Town administrator opts for Telluride
By Tess Noel Baker
Pagosa Springs Town Administrator Jay Harrington is leaving. He's moving up in the world. In altitude anyway.
In an emotional presentation to the board of trustees Tuesday, he said he has accepted an offer to take over as town manager in Telluride.
"When I started here, I never believed these last 10 years would be so personally and professionally fulfilling," Harrington said in a later interview. "The board has been just great to work with. We've accomplished a lot for the town from taxation to some big infrastructure improvements."
Harrington's first experience in Pagosa Springs was as a planning intern for the town and county in 1990. At the time, he was finishing up his graduate work. From there, he spent about two years in the La Plata County planning department before throwing his hat in the ring for the town administrator's position here.
Mayor Ross Aragon said Harrington rose to the top of a list of 50 applicants when he was hired.
"I've been emphatic about Jay from day one," he said. "I guess I didn't realize his full potential, but I knew he had a good work ethic."
Over the years, Aragon said, they built an excellent working relationship. During Tuesday's meeting, he outlined some of his feelings.
"Jay, you've represented the town very well," he said. "You have been very professional. You've been very hard working and dedicated. Besides having a good attitude you have a good work ethic and we have been very fortunate to have had you for the last 10 years. I am a little choked up, but I know you'll do well wherever you go."
Harrington's last day will be May 16. He will take over official duties in Telluride June 9.
Because of the great staff and infrastructure in place, he said, it should be business as usual even after his departure.
"What made my job most fulfilling has been the strong working relationship with the council, the citizens and employees," he said.
The board of trustees has tentatively planned a workshop for April 16 to discuss plans for a smooth transition period and hiring process.
Church burglars captured in the act
By Tess Noel Baker
Quick action by local law enforcement officers halted a burglary in progress early Tuesday morning.
Pagosa Springs Police Officer Chuck Allen said Archuleta County Sheriff's Deputy Jon Gaskins spotted two people inside the First Baptist Church on the west side of town on U.S. 160 about 1 a.m. and called for backup. A 14-year-old female suspect was found and arrested inside the church. A 17-year-old male suspect was arrested about three hours later. Both suspects have been living in Pagosa Springs.
Allen said Gaskins had increased patrols in the area after church officials reported a burglary at the church March 30. At that time, a laptop computer was taken from the building.
According to police reports, substantial damage was done to the structure during the second break-in. Property taken during both burglaries was recovered during the investigation Tuesday.
Deputy Bob Brammer, Deputy Karn Macht, Deputy Ryan Clark, Officer Tony Kop and Police Chief Don Volger assisted in capturing the suspects.
Home rule vote on tap Tuesday
By Tess Noel Baker
Over 80 communities in the state, including Denver, Durango and Rico, operate under one.
It can be long or short.
Citizens vote on it, and it can give citizens the opportunity for more control over local government.
Can't guess? It's home rule and its coming to a polling place in Pagosa Springs in just five days.
To clarify aspects of home rule, an option for local government organization under the Colorado state constitution, the League of Women Voters sponsored a forum on the subject Monday.
Administrative intern Julie Jessen laid out the basics.
Currently, she said, 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. For instance, under state statute, the board of trustees is made up of six trustees and the mayor.
As a statutory town, Pagosa Springs must have six trustees and a mayor. No flexibility is available. Under home rule, she said, a committee of citizens, the charter commission, writes a document that replaces the state statutes as far as local issues go. It may not change much, or it can change a lot. It all depends on the commission and the voters.
It's a long process. It involves a lot of citizen input and Pagosa Springs could take an initial step at considering home rule options during a special election Tuesday. Voters will be faced with two questions. First, they will have to decide whether or not the town should pursue home rule options at all. At the same time, voters will select members of the home rule commission. These are the people who will write the actual document to govern the local organization and structure. That document will also have to come before voters - but not until sometime in November.
Only if Tuesday's vote and a future vote on the home rule charter pass does the town become a home rule community.
Six candidates are on the ballot to become members of the home rule commission. Four of them, current town board members Darrel Cotton, Judy James and Bill Whitbred, as well as community member John Steinert, were on hand Monday to discuss the issue.
Cotton said discussions on home rule started for him about 10 years ago. At the time, he thought Pagosa Springs ought to be electing its trustees based on districts or wards to allow for representation in all parts of town. Under state statutes, that's not allowed. Under home rule, it becomes possible.
Other areas of increased flexibility under home rule include: the relationship between the board and the town administrator, land use options and taxing options.
For instance, a home rule charter might allow the town the opportunity to institute a tax on hotel rooms in the future. In that way, Cotton said, the town could have the opportunity to raise more money through tourism without impacting residents.
"I think any edge we can get to help us survive in the future is worth looking at," he added. Of course, all the home rule charter could do is give the town the option of different types of taxes; any move to actually change the tax structure would have to be approved by voters.
Whitbred pointed out that another area the charter could address is the question of who is eligible to vote in local elections. Currently, it's restricted to residents of the town. A lot of people, he said, have businesses within the town's boundaries, but have no vote in town elections.
"I think that's something we definitely need to take into consideration as we go through this process," he said.
And it is a process which the town is just beginning.
Having options does have its limits, Jessen said. Home rule only allows flexibility over local issues. Home rule municipalities cannot tamper with issues of statewide or federal concern.
The special election on the preliminary home rule questions is set for Tuesday. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Town Hall on Hot Springs Boulevard. All registered voters living within the town limits are encouraged to come out and vote.
Others running for the charter commission include: Mayor Ross Aragon and Jerry Jackson. If approved, the charter commission will include nine members. Because only six filed petitions to be on the ballot, the remaining three spots will be appointed by the board of trustees.
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture
Breezy conditions, chance for showers forecast
By Tom Carosello
Sunshine, mild temperatures and a few clouds mingled with occasional chilly wind gusts during the first week of spring in Pagosa Country. Meanwhile, the first traces of green appeared on area hillsides and meadows.
Absent from the weather scene the past week was any sign of moisture, but forecasters are indicating the first trace of wet weather for April may arrive as early as Friday if a weak storm front originating in the Pacific Northwest dips far enough south into the Four Corners region.
According to John Kyle, a weather data acquisition manager in the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, clouds creeping into the region behind a slow moving cold front could contain enough water content to at least dampen area lawns and gardens.
"This system will gradually weaken as it makes its way farther inland," said Kyle, "But chances are 50-50 for some widely-scattered wet snow or light rain in the southern San Juan Mountains."
More likely, said Kyle, is the chance for continued breezy conditions in the coming week. "So far, there have been some significant gusts associated with this front, and it looks like those conditions will continue through the latter part of the week and into the weekend," said Kyle.
According to Kyle, skies should remain partly cloudy today and tonight. Southwest morning winds should range from 10-25 miles per hour before shifting to the west by afternoon. Highs are expected in the upper 40s, and lows are predicted to fall into the upper teens.
Friday calls for continued partly cloudy skies and a slight chance for light rain or snow, highs in the upper 40s and lows in the teens.
The forecasts for Saturday and Sunday include increasingly cloudy skies and a stronger possibility for morning snow and afternoon rain. Highs should reach the low 40s; lows should settle into the teens to low 20s.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are predicted to be mild and mostly sunny with highs in the low to mid-50s; lows should drop into the 20s.
Skiers traveling to Wolf Creek Ski Area for the final weekend of the season will encounter a summit depth of 109 inches and a midway depth of 93 inches. The area, which officially closes Sunday, reports a year-to-date snowfall total of 327 inches.
Snowpack levels in area river basins sagged slightly during the past week. The Upper San Juan Basin snowpack level fell to 90 percent of average while snowpack at the summit of Wolf Creek Pass slid to 79 percent of average.
Despite snowfall totals exceeding those of last year, the region's drought condition continues to be categorized as "extreme" by the Colorado Climate Center.
The average high temperature last week recorded at Stevens Field was 50; the average low was 21. The record high for the month of April in Pagosa, 81, was recorded in 1981. The record low of minus 8 was recorded in 1945. Precipitation totals for last week amounted to zero.
River flow in the San Juan River south of town ranged between 70-150 cubic feet per second. The river's historical median flow for early April is approximately 200 cubic feet per second.
Baseball seasons straight ahead for town leagues
By Joe Lister Jr.
April 1 is one of my favorite days in the year because I get a chance to "April Fool," some of my friends and family members.
I have to be on the alert because some of my friends and co-workers are some of the best practical jokers around.
I told John Perea at 6:30 a.m. that he had turned the heat in the Town Park gazebo too high and that he started a fire.
Johnny got stone quiet on the other end of the phone, thinking that he had burned down the gazebo.
I then asked him if he knew what day it was. His reply was "It is April Fool's Day." I can't repeat some of the other things he said.
A long overdue meeting was held at the high school with David Hamilton (school athletics director), Joe Lister Jr., Chris Corcoran, Tony Scarpa, Dan Bahn and Mike Marshall.
We have run into a small scheduling problem with regard to use of the school-owned baseball facilities, maintenance and upkeep responsibilities.
Some great ideas came out of the meeting. We are working toward the "private" user groups having a location to play games, and what it will end up costing per summer to use and maintain these facilities.
The 13-14 baseball players and the 14-15 players are ready to enter an agreement with the school to use the baseball field during the summer months. In return, we will have batting cages, storage facilities, and better field prep donated as a result of the efforts of the association.
We will try to establish use of school and town facilities policies to allow fair use of public owned properties.
Anyone wishing to use town or school facilities this summer is asked to call Dan Bahn, 731-0084, or Mike Marshall or Joe Lister Jr. at 264-4151, Ext. 231.
The summer baseball programs have grown to the point that we all need to work together to ensure fair and safe practice and game playing conditions for all Archuleta County residents.
Youth baseball sign-up
Girls' softball and youth baseball sign-up deadline is April 11 at 5 p.m. Registration forms can be picked up at Town Hall during regular working hours.
If you have any questions, call Chris at 264-4151, Ext. 232
Hilsabeck finds her touch; Ladies bop Ignacio 10-0
By Richard Walter
She lamented before the game that her touch just wasn't there. She'd scored only two goals in Pagosa's first four games.
Be it hereby known: Meagan Hilsabeck has her touch - or kick, if you prefer - back.
Working in great anticipation with fellow senior attacker Tricia Lucero, Hilsabeck converted five times Tuesday in a 10-0 Pagosa victory over Ignacio's Lady Bobcats on their home field.
The three-time all-conference striker opened the scoring just 17 seconds into the game with a breakaway goal that Ignacio keeper Shirelle Gleason may still be looking for.
Lucero hiked the margin to 2-0 at 3:08 when she took a drop pass from Hilsabeck and lifted a soft looper into perfect position in the upper right corner of the net.
With Pagosa on almost constant attack against the shorthanded Ignacio squad - they had only 11 players suited - the Pagosa seniors were front stage.
Hilsabeck was just wide left at 4:02 on another lead from Lucero and at 6:15, scored her second goal, again on a crossing lead from the left corner by Lucero.
Veteran Lady Bobcat Katie Whiteskunk had her team's first shot on goal at 9:02, a dribbler easily corralled by Pagosa keeper Sierra Fleenor.
At 11:04, right winger Bri Scott had a breakaway effort from 15 yards turned away by Gleason but, at 14:19, the seniors struck again.
Lucero swept into the middle and Hilsabeck overlapped back toward the position she'd vacated.
Lucero returned the lead pass and Hilsabeck scored again, boosting Pagosa's lead to 4-0.
Scott seemed to find herself open from lead passes from deep defenders with regularity.
She was stopped at 20:05 on a long lead from Kyrie Beye, and again 30 seconds later on a cross from Sarah Smith.
After Hilsabeck was wide left at 21:13, the ever-present Lucero found Scott breaking into the middle and dropped a perfect lead from the left and Scott finally was on the boards with a drive over the sprawling Gleason.
The lead at 5-0, coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason began substituting in five-player elements, keeping fresh runners on the field at all times.
In the ensuing 10 minutes, Scott was stopped three more times and Hilsabeck once. Ignacio, meanwhile, got a free kick for Whiteskunk but Fleenor easily turned it aside.
Hilsabeck, however, wasn't through.
At 31:29, she got a middle lead from Beye and broke free up the middle.
A fake to the left and a crossover step left her wide open and Pagosa was suddenly up 6-0 with nearly 10 minutes left in the half.
She had a chance to add to her total at 34:19 with a free kick, but it was blocked.
The halftime score was at 7-0, however, when sophomore right winger Christina Lungstrum got an Esther Gordon cross.
She seemed hesitant at first, but then broke free and drilled a turf hugger past Gleason for her first goal of the season and the team's seventh of the game.
That margin dictated that Pagosa go with one player less to give the opponent an opportunity. But it made little difference.
When the half ended, Pagosa had nine block-takeaways, three each by Beye and Jenna Finney, one by Brittany Corcoran, one by Melissa Diller and one by Amy Tautges.
The second half opened much as the first had, with Pagosa attackers swarming the zone.
At 41:56 Sara Aupperle made that effort pay off, scoring unassisted from the center right lane to hike the Pagosa margin to 8-0.
After Beye added two more takeaways against a flustered Bobcat offense, Ignacio's Whiteskunk had an indirect kick from the 18 on which Fleenor made her best play of the game, preserving the shutout.
Two minutes later Ignacio had another free kick, this one by Kelsey Lyons, which also was stopped by Fleenor.
But, at 45:48, Aupperle struck again, scoring on a free kick from 22 yards, hiking the Pagosa margin to 9-0.
At 60:22, the game came to an early end with, guess who, scoring her fifth goal of the contest despite rolling an ankle on the play.
Hilsabeck had a left wing lead from Brett Garman, faked left, cut to the right, stopped dead and took two steps left before drilling the right footer past Gleason.
That made the score 10-0 for Pagosa and prompted the mercy ruling which stops a game when a team leads by 10 or more points.
Scoring: P- 0.17, M. Hilsabeck unassisted; 3:08, Lucero; 6:15, Hilsabeck, assist Lucero; 14:19, Hilsabeck, assist Lucero; 22:13, Scott, assist Lucero; 31:29, Hilsabeck unassisted; 35:53, Lungstrum, assist Gordon; 41:56, Aupperle, unassisted; 45:48, Aupperle, free kick; 60:22, Hilsabeck, assist Garman. Saves: I-Gleason 8; P-Fleenor 7.
Hot hitting Durango Demons down Pirates
By Richard Walter
"We ran into a great hitting team ... one of the best hitting high school teams I've ever seen."
That was coach Tony Scarpa's commentary after his Pagosa Springs Pirate baseball team lost 20-4 to Class 5A Durango Tuesday.
"We met our goal of cutting down on both errors and walks," Scarpa said, "but we couldn't stop their hitting attack."
He said the Durango hurler threw a perfect game last year against Piedra Vista and then suffered an arm injury.
As a result, he was limited to 40 pitches for this game, and made the most of them.
The youngster set Pagosa down in order through two and one-third innings, striking out all seven batters he faced on a total of 34 pitches.
"He was fast, really fast," Scarpa said.
Ben Marshall, Pagosa's regular catcher, made the start on the mound and was mugged for 15 runs before Josh Stone came in to replace him in the second.
"There wasn't a cheap hit in the bunch," Scarpa said. Thirteen of the 15 runs were earned, coming on 12 Durango hits.
For Pagosa, Stone had a pair of doubles in three trips to the plate. Rivas, Marshall and Lawren Lopez all had one hit in three at bats; David Kern one hit in two at bats and Jeremy Caler, Jarrett Frank, Zeb Gill and Clayton Mastin all went hitless in two trips.
The Pirates had two runs in the fourth and two in the fifth before the game was halted by the mercy rule - a lead of 10 or more runs after five full innings.
Stone, in relief, gave up five runs on six hits, all the runs earned, but struck out eight.
In a change from published schedule, the Pirates will host Salida Saturday, but in Bayfield.
Scarpa said the varsity contest should begin at about noon. Salida will then play the Bayfield varsity in a mid-afternoon game.
Pagosa will return to Bayfield April 12 for a key IML doubleheader.
Pirates open IML play with sweep of Centauri
By Richard Walter
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.
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.
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.
Pagosa tracksters make strong early start
By Tess Noel Baker
The Pirates' track season started with a bang March 21 at the San Juan Basin Relays in Cortez.
"What I really liked was seeing the look of determination and competitiveness in their eyes as they ran by me," Head Coach Connie O'Donnell said. "It's nice to see that so early in the season."
Although official results were not available, teams on both the boys' and girls' sides finished in the top 10 in relay efforts.
The boys put two teams on the line in both the 1600-meter relay and the 3200 relay. All four teams placed in the top six in their races.
Pirate sophomore Otis Rand, junior Brandon Samples and seniors Jeremy Buikema and Jason Schutz combined to win the 1600 relay with a time of 3 minutes, 49 seconds. The team of seniors Todd Mees and B.J. Lowder, junior Aaron Hamilton and freshman A.J. Abeyta crossed the line in sixth with a time of 4:10.8.
In the 3200 relay, Mees, Buikema, Hamilton and Samples combined for first place. They finished the race in 9:03.7. A second team, featuring Abeyta, Lowder, and freshmen Chris Coray and Orion Sandoval, claimed sixth place with a time of 10:42.2.
The girls also captured a pair of top-three finishes, but didn't quite crack the top spot. The Pirates finished second in the medley relay with a time of 2:16.49. That team included freshmen Nikki Kinkead and Emilie Schur, sophomore Mollie Honan and senior Alex Rigia.
In the 3200 relay, a team of three freshmen, Heather Dahm, Drie Young and Schur, and one senior, Ashley Wagle, combined for third place. No finish time for that race was available.
Rigia, freshman Mia Caprioli, Young and Honan captured fifth place in the 800 relay, finishing in 2:09.54. With a time of 5:19.13, the team of Wagle, Dahm, Schur, and Young claimed sixth in the 1600 relay.
O'Donnell said some of the sprint relay teams had trouble with handoffs their first time out. "They will get better," she said. "If anything, we got a chance to compete and a chance to get some times on people. Now, they have something to base their goals on."
The tracksters compete next in the Bobcat Relays Saturday in Bloomfield. Events are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
82 skiers participate in weekend fun races
Deeann Starr of New Boston, Texas and Mark Garcia of Pagosa Springs were fastest woman and man respectively in Saturday's 13th fun races of the season at Wolf Creek Ski Area.
Starr, racing in the bracket for women 31-35, ran the course in 28.53 seconds. Garcia, in the bracket for men 36-40, was timed in 26.29.
Erin Monkiewicz of Pagosa Springs was tops in the bracket for girls 3-5 finishing in 1:37.41. Georgia Redd of Pagosa Springs led the bracket for girls 6-8 in 48.06 while her sister, Lucy, topped the 9-11 bracket in 37.52. Lilly Rietz of Santa Fe was second in 52.81.
Stephanie Atkins of Monte Vista captured the bracket for girls 12-14 in 30.65. Gabrielle Lopez of Black Forest was second in 33.55 and Chantalle Rizzo of Pagosa Springs third in 42.71.
Lisa Lopez of Black Forest captured the bracket for girls 15-17 in 32.61. Natalie Atkins of Monte Vista was second in 33.07 and Lacy Brown of New Mexico third in 35.05.
The top racer among women 21-25 was Stef Lewis of Denver running the course in 38.81.
In the bracket for women 41-50, the winner was Rio Delavista of Monte Vista in 32.67. Robin Lopez of Black Forest was second in 36.05 and Peggy Andrews of Pagosa Springs third in 36.26.
The bracket for women 51-60 was an all-Pagosa Springs challenge. Lynda Van Patter was first in 34.98, Marky Egan second in 35.24 and Linda Muirhead third in 37.09.
Judy Clay of Pagosa Springs won the bracket for women 61 and over with a run of 42.25.
Devan Monkiewicz of Pagosa Springs was fastest in the bracket for boys 3-5 with a time of 49.21.
In the bracket for boys 6-8, Curtis Eggleston of Durango was first in 29.38, Evan Greer of Pagosa Springs second in 34.20 and C.D. Scull of Tenaha, Texas, third in 36.11.
Seth Rizzo and Mitch Higby of Pagosa Springs staged a tough battle in the bracket for boys 9-11 with Rizzo first in 27.69 and Higby finishing in 34.17, just ahead of Dylen Gordon of Albuquerque who ran the slope in 37.73.
Paul Muirhead of Pagosa Springs was the top skier in the 12-14 bracket, hitting the finish line in 29.88.
His older brother, Kevin, paced the bracket for boys 15-17 with a time of 27.69. Jim Smith of Connecticut was second in 29.59 and Steven Ruigrok of Denver third in 29.78.
The bracket for boys 18-20 went to Daniel Patterson of Durango in 27.38. Thomas Hampton of Pagosa Springs was second in 28.60 and Cody Brown of New Mexico third in 34.79. Terry Scull of Texas won the bracket for men 26-30 in 29.41 with Toby Bishop of New Mexico second in 29.95.
One of the closest races of the day came in the bracket for men 31-35. Daniel Dodd of Alamosa was the winner in 32.97, Dan Stoner of Oklahoma City was second in 33.59 and Scott Moore of Longview, Texas third in 34.32.
Following Garcia in his bracket were John Redd of Pagosa Springs in 28.07 and Duke Eggleston of Durango in 32.64.
George Muirhead of Pagosa Springs topped the bracket for men 41-50 in 27.75. He was followed by Tim Hoskin of Arizona in 30.79 and Steve Mergens of Washington, D.C., in 31.07.
Mike Evans of South Fork won the bracket for men 51-60 in 26.91. He was followed by Duncan Cullman of Alpine Village in 28.04 and John Scull of Texas in 29.35.
The bracket for men 61 and over was, again, an all-Pagosa Springs race. Glenn Van Patter was first in 29.46, Jim Coe second in 30.36.
Pagosa Pee Wee grapplers place 26 of 36 in Ignacio
The Pagosa Springs Pee Wee Wrestling team celebrated a number of victories after competition in Ignacio Saturday.
Twenty-six of the 36 Pagosa grapplers in action placed in the event.
Division I medalists were Tyler Cowan, Noah Sisneros and Dusty Tunnel third; Spencer Hill and Jaden Hinger each placed fourth.
In Division II , first-place laurels went to Morgan Shelton, Nikolas Monteferrante and Chris Rivas. Keith Archuleta was second and Parker Hill, Robert Courtney and Chase Purcell took thirds. Ryder Dermody was fourth.
Levi Wilkins was first in Division III. Cody Snow, Tyler Johnson and E.J. Romero placed third and K.C. Lord, Jesse Reed and Preston Sandoval were fourth-place finishers.
Shasta McMurry was first in Division IV, with Dillon Sandoval second, Justine Smith third and Chris Pacheco fourth.
Andy Abresch was second in Division V with Steven Smith placing fourth.
The team will compete on the road again this weekend, traveling to a tournament in Bayfield.
Eva Grace Butler
Eva Grace (Husband) Butler, 83, of Homelake passed away March 21, 2003, at the Colorado State Veterans Center. She was born Aug. 5, 1919 in Ruffsdale, Pa., to Jesse John and Olive (Fry) Husband.
Eva Grace grew up and lived in Ruffsdale. She graduated from high school and worked until she was married on Jan. 6, 1945, to Harlan Edward Butler of Culver, Ind. They had one son and moved to South Bend, Ind., after World War II, where Eva Grace started one of the first kindergarten classes. She and Harlan later had four more children.
The family moved to Pompano Beach, Fla., in 1953, when Eva Grace was active in Girls Auxiliary at the Baptist church, in the local Garden Club and the VFW Auxiliary; was supportive and active for her husband in Kiwanis Club, Isaac Walton League and Circle K, and was very active in the community. They moved to Lawton, Okla., in the early 1980s and on to Pagosa Springs in 1994.
Eva Grace is survived by her husband of 58 years, Harland Butler, who also resides at Colorado State Veterans Center; her children, John Kenneth (Mary) Husband of Melbourne, Fla., Linda B. Simpson of Colorado Springs, Marla Kaye (Michael) Hubbard of Pagosa Springs, and Harlan Shane (Candi) Butler of Boca Raton, Fla; siblings Martha Mae Husband of Washington, D.C., David Duane (Odette) Husband of Plymouth, Ind., Maude Ruth Gunther of Florida, Olive Dorothea (LaVerne) Matthes of Odessa, Fla., Esther Rae (Leland) Shearer of Beaver Falls, Pa., and Phillip Fry (Brenda) Husband of Ruffsdale; eight grandchildren, Donald, Jodi, Troy, Dorthea, Heather, Chad, Dustin and Justin; 13 great-grandchildren and countless nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, a daughter, Cinda Ruth, two brothers and one sister.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 5, 2003, at Colorado State Veterans Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to the Colorado State Veterans Center Nursing Home in care of Strohmayer's Funeral Home, 205 Broadway, Monte Vista, CO 81144.
After a valiant struggle with a lengthy illness, Corina Segura Garcia Hermosillo, passed away in Farmington, N.M., Sunday March 30, 2003.
Corina was the daughter of Juan and Sidelia Segura. She was born in Rutheron, N.M., on Feb. 23, 1940, and lived in Pagosa Springs from 1952 until 1997.
She spent many of those years raising a family with her then husband, Chris Garcia. Later, she was married to Juan Hermosillo and moved with him to Farmington.
She was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. She enjoyed the beauty of butterflies. Corina was a very unique person who was ready and willing to help anyone at any time. She devoted seven years of her life to caring for her invalid mother.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Juan and Sidelia Segura; a sister, Cecilia Villareal; a brother, Leroy Segura; a son, Simon Garcia; and a daughter, Lucinda Garcia.
She is survived by her husband, Juan of Farmington; brothers Ben Segura of Pagosa Springs and Efren Segura of Santa Barbara, Calif.; sons Jerry Garcia of Delta, Michael Garcia of Denver; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Recitation of the Rosary was at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, 2003 and mass of Christian burial was at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 2. Interment was in Hilltop Cemetery, Pagosa Springs. The Rev. John Bowe officiated.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Four Corners Kidney Dialysis Center, Farmington, N.M.
Eldon L. Lyda Jr.
Graveside services were held Tuesday in Richland/Lyda Cemetery near Marble Falls, Texas, for Eldon L. Lyda Jr., 62, of Eustace, Texas, son of Thelma Lucile Lyda of Pagosa Springs.
Mr. Lyda was born Jan. 4, 1941, in Marble Falls to the late Eldon Leon Lyda Sr., and Thelma Lucile Anderson Lyda, and passed away March 28, 2003, in an Athens, Texas, hospital.
In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Laura Jean Valdez and Dixie Elrod; a son, Lance Leonard Lyda; and a great uncle, Raymond Anderson. Mr. Lyda served in the U.S. Navy from 1958 until his honorable discharge in 1965. While in the Navy he was a sonar man. In civilian life he was a pipe stabber in the oil field industry.
Survivors in addition to his mother are daughters Tracie Lyda and her mother, Pam Kittles in Eustace; Carrie Thompson of Declo, Idaho; Denise Gholson of Mesa, Ariz.; Holly Meadows, Kristina Sparks and Ramona Vaughan, all in Oklahoma; Doris Sonntag of Provo, Utah; Tricia Billingsley of Farmington; sons Stevan and Wendell Jessop of Albion, Idaho; 12 granddaughters, 10 grandsons, six great grandchildren; sisters Janie Gatwood in Florida, LaNell Lyda of Pagosa Springs; a brother, Leonard Lyda of Farmington; numerous nieces and nephews and close friends Jimmy Kittles and Don Crowley, both of Athens.
Richard Muth was a gentle, peace-loving man. He was born in Germany at the outset of the First World War. As a boy, he trained as a gymnast and then apprenticed as a chef, with ambitions to work in a large luxury hotel or restaurant.
However, family matters took precedence. At the age of 16, he made the long ocean voyage to New York to join his mother who had remarried and settled there. It wasn't easy, he assured family, to travel so far as a young boy without any understanding of the English language.
It wasn't easy to make the transition from rural Germany to the streets of New York City, either. Yet, easy or not, he enrolled in classes and learned to speak English. He became a citizen in 1938, at the age of 25. His citizenship paper and the original Social Security card, issued in 1936, were among his prized possessions.
His excellent vision and fine motor skills led him to a different apprenticeship, that of a watchcase toolmaker. He manufactured the tools which produced the dies for companies like Bulova. He was likely to examine a person's watch out of professional curiosity.
Richard never seemed to exert a lot of energy. He was calm in disposition and quiet movement. Yet, he was in remarkable physical condition right up to the end of his life. The whole family was amazed when, at age 88, he swung himself up onto a horse for a family photo. This might not be extraordinary for those who have lived a life in ranching, but it was something to see for an elderly city man.
He never lost the upper body strength and agility gained from his boyhood gymnastic training. When asked how he explained his strength and vitality as he approached the age of 90, he had two ready answers. "I don't smoke, and I don't drink." His family would add, neither did he weaken himself with anger, arguments or regrets. He was more likely to hum and sing, with a robust, tuneful voice.
He remained physically fit, even as his mind began to fade away. Just three years ago he attended his granddaughter's wedding and danced all night long. Every lady at the reception was invited at least once. Toward the end of the evening, Richard settled down on the dais, beside his son, the father of the bride, and said, "I haven't had this much fun in years."
When his granddaughters were preparing for their weddings, he wanted to meet their intended spouses. Although he didn't think the girls were old enough to get married (they were both 25), his advice was good and sincere. he said, "Everyone should get married. Love is a beautiful thing."
He'd come a long way from southern Germany to the teeming streets of New York City in the mid-1930s, finally ending his days in Pagosa Springs. On many of our beautiful summer mornings, especially on days blessed with bright blue skies and white clouds, Richard would spread an arm toward the pristine mountains in the distance and declare, "Look at this. It's halfway to heaven." His gentle spirit will be missed.
Shortly before his death, Richard pointed up to the heavens and told us, "I'm going there soon. I'm ready."
We can only assume he's singing and dancing with the angels these days. Although he loved the mountains around Pagosa, he has made a long journey once again, back to New York City to be buried with the mother who brought him here from Germany and the Polish girl he fell in love with and married in his new country.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Lottie Muth and his grandson, Andrew Muth.
Survivors are his son and daughter-in-law, Richard A. and Kathleen Muth of Pagosa Springs and Boulder; his daughter and son-in-law Carol and Jeffrey Teschberg of Bayshore, N.Y., his granddaughter and her husband, Jennifer and Mark Simpson of Ft. Collins; his granddaughter and her husband, Kathryn and Jeremy Ledermann of Loveland; granddaughters Erica and Nin Teschberg of Bayshore; a grandson, Jonathan Teschberg of Bayshore and a great grandson, Jordan Wilson Zink of Arvada.
Memorial contributions may be made to the staff education fund at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs.
Fort Lewis College outlines $4 million budget, job cut
By Chris Aaland
Special to The SUN
Fort Lewis College announced a two-year budget reduction package totaling almost $4 million at two financial reduction presentations to employees Feb. 27 in the Student Memorial Lounge of the College Union Building.
College administrators presented a summary of proposed budget cuts and reductions in personnel. Approximately 41 full-time equivalent positions (FTE) will be eliminated during the current and next fiscal years. Of the positions slated for elimination, 17 FTE were reduced through attrition, while another 24 resulted from filled positions being reduced or eliminated. The college has already notified those employees who are affected.
"The most grievous aspect of these budget cuts is the impact on the lives of our colleagues and friends," said Fort Lewis College President Robert Dolphin, Jr. "Unlike other state colleges and universities, we have avoided layoffs to this point. However, with salary and benefits costs comprising 76 percent of the budget, there was no way to meet the state's requirements for profound levels of budget cuts without reducing staffing costs."
One of the areas hardest hit by budget cuts are Physical Plant Services, which will reduce staffing by 10.5 FTE in such areas as project management, snow management, custodial services, equipment maintenance, and grounds and nursery.
The confluence of several factors during the 2002-03 fiscal year has created a financial crisis for the State of Colorado and its many agencies, including state-assisted universities and colleges. Among these factors are that state revenues are significantly lower than forecast; the ratcheting-down influence on legally retained state revenues by the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR amendment); recent permanent tax cuts intended to bring state revenues in line with TABOR limits and avoid the expense of mandated refunds; and the impact of the recently-approved Amendment 23, which constitutionally mandates that funding for K-12 education exceed inflation by 1 percent annually.
"Already the state has cut in excess of $850 million from its current fiscal year base budget," said Dolphin. "In addition, current estimates indicate that upwards of $1 billion in overall state cuts are expected for the 2003-04 budget."
In response to current fiscal realities, Fort Lewis College cut nearly $2 million from its current-year budget and another $2 million from its 2003-04 budget.
When the magnitude of the state budget crisis became clear after the New Year, Fort Lewis College implemented a hiring freeze. Effective Jan. 6, all unfilled classified and exempt staff positions were frozen without appeal and any temporary appointments required presidential approval. Some faculty searches were also cancelled. "Unfortunately, processes of attrition were not enough," said Dolphin.
The college's budget committee began to examine potential budget reductions in January. Committee members included the president, executive assistant to the president, vice presidents for academic affairs, student affairs and business and finance, deans of the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration and Education, budget director, faculty representative to the Board of Trustees, and chair of the Faculty Assembly.
This committee was expanded in February to include the associate and assistant vice presidents for academic affairs, controller, director of auxiliary services, director of computing and telecommunications, and student body president.
These groups held a number of meetings to review proposals, develop the details of how proposed cost savings measures could be implemented, and identify the actual budget savings that would result. A draft of the budget reduction plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees at their regularly scheduled April 14 meeting.
Members of the enhanced budget committee were instructed to think about the needs of the college as a whole, rather than representing their own particular areas of interest.
"Fort Lewis College has always focused its efforts on student learning," said Interim Vice President for Business and Finance Steve Schwartz. "The programs and activities which directly support student learning represent the 'core' of the institution, and must be preserved. In addition to this central-student learning role, the college contributes to the cultural diversity and economic development of the region."
In consideration of the college's learning and community service roles, Dolphin directed that two guiding principles be used in evaluating budget reduction proposals: minimizing the impact on students, where possible; and positioning the college for the future.
"Through these difficult decisions, we remain committed to delivering a quality education to our students, while giving every consideration to the impact on the lives of faculty and staff," said Dolphin.
In addition to budget cuts, the college will seek revenue enhancement by increasing fund-raising efforts, seeking tuition increases, and implementing enrollment management strategies.
A complete copy of the nine-page budget reduction plan is available upon request. Contact the External Affairs Office at 247-7400 or firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a copy.
County planning, building departments to relocate
By Tom Carosello
After unpacking upon their return home from a weeklong conference in Denver, members of the Archuleta County planning staff will likely begin packing again - this time in order to relocate to new office space in the San Juan Plaza.
Because increased workloads stemming mainly from population growth have resulted in the need for more adequate office space, the county planning and building departments have been looking for a new home for months.
Julie Rodriguez, county building director, appeared before the board of commissioners Tuesday and spoke on behalf of each department. Rodriguez presented a cost summary and usage outline for 1,500 square feet of office space at 527 San Juan St., located just a block west of the county courthouse.
Citing an annual lease cost of $15,180, which includes monthly charges for water, sewer and trash, Rodriguez estimated the total first-year moving, operational and refurbishing expenses at $30,000-$40,000.
Acknowledging the current county budget crunch, Rodriguez explained that revenue resulting from fee increases established by the building department this year, expected to amount to roughly $74,000, could help to offset that cost.
The board agreed to honor the request, deciding the need and eventual benefit from the move far outweigh the alternatives. The board also stated that while a supplemental budget to help fund the move may be necessary in the future, the respective budgets for each department are currently sufficient to implement the initial phases of relocation.
As a result, a motion was passed to instruct Mary Weiss, county attorney, to begin drafting a preliminary five-year lease which will be subject to annual review if agreed upon by the county and San Juan Plaza. The first year total for the lease is not to exceed $40,350.
After the motion, Rodriguez commented on the board's decision.
"Obviously it's going to give both departments more space to expand and continue to improve the level of service," said Rodriguez, "What I really like about it is we're taking the money directly from the building department fund.
"Local businesses who were initially unhappy about the fee increases will be glad to see we're putting that money back into the department so we can better serve the public," added Rodriguez, "What's nice is we already have half of the first year's cost available to us."
District board sets organizational chart
By Tess Noel Baker
The taxpayers and customers are the top rung of a new Upper San Juan Health Service District organizational chart approved Tuesday.
That's as it should be members of the board agreed following the special meeting.
"This is the first time we'd ever seen the taxpayers on the chart," board member Patty Tillerson said.
Directly under the taxpayers is the board of directors. The next rung of authority includes the executive director and administrative assistant, the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center Medical Director and the Emergency Medical Services physician advisor. Currently, Dee Jackson is the district manager or executive director, Dr. Mark Wienpahl is the medical director and Dr. Bob Brown is the EMS physician advisor.
From there, the medical director oversees the other physicians and nurse practitioners. The executive director oversees the four branches of the district: Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, Community Urgent Care Center, EMS and administration.
Below the executive director, a clinic manager is listed to administer activities at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center. This position remains open, but is expected to be filled by a registered nurse. EMS will be directed by the operations manager. Paramedic Kathy Conway was hired to fill that position for a sixth-month interim period starting at the end of February. In administration, the business manager oversees the billing clerk and accounts receivable clerk.
At the last board meeting, Tillerson said she's personally been trying to push forward discussion on the district's organization of authority for several years. In the past, it was met with some resistance.
The subject finally moved closer to the front burner in January when Peg Christian, a conflict resolution consultant hired by the board, suggested organizational changes as part of the solutions to recent morale problems. Her suggestions included running the district, in the short term at least, by a committee of three, the district manager, EMS operations manager and clinic manager to help build trust between employees and administration.
Although the board shied away from this solution, they did begin to look at setting an official organizational structure. Jackson said the district's procedure manual had somewhat of an organizational chart, but it was outdated and not followed.
The board directed Jackson to pass out a copy of a preliminary flow chart to all employees at the March board meeting. That chart showed authority flowing from the board to an executive officer directly to the four branches of the district. From there, the board requested comments.
At that meeting, Wienpahl said two weeks would be insufficient to allow employees to comment on the chart, especially at the medical center because people were working extra to cover for others who had resigned from the district.
Board members Sue Walan and Ken Morrison said discussion of the organizational chart could remain open at the next meeting to allow everyone to be on the same page before official action was taken.
However, the board passed the committee's suggested organizational chart Tuesday with no discussion. They took no questions or comments from the audience.
After the public meeting, board member Martha Garcia said a small committee made up of her, Tillerson and Don Long, a community member, met last week to go over the many comments received, consider organizational charts from several other area districts and pull it all together into something that made sense.
Tillerson said all of the employees were notified by memo that comments needed to be in before Tuesday's meeting. A stack of comments were received and considered. In order to move forward with other things, including job descriptions for all employees, passing an organizational chart was essential, she said.
The board went into executive session at the close of the Tuesday's public meeting to discuss personnel issues. No decisions were made following that session.
DOW report documents lynx effort, accomplishments
During 2002, biologists monitored 34 of the 96 lynx reintroduced into the state and believe that as many as half of the original transplants may still be in the southwestern part of the state, according to the recently published Colorado Division of Wildlife 2002 Annual Report.
The monitoring effort confirmed that the lynx have established territories and have sufficient prey to survive. However, Division biologists had not documented reproduction and believe that is due to the fact that there are simply not enough lynx on the ground.
As a result, biologists were working with trappers in four Canadian provinces to capture 50 lynx for release in Colorado this spring, according to the annual report. The goal is to have a self-sustaining population of lynx in the recovery area of southwestern Colorado in the next 10-15 years.
Donations to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund, line 31 on the state income tax form, pays for programs to recover species that aren't fished for or hunted, including species such as the peregrine falcon, black-footed ferret and native greenback cutthroat trout.
Colorado was the first state to create a tax checkoff to help wildlife. Since its inception in 1977, more than half a million taxpayers have used it to donate about $11 million to programs to help wildlife. The Colorado Division of Wildlife receives no general tax funds and is supported instead by revenue from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, money from a federal excise tax on the production of hunting and fishing equipment, and grants, including those from the Colorado lottery and donations.
The Division's annual report documents the wide range of agency activities and accomplishments during the past year and includes information on hunting, fishing species, conservation, and wildlife stewardship and awareness. The report is available at Division offices statewide or online at www.wildlife.state.co.us/AnnualReport/.
Alive at 25 coming to Pagosa Springs
By Tess Noel Baker
On average, between 5,550 and 6,000 teen-agers are killed in automobile crashes across the United States each year. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 24.
To help reduce those statistics, the National Safety Council sponsors a defensive driving course - Alive at 25 - that's coming to Pagosa Springs.
The four-hour course featuring video, discussion and a workbook will be taught by certified off-duty Colorado State Patrol officers Doug Wiersma and Nick Rivera.
"We want to help them identify the things they do on the road that can cause accidents," Wiersma said. It's designed to be an early intervention program, focused on preventing traffic violations, collisions and fatalities.
The course is open to anyone aged 15-24. Cost is $25 for volunteer students, and $50 for court-ordered students. Students who complete the program will be given a certificate of completion signed by an Alive at 25 instructor. The next class in Pagosa Springs is set for May 3, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. To register go to www.alive-at-25.org or call the Colorado State Patrol at 731-0039.
I give Dr. Boutwell credit for the old college try in reaching back to WW II history to justify our incursion into Iraq because Saddam, like Hitler, is an evil man.
The other justifications we heard in the last few weeks seem to get little mention currently, so maybe bringing peace and prosperity to Iraq and their neighbors makes it all OK. However, the comparison of our bringing democracy to the Middle East now to the post WW II rebuilding of Japan and Germany also requires a long reach and not too much attention to historical detail.
Justified or not, we are there. The administration's dream of a quick victory and a warm welcome seem to be a little off schedule. This might not mean much if our troops were not the victims of this ill-conceived venture.
To support our troops who are our friends, neighbors and relatives is an absolute. The cabinet level individuals who make the decisions of life and death over these same troops have the same duty. In addition to our individual support maybe it is time to hold the administration's feet to the fire.
This is not Rumsfeld's private venture or experiment in high-tech warfare. If he did, in fact, cut the original request for troops in half he should answer for it now. This has turned out to be a new twist on "too little and too late" to be "too early and too little."
Now about the French. I really do not admire much about them as they are even more arrogant than our administration. Most individuals have forgotten that the French colonial policies in French Indo-china left a quagmire that turned out to be one of the darkest days in our history, better known as "Nam."
So maybe, when they now try to discourage us from duplicating some of their past errors, we could afford to listen.
It is time for our voices to be heard so the troops in the field may understand that we will make a bipartisan effort to assure they get what they need to do what they have been asked to accomplish.
Life and death
I too have asked myself over the course of the past six months what it will take to solve the health care crisis in Archuleta County. We can place blame until we are blue, but this is not a game, this is not a tug of war where someone wins. This is a life and death situation that needs to end before there are serious consequences.
I have never tried to insult the intelligence of the Upper San Juan Health Service District board or Ms. Dee Jackson. I do not have a bunch of fancy degrees, or evidence of my education hanging on the wall. I do however have a certificate in a drawer that says I am a paramedic.
I personally feel that it is not the number of degrees you have but what actions you take with the knowledge you receive. I am not the opposition, which is what I have been called by a written statement from Ms. Jackson.
There aren't a small percentage of employees that are cry babies, which is what the board thinks. To a lot of employees, citizens of Archuleta County this has turned into a fight for life. The time has come to stop the fighting and do something to save a life.
The employees of the district and Mary Fisher Clinic have been asking for help. There has been such a reduction in staff that ambulance response time at one point was 17 minutes. This is not acceptable. Now we face losing doctors, nurses and office staff.
The facts have been proven over and over. There have been many problems over the years with the district. We can all agree this will be an ongoing situation with a growing entity. However, look at who have stood up and have yelled, cried, prayed for something to be done.
Look at the number of employees who are gone from the district. There has been one person responsible for this. Ms. Jackson has not been picked at random because people don't like her. Her name has been stated in many communications as the person responsible for the existing tensions between staff and management.
The honest facts have been stated by Dr. Wienpahl. Please do not let the health care in Archuleta County be compromised any more.
I am asking the remaining board members of the district to stop and think what you are doing. Take action before someone dies.
"Muslims around the world are increasingly expressing anger at the U.S. attack on Iraq in religious terms," says the lead in an AP news story last week.
"The war between right and wrong has begun. This is a jihad," (a holy war) said Syed Ahmed Bukhari, one of India's most influential Islamic clerics. Formerly moderate clerics and political commentators in the Arab world are using similar language, AP tells us.
I'd say a "war between right and wrong" is indistinguishable from a war against the "axis of evil," against religiously inspired terrorist-zealots, and an evil, oppressive dictator.
Like it or not, whatever other motives are involved, we are now engaged in a rapidly expanding religious war in which military and political success is linked to our assumption that God is on our side, and on their part, that God is on their side.
That certainly puts God on the spot, doesn't it?
Here I have to confess to having felt at times that My Father (who art in heaven) can beat up on yours (who is, I'm sure, not). I'm trying to get over that mindset. In standing with others in support of our troops last Wednesday morning, and in joining in Tuesday's 9 a.m. worldwide prayer for peace, I remembered this incident in the life of Abraham Lincoln, recounted in
"The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln" and found it helpful:
At a White House dinner, a churchman offered a benediction and closed with the pious affirmation: "The Lord is on our side."
When President Lincoln did not respond to this sentiment, someone asked him, "Don't you believe, Mr. President, that the Lord is always on the side of the right?"
"I am not concerned about that," was Lincoln's answer, "for we know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. My concern is that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side."
Are we there yet?
Michael J. Greene
I'm sure there are many people today who are greatly concerned about casualties reported in the 24-hour coverage of the war in Iraq. Also, there are many people stating that our leadership was too optimistic about the amount of time to oust the Iraqi leadership.
To put this in historical perspective, consider World War II. Before the U.S. Marine 28th Regiment landed on the island of Iwo Jima, they were told it would be over in 72 hours.
Instead, it took 38 days to secure the island at the cost of 7,000 U.S. Marines killed in action. When one thinks about the great difference between combat casualties comparing Iwo Jima and Iraq, it doesn't seem as terrible as we hear or read in the media.
Also, think what the hue and cry would be if our leaders had said Iraq would be finished off in 72 hours. Don't get me wrong: One combat death is too many. Take it from a combat veteran of Korea and Vietnam.
Please keep this letter in mind as you receive reports from the war zone. Also, for those of you who want to support our troops, please fly your American flag!
I just wanted to say a few things about the recent dog attacks.
I have known David Martinez and his family since I was a little girl. They had those dogs for a long time. Both of my brothers, his brother and his sister, just to name a few, were around them quite often.
They never attacked any of us. Those dogs had to have been provoked in order to attack the way that they did. I don't think that it is right that David and his mother are going to be charged for something that is completely and totally out of their control.
Those dogs were raised to be very well mannered yet protective. Granted I am in another state now, and I don't have the entire story, but I do believe that they are being wrongfully charged. Thank you for your time.
Your encouraged debate in these columns concerning the Iraq war is always thought provoking and sometimes downright hilarious no matter which side is voicing their opinion on the issue.
However, some of the sentiments recently expressed by Pagosa's liberal letter writing luminaries and the "march against anything mob" could use a little simplification.
Some of the best advice anyone ever gave me I was force fed years ago by a crusty WW II Navy Admiral. He dearly treasured the "KISS" method: "Keep It Simple Stupid!" So, with this as a theme, let's dissect some recent left-wing judgments.
D.C. Duncan: Between President Bush and Saddam Hussein ... Hussein is the bad guy.
Another "KISS" bit of reality that Duncan can take to the bank: Saddam and Osama bin Laden will not seek UN approval before they try to kill us.
By the way, Mr. Duncan: I was heartened to read you have decided to start flying our American flag once again. Why did you ever take it down? I know, President Bush isn't a liberal - tough.
Glenn Bergmann: If you use a Google or Yahoo search engine and type in "French Military Victories," don't be flabbergasted if your computer literally panics at its inability to respond to your inquiry.
Just in case Mr. Bergmann has faith in the United Nations to do the right things, keep this in mind: The UN has Libya heading the committee on Human Rights and Iraq heading the Global Disarmament Committee. Think you can do your own math here?
To continue the dissection: I find a dire compulsion to venture downriver and highlight Bob Dungan's scholarly Arboles coloring book center, that bastion of "Islammabubba" Crayolas.
Professor, should you listen attentively to one of your students, I'm confident that Mohammed Rubba Dub Bubba could make this impression: If you are antiwar and even an outright "America basher," to bin Laden, you are still an infidel who he wants - dead. I assume you are enough of a nontroglodyte to fill in the rest of those "short" dictionary "blanks." And I certainly don't mean to imply that you've entered some troglodytic "old goat" hole.
In conclusion, and to pull the last drop of ink from the Hollywood movie buffs as well: Martin Sheen is not the president. He only plays one on TV.
In a quandary
Ever since you asked for letters supporting our county's military, I have been in a quandary. The problem is separating the general concept of the "military," from the "soldier." In this case "military" means to me the amorphous but powerful entity, including the Pentagon and administration, that started and is conducting the Iraq war. While I support our soldiers and wish them home safe and sound, I cannot, in all honesty, write a letter supporting the military.
I do not support the present action against Iraq as I think it is unjustified, even immoral. I am not alone in this as witness the millions who have protested, many more than your usual "focus group." There can be, and have been, just and honorable wars, but I do not believe this is one of them. The reasons for this belief have been detailed in the last few months, and more especially weeks, so there is little point in repeating them here.
I assume writing these words will brand me as thoughtless, unpatriotic, or worse by some of our more vocal, local patriots. But I have often wondered how the citizens of countries whose governments declare unjustified wars can support those governments. How could the Germans, Japanese, and Italians support Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini? Certainly there are few these days who think the actions of those governments were proper, correct or justified. How many of their constituents during WW II disapproved but felt they must support their government in those times of danger? How many feel ashamed of that support today? How many more, now that we are at war, will support the Iraqi war, although they may wonder about the legality and morality of it? Yes, support our soldiers to keep them safe but not in the offensive conduct of the war. The difference in supporting the military and supporting our troops may seem small, but there is a world of difference between the two.
"My country right or wrong" has its place. But I do not think it applies to the concept of preemptive strikes that lead to war and all the tragedies that inevitably result. I wish our soldiers all the best, that they arrive home safe and sound, and that they do what is required of them by their government, although those governmental actions may have been wrong.
While the analogy is not perfect, there are many similarities between the present conflict in Iraq and the past in Vietnam.
Spring hats set the tone for Easter finery
By Laura Bedard
Hat Day to celebrate the Spring equinox was a huge success. We had several people who had some extremely creative hats.
George Golightly, Darlene Wilson, Curtis Killion and Marilyn McPeek were our winners and they all explained why they decorated their hats the way they did, providing much laughter and teasing. Of course, they walked away with the prizes and some cool hats for Easter.
April 5 is the day of the 9Health Fair. This is a fabulous opportunity to do a number of health screenings. If you have a disability that prohibits you from standing in line, please contact the senior center by Friday for assistance. Please stop by our table and check out information about AARP, Medicare counseling, Benefits Check Up, Elderwatch and some of the programs available at the center.
Barb Conkey will be here April 7 to help us understand our dreams. She has studied dream work for many years and has lots of interesting stories to tell and information to share. Come and find out what your subconscious wants you to know.
An "Overview of Alzheimer's" presentation will be given at 12:30 p.m. April 8. Elaine Stumpo is head of the Alzheimer's Association in Durango and can be reached at 259-0122. She has a lot of good information and suggestions for us.
Be aware of this Medicare fraud scheme.
A beneficiary called to report that someone from Medicare called him and said it was a follow-up to a letter he had previously sent. The caller wanted to deposit $480 into the beneficiary's bank account for "emergency medical services."
The caller wanted to verify who the beneficiary was by asking for his Social Security number and his bank account. The caller said if was not supplied, he would lose his Medicare.
The caller ID indicated the call originated from a Quebec, Canada, number.
Be careful about giving out information over the phone, especially if you haven't initiated the phone call.
We are so pleased people are coming to join us for lunch. We saw Troyena and Eddie Campbell, Pat Boyce and Ruth Newlander on Friday. We got to see Arthur and Ramona Ruiz and Ray and Lelia Martinez for lunch Monday. On Tuesday, Ernie and Viola Pitschel joined us for the first time. Wanda Aeschliman brought her daughter, Cathy Cole on Wednesday, and we also got to see Liz Thissen and Joan Haliday for lunch.
Curmudgeons and rageaholics, beware: A study of 774 white men (average age, 60) found hostility to be a bigger predictor of coronary heart disease than high cholesterol, smoking or obesity.
High hostility may predispose individuals to heart disease by triggering such conditions as cardiac arrhythmia. One more reason to keep your cool, folks.
Check this out. Five-minutes-a-day reading club sends members a portion of a chapter by e-mail every day - free. By the end of a week, after two or three chapters, members decide if the book is one they want to read cover to cover.
Chapter-a-day clubs focus on all genres. Readers sign up for the types of books they like, including business, romance and science fiction.
They can also engage in message-board discussion of the books. For more information: www.chapteraday.com.
Friday, April 4: 10 a.m. Qi Gong, 11 a.m. Medicare counseling, 1 p.m. dominos.
Monday, April 7: 12:45 p.m. Understanding your dreams with Barb Conkey, 1 p.m. Bridge for Fun.
Tuesday, April 8: 9:30 a.m. yoga, 10:30 advanced computer class, 12:30 p.m. overview of Alzheimer's with Elaine Stumpo.
Wednesday, April 9: 10:30 a.m. beginning computer class.
Priority given vets with 50 percent disability
By Andy Fautheree
I want to encourage all Archuleta County veterans, families and friends to attend the 9Health Fair Saturday at Pagosa Springs High School. It will be from 8 a.m.-noon.
I plan to be there with a table, computer and information on VA health care. If you are new to the area, or haven't been to my office to look into VA benefits, please stop by my table and let's get acquainted. If possible, bring your DD214 discharge papers with you.
Health care enrollment
I recently wrote in this column it was my intuition that winds of change could affect VA health care in a positive way for many of our veterans. It appears those winds are already blowing, perhaps aided by national spirit for the support of our troops in the Middle East war.
The VA health care system was dramatically and suddenly changed Jan. 17 this year when these benefits were restricted to many new veteran applicants. The new rules on that date would not allow veterans to enroll in active VA health patient care with an earned income above certain thresholds, which includes such factors as retirement savings and assets. Priority is now given to those with 50-percent service-connected disabilities or higher, and lower incomes.
Many denied VAHC
Prior to that date, any veteran with an honorable discharge could enroll in VA health care. The new rules will not even allow an aging WW II veteran to obtain VA health care unless he met the strict new rules.
Congressman Lane Evans (D-Ill.), senior member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee has recently joined other committee members in recommending a nearly $3 billion boost for veterans' programs. The committee recommended more than $64 billion for veterans programs for fiscal year 2004 including $33.4 billion in mandatory spending and nearly $30.7 billion for discretionary spending. President Bush had requested $60.6 billion.
The budget proposal was inadequate. It relied on suppressing demand, limiting service, increasing veterans' co-payments and elusive "efficiencies." Bulk of the new proposed additional funding boost of $2.2 billion would go to veterans' health care. The committee rejected the Bush administration's proposal to apply a $250 medical care enrollment fee to higher-income veterans and to increase their prescription drug co-payments. Additionally the committee questioned the VA's ability to affect $784 million in "management efficiencies," and recommended restoring most of those funds.
The congressman claimed the recommendation as a victory for veteran, but indicated his desire to find a more lasting response to the chronic under funding of veterans' programs, particularly medical care.
Remember, at this point it is only a congressional committee proposal. The budget recommendations will now be submitted to the House Budget Committee. After conducting hearings, the budget committee will formulate and propose a budget resolution for fiscal year 2004.
Let's hope this proposed budget increase will be approved and veterans once again can rely on enrolling in VA health care, regardless of their income level and assets, or service-connected disability ratings. As it should be. No veteran who has honorably served his country should be denied VA health care.
For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949, and e-mail is email@example.com. The office is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
Easter egg hunt at Eaton rec center
By Sally Hameister
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 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.
Speaking of Easter, don't miss the Knights of Columbus Friday night fish fries, with only two left before the holiday.
I attended last Friday night and enjoyed the most delicious catfish, French fries, cole slaw, hush puppies, corn muffins, ice cream dinner I've had in many a day. The other wonderful plus about the fish fry is that you get to see everyone in town and even some visitors. Don't miss this annual treat.
Volunteer recruitment fair
The invitations have been sent to all organizations and nonprofits 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 April 26 from 10 a.m.-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 who participated last year. If you have questions, give us a call at 264-2360. If your organization is looking for volunteers, the Volunteer Recruitment Fair just may be the answer.
According to my trusty little desk calendar, Sunday marks the beginning of summer daylight savings time, which means that we set our clocks an hour forward when we go to bed Saturday night. I mention this because I have forgotten to do this a number of times and have been late or altogether missed some pretty nifty things as a result.
One of the most memorable debacles occurred my first year as Chamber director when I was asked to judge costumes at Wolf Creek and barely made it in time for the contest.
I won't even mention the brunches with friends who eventually gave up and carried on without me. At any rate, please remember to perform this small but ever so significant task Saturday night.
I'm guessing that this annual tournament has its 24 teams and will be chomping at the bit to begin playing some serious basketball April 10, 11, 12 and 13.
The Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament promises to provide all Pagosa sports fans with some exciting basketball games, with proceeds donated to scholarship funds for local youth.
Get out and support your local players and support a great cause at the same time. Look for starting times in The SUN closer to the event.
Hodge Podge expansion
We're always happy to pass along when our members move, expand or do something we need to share with the membership. In this case, it's Lynda Brown and George Clouse who have expanded their business, Hodge Podge, into the space formerly occupied by Colorado Skies in the River Center. They now have three stores to offer for your shopping enjoyment in the River Center and invite you to come on down, say hello and check out the new space.
Susie and John
Congratulations to the Footlighters on their recent presentation, "An Evening of Shorts: Revelations" at the Fellowship Hall. I attended Saturday night's performance and thoroughly enjoyed myself while once again wondering how such a small community could boast so many talented people.
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 April 11 at 3 p.m. and $18 at the door. You can purchase tickets at WolfTracks, the Chamber of Commerce or The Plaid Pony.
Plan to attend the 9HealthFair this Saturday at the Pagosa Springs High School from 8 a.m.-noon.
There will be a number of free and optional health screenings available to you as well as a blood chemistry analysis for $30 and a prostate specific antigen for $25. Please do not eat 12 hours before having blood drawn, but do drink water and continue to take prescribed medications. Also keep in mind that you must be 18 years of age to participate. Hope to see you there on Saturday.
After the Fire
After you attend the 9HealthFair Saturday, head on over to the community center to attend a Town Hall Meeting with Colorado legislators, Mark Larson and Jim Isgar.
Mark and Jim will be here to discuss fire mitigation and safety and to view a special screening of "After the Fire," a 30-minute educational film about the Missionary Ridge fires and the subsequent floods.
Join these gentlemen and concerned citizens at 2 p.m. April 5 to learn more about how we can better protect our home and property against fire.
On the outside chance that we haven't given you enough to do this Saturday, feel free to head on down to Navajo State Park for two great programs.
At 10 a.m. you can take a historical Underwater Walk through what is left of the foundations of Old Arboles as a result of lower water levels. Meet at Arboles Point on County Road 500 off Colo. 151 and expect windy conditions.
At 12:30 p.m. Kids Corner will present a Critter Creep which allows the little ones to pretend that they are ants or other small critters to explore and discover just how much there is in little spaces. Please meet at the trailhead to the Lakeview Nature Trail by the Visitors Center for this one.
All programs are free with a Colorado state parks pass which are $5 daily and $50 annual. For more information call Navajo State Park at (970) 883-2208.
Three new members join us this week along with nine renewals and this makes for very happy faces at the Chamber.
Independent representatives, Lynn Selwa and Jim Buslepp join us first with Excel Communications with offices at 99 Carpin Circle. If you prefer doing business with a person as opposed to a corporation, Jim and Lynn are there for you. Please call them today for either residence or business phone and Internet service. They are looking for more representatives, so call with questions at 731-3789.
Susan E. Martin joins us next with Bob's and Sue's Comfy Condo located at 302 Talisman Drive No. 32 in Westwind II. This is a fully equipped, two-bedroom condominium that is very clean and newly decorated. It is conveniently located near shopping and boasts beautiful mountain views and a wood-burning stove, TV and phone. No pets or smoking, please. All this is yours for $100 per night with a two-night minimum. Please call Susan at 264-1049 for more information.
Our old pal Marion Francis joins us next with his new adventure, an in-home business appropriately dubbed Francis Enterprises. Marion is now an importer and wholesaler of high-quality fly rods and reels priced to allow you to purchase excellent equipment at close to 50 percent off the price of comparable rods and reels. Please give Marion a call at 731-2063 to learn more about Francis Enterprises.
Our renewals this week include Shelley Low with American Life Financial Group, Inc., d.b.a. U.S. Mortgage Express; Marguerite Jackson with Mountain Greenery; Ecker Construction; Dr. Jim Latham with Mill Creek Veterinary Service; Nancy Guilliams with Piedra River Resort in Chimney Rock; Bud Cunningham with Interior Dreams; Michael DeWinter with The Plaid Pony and DeWinter & Associates and associate members, John and Char Neill. Thank you all ever so much.
Tips for sales on the Internet
By Lenore Bright
A number of patrons have shown interest in selling items on eBay. Some books give step-by-step instructions on how to do the auctions. We have many books to help identify objects as to their authenticity and worth. The "Old Magazines Price Guide," has prices and gives an overview of the field of collecting and pricing items. Let us know the areas you're interested in and we'll try to get some more price guides. Until then, enjoy our large collection of books on the subject.
"Fake Your Own Antiques," by Peter Knott shows how to transform everyday items into eye-catching "antique" pieces, while learning the skills and tricks of the professional restorer. Knott will help you develop skill while you create a variety of different antique finishes. Forty projects are demonstrated, show methods of making surfaces look as if they have aged well. The projects demonstrated will allow you to master finishes such as decoupage, verdigris and metal patina.
Ask at the desk for a list of electronic sites concerning autograph collections and Internet auction houses.
The library will sponsor a booth at the Health Fair to display some of the resources we have to help you with timely information on good health and diet. Come by and visit us this Saturday at the high school. We'll have new library card registration forms for those of you who haven't signed up already.
We're still waiting to hear about our grant. At the rate things are going in Denver, there may not be any money left for anything of value. The state budget is in desperate trouble as we speak. How sad to watch our infrastructures deteriorate.
DHS as it is now known, has launched a Web site at www.dhs.gov.
The site describes the reorganization plan; its progress and links to all 22 agencies slated to become part of DHS. The site also includes information on how citizens can assist in homeland security actions. There are tips for working with the agency. The are current job postings for those interested in working for the agency.
Thank you for materials from David and Susan Durkee, United People's Help Ministry, Janet Rohrer, Musetta McInnis, Scotty Gibson, Peggy Case.
There were no birth announcements this week.
There is no business news this week.
There was no people news this week.
A Gathering of Women
Mountain View Homemakers prepare for 40th anniversary
By Tess Noel Baker
They've been meeting for 40 years, this group of women.
Together, they've given back to the community, expanded their minds and worked with their hands. They've done a little cooking and some eating along the way, too.
They are The Mountain View Homemakers Club. They meet once a month in a member's home. Each woman brings a covered dish for lunch and her own place setting. Some are paper-plate and cup types. Others bring out the dinner dishes and dessert plates. After a call to order, made pleasant by the tinkle of a little gold bell, they sit and listen to a short meditation and prayer. A particularly moving recitation might even produce a few tears.
From there, they form a line for a potluck meal. Every month is different, hostess Margaret Rouke, said.
"Sometimes we have all salads, sometimes we have all desserts. It's not a planned thing, so it's always a good variety." In March, a medley of different casseroles, two types of deviled eggs, pasta salad and a pair of desserts graced the counter-tops.
During lunch, discussions might cover travel abroad, health issues, family or church. From there, it's on to a business meeting, complete with minutes from the previous month and a treasurer's report.
Big plans are currently in the works for a 40th anniversary tea May 8. They've made up official invitations and plan to send them to all previous members. Table decorations, door prizes and fancy nametags are all being planned, as well as the food.
Shirley Snider, club member, said the goals of the tea would be to thank the community, recognize founding members, encourage old members to return to the club and bring in new members.
Currently, they're researching how to set up a proper "tea." Snider brought one example, from an Emily Post book, to the March meeting. Jean Sanft brought in another example - this one from a Betty Crocker cookbook she received as a wedding shower gift nearly 50 years ago. A sign-up sheet went around for silver trays and tea pots, for picking up people and dropping off, for set-up and cleanup. And cooking. Tea sandwiches, scones, muffins and desserts are on the menu.
Following the business meeting, the 16 women in attendance hauled out the sewing machines, ironing board and fabric to give a little something back. Their project - to create "comfort" pillows.
These little pillows, completely washable, are given away to patients at hospitals or nursing homes to help ease the aches and pains. Sometimes, President Robbye Reedye said, full-sized pillows simply can't take away a crick in the neck or sore arm. The small pillows in brightly-colored fabrics are just perfect. It's one of the annual community service projects sponsored by the Homemakers. Others include: funding supplies for the babysitting workshops sponsored by the Archuleta County Education Center, working at the county fair, collecting gifts for the Women's Safe House in Durango and supporting Seeds of Learning. To raise money for annual projects, the group organizes an auction of crafts in July. Guests are invited.
Most of the women in attendance in March were originally introduced to the group by a friend or neighbor. Many by Wilma Morrison, a long-time member of the club who's currently recovering from some health problems.
"She's done more for this community," Natalie Tyson said. "She just becomes a friend to everyone new and brings them to the club." Tyson said once she attended one meeting, "fellowship and programs" brought her back.
Ruth Carnicom labeled the group, "The female knife and fork club."
Snider said it was fun to enjoy a time of "socialization, eating and talking," with other women. After all, men are not allowed and haven't been, except for a few special occasions, since the group's beginnings.
The Mountain View Homemakers started in 1963 as Mountain View Home Demonstration Extension Club. Original members were: Mary Caywood, president; Ruby Radcliff; Elaine Gibson, vice president; Virginia Kleckner, secretary/treasurer; Lillian Gibson and two others who are unnamed in the history, as related by Virginia Kleckner in 1993. They first met in Gibson's home to work on Christmas projects.
The ladies dropped extension from their name in 1984 when demands and costs related to the extension program became prohibitive. Dues continued to be collected for one year and then dropped for good.
In 1985, average attendance at monthly meetings was 8-10. During the summers, numbers were known to climb as high as 54. Each meeting included a pot luck and programs. Ladies learned arts and crafts such as seed painting and how to make rain bonnets, took tours of Chimney Rock and heard discussions on hospice and perennials. One month, they exchanged favorite salad recipes.
According to a page from their history book, "The Mountain View Homemakers represent the spirit of women down through the ages. They make homes out of houses, but these women understand that home means not only their home, but also the community they live and work in. Their talents such as leadership abilities, political involvement, organizational skills, teaching, singing, childcare, cooking, arts and crafts represent homemaking traditions that they shared to create a better community.
"Whether it's teaching a babysitting course; leading a meeting; entertaining with a song or paintbrush these women share not only their talents, but also their unique joy of living. This joy is their gift to the community of Pagosa Springs, CO."
For more information on the Mountain View Homemakers or their programs, contact Reedy at 731-4873.
Utes - looking for a home
By John Motter
Towering pines once covered Pagosa Country row upon endless row, much as marching soldiers cover a parade ground.
Only the sound of soft-soled moccasins worn by Southern Utes, or an occasional Navajo or Jicarilla disturbed the Abert squirrels watching from the security of an overhead limb.
In the blink of an eye, historically speaking, the hard-soled tread of first Spanish and then Anglo boots took over the trails that crisscrossed the country. The black beards and white eyes came to stay. What were the original inhabitants, the Southern Utes, to do?
Negotiations launched as early as 1848 tried to identify a home land for the indigenous peoples. The result was, by 1880, white settlers were burying plows in the best lands in Pagosa Country. Angry Utes, tenuously camped along the Rio de los Pinos at Ignacio, were still looking for a home.
Several Southern Ute leaders boarded a train Jan. 16, 1880, bound for Washington, D.C. with the dream of finally establishing a home place for their threatened people. Those leaders were Ignacio, Buckskin Charley, Severo and Ojo Blanco.
They arrived in Washington Feb. 1 and stayed there until well into March before signing an agreement. It was the first time in the history of negotiations with the Ute Indians that they agreed to move to a new reservation or to lands in severalty without first having the lands chosen and inspected for them.
The agreement called for the relinquishment of their reservation in Colorado except those lands defined for use in severalty.
Whites presently living in the San Juan Basin between Pagosa Springs and the Utah border, places such as Allison, Arboles, Cortez, etc., and within 15 miles of the New Mexico border should give thanks every day for the concept of severalty.
Before the implementation of severalty, Southern Ute reservation boundaries started at a point 15 miles north of the New Mexico border on the Colorado-Utah border and stretched eastward approximately to Pagosa Springs before dropping south to the New Mexico border and following that line westward and along the Colorado-Utah border back to the starting point.
In essence, severalty gave Indians the same rights as white homesteaders. They were allowed to claim and receive title to homestead acreage. When all of the Indians had claimed a homestead, or land in severalty, the remaining unclaimed land was opened for white homestead claims. This is how, for example, the Allison area came to be occupied by whites. That occupation was at a comparatively recent date, the late 1890s and early 1900s. It took about 20 years to implement severalty for the Southern Utes.
In the meantime, white settlers in the San Juan Basin set up a clamor. They didn't want severalty. They wanted all of the land. Send the Utes to Utah, they demanded. Attempts were made to set up a Ute reservation in San Juan County, Utah, around Monticello.
Those citizens didn't want the Utes either. Attempts were made to send them to the Ute reservation around Fort Duchesne in the northeast corner of Utah. That didn't work because the Southern Utes refused to go there and join the Northern, Tabeguache, Grand Valley and other Ute bands at that location.
Daniel Egger, founder and editor of the Pagosa Springs News, devoted lots of inches between 1890 and 1900 to explaining why the Utes had to go.
A few miles south of Pagosa Springs is Taylor Canyon, probably named for Pagosa pioneer "Doc" Taylor. Taylor lobbied endlessly for removal of the Utes from that area that would be "better used by whites willing to work the ground."
The Utes used to cut hay in Taylor Canyon. After severalty, the whites claimed it and continued to cut hay there. Incidentally, until the 1920s, a road through Taylor Canyon connected Pagosa Springs with Cat Creek and Pagosa Junction. When heavy rains washed out a bridge in the canyon, the road was abandoned.
The land in severalty plan was applied across the nation. From among a large number of white schemes that succeeded in transferring land from Indian to white, severalty probably hurt Indians the worst. Before severalty, Oklahoma Territory - it was once called Indian Territory, remember? - was largely Indian reservation. If you want to know what happened to those reservation lands, check on the results of the severalty act
Of course, majority approval of the involved Indians was obtained before severalty was enacted. This was a vote by individual Indians, not by their leaders. The Southern Utes in Ignacio, basically the Capote and Moache tribes, voted for severalty. Further west, the Weeminuche Utes voted against severalty. As a consequence, the Ute Mountain reservation south of Cortez with headquarters at Towaoc remains intact. Most of the reservation lands formerly around Ignacio and in Archuleta County are gone.
A few reminders of Ute settlement remain in the county, such as Washington Flats and Talian. Washington Flats is that area just south of the intersection of U.S. 160 and Colo. 151. A Ute leader called Washington once claimed that property. Washington was a leader among the Utes. Whites called his wife Martha. Washington lived near the dry, Lake Capote lake bed. It is said that a daughter died and is buried in an unmarked grave on a hill above the lake. Of course, the man-made lake was not there in those days.
After she died, Washington abandoned the property and moved to Ignacio. Many Indians refused to remain near a site of death, although the fear was greater among Athabaskans than among Shoshone-Utes.
A member of the Pargin family purchased the property from the tribe and farmed it for many years. The Pargins built Capote Lake. When they retired from farming, the Pargins sold the land back to the Southern Utes.
Talian was a Southern Ute whose allotment was located near the intersection of Cat Creek Road and Vega Redonda Road. I have never learned much about Talian or what happened to him. The logging community and coal mine located at that intersection were called Talian.
There were, no doubt, other Indian allotments in Archuleta County. A look at the 1916 map of the county, prepared by county surveyor Robert Howe, shows many tracts listed as IA, Indian Allotment.
Much more could be written about the Ute struggle to claim land of their own. Little new national legislation in that regard has been adopted since the provisions of the severalty act were removed during the 1920s.
Probably the most significant recent local trend is the aggressive repurchase of land by the Southern Utes in Southern Colorado and the Jicarilla Nation in Northern New Mexico.
Revenue from gas and oil produced on both reservations has enabled both tribes to extend their boundaries.
An important vote
Come April 8, voters in Pagosa Springs will have an unusual opportunity: they will make a decision that clearly affects the future of the town. A vote either way on the first part of a voter-driven process leading to home rule for Pagosa Springs will be a major factor in determining what the town will be for years to come.
Registered, qualified voters living within town boundaries can cast votes in favor of or against the formation of a commission charged with creation of a home rule charter for Pagosa Springs.
Home rule is a form of government that exempts an entity, in this case a municipality, from many of the limitations placed on statutory entities by the state. In short, it is a way a municipality can assume greater control and set much of its own course, in a form its residents desire.
A voters' forum held Monday revealed some misunderstandings and concerns regarding the creation of a home rule government. A key misconception is that home rule in town consolidates town and county in a single government. The current move to home rule concerns only the town of Pagosa Springs.
Second, many believe that the flexibility in a home rule charter allowing a municipality to avoid statutory tax limitations means increased taxes are mandated. This is not true. The option to change taxes can be written into a charter, if desired, but any tax increase is subject to the TABOR requirement of voter approval. At present, town trustees have not indicated a desire to obtain additional sales tax and seem content with the current split of revenues with the county, with their agreement extended through 2009.
If voters approve creation of a commission, that group will write a draft charter for the town, after receiving input from numerous sources and analyzing several models now in operation in Colorado.
A charter could provide residents of the town, including those who ask to be annexed into the town in the future, with a freedom from state control not available to a statutory community. Included could be the ability to district the town to equalize political influence, and the ability to establish the number of trustees on the board and term lengths for elected officials. The same freedom could be applied to other aspects of town government as well. Home rule offers residents the ability to reform their government and to shape it in such a way as to allow revisions in the future.
More details about home rule are printed in a story on Page 1 of this edition.
Voters will decide two issues April 8. The first: whether to form the commission and start the process. The second: to pick its members. Currently, there are six candidates for places on a board of nine. If the commission is approved, town trustees will appoint members to seats unfilled in the election.
Once elected, a commission has 120 days to write a draft charter. There are 30 for the town board to review the charter, then 120 days to bring a charter to the voters who review the charter and pass judgement on it.
Voters in town have the chance April 8 to establish a new form of government and achieve more control over their destiny. Whether you agree with the option or not, the effect of your decision will be significant. Make a studied choice and have a real effect on your community.
When you got a nickel's worth
By Richard Walter
Please deposit five cents for the first three minutes.
That was for a pay telephone call.
Those phones are a dying breed. Too many have been ripped from their tethers by those with too little to do or a gnawing need for "phone change."
And, when was the last time you saw a complete phone book in a pay phone kiosk?
A call for a nickel? Yep. But that was a long time ago. Today you're lucky in the big city airport to find one where you'll spend less than a dollar ... and that's just to reach an operator ... often a technologically created tinny voice which is basically unintelligible.
Sure, the cost of everything has risen over the years. The newspaper is no exception. But we strive to provide a legitimate product at the least possible cost.
The pay telephone, however, seems to have become a relic of the near past. Replaced by cell phones, cordless phones, pre-paid phone cards purchased at the supermarket, and by people who need a historic decoration for their living room or home office.
Gone even earlier were the old party lines.
I recall my grandmother in Pagosa Springs had a wall phone in the kitchen - after years of rejecting the intrusion because of the cost - when several of her sons were in military service.
No call coming in was private. Oh, yeah, you had your own personal ring - maybe two shorts and a long - dialed by an operator at an office on Main Street (now called Pagosa Street) downtown.
Everyone had their own ring, and everyone recognized each other's ring. It wasn't unusual to be talking on the phone and find someone else was listening intently ... and offering commentary on what was being said.
Perhaps it was boredom, a genuine sense of concern for the neighbor's well being, or just a need to know.
Sometimes there'd be a real emergency and you had to break in to a party line conversation and plead for them to clear the line.
There were probably a dozen other homes on Grandma's line and each of the families was instructed on how to recognize a call was for them.
Today, in the age of electronic modernity, we have instant communication from anywhere in the world. We have pictures live from the war zone.
There is no need to eavesdrop on your neighbor's phone call from her boyfriend, or a cousin in Iowa, or a boss wondering where the tardy employee is.
In this era of literal reality, everyone knows everything. Just ask them.
One of the best read features in this newspaper is the Whaddaya Think seen on the editorial page every week.
It is a sounding board for public opinion on a wide variety public questions and people are awesome with their knowledge of current events.
In the days of the party line, smoke signals weren't too far removed from the communications network. But if you really wanted privacy, most of the party liners would grant it.
I defy you to find that degree of privacy today. It just can't happen. Somewhere, somehow, an electronic big brother is monitoring you.
90 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of April 4, 1913
Tuesday's wet and dry election has passed into history, the drys winning the contest by the narrow majority of three out of a total of 325 votes cast on the question. What effect, if any, the dry victory will have on the town's industrial condition is a problem for the future. That the town's financial condition as a corporation will be affected by the loss of the revenue from saloon licenses admits of no doubt, for this revenue was about a quarter of the town's total annual revenue.
The fine weather of the past few days is drying up the roads and making it possible for the spring repair work on the highways to be done early.
There are twelve autos owned in Pagosa Springs, which is going some for a mountain town of 800 people.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of April 6, 1928
County Superintendent of Schools Mrs. Myrtle DeFoe and Miss Eloida Ford returned home last evening from Denver, where the former attended the annual meeting of county superintendents of the state and also chaperoned the latter, who was Archuleta County's representative at the state spelling contest.
The interior of the Liberty Theatre is being redecorated, new lighting fixtures added, and other improvements made.
The wind completely wrecked Mr. Shahan's hay barns last week.
Mr. Shahan has leased another one of the Wirt ranches and is very busy breaking sod and getting ready to farm on a large scale.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of April 3, 1953
John H. Galbreath, former Pagosa Springs attorney, has been named by Governor Dan Thornton as the second district judge in the Sixth Judicial District. This appointment was made as a result of state legislature creating a second judge in this district because of the large number of cases and the court work involved. Mr. Galbreath was a resident of Pagosa Springs from 1912 until 1950. He held the position of county attorney for nearly 25 years.
Beta Sigma Phi will have their annual Easter Egg hunt Saturday, April 4, for all boys and girls from toddlers on up to and including 12 year olds. There will be prizes for special eggs, and a grand prize for the holder of the lucky number.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of April 6, 1978
Ross Aragon, who has been on the town board, was elected mayor in Tuesday's election. The three board members elected were Joe Dan Martinez, Ben Larry Lynch, and Terry Alley. One additional member must be appointed to fill the vacancy created by Aragon's election as mayor.
Mrs. Ruby Sisson was honored last weekend by the Colorado Education Association for her outstanding work with students of all ages and her contributions to education. She is a long-time teacher in the county having taught in both rural and town schools. She is also active in other areas, being president of the San Juan Soil conservation District. She will retire at the end of the school term.