April 10, 2003 
Front Page

Mary Fisher Clinic staff gives 30-day notice; district seeking replacements

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District manager has accepted 30-day notices from eight employees of the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center.

The employees, including both doctors, both nurse practitioners and the center's administrative staff, turned in their notices, effective May 2, to the district board on April 4. The resignations were accepted by Dee Jackson, district manager, April 7.

"We are not going to allow the clinic to close," she said. "We are not going to have any lapse of service." Instead, Jackson plans to begin a search for new staff immediately. Already, she said, she has scheduled one doctor, a woman physician from Denver, to visit the district April 20. Four other resumes from physicians interested in serving in southwest Colorado have also been received.

"The staff will be replaced as I hire people," she said.

According to a release provided by the center staff, the decision to resign en masse was made in response to recent communication and morale issues between employees, the district manager and the board. "The board has failed to provide the necessary leadership to resolve organizationwide staff concerns, making continued employment untenable," the release stated.

Employees have voiced complaints about the current administrator for several months. They have pointed to her management style, calling it a "dictatorship," complained that she's overstepped her experience and called her rude.

To give the employees a process for addressing their complaints, the district board passed an employee-complaint policy in December. In January, the board hired conflict resolution specialist, Peg Christian, who came to the district, interviewed employees and provided a report outlining the problems and possible solutions as she saw them.

The report listed four areas of concern: employee morale, management structure and process, interpersonal professional relationships and quality of patient care.

Prior to her report, Board Chairman Dick Babillis resigned. The report called for his resignation. Since then, the board has passed a new organizational chart, directed Jackson to move up work on employee job descriptions and discussed several options for mediation and counseling. One other member of the board has resigned.

Throughout the complaints, the board has steadfastly refused to discuss individual employee problems or resignations in board meetings, claiming confidentiality issues as required by law. As of a special board meeting April 1, they said they would no longer take public comment during meetings except during regular monthly meetings.

They are currently working to fill the two empty positions on the board and interviewed a total of six candidates April 8. Following that meeting, several members of the public complained about the board's lack of response to the clinic employees' resignations and the board's refusal to take public comment.

"Why did they resign?" several people in the audience of about 30, mostly members of the public, asked.

"Talk to us," was another cry.

John Rieck came forward to stand in front of the board, calling for them to do whatever necessary to keep the current doctors employed by the district. He said patient care should be the number one concern for board members and that meant keeping the physicians who know the patients and the community.

"We want the doctors we have now," several people said. "If management's the problem we need to get rid of management."

District Manager Jackson said the time has come to stop making health care a political issue. Several times in the past few months patients have come forward with complaints about having to listen to political problems while being served at the clinic. What those patients wanted, she said, was to get quality health care, not listen to problems.

"What might have fit Pagosa 20 years ago won't fit Pagosa today," she said.

Instead, it's time to look toward the future, she said. She envisions possibly adding hours to the clinic with the new staff and changing clinic organization to better serve patients.

"April and May are historically our slowest months," she said. "I look at it as a good time to step back, regroup and move forward."

The clinic will remain open, she said. Urgent care will remain open. On the other side of the street, business at Emergency Medical Services will continue. Dr. Bob Brown, one of the physicians with the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center who turned in his 30-day notice, has agreed to continue to serve as the EMS physician advisor until that position can be filled. That allows EMS to continue to provide the current level of service.

Of course, there's no doubt change is in the air. The theft of some narcotics from the medical center was reported to the Pagosa Springs Police Department April 6. Investigation into the incident will continue when a drug enforcement agency officer arrives. Because of the thefts, Jackson said, locks were changed at the clinic and after-hours access has been limited. However, she added, key personnel, including the EMS operations manager do have a key should ambulance personnel find themselves in a situation at night where access is needed. EMS does currently have an open position. Paramedic Mike Ferrell resigned March 20.

Jackson said she is currently looking to fill the position with an EMT-intermediate. "It's just time to give other EMTs who are growing in their certification a place in the district," she said.

The district's medical center is one of two medical clinics in Pagosa Springs. The other, Pagosa Family Medicine Center, a private facility, is run by two doctors, Dr. Jim Pruitt and Dr. John Piccaro. Piccaro said they have entered negotiations to hire Dan Keuning, a family nurse practitioner, who was one of the eight employees to hand in resignations at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center.

The Pagosa Family Medicine Center continues to accept new patients. It is a private clinic, not affiliated with the hospital district and does not receive public tax dollars.

According to the release from staff at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, "planning is moving forward toward establishing a new location to continue to provide quality medical care to our patients."

The medical center employees have set a public meeting for April 14 at 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center to discuss the problems that led to the resignations.

The Upper San Juan Hospital District Board has its next regularly scheduled board meeting April 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.


Mark Garcia tabbed as new town administrator

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees didn't have to look far to find themselves a new town administrator.

In fact, his desk sits about 20 yards from the administrator's office.

Following a special meeting April 8, the Town Board of Trustees voted to hire Mark Garcia to fill the position vacated by Jay Harrington just last week - pending final contract negotiations.

"We are really blessed to have this opportunity," Mayor Ross Aragon said. "Mark has a good attitude, he's bright and has a good work ethic. I've always heard nothing but positive things about Mark in the community." Hiring a qualified person from within also allows for some continuity in the process.

Garcia currently serves as the town's building, geothermal, planning and land use supervisor. He has worked for the town for 8 1/2 years and has a bachelors of science in mechanical engineering from the University of New Mexico. He lives in Pagosa Country with his wife Jean and two children, Jacqueline and Kyle.

He said moving into the position of town administrator is an exciting opportunity. "I'm happy to try to fill Jay's big shoes," he said.

Harrington announced he had accepted the position as the town manager of Telluride at the regular town board meeting April 1. He is leaving Pagosa Springs after a decade as the town administrator. His last day is May 16.

Garcia's contract will most likely begin May 1 to give some time for the transition.

"I couldn't even imagine a smoother transition," Aragon said. "It's one of those opportunities that's made to order."


Home rule given 43-11 edge in minuscule turnout

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

And the voter's say - go ahead and take a look at home rule. At least a few of them do.

Just 54 out of about 910 voters in the Pagosa Springs town limits came out Tuesday for the special election on home rule. The measure passed 43-11.

"I was a little disappointed with the lack of interest," Mayor Ross Aragon said. "We tried several different ways to try to stimulate some interest - from articles to a public forum - but to no avail. However, it also gives me a good feeling to know people trust us and trust what we're doing."

Home rule is an option for local government organization under the Colorado state constitution which allows communities flexibility in structuring local government by writing their own town charter.

Currently, Pagosa Springs is a statutory town. Everything from the number of trustees, the structure of town government, election procedures to taxation options is dictated by state law. No flexibility is available.

Now that voters have given the town approval to begin looking at home rule, a committee of citizens, the charter commission, will begin meeting to write a document or charter that could replace the state statutes as far as local issues go. For instance, Pagosa's charter might set up voting precincts or wards, an option currently not available to the town.

The charter will come before voters sometime in November. Only by approving that charter will voters make Pagosa Springs a home rule community. Otherwise it will remain a statutory town.

Voters approved a slate of six charter commission members along with giving the town the go-ahead to form the commission Tuesday. These include current town board members Darrell Cotton, Judy James, Bill Whitbred, Jerry Jackson, Mayor Ross Aragon and community member John Steinert. Ralph Davis received one write-in vote.

The commission is required by law to have nine members. The empty seats will be filled by appointment. The commission's first workshop is slated for April 16 at 5 p.m.

The vote will be made official following a canvass Wednesday.


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April showers expected after weekend sun

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

While sustained breezy conditions lowered wind chills into the single-digit range across some parts of Pagosa Country early last week, recent bouts of sunshine enabled many area residents to resurrect spring wardrobes and venture outside in shorts and shirtsleeves.

Mostly-sunny skies and the warmest temperatures of the year thus far are anticipated through the weekend before the chance for precipitation returns early next week.

According to Gary Chancy, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, a low-pressure system moving in from the West Coast should arrive in the Four Corners region sometime Monday.

"This looks like a pretty strong little system," said Chancy. "It's not extremely cold, but very deep, and should stick around for two or three days and put down some light rain or wet snow across the state.

"The system will drop down the coast of California before being swept eastward Sunday. Chances are southwest Colorado will begin to see some precipitation by Monday evening. Otherwise, things stay warm for the weekend."

According to Chancy, sunshine should persist throughout today and skies should remain clear overnight. Highs should peak in the mid to upper 60s; lows should descend into the mid-20s to low 30s.

Friday's forecast calls for continued sun in the morning and a few clouds in the afternoon. Highs should reach the upper 60s and nighttime lows should drop into the low 30s.

Saturday and Sunday boast twin forecasts calling for mostly-sunny skies, highs in the mid-60s and lows ranging from 25-35.

There is a 20-percent chance for late-afternoon or early-evening rain/snow Monday; high temperatures are predicted in the 50s. Lows should fall into the mid-20s.

The forecasts for Tuesday and Wednesday include a 30-percent chance for evening snow showers and daytime rain. Highs are expected in the upper 30s to upper 40s; lows are predicted to dip into the low 20s.

Area lawns and gardens are slowly beginning to mature due to adequate ground-moisture levels, however the U.S. Department of Agriculture's drought rating for the region continues to be listed as "extreme."

The National Allergy Bureau rates area tree pollen counts as "moderate to high." Pollen counts for weeds and grasses are categorized as "absent to low, " and mold spore counts are rated as "low."

Last week's high temperature, 63, was recorded Wednesday afternoon. Last week's low of 14 was recorded Tuesday night. Precipitation last week, recorded Sunday as wet snow and rain, amounted to two-hundredths of an inch.

River flow as measured in the San Juan River south of town ranged between 150-300 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for this time of year is approximately 800 cubic feet per second.


Sports Page
Parks & Rec

Park restrooms now open for summer season

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The seasonal restrooms in Town Park and South Pagosa Park were opened this week.

Summer hours at the facilities will be 8 a.m-8 p.m. We try to have them open April through October, depending on the cold spells we get and when we have to clear the lines in October.

There are two locations where restrooms are open year-round - one in the bell tower in the new park at 5th and San Juan streets which is geothermally heated and open 24 hours a day - the other adjacent to the fishing ponds in River Center Park. The second restroom is open 24 hours a day but has no electricity.

Downtown parks are very popular places to exercise dogs and we furnish dog mittens at both Town and Centennial parks. Please pick up after pets. We all like to enjoy our parks, so please help keep them clean.

Work day

The skate board contingent in town is trying to organize a work day to complete the final phase of the skate park addition to South Pagosa Park.

We encourage all skaters, bikers and park enthusiasts to sign up for the volunteer effort.

Hopefully, we will be able to tie in a grand opening, some free food and prizes to the formal opening of the skate park. Watch for more information as we get everyone lined up for the event.

April events

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. To commemorate victims, the department has put plastic flowers at the bell tower in the center of town. They were made by supporters of victims and families who are affected each day by sexual assault crimes committed in our country.

We would like the public to know the symbolism of the flowers, and know we are committed to help maintain the public's awareness of sexual assaults.

Saturday, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., a free demonstration of yoga will be staged in Town Park by Lyniss Steinert. She will host the World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day. All are welcome to attend a free demonstration. For more information call her at 264-2831.

Saturday is the last day to sign up for the district-sponsored baseball. All athletes, from T-ball through players 11-12 years old need to sign up by 5 p.m.

We will host the monthly advisory board meeting April 16 at 5:30 p.m. and will vote on an arts council recommendation for a bronze sculpture to be placed at the bell tower. Also to be discussed are the raw water feed for irrigation, a sports complex update and facilities use.

Adult basketball is winding down and tournament games are on tap the next 10 days. Call 264-4151, Ext. 232 for more information on teams and game times.


Boys track team claims first-place trophy

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

It's a first first.

The Pagosa Pirates boys' track team overcame wind, chilly temperatures and the competition at the Bobcat Relays in Aztec Saturday to take top team honors. It is, head coach Connie O'Donnell said, the first championship team trophy in Pagosa boys' track history.

To win it, the team pulled through with some stellar individual performances and top relay efforts, placing in nearly every event.

Jason Schutz set the example for the team, earning three individual first-place medals. The senior blistered past the competition with a 11.28 second finish in the 100-meter dash. In the 200, he came up with the win in 23.07. Schutz captured his third first-place on the day in the discus, throwing 138 feet.

To round out his efforts, Schutz combined with teammates Otis Rand, Danny Lyon and Jeremy Buikema to earn a second place finish in the 1600 relay with a time of 3 minutes, 48.5 seconds.

"He is a very talented athlete, but he also works hard to improve during practice," O'Donnell said. "He is a great example to some of our younger kids."

Junior Aaron Hamilton also put in a strong performance on the day, winning the 800 and placing in two other events.

Hamilton broke the tape in the 800 with a time of 2:12.7 to win. He placed second in the mile with a time of 4:56.76 and fifth in the two mile run, crossing the line in 11:42.

"He had a long day of races and he just kept going," O'Donnell said. "He ran his last race just as strong as his first race. I'm really proud of his efforts."

The final individual first-place finish was posted by sophomore Otis Rand, who blew past the competition, beating his personal best by four seconds, to take the top spot in the 400 with a time of 54.32.

"He's really getting strong, and I'm excited about his future in track," O'Donnell said.

The Pirates' medley relay team of freshman Daniel Aupperle, sophomore Paul Armijo, junior Brandon Samples and senior Todd Mees captured yet another first-place finish, breaking through the tape in 4:03.4.

Rand combined with Armijo, junior Clayton Spencer and sophomore Junior Turner to claim second in the 800 relay with a time of 1:35.1.

Third-place finishes came from Buikema, who posted a time of 56.01 in the 400; and senior Lyon with a 18-foot, 7-inch leap in the long jump, beating teammate Turner by three inches. Turner came up with his own third-place leap in the triple jump, launching himself 38-2 to add points to the team score.

The team racked up even more numbers in the 400 with a fourth-place time of 57.93 from Lyon and a fifth-place finish by sophomore Manuel Madrid.

Teammate Jared Kinkead claimed fourth place in the 200, crossing the line in 24.48. He joined Armijo, Aupperle and Turner in the 400 relay for a second fourth-place finish in 48.09.

Other points came from Steven Henderson who posted a fifth-place finish in the 300 hurdles and Samples with a sixth-place showing in the 800.

The relays were run at Aztec because the Bloomfield track was incomplete. Friday, part of the team, girls and boys, will leave for the two-day Pueblo Challenge Cup at Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo. O'Donnell said some of the Pirates will have to stay behind because only two entries per school per event are allowed.

"It is run much like the state track meet in May," she said. "A big meet like this is going to help prepare us for the rest of the season."


Lady Pirate tracksters paced by freshman

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs girls' track team continued to build on the start of their season, going up against tough competition at the Bobcat Relays in Aztec Saturday to finish fifth as a team.

Head coach Connie O'Donnell said she was pleased with many of the girls' performances, including those of freshman Emilie Schur who closed out the day with three top-three finishes.

Schur broke Pagosa's school record in the mile, winning the race in 5 minutes, 41.1 seconds. She finished second in the 800-meter dash, crashing through the tape in 2:39, and added a third-place finish on the day in the two-mile race, claiming a time of 12:47.7.

The team's other top-three finish came from the 1600-meter relay team of Alex Rigia, Katie Bliss, Ashley Wagle and Amanda McCain. The seniors crossed the finish in second place with a time of 4:56.9.

The 400 relay team of sophomores Marlena Lungstrum and Janna Henry and freshman Mia Caprioli and Nikki Kinkead finished fourth with a time of 56.9.

Fifth-place finishes were recorded by the 800 relay team of Rigia, Kinkead, sophomore Mollie Honan and senior Katie Bliss, Honan in the 100-meter hurdles and junior Roxanna Day in the pole vault.

Day's fifth-place 7-foot pole vault effort was another school record for Pagosa Springs.

"She is the first female pole vaulter in school history," O'Donnell said. "She has also worked very hard at her event. She has to travel to Bayfield three days a week because we do not have a pole vault coach."

Adding points to the team tally with sixth-place finishes were Honan in the 300 hurdles, Wagle in the 400 dash, freshman Drie Young in the 800, McCain in the two-mile run, Rigia in the triple jump and Caprioli in the long jump.


Pirates open IML play with sweep of Centauri

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Coach Tony Scarpa, working the third base box, had his arms busy waving runners around or holding them tight.

That action came as 41 of his Pagosa Springs Pirates found their way on base in one way or another as they swept a doubleheader from Centauri Saturday at home.

Under partly cloudy skies and playing in a chill wind, the Pagosans captured the opener 11-5 behind Josh Stone and took the second tilt 13-6 with Jarrett Frank getting the win thanks to a strong closing effort by Ben Marshall who fanned six in two and a third innings.

The sweep pushed the Pirates' season record to 6-1, the lone loss coming to Class 4A Cortez on the latter's home field.

Game 1

Stone got three of his 14 strikeouts in the first inning, whiffing Ken Schell and Miguel Ortiz before Vicente Govea reached on an error.

Stone struck out Craig Booth, his mound opponent, to get out of the inning.

Then, leading off for Pagosa, he grounded out to second. Sophomore designated hitter Marcus Rivas drew a walk from Booth and was balked to second.

Catcher Ben Marshall drove Rivas home with a double to center. He, however, was left at second when Lawren Lopez fanned and Frank popped out to second.

Stone looked invincible in the second, striking out Lance Mueller, getting Levi Torres to ground back to Lopez at first and then fanning T. Vargas.

His teammates got him a second run in their half of the second. David Kern grounded out to second to open the frame, but Jeremy Caler was hit by a pitch and promptly stole second. Levi Gill was out on a fly ball to center but right fielder Matt Mesker picked him up with a single to left driving in Caler. He was then cut down at second trying to steal.

Stone's penchant for having one bad inning was about to begin.

Eric Armenta opened the third grounding to first but then Nathan Lucero walked, Schell reached on an outfield error and Ortiz walked. Govea delivered two runs with a single to right and then Booth hammered a hanging high curve over the left field fence for three more markers.

Mueller walked and Stone hit Torres with a pitch before settling down to fan Vargas and Armenta to escape the carnage.

Suddenly down 5-2, the Pirates responded with four of their own in their half of the third.

Stone started it with a single to center and advanced to second on an errant pick-off throw by Booth. Marshall singled him in and moved up when Lopez dumped a short fly between the shortstop and left fielder.

Lopez was out at second on a fielder's choice by Frank. Kern drew a pass and Caler gathered the runners with a line single to right center before Levi Gill was out on a great catch by a diving Mueller in left field. Pagosa had the lead back at 6-5 and were not to be scored on again.

Armenta fanned to open Centauri's fourth and Schell grounded to short. Ortiz singled to center and Govea walked, but Booth hit into a fielder's choice and Stone was out of the inning.

After Mesker fanned to open the Pirate fourth, Stone followed suit.

With two down, Rivas reached on an error by the third baseman, Marshall singled him to third and Lopez was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Frank delivered two runs with a ringing single to center before Kern grounded to short to end the uprising.

Torres opened Centauri's fifth with a single to right, but Stone, back in the groove, fanned Vargas, Armenta and Lucero on 12 total pitches.

Caler reached on an error to open the fifth and moved up on Levi Gill's single. Both advanced on a wild pitch before Zeb Gill, batting for Mesker, grounded to short.

Stone singled to aid his own cause and moved all the way to third when his shot was misplayed in center. He scored on an error by Vargas. Marshall walked and was balked to second but Lopez fanned to end the inning.

Schell grounded out to third to open the Centauri sixth. Ortiz walked and Govea flied to left. With Booth at the plate Centauri's hopes soared. But Stone was up to the challenge, getting him on strikes.

With Schell on the mound in relief of Booth in Pagosa's sixth, Michael Dach grounded to short batting for Frank, Kern struck out and Terry McAlister, grounded to third batting for Caler.

Stone opened Centauri's seventh getting Mueller to ground to first and striking out Torres. He then issued consecutive walks to Vargas and Armenta before fanning Lucero to end the game, having surrendered five runs on only four hits and striking out 14.

Game 2

With Jarrett Frank on the mound for Pagosa, Centauri jumped to a quick 2-0 lead but would be out of contention before the next inning was over.

Schell opened with a fly to right. Ortiz singled, moved up on a passed ball, and stayed at second as Govea walked. Booth was hit by a pitch but cut down at second on a double steal attempt. Mueller walked and Torres singled to drive in a run and then Armenta walked before Lucero struck out to give Centauri a 2-1 lead.

It quickly disappeared when Pagosa answered with a four-run rally. Stone opened it with a single to left and went to second when it was misplayed, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Rivas' ground rule double. After Marshall walked, Lopez struck out but Caler singled to center. Kern grounded out to short but Frank was safe on an error and Pagosa had another run. Clayton Mastin struck out to end the inning with Pagosa up 4-2.

Centauri tied it in the second with a pair of singles, by Doyle and Schell, an errant throw by Frank, a ground out to second, a sacrifice fly by Govea and a single by Booth before Mueller popped to first to end the inning.

Pagosa took the lead right back in their half of the second despite both Levi Gill and Stone popping out to open the frame. Rivas reached on an error at third, ending up at second. Ben Marshall singled him home and then advanced on a wild pitch. Lopez delivered the second run with a single to left before Caler lined out to first.

Frank hit a good groove in the third, getting Torres on a come-backer, fanning Armenta and getting Lucero on a foul pop to first.

And then his teammates put the game away.

Kern opened the Pagosa third beating out an infield single. Frank walked, Mastin reached on an error, Levi Gill was aboard on a fielders' choice, and Stone walked before Mesker popped to the pitcher. Marshall delivered a pair with a double and Lopez followed with a double of his own. Caler reached on an infield single but Kern, tenth man to bat in the frame, popped to the catcher.

Pagosa had an 11-4 lead and Frank set the Falcons down quickly in the fourth on a strikeout and two popups.

Pagosa threatened in their half of the inning but could not push in the run. Zeb Gill grounded to third, Mastin singled and stole second. Levi Gill drew a walk. Stone popped to the catcher for the second out and Rivas bounced to third.

After having retired nine of the previous 10 batters, Frank seemed to weaken in the Centauri fifth.

Govea led off with an infield single, Booth singled to left and Mueller struck out. Torres walked and Armenta grounded to second, one run scoring. When Lucero drove in another with a single to right, Scarpa went to the mound.

His decision was to bring Ben Marshall to the mound in relief, put Rivas behind the plate and move Frank to the outfield.

Marshall quickly got the third Centauri out, fanning Doyle.

The Pagosa fifth opened with Ben Marshall singling. His brother, Travis, drew a walk as a pinch hitter for Lopez. McAlister singled and Michael Dach, batting for Kern, doubled. Frank was out on a fly to left and freshman Josh Hoffman popped to first batting for Mastin.

Schell reached on an error to open the Centauri sixth but was thrown out by Rivas attempting to steal. Ortiz fanned and Govea reached on an error before Booth struck out to end the inning.

Levi Gill grounded to first to open the Pirate sixth. Stone popped to short but Rivas doubled to center, only to die there when Ben Marshall grounded out.

Centauri's hopes were fired in the top of the seventh when Mueller singled. But it was to be the only hit Marshall surrendered. He followed it up by fanning Torres, Charles Ruybal as a pinch hitter for Armenta, and then Lucero to close out the 13-6 Pagosa victory.

It was shortly after 5 p.m. and the first pitch had been thrown at 11 a.m.

The win put the Pirates season record at 6-1 and the IML mark at 2-0. They are scheduled to host Salida in a nonleague tilt Saturday before returning to league wars with a doubleheader at Bayfield against the highly regarded Wolverines April 12.


Game 1: P-11 runs, on 10 hits and 6 Centauri errors; C-5 runs on 4 hits and 2 Pagosa errors. Winning pitcher Stone (14Ks, 7 walks); losing pitcher Booth (5Ks, 4 walks). Home runs, Booth.

Game 2: P-13 runs on 14 hits and 4 Centauri errors; C-6 runs on 9 hits and 3 Pagosa errors. Winning pitcher Frank (4 Ks, 4 walks); losing pitcher Lucero (2 Ks, 3 walks). No home runs.


Lady kickers drop 4-3 decision to Ridgway


By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

After more than four hours on a bus you arrive at the playing field just 10 minutes before game start is scheduled.

You are allowed extra time to warm up and get the travel kinks stretched out.

And for one half of high school soccer, you play shutout style, scoring once yourself and showing a deep defense that thwarts the hosts.

Then, the reality of all the travel sets in along with a stiff wind at the opponents' backs, and your lead fades away.

Still, you aren't done. You battle back, closing to within a single goal but are unable to get the equalizer and bow 4-3.

That, in a nutshell, is the story of Monday's trip to Ridgway by the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates soccer team.

Of course there was more to it than that. The Pirates found a new scorer, with an old name.

They got defense from the usual sources but lost it when the prevailing wind led attackers better than their teammates.

They got continued scoring from seniors.

And they got to keep their frustration with play against the Ridgway Lady Demons.

First, the game had originally been scheduled March 1 but was wiped out by snow on the Ridgway field.

As late as 10 a.m. Monday, after another snowstorm in Ridgway, there were indications the game was still on, but might be played in Montrose where a field had been reserved.

As the bus plied its way west, then north over Lizard Head Pass (Red Mountain was closed for avalanche control) Ridgway officials were clearing snow from their new field.

They did an excellent job and it was playable, if covered with the leavings of an apparent herd of grazing deer.

In fact, as the game wore on, a herd of elk appeared to the south and grazed as spectators for the balance of the game.

The name Hilsabeck has been associated with Pagosa soccer for the past three years as Meagan, now a senior, paced the Lady Pirates and was three times and all-conference player.

It was obvious from the beginning that her reputation had preceded her. From the outset she was double- and triple-teamed by Demon defenders.

But, unphased by the attention, she became a passer.

The Hilsabeck name was the first into the scorebook. But it wasn't Meagan getting the marker.

She got the assist.

It was her freshman sister, Jennifer, who scored from the left wing after Meagan broke out of the defensive ring around her and dropped a crossing pass to Jennifer who had just entered the game.

Her drive beat Ridgway keeper Eva Duce to the right corner and Pagosa had a 1-0 lead at 8:56, a margin they would nurse into halftime.

Keys to that first half were stout defense by Jenna Finney with six block-takeaways, Sarah Smith and Tricia Lucero each with two, and Bret Garman and Kyrie Beye with one each.

Pagosa keeper Sierra Fleenor had two saves in the half as Pagosa kept the Demons at bay.

Ridgway's best scoring opportunity came on a penalty kick by Amy Trehal with 42 seconds remaining that sailed left and nicked the corner post as it caromed out of bounds.

Ridgway coaches drilled their team at the break on taking advantage of the wind at their backs in the second half and they took the instruction to heart.

With just 1:21 gone in the half, right winger Leah Kropenske knotted the count, scoring unassisted as an outlet kick soared over the defense and she took it all alone to the net.

At 46:35 Finney had another takeaway but Pagosa lost the ball at midfield and Ridgway's Kelsey Bennett scored from 10 yards out to give Ridgway the lead at 2-1.

At 48:46, Ridgway's Lacy Marquardt hiked the lead to 3-1 with a score off another windblown lead.

Less than two minutes later, Fleenor made a double stop on a Ridgway breakaway, first batting aside Kropenske's bid for a second goal, then stopping a rebound effort by Ridgway's all-conference striker Parker Fragelius.

But, at 53:00, Burnett scored on a lead from Kropenske and the margin grew to 4-1.

The Lady Pirates were not yet done, however.

At 61:02 midfielder Sara Aupperle was felled by a Ridgway defender and awarded a penalty shot.

She converted to the upper right corner and the lead was down to 4-2.

Pagosa began to apply the pressure. Beye was wide left on her first shot attempt of the season as the Lady Pirates swarmed the offensive zone. Then it was Brittany Corcoran ripping a drive from 20 yards that was tipped aside.

Still attacking and repeatedly stealing Ridgway passes, Pagosa got within one goal at 69:06 when Meagan Hilsabeck recorded her ninth of the season, converting a rebound of a shot from the short right side by Bri Scott.

Two minutes later Meagan was stopped on a point blank drive on a lead pass from her sister.

At 77:30 Meagan was felled, taking a drive off the leg of Aupperle in the abdomen as she attempted to get out of the way.

With her breath knocked out, she was helped from the field, but returned after less than a minute.

The tide had turned, but could not wash the margin away as Ridgway went to the wire holding onto the 4-3 victory.


Scoring: P-8:56, J. Hilsabeck; R-41:21, Kropenske; R-46:35, Bennett; R-48:46, Marquardt; R-53:00, Burnett; P-61:02, Aupperle; P-69:06, M. Hilsabeck. Saves: P-Fleenor, 7; R- Duce, 7. No cards.


Ladies fate depends on next 6 days

The fate of the Lady Pirates soccer team will be decided in the next six days.

The club, because of early cancellations and late scheduling changes, plays five games in six days, starting today.

The 5 p.m. clash with Cortez at Golden Peaks Stadium today, is the only one of those games which will not count in league standings.

Tomorrow, the Ladies host Ridgway in a 4 p.m. game and on Saturday entertain Center in a noon start.

Monday will feature a home game against Bayfield, starting at 4 p.m. and, on Tuesday, Ignacio will be in town at 4 p.m. for the final home game of the regular season.

Pagosa will play Salida in Salida at 4 p.m. April 18 and will close out their league schedule April 26 with a noon game in Center.

The league champion will draw a bye in opening round playoff action, the second place team playing number five and third place meeting number four.

Sixth and seventh place teams in league action will be eliminated.

Dates and sites for league playoff action have not been set.


Pirates fall 15-12 to Salida in Bayfield contest

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Salida Spartans hit early, gave up the lead to a strong Pagosa Springs Pirates attack, then parlayed one big inning into a 15-12 victory over the Pirates Saturday.

The game had been scheduled as a home contest for Pagosa, only the second of the season, and just one of three on the books.

It ended up being played on the Bayfield High School field after a confusing series of events, including the apparent resignation of at least one Salida coach and the defection of several players.

Still, the visitors opened with a two-run first inning against Pagosa starter Jarrett Frank, and added three more in the second.

But, by the end of that second frame they found themselves trailing and when Pagosa plated five more in the third most would have expected the Spartans to fold.

Instead, they came back with a pair of their own in the fourth but still trailed 11-7 as the fifth inning opened with Lawren Lopez on the mound for Pagosa.

Before the inning had ended, Salida had sent 12 men to the plate and scored eight runs.

Pagosa got one back in their half of the fifth but could muster no more offense after that.

As the clouds moved in, the winds whipped out to right and the temperature fell into the low 30s, the Pirate bats went silent as a parade of Salida hurlers shut them down.

Salida went on to drop the nightcap of the three-team doubleheader by an 11-1 score to Bayfield.

Second baseman Mike Phillips got the game going for Salida with a single to center and stole both second and third while Frank was getting Robin Gerlach on strikes and Rich Taylor on a comebacker to the mound. Third baseman Brian Smith drove in Phillips with a double to right, left fielder Dale Jones walked, and first baseman Adam Pierce singled in Smith. Andy Winter flied to left to end the inning with Salida holding a 2-0 lead.

It was a short-lived margin, however.

Pagosa's Zeb Gill, the designated hitter, drew the first of his three walks in the game, stole second and went to third on a passed ball.

Marcus Rivas, playing in right field at the start, also drew a walk. Josh Stone singled to drive in the first Pagosa run but Ben Marshall fanned.

Lopez, playing first to open the game, hit into a fielder's choice, bouncing to the first baseman who cut down Rivas at third, with Stone advancing to second. He moved up on a balk by Salida starter Taylor and scored on a single to center by Jeremy Caler with Frank advancing to third. He scored the lead run on a throwing error by the pitcher on David Kern's dribbler back to the mound.

When second baseman Levi Gill struck out as the ninth man to bat in the frame, Pagosa had a 3-2 lead.

Salida's Derek Schwitzer grounded out to second to open the second but Seth Myers followed with a double to right, scoring on Gill's error moments later on a grounder by Phillips. The latter moved up on an error at short by Stone and scored on a single to center by Gerlach. Taylor also singled, but was cut down at second on a perfect throw from Marshall as Gerlach scored.

Smith fanned to end the inning.

It was Pagosa's turn for the big frame and they scored five, sending nine men to the plate in the inning.

It opened with Kern drawing a walk and stealing second. Levi Gill also walked but was cut down trying to steal. Smith relieved Taylor on the mound for Salida and Zeb Gill reached on a fielder's choice. After Rivas drew a pass, Phillips was called to the mound for Salida.

Stone and Marshall greeted him with singles to left before Lopez popped to the pitcher for the second out. Frank singled to left to drive in a pair before Caler struck out to end the frame with Pagosa leading 11-7.

With Lopez on the mound, Pierce opened the Salida fifth with a single to right but was out attempting a steal. Winter doubled to left, Schwitzer walked and Myers singled to left. After Phillips flied to right, Gerlach walked and coach Tony Scarpa brought Stone to the mound in relief.

An error at third base opened the floodgates because Smith homered over the right field fence on the next pitch. Jones followed with a single to left, Pierce walked and Winter reached on a misplayed fly ball in center field. Schwitzer singled to right before Myers made the final out on a fly to center and Salida led 15-11.

Stone drew a walk to lead off Pagosa's fifth, stole second and moved to third on Marshall's infield out. Lopez hit a long fly caught at the fence in right center by Gerlach. Frank struck out but was safe at first when the catcher misplayed the pitch, Stone scoring. Frank, however, was out stealing and the Pagosa offense was done for the day.

So, too, was Salida's.

The Spartans' sixth opened with Phillips walking. Gerlach and Taylor both fanned and Stone got Smith on a grounder to second.

Pagosa's sixth was almost as fast.

Dach drew a walk but was out at second when he rounded the bag too far on Kern's single to center and was thrown out. Levi Gill grounded to short but Zeb Gill kept the inning alive drawing his third walk. Rivas ended the threat popping out to second.

Stone got three strikeouts sandwiched around a walk in the Salida seventh and Pagosa came in for its final effort.

Stone grounded out to third, Marshall lined to third. Lopez walked but Frank popped to the pitcher to end the game.

The Pirates will return to Bayfield this Saturday for a double header starting at 11 a.m.


Scoring: S-15 runs on 13 hits and 5 Pagosa errors; P-12 runs on 8 hits and 5 Salida errors. RBIs: P- Rivas, 1, Stone, 3, Marshall, 2, Frank 2, Caler 1; S- Taylor 4, Smith 3, Myers 2, Pierce 1; Losing pitcher, Lopez, winner Phillips.


Pee Wee Wrestlers place 30 of 43 in Bayfield tourney

The Pagosa Springs Pee Wee Wrestlers took 43 grapplers to a Bayfield tournament Saturday and returned with 30 medalists.

In Division I, Tyler Cowan placed first and Spencer Hill was fourth.

In Division II, Pagosa got first-place finishes from Nikolas Monteferrante and Chase Purcell; second-place finishes by Robert Courtney, Parker Hill, Chris Rivas and Morgan Shelton; third-place laurels to Keith Archuleta, Cody Kimsey, Chris Archuleta, Kyler McKee and Carter Walsh and a fourth place by Austin Courtney.

In Division III, Preston Sandoval and E.J. Romero placed first; Tyler Johnson and Travis Maley were second and Robert Koontz and Jesse Reed were fourth.

Division IV produced three firsts for Pagosa - Justine Smith, Travis Moore and Boone Stahlnecker. Shasta McMurry was second, Chris Pacheco third and Dillon Sandoval fourth.

Andy Abresch was first in Division V with Jackson Walsh second and Steven Smith and Caleb Pringle both third.

The Pagosans will travel to Bloomfield, N.M., this weekend to compete in the Four Corners championship tournament, the last regional tournament of the season.


39 teams open play in Ross Tourney tonight

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Thirty-nine basketball teams, continuous action on three courts, top players from around the Four Corners Area.

Sound like your kind of event?

It all begins tonight in Pagosa Springs as the 8th annual Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament gets underway.

Tipoff for the opening round is at 6:30 p.m. with all proceeds from the affair to benefit area students in the form of college scholarships.

Troy Ross, tournament director, said the final lineup shows 13 teams in the open division, 12 in the 6-foot and under division, eight in the 35 and over division, and six in the women's division.

And they come from a wide swath of the West.

Teams are entered from as far away as Safford and Phoenix , Ariz., from Wyoming and Oklahoma, from Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, from San Antonio, Texas and from Denver and Albuquerque.

Still other squads will represent Gunnison and Meeker, Santa Fe and Monte Vista, Trinidad and Greeley, Espanola and Dulce, Del Norte and Grand Junction and Farmington and Aztec.

Also represented will be Salt Lake City, Durango and Ignacio.

Games are scheduled in the high school, junior high school and Pagosa Springs Community Center gymnasiums.

Play resumes at 6 p.m. Friday and goes on all day Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m.

Championship games will begin at noon Sunday.

A slam dunk contest and three-point shooting contest are scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the junior high gymnasium.

There will be a small admission charge but lots of door prizes offered. You must be present to win.

The tournament was established in memory of two Ross brothers who died in a plane crash near Vallecito Reservoir and has traditionally provided scholarships for students from Pagosa Springs and Ignacio, the schools the brothers had attended.

If you didn't get your fill in the collegiate playoffs, if your favorite team didn't go all the way, this is an opportunity for you to get one last basketball fix before the season is officially over.

Many of the teams will feature college players whose seasons have ended, and referees will be provided from among the best in the region.


Leo V. Martinez

Leo V. Martinez passed away Sunday, April 6, 2003. He was 63 years old. Leo was born in Edith, Colo., Feb. 20, 1940, the son of Jose Eugenio Martinez and Siria A. Abeyta-Martinez.

Leo graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 1960 and joined the United States Marines Corp. in May of that year. He served as a Lance Corporal E4 on active duty for 2 1/2 years. After active duty, he lived at the State Veteran's Hospital in Ft. Lyons, Colo., periodically from 1962 until 1979 when he resided there permanently.

He was transferred to Home Lake Veteran's Hospital in January of 2002. Leo enjoyed playing the guitar.

He was preceded in death by his father, Jose Eugenio Martinez; his mother, Siria A. Abeyta-Martinez; and his sister, Lorenza Sanders.

He is survived by his brother, Gene Martinez of Chromo; his sister, Cleo Apodaca of Delta, Colo.; his brother, Fred Martinez of Pagosa Springs; his sister, Ramona Turbeville of San Antonio; his brother, Conrado Martinez of Cedar Hill, N.M.; his brother, Donald Martinez of Rio Rancho, N.M.; his sister, Alice Maez of Aztec; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Mass of Christian Burial for Leo Martinez was scheduled today at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Father John Bowe will officiate. Interment was in Hilltop Cemetery.

Debra Lee Kelly

April is the cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire

Debra Lee Kelly was born Jan. 30, 1953. On April 4, 2003, the gentle Kona breezes caressed her soul and lifted her on her final passage in this life.

A friend has said that Debra was larger than life. Indeed, she was. Like Midas, her touch was one of gold in whatever endeavor she chose.

To catalogue her skills and accomplishments would serve merely to limit her.

The memory bred of her life as a lawyer and leader mix with the desire as sharp as acid to have the lady we all loved back with us.

So are you to my thoughts as food to life,

Or as sweet-seasoned showers are to the ground.

We will never forget, nor ever stop loving you, Deb.

A celebration of Debra's life will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 16 at TLC on Fourmile Road.

Call TLC at 264-6200 for additional information.

Donations in Debra Kelly's name may be made to the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs, PO Box 1012, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Mary Hamilton

Mary Jane Harrison Hamilton, whose mother, Jane, and stepfather, Harry Hanson, are part-time residents of Pagosa Springs, passed away April 2, 2003, after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

She was born in Houston, Texas on March 17, 1960.

A graduate of Sharpstown High School in 1978 and from University of St. Thomas in 1982 with a bachelor of science degree in education, she married Paul Hamilton in 1985.

She taught at Bastian Elementary in the H1 School District for 17 years and for the past two years had been executive director of the PSH Foundation.

She was a lifetime member of he Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, past vice chairman of the Steer Starlettes and a member of the steer auction committee where, for her work, she was awarded the Chairman's Award and the Big Boy Award in the past year. She was also a member of the Houston Cosmopolitan Club.

She was preceded in death by her father, Raymond A. Harrison, DDS, who passed away in 1975.

Other survivors include her husband, Paul; a daughter, Jane Claire; stepmother, Patty Harrison; a brother, Raymond Harrison; stepbrothers Dr. R.D. Hanson, Gene Hanson, Bob Hanson and their families; stepsister Kathryn Beach; mother and father-in-law, Alice and James Hamilton; brother and sister-in-law Sid and Donna Traylor and family.

Services were held Saturday, April 5, 2003, in Houston.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Jane Claire Hamilton Memorial Trust Fund, Sterling Bank, 15000 Northwest Freeway, Houston, Texas 77040, attn: Mike Wells Jr.

Inside The Sun

PAWS initiates wastewater recycling facility plan


By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District staff got the go-ahead Tuesday night from the board of directors to begin preliminary planning for a possible wastewater reuse/filtration facility the district hopes to utilize as a water conservation tool.

While acknowledging specific funds aren't earmarked for the proposed plan, Gene Tautges, assistant district general manager, told the board an estimated, residual $500,000 may be available for the project if the current renovation and construction of the Vista wastewater treatment plant continues to progress under bid.

Tautges explained the factors supporting such a proposal are several. "During a drought year or not, wastewater is always going to be available," said Tautges, who added that 500,000-600,000 gallons of wastewater per day are currently passing through district treatment facilities.

"Even with our downstream commitments, we would have more than enough water to make the project worthwhile." Tautges explained that, if implemented, the facility would enable the district to use treated effluent to improve, among other things, irrigation capacity and lake levels while easing the strain on current and future water supplies.

Tautges also added that if the district could move forward with the project in a timely manner, additional future costs could likely be avoided.

"The way to save money on this project is to have them do it while they're still here," said Tautges, referring to Camp, Dresser & McKee Inc., an engineering firm out of Denver, and San Luis Valley-based Southwest Contracting. The two companies are currently working on other district initiatives and would likely be called upon to complete the proposed project.

Tautges added that in a worst-case scenario, if the anticipated leftover funds from the Vista project fail to materialize, the district could shelve the preliminary planning for the reuse facility until other sources of funding become available.

Before seeking the opinion of the board, Tautges indicated a complete, detailed preliminary engineering design for the project would cost roughly $80,000.

Board member Karen Wessels voiced support for the plan. "I don't think we'd be working toward our conservation plan if we didn't consider it," said Wessels.

Harold Slavinski, board chairman, agreed with Wessels but advised the board to consider approval of a minimal engineering design, one allowing for a prediction of total project cost, before going any further. "I hesitate to spend it all before we're sure," said Slavinski.

The board agreed, and a motion was passed directing staff to begin consulting with Camp, Dresser & Mckee Inc. in order to produce an initial outline for the project. The cost for the basic plan is estimated at roughly $17,000.

Drought Update

Current water level statistics provided by the district indicate Lake Forest, Lake Hatcher and Stevens Reservoir are full; Village Lake and Lake Pagosa are 8 and 43 inches below full pool, respectively.

After a brief debate on the possibility of easing restrictions to Level 1, the board decided to keep Level 2 water restrictions in place until further notice.

As a result, current watering hours remain unchanged, and residents may continue to perform outside watering (restricted to trees and shrubs) between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Residents who have addresses ending in even numbers may water on even-numbered days of the month; residents whose addresses end in odd numbers may water only on odd-numbered days of the month.

Appropriate watering methods include direct hose or deep rut applications, and sprinkler systems are prohibited.


Haynes named to fill school board vacancy

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The school board for Archuleta School district 50 Joint is now back at full strength with the appointment Tuesday of Mike Haynes to replace District 2 director Russel Lee who resigned when transferred by his employer to a new post in Durango.

Sitting members of the board picked Haynes for the post from a field of three applicants.

He will serve until the regularly scheduled November election and has indicated he probably will seek election to the post for a full term.

His wife, Laura, is a former member of the board, having served from 1993 through 1998.

Haynes was told his letter seeking the appointment was what sold the directors.

Randall Davis, board president, said he was "excited at having you as a member of the board. We were impressed by your service as a member of the superintendent search committee and by your apparent understanding of school business."

After taking the oath of office from Davis, Haynes was immediately seated on the board.


School board accepts Larry Lister resignation

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

He came up through the Pagosa Springs School system, graduating in 1969.

He returned to serve as a teacher and administrator and for the last 23 of his 29 years in the system has been principal of the Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

He is Larry Lister. His announced intention to resign the principal post and sever ties with the district at the end of this school year was accepted Tuesday night by the board of education.

Director Jon Forrest, at the end of the meeting, told the board and Lister, "We're losing a really great asset in this district.

"Larry," he added, "You've been a huge part of this district's success for a long time. You will be sorely missed," a comment which drew applause from all members of the board and from the audience and fellow administrators.

Lister said, jokingly, "I earned all these gray hairs."

He said he will join his wife in service with La Plata Electric. "It will be a lot more physically challenging and a lot less mentally stressing," he said.

Also accepted by the board Tuesday were the resignations of Sean Downing from his high school teaching position, and of Kate Kelley, a special education teacher.

The board was told that Downing has an interview scheduled today for a teaching position in Maine.

In other administrative action, the board granted requests for administrative leave for Susan Garman and for coaches Jim Shaffer, Bob Lynch, Wes Lewis and Rok Wilson.


County cleanup off to smooth start

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Over 350 cubic yards of solid waste were transferred to the Archuleta County landfill over the weekend from the first of several free collection sites being utilized during this year's county cleanup effort.

Clifford Lucero, county solid waste director, said work crews hauled 10 Dumpster loads from the Turkey Springs Trading Post between April 5 and April 7 and were anticipating more before the Dumpsters were removed from site, which served the Aspen Springs area through April 9.

Lucero also indicated that area residents are cooperating fully with the effort, which helps to ensure the cleanup will continue in future years.

"We're right on schedule," said Lucero. "People are really doing well; nobody is putting items on the sides of the Dumpsters or leaving things in prohibited areas. This has been the project's smoothest year, so far."

The cleanup is slated to continue through April 19, and the remaining schedule includes free Dumpsters being placed at the following locations:

- San Juan River Resort - on Alpine Drive near the treatment plant, April 12-16

- Holiday Acres - on Highway 84 opposite the north entrance, April 12-16

- Arboles - at the transfer station, April 19 (residential only, no trailer loads will be accepted).

The county landfill will accept free dumping April 12-16, but large items such as refrigerators and large freezers should be placed in the containers or taken to the landfill. Freon should be removed from such items before depositing.

Absolutely no paint, liquid or hazardous waste dumping will be permitted, and depositing waste in private Dumpsters is prohibited.

Due to the county's secure load ordinance, all loads are required to be covered, tarped or secured. A fine will be imposed on all loads that are not properly secured.

For more information, contact the county solid waste department at 264-0193.


Spring turkey season opens Saturday

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Area turkey hunters who are planning some last-minute scouting in order to prepare for the first of two Colorado turkey seasons have less than 48 hours to scope out likely habitat before the spring hunt opens April 12.

Those who haven't yet scouted and find themselves too busy to look for sign in the next two days will get their chance to discover how southwest Colorado flocks fared in light of last year's record drought when they go afield Saturday.

Since snow depth is the primary cause of mortality among turkeys, while this year's below-average snowfall did little to improve the drought, a relatively mild winter likely improved survival rates for last year's poults.

Considering the recent blizzard affecting the northern half of the state left the southwest reaches of the state untouched, chances are the region's flocks survived the winter with relative ease.

Although area sightings are reportedly down from last year, data collected by Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists reveals there is little to indicate capable hunters will meet with less success in the six weeks leading up to this year's season end May 25.

According to the Division, statewide turkey populations are at an all-time high, and public lands in southwest Colorado boast the greatest numbers of native birds - the subspecies known as Merriam's turkeys.

Since Merriam's turkeys inhabit ponderosa pine, oak brush and pinon/juniper terrain at elevations averaging 6,500-8,500 feet, such findings suggest a greater chance for local hunters to bag a gobbler without wandering far from home.

The other subspecies in Colorado, the Rio Grande, was introduced from central plains states in 1980 and inhabits mainly riparian areas such as river bottoms located adjacent to agricultural areas.

Hunters wishing to brush up on their skills can take advantage of a free seminar featuring master turkey hunter J.R. Keller tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Presented by H.S. Strut, the seminar will include gear selection, game calling and game tactics.

Some reminders for this year's hunters who are planning to participate in the spring turkey season:

- You do not need to register with the Harvest Information Program (HIP) to hunt turkeys in Colorado.

- State Wildlife Areas are closed to hunting.

- Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

- Bag and possession limit for the spring season is one bearded (male) turkey. However, with a limited spring license for all units or parts of units east of Interstate 25, hunters may take two bearded turkeys. One must be harvested with a limited license in a limited area, the second must be harvested with an unlimited license in an unlimited area. (If you take two turkeys in the spring, you cannot take a turkey in the fall season.)

For more information on this year's spring turkey season, pick up a copy of the turkey regulations brochure at area sporting goods stores or any DOW office, call (303) 297-1192, or visit the Division's Web site at http://wildlife.state.co.us/.


Navajo Lake opens for boating season, water recreation

Navajo State Park is open to boating for the 2003 season.

Park officials report that water levels at Navajo State Park's reservoir rose a foot in the past three weeks, and the silt and mud were removed from the ramp.

The ramp at Navajo State Park extends to the river channel allowing visitors to launch their boats with ease.

"Boaters can currently enjoy a 20-mile boat ride from the point of launch at the boat ramp to the dam," said Navajo State Park Manager John Weiss.

"Although the lake is lower than normal, it is still one of the largest lakes around offering excellent water recreation including water-skiing.

"With recent snowfalls and mud removal efforts, we are optimistic that boating at the park will remain stable throughout the year," added Weiss.

Navajo State Park staff will be in front of the Durango Wal-Mart shopping center April 19 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to answer questions about the park and sell 2003 Colorado State Parks passes and registrations.

For more information about Navajo State Park visit www. coloradoparks.org.

Statewide, 33 state parks are offering various types of water recreation, including boating, fishing, water-skiing, windsurfing, jet-skiing and swimming.

"Twenty state parks have already opened to boating this year and we're predicting favorable water levels through early summer," said Colorado State Parks Director Lyle Laverty.

Park officials remind visitors to use caution because the water may still be very cold, and always wear a Personal Floatation Device while boating.

Any boat with a motor or sail operated in Colorado for recreational purposes must be registered with Colorado State Parks.

An electronic registration renewal program and printable registration applications are available online at www. coloradoparks.org.

Mail completed applications to the Registration Office at 13787 S. Highway 85, Littleton, CO 80125.

After a day of boating, settle in for the night at Colorado State Parks.

Campsite reservations can be made at 33 state parks, offering nearly 4,000 campsites throughout Colorado. Visitors can reserve a campsite online at www.colorado parks.org or call the reservation office at (303) 470-1144 or (800) 678-2267 outside the Denver metro area.

For additional information on boating at state parks, call (303) 866-3437 or contact the individual parks offices. For updated water and boating reports or other conditions, visit www.colorado parks.org.

Click on www.parks.state.co.us/2003boatrampchart.htm for Colorado State Parks boat ramp information or access the attached PDF.


9Health Fair drew 620 participants, 250 volunteers

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The SUN

With 620 people attending the Fair and 250 volunteers working, the 2003 9Health Fair broke all past records.

People began to line up by 7:15 a.m. and at 8 sharp were able to begin taking advantage of screenings of every sort - breast exams, body in balance and much more. Health and safety information was everywhere.

One of the most active stations featured goggles which simulated the effect of alcohol. State patrol troopers could be seen encouraging people to try to walk a straight line under the influence of the goggles.

By far the benefit most utilized by participants was the low-cost blood chemistry analysis. Records show 578 of the participants went through that line. At the other end of the line during peak hours 20 people were drawing blood. All of the phlebotomists worked without break for the first two hours and many worked for four hours straight.

At the end of the morning, those seeking further information about their health took the time to stop and talk to a health care provider to discuss the results of their various screenings with either a doctor, a nurse or a pharmacist - another totally free medical benefit.

Bayfield and Durango are each having a 9Health Fair April 19. If you missed the Pagosa fair you can attend either of these or the many other fairs across the state.

The complete schedule can be found on the Web at www. 9HealthFair.org or e-mail 9HF@ 9HealthFair.org.


Keep the staff

Dear Editor:

I write this as a taxpayer, concerned citizen and health services consumer. The situation has reached crisis level. It no longer matters what has transpired in the past. We are at a dangerous impasse over this untenable situation.

When an entire staff walks out - it no longer matters who is to blame - there is a dysfunctional management problem and it should be quite obvious what has to be done.

We have had long and positive relationships with the doctors and staff of the Mary Fisher Clinic. We have been very fortunate to have such caring individuals attending to our health needs.

To replace the entire Mary Fisher staff would be fiscally imprudent - and certainly not in the best interests of this community. And it would definitely be a waste of taxpayers' money.

The board serves at the pleasure of the taxpayers in the district. I call on this board to do what is necessary to resolve this crisis immediately. The doctors and staff of the Mary Fisher Clinic are competent, diligent, professional and should be retained.

Lenore Bright

Keeping it simple

Dear Editor:

I would like to apologize to Mr. Sawicki for upsetting him with my inadvertently complicated remarks. As he said, I need to keep it simple, especially for simpleminded people. They are a little slow and have a hard time understanding basic principles, such as cause and effect (on the world stage). At least now I understand why he voted for a simpleton in the 2000 election.

I thank Jimbo for simplifying the issues though: Bush good - evil dictator bad; American foreign policy good - dissent bad; you're with us - you're against us; Pentagon in - United Nations out; love it - leave it. With simple black-and-white thinking like that is it any wonder that things are getting so complicated, and dangerous?

The mean admiral that called Sawicki "stupid" and told him to "keep it simple" must have really traumatized him. I'm so sorry. Perhaps he should seek therapy -from someone other than Rush Limbaugh.

D.C. Duncan

Favorite name

Dear Editor:

Over the years, Mr. Sawicki has called me many names, but I find his most recent, a "troglodyte," to be most fitting and hence my favorite.


Bob Dungan,


Take a stand

Dear Editor:

I don't know about the rest of the county, but I'm sick and tired of our health care being in jeopardy. I know the entire situation because I'm an employee and no I'm not afraid for my job anymore. I am sick and tired of being afraid for my job and to speak out. I'm a part-time employee and I'm sick. Sick for the people in this county.

People don't know this yet but the entire Mary Fisher Clinic Staff has given 30 days notice and has quit as well as the EMS physician advisor. Without a physician advisor EMS cannot operate. Which means no EMS, no ambulance and many part-time EMS staff have quit as well as one full-time paramedic that has been railroaded into quitting his position. How can you stand for this?

Stand up and be counted. Speak up and tell your board to do something now or step down and make room for someone who will do something now. We need a board who will make the changes necessary as quickly as possible. This is an ongoing problem that our present board is too under the control of the manager to do anything about. Anyone who has been at any of the recent board meetings can see that the manager is running the show.

I know the health care in this community is in real jeopardy. This is not the next guy's problem that you can turn your head to. This is your problem. It is the problem of every person in the county to do something about. You can make a difference.

Please feel free to contact your board and let them know how you feel. Your board members are Ken Morrison, Patty Tillerson, Sue Walan, Wayne Wilson and Martha Garcia.

David Gottlieb

Editor's note: One of the most troublesome elements in the health services district situation is the proliferation of rumor.

The personal reactions expressed in your letter must be considered valid. It is necessary to point out, however, that the EMS physician, as of press time, has agreed to stay on in the capacity until it is filled by someone else. EMS continues to operate.

Great touch

Dear Editor:

There are so many special people in our little home town and I want to mention one.

Jace Johnson uses the marquee of Liberty Theatre for much more than simply advertising his current offering.

Imagine having a friend or family member in the military and then looking up and seeing their name on the marquee for all of us to view.

A great touch of support for our troops. Thanks Jace.

Cindy Gustafson

What's priority?

Dear Editor:

Just when I thought I'd truly found Paradise within the Healing Waters of Pagosa, I'm wondering if the water here is turning to quicksand.

That's how it felt when I was told last week that Diane, one of our compassionate, gifted nurses at the Mary Fisher Medical Clinic, was the latest casualty of the clinic "wars."

It was just last week that she gently and patiently reassured me by phone re my virus symptoms, and the best ways to care for myself until the symptoms subsided.

Each week in the past several months my stomach would curl into knots just reading about how our medical staff was enduring the latest trials and tribulations, from losing their office manager to patronizing, unprofessional and yes, even unethical treatment at the hands of the "management" team. Is this any way to run a medical clinic?

The articles and hearsay were just that, words and innuendo to me until hearing of Diane's resignation ... that really hit home.

When the care of our citizens is now threatened, as our caring, professional staff keeps dwindling, don't you think this has gone on long enough?

What is the priority here? Politics and egos, or the best care of Pagosa residents and visitors alike?

Come on, board members, do what's right.


Suzan Joy


Dear Editor:

It is with profound sadness that I am resigning from the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center as of May 1, 2003. These last eight years have been the best of my career because of you, my patients, and the support you've given to me. I intend to stay in Pagosa Springs, and to be involved in health care, in some form or another. Please stay tuned.

The problems that the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center are going through now are devastating for the employees as well as the community. By resigning en masse, we hoped to show the severity of the situation to the public.

When we leave, the problems will still be there. It will just take awhile for the new employees who take our place to realize the situation.

The good news is, according to the organizational chart developed and passed by the board of directors this past March, the taxpayers and customers are at the very top. That puts you over the board of directors, over the district manager and all the other USJHSD employees. To me, that means you're in a very powerful position right now. I feel it's time for the community to step in and help make the tough decisions that are critical to this community's health care.


Susan Kuhns

Board work

Dear Editor:

I was elected to the USJHS District Board of Directors almost three years ago, at a time of financial turmoil and severe morale problems, resulting in the resignation of the district manager, Bill Bright, just 10 months later.

Over the following year, members of the board worked diligently to turn things around until we could afford to hire another district manager. Dee Jackson was hired to reorganize the way we do business, since it was apparent we were on a destructive path. We believed the taxpayers deserved a professionally-run health service and we would provide this through Dee's leadership.

The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center has lost patient business slowly over the past six months or so as patients report being subjected to complaints from caregivers while there for medical care. Some have stated that the clinic is no longer a medical clinic but rather a political clinic.

Our public board meetings have been an embarrassment to the community as employees have engaged in unprofessional, disruptive behavior.

The public must understand that the board meetings are business meetings, not employee staff meetings. Folks serving on the board as representatives of the taxpayers receive no compensation for time and effort and current board members have no personal agenda but to provide quality health care to this community.

Patty Tillerson

Total frustration

Dear Editor:

For over 20 years I have practiced family medicine in Pagosa Springs. This has been through the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center and always with some help from this community.

Medical care provision has long been a difficult proposition in rural areas. Witness the very formation of the Dr. Mary Fisher Center 44 years go by community action and donations. Currently, medical care provision is deeply troubled by a national crisis.

I have worked diligently with the community to establish and advance a viable, high quality facility and organization which can ensure medical care availability, with enhancement over time. The process has had success, though not without difficult deliberations and decisions over time. Public functions are usually more cumbersome than private enterprise. But I strongly believe public input and support are critical, today more than ever, in community health.

Through the committed time and diligence of all our staff, families and others, we have established a cohesive team at the Dr. Mary Fisher Center. We take pride in our work. Fiscal matters, as you know, have been difficult. Fiscal crisis in the Health Service District has put a terrible strain on our team for several years. Due emphasis on this crisis by many, including, again, you the community, and the district manager, has enabled good current control of this situation.

Unfortunately, a new crisis has arisen over the last year which now will destroy the Dr. Mary Fisher Center as you know it. This is a crisis of conflict and miscommunication between management, including the board, and staff, which has led to total frustration and dissatisfaction in the workplace.

Almost uniformly, the district employees feel disrespect from management. The problem has grown for months, as the front page of this paper has documented. Management efforts have been insufficient and ineffectual. In fact, increasing pleas by staff and the public have been destructively met with by an attitude of defiance and a redoubled effort to deal with personnel issues through impersonal rules and regulations. The district board of directors, reduced in size by resignations and member business commitments, and without a chairman, continues with "business as usual," ill-advised by the district manager.

Thus, regretfully, in total frustration, the entire staff of the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center resigns, effective in 30 days. I personally hope expedient resolution of issues is possible; this remains to be seen.

The staff is involved in planning how we can best avoid hardship to our patients; we will keep you informed.

Mark Wienpahl, M.D.

Pray for peace

Dear Editor:

With David Mitchell dead and John Motter no longer there, I doubt there's anyone left there who remembers me.

I was the author of the long-ago column Cultura y Tradicion, writing the history of early Hispanic settlers in Archuleta County. In fact, it was John Motter who encouraged me to write and Mr. Mitchell who kept me on the right track.

When I remarried after my first husband passed away, David had a hard time with my new name and would say to me, "Hello, Mrs. Martinez, I mean Valdez." I would answer "That's all right, I call you Mr. Edmonds sometimes."

You asked for local opinions on the war in Iraq, so here is mine.

When I turned 75 one of my children gave me a book for my birthday entitled "Witness to Hope" by George Weigel. It is the biography of Pope John Paul II who was witness to atrocities and persecutions by terrorists and communists during World War II, starting in Poland and ending with the whole world at war.

It took me a year to finish that book and when I did, my husband asked, "Did you learn anything?"

I answered, "Yes, I did. The Pope says freedom is a fragile commodity, and judging by the lives of our servicemen and other people whose lives are broken and destroyed during a war, he is right."

John Paul II does not encourage war, but encourages peace achieved by prayer and peaceful communication among world leaders. But there are times when war is the only way to keep freedom.

Last night I heard a general on television saying this war is about liberation, not occupation and that reminded me of a question I asked my husband who was a POW during World War II.

I said, "Why does the United States always have to go defend every nation when they are fighting?" His answer was, "If we hadn't gone to stop Hitler when he was killing his own people and Jews in Germany, he would have come to do it here."

Today, after 9/11, we know they can come and do it here.

Speaking of books, I just finished another from Pope John Paul II entitled: "Crossing the Threshold of Hope."

His message is: "Be Not afraid."

Thank God we have a president who is not afraid to stand up and defend our country and others who need our help.

We had four boys and five girls. There was a time when we had two boys in Vietnam and one in Korea.

By the grace of God all came home safe and sound. Their father was a sheep rancher when he was inducted into the service and completed his training. But, because the government needed wool for warm army coats, his deferment was granted a few days before his unit went overseas. I've always considered that a miracle granted through prayer.

Pray for our soldiers and world peace and for the innocent people of Iraq.

Carina Martinez Valdez

Deserving support

Dear Editor:

In a free society people have the right to express opinions, but they should be informed and responsible. For Mr. Stampfer (SUN 4/3) to equate our President with past tyrants, Americans' support of our administration with German, Japanese and Italian support for theirs, and the current war of liberation with their immortal aggression, is irresponsible. Is he not informed about President Bush's 70-percent plus and the war's 82-percent plus approval rating?

His citing "preemptive strikes" is misinformed given the fact that the war is not unilateral but, following failed UN diplomacy and enforcement of 18 resolutions over 12 years, is being conducted by a coalition of 40 active and 50 supportive nations. Leading Muslim clerics are appealing for support of the coalition.

Why is Mr. Stampfer gullibly impressed by the millions of demonstrators who are not really pro-peace or anti-war but anti-U.S.? The prestigious Destaque Internacional reports: "The worldwide anti-war protests in more than 600 cities are part of a socialist conspiracy." Organizers are "the Italo-Brazilian Jose Luiz Del Roio, director of 'Ponto Rosso' (Red Point), the Belgian Marxist Francois Houtart, the Hungarian Istvan Maszaros and the Egyptian Samir Amin," all communists whose "objective and strategy are to create in American public opinion a counterweight to the conservative government." Fortunately, their influence is waning as people learn the truth.

Contrast the disheveled, often unruly and violent, demonstrators, flaunted by our media, who in TV interviews cannot explain their action rationally, who carry flags to burn, desecrate the stars with peace symbols, and bear them upside down and backwards, with the true patriots, who often outnumber the mobs, behave properly, and wave thousands of flags respectfully, but seldom are portrayed by the media.

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Weizel recently said on TV "if people of Europe applied as much pressure on Saddam to disarm as they do on England and the U.S. they could achieve peace without war." Where are Mr. Stampfer's and the demonstrators' pressure against Saddam's, not the war's, injustices: raping, beheading and hanging women, cutting out tongues, shooting fleeing refugees, starving 1,300 children under age 5 and many others, gassing thousands, killing uprising Muslims, etc.? If he lived under this maniacal tyrant, he would be the first to scream for liberation by any nation willing to use any means at any cost. Why does he not cry out for the freedom of the oppressed Iraqis?

Worldwide apathy, organized anti-Americanism, and greed of many nations' leaders occasioned the rapid rise of tyranny, oppression and terrorism. The U.S. which has liberated billions, and her allies stand alone against these evils and deserve everyone's support. Unless we all unite in that fight, whatever means are necessary to win, diplomatic or military, we will all become victims. The military includes soldiers who are willing to die for Mr. Stampfer and safeguard his freedom to express his opinion.

Eugene Witkowski

Community News
Senior News

Let's tap the stories in the minds of our senior citizens

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

We have some amazing stories and history contained in the minds of our seniors that need to be shared.

Volunteers are asked to talk with people and tape and/or transcribe their stories.

This would be a wonderful opportunity for newcomers to this town to hear about early Pagosa, or for younger people who don't realize that "old people" had some amazing adventures in their younger years, as well as sage advice to give.

If you would like to get in on this opportunity, give us a call at the senior center 264-2167.

April Fools Day was fun at the center. Dawnie served a Seniors' Choice meal consisting of green chile with pork, tortillas and her famous cinnamon rolls. Seeds of Learning kids sang new songs for us as well.

We had at least one prankster in the group who hid our piano music, but otherwise the group was under control. After lunch, Betty James gave us information about planting in this area, and then we got some seeds started.

We are interested in starting a raised-bed garden next to the senior center and Betty (as a master gardener) can get us a discount on material. If anyone is interested in donating time, funds or materials, please contact Laura at the center and we can create a senior garden.

Ron Alexander's presentation about archaeology last month was so well received that he is scheduled to talk again about ancient humans April 11. His talk will be longer and more in depth this time, so come and see all the neat stuff he will be bringing in. He will be in the dining room this time because we are also having our free movie ("Road to Perdition") the same day at 1 p.m. in the lounge. Popcorn is only 25 cents.

Mike Greene is an attorney from Cortez who will be talking April 16 about scams and fraud and how to avoid them. He has a lot of information and good advice, so come and ask questions.

Would you be interested in joining a chess club at the center? Give us a call at 264-2167 and we will see if we have enough people to participate. Your move!

We are going to Durango for a shopping trip today and Sky Ute Casino Tuesday. If you are a senior and interested in going on either trip, call immediately for signup. These trips are popular and fill up fast.

Avoid mistakes in buying long-term care insurance.

About 10 percent of people over 60 have long-term care insurance and more are getting protected every day. But some have overpaid or have obtained a qualified policy and would be better with a nonqualified policy or vice vera. Find out who needs this insurance and who doesn't and how not to overpay.

There is a free booklet available that shows retirees how to save costs, determine if they need long-term care insurance, where to get it, and how to get your premiums refunded if you do not use the insurance. Call (800) 559-9712, 24 hours a day to get your copy of a booklet that is must-reading for retirees. It is for people under 80 who do not already have long-term care insurance.

Upcoming events

Friday: 10 a.m. Qi Gong, 11 a.m. Medicare counseling with Jim Hanson, 12:30 p.m. Paleo Indians of Pagosa with Ron Alexander, 1 p.m. free movie day.

April 14: 1 p.m., Bridge for Fun

April 15 : 9:30 a.m. yoga, 10:30 advanced computer class, 1 p.m. trip to Sky Ute Casino.

April 16: 10:30 a.m. beginning computer class, 12:30 p.m. Don't be a victim of crime, fraud or scams, with Mike Green.

April 17: trip to Durango.

Veterans Corner

Office to close for training conference

By Andy Fautheree

The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office will be closed April 16-18 while I attend the annual Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs spring training conference in Denver.

Veterans can leave a message on my answering machine and I will return their call when I return April 21. Veterans needing to schedule one of the VSO vehicles for transport to their VA health care appointments can contact Jan Santopietro in the county commissioners' office at 264-2536 for the schedule.


The 9HealthFair last Saturday appeared to be a huge success judging by the tremendous turnout. Every year it seems to grow in popularity as a means to obtain low cost, thorough health care screening.

The Veterans Service Office was on hand, meeting and helping veterans with possible benefits, especially with the popular VA health care program. I met many old veteran friends and quite a few new veterans.

This is the second year to participate in the 9HealthFair. I always enjoy participating in these kinds of outreach programs for the Veterans Service Office to seek out and help veterans that for one reason or another haven't been able to come to my office.

New veteran contacts

I heard repeatedly at the 9HealthFair as veterans dropped by my table they had intended to stop by the VSO office, but just hadn't got around to it for one reason or other. They were glad for the opportunity to discuss VA health care and other VA benefits while they were at the 9HealthFair.

Virtually every new veteran I met signed up for VA health care.

As regular readers of this column know, recent changes in eligibility for VA health care have made it a little more difficult to obtain this benefit. Last week I expressed my thinking the winds of change could turn this eligibility problem around and again make VA health care available to nearly all honorably discharged veterans regardless of income or financial resources.

VA health care signup

I continue to strongly recommend all veterans sign up for this important and low-cost VA benefit, so they will already be enrolled and "in the system" when and if new eligibility rules are reversed from the recent trends that base availability on income and financial levels.

Veterans already enrolled and in the VA health care computer systems should be a step ahead in receiving patient care with the VA when the priority level change takes place.

One of the side benefits of VA health care that affects many of our veterans is low-cost prescription drugs.

To obtain prescription drugs through the VA health care system, you have to be an active patient with the VA. The VA doctor will then prescribe the medications through the VA mail order pharmacy program.

Prescription drugs

Frequently, obtaining low-cost prescription drugs is the main reason some veterans want to sign up for VA health care. Many are on Social Security and Medicare, which currently do not include low-cost prescription drugs.

Veterans often tell me they do not have any current need for health care services. They are in good health or have other health care providers.

However, VA health care is not an insurance program and you do not pay premiums. It is a co-pay fee based service that you pay for only when you use the service. At the minimum a veteran patient can received a complete physical exam, including complete blood workup, once a year for the current co-pay cost of $15.

Stay in the system

A yearly physical is cheap health insurance for most of us, and something all of us should have anyway. A yearly VA health care checkup will keep the veteran on the active patient roles.

By staying in the VA system the veteran will be "grand-fathered," which could be important if it once again becomes difficult for new enrollment in the future. Once in, the veteran won't be dropped from the service.

However, a veteran could be dropped from active patient status if he or she has not used the service for two years or more. They would be required to enroll again as a new patient under any current priority guidelines or availability that might be in affect.

Patient loads are very high at many VA medical facilities, which is one of the main reasons the VA has began to limit access to the service by applicants with higher incomes. But if you're already in, and stay in, the chances are you won't be dropped from the service regardless of changes in priority guidelines.

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 (next to the driver's license office).

The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949 and E-mail is afautheree@ archuleta county.org. The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs and for filing in the VSO office.

Chamber News

Basketball tourney April 10-13;

Easter egg hunt set for April 12

Sally is on the road and Karl is clamoring for an article before the normal Monday deadline, so I have been forced to start my nap a little late on Friday morning in order to keep the good citizens of Pagosa up to date on our spring happenings.

Ross tournament

March Madness addicts can get one last basketball fix as the 8th annual Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament hits the gym floors starting tonight and continuing through the weekend.

Anyone else looking for a great time and lots of exciting action is also invited to attend. Those unfamiliar with this annual event may be surprised to find that the best basketball talent from miles around descends on Pagosa for this tournament.

With three divisions (Open, 6 feet and under, 35 years and over) and multiple competitions (regular play, slam-dunk contest, 3-point shootout) this tournament offers something for any sports fan.

Action takes place April 10, 11, 12 and 13. Look for more information on times and locations in today's SUN. Proceeds go to scholarship funds in Pagosa and Ignacio, so come on out and enjoy the action.

Home show

During your free time this weekend you'll want to take a trip out to the county Extension building and spend a little time strolling through the Pagosa Springs Builder's Association Home Show. Whether you're looking for someone to build your new home or some ideas to upgrade your current abode, the home show has it all. The show runs Saturday and Sunday so set some time aside to check out all the great exhibits at this year's show.

Easter egg hunt

We've already had so many calls on this that it's a relief and pleasure to report that there will indeed be an Easter egg hunt this year.

You can take all your little egg seekers armed with their baskets to the Ralph Eaton Recreation Center located at 45 Eagles Loft Circle in Pagosa Lakes Saturday, April 12 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Obviously, all parents need to be armed with cameras because there are always the most amazing photo ops at these events guaranteed to inspire oohs and aahs for years to come.

Fish fry

Tomorrow marks the last day for the Knights of Columbus Lenten Fish Fry.

They'll be serving up their last portions of delicious catfish, French fries, cole slaw, hush puppies, corn muffins and ice cream dinner. The other wonderful plus about the fish fry is that you get to see everyone in town and even some visitors.

Don't miss your final opportunity to enjoy great food and good company.

Volunteer fair

The invitations have been sent to all organizations and non-profits to take advantage of the opportunity to gain some new volunteers for the upcoming season.

If your organization did not receive the invitation, please contact Doug at 264-2360 or just stop by the Visitor Center to pick one up.

We had a grand time last year at this event and are looking forward to another day searching for new blood and talent in the volunteer department.

This year's fair will be held Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the community center all-purpose room.

Booths will be set up for each participant to display information, brochures, pictures or whatever it is that will educate folks as to what they do. Last year organizations picked up quite a few new volunteers, and we hope that this year will be as successful.

Booth fee is $35 for first-time participants and $25 for those that participated last year. If you have questions, please give us a call at 264-2360. If your organization is looking for volunteers, the Volunteer Recruitment Fair just may be the answer.

Susie and John

Yet another FoPA opportunity presents itself April 11 and 12 when John Graves and Susie Ewing from Durango team up once again for a performance entitled "Songs for a Spring Evening."

Susie Ewing is the classic small package with very large talent and range and energy to burn. She offers an amazing "menu" of musical genres and performs them all with engaging professionalism. She's incredibly entertaining, and I needn't tell you that our John Graves is the consummate professional and musician.

The two shows will be held at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 so you can enjoy hors d'oeuvres and/or dessert before the performance.

Tickets for "Songs for a Spring Evening" are $15 until Friday at 3 p.m. and $18 at the door. You can purchase tickets at WolfTracks, the Chamber of Commerce or The Plaid Pony.

Passport to Opportunity

Joe Keck, our local representative of the Colorado Small Business Development Center, sends word of a seminar for small businesses with something to offer our government.

Scheduled for Wednesday, April 23 from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the San Juan Community College in Farmington, "Passport to Opportunity: How To Get Through The Government Contracting Door," offers helpful information on how to get a piece of the government contract pie.

For more information on this seminar, contact the Small Business Administration in New Mexico at (505) 346-6753.

If you want to know if this seminar is worth your time, call Keck at 247-7009.

Business counseling

Don't forget Keck also offers free counseling sessions to local businesses each month.

He'll be in Pagosa April 22. If you would like to set up an appointment with Keck, give the Chamber a call at 264-2360 and speak to Doug.


Two new members, one new owner and eight renewals this week. So, let's get to it.

Our first new member needs no introduction, but here it is anyway. We are happy to welcome the Creede Repertory Theatre to our family. Creede Repertory Theatre offers some of the best small theater entertainment in the country every summer. They're located at 124 Main St. in Creede and you can contact them at (866) 658-2540 or check out their Web site at www.creederep.com.

Next, we want to welcome Angi and Bryan Crutchley with Alpine Technology Solutions, Inc. at P.O. Box 4715, here in Pagosa. They offer 21 years of experience "using technology and organization to simplify your life." Featuring security, home automation, home networks, multi-room audio-video and storage solutions for bedrooms, pantries, garages and offices, they definitely have something for everyone. Give them a call at 731-9090 or check out their Web site at alpineonline. us. You can also e-mail them at sales@alpineonline.us.

Our first renewal rejoins with a new owner. Monograms Plus Leather is now owned by Mike and Martha McMullin. Still located at 510 San Juan St., next to Wells Fargo Bank Downtown, Monograms Plus Leather offers custom embroidery, screen printing, letter jackets and heat transfers. Their phone number is 264-5050 or you can e-mail them at scadamike@aol.com.

Our next renewal is Margie Hollingsworth, LPC in Lubbock, Texas. Margie offers licensed professional counseling to women in Texas and Colorado. She can be reached locally at 946-4716 or in Lubbock at (806) 793-7712. You can e-mail her at Margiehlpc@cs.com.

Moving right along, we have Bryan Madsen with All American Plumbing. Give Bryan a call at 731-3339.

We also get Lori Madsen with Loredana's Restaurant and Bar. Give Lori a call at 731-5135 or drop her an e-mail at loredanas@pagosa.net.

Tom and Judy Thigpen are back with Indian Head Lodge located deep in the San Juan National Forest. With lodging, fuel and a convenience store, they offer a true summer getaway. Their phone number is 731-2282 and you can check them out at their Web site, pagosalodging.com or e-mail them at jody0202@cs. com.

Petra Joy and Joy Automotive offer complete car service, metal work and parts. Call them at 731-3459 or drop them an e-mail at petra@obii.net.

Bank of the San Juans rejoins the chamber to meet all your banking needs. Give them a call at 264-1818.

Jerry Jackson re-ups as a real estate associate member with Coldwell Banker. Call him at 731-2000 or e-mail him at pagosasprings@hotmail.com.

And, finally, John and Jenny Schoenborn rejoin as associate members.

Library News

State funding crisis potential disaster for libraries

By Lenore Bright

Today we are supposed to be celebrating National Library Week. It is that time of the year when we should be happily contemplating extended services to our patrons, making plans for the popular summer reading program, and ordering new books that you have requested.

It should be business as usual.

But how can it be? Pictures of our dear sons and daughters currently in harm's way appear on the front page. We've watched many of them grow up in the library. Until they are back safe, there can be no "business as usual."

And here at home, this has become a year of challenges, funding uncertainties and much questioning. As I write this, the governor and legislators are cutting more library funding that will have devastating consequences to all rural libraries away from the Denver metropolitan area.

These cuts, along with other harmful cuts to all types of public services are partly the result of the TABOR amendment passed a number of years ago.

Our representative, Mark Larson has been writing about this in several of his columns. Understanding the ambiguities written into the amendment is a time-consuming job. Most people have no idea what this piece of legislation did to the many government agencies in our state. We sometimes forget that all of the services we depend upon are paid for by property taxes.

If you live in the boondocks without the need for any public assistance whatsoever, if you have no need for health services, no need for law protection, no need for paved roads, no need for water or sewer, no need for fire protection, no kids to send to public schools.

But wait, I think that's the way it used to be. Didn't we eventually figure out that if we all worked together and chipped in, we could accomplish great things? Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.

The tax cuts we face today are sadly chipping away some of the progress we've made in the past 30 years in all areas of public service. Important infrastructure is being done away with. Some public health services are just gone. Other services we've come to rely on and assume were our right will be no more.

Until the voting public understands what they had, and what they are losing, and what the costs will be to rebuild the services that are now being cut, our legislators' hands are tied.

And those of us who serve the public will be given the distasteful job of trying to explain why we can no longer offer the service you've come to expect.

By next week I will know the outcome. But as of now, we've been advised that Colorado libraries will lose a total of $7.3 million dollars used to underwrite the cooperative programs among libraries. This will also result in our loss of more than $1.8 million in federal funds.

These cooperative programs allowed libraries to save millions of dollars in interlibrary loans, courier services, the state library Internet network, education for library staff members in small rural libraries, and most of the cooperative purchasing discounts. In other words, it will cost more to give less service.

They eliminated the Denver Public Library Resource Center that served us so well with interlibrary loans. They eliminated the funding for libraries that bought $2 million dollars worth of educational materials that we all shared with our patrons free of charge. The Colorado information infrastructure will be nonexistent if they go through with this latest decision to eliminate the seven regional library service systems that we depend on.

So we are supposed to be celebrating National Library Week. The war and these dismal funding issues dim any thought of celebration.

Instead, we'll trust that the world news will be much better in the weeks to come for our people in uniform, and for everyone living under this dreadful cloud of war and uncertainty.


Dakota Walter, along with his parents, Clancy and Jason Walter, welcomed Burke Thomas into the world Feb. 21, 2003. He weighed 8 pounds, 1.3 ounces. Maternal grandparents are Dorothy and Allen Trefethen and paternal grandparents are Sharon and Harold Walter, all of Pagosa Springs. Great-grandparents are Earl and Birdie Ashcroft of Mancos and Lucille Walter of Las Vegas.

Business News

Tom Thorpe owns and operates Top Lab Consulting Services and has done business in the area since last year.

Top Lab Consulting Services provides customers with water and wastewater field testing, Colorado Primary Drink Water Standards analyses and work leading to a Colorado-certified water system. Thorpe provides septic system project management and general project management and can assist individual property owners, contractors and developers with their needs.

To contact Thorpe and Top Lab Consulting Services, call 264-5253 or fax 264-0309.


Joyce Delgado

Irene S. Lucero, mother of Joyce V. (Lucero) Delgado, would like to announce Joyce's pending graduation from Colorado Christian University, May 10, in Lakewood.

A former resident of Pagosa Springs, Joyce has earned her bachelor of science degree in organizational management with an emphasis in human resources. She plans to pursue a master's degree in the same field.

Joyce and her children, Micaela and Anthony, currently reside in Grand Junction.



By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

It's time to cut loose - footloose that is.

Kick off those shoes.

Move those feet and harken back to the Kenny Loggins classic.

"Loose, footloose

Kick off your Sunday shoes

Please, Louise

Pull me offa my knees

Jack, get back

C'mon before we crack

Lose your blues

Everybody cut, everybody cut,

everybody cut, footloose!"

Since the beginning of February, a cast of 30 at the Pagosa Springs High School has been brushing up on their '80s moves in preparation for their own production of "Footloose," the musical as adapted from the 1984 movie.

In the story, Ren, a big-city boy with a leather jacket, messy hair and those cheap black shades, rolls into small-town America and bumps up against the conservative values of a local minister while trying to woo his wild-child daughter. In an attempt to protect the county's teens from "corruption," all dancing and popular music has been outlawed in the town. Problems arise when the local high school youth, including the Rev. Shaw Moore's daughter, can't seem to keep from shaking things up.

It's the end of the disco era. It's the beginning of those odd, jerky '80s movements, lots of jumping and head jerking. Oh, yes, and don't forget the lifts.

Combine the storyline with the energy of dance, and it's a surefire recipe for fun, something apparent in the faces of the entire cast, including several taking their first step onto the high school stage.

"The music is all upbeat," Angelica Leslie said.

"It's fun," Hattie Mayne said. "You can improvise and have a lot of fun doing it."

Besides, she added, "It's not miserable acting. We're smiling and laughing the whole time."

"There's so much energy," Sara Baum said. "It's really entertaining because so many things are going on at the same time."

In one large dance scene, Ren flings himself across stage on a rope swing, while others perform lifts and still more slide across stage doing the "audition step." At the same time, they are singing "I'm Free." It's a mad rush of activity that leaves many breathing hard at the end of practice.

Choreographer Dale Morris said moves in the high-energy dance numbers are a combination of the student's suggestions and her own research.

"There wasn't a video of the Broadway production available so I watched John Travolta, got some dance videos from New York and did some research on the Internet as to what steps were done."

Together, she and some of the students watched the videos early in rehearsal.

"A lot of it comes from the kids themselves," she said. "I would say I've use 99 percent of their ideas someplace in the musical."

Anyone can dance, she said. It's just a matter of finding their unique talents and bringing them out.

For Chelsea Taylor, that's been both the best and most challenging part of rehearsals.

"The dancing is so much fun," she said. "It's so '80s. It's so dorky. I was just like I have to do this."

Her two biggest challenges, she said, were learning to sing and dance at the same time and remembering not to look at her feet.

"You have to admit, '80s dancing was so messed up," she said. "It's a fun play, a sweet play. It keeps your attention on it and you'll laugh through the whole thing."

Director Lisa Hartley said the "Footloose" script only became available for amateur productions last year, making this a fresh opportunity for the students. The script also allows for several stars to shine instead of flashing the spotlight on just one person.

"There are a lot of leads, lots of solos, duets and trios." Hartley said. That adds both variety and challenge.

In one such scene, Chris Baum, Ben DeVoti and Tim McAlister must combine choreography, character and the song, "The Girl Gets Around." For all three, it's their first experience in a Pagosa Springs high school production.

"Getting the notes right in our song," is the greatest challenge for DeVoti. "I'm not the most talented vocalist," he said. To put it all together, they've run their song, "over and over and over." They start with problem spots and slowly add in the choreography.

"It's really synchronized, intense," DeVoti said. "A lot of it is timing-based and technical, but I think it's going to come together great in the end."

Casey Kiister, who is a member of the high school choir and plays Ren's uncle in "Footloose," said the musical is stretching his vocal talents as well.

"I'm suppose to be singing bass, but this song has me sing high," Kiister said. "In choir the highest I ever have to hit is middle F. Here I have to go from middle F up to high B."

McAlister said the repetition was really sinking in. "Every morning I wake up with a different song in my head."

But they're putting it all together, getting those moves down and learning to let loose, perhaps the biggest challenge, Morris said.

"It's pretty much just coaching now," she said. "I keep telling them to, 'Just throw yourself into being silly.'"

The sets are made. The fights have been practiced. Roller skating is even involved. Store signs, even some with lights, move in and out. Twelve crew members are practiced and ready to move curtains, sometimes four at once. The orchestra, a bass, guitar, percussion, saxophone, flute, clarinet, keyboard, piano and drums are tuned and ready to go. The Loggins sheet music is in place.

So break out those leg warmers, the neon and the second-skin jeans and come to the high school ready for a foot stomping good time starting tonight at 7 p.m.

Pagosa's Past

Joe Mann - outlaw or adventurer?

By John Motter

Old Joe Mann. Was he a murderer hiding from the law in the pioneer San Juan wilderness? Or was he just another of the restless adventurers who came west looking for excitement?

When I sat around during the 1970s, listening to old-timers talk about the early days in Pagosa Country, one name was sure to pop up. Old Joe Mann. Then, when I started reading original documents, Mann's existence was confirmed.

Military reports from Old Fort Lewis reveal that Mann had a contract to supply hay for the horses in 1878. A copy of an 1870 census of the San Juan area by special agent Cyrus Arny from New Mexico showed Joe Menn as being in Pagosa Country very early for a white man.

A glance on a San Juan National Forest map of the upper East Fork of the San Juan River shows a place identified as the Joe Mann Cabin. It is for real. Old Joe Mann is said to be buried nearby.

Mann's aspen log cabin was located on the old government road across Elwood Pass not far from the Black Diamond Mine. He died Aug. 4, 1912, at the age of 86 years.

During his last illness, he was cared for by Wade and Ella Warr, who were running the Black Diamond Mine at the time. Pagosa resident Bill Warr is the son of Wade and Ella. According to Bill, Mann had been a civil engineer back east. For some reason, he killed a man, walked across a bridge he was building and disappeared forever into the unknown west.

Mann was associated with the Summitville mining activity that was humming along as early as 1870, several years before Pagosa Springs was founded. Early editions of the Del Norte Prospector, that community's pioneer newspaper, refer to him quite frequently.

His long residence on the San Juan East Fork is connected with the mining activity associated with the early days of that location near the headwaters of the river. Along Elwood Pass was the town of Elwood, an active mining community that even boasted of a post office.

Downstream from Elwood, probably near where Silver Creek crosses the road still threading up the valley, was a community known as Bowentown. The remains of a few log cabins remain to identify the site of Bowentown. Among the chief residents of Bowentown was Lemuel Laughlin, the father of John Laughlin and the grandfather of Warr's wife.

The serenity of the East Fork area today is deceiving, when compared to the activity up there when it was the center of an intense search for gold. Every nook and cranny in that part of the San Juan Mountains has probably felt the probe of a prospector's pick. It was the search for gold, after all, that lured the first white men into the San Juan Mountains.

In his younger years, Old Joe Mann homesteaded further down the San Juan River. He was the first to build the log cabin known today as the McCarthy Cabin. The same cabin was earlier known as the Whit Newton Cabin and at one time housed Thomas and Mary Murphy.

The Murphys were among the last full-time residents of the East Fork area. Tom Murphy was born in Ireland, served in the Civil War, and worked in Colorado mines at Georgetown and Central City before moving to Pagosa Country.

He married Mary Murphy in 1879 and the couple lived on the San Juan River for 23 years. In 1902, they purchased the Joe Mann ranch and lived there for eight years before moving to Durango. She died in 1919, he in 1922.

When a team of experts examined the McCarthy Cabin during the early 1980s in connection with the preparation of an environmental impact statement, they determined that portions of the original cabin built by Joe Mann probably remain imbedded in the much-modified structure.

A number of homesteads occupied the East Fork principally between the McCarthy Cabin and Quartz Creek. Occupying those homesteads at one time or another were the Young brothers, Jacob and Eastman; and Jack Lane, along with his brothers. I have never determined if anyone ever proved up on any of those homesteads, or if they lapsed.

Whit Newton worked a deal with the forest service to acquire much of that property. In turn, the land owned by Newton was owned by Frank Teal and later by Dan McCarthy. This is the same property Piano Creek recently and unsuccessfully attempted to develop.

When Fort Lewis first came to Pagosa Springs, Joe Mann secured a contract to supply hay for the military equines. He undoubtedly supplied some hay, probably cut from meadows on the San Juan West Fork. When winter came, the thermometer dropped, and snow began to pile up, Mann was nowhere to be found, much to the chagrin of the military commander.

As a result of the inability to secure feed for the horses and mules, the Army wintered their livestock near Animas City that first year. We never learn why Mann didn't live up to his end of the contract. We know he didn't leave the country, because mention of him continues to show up in early Del Norte and Pagosa Springs newspapers.

I have never learned how those editors knew who came to town, but the papers were full of single paragraphs describing who the latest visitors might be. Some of the visitors signed hotel registers. Maybe some of them dropped into the newspaper office for a visit. I've always had a suspicion that those editors might have hung out in one or another bar, and talked to folks like Joe Mann there.

Mann was the subject of a considerable number of newspaper inches following his participation in the Montoya-Howe shootout in the fall of 1892. William I. Howe homesteaded the At Last Ranch on the San Juan West Fork. His brother, Abe Howe homesteaded a neighboring ranch.

For cattleman William Howe, 1892 was an awful, terminal year. He was relatively newly married, a new father, and newly elected as an Archuleta County commissioner. His bride died giving birth to their first son. Then the son died. On the day of the shootout, Joe Mann joined brothers Howe and other close friends including Gean and Hannah Gross holding a wake for the deceased son in the family home. It is not clear if the building remains.

In any case, someone gazed out the front window down to the San Juan River to the west. There munching and moving along slowly were a band of sheep, maybe as many as 10,000 sheep. What happened next depends upon whose testimony you believe.

The Howe brothers, along with Joe Mann, are next seen racing horseback across the meadow toward the river and the sheep. In charge of the sheep is Juan de dios Montoya, who lived with his prominent father near Lariat (Monte Vista) in the San Luis Valley.

Juan said he looked up and saw three men riding like the wind and shooting at him. He was hit, but returned fire from his buffalo rifle. Juan shot one of the men, now splashing across the river. The injured man turned his horse, returned to the other river bank, then slumped to the ground. William Howe was dead.

Joe Mann testified at the trial held three years later in Durango, that they had merely approached the sheep herd with the notion of buying a lamb for vittles. In any case, Juan Montoya, who was being tried for murder, was set free, the jury believing he had acted in self-defense.

Our ability to observe the activities of Joe Mann following the Montoya-Howe shootout is limited to his visits with various newspaper editors in Pagosa Springs. The comments are mostly limited to, "Joe Mann" is in town. Finally, in 1912, he died, pretty much alone except for the care of the Warrs.

Old Joe Mann remains in death what he had been in life, an enigma. Was he outlaw or adventurer? We will never know.


A job well done

It is accurate to call the last ten years or so "The Pagosa Springs Era."

Throughout the '90s and into these first few years of the new century, the town of Pagosa Springs has flourished in unprecedented ways. The growth of the town, the establishment of its financial security, the development of its infrastructure, the expansion of its boundaries have been, to a great extent, the result of excellent town government and the momentum it has produced.

The town has been blessed during the era with outstanding elected leadership and with a superb staff. Most important, the town has had the advantage of superlative administration in the person of Jay Harrington.

Harrington last week accepted a job as the town manager of Telluride and will end his tenure here next month. He will be gone, but not forgotten, for everywhere one looks in Pagosa Springs, there is evidence of his work.

Harrington first came to town as a student at the University of Colorado-Denver, working as a planning intern for the town and Archuleta County. He arrived amidst some of the transitions that occurred in the early '90s and familiarized himself with the town and county, the politics, the personalities. When he left school he moved on to work for La Plata County in the planning department then, no longer a fledgling, he was hired to fill the position of town administrator for Pagosa Springs

In his years at this post, Harrington has been at the center of significant transformation, and most of the positive things that have occurred here during the last decade owe much to his contributions to the process.

During his years here, Harrington grew from a newly ordained manager to an administrator of great skill. His political acumen is unquestionable, his ability to work with other agencies and governmental entities is unparalleled, his skill in handling personnel is highly developed. More than anything, Harrington has honed formidable talents: among them a fundamental practicality and sense of what is possible and what is not, and an ability to project scenarios into the future, assess their viability, and make them happen.

Look around - at the roads and the highway projects, at the expansion of the downtown business district and its success, at commercial and residential annexations, at the consolidation of town government with the former sanitation district, at new parks, at the new town hall and the community center, at the current move to create home rule government- and you see evidence of Harrington's contributions to the community. Look at the fact the town secured its place as the major player in the local tax situation, then forged what is a paradigm cooperative agreement with the county to share sales tax revenues, and you see his handiwork. These are but a few of the projects and accomplishments in which this administrator played a consistently focused part, always seeking cooperation, keeping the town's best interests at the forefront, providing counsel and support to the town's elected leaders and guidance to town staff.

It is time for Harrington to capitalize on his experience, to move on and realize the rewards that should come to someone with his talents while he is in his prime.

Pagosa owes a great deal to Jay Harrington. We thank him for what he has done and wish him the best in his new role. Telluride has gained the services of an outstanding public servant and an outstanding person. Its citizens should consider themselves fortunate.

As for Pagosa, there is a substantial foundation for those who will guide and manage the town in the future. The Pagosa Era is ongoing and the town has been prepared for continued success.

Karl Isberg

Pacing Pagosa

Discomforting observations

By Richard Walter

Conclusions of the casual observer:

A - Colorado Route 151, south from U.S. 160 and most of the way to Ignacio, is my new nominee as the trashiest roadway in the region.

I went that way last week and was absolutely amazed by the litter on both sides, but more obvious on the west side.

Some stretches have more empty bottles per frontage foot than the conveyor feeding empties into the filling line at the Coors brewery in Golden.

It is a shameful sight, particularly bad in the area from 160 to the entrance to Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.

That means it is one of the most seen stretches in the county when visitors come during the summer months.

It is also the route many people use to get to Navajo Lake for summer recreation - if the water is sufficient to support such activity.

B - Mesa Heights may have more dogs running loose per capita on a weekend day than ever were the problem in Vista.

Walking through that area Sunday, I was confronted on seven occasions by dogs running loose. They were not vicious in appearance, but seemed threatening to one who was bitten about a year ago.

And their barking set off what sounded like, but obviously was not, dozens of others which were in yards or tied up.

I know its spring and animals are as susceptible to cabin fever as are their humans, but they need to be controlled.

C - There seem to be more wild animals out and about this spring than in the past several years.

However, my sightings indicate the great majority are yearlings or slightly more. Very few adult deer or elk are romping with the young.

Several large groups between Chimney Rock and Bayfield had no adults at all.

A huge herd of elk seen south and east of Pagosa Springs in recent weeks, also is greatly comprised of young, most of them female.

Perhaps this is the wild animal form of familial separation and youth education in survival but, if so, I've not seen it so evident before.

D - Walking the byways of Pagosa Country can be invigorating, pleasant to the eye, and make you subject to the attacks of various tiny winged creatures.

Too large to be gnats and too small to fill the mosquito requirement, they buzz about your head in swarms. They get in your eyes, ears, and would go up the nostrils, too, if you let them.

Most are in or near areas of standing or barely moving water.

Whatever they are, they are persistent. A swarm will follow you for blocks and, as suddenly as they appeared, disappear, perhaps to look for fresh meat.

E - The arrival of spring has also signalled the return of the more obnoxious boom box vehicles on area roadways ... and they know no hours of restriction.

I recently was awakened near midnight by sounds emanating from a stopped vehicle, sounds loud enough to make my home shake. And, did you ever notice that those riding in vehicles sending out such noise have all the windows open so it won't be so loud inside?

F - Last, but not least, I often wonder where parents are. Children obviously under 12 are walking the streets well after dark and being tempted by older youths to get into trouble. They obviously should be at home.


90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of April 11, 1913

Since the saloons have been closed there is much talk of the bootlegging in Pagosa, and although this editor has seen no evidence of it, reports at least agree that whisky seems to be plentiful. The ex-saloon keepers say they are hurrying the wholesale houses to remove the local stocks so that the charge of bootlegging cannot be fairly aimed at them.

The Nickell lease on the Springs property will soon expire. It is understood that Mr. Nickell will not have the property under another lease unless Mr. Boyle makes certain improvements, which is not likely.

Ike Cox arrived this week to take charge of the Pagosa Lumber Company's cattle interest as foreman and has been busy for several days arranging for the work.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 13, 1928

Ed Pargin has purchased a new McCormick-Deering tractor to handle a large portion of his ranch work.

The board of county commissioners is accomplishing considerable constructive road work on almost every main highway in the county. A Caterpillar was delivered here this week and will be followed by the delivery of a grader, both of which are being sent here for use on the state highways by the maintenance department.

The Archuleta County board of commissioners have allotted the sum of $375 for the purpose of bringing fish fry to the county streams and also for the purpose of building proper retaining ponds for the young fry.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 10, 1953

In talks during the conservation program last month the Forest Service revealed plans for the timber production on the San Juan National Forest in this area. These plans call for a sustained yield program, one that will be permanent and will insure a certain amount of timber to be cut each year from now on. It would appear that this would be a chance for the town and county to get another large permanent type mill.

Archuleta County has suffered another casualty in the fighting in Korea. Word has been received that Sgt. Donald Archuleta, son of Mr. and Mrs. L.M. Archuleta, has received serious wounds while fighting the enemy. He was taken to a rear area hospital where he was treated and is now on his way home.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 13, 1978

There will be an open house at The SUN this Saturday, April 15, with anyone and everyone invited to see the new plant of Archuleta County's only newspaper.

A school bond election in the amount of $3,300,000 will be held May 9. The board election is being called for the purpose of approving bonds for the construction of a new high school. The last such issue, larger in dollar amount, was soundly defeated. School officials point out that school enrollment has continued to climb and that the space situation will be very serious before a new school building can be finished.

A storm last weekend on Wolf Creek Pass left about eight inches of new snow. Wolf Creek Ski Area will have its last day of skiing this Sunday.