Two errors void health board recall petitions
By Tess Noel Baker
A petition effort aimed at forcing a recall election for the five remaining elected members of the Upper San Juan Health Service District board has failed.
Archuleta County Clerk June Madrid said petitions for the recall of Susan Walan, Ken Morrison, Martha Garcia, Wayne Wilson and Patty Tillerson were found insufficient. District Court Judge Gregory Lyman reviewed those findings with no objection.
The main issue, said Madrid, was not with the number of signatures submitted, but with the circulator affidavits. State statutes are very specific when it comes to completing the affidavits, and if any part of it does not comply, none of the signatures gathered under the affidavit can be counted.
In this case, each of the five petitions had 15 sections of signatures and each section had to have a circulator affidavit. Because of errors on the affidavits, two sections in each petition were denied before a signature was ever checked.
Madrid said in one case the date the circulator signed the affidavit did not match the date it was notarized. Because the affidavit must be signed before a notary public, the dates must match. In the other case, the circulator's address did not match voter registration records.
"The circulator must put down their physical address as registered to vote," Madrid said.
Declining those two sections completely in each petition held the number of qualifying signatures below the 300 minimum despite the fact that, in each case, over 400 signatures were submitted.
A copy of the petition is available to the public at the Archuleta County Clerk's Office.
Madrid said because the recall effort halted prior to an election, the county will not be able to recoup any of the money spent in the pre-election process. Had there been an election, costs would have been paid by the health service district.
"When you look at it from the standpoint of taxpayer dollars versus taxpayer dollars, some voters might not agree there needs to be any reimbursement," Madrid said. "But when a county has an election budget and they have to spend $2,000 of it on an election process that can't be recouped, then it takes monies from county elections."
Fire bans enacted for region
By Tom Carosello
"I'd like to start it yesterday."
Such was the response Tuesday from Warren Grams, chief of the Pagosa Fire Protection District, after being asked by the Archuleta County board of commissioners when he felt a countywide fire ban should be instituted.
Shortly after that sentiment, which was echoed by the sheriff's office, the board swiftly carried Commissioner Mamie Lynch's motion to enact fire restrictions effective 5 p.m., June 24.
The resulting ban includes the prohibition of open fires/agricultural burning and the private use of fireworks.
Also prohibited is the disposal of any burning material "hot enough to cause the ignition of weeds or grasses, such as cigarette or cigar butts, except in a fireproof receptacle designed for such disposal."
The ban does not include:
- public fireworks displays (that have been authorized by the sheriff's office and the appropriate fire official)
- fires that are located within a commercially operated campground or campgrounds owned and operated by public entities
- the use of camp stoves or grills fueled by bottled gas or pressurized liquid fuel and specifically designed for cooking or heating purposes
- the use of welding equipment
- the use of charcoal grills.
On a related note, "Stage 1" U.S. Forest Service fire restrictions will take effect Friday within the Zone 1 boundaries established earlier this year.
Also referred to as the "low zone," the eastern boundaries of the area stretch from U.S. 550 east to Wolf Creek Pass, and include all San Juan Public Lands outside of the South San Juan and Weminuche wildernesses.
Within the western boundary, which encompasses areas west of U.S. 550 over to the Utah border, Forest Service fire managers have used roads and trails to define the low zone. Restricted areas include lands south of Kennebec Pass, Spruce Mill Road and the West Dolores Road.
In short, all Bureau of Land Management/San Juan Center lands, including Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, are within the low zone, except for those in San Juan and Ouray counties outside of Silverton.
The Forest Service restrictions differ slightly from county restrictions and include the following:
- building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, coal or wood-burning stove fire, any type of charcoal-fueled broiler or open fire of any type is prohibited, unless constructed in permanent fire rings or grates within developed campgrounds
- smoking is limited to vehicles, buildings, developed recreation sites or three-foot wide areas cleared of vegetation
- chain saws and other internal-combustion engines must have approved, working spark arresters
- acetylene and other (welding) torches with an open flame may not be used
- the use of explosives is prohibited.
Also, the use of fireworks is prohibited on all Forest Service and BLM lands, regardless of location.
A local American hero gets call to pilot the Rotary holiday parade
By Rod Preston
Special to The SUN
Cecil Tackett is an excellent example of "Our American Heroes," - the theme for this year's Fourth of July parade - and he has been chosen by the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club as parade marshal.
Born and raised on a farm in southeast Kansas, Cecil went to a one-room school through the eighth grade. In high school, he drove his Model-A 16 miles to Altamont, Kan., taking other students along for the exorbitant fee of 15 cents per day.
He started his university education at Kansas State University majoring in civil engineering but ran out of money after two and a half years.
Cecil enlisted in the Army Air Corps nine months before Pearl Harbor and received his pilot's wings as a 2nd Lieutenant in September 1941. On Dec. 7, 1941, he was stationed at Boise, Idaho but his outfit had no airplanes.
He was transferred to McCord Field in Washington and later to Florida, given an A-29 attack bomber with a .50-caliber machine gun and depth charges, and assigned to look for submarines. He also flew submarine patrol in B-25s from Cuba, Trinidad and Surinam.
In 1943, he was assigned to Lockbourne Air Base in Ohio and Walker Air Base in Kansas to qualify in B-29s, which were not yet available, so his training was in B-17s. In November 1944, he was sent to Saipan Island in the South Pacific to fly bombing missions over Japan.
These missions were long, covering 3,000 miles and requiring 14 to 15 hours.
Cecil said the first B-29s were not really ready to fly and they lost a lot of engines during their missions, some to mechanical failure and some to enemy fire. On one of his missions over Japan, he had two left engines fail due to mechanical problems.
Eight hours later, Cecil was able to bring his plane, "Pride of the Yankees," and crew back to Saipan with only two of the four engines. A picture of this plane hangs in the U.S. Air Force Academy. Cecil mustered out of the Air Corps in February 1946 after 35 missions.
With a wife and two children, Cecil returned to Kansas State University and completed his civil engineering degree in 1948. Cecil's professional career was with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation primarily involving dam construction in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
Cecil's first introduction to Pagosa Country came in 1963 as chief engineer of the construction project to transfer water from the Blanco, Little Navajo and Navajo rivers through a 26-mile tunnel to Willow Creek, Heron Reservoir and the Chama River in New Mexico. This water diversion was mandated by the U.S. Congress to satisfy New Mexico's water allotment as required in the 1922 Colorado River Compact and the 1948 Upper Colorado River Basin Compact. This project employed as many as 500 people from 1965 to 1972.
After the project was completed, Cecil was assigned to the bureau's chief engineer's office in Denver but he said this was a "necktie job" so he retired in 1974 and moved to Pagosa Springs.
Here his expertise was quickly recognized and he served on the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees, the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board, the board of directors of Citizens Bank, and he still serves the San Juan Water Conservancy District helping to restore the Lower Blanco River.
Cecil has been a member of the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club since 1986 and is a Paul Harris Fellow in the club. Cecil and his wife Barbara live in Pagosa Lakes.
New water use rate structure approved
By Tom Carosello
"The more you use, the more you pay" is the basic premise of the new water rate structure adopted this week by the board of directors of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.
The new rates, which are aimed at encouraging conservative usage habits, will be reflected on customer bills in August and will include water consumption from late June through the month of July. District charges for wastewater services will remain unchanged.
The board's decision to implement the fresh methodology is the end result of a three-month study of district rate charges conducted by Integrated Utilities Group Inc., the Denver-based firm hired to perform the analysis early this year.
Carol Malesky, an economist with the firm, presented the results of the evaluation to the board and about a dozen members of the public during a May 6 presentation at the community center.
During that meeting, Malesky indicated the findings revealed two rate alternatives that would effectively recover the district's user charge requirements while maintaining relatively competitive rates.
The final report on the study was published and made available to the public, and comment on the proposed rate alternatives was solicited through June 24.
"We haven't received a whole lot of comments," Carrie Campbell, district manager, told the board during Tuesday night's meeting. "But all the responses we have taken have been favorable," added Campbell.
The same held true during the public comment portion of the meeting, as all opinions offered by the those in attendance reflected a supportive recommendation for what was referred to in the study as "Option A."
That option, which Integrated Utilities Group also recommended to the board as more appropriate because it is more in line with industry standards, eventually got the motion for approval.
It includes a base, monthly service charge of $5.50, and no minimum water allowance. It also calls for a volume charge of $1.85 for every thousand gallons up to 8,000 gallons.
For usage between 8,000-20,000 gallons, a charge of $3.70 will be in effect for every thousand gallons. Usage beyond 20,000 gallons will carry a price tag of $4.50 for every thousand gallons. (Note - a multiplication of equivalent units to those thresholds will apply to multifamily and commercial applications.)
For winter months, when the district does not read residential meters, charges will be based on the previous year's average of total monthly usage between November-April. (The combined monthly average of all single-family usage within the district.)
Then, for example, if April's (current year) reading exceeds the amount billed, the customer will be charged the difference. If the reading is less than what was billed, a credit will be issued.
While the new rate structure will effectively eliminate the $5.25 "drought surcharge" that has been included on customer bills since last year by "absorbing" a portion of that amount into base rates, it includes additional charges for "increased usage" when mandated water restrictions are in place. (The $5.25 charge will be included for the current billing cycle, then discontinued.)
The increased usage charges, effective per equivalent unit, kick in after usage exceeds 8,000 gallons and will reflect a rate of 77 cents for every 1,000 gallons over 8,000 for volumes up to 20,000 gallons. Usage exceeding 20,000 gallons will carry a charge of $1.20 for every additional 1,000 gallons.
Does the new rate structure mean district customers will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets when bills come in?
Not necessarily, says Shellie Tressler, district administrative assistant.
An apparent advantage of the new rates is that "They are more flexible," said Tressler, "And because they are directly based on volume, they reward conservation-minded usage, and people certainly have control over that."
The board made no adjustment to current water restrictions, and residents living within the district who have addresses ending in even numbers may continue to water on even-numbered days of the month; residents whose addresses end in odd numbers may water on odd-numbered days of the month.
Watering is permitted between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. the following morning.
Dutton Ditch update
Public comment is currently being sought by the Forest Service concerning the proposal to issue a special use permit that will enable the district to encase Dutton Ditch and improve delivery and storage capacity to Stevens Reservoir.
A decision on that permit will likely be handed down before the end of the year.
However, according to Harold Slavinsky, board chairman, some degree of public misconception has arisen recently concerning the cooperation level of the Forest Service and PAWS throughout the process.
"I would like to make a comment ... kind of clear the air a bit and go on record to let everybody know we are working with the Forest Service to get this permit set up and get this project under construction," said Slavinsky, "And they are cooperating fully with us."
Slavinsky's assertion was seconded by Campell.
"For one reason or another, there seems to be a general feeling among some that there is a conflict issue surrounding the project.
"But I can tell you the district does not have an issue," concluded Campbell.
For updates or more information on the Dutton Ditch project or other district initiatives, visit the PAWS Web site at www.pawsd.org.
Calm, dry weather forecast for Pagosa Country
By Tom Carosello
Layers of smoke, dust and other windswept debris clouded Pagosa Country skies during the past week, though not all of the hazy particulate originated in Colorado.
Smoke from intense wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico was carried aloft by high winds and settled into the Upper San Juan Basin on several occasions when nighttime temperatures dipped to near freezing.
However, according to forecasters, such scenarios should become less common in the coming days as winds subside and a dry-weather trend sets in.
"There's a chance for some afternoon clouds over the San Juans, but otherwise winds should die down by the weekend and conditions should remain dry and sunny," said Paul Frisbie, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.
"As far as the chance for rain, I would say it looks like clear sailing through early next week," added Frisbie, "But as we approach the monsoon season, things will start to become more unstable, especially in the next few weeks."
Frisbie also indicated a brief cold front sagging into the northern half of the state will have little effect on the Four Corners region before it tracks eastward over the weekend.
According to Frisbie, sunny skies will prevail today, and high temperatures will hit the mid-70s.
Clear skies will persist into tonight and lows should settle into the 35-45 degree range.
Occasional clouds should be the norm for Friday and Saturday. Highs are predicted in the upper 70s to low 80s each day; lows should drop to around 40.
The forecasts for Sunday through Wednesday all predict mostly sunny skies, highs in the low to mid-80s and a negligible chance for precipitation.
The average high temperature recorded last week at Stevens Field was 75 degrees. Last week's average low was 39. Precipitation measurements taken at the airport last week amounted to zero, although other areas of the county received sparse rainfall.
The Pagosa Ranger District rates the current area fire danger as "high." The district has announced that fire restrictions across lower elevations will take effect tomorrow. Conditions are subject to change rapidly this time of year; for updates and more information, call the district office at 264-2268.
The National Allergy Bureau rates area pollen counts as "moderate" and lists oak and grass as the current dominant pollens.
San Juan River flow is falling and ranged between approximately 200-450 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of June 26 is roughly 1,000 cubic feet per second.
Special events drew special people
By Joe Lister Jr.
The parks and recreation department hosted a fireworks clinic June 18, put on by Sam Stout and Les Cahill of Fireworks America.
Over 15 pyro-nuts showed up for the free seminar where we were looking for volunteers to help with our annual Fourth of July fireworks show.
The final exam for the night, was to go to the softball field site, and learn the safety factors involved in firing off 3-inch mortars. This was not only the final exam, but the highlight of the evening for all participants. For neighbors in the area, it was a surprise showing of what the Fourth will have to offer.
Thanks to all for attending, and we look forward to picking out a volunteer crew from the class.
Fishing derby day
The town of Pagosa Springs, Colorado Division of Wildlife and the local chapter of the Turkey Federation put together another annual event and we had a great time thanks to the above-mentioned groups.
Free fishing poles were strung, weighted and ready to go, thanks to many volunteers who helped put on one of the most successful fishing contests in the state. We gave away over 100 poles June 20 and fed over 150 people. Hotdogs, chips, and ice cold soda were donated by the Turkey Federation and City Market.
Seeing the kids and parents enjoy an early summer day fishing, is just one of the favorite parts of my job. Seeing the people of Pagosa Springs come together to make it all work is just a joy.
We ran into a little rain which made it that much cozier; having all the people under one little shelter made us giggle and enjoy each other that much more.
Many prizes and gifts donated by the town of Pagosa Springs, were given away with all kids leaving with a big smile on their faces.
Special thanks to Clifford Lucero and John Perea (Archuleta County), Larry Garcia and Doug Purcell (DOW), Lisa, Dylan, Jim Miller and Jim Shaffer, (parks and recreation), David Lucero, Bob Curvey, Steve Lynch and spouses,( Turkey Federation), and to all the parents who stepped up and helped out to make a success of the annual event.
Dawn Ross was voted the "Mom most likely to string a pole, turn a hot dog, and gut a fish at the same time" award. Thank you again Pagosa for helping out.
The fireworks and old fashioned picnic will take place at the Pagosa Lodge this year.
The setting, the music, the games are second to none. We all tend to put in many hours, this time of year but if, "it's not fun, we don't do it."
We look forward to seeing everyone out there, starting at 4 p.m. with games, food and music, leading up to our annual fireworks show, which should start around 9:20 p.m. - when it's good and dark outside.
The district will host the Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge at 5:30 p.m. today.
Young baseball fans can exhibit their skills when the annual challenge comes to town. The competition is free and open to both boys and girls ages 6 -13. There are separate divisions for both sexes and the age classification is determined as of Dec. 31 this year.
Entry forms are available at Town Hall and at the ball fields in the sports complex adjacent to Golden Peaks Stadium.
Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge is a competition that allows youngsters to showcase talents in baserunning, batting and throwing with scores based on speed, distance and accuracy.
It is a youth program of the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association with support provided through a grant from the Colorado Rockies and the Robert R. Cormick Foundation.
Top scorers from each age group advance to a sectional competition.
Top sectional scorers from each age group advance to the state championships held in conjunction with a Colorado Rockies game.
Participants receive certificates signed by Rockies manager Clint Hurdle. First-, second- and third-place winners are recognized at each level of competition.
Ten Porpoises trim times in Santa Fe invitational
By Steve Kitson
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Lakes Porpoises competed at the Dia de Padres Invitational Swim Meet in Santa Fe June 14-15.
Only 10 swimmers were chosen to attend this meet but the trip was well worth their while. Each performed well and dropped time off previous personal bests in some events.
In the 8 and under age group, Kalie Ray dropped 3.88 seconds in her 100 meter backstroke in the third meet of her first year of swimming.
In the 9-10 age group, Teale Kitson's best swims were in the 100 meter backstroke with a second and the 200 meter freestyle, placing fourth. He managed Junior Olympic qualifying times in both.
He also set new Pagosa Lakes Porpoise's Team records in these events.
In the 11-12 age group, Mackenzie Kitson and Emmi Greer represented Pagosa.
This was Greer's first meet in the older age category. She was able to drop 12 seconds in her 100 back. Mackenzie, working hard to increase her total number of Silver State Meet qualifying times, peeled 9 seconds off her 200 individual medley time and finished in the top 20 in four of her events.
In the 13-14 age group, three girls and two boys were entered.
The girls were led by Della Greer who dropped 59 seconds in her 400 free and three seconds in her 100 free. She finished in the top 20 in all her events and increased the number of events with Silver State Meet qualifying times.
Aliya Haykus also improved her times, shrinking her 50 free time by 1.86 seconds.
Hillary Matzdorf dropped time in most of her events with her best showing in the 200 free, shaving 5.89 seconds.
The boys entered were Aaron Miller and Michael Caves. In the 400 meter free, Caves split off 23 seconds and placed fourth, and Miller was able to clip 3.61 seconds off to place fifth.
Practices have been intense these past few weeks as the team prepares for the main meets of the season and the Colorado State Championships in July.
Lady golfers score 38 in match play against Farmington
By Lynne Allison
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Women's Golf Association sent eight of its lowest handicap players to Cortez Conquistador Golf Club for team play June 19.
The Pagosa ladies picked up 38 points in match play against San Juan Country Club of Farmington.
Representing Pagosa were Jane Stewart, Julie Pressley, Jane Day, Bonnie Hoover, Lynne Allison, Sho-Jen Lee, Carrie Weisz and Nancy Chitwood.
The team is currently in fifth place in the league.
In earlier action June 17, the association played 18 holes in the modified Stableford format.
In this format, the women play with 100 percent of their handicaps and earn 8 points for double eagles, 5 points for eagles and 2 points for birdies.
Loretta Campuzano was first with 19 points; Carrie Weisz second with 17; Audrey Johnson third with 16; Sharon Utz fourth with 15; and Jane Day, Debbie Copple and Sho-Jen Lee tied for fifth with 12 points each.
The next team event will be hosted in Pagosa Springs July 17.
Wrestling clubs plan dance to support youth activities
The Pagosa Springs Pee Wee Wrestling Club and the Pagosa Springs Wrestling Club are combining to put on a benefit auction and dance July 11.
The dance will be held in the Extension building 7-11 p.m. and will feature the music of Andy Janowsky and the High Rollers, one of southwest Colorado's most popular dance bands.
The High Rollers play a variety of styles but their specialties are country dance music and classic rock and roll.
Proceeds from the dance will help provide camp scholarships, travel expenses and uniforms.
Last season the Pagosa Springs Pee Wee Club had over 70 participants, and the growing enrollment has created a demand for new warm-ups and uniforms.
In addition, each year the PWC attempts to send local teenage athletes to camps and competitions. Cost per athlete starts at around $300 and can be as high as $1,000 per athlete, depending on the event.
One camp on the schedule for three Pagosa Springs teenagers is the Cadet and Junior National Tournament in Fargo, N. D. This event, sponsored by USA Wrestling, features the best 15- to 18-year-old wrestlers in the nation, with over 100 entrants per weight.
Daren Hockett, Michael Martinez, and David Richter of Pagosa Springs will represent Colorado wrestling in this prestigious event in late July.
Dance tickets will be $7 for singles, $10 for couples. Tickets can be obtained before the event at Goodman's, Bank of the San Juans, Citizens Bank and Boot Hill.
The clubs are independent of the Archuleta County school system.
The dance and auction are a great way to support local youth activities and have a good time.
Pagosa school gets $41,500 technology grant
By Richard Walter
Archuleta School District 50 Joint is one of 16 districts statewide which will share in a $645,000 Colorado Technology Access Program grant.
The grant comes from a competitive program and school districts must apply for it and provide substantiation of need.
The local district applied for $41,500 to fund technology and assessment integration in Pagosa Springs Elementary School.
Specific goals of the program are to:
- increase the ability of Colorado teachers to strategically use technology to improve student learning
- increase the issue of student achievement data/information to improve student learning and teacher practice
- increase access to hardware and software and local and remote instructional and information resources
- improve parental involvement in their schools through improved communications between the home and school regarding student learning.
The $41,500 grant for local schools will specifically address the second listed goal.
"It is very important that we focus on the learning of each and every student," said Superintendent Duane Noggle. "The best time to do this is at the lower grades where early intervention will make the biggest difference in student achievement."
"This grant," he added, "will help us do that by providing teachers the tools and training to integrate student achievement data into the daily instructional program."
A portion of the grant will be used to purchase Measures of Academic Progress, an online software application which will allow teachers to administer a diagnostic test in reading and math four times a year.
Unlike the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) teachers will have immediate access to student test scores and thereby be able to adjust instruction based upon the educational needs of the individual student.
The remainder of the grant will be used to train teachers on how to administer tests under the new program and to purchase 19 computers and a single server.
Noggle said district administrators believe receipt of the grant and implementation of its goals will greatly enhance student achievement over the next three years.
The Colorado Department of Education said the funding program provides an opportunity for high-poverty and high-need school districts that received insufficient grants under the fiscal 2002-03 funding formula to implement significant technology-based initiatives designed to improve student learning.
Other districts in the region receiving grants under the program were Ignacio ($36,683) and Salida ($44,589).
Annual Conference on Learning
features three experts in the field
By Richard Walter
Three men known nationally in the education field are the special guests for the 8th annual Southwest Conference on Learning.
The conference, scheduled July 28-29 at Pagosa Springs High School, is sponsored by The Charles J. Hughes Foundation and Archuleta County School District 50 Joint.
Guests will include award winner author Dave Pelzer, author of such bestsellers as "A Child Called It," "The Lost Boy," "A Man Called Dave," and most recently "Help Yourself."
Pelzer is an author, educator and survivor of child abuse who has had a Pulitzer Prize nomination and presidential commendations.
His recovery and accomplishments are a story everyone should hear.
Pelzer will deliver his inspirational and motivational message in a presentation he calls "The Real Heroes." It is dedicated to the educators, social workers, foster homes, law enforcement and volunteers making a difference in childrens' lives.
His living testament of resilience, faith in humanity and personal responsibility is called a "message not to be missed."
Joining him in the two-day program will be Dr. Bruce J. Perry, an internationally-recognized authority on children in crisis and Mac Bledsoe, president and founder of the Drew Bledsoe Foundation.
Perry, M.D., and Ph.D., is the Senior Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy, a Houston-based nonprofit organization dedicated to research and education on child maltreatment.
His is also the Provincial Medical Director in Children's Mental Health for the Alberta Mental Health Board.
Dr. Perry has been consulted on many high-profile incident involving traumatized children, including the Columbine school shootings, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Branch Dividian siege.
A native of Bismarck, N.D., he did undergraduate work at Stanford University and Amherst College and attended medical and graduate school at Northwestern University where he received his degrees. He completed a residency in general psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Chicago.
His clinical research and practice has focused on traumatized children - examining long term cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social and psychological effects of trauma in children, adolescents and adults.
He is author of over 200 journal articles, book chapters and scientific proceedings and is recipient of a variety of professional awards and honors.
Bledsoe resigned from teaching at Eisenhower High School in Yakima, Wash., to establish the Drew Bledsoe Foundation.
For the past 20 years he and his wife, Barbara, have been presenting a seminar they developed titled "Parenting with Dignity." As seen on "20/20" this is a program gaining national attention.
The Bledsoes will touch head and heart as they guide listeners through important messages about working and growing up with children. They have been talking with parents for more than 20 years about how to instill positive behavior and good decision-making skills in their children.
The mission of their program is to improve the lives of children by promoting and teaching effective parenting skills.
The premise of their program is based upon one central idea: "Whether you approve or not, your children will make all of the big decisions in their lives; so, our only hope is to teach them to make good decisions."
Almost all parents want kids to be honest, drug free, and have a sense of their own spirituality. Most parents want their children to be compassionate and to exhibit appropriate behavior in a public place. Thus, teachers who work with children, should find their information invaluable.
Cost of the conference is $75 if registered by July 1; after that date, call for availability since space is limited. Lunches and snacks are included and door prizes offered both days.
An optional one semester graduate credit is offered though Adams State College for $35.
To register by phone, call 264-2228 to print a registration form go to the Web site at www.pagosa.k12.co.us; or register by mail at Southwest Conference on Learning, PO Box 1498, Pagosa Springs CO 81147.
The Charles J. Hughes Foundation is dedicated to providing innovation and inspiration to teachers, parents and students. That is why it has sponsored the conference for eight years, hosting well-known speakers and trainers here in Pagosa Springs at an affordable cost.
Although most attendees are teachers, the cutting-edge themes of the conference are valuable for parents and other professionals working with our most precious resource, our children.
County drafting changes following land-use think tank
By Tom Carosello
Potential changes are in the works for Archuleta County land use regulations as a result of a June 18 workshop attended by the county commissioners, Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission, county planning staff and several members of the public.
If revisions discussed during the hearing come to fruition, future regulations regarding the application process for limited-use impact permits will require posted notification and allow public appeal of such determinations before final approval is given them.
Under current regulations, if applicants for the permits are dissatisfied with planning staff's decisions to deny or conditionally approve them, they can appeal the ruling to the planning commission.
The conceptual amendments will not eliminate that process, but will give residents living in proximity to limited-use projects a window of opportunity to appeal as well, though a few differences will exist.
One potential change in procedure is the notion that "public appeals" will likely bypass the planning commission and go straight to the county board.
Another difference is that such appeals will be limited to a "protest" of the type of permit issued, and will not include specific debate of the parameters or operating conditions set forth by planning staff.
In short, the scope of public appeals will center on whether or not there is reason to believe projects labeled as "limited impacts" should be considered "conditional uses," which include public hearings and notification mailings.
Though changes to the limited impact permit process are currently the only items on the county drafting board, last week's round-table discussion touched on a variety of possible adjustments to land use regulations.
At the onset of the meeting, Marcus Baker, associate county planner, told those in attendance his office will continue to seek guidance and input that may facilitate changes in regulations, when necessary, until the county can implement what he referred to as "the 'z' word" - zoning.
Until zoning is a reality, suggested Baker, perhaps adding a stringent "special use permit" aimed at industrial projects to the current regulations or "adding intensity levels to conditional-use permits to spell out issues" could serve to minimize controversy.
"We always do the toss up," said Baker, "Is this a limited use or a conditional use? Sometimes we have a gray area; it's not just black or white, but several shades of gray."
With a new type of permit or a clarification of current regulations, said Baker, "Instead of saying 'black or white' we would be able to say, 'Now we've got some gray area to work with.'"
While Baker indicated such considerations are not new to the planning department, he acknowledged the debate surrounding the Mask Ranch asphalt plant "brought things to a head" and "exposed a lot of holes."
In general, the board of county commissioners echoed those comments.
"We've always been aware there were going to be needs for some adjustments," said Commissioner Bill Downey, "Maybe we ought to plug this hole before the dike starts leaking.
"But we need to be thoughtful in the process," continued Downey, adding that change should not come as the result of a "knee-jerk reaction" to the asphalt plant controversy.
"I have concerns (limited impact decisions) are a big burden to put on staff," Commissioner Mamie Lynch told the courthouse crowd, indicating she feels some of the responsibility associated with potentially volatile land-use decisions should be assumed by the board.
"Commissioners are elected to make tough decisions; that's the way it should be ... but without leaping over the bridge," added Lynch.
"There are some things out there that are going to happen that we can't imagine, can't anticipate," said Alden Ecker, board chairman. Occasional changes, said Ecker, will ensure "we have a way of meeting the challenges."
"If we had zoning in place, most of the little detailed issues would be resolved," said Bill Steele, county administrator. "Any actions we take now could be considered stop-gaps to when and if we have zoning."
Further discussion focused on adjusting current procedures after Bob Huff, planning commission chairman, questioned the notion of adding another permit type to the land use rules.
"Why add another layer of regulations to the process?" asked Huff. Huff explained that while he feels a good measure of review, public comment and administrative caution is necessary for large-scale projects, he would "hate to see somebody strung out" in what "gets to be a quagmire pretty soon."
"How are you going to write new regulations to fix everything - why not just fix the ones we've already got?" asked Huff during a lengthy debate that eventually centered on identifying means to resolve conflict arising from public objection to a limited impact use approval.
The decision to direct planning staff to begin drafting changes that will include public appeals in limited-impact use application procedures followed shortly after, and was met with varied reactions from the public.
"Couldn't (such decisions) be expanded to include issues such as noise and air pollution?" asked Karen Aspin, referring to some Aspen Springs residents' objection to moto-cross activities occurring in the subdivision.
Such uses don't qualify for review under current regulations, responded Ecker, unless they are commercial endeavors.
"Until it becomes outside the private use, I think you have a problem," said Ecker.
"Why?" asked Aspin, "If it affects health, safety and welfare, it should be regulated."
The collective answer from Ecker and Julie Rodriguez, county building and planning director, once again referenced the "z word."
No stringent regulation of such activities is possible, they said, because of the absence of zoning, and the fact the subdivision does not currently have covenants or restrictions in place.
Other comments concerned the level of enforcement associated with the decision.
"There has to be a realistic appeal process," said Jim Knoll.
"Posting signs may not be enough," added Knoll, who, among others, stated he feels committees should be considered to address land-use accountability issues. "The idea is to protect the public," concluded Knoll.
Bill Clark reiterated that viewpoint, stating future regulations should provide "the opportunity to debate publicly" and be exercised with utmost caution so as "not to push the envelope" when difficult decisions arise.
By the end of the meeting, most on hand seemed to feel the decision is a good starting point from which to evaluate future land-use concerns.
In the meantime, said Ecker, "We will do our best to iron things out ... and do our best to meet those concerns."
Road maintenance challenge draws response
By Tom Carosello
The future of local roadways was a highlighted issue during Tuesday's meeting of the Archuleta County board of commissioners as Twincreek Village resident Roy Boutwell voiced dissatisfaction over what he feels is the lack of a comprehensive maintenance plan for county thoroughfares.
Citing what he called "a certain degree of animosity" between the county and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, Boutwell expressed his displeasure with current maintenance practices in Pagosa Lakes on a number of levels.
One limiting factor in such equations - lack of revenue - said Boutwell, shouldn't serve as the "standard answer" unless some kind of fiscal parameters have been established.
"If you don't have a plan ... don't know what's involved, how can you say you can't afford it?" Boutwell asked the board.
Boutwell also questioned why assessed property values in Pagosa Lakes neighborhoods are going up while upgrades to subdivision roads are not keeping pace.
"I'd like to know where the money (tax revenues) went, it didn't go to maintenance on those roads," said Boutwell.
Boutwell wondered aloud why some sparsely-populated roads are given regular maintenance while "I have to eat dust every day of my life at my house; it's not fair."
In addition, said Boutwell, the county's decision last year to honor the 1992 board's commitment to include Hatcher Circle, Lake Forest Circle and Walnut Place in the county's maintenance program renders the previously-established moratorium on inclusions "null and void."
"You legally cannot do it," stated Boutwell, who then asserted that any resident living along roads built to county standards has "an inalienable right" to "equal and fair treatment by a government body."
Boutwell also expressed concern over what is being done to fill the void left by the dismissal of the county engineer earlier this month, and concluded his oration by stating the board is "ethically, morally and legally required" to address the maintenance issue.
In response, Commissioner Bill Downey told Boutwell that the subject is of utmost concern and that Boutwell "is absolutely right on track" with regard to establishing how much can be done where, and when, without a concrete cost figure to use as a guideline.
While not an excuse, said Downey, past attempts at a solid maintenance plan have failed due, in part, to untimely changes in key personnel. (Bill Steele, county administrator, later indicated two potential applicants are currently being considered for the vacant county engineer position.)
In addition, Downey acknowledged that assessed property values have gone up countywide, but cited the fact the county's population has risen dramatically as well.
Downey said current circumstances - including limitations on funding sources imposed by TABOR and other regulations - make it difficult for local governments to acquire enough revenue to keep pace with growing needs.
Downey also indicated that he is hopeful a workable plan can be hatched in the "not too distant future, but I'm not going to guarantee that will happen; I've been hopeful before."
As for Boutwell's assertion concerning the board's "ethical, moral and legal obligations," Downey's view differed slightly.
"Ethically and morally, maybe you're right," but legally, said Downey, the board "has the authority to decide" which roads in the county get priority.
Commissioners Mamie Lynch and Alden Ecker, board chairman, were generally in agreement with Downey's sentiments.
"I can say I hope that in the near future, we have more work done on the road plan," added Lynch.
"I think we should maintain all roads," concluded Ecker, reiterating a stance he has made public in the past.
"We're working on this," added Ecker, indicating he is hopeful that, if the county has the necessary complement of personnel in place later this year, perhaps "we can get there."
In related business, prior to the exchange with Boutwell, the board approved an intergovernmental agreement with the town of Pagosa Springs that will enable the initiation of a collaborative effort to reconstruct portions of Village Drive and Pinon Causeway.
Though the agreement is contingent upon approval by the town, the contract stipulates the town will be expected to annex the roadways shortly after the project's completion and assume all future responsibilities regarding their maintenance, repairs, easements, improvements and rights-of-way.
EMS will stay with health services district
By Tess Noel Baker
Emergency Medical Services will remain a part of the Upper San Juan Health Service District - at least for now.
The district voted to retain EMS services at its last regular board meeting in response to a proposal for a consolidated fire and ambulance service presented to the Pagosa Fire Protection District earlier in June.
The proposal to the fire district was presented by a volunteer firefighter, Mike Ferrell, "for informational purposes only." That board took no action on the proposal, but agreed to look at the information provided. Following the presentation, both members of the fire district and the health service district requested a legal opinion on the details associated with a consolidation.
Jim Collins, attorney for both districts, presented his findings to the hospital district board June 17.
In order for a consolidation to take place, he said, both boards would have to give their consent. An election to increase the fire district mill levy to incorporate the provisions of EMS would have to be held and the Pagosa Fire Protection District would have to amend its service plan.
Another issue is boundaries. The health service district extends into three different counties. The fire district boundaries are smaller. Because of that the fire district would only be empowered to take over services within its boundaries. A contract would have to be made with the health service district for ambulance service outside those boundaries.
An alternative to all this, Collins said, would be for the fire district to simply contract with the health service district to provide ambulance service. That would still require a change to the fire district service plan, but would avoid the boundary and mill levy complications.
Health service district board chairman Charles Hawkins said right now it is important for EMS to focus on patient care under its current structure. Long-term options can be considered later.
Along these lines, the board passed a motion to retain control of EMS for the time being.
Board member Dr. Dick Blide abstained from that vote and followed up with his own motion to form a committee to consider possible restructuring of EMS. The committee, he said, would look at all the options and return to the board with a recommendation for change - if necessary.
"Why are we restricting our options?" he asked.
Blide's motion failed on a 4-3 vote.
Streams and rivers settling down, fishing well
By Tom Carosello
Pagosa Country streams and rivers have settled down, are running clear and cool and continue to fish well for the time being.
Barring an early monsoon season, flows will continue to decrease in the next few weeks, but all regional tributaries are in better condition than at this time last year.
The same holds true for area reservoirs; some have even gained an inch or two in surface level due to periodic runoff from thunderstorms.
The following is a breakdown of conditions at some regional fishing hotspots:
- Echo Lake - Recently stocked. Largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and perch are being taken regularly on live bait, ultralight jigs and small plastics. Trout are hitting flies, marabou jigs, spinners in gold and silver, fluorescent Z-Rays, salmon eggs, nightcrawlers and PowerBait.
- Williams Creek Reservoir - Fishing for rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout is reportedly good in the early morning and late afternoon with live bait, light jigs in orange and yellow, and spinners in gold, silver and bright fluorescents. Kokanee salmon are holding deep, but some anglers are reporting occasional success with flashy spoons and pop gear near the inlet in 10-20 feet of water.
- Navajo Reservoir - Water level and temperature are slowly rising and catfish are regularly being caught day and night on blood/stink baits near the river inlets and in the shallows. Smallmouth bass are hitting Yamamoto grubs and similar soft plastics, and crappie are being caught near rocky outcroppings and underwater brush using vertical jigging methods. Northern pike are reportedly most active in the afternoon and are hitting reflective spoons and plugs.
- East Fork of San Juan - Clear, swift flow, but falling. Fishing for pan-sized rainbows and browns is fair to good in the early morning and toward evening.
- Piedra River - Clear water from the headwaters to U.S. 160. Fishing is best in the early morning and late afternoon. Browns and rainbows are the predominant catch and are hitting flies, streamers and flashy spinners.
- Middle Fork, Piedra River - Flow is decreasing, but still running clear and cold. Small browns and rainbows are being taken on flies and small jigs and spinners.
- Fourmile Creek - Flow remains swift and clear. Brook trout, cutthroat and a few rainbows and browns are hitting attractor-pattern flies and lightweight spinners.
- Williams Creek - Seeing heavy pressure near the campgrounds, but is clear and fishing well along the entire stretch of creek. Flies and small spinners are working well for brookies, cutthroats, browns and rainbows near the dam, while mainly browns and rainbows are being taken near the lower campgrounds.
- San Juan River (through town) - Scheduled to be stocked this week. Flow is clear and leveling off. Anglers using spinners, flies, marabou jigs and streamers are reporting good catches of rainbows along with a few browns.
Young Eagles program welcomes 79 first-time flyers
By Tess Noel Baker
Seventy-nine young eagles were christened at Stevens Field Saturday.
Each of these youngsters, ages 8-17, received a free airplane ride courtesy of a local pilot and a certificate signed by Chuck Yeager.
"We gave out over 100 applications," organizer Larry Bartlett said. "We're having a great time out here. I think this is great for the kids."
The kids certainly thought so too. Wide smiles popped up everywhere - almost as fast as parents could forward their film.
For several, including Seth and Heath Rivas, the 20-minute flight was their first experience in an airplane. Both found the experience much more fun than frightening.
"We went all the way to Chimney Rock," Heath said. "We saw our house."
Another first-timer, Crystal Purcell, labeled the flight, "the time of my life."
"After talking with my dad I thought maybe it was going to be an elevator going in all directions," she said, "but it wasn't - only when we rose up and fell down."
"I thought it was going to be a little scary, but it was fun," her brother, Chase, said.
Mary and Marissa Ramirez, who were enjoying pancakes and eggs following their flight, had been on large commercial jets before but never a small airplane.
Marissa said the best part was talking to her sister and the pilot over the radio.
"Being in the front seat," was tops on Mary's list.
"I thought being in the back was better," Marissa said. "There was enough room I could sleep, but I didn't sleep, I just watched."
Flights started at 7 a.m. and kept eight pilots busy until about 11, Bartlett said. To add to the festivities, a pancake breakfast was served throughout the morning and pilots were available inside a nearby hanger to explain the mechanics of flight.
The Young Eagles Program is sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Parelli Savvy Team to kickoff July 3 Red Ryder Roundup
Here comes the Fourth of July, Independence Day in Pagosa Springs.
Soooo, grab your hats, shine your boots, cozy up tight with your best gal, and head on out to the 54th Annual Red Ryder Roundup, Pagosa's Country's very own, rootin', tootin' celebration of the Old West.
Scheduled July 3, 4 and 5, this year's blowout features three days of thrill-a-minute bronc-busting, bull-riding, rodeo excitement provided by some of the best cowboys and rodeo stock in the West.
Throw in an enhanced Mutton Bustin' event and you know you're in for about as much fun as your heart will hold.
Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship will kick off the rodeo July 3 with an hour-long performance beginning at 5 p.m. The Parelli Savvy Team lead by a premier instructor will demonstrate the horse training techniques that have brought worldwide fame to the Parelli International Study Center here in Pagosa Springs.
The rodeo will get underway following the Parelli demonstration at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Rodeo start times are 2 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday.
Slack performance will be July 5 at 9 a.m.
The Mutton Busters event promises prizes for all participants including first-place buckles for winners and trophies for the rest.
Mutton Buster application forms must be returned by June 30 to Pagosa Springs Enterprises care of Red Ryder Rodeo, Attn: Mutton Bustin', PO Box 1841, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
Applicants must be 6 years old or younger and attended by a parent at the rodeo. There will be 10 riders a day on July 3, 4 and 5. Helmets, vests and ropes will be provided at no charge.
Rodeo contestants will compete for buckles, jackets and vests along with $4,600 added money in the pot.
Registration for local entries is June 27 from 8 a.m.-noon. For more information call 264-2345.
All out-of-area (CES) rodeo entries must be made June 30 from 5 to 9 p.m. Call (505) 862-7773 to register or for more information.
Jackpot saddle roping
Daylong Jackpot Saddle Roping will be held July 6. This is a head-and-heel roping event with riders unleashing lassos in competition for cash and a special saddle.
General admission, pre-sale tickets can be purchased any time between now and July 3 during business hours at Goodman's Department Store.
General admission tickets purchased at the gate July 4 cost $8 for adults, $6 for children. General admission tickets purchased at the gate July 3 and 5 cost $7 for adults, $5 for children.
There are a few remaining box seats available July 3 and 5. Contact Pagosa Land Company to reserve yours today at 264-5000.
To get to the Red Ryder Roundup arena, go east to the intersection of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84, follow 84 to the top of the hill and then go east on Mill Creek Road. Off-road parking will be available in the area and members of the Colorado Mounted Rangers Troop and other personnel will direct you.
Class of '83 reunion set for July 5
The Pagosa Springs High School Class of 1983 will have its 20-year reunion July 5.
The celebration will begin at 11 a.m. with a family picnic at Elk Park Meadows Lot 2.
Because of the anticipated fire ban, participants are asked to bring their own picnic lunch, drink of choice and lawn chairs.
Dinner will be at 6 p.m. at The 19th Hole and each person will be responsible for the cost of their own dinner.
Please RSVP to Lynne@killey.com or Smontoya@durangolawyers.com.
This letter is in response to two previous letters, "Health reality," Andy Donlon, June 5, and "Clinic disservice," Michael McTeigue, June 19. These letters are the best of the many you have published on this subject. They are similar in their main points, i.e. get real and take a good look at what we have.
I have known Andy and Sue Donlon since they first arrived in our community many years ago. Andy is a straight shooter. He is well-qualified to make the strong statements in that letter in response Patty Tillerson's letter of May 29.
I don't know Michael McTeigue, but my wife, Betty, and I have been very well-served by the Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center and Dr. James Pruitt for many years.
We agree with Mr. McTeigue's points that the center should not be considered a part of the so-called crisis in local health care. We are somewhat chagrined that we didn't have the presence of mind to write a similar letter.
The potential recall election of five district board members is a serious matter. There is real danger of doing a disservice to some or all of them.
I hope people will take the trouble to put their emotions aside and evaluate each individually, and vote on the basis of the facts they discover.
Thank you for the article regarding the settlement of the Fairfield recreation fee that some property owners have been paying, or not paying since 1983.
As most of the property owners are aware, the Pagosa Lakes Legal Defense Group (PLLDG) was formed in September 2001 to help with the expenses regarding this settlement performed by our legal team, and to pay expenses to keep the property owners informed regarding the settlement.
Even though we were not at liberty to discuss the agreement before it became official, we are hereby notifying the property owners that a meeting will be held on at 7:30 p.m. July 8 in the PLPOA Clubhouse to answer any questions you may have. A notice of the meeting will be publicized in the Pagosa Sun, and will be mailed to the members of the PLLDG.
The final settlement papers will be arriving to all property owners who are involved with the FUSA Recreation Fee this week.
The Pagosa Lakes Legal Defense Group, as a whole, strongly supports this settlement agreement. We encourage all of you to also support this settlement thereby eliminating this fee forever. Here is a list of the terms of the agreement, in layman terms:
1) Termination of the fee as of 12/31/2002
2) Property owners will have to pay the fees accrued prior to 12/31/2002; however, a 10-percent discount will be applied, and there will be no interest or late fees due, if paid by 9/1/2003.
3) Fairfield will pay the attorney's fees
4) If you opt out of the settlement, you will lose all benefits.
If many of the property owners opt out of the settlement, Fairfield has the option to terminate this agreement, and property owners would continue to pay the FUSA fee.
Please support this settlement agreement by not opting out.
Lorrie Church, treasurer
Legal Defense Group
I feel compelled to address some of the issues in the case of the school district's recent firing of Mr. Errol Hohrein, a maintenance person. I find myself in a rather unique position to do so, as follows:
Mr. Hohrein has a severe hearing loss and asked me to attend the meetings with the board and superintendent to insure his understanding. I accompanied Mr. Hohrein to two such meetings.
In the first, the superintendent presided. Mr. Hohrein had invited witnesses, two principals and John Perea, recently retired. None were allowed to speak. All three had had their own experiences pertinent and useful to an honest investigation of this case. As far as I know, their experiences were never aired.
In the closed session of the board April 29, I was present. Mr. Hohrein presented his views that there exists significant inefficiency and mishandlings by the maintenance department, causing costly and dangerous situations. The board seemed exceedingly unresponsive. Mr. Hohrein was more than willing to present witnesses and documentation. Astonishingly, to me, the board showed no interest in even looking at the documentation presented.
The meeting closed. As an afterthought, I returned to the room and asked the board president if there would be any more business that evening and whether Mr. Hohrein and I should stay or leave.
The response was as follows: "Oh no, you guys can leave, it's all over." We left. The board then immediately reconvened in a "public meeting" and Mr. Hohrein, without being allowed to hear any allegations or to defend himself, was terminated.
The minutes of that April 29 session stated that Mr. Hohrein was dismissed because his behaviors were "disruptive to the district's operations and personnel relationships," that "he is not authorized or qualified" (I assume to criticize or present information pertinent to the maintenance department to anyone).
A board member earlier had said to me that Hohrein was a "loose cannon," an unsavory term which I took to mean "a whistle blower."
He is certainly a man both honest and "qualified." He was of immense documented usefulness in maintenance. Large numbers of the school staff have expressed fears that he was fired for speaking up and with an apparent lack of appropriate due process (a sobering lesson for their own positions).
We have lost a very talented and honest man and along with him goes his wife who has been the most gifted and effective high school special education teacher I have met in my 30 years as a school psychologist.
We have suffered a double blow to the district and to this community from what appears, in my humble opinion, to be a quite unfair and damaging mistake, both to us and certainly to the Hohreins.
School psychologist, retired
Recently I was quoted in The SUN with a statement that the Upper San Juan Health Service District board was sugar-coating issues. I was not given an opportunity to explain this statement completely.
First of all I am not personally responsible for the fate of the board members being recalled. I have only presented facts that are important for the taxpaying citizens of Archuleta County to make a decision based on all the facts. The ultimate outcome will rest with a vote by these same citizens in a recall election.
This vote will reflect the opinion of these citizens. The opinion of these citizens is what the board has asked for since the current issues have been brought to the public's attention.
These same citizens have spoken to the board on more than one occasion and have been met with no resolution.
A motion was passed a few months ago by the board to rehire Peg Christianson. This motion was passed as a direct result of public outrage.
Christianson's name has not been mentioned since that meeting. A petition was brought to the board with over 700 signatures asking for the resignation of the district manager. This was tabled for further discussion. The issue has not been brought up by the board since.
The headlines in the same paper stated "Health district's financial turnaround cited." This is great, but at what cost to health care and our emergency services. According to the certified budget of the district the dollar amount can be summarized by the following: An average of over $300,000 was lost due to resignations and dismissal of employees.
These positions have been replaced with support staff that have ultimately quit or have been hired from a service at an exorbitant rate of pay. Paramedics have been replaced with EMT basics and EMT Intermediates. Response times have been between seven and 30 minutes, with numerous pages from dispatch for additional personnel.
When the hospital district went to the taxpayers for a mill levy it was with the understanding of 24-hour paramedic coverage. The district was at that level of coverage prior to the hiring of the current district manager.
The difference in the level of care between a paramedic and an intermediate is crucial in a rural setting such as Archuleta County. A paramedic operates on standing orders that include life saving procedures. An EMT-Intermediate has to rely on orders from a physician to do the same procedures.
This, along with an extended transport time, is critical for a patient during the golden hour.
As a taxpayer I voted for an increase in money for the hospital district to meet those needs. Once again the citizens have been asked to go to a Web site to voice their opinions regarding the health care crisis.
I am urging all concerned to ask for all facts related to this crucial step in our health care.
I agree that when our elected officials unlawfully pass certain questionable agendas without consideration of the welfare of the public as a whole, they deserve to be eliminated from office when they are up for re-election.
I'm referring to the Mask Ranch/Holiday Acres fiasco. Consequently, I'll pay back the "compliment" at election time with a vote for someone else.
Hopefully, that person will be law abiding and conscientious of other people's welfare.
Finally, I feel all residents of Holiday Acres should band together financially and vocally to combat these irresponsible people so it doesn't happen again. We must be a strong community not relying on just a few people trying to get a monumental job done.
I apologize if I've raised some shackles (not really!), but I tend to say it like it is.
Editor's note: In the interest of telling it "like it is," it must be noted there has been no determination of legal wrongdoing in the above-mentioned case. Such a determination can be made only by a court and no legal action has occurred.
I would like to thank the person or people who have planted beautiful perennials at the rock Welcome to Pagosa sign just east of town.
I pass this every day and it looks so nice; it says to me "someone loves this little town" and I, for one, am grateful.
Perhaps you could publish the name(s) so we could all give thanks.
(I have a feeling it is not a town "job" but rather another one of Pagosa's wonderful cadre of volunteers)
Editor's note: Please check the Chamber of Commerce column in this week's PREVIEW for the name of our mystery gardener.
I have been following the story of Errol Hohrein's dismissal with interest. I have known Errol for about 25 years. I have worked with him as a field construction boilermaker.
He has been my partner and we have worked closely together. His expertise and skill have been noted on many jobs.
I found the article in The SUN, May 22, 2003, of particular interest. The superintendent states in his report to the board, "We've cut overdue work orders from a high of 120 18 months ago to an average of about 15 now, with none over 90 days." Interesting to note that Errol was hired approximately 18 months ago.
Isn't it ironic that on one hand in the paper, the superintendent commends the work done by maintenance, while the board fires Errol. Looks to me like he is bragging about the board shooting the taxpayers in the foot.
Rodney L. Sommer
In these days of war, and bad news in this world, I have a sort of trivial matter to write about.
Perhaps I am the only one who views this situation as I do. It wouldn't be the first time I was called a weirdo, nor the last.
We have wonderful musicals in Pagosa Springs. Fabulous plays, and theatrical productions. Each requires months of preparation and the talent in this community makes each one a great success.
All classes of people, some just passing through, all ages, and all races look forward to these forms of community entertainment.
The cost to attend is very minimal in comparison to other places, so we are blessed with that benefit as well.
Thus the problem ...
I am wondering why the cost to attend these is broken down as it is.
Adults, one price, children, one price, and senior citizens with a membership in the senior center, another price.
The adults do not have to have a membership in a health club, and the children do not have to produce their day care card.
What about the "seasoned citizens" who do not choose to join a group? They pay more if they want to attend. They are not grouped.
Somehow this hardly seems fair, but then what is fair in 2003?
Mary Lou Sprowle
Rain, hail stop picnic in the park plan
By Laura Bedard
It was because of the wonderful rain (and not so wonderful hail) that our picnic in the park was cancelled Friday.
Our next picnic in the park will be July 18. We always have lots of good food and if you don't attend, you won't see any of your friends.
We are looking forward to the opening of the new bowling alley in town. Special senior times for bowling will be approximately 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The opening date is yet to be announced, but we will start a league of our own. Contact us at the senior center if you want to join the fun.
We are in need of a flag at the senior center. If you have a flag in a stand that you can donate, we would be very appreciative.
Another popular event is our trip to Creede. A group went to the play, "A Tuna Christmas," last weekend and reported a good time.
We will be going to "I Hate Hamlet" July 12 for the 2:30 p.m. matinee. The greatest Hamlet of his time, John Barrymore, returns as a ghost to coach hot, young television actor Andrew Rally in his attempt at the greatest of all roles. The laughs are nonstop as Andrew wrestles with his conscience, Barrymore, his sword and his failure as Hamlet in Central Park.
We have been told to make reservations for future plays as soon as possible as seats are filling quickly, so you'll need to reserve your seat by July 3. The cost is $14.45, and we'd like cash only, payable at the time of your reservation.
We need volunteers to read for the blind. We also need someone to coordinate this project. For more information, call Jim Peironnet at 264-2663.
Terry Smith is coming to talk with us July 2 about volunteering at the Archuleta County Fair. There are a lot of things you can do and you will certainly meet a lot of people volunteering here. Terry will fill us in on what is happening and how to sign up.
There is even more to volunteer for: We need someone to help build our raised-bed garden at the center. We want to create a small bed to start, so if you have a strong back or a pickup to haul rock, please give Laura a call at 264-2167.
Another volunteer suggestion: We are still looking for an additional volunteer Medicare counselor for the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program. Training is provided. Contact Musetta at 264-2167 for more information.
We had our first ice cream social and sing-along last week and it was well attended. We encouraged people to bring their own toppings and everyone bellied up to the ice cream pail with gusto. The ice cream gave us energy to sing until almost 2 p.m., so I think I can safely say that a good time was had by all.
We'll be doing this again July 23.
Note that in July, our line dancing classes will be on the 16th and 30th at 1 p.m.
July 1 is the day the Seeds of Learning kids come to sing for their lunch at the Center. These kids are so cute and enthusiastic that the meals are always better the day they come. Don't miss this day to eat with us.
We have discovered that one of our faithful Foxy Walkers, George Golightly, is also a writer. While he was participating in our walking program this winter, he started writing about his experiences.
With his kind permission, I am including some of his walking insights in this column.
"As most of you know, I walk around the gymnasium floor 20 times each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I try to count up to 20, but it seems harder and harder to keep track. I thought it would be easier if I placed a small pebble on the table each time I passed, until I had 20 pebbles on the table.
"On Monday morning, I started my pebble system. Trouble was, whenever Musetta passed the table, she picked up the pebbles (good housekeeper that she is!).
"Late in the evening I was staggering around the floor with my tongue hanging out, but still didn't have the 20 pebbles on the table.
"Musetta called to me and said she and Laura were going home and I would have to quit for the day. She asked me if I would be kind enough to empty the pail of pebbles sitting by her desk on the way out!"
Stay tuned for more of the "Walkin' With George" series.
Visitors and guests
We had a number of people come for our ice cream social, like Carol Conway, Bob Dungan, Jean Kirsch, Sybil Malouff and Gina Ramey.
We were also pleased to see Linda Appel bring June Wells in to lunch. We are hoping June will bring her husband, Glen, sometimes as well. We also got to see Bill Korsgren and Sy Kolman for lunch. Since we also had a sing-along, we could count on Hoppy Hopson and his beautiful wife, Evelyn, being there to sing with us.
Senior Lunch Menu
(Subject to change)
June 27 - Roast beef with gravy, boiled potato, spinach, plums and roll
June 30 - Hot turkey sandwich, mashed potato and gravy, broccoli blend and pears
July 1 - Hamburger with relish plate, potato salad, fruit cup and chocolate cake
July 2 - Tuna loaf, potato/creamed peas, pickled beets, mixed fruit and roll.
June 27 - 10 a.m. Qi Gong; 11, Medicare counseling; noon - Spirit Day - wear your T-shirt; 12:45 p.m., senior board meeting in Town Hall; 1 p.m., dominoes
June 30 - 1 p.m. bridge for fun
July 1 - 9:30 a.m., yoga; 10:30 advanced computer class; noon, Seeds of Learning will sing
July 2 - 10:30 a.m. beginning computer class; 12:30 p.m. volunteer opportunities at the fair with Terry Smith
DD214 an all-important document for all veterans
By Andy Fautheree
One of the services the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office can help you with is obtaining a copy of the all-important discharge record, commonly called a DD214. If you are a WW II era veteran the discharge form is called a WD AGO 53-55.
This document is very important for you to obtain many VA and non-VA benefits. For non-VA benefits for instance, it can be used to identify you for the Colorado Motor Vehicle Department.
If you have moved to Colorado from another state since Sept. 11, 2001, you have found the DMV requires two forms of positive ID. A certified copy of your discharge paper can be used in some cases for one of the IDs.
This document can also be used to obtain veteran license plates from the Colorado DMV for your vehicle. Special veteran disability Colorado license plates require further information (from the VA) to obtain those plates.
The federal Social Security system requires an original or certified copy of this document to obtain Social Security benefits when you retire.
For VA benefits
For VA related matters, such as health care or compensation and pension claims, a copy of your DD214 is imperative. Because of computerization you usually need only provide this document once to establish your VA identity. Thereafter, you will be in the VA data base system.
This office can help you obtain your military records. Frequently a more complete set of records including military assignments and medical records may be desirable to determine possible compensation claim information.
All that is required is a simple one-page form called SF-180. This form gives some basic information on the veteran's military service, Social Security number and is sent to the Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Mo., where all personnel military records reside. The records center will either provide an original, duplicate, or a certified copy of DD214 with the official seal. A fire in 1973 destroyed some records. In this case, the personnel center will authenticate the individual's military service and provide an official document in place of the DD214.
In the case of a deceased veteran, the next of kin can sign the military record request.
This office will be happy to assist you in obtaining military records as part of the service we provide. As with all assistance by this office, there is never a charge for the service.
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 office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment.
Holiday parade, Park-to-Park
crafts and rodeo ready to roll
By Sally Hameister
It is rapidly approaching, and I think we are up to the task of taking on the always action-packed Pagosa Springs July Fourth celebration.
If you've never spent the Fourth in Pagosa, you have a rare treat in store with lots of activities and events for each and every member of your family.
Doug has been working on the Park to Park Arts and Crafts Festival since it closed last year and has collected an amazing array of vendors, all of whom make their own crafts and happily present them to you in booths located in both Town and Centennial Parks. You will find many unique items and lots of great food at the same time from July 4-6.
The Red Ryder Roundup will take place July 3-5 at the fairgrounds, and you will find ticket information and times in this week's SUN and next week as well.
The biggest parade in Pagosa will take place on the Fourth beginning at 10 a.m., and you will need to find your spot very early as the streets are lined with enthusiastic spectators who plant themselves at the crack of dawn. It's well worth the effort as this Rotary-sponsored parade is so entertaining and awards cash prizes for winners in several categories. Registration is free, and you are invited to pick up your form at the Visitor Center to compete in this year's theme, "Our American Heroes."
About 4:30 p.m. on the Fourth you need to gather up all the kids and family members and head out to Pagosa Lodge for fun, games, prizes, food, entertainment and, with Mother Nature's cooperation, a wonderful fireworks display over the lake at dusk. This is just a big ole family picnic and way too much fun. We had so much fun last year that we decided to make it an annual affair.
The kids will love participating in the golden duck game, the watermelon seed spitting contest, and the hula hoop and water balloon contests. Badminton, volleyball, a three-legged race, a sack race and a golf ball hunt will also be available for kids of all ages. We have just purchased a truckload of prizes, so the kids can look forward to collecting some fun stuff throughout the afternoon.
The Lodge is cooking up a delicious picnic dinner for everyone. It will be available from 5-8 p.m. in a special food tent, and a cantina bar open from 5-10 p.m. Both adult and senior prices are available ($8.50 and $7.50) and kids 10 and under will enjoy their own menu and eat free. You are asked to bring your own chairs, by the way, or blankets for the grass work really well too.
We are delighted to announce that Pagosa Hot Strings will perform again for us this year as they have in the past, and we couldn't be more pleased. Since we have literally watched them grow up here in Pagosa, we have always known that one day they would leave us to seek their fortune and fame. Thankfully, even though Josiah went off to school, he's back and we still have our beloved Strings in tact and ready to go. Check out the Chamber of Commerce float in the parade, and you might be very pleasantly surprised at the attractive foursome you will find among the various and sundry Chamber folks.
The Hot Strings will perform from 6-8 p.m. and will be immediately followed by our own Pagosa Springs Community Choir with a magnificent patriotic musical program. We are extremely pleased to add this marvelous group to our agenda this year and hope they will return time and again.
Weather permitting (keep all your fingers crossed) a deluxe fireworks display will begin around 8 p.m. over the lake at the Lodge. Last year's weather conditions prevented us from presenting this great show, but it looks very good for this year. Everyone but everyone loves this huge annual treat.
Don't miss out on one of these July Fourth events. If you schedule just right and get plenty of rest prior to the Fourth, you can conceivably enjoy each and every activity and have just enough energy to take in the splendid fireworks display. Hope to see you all.
'Nunsense II' rocks
I attended two performances of the latest Nunsense nonsense this weekend and only wish it could have been all three.
I attended the Friday opening and Sunday matinee and laughed harder and wept more during the Sunday performance than I did on Friday. I can't encourage you enough to plan on one or two or three performances this week beginning tonight and the next two evenings at 7:30.
This is without question one of the strongest casts I've seen, and I don't think I've missed a Music Boosters production in all the years I've lived here. Mary McKeehan, Kathy Isberg, Joan Hageman, Candy Flaming and Amber Farnham give amazingly unforgettable and entertaining performances with remarkably clear, strong voices. One might expect Joan and Kathy to belt those tunes out pretty good due to their professional backgrounds, but "The Rev" (Mary), the Novice (Amber) and the raucous Sister Robert (Candy) deliver their numbers like old pros. They also shine in the comedy department delivering those hilarious lines with perfect timing and incredible panache. Kudos to directors, Michael DeWinter and Scott Farnham, musical director, Lisa Hartley, choreographer, Dale Morris and all the crew and musicians for such a fabulous, professional production
"Nunsense II, The Second Coming" is presented by the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters with shows at 7:30 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium tonight and the following two nights at the same times.
Reserved seating tickets may be purchased at The Plaid Pony and at Moonlight Books or at the door. Adult tickets are $12, seniors are $10, and children and students are $6. Please call 731-5262 for more information.
You simply don't want to miss this one, folks, I assure you.
Local boy made good recently when Tony Simmons, owner of the Pagosa home brewing shop, The Brew Haus, was a top medal winner for the state of Colorado in the first round of the National Homebrew Competition.
Tony now has four entries headed to the national finals in Chicago later this week. Furthermore, Tony, along with other Chamber members, Jennie and Jamie Blechman of Artemisia Botanicals, received multiple gold metals and a Mazer Cup for their Rose Petal Mead (Honey Wine). The Mazer Cup is one of the most prestigious mead competitions in the world. Nice going, Tony, Jennie and Jamie.
Relay for Life
Congratulations to all the organizers and participants who made last weekend's Relay for Life such a rip-roarin' success.
These volunteers deserve our heartfelt gratitude for giving so much of their time and talents to fight this dreadful killer disease. Some, like our Chamber administrative assistant, Doug Trowbridge, are willing to give up a full head of hair to support a family member suffering from cancer.
We are grateful to all and can only hope that we will see a cure in the not-so-distant future as a result of the blood, sweat and tears shed in the fight.
You are being blessed with yet another chance to chow down on fried catfish this weekend beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Mountain Heights Baptist Church located at the corner of Park Avenue and Eaton Drive.
If you are one of those who have suffered withdrawal symptoms since the Friday night fish fries went away, you have another heavenly opportunity to consume massive amounts of Southern fare. Just head on over to the Mountain Heights Baptist Church Saturday evening to enjoy the catfish, hush puppies, cole slaw, iced tea and dessert for a suggested $3-$5 dollar donation.
If you would like more information, please call 731-4384.
Kids, if you are looking for things to do this Saturday evening, I have already suggested a couple of things, and there's more. Don't even consider whining about "nothing to do" this weekend - there will be no sympathy forthcoming.
Dick and Vimmie Ray at The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park will hold their annual Auction to Benefit the Animals at the Park beginning at 6 p.m. with wine and hors d'oeuvres.
The silent auction and raffles will also begin at 6 with the live auction at 7.
Auctioneer extraordinaire, Jake Montroy, will preside and Phil Janowsky will provide live music.
You can purchase tickets at the wildlife park or Chamber for $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
This event is recommended for adults only. You will find lots of art work, both framed and unframed, signed and numbered prints, handcrafted items, jewelry, gift baskets and great door prizes.
Summer hours at the park are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. except on auction day when the feeding will be at 3 and the park will close at 5 to ready for the auction.
Call 264-4515 or 264-5546 for information or auction donations.
Also on Saturday night is the Pagosa Springs Arts Council fund-raiser beginning at 4 p.m. at the community center.
They will put up a tent and provide food, entertainment and a silent and live auction of original art from Pierre Mion, Claire Goldrick, Ginnie Bartlett, Roberto Garcia, Linda Sapp, Joye Moon and more coming in.
Salty Dawgs Bluegrass Band will provide the music and a percentage of the proceeds will go to the community center.
Tickets for this event are $20 and include a barbecue dinner, dessert and two drink coupons. Tickets are available at Wolftracks, Moonlight Books, the community center, Pagosa Photography or from any board member.
As of June 1, Lou and Gloria Haines became the new owners of Century 21 Wolf Creek Land and Cattle, LLC. Gloria will assume the role of managing broker while Lou will assist in business management activities.
Lou is a Colorado native who has spent his entire career in various aspects of the gold course industry, mostly as a business owner. Gloria hails from Bloomington, Ill., but has spent the last 30 years in Colorado. She has been in real estate since 1985 and looks forward to being an active participant in the Pagosa Springs community. Lou just plans to catch up on his fishing in rivers that, unlike those in Arizona, actually have water in them (this year).
We're delighted to welcome these folks to our Chamber and community and encourage you to stop by and welcome them to Pagosa.
Wow, Morna handed me quite the stack of membership papers which contain two new members, 14 business renewals and six associate member renewals. It rarely gets any better than that.
We are delighted to welcome Jerry and Tracie Fankel, the new owners of The Rose Restaurant located at 408 Pagosa Street (formerly The Irish Rose.) These charming folks offer home-style dining in a friendly, fun atmosphere and have added some additional services you will enjoy. They are open for breakfast seven days a week, for breakfast and lunch Monday through Wednesday and will now serve breakfast, lunch and dinner on Thursday through Saturday. Remember, breakfast only on Sunday, but how nice that they have added dinner Thursday through Saturday. If you would like to give them a call you may do so at 264-2955. We thank Kathryn Heilhecker for the referral and will send off a free SunDowner pass with our gratitude.
We next welcome John E. Brown who brings us Wolf Creek Run, Inc., 1742 East U.S. 160 in addition to his other business and Chamber member, JJ's Upstream Restaurant. Wolf Creek Run, Inc. is a motor coach river park for class-A coaches, 36-foot-plus. This property is located right on the San Juan River and is beautifully landscaped with a central waterfall and concrete pads with 8-by-10 gazebos. This is a full service, secure facility with 50 amp hook-ups. For more information about Wolf Creek Run, please call 264-0365.
Business renewals this week include James C. Pruitt, M.D. with the Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center; Curt Christensen, CPA; Derek Farrah with Plantax, Inc.; Ken Santo with the Fireside Inn; The Daily Times in Farmington, N.M.; the Archuleta Board of County Commissioners for the Archuleta County government; T. Sander with Good Sense Home Inspections; John Hostetter, President, Wells Fargo Bank; Cy Scarborough with Bar D Chuckwagon Suppers, Inc. in Durango; Kim Flowers with Rio Grande Railway in Chama, N.M.; Vivian Rader with Steve Rader Plumbing with home offices; Mark "Pops" Miller with Let It Fly, LLC; Dave Maley with Davis Engineering Service, Inc. at their new location, 188 South 8th St. and Cindy Plate with Galles Properties at their new location in the City Market West Country Center.
Associate Member renewals this week include Dick and Ann Van Fossen; Kennith Ceradsky; Diplomat Jim Carson, and his lovely bride, Jean; Mamie Lynch; Mike and Karen Kelley and board director, Angie Gayhart, and her lovely groom, Ken. We are most grateful to each and every one for your continued support and loyalty.
Music in the Mountains
The tickets for Music in the Mountains are diminishing from one day to the next, so please stop by and pick up what you need. You don't want to be one of those folks from last year who were crying in their beer about missing out on these incredible events. I hope to see all of you there, and with luck, we'll make these annual events here in Pagosa.
July 21, violinist Vadim Gluzman, and pianist Angela Yoffe will perform Mozart and Prokofiev. Aviram Reichert and festival musicians will present "Romancing the Piano" Friday, July 25, and Antonio Pompa-Baldi and festival musicians will present Dvorak and other piano works Aug. 1 followed by a reception. The tickets are $35 for the July performances and $45 for the August performance and reception.
The Chamber of Commerce is the only ticket outlet for Music in the Mountains, so please stop by soon to pick up your tickets so you won't miss out on this fabulous opportunity. Give Doug a call at 264-2360 with questions.
Just so you know, we can't hold tickets for you this year, but you can purchase them with a credit card if you like.
An FYI from the group formerly known as Colorado Mounted Rangers-Troop H. These folks now answer to Mounted Rescue-Unit A at 400 Ranch Place and can be reached by phone at 731-4062.
This is a specialized mounted search and rescue team, primarily focusing on horseback and backcountry searches in southwest Colorado. You can visit their Web site at www.mountedrescue. com.
I was tickled to read in Kate's column last week that someone had praised "the mystery woman" who has been planting flowers and tending the welcoming sign on the east side of town. Consider the mystery solved, kids. That "mystery woman" is none other than our sainted former board director, Bonnie Masters, who took on that project last year and has continued to be the sole caretaker this year.
Bonnie was just dipping her toes into the gardening pool last year, and used the planter as a learning tool and pet project. She painstakingly tended each and every leaf and bud and nurtured anything that popped up through the soil and continues to do so.
We crowned her "Board Director of the Millennium" when she left us last January, and perhaps we'll need to come up with a gardening tiara. Bonnie is simply one of those exceptionally thoughtful, involved and caring individuals who do so much for so many without a thought to accolades and recognition. This is just one of the many reasons that we miss her on the board and love her forevermore.
Don't you just love a good mystery?
Hold list grows for newest Harry Potter book
By Lenore Bright
The new Harry Potter book is in.
The fifth in the series has 870 pages with small print. I'm sure it weighs five pounds.
Harry continues his journey and there are two more episodes to come. The hold list is growing.
Miller moth invasion
We have a handout from CSU Extension with questions and answers on the pesky intruder. Ask for a copy at the desk.
To the west of us, there seems to be quite a grasshopper infestation, and no doubt they will be here soon. The Extension office can answer all your questions about the various creatures in our county.
Financial help came from Bev and Charles Worthman in memory of Lee Sterling and John Schoenborn.
Materials came from Cecil Tackett, Margaret and Jim Wilson, Linda Veik, Inge Tinklenberg, Larry Blue, Patty Latham, David Rhea, Scotty Gibson, Susan G. Baker, Bev Worthman, Bill Tilley, John Egan and Cate Smock, Arvold Fisher, Barbara Carlos, Sherri Barcus on behalf of Elizabeth Dusten Davis.
Chews to Read winners
Readers of the Week: Sydney Aragon, Timothy Cochran, Tristen Johnson, Thomas Levonius, Timothy Levonius, Nacole Martinez, Megan McFarland, McKenna Moore, Liam Nell, Mary Ramirez, Daniel Rivas and Kai Wagner.
Pasta box decorating: Colby Anderson-Andresen, Charles Boen, William Boen, Breezy Bryant, Emily Bryant, Meghan Bryant, Brock Cordova, Trenton Cordova, Zachary Curvey, Cassidy DeYapp, Elena Donharl, Christian Fast, Angela Gallegos, Jacqueline Garcia, Kyle Garcia, Caden Henderson, Faith Heitz, Cam Hinger, Jaden Hinger, Tate Hinger, Kara Hollenbeck, John Hunts, Samantha Hunts, Chris Jackson, Shaun Jackson, Amber Lark, Julia LeLievere, Melanie LeLievre, Derek Lorenzen, Nacole Martinez, Melanie Medina, Eric Medina-Chavez, Matthew Mundall, Mattisen Mundall, Meghan Mundall, Walker Powe, Brooke Spears, Trey Spears, Anne Townsend, Barak Townsend, Kai Wagner and Kudra Wagner.
Writing contest winners: Caitlin Cameron, Chris Jackson, Shaun Jackson, Niki Monteferrante, Sierra Monteferrante, Tasha Rayburn, Daniel Rivas and Courtney Swan.
Coloring contest winners: Colby Anderson-Andresen, Billy Baughman, Connor Burkesmith, Zackary Curvey, Angie Gallegos, Jacqueline Garcia, Taylor Heitz, Caden Henderson, John Hunts, Aimee Lark, Mark Mundall, Molly Mundall, Trey Spears, Jamey Vining, Kudra Wagner, Brenton Bowman, Savannah Brown, Kyle Garcia, Heaton Anderson, Jacob Gregg, Tate Hinger, Kyle Anderson-Andresen, Leslie Baughman, Angie Gallegos, Anthony Hobbs, Samantha Hunts, Jaime Kirkland, Jennifer Mueller, Matthew Mundall, Desiree Pastin, Aric Swan, Courtney Swan and Anne Townsend.
Popcorn tree contest prize winners: Charles Boen, William Boen, Zachary Curvey, Christian Fast, Jaden Hinger, Tate Hinger, Cody Kimsey, Mele LeLievere, Delayne Sanchez, Courtney Swan, and Barak Townsend.
Clear View Window Washing is open for business and eager to provide customers clean windows through which they can see and enjoy the beautiful Pagosa Country scenery.
Clear View opened for business in March and is owned and operated by lifelong resident Wolf Brooks and his Wyoming-native wife, Theresa.
Rates for interior and exterior window washing by Clear View are provided in a bid based on the number of windows at a house or business. The company also offers customers interior beam cleaning service as well as cleaning of high fixtures (fans, lights, etc.).
Appointments and bids can be acquired by calling 264-2339 in the evening and speaking with Wolf or Theresa, or by leaving a message at the same number during the day for a quick response.
New residents as of June 1, Lou and Gloria Haines are no strangers to our area. They have visited Pagosa Country for years and recently decided to purchase Century 21 Wolf Creek Land & Cattle and move to the area.
Wolf Creek Land & Cattle is a division of Century 21 and offers real estate including land, ranches and farms. The business was purchased from Todd Shelton, who will stay on to help with operations.
Gloria has been in the real estate business since 1985 and Lou has a history in business management.
"We are delighted to be living in Pagosa and are looking forward to meeting more and more nice people," say the Haines.
Lou and Gloria can be reached to make an appointment by calling Century 21 at 731-2100.
Sara Aupperle and Jason Schutz are two of this year's five Pagosa Springs Rotary Club scholarship winners. Aupperle will attend the University of Colorado at Boulder this fall; Schutz will attend Colorado State University. Other winners were Clay Pruitt, Sarah Smith and Daniel Lyon.
Mindi Dodd of Wickenburg, Ariz. and Davie W. Dodd II of Brighton, Colo. (former residents of Pagosa Springs) announce the engagement of their daughter, Tasha Anne, to Matthew David Wannemacher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Wannemacher of Wickenburg where a June 28 wedding is planned. Tasha is a 2000 graduate of Wickenburg High School now employed at The Meadows Treatment Center in Wickenburg. Matthew is a 2002 graduate of Wickenburg High School and is employed at Remuda Ranch Treatment Center in Wickenburg.
Dr. Katharine Frisbee and Buck Frisbee of Pagosa Springs announce the graduation of her daughter, Stephanie Marie Matamales, with a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts on June 1, 2003, at California State University at Fullerton.
If dogs could talk
Learning the finer points of training canine friends
By Tess Noel Baker
People call them "man's best friend," but sometimes a dog and its human simply aren't on the same wave length.
The result can be some embarrassing or bad behavior on both parts. In fact, statistics show a vast number of dogs are abandoned at shelters as a result of some behavior problem. However, the animals should shoulder only part of the blame.
Communication between people and their pets actually runs both ways. To help people understand how to "Think Like Your Dog," the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs sponsored a Saturday class of the same title.
Both two-footed and four-footed attendees raved.
"It's wonderful," Rebekah Laue said during a lunch break. "It's really, really helping us."
"Fascinating," was the word attendee Holly Bergon used. "We've learned about animal behavior, human behavior and the relationship between the two," she said.
For the dogs in the crowd, the variety of treats received for doing the right thing produced bright eyes and some terribly excited tails throughout the class.
The first half of the all-day event was spent learning the basics of training using inducement - a method that focuses on positive reinforcement rather than jerk and pull method that was the norm until about 15 years ago. During the afternoon session, the facilitators worked through problem areas with specific dogs.
"This type of training (inducement rather than compulsion) is good for all species of animals, including homo sapiens," trainer Julie Paige said.
The basic idea is that the animal learns to do what the owner wants because it's fun and because there are rewards at stake. Yummy ones. Ones worth hanging the tongue out a long, long way.
Inducement training removes the fear factor and focuses on how the dog thinks. "You can see the light going on because they're not afraid," she added.
The training techniques require time, patience, a good supply of treats and, of course, a positive attitude. During the class, several basic commands were covered, including establishing leadership, teaching the dog its name, teaching it to pay attention and how to come, sit, lie down and walk on a leash without pulling.
It all starts with a name. According to the handouts, "Your dog's ability to recognize his name or give you his complete attention under all circumstances is the foundation that makes all training and learning possible."
Nine straightforward steps to success follow. Choose a quiet area without distractions and have plenty of treats on hand. In demonstrations for the class trainers placed their treat supply in small bags attached to their waists so the treats were handy, but their hands were free.
Start the session by saying the dog's name softly. When the animal responds with the correct behavior - looking directly at you - two things should happen.
First, use a bridge or marker. This is a verbal or physical signal to let the animal know the response is right. Paige said the marker could be a "clicker," flashlight, hand signal or vocal signal. A clicker is a small training device that makes a clicking noise when pressed.
The bridge or marker should be followed immediately with a treat. Treats can be small pieces of cheese, hot dogs or other cooked meat, Cheerios or other cereals.
Repeat this exercise several times, but stop before the dog loses interest. Allow a couple hours between sessions for the dog to absorb the information. The final step in any training is to proof, or test the results after several successful training sessions.
According to the handouts a person can proof this behavior by "softly calling your dog's name when he is several feet away from you and looking in the opposite direction. His little head should snap around as soon as he hears his name and he should look you in the eyes and may return to you. Reward heavily and tell him how brilliant he is. Pat yourself on the back while you're at it."
Training for the other commands works along similar lines except that when it comes to something like sit or down. In those situations it's important to teach the behavior first and then add the command later. Otherwise, the word has no meaning for the dog.
Basically, participant Laue said, it boils down to common sense.
"It's just treating them the way we'd want to be treated," Evie Miner added.
Paige said the simple steps taught in the "Think Like Your Dog" course can be used with a dog of any age.
"We can train old dogs to do new tricks," she said. "Huge strides can be made with positive reinforcement training." She does recommend waiting until a puppy is at least seven weeks old to begin training.
The one-day "Think Like Your Dog," class was a trial-run, Paige said. The instructors volunteers their time to keep costs low. "It's an attempt to reach more of the community - those people who don't need six weeks of training in a class, but who need a little help," she said.
Paige was joined by facilitators Robbie Schwartz, executive director of the Pagosa Springs Humane Society, and Gary McNaughton, a volunteer at the humane society who has experience with the Durango Kennel Club.
They spoke to a crowd of 47 paid attendees, joining forces to offer training tips in the afternoon session. The session started with Abby, a 2-year-old border collie mix. Abby's owner was concerned that her dog, picked up as a stray in 2001, might be aggressive with other dogs.
Not true, McNaughton said, after observing the dog for a few minutes. Abby just wants to play.
"These are the workhorses of the canine world," he said. "They need a job. They need a leader. They need to know you are in charge. This is not an aggressive dog. This is just a dog that needs something to do."
He recommended lots of aerobic exercise, finding a friend to play with, preferably a male, and suggested the owner work on the "leave it" command.
"Leave it," when used correctly should cause the dog to turn away from whatever has caught its attention, whether it be an animal in the forest, another dog on the path, or even a tasty morsal found in the grass.
To demonstrate, McNaughton placed a particularly juicy morsel in the middle of the training area. A large piece of pepperoni. Using a long-line - a 15-20 foot leash - he led Abby by the food.
"She never gets that piece of food," he said.
Instead, when Abby started to go for the treat on the floor, he pulled her away. When she responded, he gave her the marker and a treat from his bag of goodies.
"The idea is to teach her that being with me is more rewarding than that thing on the ground," he said. After a few more minutes, he returned the dog to its owner.
After all, Abby was just the first of 13 case studies used by the trio of trainers to demonstrate common communication hurdles between dogs and owners.
All, Paige said, were lovely dogs. "They all came out of households where the people just wanted to know what was going on in the canine mind," she said.
After all, doesn't everyone want to know what their best friend is thinking?
The class was sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Humane Society.
Gold, legendary treasures played a part in Pagosa's history
By John M. Motter
Hispanics. Ute, Navajo, and Jicarilla Indians. Black buffalo soldiers wearing U.S. Cavalry uniforms. And Anglos of all descriptions. Anglos with ancestral homes in England, Germany, Scandinavia, France and other European countries.
The San Juans and Pagosa Country was surely a melting pot, an exciting mix of ethnic features and traditions, all milling around and trying to figure out how to live together. The years were roughly from 1860 through 1885. Most of the settling took place in one rapid explosion between 1870 and 1880.
The discovery of gold in 1861 provided the initial impetus and had it not been for the Civil War, most of the settlement might have happened between 1860 and 1870. As it happened, most of the miners and settlers who had started poking around for gold in 1860 and 1861 returned east to fight in that conflagration.
Certainly there are a plethora of stories concerning legendary gold discoveries by early French and Hispanic prospectors long before settlement came to the San Juans. Several of these stories identify finds near Pagosa Springs. None of the identification is specific enough so that a modern prospector could go digging at the site. Several books have been written about the legendary treasures.
They best describe Treasure Mountain near Pagosa Springs. For years a book titled "Golden Treasures of the San Juan" written by Temple H. Cornelius and John B. Marshall was the standard source for information on Treasure Mountain. Cornelius also wrote "Sheepherder's Gold." I believe both books remain in print and are available at Moonlight Books in Pagosa Springs.
More recently, Maynard Cornett Adams has written a series of three books titled Citadel Mountain I, II, and III. Citadel Mountain is, of course, Treasure Mountain. Adams claims a blood relationship to the Frenchmen who allegedly discovered gold at Treasure Mountain. He describes the entire milieu surrounding the discovery in an elaborate and interesting, if not particularly well-written fashion. Those who like treasure stories will like Adams' books. They contain a considerable amount of history, as well. Moonlight Books has Adams' efforts.
For certain, Charles Baker discovered gold in the Silverton area in 1860. Note how quickly Baker's gold discovery in the San Juans followed the beginning of the so-called Pikes Peak gold rush in 1859. As soon as gold turned up near Denver, the Rocky Mountains must have filled with prospectors, all searching for El Dorado.
And so, from that first match struck near Denver, the flame burned brightly and spread like a forest fire. It is not clear if the first prospectors in the San Juans came southwest from the Denver area, or if they came north from Santa Fe.
Following his 1960 discovery, Baker retired to Abiquiu for the winter. While at Abiquiu he received a charter from the New Mexico Territorial governor for a toll road stretching from Abiquiu to Baker's Park. During 1861, he laid out the toll road in rough fashion on his way back to Baker's Park. It is believed along the way he erected bridges across several rivers including the San Juan River just south of the Great Pagosa Hot Spring and another across the Piedra a mile south of the recent U.S. 160 crossing.
An interesting description of what may have been the remnants of Baker's mountain settlement is described by Lt. Col. E. H. Bergman. If you have been reading this column during recent weeks, you will recall that Bergman left Camp Plummer near Tierra Amarilla in 1867 on an exploring expedition into San Juan Country. Bergman's orders were to find a good location for a fort. Also remember that Baker located gold in 1861-1862, but he and others then abandoned the San Juans to return east and fight in the Civil War.
Here is what Bergman noted in 1867:
"Leaving the San Juan River (at Pagosa Springs which was not settled at that time) we traveled in a westerly direction for some seventeen miles and arrived at Rio Piedra. A mountain chain is between the two aforementioned rivers. From Rio Piedra to Rio Pinos is twenty-two miles over nine of which the trail leads through a rough canon, walled in by lofty mountains. This canon impassable for wagons. Rio Los Pinos is from 70 to 80 feet wide and has a very rapid current with a fall line of 12 feet to the mile. From the head of the river to its junction with the San Juan river is 70 miles. The valley is enclosed on the north side by the high San Juan Mountains and on the west by rolling hills. While encamped here a snow storm of 40 hours duration was experienced. This made a heavy road to the Rio Florida a distance of 12 miles. Florida was a hard river to cross with a rapid current and being from 50 to 70 feet wide. Ascending the Rio Florida some five miles over extremely bad country the road turned at right angles (?) toward the west and led through a ravine and over steep ridges to the Las Animas river (near present Durango ?). About fifteen miles up the Las Animas is a dense pine forest.
"In a level spot some two miles by three miles surrounded by high mountains on three sides and hundreds of miles from settlements we found signs of former presence of men. There were fragments of cooking utensils, agricultural implements, mining tools scattered among the fifty decaying cabins. A person not acquainted with the history of the area would have been puzzled by his discovery.
"In the latter part of 1860 gold discoveries were made in this area and Animas was founded by the Baker party. Perhaps many of the people were not of the working inclination and sought the gold without aid of manual labor. In addition on the third day of July 1861 the city was evacuated due to the war of the rebellion. However, the unfavorable season and the deep snows in the mountains and the limited time would not allow further exploration. Besides the natural obstacles there was the exhausted condition of my animals. We planned our return."
Some evidence of Baker's cabins remain to this day. Bergman pointed out that as soon as military protection from the Indians became available, a rush to the San Juans would begin.
He was right. Even though construction of Fort Lewis at Pagosa Springs did not begin until 1878, several military expeditions visited the San Juans. The miners and settlers came in numbers after the Brunot Treaty of 1873-74 cleared the way.
As they came, in all of their Anglo diversity, the ingredients for the melting pot took shape. The wonder is, with the extent of the ethnic mix, that more violence did not erupt. Lots of minor confrontations took place, to be sure, but over all and somehow, Indian, Hispanic, and Anglo learned to live side by side.
Our skillful solons
A meeting with our state senator and representative last week re-
vealed that politics continues to become more complex and frus-
trating with each session of the Legislature, and displayed the high quality of the two people we elected to carry our interests to Denver.
Sen. Jim Isgar and Rep. Mark Larson were in town to discuss the last session at the Capitol. Many difficult and nasty things transpired beneath the golden dome just east of Broadway and, according to our elected leaders, more of the same can be expected next year.
To spend an hour or two with Isgar and Larson is to realize how Byzantine our politics has become and to admire the effort needed to stay abreast of topics and trends. When two legislators discuss their work, their discourse is soon dominated by a befuddling code, full of numbers, letters, arcane references, and in need of a translator.
What one comes away with is a measure of confusion and a large dose of confidence in these men.
Too often, politics is infected by the germ of self-interest, tainted by personal agendas. It happens at all levels, most obviously at the highest levels. Isgar and Larson do not carry this infection, and for that we can be glad. Each is convincingly dedicated to the interests of constituents and to needs in our part of the state. All the while, however, they remain sensitive to the problems Coloradans face now and will face together in the future.
Each legislator has his special interests. It quickly becomes apparent, in line with his and his family's history, Isgar is attuned to water problems.
Larson is keenly aware of budget problems and the need to fine-tune several constitutional elements that, together, he thinks will lead to hardship and debilitating budget cuts.
Both are committed to the protection of Western Slope resources.
For Isgar, the last year brought success in numerous water issues. "We need more flexibility in water," he said, "so, in drought, we can do short-term things to help the wider community while protecting Western Slope water. We want the Western Slope to be at the table and have a part in water development, to find ways to deal with development." Such a move could prevent loss of the resource, against our will.
According to Larson, they "held the line on some rural funding issues" this year, and both he and Isgar were involved in protecting Department of Local Affairs field representatives. Larson noted the success of a weed bill he worked on for a couple years, consolidating resources to combat the most obnoxious of the weeds.
Larson found doing budgets last year "arduous" and "bloody" and predicts next year's budget work will be "bad" with a projected 6.1 percent increase in revenues unable to meet the "increasing caseload" in established programs. "We'll probably have to cut programs," he said. "We have to address TABOR or we're headed for a fiscal train wreck. We agree the citizens should establish tax rates. We live and die by the Constitution and, until the voters change it, we go by it." There is no question he desires change.
Both legislators are pleased they cooperated to fight successfully for more tourism promotion money from the state, to "spend two to get back twenty," said Isgar, " and start to get the revenues coming back." That means a great deal to a tourist economy such as ours.
The two legislators will head back to Denver for the next session after talking to constituents and taking a well-deserved, lengthy break. We can be confident they will head to the Front Range with the same, solid perspective regarding their duty to southwest Colorado. We will be well served.
Statewide isn't just Front Range
By Richard Walter
We've long thought the Front Range press had ignored the rest of the state.
Headlines on their stories recently are proof of our conviction - the belief they do not realize there is a part of the state beyond the mountain chain.
For example, the story on possibility of a "statewide" (key word) commuter rail system.
Seems like a great idea, a means of getting the working public off the interstates and leaving them for the tourists.
Several times the story uses that key word and at least one carry-forward head includes it. But if you read the article closely, you'll find that word is geographically defined as "from Fort Collins to Trinidad."
That may be statewide, almost, in a north-south direction, but it is a far cry from being all-inclusive of the balance of the state outside the Front Range sphere of influence.
And then, there's the water issue. Denver gets more rainfall per year - on average - than much of the mountain country which rises to its west.
So, what do Denver and its environs demand from those mountains?
Water, as much as they can get their hands on. Within the last few years, Denver, Aurora and others of the ilk have been trying every means possible to get rights to water flow in, for example, the Arkansas Valley which already feeds the Pueblo area.
Now the idea of a statewide commuter system might hold some promise to our area if, in fact, any of our residents were employed gainfully, and regularly, on the front range on a daily basis. Of course, it would probably be an eight-hour round trip on top of an eight-hour work day.
This grand illusion of "statewide" is tied to an idea by metro Colorado's Regional Transportation District to reroute major freight lines out onto the plains and utilize their rights of way to move the Front Range workers to and from employment.
Great idea. As long as they let the Front Range pay for it and not tag it onto the transportation bill for the rest of the state.
It is not, repeat not, a statewide commuter rail system. We are part of the state, too.
Already, Tom Norton, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, has, through the Transportation Commission, allocated $500.000 to study benefits of rerouting freight traffic away from urban areas.
Pagosa Springs sent teams into state competition in seven sports this past year. That effort produced three individual state champions and teams which performed admirably against those from the other half of "statewide."
But the same newspaper which created the misnomer named its state all-star teams recently in every sport at every level.
How many from Pagosa? One. One athlete they deemed capable of meeting the "front range" definition of all-star.
How about the top scorer in boys soccer in any classification; or the third ranking scorer among girls; the third leading hitter in baseball, two of the top basketball rebounders in the state, or state wrestling and cross country champs?
90 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of June 27, 1913
C.L. Parmenter, who owns the old Elliott Halstead ranch on the lower Blanco, has rebuilt his ditches, destroyed by the flood, and is getting the property back in its former good shape.
The work on the Elwood Pass road will be done by contract and the specifications on which to submit bids are now being prepared. Secretary Catchpole has been apprised by seven contracting firms of an intention to bid on the work. One firm has said that if it gets the contract 600 men will be put on the job and the road completed in 69 days from the time of beginning.
Some of our citizens who have been over to Platoro are not very enthusiastic in regard to that camp.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 29, 1928
Wm. Bartlett has discontinued the operation of the clothes cleaning and pressing shop at the former Wm. Kinghorn stand.
Forest Supervisor Andrew Hutton and family of Durango are spending a few days at the Squaretop ranger station with Ranger and Mrs. C.E. Seymour. Mr. Hutton is on a business mission, and the family is enjoying a vacation.
The Chambers families in Archuleta County have been enjoying a reunion the past week. In addition to those who reside in this county, several were present from out of town. All met at the old Chambers homestead on the Blanco Tuesday and Wednesday and participated in a picnic and general reunion.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 26, 1953
This week will see the completion of the new grandstand at the Red Ryder Round-Up grounds with workmen now installing the roof. All other features of the big rodeo are ready for the 4th and 5th of July. A large number of entries have been made in the parade and the rodeo livestock is on the way. Other features of the celebration are complete and this year should see the largest Fourth of July crowd ever to be present here for a celebration.
Fred Harman, native cartoonist and originator of the Red Ryder and Little Beaver stories and comic strip returned last week from a tour of Europe. Mr. Harman and four other famous cartoonists were making the tour to provide entertainment for armed forces abroad.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 29, 1978
Vandals disrupted electric power and telephone service to a large area west of town last Friday morning. Two power poles were cut down, and so were nine telephone poles. In addition a telephone cable was chopped in several places, and a transfer station damaged. Damage was estimated to be between $7,000 and $8,000.
Town streets received a big boost this week. The main highway through town has been overlaid with a new surface, as have Lewis Street, and parts of Third and Fourth Streets. Second Street will also receive work. In addition the town has received delivery of a street sweeper and street appearance around town is about 100 percent improved.