressed in the least possible raiment, and revealing almost entire anatomies, to the most vulgar of comments directed at opposing players and fans, the Christians' backers were a disgrace to their school and to anyone who would profess to be followers of Christ.

At least one, and reportedly two Intermountain League schools had already received apologies from Ignacio officials for the conduct of their players and fans prior to the tournaments.

No such apology followed the incidents at the league tournament held in Ignacio.

And, to our knowledge, no reprimands were issued there or in Colorado Springs.

The shame in this is that both Ignacio and Colorado Springs Christian had excellent teams, both boys and girls, and did not need the vulgarity which their fans felt obligated to chant in order to secure their reputation.

School officials, as well as parents of those who were so flagrant in their disregard for the idea of teamwork and the spirit of fair play and good sportsmanship bear as much blame as those actually involved.

Several of the Colorado Springs Christian fans were removed from the gymnasium during the game with Pagosa Springs for throwing foodstuffs at the Pagosa players on the bench and taunting them in the most vulgar terms imaginable.

That is as it should have been. There is also an allegation that a Pagosa fan was ejected for objecting to the taunting but that has not be substantiated. If he, however, resorted to the same type of behavior being shown by the Christians, he should have been ejected.

The idea of state championship competition is to let the best players from around the state try to capture a title based on their prowess on the basketball court.

It is not intended to be a showcase for undraped anatomy, a sounding board for every expletive a fan has ever learned, or a reason for insulting a foe's capability.


90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of March 21, 1913

Charlie Schaad, Pagosa's pioneer saloon man, was arrested Wednesday by Sheriff Holliday on a charge of unlawful sale of liquor. Pleading guilty to the charge, Charlie set up as extenuating circumstances that he had not been formally notified to close and that he was under no obligation to close until the unused portion of his paid license money was returned to him. Justice Loucks fined the defendant the minimum assessment under the law, $100 and costs, but suspended $75 of the fine.

The nickel of the new design, the Indian head and buffalo, has made its appearance in Pagosa, although not in general circulation here yet. One of the editor's boys has one said to be of the first thousand minted.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 23, 1928

By Proclamation President Coolidge has declared the week of April 22-28 as National Forest Week, and in keeping with the event, the forest Rangers of Archuleta County are conducting an essay contest for the Seventh and Eighth grade and High School students.

Dr. Mary Winter Fisher has been confined to her home the greater part of the week owing to influenza and other ills.

With no tickets being filed up to the final date, Monday night, it appears that for the fourth consecutive year Pagosa Springs will escape a town election.

The town board met on Tuesday, at which time they accepted the resignation of James Gordon as town marshal, and appointed John H. Lattin to fill the vacancy.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 20, 1953

The Town Board met on Friday with their engineer from Santa Fe to hear his preliminary survey report on the proposed new water supply system. The survey showed details of a proposed system out of the San Juan above the streams that bring in the silt and mud. The system would be of the gravity type, doing away with expensive pumping procedures.

The weather the past week has certainly been balmy and spring-like. The high temperatures have been mostly in the 50s and the lows only slightly below freezing. The snow is melting and settling fast but not too much is going down the streams. There is enough that the town water supply looks, tastes and acts more like mud than water.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 16, 1978

A proposed school bond issue in the amount of $3,300,000 will be voted upon in May. The money will be used to construct a new high school. School authorities cited the ever increasing enrollment and the need for more space in calling for the bond election.

A mobile home unit, being towed to a sales outlet, was completely destroyed last Thursday evening when the tractor towing it went into a snowbank on Wolf Creek Pass. The mobile home was broken into small pieces and strewn across the highway for some distance.

The weather has moderated a bit the past week in town but it can still snow, and snow hard, in the high country. About two feet of new snow fell on Wolf Creek Pass this past week.