September 11, 2003 

Front Page


Pagosa woman's West Nile tests

await validation

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

West Nile Virus has been confirmed in birds from Archuleta County. Unofficially, one human case has also been reported.

Royce Kinnaman, environmental health specialist with the San Juan Basin Health Department in Pagosa Springs, said one bird had tested positive for the disease. Samples from one other bird have been sent to a lab for testing. Two more are awaiting testing.

A Pagosa woman, who asked to not be identified, told The SUN she had received verbal diagnoses of West Nile Virus from her physician after testing, but is still waiting for written test results. Her case had not been confirmed by San Juan Basin Health officials as of Sept. 8. The SUN will continue to check with that department for final confirmation. The woman has recovered and is doing well.

At least two horses in Archuleta have also contracted the disease. One has died.

Joe Fowler, an epidemiologist with the San Juan Basin Health Department, said because most people who are infected with the West Nile Virus never exhibit symptoms or become ill, the exact number of cases in the area cannot be pinpointed. Only when patients receive a positive laboratory test for the virus are reports made to the health department.

According to the state health department, those who do become ill usually exhibit symptoms 5-15 days after becoming infected. These symptoms can include: fever, headache, body aches and occasionally skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes.

In serious cases, the disease can progress and cause encephalitis and/or meningitis. Symptoms associated with these more severe conditions include persistent headaches, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, muscle weakness and convulsions.

Persons with severe symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

In horses, symptoms of West Nile Virus include fever, stumbling, lack of coordination, weakness of limbs and/or partial paralysis. Persons who believe their animals are infected with West Nile should consult with a veterinarian to determine if blood tests are needed.

Vaccinations and booster shots for horses are available from veterinarians to protect against the life-threatening illness resulting from the disease. However, no such safeguards currently exist for humans.

Since first being discovered in New York in 1999, federal health officials maintain that less than 1 percent of people who contract the disease after being bitten by infected mosquitos are at risk of becoming severely ill, and an even smaller percentage are likely to die as a result of the infection.

As of Sept. 8, the total number of human west nile infections reported in La Plata County was 10, with seven being county residents.

The most recent confirmed cases were two men, a 50-year-old Durango resident and a 60-year-old Ignacio resident.

For more information on the West Nile Virus, call La Plata County and the City of Durango Infoline at 385-INFO, ext. 2260 or San Juan Basin Health Department at 247-5702.


Health district oversight had paramedics doing undue intubations

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A problem with a state-mandated waiver supposedly filed five years ago has led EMS to stop a procedure to intubate a conscious patient using a specialized technique called Rapid Sequence Intubation.

Only this procedure has been stopped, EMS Operations Manager Kathy Conway told the Upper San Juan Health Service Board of Directors at a workshop Tuesday afternoon.

"We can still intubate, we just can't do RSI," she said.

Intubation is the passing of a tube through the laryx and into the trachea to assist in oxygenation of a patient who cannot maintain his/her own airway. In a conscious patient intubation activates the gag reflex, in most cases. This is when RSI might be used.

Conway said Rapid Sequence Intubation is one specific medication-facilitated procedure that paralyzes the conscious or semiconscious patient - with a gag reflex - to permit intubation. During the procedure, a sedative is administered followed by a drug that paralyzes all skeletal muscles, including those associated with breathing. This eliminates the gag reflex. The patient is then intubated.

RSI can only be performed by a paramedic operating with an ambulance service that has received a waiver from the state medical director.

Conway said five years ago staff at EMS was trained in the procedure and given protocols for it. A waiver was given to the EMS physician advisor to file with the state at that time. It was apparently never filed.

"It wasn't a misunderstanding," Conway said following her presentation to the board. "We were trained in it and given protocols for it. None of us ever thought to doubt what we were told, or to ask to see the waiver."

EMS continued to use the procedure. Conway said in the last five years, it had been used approximately 13 times. It is generally used on motor vehicle crash victims whose airway is crushed or blocked.

The problem with the waiver came up just this year. Apparently, Mercy Medical Center contacted the state with questions regarding three such procedures performed by EMS personnel in Archuleta County.

Conway told the board the three attempts in question were unsuccessful and there was some concern that the procedure may have actually been detrimental to the patient. When the state could find no properly filed waiver, EMS here was asked to discontinue the procedure.

They complied.

Conway said the district will be working with state agencies to develop a new protocol for RSI. Once that is complete, personnel will be retrained. When the paramedics are ready, they will test on the procedure and ask their current physician advisor, Dr. Dianne Fury, of Cortez, to file a request for a new waiver. The process could take a couple months.

"We have to train these people," Conway said. "RSI is at the top of the pyramid. We have to build a huge foundation first."

Several other intubation procedures can be performed in the interim, Conway said.

Oral intubation is performed through the mouth on the unconscious patient with no gag reflex. This can be done by either an EMT Intermediate or a paramedic.

Nasal intubation is performed through the nasal passages on the semiconscious patient with suspicion of airway compromise. It is a delicate procedure because the tube must through the nasal passages, through the larynx and into the lungs, without passing into the esophagus or doing damage to the delicate tissues of the nasopharynx. It can stimulate gag reflex. Only paramedics can perform nasal intubations.

According to Conway, the gag reflex can cause vomiting, which can seriously compromise the airway, whether by food particles or vomit entering the lungs and damaging the membranes.

Board president Charles Hawkins said getting the training, and thereby the waiver reinstated, needs to be a priority. He asked that the physician advisor begin updating the board monthly on progress.

Following the meeting, Pam Hopkins, an RN in attendance as an interested citizen, said although the district seems to be moving to solve this problem, people need to keep in mind that during the interim, RSI cannot be performed.


School board adopts religious

neutrality policy

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Six administrative policies, recommended by Colorado Association of School Boards, were adopted Tuesday by the board of education of Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

But one was amended before adoption after director Mike Haynes objected to the CASB wording.

Specifically, he argued the policy citing commitment to religious neutrality was erroneous and misleading in that it referred to First Amendment guarantees citing two references to public schools which, he said, do not appear in the Amendment cited.

"I would like the sentence with that reference deleted, or would like us not to adopt the policy," Haynes said.

When director Carol Feazel argued "freedom of religion is guaranteed," Haynes agreed, but stood his ground that the First Amendment makes no reference to public schools.

Superintendent Duane Noggle told the board it is not required to adopt CASB policy, but doing so can "provide assurance that we abide by the Constitution."

As the discussion wore on, it became apparent the policy, if adopted, would require a change in CASB recommended wording.

The following is, vertbatim, the statement adopted unanimously:

"Notwithstanding anything which may inadvertently still appear in policy, the Board of Education understands that administration and staff must recognize students' First Amendment religious rights.

"School must not forbid students acting on their own from expressing their personal religious views or beliefs. Also, schools may not endorse religious activity.

"Schools must give students the same rights to engage in religious activity and discussion, as they have to engage in other comparable activity. Generally, this means that students may pray in a non-disruptive manner during the school day when they are not engaged in school activity and instruction, subject to the same rules that apply to other speech."

Also adopted unanimously were CASB policies as written regarding public participation in school board meetings, supplementary services, flag displays and sex offender information.

First reading of several other recommended polices was tabled at the request of Noggle when he told the board the district review committee had seen them but had not yet reported, in some instances, the findings to their individual school committees.

Included in the group motion to table were policies for the district review committee; liability of school personnel/staff protection; professional staff, professional staff positions and professional staff recruiting/hiring; highly qualified teachers; support staff positions and support staff recruiting/hiring.

The board also approved adoption and distribution of both student and personnel handbooks.

The policies were described as "nothing more than a collection of board policies put into usable form."

Noggle told the board "no one person can be expected to know all the rules and content may have to be changed from time to time. But this gives the teacher a classroom aid to use in dealing with problems which may arise."

In his monthly report to the board, but not discussed during the meeting, Noggle had indicated several employees expressed concern regarding specific language in the personnel handbook involving "inappropriate political activities."

A special district review committee meeting has been scheduled Friday to consider possible revision of the language in the statement.

State law prevents district employees from using school time, equipment or material for political purposes. For example, he pointed out, employees may not campaign during school time or use school equipment or supplies to support a bond issue proposal.

On a separate issue, his printed report noted a directive to David Hamilton, assistant high school principal and district athletic director, to study the number of high school students involved in interscholastic programs.

He said administration statistics seem to indicate that if a student is involved in interscholastic activities, their grades generally are better and they are more likely to remain in school.

And, his report said, the district has negotiated a reduction in funding for the Alternative School contract from $4,200 to $4,000 per student for a total of 40 students. This represents a return to the figures for the 2001-02 school year.



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Weekend showers, mountain snow in forecast

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Thick shrouds of early-morning fog, incessant rain and low-flying cloud banks associated with a massive, cold low-pressure system contributed to a grayish weather scenario across Pagosa Country during the past week.

At higher elevations across the southern San Juans, blankets of snow ranging in depth from 1-4 inches were briefly visible during occasional breaks in cloud cover.

According to the regional forecasts, while the heaviest precipitation has move eastward, similar weather systems moving into the Four Corners area this weekend will result in continued showers and, possibly, additional mountain snow.

"This is probably as significant an early-season storm system that we have seen in recent years," said Doug Crowley, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"We're probably cleaning up on this one, but there are some more fairly unstable, fairly broad but weaker low-pressure troughs expected to move in over the next few days," added Crowley.

"I'd say there is still a chance for scattered showers and even light snow across the higher elevations in the mountains, though precipitation is not expected to be nearly as heavy as it was earlier in the week," concluded Crowley.

According to the latest forecasts for Pagosa Springs, clouds will dominate for the better part of today and afternoon showers are a possibility.

Southwest winds at 10-15 miles per hour will be accompanied by high temperatures in the mid-60s and lows in the 30s.

Cloudy conditions and a slim chance for rain will persist into Friday, though some clearing is expected before evening. Highs are expected to range from 65-75; lows should fall into the upper 30s.

Saturday and Sunday call for partly-cloudy skies, a 20-percent chance for rain, highs in the upper 60s to mid-70s and lows in the 35-45 degree range.

Monday's forecast includes highs in the upper 50s to low 60s, a 30-percent chance for rain and lows in the mid-30s.

A mix of sun and clouds is in the forecast for Tuesday; high temperatures should hover around 60 while lows are predicted in the upper 30s.

Mostly-sunny skies are expected for Wednesday, along with afternoon highs in the 70s and nighttime lows in the mid-30s to mid-40s.

The average high temperature recorded last week at Stevens Field was 71 degrees. The average low for the week was 43. Precipitation totals for the week, measured as rain, amounted to 2.65 inches.

The Pagosa Ranger District continues to list the current regional fire danger as "low." 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 sage and ragweed as the current dominant pollens.

San Juan River flow ranged from 65 cubic feet per second late last week to approximately 2,000 cubic feet per second Tuesday evening. The river's historic median flow for the week of Sept. 11 is roughly 95 cubic feet per second.



Sports Page

Parks & Rec

Folk Festival showed how community works together

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The seventh annual Four Corners Folk Festival was a great success. The parks and recreation department has developed a great working relationship with the festival.

Recognizing all the planning that goes into putting on a special event the size of the folk festival, we, as a department, can appreciate the effort.

We had a chance to do our part and provide one of the true gems of southwest Colorado, Reservoir Hill Park. The setting was truly tremendous.

All the different committees set up to make sure the festival runs smoothly did a great job in the planning.

Thanks to all for attending, and thanks to all of the workers within the folk festival family for making our jobs easier. Then, after it was all said and done, many of our people who were fortunate to sit in on a set or two, got to experience what the festival is all about.


Soccer teams have been established, with game schedules available by calling or stopping by Town Hall.

Chris Corcoran will be glad to make a copy or even fax you a copy of your child's schedule. Please feel free to call Chris at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Adult Coed Volleyball

An organizational meeting was held Sept. 8. Anyone interested in getting a team into our fall league must call Corcoran ASAP. We need to arrange for practice and game schedules.

Do not delay, get yourself or your team signed up.

GoCo grant

The grant application deadline was met, and the selection committee is at work looking over all grant applications. We received a call from the director asking for more information concerning our application.

We are very excited about meeting the deadline with such short notice, and would like to thank all the people and local government entities who wrote letters of support.

We cannot forget the Rotary Club, Archuleta School District 50 Joint, the town of Pagosa Springs, and Archuleta County for their financial backing showing support for the proposed Pagosa Springs Sports Complex.


Schur sets Wolf Creek Challenge record; team finishes first

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"What's the hardest course you run?" one cross country runner queried another at the Wolf Creek Challenge Saturday.

"Probably this one," the other replied.

The reason? A long uphill stretch at the end of the 3-plus mile loop. At over 10,000 feet in altitude.

Still, the Pagosa Springs Pirate girls managed to dominate the competition, winning both the varsity and junior varsity team races.

Sophomore Emilie Schur also won the varsity race as an individual, setting a course record with a time of 25 minutes, 22 seconds. "She basically led from the beginning," Head Coach Scott Anderson said. "She ran a beautiful race."

Freshman Jessica Lynch was next for the Pirates, crossing the line in 27:27 to claim sixth place. Close on her heels in seventh place was another freshman, Laurel Rienhardt, who finished in 27:54, hauling herself over the line after collapsing with just a few yards to go.

These two are only going to improve Anderson said. "It is scary to think where they will be at the end of the year."

Sophomore Heather Dahm, who has been battling a knee injury this year, finished in ninth with a time of 28:02. Senior Jenna Finney finished 13th, climbing the long hill to cross the tape in 28:48. The final varsity runner was senior Becca Blauert who claimed 14th with a time of 28:55.

Anderson said the ability of the team to work together and stay in a pack will be key later in the season.

"It's almost unheard of to have a three and a half minute pack time for the first through sixth place runners on a team," he said. "It just shows how solid the varsity girls are." In fact, Blauert's time was actually faster than Pagosa's second finisher in last year's Wolf Creek challenge.

Shiprock claimed second place in the girls' race. They were followed by Kirtland.

On the boys' side, Kirtland ran away with the team title, followed by Bayfield and Shiprock.

For the Pirates, senior Aaron Hamilton ran a solid race, finishing in 23:27 to steal seventh place. "He gave everything he had that day," the coach said.

Sophomore A.J. Abeyta crossed the line in 23:53 to finish in 13th. He was followed by another sophomore, Orion Sandoval, who finished in 24:56, shaving almost four minutes off his time in 2002. Sophomore Paul Hostetter walked away with 44th place with a time of 27:48. He was followed by Riley Lynch, who finished 49th in 29:09.

Senior Chris Matzdorf, the sixth and final member of the team, crossed the finish in 50th with a time of 29:23.

The weather cooperated with the runners all day. The rain held off throughout the races. However, that doesn't mean the 10 teams participating didn't run in punishing conditions. Three runners received medical attention, including two varsity girls who collapsed after their race. All are doing fine now.

The Pirates go on the road again this week, traveling to a meet in Aztec, New Mexico to run on a brand new course. Although lower in altitude, Anderson said, the team will face a series of hills.


Defense dominates in Pirates' 27-6 win over Cortez

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Team effort. Team leadership.

Those were the key areas Pagosa Springs Head Coach Sean O'Donnell challenged his varsity football team to improve upon following its Aug. 29 home loss to state power Alamosa.

The Pirates responded in impressive fashion Friday night, easily satisfying both notions as the defense dominated in a lopsided 27-6 win over host Cortez-Montezuma that evened Pagosa's season record at 1-1.

Initially, it looked as if the Panthers would draw first blood on a night that featured a swirling northwest wind, distant thunderstorms and brief bouts of light rain.

After forcing Pagosa to punt on its first possession, Cortez used a balanced attack to drive into Pirate territory with under six minutes remaining in the first quarter.

But on first and 10 from the 25-yard line, a lateral pass turned into disaster for the Panthers when Pirate senior linebacker Jeremy Caler's jarring hit on Cortez halfback Cade Fox resulted in a loose ball.

Pagosa's David Kern scooped up the backfield fumble and returned it 65 yards down the far sideline to give the Pirates a 6-0 lead. Sophomore place-kicker Daniel Aupperle then drilled the extra point to put Pagosa up 7-0 with the first-quarter clock reading 5:29.

The Pirates were in position to threaten again just seconds later when Aupperle's kickoff glanced off the back of a Cortez blocker and was recovered by Pagosa's Paul Armijo at the Panther 35.

But Cortez escaped further damage when Panther defensive back Eddie Halper intercepted a pass in the end zone on third down to thwart the Pirate drive.

Key defensive plays by Pagosa's Korey Hart, Marcus Rivas, Bubba Martinez and Manuel Madrid stifled Cortez's ensuing possession, and the Panthers were forced to kick after a quick three-and-out.

Armijo's return to the Cortez 33 set up Aupperle for a field-goal try from the 31 early in the second stanza, but the Panthers blocked the attempt and took over on the 34.

Pagosa took the ball right back when Kern, Caler and sophomore Craig Schutz combined to force a first-down fumble that was smothered at the 32 by teammate Chris Coray. The Panther defense held, but Cortez was pinned at the 2-yard line following a perfect coffin-corner punt from Kern.

A facemask penalty helped the Panthers move the ball out across the 30, but again they had to kick in light of continued strong play from the Pirates' defensive unit.

The Pirates went to the air on their next possession, and Kern completed a pair of medium-range passes to Schutz before finishing off the drive with a 15-yard touchdown strike to sophomore wideout Paul Przybylski that put Pagosa up 13-0.

Following Aupperle's successful point-after and kickoff, a sack from Madrid once again forced Cortez to punt from inside the Panther 30, but the Pirates stalled on offense and returned the favor with under a minute left in the half.

A first-down sack from senior Pirate defensive end Coy Ross pushed Cortez out of scoring range, and after several desperation heaves by the Panthers failed, the first half ended 14-0 in favor of Pagosa.

After the teams exchanged possessions in the opening minutes of the second half, the Pirates got a break when a shanked Cortez punt gave them the ball near midfield.

Strong running from Pagosa halfback David Richter set the Pirates up for their third score of the night, a 31-yard field goal from Aupperle that boosted the visitors' lead to 17-0 with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Cortez started with good field position after Fox returned Aupperle's kickoff to the Panther 47, but the Pirate defensive line surged into the backfield on first down and forced a fumble that was recovered on the 35 by Pagosa's Ken McDowell.

Four plays later Caler weaved his way into the end zone from 15 yards out to extend the lead to 23-0, and Aupperle's kick had the scoreboard reading 24-0 under a light drizzle late in the third.

On its next possession, Cortez soon found itself in familiar territory - facing fourth and long after a third-down sack by Hart and fellow Pirate lineman Jake Cammack.

The resulting punt gave the Pirates the ball on their own 49, but a fumble early in the fourth quarter gave the Panthers possession near midfield.

Caler atoned for the loss two plays later, intercepting a Panther pass and setting up Aupperle for a booming 44-yard field goal into the wind that gave Pagosa a commanding 27-0 lead with 9:13 left to play.

O'Donnell substituted freely from that point on, and although Cortez managed to score on a long touchdown run from Fox, Aupperle blocked the extra-point attempt and later ended his exceptional evening by intercepting an end-zone pass with 42 seconds left on the clock.

Kern took a knee for the final two plays of the game and the Pirates finished their second contest of the season in the winner's column, the final tally reading 27-6.

Martinez led the defensive charge that proved the deciding factor in the game, finishing with 11 tackles. Rivas registered eight stops, followed by Kern with six and Madrid with 5.

"I thought the effort was there this week; we played a lot harder than we did against Alamosa," O'Donnell said after the game. "Instead of just one or two players giving their all, we had 11 guys going hard throughout most of the game."

"The offensive line played better also, but we still have some work to do and there are probably still some positions that are up for grabs there," said O'Donnell.

"Bubba Martinez was a pleasant surprise on defense; It's nice to know we can have him in there making a difference at linebacker," added O'Donnell. "And Daniel Aupperle was a real weapon for us offensively tonight, and turned in a fine defensive performance as well."

"The bottom line is that our kids really needed that," concluded O'Donnell, "It's kind of a morale booster, and I'm hoping this win will light a fire under us."

In their only day game of the regular season, the Pirates will look to go 2-1 with a road win Saturday against Delta. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.


Pagosa 7 7 10 3-27

Cortez 0 0 0 6-6

First Quarter

Pag - Kern 65 fumble return (Aupperle kick)

Second Quarter

Pag - Przybylski 15 pass from Kern

(Aupperle kick)

Third Quarter

Pag - FG Aupperle 31

Pag - Caler 15 run (Aupperle kick)

Fourth Quarter

Pag - FG Aupperle 44

Cor - Fox 65 run



Pirate golfers capture Kirtland Challenge match

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

As the season winds down toward regional competition next week, Pagosa Springs High School golfers are experiencing new formats as they hone their skills.

In the annual Kirtland Challenge Friday, they used match play format with hole-by-hole winners and the team with the most holes won designated the team winner.

For Pagosa it was a breakout round for Ty Faber who fired a 75 on the par 72 Riverview course to pace the Pirates to an 8 1/2 to 1 1/2 team victory.

Faber bogeyed the final hole, probably letting up said his coach, Mark Faber, after he had the match in hand.

In this tournament, hosted by Kirtland for the second consecutive year, each team is allowed to enter 10 golfers.

Tom Huckins was the next low scorer for Pagosa, shooting an 80, but was the only Pirate to lose his match.

Following close behind was Casey Belarde with an 82 that included a closing charge with birdies on the final two holes.

Jake Mackensen fired an 82 and Steven Sellers a 93, but both were victorious in their head-to-head competition.

Coach Faber said the course is a mixture of layouts. The front nine is part of an old municipal course and has the traditional tree-lined fairways. The back nine is new and is more challenging with rolling, undulating fairways and tougher greens.

He was pleased with the team play and especially with Ty Faber who had been struggling to put two good games together, and Belarde, who keeps playing steady golf and knows when to make his move.

"This is a great opportunity for all the kids," the coach said. "Taking 10 golfers to compete lets those who have no tournament experience get a feel for what will come for them later."

It was the first tournament win of the year for Pagosa but the coach said the individual scores are still improving and stand the team in good stead for playoff action.


Carizzo paces Pirates to 4th in Monte

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Paced by Niko Carizzo's 84, putting him in the top 10, the Pagosa Springs Pirate golf team placed fourth in the Sept. 3, Monte Vista Invitational.

Assistant coach Tom Riedberger said the squad competed well in the 14-team field.

Monte Vista won its own tournament, Pueblo County was second and Swink third.

Carizzo was followed for team honors by Matt Lattin with 92, Damian Rome at 96, Clint McKnight at 103 and Ben DeVoti at 111.

"We got very strong play from both Niko and Matt," Riedberger said, adding, "the others were making their first varsity tournament appearances ever," he said, "and they held up well for a 272 team total.



Ladies defeat Farmington for first win of year

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Lady Pirate volleyball team opened the season with a trio of difficult non-league opponents from bigger schools, lost the first two matches, and finished the trial by fire Saturday with a victory over the Farmington Scorpions, 25-23, 25-20, 28-26.

After dropping the first two matches on the schedule to Cortez and Palmer, the Ladies were due for a course correction and it came as a result of fewer mistakes and improved blocking and offense.

In the first game, the host Ladies fell behind 5-8 and 7-12 then began to chip away at the lead. Junior middle hitter Bri Scott provided a good measure of the muscle on offense as she began one of the best matches of her high school career. Scott got effective sets from Lori Walkup and put four kills to the floor from the middle and the strong-side outside spots.

Farmington managed to eke out a 23-17 advantage but the Ladies were unfazed. A Scorpion serve error gave up a point and junior outside hitter Brandi Whomble scored two consecutive points with a putback of an errant Farmington pass and a tip over Scorpion blocks. The Ladies were into an 8-point run. Caitlyn Jewell and Walkup put up an obstacle at the net, blocking one Farmington attack and forcing Scorpion hitters into errors as the Ladies cruised to the win.

The visitors took an early 5-1 lead in the second game of the night, with three of the points handed over on Pagosa errors. As in the first game of the match, the Lady Pirates were not affected by the Scorpions' advantage. Jewell killed for a point, Walkup put a ball to the floor off a pass and Farmington committed hitting errors. The score was knotted 6-6.

The visiting team managed a 10-7 lead but the Ladies rode a series of Scorpion errors to an 11-10 advantage. With the help of a point by Laura Tomforde and a solo block by Jewell, the Ladies extended the lead to 17-12 and never trailed again. In process of securing the 25-20 win, Pagosa got earned points on an ace by Amy Tautges and a kill by Scott. Farmington hitters were forced time and again to hit the ball out of bounds, attempting to avoid Lady Pirate blockers.

The teams stayed close in the third game, with Pagosa leading 6-3. The home team got points from Scott on two kills, from Courtney Steen hitting from the outside and from Tomforde. Farmington answered and the teams tied at 9-9. Pagosa put together a run, getting an ace from Steen and a point on a quick-set attack by Jewell.

The Ladies' 14-9 lead evaporated in a flurry of mistakes as, for the only time in the evening, Pagosa's play faltered badly. Farmington scored eight consecutive points, six of the points surrendered with passing, hitting and serve-receive errors on the Lady Pirate side of the net.

Walkup scored and took back the serve, dumping the ball off a pass. A Scorpion mis-hit pulled the Ladies to within one point. Farmington scored twice, Pagosa received three points courtesy Scorpion miscues and the teams were tied 19-19.

The visitors nailed three straight points and were on the brink of pulling off the win, but Pagosa was not going to surrender without a fight. A Scorpion setting error gave the Ladies a point and Steen followed with a kill from outside. A Farmington passing mistake tied the game 23-23 then a second error gave Pagosa the 24-23 lead. One more point and the win was in the bank.

No such luck. A Scorpion tipped successfully over the block.

A serve error put Pagosa back in the lead but two straight Lady Pirate mistakes - a serve error and a hitting error - allowed the Scorpions to look at the prospect of scoring one more point and winning the game.

Tomforde again fooled the Farmington back row, dumping the ball off the pass to an empty spot on the floor. It was 26-26.

Jewell came up big in the middle blocking a Scorpion hitter for a point.

Farmington finally fell when a pass went awry, giving the Ladies the deciding point.

The Pagosa victory was a strong statement from a young team that is still working to establish its identity and its style.

"The girls did what I see them do every day in practice," said Coach Penné Hamilton. "I saw more leadership out there this match, and I liked the killer instinct they showed. They found a way to come from behind to win and, in the rally scoring format, that's not an easy thing to do."

Hamilton commented on the improvement in some the technical aspects of the Lady Pirate game, saying she saw "some nice defensive moves. The blocking was better; our blocks were closing and that takes part of the floor away from the attackers. The girls earned this win. They played a lot better than the previous two matches and they deserved this victory."

Pagosa plays its first Intermountain League matches of the season tonight and Saturday.

Today the team travels to Monte Vista. The match was originally set for the home court Friday, but the date and place were changed due to conflicts with other events in October. The varsity match is scheduled for 7 p.m. The C team starts the action at 4 p.m. followed by the junior varsity competition.

Saturday, Centauri comes to town to start up this year's version of a great IML rivalry. The varsity match is set for 6:30. Play begins with a C team match at 4 p.m.


Kills: Scott 9, Tomforde 6, Jewell and Steen 4 each.

Assists: Walkup 9, Tomforde 7.

Solo blocks: Jewell 2, Walkup 1.

Ace serves: Steen 2, Scott 1.

Digs: Steen 9, Tomforde 4.


Lady Pirates go five games in loss to 5A Palmer

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Lady Pirate volleyball team entertained 5A William Palmer of Colorado Springs Sept. 5 and the Terrors were ripe for the picking.

Pagosa lost the opportunity to put the first victory of the year on the books, however, losing to Palmer 26-28, 25-9, 23-25, 25-20, 7-15.

The story of the evening was not so much that the 5A opponent dominated the Ladies with overpowering skill. Pagosa simply made too many mistakes and gave up too many unearned points.

When the Ladies were clicking, they controlled the action. In the first game, Pagosa trailed 5-2 then came back to forge an 11-9 lead.

The home team surged again to gain an 18-14 advantage. Pagosa got points from Lori Walkup, Caitlyn Jewell, Bri Scott, Laura Tomforde and Courtney Steen during the run.

Palmer came back, using three serve receive errors by the Ladies. The teams played tag to 26-26 before the Terrors put a kill inside a block and another kill to the floor for the win.

The second game of the match was Pagosa's best of the night and gave an indication of what the young team can do when the mistakes are kept at a minimum, the offense clicks, and the blocks are up at the net.

Palmer led only once, at 1-0. With Pagosa blockers in their faces, Palmer hitters fell prey to hitting errors. Pagosa led 5-2, 8-3 and 10-6 before Jewell stuffed a Terror attack for a point and Palmer was called for consecutive rotation errors.

Jewell had a good night at the net. The 6-2 junior middle hitter/blocker killed from outside to put the Ladies up 14-7 then combined with Walkup to frustrate Terror hitters as the Ladies went on a six-point run, extending the advantage to 21-8.

Palmer scored on a kill and that was it for the visitors. Walkup killed for a point and three consecutive Terror hitting errors gave Pagosa the game.

In the third game, the mistake bug bit the Ladies hard. Serve and serve-receive mistakes gave up too many critical points in a close game.

With earned points from Tomforde on a dump off the pass, a kill by Scott and a putback by Jewell, the Ladies led Palmer 13-12.

A five-point run, highlighted by an ace by Tomforde and two points by Jewell had Pagosa in a good position, at 18-13, to push through to the win. The Terrors scored three points, but Pagosa wrested control with a roll shot by Walkup, a forced hitting error and yet another putback by Jewell. Each team scored twice and Pagosa was standing on the edge of the win at 23-18.

Four errors on the Pagosa side of the net let the Terrors back in the game. A Palmer ace and a serve-receive mistake by the Ladies gave the Terrors the game.

In the fourth game, Jewell dominated the initial exchanges, putting the first point of the game on the board with a stuff block. Walkup killed, Jewell blocked an attempt by the Terror setter then nailed an errant Palmer pass to give the home team a 4-2 lead.

The game swung back and forth with the teams tied at 6, 9, 10, 11, 14 and 16. Tomforde scored three times and the Ladies got points from Jewell, Walkup and Liza Kelley.

With her team ahead 18-17, Steen put a kill to the back corner then killed cross-court. The junior outside hitter followed with a tip and the Ladies were ahead 22-20. Palmer then went into mistake mode and the Ladies had the 25-20 win.

The fifth game of a match, when required, goes to 15 and to fall too far behind in the rally scoring format is a big problem.

The Ladies had the problem.

Palmer used a series of Pagosa mistakes to take a quick 10-1 lead. The Ladies tried gamely to hang on and struggled back to trail 13-4 before a Palmer tip put the visitors back in control.

Pagosa refused to yield. A Terror mistake surrendered a point; Steen killed for a point and a Palmer player was called for a net violation. A Terror kill went off the block and fell inside the lines to end the game and match.

Despite the loss, Coach Penné Hamilton thought "It was a good match for us until the last game. We played scared that last match, played not to lose. You can't get down 10-1 if you're going to 15."

It was the proverbial learning experience, said Hamilton. "The girls learned you have to be aggressive or you don't win. You can't win playing timid at this level."


Kills: Jewell 10, Walkup 6.

Assists: Walkup 11, Tomforde 10.

Solo blocks: Jewell 3, Tomforde 1.

Ace serves: Tomforde and Scott 2 each.

Digs: Steen 11, Tomforde 5.


Pirate soccer squad loses to Salida 5-0

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Maybe it's the sunshine.

Whatever the reason, the Pagosa Springs Pirates seem to play soccer better in bad conditions.

Their two wins have come in rainstorms on muddy, soggy fields.

Their two losses have come on wet fields but under high sunlight.

The latest of those losses came Saturday to highly regarded Salida from the Tri-Peaks League.

And though it was a close contest for the first half, the Pirates were unable to mount an attack and the Spartans were able to run their offense to perfection.

The result was a 5-0 loss for the Pirates who will finally get to come home later this week after four games on the road.

The first four minutes of this game were a thrust and parry match, neither team able to break the other's midfield defense.

Kyle Sanders got the game's first chance for Pagosa at 4:31 but was stopped by Salida keeper Patrick Hurley.

And then the bombardment of Caleb Forrest, in net for Pagosa, began in earnest.

At 5:03 the Spartans' Taylor Hollingsworth had a breakaway after a mishandled Pagosa outlet pass. As he veered right, Forrest watched closely. When he cut left and drilled a blistering shot Forrest made the stop.

Exactly a minute later, Ty Peterson made a Pagosa stop 10 yards in front of the net but Salida kept the pressure on in the Pirate zone. At 7:49, Ty Shelton broke the scoreless tie, heading in a midfield lead on a corner kick and Salida was on top to stay.

Levi Gill had a great save on another Salida breakaway, tackling the ball away from the attacker before he could get the shot away.

Forrest was tested again at 21:21, first flagging down a low liner and, when Salida got the rebound, leaping high to his left to stop Tyler Keidel.

Shelton got his, and his team's second goal at 19:40 when Forrest slipped and fell on the turf made soggy after an all night rain and the net was free to Shelton for the score.

After two more saves by Forrest, Sanders' free kick from 30 was high and then his shot off a drop from Moe Webb was stopped by Hurley.

Still, only down two, Pagosa seemed poised to get back in the game. The best chance came at 29:05 when Sanders zigzagged midfield and found Muirhead on the right wing with a drop lead. His shot was right on but Hurley was up to the test.

After two more saves by Forrest, Pagosa got another chance with a free kick from 30 but Sanders pulled it wide right.

Shelton, bidding for his third goal of the half, had one carom off the crossbar just over Forrest's outstretched hands as the final whistle blew.

The first five minutes of the second half were much like the beginning of the game, each team looking for a break in the armor of the other.

It was Shelton who got the first chance to put a chink in that defense, but his 18-yarder was wide left at 45:08.

Then it was Forrest under attack again. He made a brilliant acrobatic dive to stop James King's bid for the third Spartan goal at 56:02 but was victimized by King 23 seconds later when his teammates were unable to clear the zone.

Then, at 63:56, it was Keidel scoring for Salida on a breakaway and the score stretched to 5-0.

Forrest was peppered with shots in a two-minute stretch late in the period and turned four in a row away.

But King struck again at 77:51 scoring on a drive right up the middle with open wings on both sides.

Forrest looked for a pass but none came and King had the final score.

Sanders had a chance to avoid the Pagosa shutout with just 10 seconds remaining, but his free kick form 20 was high.

Salida's offensive pressure throughout the game achieved what Pirate coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason was trying to get this team to do.

Salida spread the field, never had fewer than two attackers on any one play and reversed fields well throughout the day.

Pagosa, meanwhile, seemed to jam too many players inside and failed to get their key attackers, Sanders and Muirhead, open for shots.

Pagosa will host Crested Butte in a return match at Golden Peaks Stadium at 4 p.m. Friday and Ridgway comes to town for a 1 p.m. encounter Saturday. The Pirates will host Bloomfield at 4 p.m. a week from today before going back on the road for league tilts at Telluride and Bayfield.


Scoring: 7:49, S-Shelton; 19:40, S-Shelton; 56:25, S-King; 63:56, S-Kiedel; 77:51, S- King; Shots on goal, P-6, S-19; Saves, P-Forrest, 12, S-Hurley, 6.


Pirate kickers take it to the House(man)

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Ryan Houseman probably hopes he never sees a Pagosa Pirate again.

The Crested Butte goalkeeper was peppered by 24 Pagosa shots in rain-drenched action on his home field Friday and turned aside 16 of them.

Three shots which he could not flag down spelled the difference in a 3-0 loss to Pagosa and all three came from Kyle Sanders, the state's leading scorer last year.

Meanwhile, Caleb Forrest was rarely tested in net for Pagosa as his defense turned in a brilliant effort, keyed by seven block/takeaways by Levi Gill, five each by Ryan Goodenberger and Jesse Morris, four each by Keegan Smith and Ty Peterson and two by Chris Baum.

Forrest was the first to make a save, stopping a dribbler by Brady Cobb at 2:12.

Less than a minute later, Houseman was beaten by Moe Webb from 30, but the shot just knicked the left post.

Forrest made another save on a minor drive at 4:11, and Webb took a lead pass downfield from Goodenberger and drilled another 30-yarder, this one sailing just over the crossbar.

The Titans' Jeff Snyder was wide left on a right side drive just before a Pirate breakaway gave Kevin Muirhead, on a pass from Drew Mitchell, a great chance that Houseman flagged down.

Forty-eight seconds later Sanders' first shot on goal was snared by Houseman and just 92 seconds after that Drew Fisher's first shot of the season was high to the left.

At 14:15 Sanders was on the prowl again but again Houseman was up to the challenge.

And then, at 16:55 Pagosa blew a great chance to take the lead when Muirhead's blast clanked off the right corner post and Mitchell's rebound effort was short and snared by Houseman.

The Pirates had a deep defense save by Peterson and a routine catch by Forrest before the scoring drought ended.

The play was a thing of beauty.

Gill started it with his first block/takeaway and a lead upfield to Webb. His crossing pass to Muirhead on the right side was toed into the middle where Sanders converted with a header at 32:04.

After another routine grab by Forrest, Webb was foiled again, Houseman diving to snare his drive to low left.

Twice more in the half the Pirates threatened. Sanders was wide left on a free kick from 22 at 38:07 and wide right from 18 with just seven seconds left in the frame.

The second half opened with Muirhead again hitting the right post at 42:43 and Houseman stopping Smith's first shot of the season at 43:25.

Muirhead, continuing to hit everywhere but in the net, drilled one from 30 at 49:53 and watched it sail just over the bar.

Houseman made a great save at 56:02 when he robbed Sanders with a dive high to the right snaring the shot with one hand and cradling it to his body as he crashed to earth.

Muirhead was wide left on another drive before Sanders got his second marker at 59:51.

It came on a crafty double fake move with a lead pass from Gill right up the middle. Sanders was stopped again just over a minute later when Houseman trapped his mud hugger.

Forrest made his best save of the game at 66:14, stopping Chris Garren's drive high to his left. Garren had scored the goal which tied the two teams in last year's game on the same field.

Muirhead was thwarted again just over a minute later when his header off a corner kick by Sanders was blocked.

Sanders put the third goal on the board at 72:07 beating Houseman low right on a penalty kick for his sixth marker of the season.

That kick was the result of a Houseman penalty, probably out of frustration, when he came out of net to tackle a wing after the play had been blown dead.

Sanders, however, wasn't through with the attack mode. At 73:11 he set up Muirhead with a back kick lead but Houseman grabbed Kevin's shot.

At 76:33 Muirhead reversed the action, dropping a crossing pass to Baum in the middle. His lead to Sanders in the left box resulted in a shot wide left.

The final effort by Pagosa, and the final outstanding play by Houseman, came with just 33 seconds left on the clock.

And again it was a defensive move which created the chance.

Ty Peterson started it with the last of his block/takeaways, and keyed it forward to Baum. Chris found Smith racing down the right middle and his lead was perfect.

Houseman, however, stopped Keegan's drive with a leap high to his right and the game was over.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason was full of praise for his defense.

"They worked as a unit all day and that's what we've been drilling into them," he said.

Their reaction to the ball rarely allowed Crested Butte an opportunity. "Knowing where to be and being there are often two different things," the coach said. "Today they knew and were there."


Scoring: 32:04, P-Sanders, assists Webb, Muirhead; 60:11, P-Sanders, assist, Gill; 72:07, Sanders, PK; Shots on goal: P-19, CB-7; Saves, Forrest-P, 7; Houseman-CB, 16.




Mabel Bennett

Mabel Lucille Born Bennett was born Jan. 28, 1912, and passed away on Sept. 5, 2003, at the age of 91 years, 7 months and 8 days.

She was delivered by her father in a one-room cabin at the family homestead at Born's Lake in Mineral County, Colorado, surrounded by the mountains and streams she loved and knew through her childhood and into adulthood. She was the youngest of four children of "Dutch" Henry Born and Ida Dillabaugh Born, all of whom she survived by 31 years.

She attended school in Pagosa Springs and graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1930. On Nov. 15, 1933, she married her high school sweetheart, Donald William Bennett. To this union were born three children: Lucille Alley and Donna Formwalt of Pagosa Springs and James Donald Bennett of Durango, all of whom survive her. Also surviving is her son-in-law, Charles H. Formwalt.

Mabel started her work career while in high school, abstracting for Fil Byrne, and later acquired ownership of the Archuleta County Abstract Company. She became clerk of the combined District and County Courts of Archuleta County in 1966 and retired in 1984. She was widowed in 1970 and relied on her love of fishing, hiking and camping with her family and friends to pass the time.

Her progeny include her grandchildren George Bruce Alley, Jana Alley Candelaria, Pamela and Richard Strunk, Melinda and Don Volger, Patrick and Robyn Bennett, Sheila and Rick Witmer and Timothy Jay Bennett; her great grandchildren Kindra Alley, Derek, Keisha and Kelcie Candelaria, Arica and Tancie Houser, Charlee Strunk, Chelsea and Aubrey Volger, Tristen and Kaycee Bennett, Andrew and Ashley Witmer; step great-grandchildren Tamara Volger Jordan and Heather Volger Thomas; her great-great-grandchildren LaLia Candelaria and Azure and Jeyden Houser; and step great-great-grandchildren Jon Paul Jordan II and Coy Thomas.

Also surviving are three nieces and their families: Crystal and Leonard Wall of Durango, and Roylene and Lonnie Brown and Laura and Ronald DeVere all of Aztec, N.M.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Ida Born; siblings George and James Born and Helen Brown; her husband, Donald W. Bennett; her son-in-law, George Alley Jr.; her grandson, William J. Alley; and her niece, Opal Nisbeth.

Services were held Sept. 8, 2003, at Community United Methodist Church of Pagosa Springs with burial in Hilltop Cemetery.

Contributions may be made to Archuleta County Senior Center, PO Box 1532, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Tammy Gallegos

Tammy Lisa Gallegos was born April 14, 1964 in Queens, N.Y. where she attended elementary and middle school before the family moved to Henderson, Nev., where she attended cosmetology school.

She moved to Hermiston, Ore., in 1982 and lived there until Aug. 23 when, at the age of 39, she was a homicide victim.

She is survived by daughters Dasha and Amien Gallegos of La Grande, Ore.; and five siblings, brothers Randy Gallegos of Salt Lake City and Kenny Gallegos of Las Vegas, Nev.; sisters Debbie Gonzales of Las Vegas, Judy Hammer of Tellico Plains, Tenn., and Laurie (Lori) Gallegos of Pagosa Springs; and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Smokey Marion Gallegos and Alice McKeough of Pagosa Springs, and a sister, Catherine (Cathy) McKeogh St. Laurent, of Pagosa Springs.

A Rosary service was held Friday, Sept. 5, 2003, in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church and funeral mass at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, with burial immediately afterward.

Tammy will be loved and missed by many.

Joe U. Lister

Joe U. Lister, a lifelong resident of Pagosa Springs, died peacefully in his home on Sept. 4, 2003, from complications of diabetes. He was born Dec. 26, 1927, to Joe Rubin Lister and Frances A. Mestas.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Delfina, of Pagosa Springs; three daughters, Peggy Pisano (Louis) of Yuma, Ariz., and their children Gina (Devon) Wasson and Dena Pisano of Chandler, Ariz., Tina (Robert) Conley of Yuma, Ariz., and Jason Pisano (Sasha) of Yuma; Donna Lister of Pagosa Springs and her daughter, Tasha Andrews; Pam Lister of Pagosa Springs and her four children, Erin, Ryan, Jeremy and Christopher, all of Pagosa Springs. Additionally, Delfi and Joe had four sons: Larry (Cindy) Lister of Pagosa Springs and their four sons, Eric (Carla) Lister of West Warwick, R.I., Jesse, Clinton and Darin all of Pagosa Springs; Joe U. Lister Jr. (Kate) and their children Jenifer (Chris) Pitcher, Santino and Gabriel of Pagosa Springs; Michael Lister of Bayfield, and his children Tonnie, Tiffany, Nathan, Tabitha, Nick and Nevin of Monte Vista, and Les Lister of Pagosa Springs.

He is also survived by three sisters: Ruby Jones of Prescott, Ariz., Linda Buldoc of Phoenix and Ernestine Trujillo of Denver.

Joe and Delfi had six grandchildren: Miah and River Pitcher of Pagosa Springs, Jason A. Pisano Jr., Caleb and Taiten Conley of Yuma, Ariz., and Amber Rose Lister of Ogden, Utah.

Joe Lister was a prominent businessman and civic leader for many years in Pagosa Springs. He started with a small furniture store partnership in 1956 and expanded when he purchased the Pagosa Hotel, the Liberty Theater and the Continental Trailways depot in 1973. He retired from his very active business career in 1981.

He was hired as a deputy police officer in 1960 and in 1973 was called upon to be the acting Chief of Police on an interim basis. He also hosted a weekly radio program featuring Mexican music and the music of Northern New Mexico.

He was very active in civic matters and in Archuleta County politics. He served on the Pagosa Springs town board as the police commissioner, on the Southwest Community Action board, and was a member of the Lion's Club.

He was a parishioner of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church who generously donated to many Catholic societies in his later years when he was unable to attend mass and religiously watched the daily mass on television.

He especially enjoyed working as the Democratic Party county chairman and met and worked for many local candidates and national candidates including Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Gov. Richard Lamm and Gov. Roy Romer. The highlight of his political involvement was the invitation he received to attend a presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Joe loved his beloved culture and family and was friend to everyone. He helped many in the Hispanic community in all forms of legal matters, tax work and loaned money to those in need. Joe made countless friends who never cease to remind the family how much they respected him and how much they will miss his dynamic personality.

A Rosary service was held in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on Sunday, Sept. 7, and The Rev. Father John Bowe celebrated the funeral mass at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 8. He was laid to eternal rest in Hilltop Cemetery alongside his mother, Frances.

He will be missed by all who knew him and the family and Joe in his own way would end by signing off as he did on his weekly Spanish radio program by saying: "Este es su servidor, Jose Lister."

Joe Swinney

Joe Donald Swinney, 83, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2003, at the Colorado State Veterans Center, in Homelake. Joe was born on June 12, 1920, in Republic, Mo., to Armon Lee and Bessie May (Squibb) Swinney.

Joe had been a resident at the Veterans Center since June of 2000. He attended school in Republic, Mo. Joe joined the U.S. Army on Oct. 17, 1941. He served with the Battery B, 753rd Gun Battalion in the Marshall Islands, until he was honorably discharged on Oct. 10, 1945. Joe met Zoe Finn on Nov. 10, 1946, in Springfield, Mo., where they were married.

Joe's hobbies included hunting, fishing and bowling. He was a field man for Kraft Foods in Wheaton, Mo., from 1951 to 1964; he also worked for Iowa Beef in Emporia, Kan., from 1966 to 1981. After his retirement, he worked for Silver Dollar City, in Branson, Mo., as a postman. Joe accepted Christ as his Savior at the Baptist Church in Pierce City, Mo., in 1952 and was baptized a week later.

Joe is survived by his four children, Mark A. (Joyce) Swinney of Center, Luke P. (Gayla) Swinney of Kennewick, Wash., Ann T. (Michael Fehrenbach) of Magnolia, Texas, and Rebecca A. Cortez of Pagosa Springs; two sisters, Mildred McGuffin of San Francisco, and Delores Kilpatrick of Spencer, Iowa; also seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, Armon and Bessie; two brothers, Herbert and Lee; and one sister, Maxine.

Graveside services were held at Horner Cemetery in Cassville, Mo.



Inside The Sun

Stevens Field upgrade given approval

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Preparations are being made to initiate a schedule of runway improvements at Stevens Field following this week's meeting of the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners.

A grant agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration that will pump funds totaling just over $9 million into the effort was the key document approved Tuesday, along with a bid award and notice to proceed to Kirkland Construction, the Rye-based firm that was given the nod to initiate the upgrades late last month.

However, final acceptance of the FAA grant agreement is contingent upon clarification of language in the document regarding who is responsible for clearing the existing airport office building, fuel storage tanks and "T-hangars."

Language in the agreement implies the county, as sponsor for the project, is to accept sole responsibility for all three chores - a suggestion that garnered a request for clarification from the board.

In response, Tim Smith, airport manager, told the board the county will handle the fuel tanks since budgeting for that task "had been anticipated all along," while the cost of clearing the airport office building will be covered by the FAA grant funds.

In addition, said Smith, following an assessment of costs, the county's financial responsibility for clearance of the T-hangars will be offset by federal participation "up to the amount" of market value or demolition value of the structures.

Following Smith's explanation, the board directed Mary Weiss, county attorney, to negotiate acceptable language outlining each of those notions with the FAA for inclusion in the grant agreement.

According to Smith, work is expected to begin late this month and should continue as long as the weather permits.

Grading, drainage, paving, lighting, rehabilitation and extension for the airport's main runway will be the focus of the project, though plans also call for the installation of an animal-control fence around the airport perimeter.

The roughly $9 million in funds resulting from the FAA grant amounts to 90 percent of the price tag associated with the improvement initiative, with another 5 percent coming courtesy of state participation.

While an exact dollar figure has not yet been determined, the remaining 5 percent will be covered by the county, and a portion of that amount will include in-kind contributions.

In summary, "This is a culmination of just short of a decade's worth of hard work," said Smith, indicating the project is the last in a series of improvement plans for the airport that were initiated in the mid '90s.

In other business this week, the board:

- approved renewal of a food service management contract with Seeds of Learning

- denied a request from Colorado Housing Inc. to waive county building fees based on the fact that building permits for CHI homes are issued in the name of the individual contractor and not in the name of the nonprofit corporation (the county does waive inspection fees for CHI)

- approved a sheriff's department request to fly the POW/MIA flag at the courthouse during POW/MIA Recognition Day Sept. 19

- approved renewal of a hotel/restaurant license for Keyah Grande

- set a public hearing for minor revisions to land use regulations for outdoor lighting and signage for Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.

- tabled consideration of a commercial activity request from Curtis Hannay for a private maintenance operation at Stevens Field pending clarification of appropriate insurance coverage.


Pagosa boy suffers setback,

benefit set to raise funds

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Casey Mudroch, the 7-year-old who was critically injured in a flash flood at Navajo Lake Aug. 13, is back in the intensive care unit at The Children's Hospital in Denver.

Family friend Liz Marchand said an ulcer caused by steroids administered as part of Casey's treatment ruptured Sept. 3. The resulting hemorrhage sent the boy back to intensive care. According to representatives from the hospital, he was listed in serious condition Wednesday afternoon.

"He's just amazing," Marchand said. Already, he is back off the respirator and breathing on his own. He continues to receive physical and occupational therapy.

An account to help the Mudrochs with medical bills and considerable transportation expenses since the accident has been set up at the Bank of Colorado.

The account number is 8500394046. Checks can be mailed to the bank at P.O. Box 3460, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Anyone with questions concerning the account can call Marion Francis at 731-4166.

A benefit golf tournament has also been planned for Sept. 28 at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club with a 10 a.m. shotgun start. The tournament will be a four-person scramble. Cost is $65 per person for members and $100 per person for nonmembers. Of that, $57.50 will go to benefit Casey. For information on the benefit, call Francis at the number listed above or Marchand at 946-2859.


McInnis will leave House seat; may run for governor; Larson won't seek his seat

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Colorado political machines began humming in dead earnest this week when word of U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis' decision to step down was received.

The veteran Republican legislator, in Congress since 1992, e-mailed associates Saturday announcing he will not run next year and talking of "another peak" to climb.

Astute observers think that means the Grand Junction solon has his eye on a race for gubernatorial office.

Associates say he has often talked about that possibility and his staff, said the Denver Post, cited it as a near certainty.

A member of the House Ways and Means Committee, McInnis reportedly has a $1.5 million campaign chest reportedly built as his influence in Congress grew.

His 3rd Congressional District includes the Western Slope and a wraparound to take in part of Pueblo.

That, veteran political pundits say, should open an all-out campaign from candidates of both parties to fill the seat.

Key legislation McInnis has backed recently includes President Bush's Healthy Forests Initiative, a plan to cut more timber to reduce the risk of wildfires. His position is influenced by his role as chairman of the House forests subcommittee.

It appears McInnis' decision will make the 3rd Congressional District a national focus.

Both parties will want to control an open seat in Congress and party funds are likely to pour in backing the races of whoever the parties select to vie for his seat.

And at home, those who had been eying gubernatorial runs may change their minds and seek the Washington spot instead.

With Congressman McInnis' announcement a whirlwind of political speculation has invaded the Congressional district.

State Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez, said he has received many calls and e-mails urging that he run for the vacant seat.

Larson said he is very honored to have that support. However, he announced Tuesday, "I will not be seeking a run for congress." He listed the following reasons:

First and foremost, Larson said he has steadfastly refused to accept political action committee (PAC) special interest money. Not accepting such money would be a huge detriment to fund-raising for a federal office. Larson feels strongly about this and will not alter his commitment.

Second, Congress is not subject to term limits. Accordingly, a freshman congressman will need 8-10 years before being able to rise to a level of seniority to be very effective. With 435 competing senior representatives, Larson feels he can be more effective for his constituents in the statehouse. "Colorado legislators have the ability to carry and pass meaningful legislation that immediately benefits their constituents. The same cannot be said of Congress," Larson said.

Third, Larson said, "I am a purist when it comes to representing my constituents. Most parties shy away from candidates who do not play the game by their rules." Larson feels that adhering to strict party politics is not representative of all the constituents in his district, at any level of representation. Where such a position has not harmed his ability to represent southwestern Colorado in the Colorado Legislature, the impact at the congressional level would have significant implications.

Of equal importance in Larson's consideration is the fiscal mess Colorado is currently in. "We are by no means out of the budget crisis yet. I honestly believe that my abilities and experience can best be utilized continuing to represent southwestern Colorado in the House of Representatives and possibly later in the Senate." Larson said, "I would feel as if I was abandoning my district at a critical time."

Larson closed saying, "Serving in the Colorado General Assembly is an exciting and challenging job. I have enjoyed representing my district these past five years. I want to be in a position where I can best help my constituents and the Colorado General Assembly is that place."


Study recommends more maintenance personnel for school district buildings

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

An out-of-district study of maintenance and custodial services in the Pagosa Springs school system has produced a recommendation for additional personnel.

The three-man inspection team from Douglas County concluded the current staff is very capable and the buildings are well cared for.

But, the report interpreted for the board of education Tuesday by Superintendent Duane Noggle, indicated the staff is overworked.

The square footage maintenance requirements per man are much higher in the local schools that in statewide and national average statistics, the study said.

The report recommended the district employ a person or persons skilled in plumbing, electrical installation and maintenance, heating, ventilation and air conditioning to avoid contracting out work.

The study estimated the district could save 10 to 25 percent in cost by having these skills represented on staff.

As for cost efficiency of present staff, Noggle said, the report indicates Pagosa in the upper middle range with a figure of $1.75 to $1.85 per square foot; the statewide averages range from $1.29-$2.10.

Pagosa's supply costs average 22 cents per square foot while the statewide average is 5-12 cents per square foot.

The report also indicated a need for a preventative maintenance program in each building on either an annual or quarterly basis, and recommended that supplies purchases be based on square footage of care basis in each building with an average of 5-7 cents per foot.

The report also recommended that summer maintenance operations be done as a team effort roving from building to building rather than in-building operations.

The administration, said Noggle, intends to survey staff for feedback on the recommendations.

In an exit interview with the inspection team, he said, they expressed being "very impressed with our custodial staff and the work they accomplish while being undermanned."

The most important things to consider from the report, the told the board are adding maintenance personnel and studying the supply budget for cost savings.

The district paid $2,000 for the in-depth study which began in November.

In other personnel action Tuesday, the board approved employment of Sharon Lowder as part-time school nurse; Roger August as high school assistant wrestling coach; Cindy Nobles and Pam Levonius as junior high assistant volleyball coaches; and approved Will Pride and Brent Finney as volunteer junior high football coaches.

In final personnel note, Noggle's written report to the board revealed former superintendent Terry Alley will become a 1/4-time employee of the district responsible for monitoring the strategic plan and its implementation, chairing the accreditation of each school, and continuing to provide grant writing services to the district.



School district enrollment dip could cut state funding

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Enrollment in Archuleta School District 50 Joint schools is down by 27 from official data last year.

And that is causing some concern for administrators as they prepare for the Oct. 1 report to the state on average enrollment, on which state funding is based.

With state budget recisions pending, the school board was told Tuesday it is likely the per-pupil allotments will be cut and that the district's receipts will be lower than expected.

The enrollment data also caused the board, at the request of transportation director Dolly Martin, to continue until the Oct. 14 board meeting a decision on extending bus route 17 down Colo. 151.

A number of residents had asked the district to extend the route 8 1/2 miles from U.S. 160.

A preliminary study, Martin said, shows only four students riding the bus right now from that area. And, she said, there have been suggestions that the route not go south of 160 at all.

However, enrollment and ridership is fluctuating early in the term and it is possible more accurate figures will be available by the next board meeting.

On her recommendation, the board agreed to extend the Oct. 1 deadline for a decision on this route only.

Martin said preliminary load data indicate some other route changes may be necessary.

Asked by director Randall Davis, board president, for an update on the proverbial "lemon bus," Martin reported a new district mechanic found a faulty relay switch, replaced it, and the bus is now a choice of many drivers.

In fact, she said, when the manufacturer and dealer were notified of the problem's solution, "they began calling all other districts which had purchased the same model and telling them what to look for."

Director Jon Forrest, reporting on his role as delegate to the multi-school district Board of Cooperative Services, said there is some discussion that members of individual school boards should not be involved in the BOCS operation.

When they meet only every two months, he said, "there is little control the individual district member can leverage on day-to-day operations."

He said it is apparent board members should either be dropped or made more active in the decision-making process.

It is possible there will be a joint meeting of all board members from all member districts to study the issue, if a commonly agreed time and date can be found.

Finally, after a 14-minute executive session, the board voted unanimously to expel a student from the Intermediate School.


PAWS ponders easing water restrictions

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Based on statistics presented this week by district management, the board of directors of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District decided it will take a closer look at the possibility of easing water restrictions during its Sept. 23 session.

During a brief discussion at Tuesday's board meeting, Carrie Campbell, district general manager, suggested a lift of restrictions may be in order since, thus far, the public has responded well to conservation awareness efforts.

"They've got conservation on the brain, and hopefully that mindset will remain in place," said Campbell. "It would be staff's recommendation to lift restrictions at this time."

Though districtwide water consumption is up slightly from the same time last year, Campbell explained the increase is due, in part, to the fact that more severe restrictions were in place for the majority of last year's record drought.

When compared to previous "average" years, said Campbell, this year's consumption figures reflect less usage.

"Are people actually calling and asking that we lift restrictions, then?" asked board member Don Brinks.

"Generally, yes, quite a few," answered Gene Tautges, assistant general manager.

Tautges told the board his rationale for suggesting restrictions could be eased is based on the amount of storage contained in district reservoirs and the fact that lower temperatures are resulting in decreased evaporation losses.

In addition, said Tautges, "The one thing we're being questioned on the most is - people using over 8,000 gallons per equivalent unit are getting hit with the 'drought surcharge.'"

Under the new district rate structure adopted earlier this summer, whenever restrictions are in place, the "drought surcharges," or increased usage charges, kick in after usage exceeds 8,000 gallons (per equivalent unit).

Usage over 8,000 gallons results in a charge of 77 cents for every additional 1,000 gallons for volumes up to 20,000 gallons. Usage exceeding 20,000 gallons carries a charge of $1.20 for every additional 1,000 gallons.

"Certainly, going to a volunteer level right now is not a bad idea," added Tautges, "But staff feels we don't need to be in level one restrictions."

Shellie Tressler, district administrative assistant, then suggested the board postpone a decision until after a review of water usage statistics for August during its next meeting, an action that will have no effect on the current billing cycle.

Concurring with that notion, "I guess I'd just as soon wait a bit longer," said Brinks.

"Even if the reservoirs were full, there are always plenty of reasons to conserve water," added board member Bob Frye, "I think we might be sending the wrong message if we lift restrictions at this time."

A motion to table the issue until the next meeting soon followed, and was carried unanimously.

As a result, current restrictions remain in place and residents served by 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.

Lake levels

According to the latest information provided by Tautges, district lakes and reservoirs were at the following approximate levels Sept. 8:

- Lake Hatcher - 20 inches below full pool

- Stevens Reservoir - 13 inches below full pool

- Lake Pagosa - 27 inches below full pool

- Lake Forest - three inches below full pool

- Village Lake - 47 inches below full pool.


Daily hours and operation deadline extended for Mask Ranch asphalt plant

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

A trio of extensions relating to the operation of the Mask Ranch asphalt plant being utilized for the U.S. 84 reconstruction project were given approval Tuesday by the Archuleta County commissioners.

As a result, the plant, which is located south of town near the Holiday Acres subdivision, is now permitted to operate 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and the deadline for cessation of operations has been extended through Oct. 15.

Previously, asphalt production hours at the plant were limited to 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday with no work permitted on weekends. (Hauling operations are still restricted to those parameters.)

The decision followed a request from John Ary, of A&S Construction, indicating weather delays and a state-level decision to prohibit work from Aug. 28-Sept. 3 threatened his company's ability to complete operations by the Oct. 1 deadline included as part of a limited impact use permit approved by the county planning department in June.

"We have been rained out almost every day," said Ary, while adding that the Colorado Department of Transportation's addition of further road widening, embankment and shouldering initiatives also factored heavily in the decision to seek an extension.

Requesting the extension as a safeguard, Ary indicated that even with the delays, only 16 "workable days" are needed to complete the project and that if the weather fully cooperates, he estimates the work can still be accomplished before the original Oct. 1 deadline.

However, the discussion leading up to the approval did not go without comment from Holiday Acres residents Bill Clark and Walter Green.

A staunch opponent to the plant and the accompanying gravel mining operation since their inception, Clark resurrected the notion of giving the public the chance to openly debate future decisions to approve limited impact use permits.

In addition, Clark asserted the decision to approve the plant had been subject to "covert or overt pressures," though he neither elaborated on that claim nor provided specific proof.

Nevertheless, while Clark reiterated he has been "bitterly and vocally opposed" to the plant in the past and accused the county of trying to "slide the asphalt plant under the door," he said he now favors an extension of the plant's hours to expedite the project and "ultimately get rid of this."

Similarly, "I fully support Mr. Ary's paving operation, now," said Green, "We have no problem with Mr. Ary, we have a problem with the (approval) process."

When asked by Marcus Baker, associate county planner, why an existing gravel operation in Chromo couldn't be substituted to aid the U.S. 84 project since the Mask Ranch plant had "caused the most headaches," Ary responded that CDOT has made it clear his company is to use its own equipment to complete the improvements.

"That would be an option, but it's not an option in CDOT's eyes," said Ary.

Commissioner Mamie Lynch's motion to approve Ary's request carried unanimously a short time later, and was immediately followed by a comment regarding Clark's assertions from Bill Steele, county administrator.

"There has been no overt or covert activity applied to the application process, that I know of, by the county," concluded Steele.


Democratic Senate hopeful

sees need for national health

care; expects new terrorist attack

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"We are losing control of our democracy inches at a time.

"I'm appalled at the shrinking of our economy, loss of jobs, cost of education and trading away the promise of America.

"The Patriot Act undermines our civil liberties and the state's GOP redrawing of congressional boundary lines at the last minute violated the voters' public trust."

Those were some of the opinions expressed to about three dozen listeners Sunday as Mike Miles brought his campaign for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate to Pagosa Springs.

This was the final stop in his first swing around the state, a move designed to let people know who he is and what his views are, and to get a feeling for what the people are really worried about.

"What I'm hearing, everywhere," he said, "is anger, frustration and real concern for America's future - more than I have at any other time."

He said people who have never before been political "are being energized because they're worried about our future."

Urging local voters "don't give up due process in the time of crisis," he said "giving carte blanche to Bush on Iraq was a wrong decision, an extension of too much control."

Calling himself "A gladiator for democracy," Miles cited his background as a basis for some knowledge of the world situation and how to deal with terrorism here and abroad.

He is a West Point graduate, a former Army Ranger, an ex-infantry company commander, has completed training in countering nuclear, biological and chemical warfare and has served in the diplomatic corps in both Russia and Poland. He was special assistant to the U.S. ambassador to Russia.

With that background noted, he suggested the United States "needs a more engaging, less arrogant foreign policy."

He also has a background in education, having been a teacher, principal and superintendent, and feels there is "no need for the often recommended voucher program.

"There should be no difference," he said, "between the haves and have nots so far as our support of education is concerned."

He was critical of President Bush's "Leave No Child Behind" program because it "mandates without adequate financing a program more logically formulated and operated locally."

Noting he served on the first Human Relations Commission in Colorado Springs, drawing criticism for his support of minority rights, he said "civil liberties and justice for all is the most important aspect of human relations."

Calling on his memory of quotations by Mohandas Gandhi, he cited this credo for voters: "Be the change you want to see in the world.

"You are the ones who can make Washington pundits realize the spirit of the people and that their power is still alive.

"Get involved," he urged. "Take some action like financial support of your candidate; volunteer to make phone calls, accept yard signs. Let your neighbors know your concerns."

When he opened the hour-long session to public questions, the first was "What has happened to truth in America. Who's telling it and who isn't?"

The hopeful opponent for Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Ignacio said, "It is hard to tell. 'Truth' has become a transparency to fit the occasion. If we want truth in Washington, then we need to elect people who will walk the talk. We need to eliminate policy by rhetoric."

When another audience member suggested there seems to be a growing sense of anxiety over "lack of truth and commitment to honest government," Miles said he would promise, if elected, to post each week on a Web site a list of every person he had spoken to or conferred with over party politics or personal concerns.

"That way everyone will know those with whom I have discussed ideas and actions. There will be no secrecy," he said.

County Commissioner Mamie Lynch suggested "a growing national deficit and tax cuts we're told will save the economy seem to be a sham. What we need is a national health care plan to keep the old and needy from slipping through the economic cracks."

Miles agreed, saying what the administration has done is "to mortgage our childrens' future."

National health care, he said, "is the number-one family issue in this nation. We don't need polls to tell us that. We need to overhaul the whole system."

Noting soaring insurance costs, he said "it is unconscionable that at the present rate, by the end of the decade, it will cost $900 per month for a family to join a limited HMO program.

"I can't afford that and I know very few who could," he said. "This administration just doesn't get it; it hasn't been listening. It sees the nation from a financial tower and not as real people with real issues.

"Why should you, the voters, support school vouchers or the war in Iraq when people have made it evident they don't want those things?" he asked.

The administration, he said, "should support the will of the people, not an agenda."

In answer to another audience question, he said Washington should be helping states "recruit and train quality teachers by providing them incentives beyond the first three years."

If a teacher has shown classroom and student dedication in that time, he said, the teacher should be encouraged to sign on for an additional three years "with a tax incentive for doing so. They don't get the money they deserve," he said.

"Rather than mandating every student reach a certain level, even if they speak a second language," he said, "we should hold the teachers, children and parents accountable. We should look at their beginning level of ability and validate performance at the end of the year. A student in seventh grade reading at fifth-grade level at the beginning of the year should not be labeled a 'poor' learner if, in that time period, he advances a grade and a half but just missed the class level."

"How can we extricate ourselves from the Iraqi situation?" he was asked.

"I was against the war to begin with," he said. "I could see no proof this war was in the U.S. interest."

That said, he indicated his study of "the policies and intrigues involved suggest we can't just leave."

Iraq, he said, is now "housing a trampling herd in a captive area. Our interests are more at risk. Terrorists are encouraged by the trouble they can cause and that will only attract more of them.

"Instead of energizing them," he said, "we should accept the United Nations into the loop with control authority. Grant a multinational force the power to deal with and diffuse the terrorists from even more hostility.

"In short," he said, "we need to engage a community of nations in solving the intraborder problems and in establishing an Iraqi governmental structure of its own."

Asked from the audience to evaluate the current state of homeland security, Miles was emphatic in saying "we need to train first responders.

"For example," he asked, "where do the chemicals go when decontamination is complete? Where does the vehicle which carried the contaminated material go? Suggesting use of duct tape and plastic was asinine.

"When we focus on the wrong things, we undermine the civil liberties we so cherish," he added.

And, he said, "I think we'll see another attack on our homeland. We have energized one of the most dangerous of threats."

Finally, answering another audience query, he said "I'll challenge Sen. Campbell to debate me, any time, anywhere in the state. But I don't think he'll accept."



Tuesday forum addresses health service issues

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

An audience of about 30 at the League of Women Voters Forum on local health care issues heard viewpoints from two speakers - Dr. Dick Blide and Dr. Jim Pruitt.

Two other speakers invited to the forum - Upper San Juan Health Service District Board Chairman Charles Hawkins and District Manager Dee Jackson - declined to participate.

Kathy Saley, public relations coordinator for the district, said according to an advertisement paid for by the League of Women Voters, the public form was to address: "The Upper San Juan Health Service District: What is its Vision of its Mission for the Public and How Does it Plan to Fulfill that Mission?"

Because the district board is currently working to formulate its mission and vision statements through a strategic planning process, she said, it didn't seem productive to present those in a public forum until they were complete and approved by the board.

"At this point, how can we discuss them if they are not complete?" she said.

"We are looking forward to the opportunity to participate at a later date and are grateful for the invitation," she added.

Nan Rowe, a member of the League of Women Voters, said the request was for the district manager and board chairman to come and speak on health care issues. They were to have been given a total of 30 minutes each to present whatever information they wanted.

In the advertisement, she said, "I just tried to come up with the broadest possible topic we could and make it clear that personnel issues would not be discussed."

She said a verbal invitation to attend the forum was accepted by the board chairman Aug. 14. He later sent a letter dated Aug. 25, declining the invitation.

At the meeting, Blide, a member of the health district board, said he spoke not as a board member, but as a concerned citizen. He outlined problems with the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center and EMS that stemmed, he said, from a board whose actions are completely controlled by a district manager who has problems relating people.

"The board is deaf, dumb and blind," he said. "They don't listen to anyone else, they don't listen to me, they didn't listen to the medical advisory committee."

He did preface his comments by stating that, "Some of the people involved I respect very much, but I disagree with them 100 percent."

Although presented with a plan to bring integrated health care to the community, along with constant night and weekend coverage by on-call local physicians, five members of the board voted against it, he said. Instead they are following a course that destroyed the old Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center and formed a new one. Blide predicted the reformulated clinic would fail.

Meanwhile, he said, EMS is under sanctions. (In that he was referring to a request by the state that EMS cease doing Rapid Sequence Intubation, a specialized procedure that requires a waiver EMS did not have. The waiver was apparently supposed to have been filed five years ago and never was.)

In his concluding statement, Blide called for the resignations of both the district manager and the board president.

Pruitt, owner of Pagosa Family Medicine, a local private practice, outlined the history of the district going back to 1980 when the public voted to form a special district in order to bring improved health care to Pagosa Country. At that time, he said, he was finishing up his residency and took the vote as a signal the people here knew where they wanted local health care to go. The district's service plan called for a facility to provide outpatient surgery, a birthing room, urgent and emergency care and improved lab facilities and an integrated system of doctors to provide those services.

Twenty-some years later, he and the other local doctors are still waiting. The facility is here. It's called the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center. Only, he said, it's not being used the way it was intended.

Many of those ideas presented in 1980 were presented again just this summer in a plan to privatize the medical center presented to the Upper San Juan Health Service Board, he added. The plan was rejected. Now, he said, it's up to the people to act.

"We do have the ability to come together in a constructive fashion," he said. "This is our community. If we don't start working on it, we'll probably get what we deserve."

He listed several goals for moving health care in Pagosa Country into the future. These included: integrating EMS services with local physicians, converting the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center to a diagnostic and treatment center, facilitating local physicians providing urgent/emergency care on a 24/7 basis, reforming the medical advisory committee, facilitating the recruitment of new physicians to the community and improving the relationship between local physicians and outside facilities in Durango, Farmington, Albuquerque and Denver.

In other business, Rowe, the League's president until Tuesday, resigned her position in order to address what she viewed as a personal attack on a radio advertisement regarding her conduct in setting up the meeting.

Vice President Keren Prior moderated the rest of the meeting.


Blood drive set for Monday at Pine Ridge

Noting, "There is no substitute for human blood," United Blood Services has scheduled a blood drive 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 8 in Pagosa Springs.

Site for Monday's draw will be Pine Ridge Extended Care Center, 119 Bastille Drive.

It is the only blood drive scheduled in Pagosa Springs in the next two weeks.

Identification is required of all donors.

You may sign up for drives at


Three new teachers join faculty at PSHS

By Frank Schiro

Special to The SUN

Judy Valdez, Jim Shaffer and Dan Janowsky are the three new Pagosa Springs High School teachers who will be helping kids in the classrooms and walking the halls this fall.

Shaffer and Janowsky are not new to the district. The two experienced teachers transferred to high school duty from Pagosa Springs Intermediate School and Pagosa Springs Junior High, respectively.

Valdez is not exactly a rookie, either. She helped out over the last two years as a full-time substitute.

Valdez and her husband, Diego, a retired firefighter, moved here with their daughter a little over two years ago from Littleton. Like many, they were drawn to Pagosa Springs by the beauty and environment the town offers.

"The (Denver) metro area was growing way too fast. We wanted a small-town atmosphere. We came through Pagosa and saw what a green, beautiful place it was and decided it would be a great place to stay," Valdez said.

Valdez grew up in Littleton, graduated from Littleton High School and later graduated from Colorado University in Boulder.

Prior to moving to Pagosa, she taught English, American History and Spanish for the Littleton School District.

Valdez's duties remain similar in Pagosa. She will teach English and American History at the Pagosa Springs High School at a ninth-grade level. It appears Valdez is adjusting quickly to her permanent role.

"The people are very personal, and the facility - it doesn't get any better than that," Valdez said of her new surroundings. "I am very pleased with the camaraderie and friendliness of the staff. I've always believed that the students will benefit where the teachers are happy."

When not teaching and helping her 16-year-old daughter make her own transition to high school, Valdez loves gardening, reading biographies and historic fiction and helping her husband decorate the vacation homes he builds in Mexico. Valdez also has two sons, Phillip, 31, and Andrew, 21, who have already flown the nest.

Meanwhile, Valdez's other two coworkers are holding down their own subject areas.

Shaffer is already well known around Pagosa High School. He is head coach for the boy's basketball team (taking them to the state playoffs last season) and assistant football coach. This is Shaffer's third year in the coaching position.

In addition to coaching, Shaffer teaches physical education classes. Prior to his move to Pagosa, Shaffer taught and coached at Evanston, Wyoming.

Dan Janowsky is the final transfer/newcomer. Janowsky, the longtime varsity wrestling coach at the high school, moved over to the high school from the Pagosa Springs Junior High and will be teaching social studies.

Pagosa Springs High School Principal, Bill Esterbrook is excited about the new teachers. "Both Jim and Dan are veteran teachers that have been successful in the district, and we are very happy to have them move to the high school. Judy has been a long-term sub, and is also a veteran teacher with strong experience in other districts. All three will be a great addition here. We had good people leave, and we feel fortunate to have such talented teachers available in the district to replace them," Esterbrook said.


Tri-State will hold rates for electricity

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association's board has approved the power supplier's 2004 operating budget of $666.2 million. The budget calls for no rate adjustment for the coming year.

Tri-State's average Class A wholesale rate to its 44 member cooperatives and public power districts is 4.36 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is lower than what the power supplier was charging 18 years ago, when its average rate was 4.60 cents per kilowatt-hour in 1986.

Tri-State's member rate either decreased or held steady from 1986-2001, before increases of 10.1 percent were implemented in 2002 and 2003, respectively

"Obviously we're pleased to be able to hold our rates steady for the coming year." said J.M. Shafer, Tri-State's executive vice president/general manager. "Especially when you consider that many of the market conditions that caused us to raise rates in the past two years - diminished hydroelectric deliveries, skyrocketing natural gas prices and increased regional wholesale power prices - are impacting utilities in the western United States."

Rates charged by each of Tri-State's 44-member distribution systems are set independently of each other and of Tri-State, depending on the specific financial and operational circumstances faced by each member system. Wholesale power supply expenses normally make up the largest component of retail costs.

Headquartered in Denver suburban Westminster, Tri-State employs 1,000 people throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming, and lists assets of $2 billion.

The association owns a total of 1,402 megawatts of output from five different coal-based generating facilities in the region and 525 megawatts from various natural gas-fired combination turbine plants. It also provides to its member systems power from hydroelectric facilities and "green power" generated from renewable resources.

The 44 electric cooperatives and public power districts to which Tri-State supplies power - including La Plata Electric Association - cover a 250,000-square mile area of Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and New Mexico. The member systems, in turn, serve over 513 meters, translating to a population of approximately 1 million end-use consumers.




No win situation

Dear Editor:

Some months ago Colin Powell outlined America's approach to dealing with the rest of the world concerning terrorism.

First he said we will never again conduct a war we have no chance of winning. We will also never have a war plan without a clear ironclad exit plan.

Fast forward to Iraq. Have we won the war? On May 1 Bush declared the hard fighting complete - but is it?

We are sacrificing a soldier a day and a billion dollars a week to try and solve this debacle.

We are stuck in a no-win situation. We're afraid to really clamp down on the guerilla terrorism for fear of really alienating the Iraqi populace, and also reluctant to allow "Iraqi freedom" because they may take advantage of us - and they certainly have.

Iraq is becoming a haven for every terrorist who wants to do harm to America. This will gradually increase, and eventually become unmanageable for America.

A new proposal may come before the U.N. to allow the use of U.N. peacekeepers to help the U.S. manage this debacle. The U.S. may go along with this resolution as long as we control the U.N. troops. "Give us your money and troops, but we'll control the agenda." How do you think this will play out on the international stage?

Recently Paul Bremer, Iraq's head administrator, was asked how much money would be needed to complete this job in Iraq. His answer was "tens of billions of dollars."

When asked a time line for completion he could give no estimate. So much for a clear exit plan. On Aug. 27 the Bushees formally disavowed his position. Where does this leave us?

If the Democrats hope to succeed they must come up with an exit plan for Iraq, and push it hard. Howard Dean seems like a good bet.

Bill Ayer

Lake level plea

Dear Editor:

Labor Day has passed and we are awaiting the Thanksgiving holiday. This is the time to give thanks for everything we have and for the blessings we have been bestowed. I am thankful for good health for me, my family and loved ones. Christmas will follow Thanksgiving and my non-religious wishes for this occasion include, but are not limited to:

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation board members and management to gain the wisdom to allow the pumping of enough water from the San Juan River to fill Forest Lake and Village Lake to capacity. With the ability to pump water from the river there should be no issue of a minimum level before pumping should transpire as the policy currently exists.

Pagosa Property Owners Association with the recommendation of the director of the Lakes, Fisheries and Parks, budget monies for the coming years to safeguard Village Lake by cleaning out (dredging if necessary) areas that lose water flow during drought conditions. Whereby, water pumped in by PAWS could reach all areas of the lake. And secondly, budget monies to eliminate much of the grassy/weedy areas - especially "Bullwinkle's Cove" to allow wildlife fowl decent habitat and man the ability to fish and boat.

Pagosa's mayor making inroads with at least one PAWS board member to impress upon him/her the importance of lake water (as he surely knows the importance of sulfur water to the hot springs) to the community of our beautiful city and the aesthetic value water brings to tourism.

A new group of PAWS board members (three are up for re-election in May) who are visionaries who can plan for the future. We need members knowledgeable enough to collect all the water possible in all months and weather conditions (exclusive of the drought) to keep all of the Pagosa lakes near to filled capacity at all times.

A reduced number of complaint calls to the PLPOA office about the poor condition of Village Lake because of the low water level (hello PAWS); the takeover by the weeds and grass, the unsavory smell, the sandbars between shores (trapping water to create stench pools), breeding beds for mosquitoes (West Nile is here - three cases so far in Archuleta County), limited recreational activities, unhealthy habitat for water foul, and an aesthetic eyesore.

Individuals, groups and organizations can make a difference and can make it happen if we would get away from the old cliches "It's never been done before," "That's not our responsibility, ask ," "Historically ," "It was good enough for ," "In the past " Let's think now and act for the future!

Ken Bailey

Dodged bullet

Dear Editor:

I wish to tender my congratulations to the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners and their legal counsel for dodging the bullet in my law suit related to the mismanagement of the road improvement funds received from the Fairfield bankruptcy.

My petition to the District Court for standing to sue the county for mismanagement of the Pagosa Lakes road project was dismissed by the trial court and now after 13 months at the Colorado Court of Appeals, the dismissal has been affirmed.

In summary, the Court of Appeals decision is that I, as a property owner and taxpayer in the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions, was only an incidental beneficiary of the road improvement funds. Note that the original settlement agreements between the county, PLPOA and Fairfield, each specified that no third party could claim an interest in the funds. Which leaves a question of who were the intended beneficiaries of the funds?

Even though this is ancient history now and the fact that the county has more than doubled in population since the bankruptcy in 1990, leads to a cautionary tale for all of the property owner/taxpayers in the county and Pagosa Lakes in particular.

Road repair and maintenance is still a very live problem. The $6.5 million fund given jointly to the county and PLPOA in 1997, which was spent on substandard road construction that did not meet county road specifications and in at least one case, for work that there is no evidence that was performed at all, now returns to haunt us.

All of the information related to the road project in Pagosa Lakes came from public county records that were reviewed in the commissioners' office. Two detailed reports were prepared and presented to the commissioners and PLPOA before the time that the contractors' bond expired. The reports are available to anyone who would like to read them.

The "pleadings" in the case I filed contained multiple pages of material from both me and the county. These too, are public records. I would not recommend them as good bedtime reading but I do believe citizens of the county would be interested in some of the representations made to the court on behalf of the county.

One that is critical to this matter was that "the county had no obligation to build the roads in Pagosa Lakes to any specification or safety standard because the 'settlement agreements' did not make those requirements." Fairfield had been required to build new roads to the specifications adopted by the county, and the same specs were included in the construction contract issued by the county, but not enforced. There are additional statements to the court alluding to the same lack of responsibility.

So much for your elected representatives looking out for your interest. The need for citizen oversight of county business is very clear. Do not count on a judicial remedy after the fact. Know who you elect and hold them responsible.

Glenn Bergmann

PAWS performs

Dear Editor:

The newspapers are always filled with stories of the "little guy" fighting a public utility company, mostly unsuccessfully.

When I first was forming this letter in my head in July, the tone was going to be very different than it is today. To make a very long story short, more times than not in July when anyone in our home in Holiday Acres flushed the toilet or turned on a water faucet nothing happened. We did not have water late in the day more times than I care to tell you.

I would call Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation each day that we did not have water. Most of those calls were after 4 p.m. so I would talk to whoever was on call after hours. I would usually follow the evening call up the next day to the office. After several days of this cycle, I also contacted a local attorney to have her call on our behalf.

PAWS invited me to the board meeting on July 22 to state my case in front of the board. Something I said at that meeting must have hit a cord with someone on the board. The following day I contacted PAWS. I was told they were considering ordering us a temporary tank and a pressure pump so we would not run out of water and have decent pressure until the new tank system is installed on U.S. 84 for Holiday Acres.

Instead of making us wait until the next board meeting in late August they took a telephone vote and got it approved. Art Holloman kept me informed as to when the tank would arrive and be installed. He and his crew came out and installed the temporary tank and pressure pump. His crew took great care in locating the system and all that is necessary to run the system so it had less visual impact on our family.

We can now prepare meals, wash clothes, take showers, etc. without being concerned that we will not have water. We cannot name everyone who helped us during this time so we want to thank everyone at PAWS for doing the right thing for our family and our home.

Thank You,

Robin and Bob Brobst

Editor's note: It is gratifying to hear of a problem solved. If, indeed, a phone vote was taken involving members of the board, it is a violation of Colorado law.

Medical madness

Dear Editor:

As all of the commotion airs over the closing of a clinic in Durango and the mismanagement of the one here in Pagosa Springs, does anyone consider how meaningless all of this is to the 800,000 Coloradans who wouldn't use the facilities even if they lived here?

These are the working poor who don't have health insurance. They are not old enough to receive Medicare and because they are working, sometimes two or three jobs, to pay their way in the community and are ineligible for Medicaid. It takes a major decision to go to a doctor's office; to buy the medicine he prescribes is a financial heartbreak.

Forget about a hospital. Hardly anyone is hired on a full-time basis anymore, unless it's as contract labor, so that companies can exclude them from expensive benefit packages. Although they toot such slogans as "Our employees make the difference" and like to refer to them as "associates," on the balance sheet an employee is a liability rather than an asset.

For years everyone has been conned into feeling sorry for us seniors. (Don't get me wrong; I am 72 years old!). We get special prices in some places and discounts not available to others just because we are "old and on a fixed income."

But, think about it. Who isn't on a fixed income? Now the Congress is trying to work out a prescription drug plan for us seniors which, if you look closely at what they have so far, is the biggest fraud imaginable.

At a time when we are encouraged to take advantage of lower prices by importing our medicines from Canadian, Mexican and Caribbean pharmacies, this plan guarantees American pharmaceutical companies their outrageous prices, as though they need a subsidy.

And since the present administration has guaranteed an empty government purse ad infinitum the cost of this will be laid on our children and grandchildren. The GAO already is concerned that most company pension plans are shaky at best, not only because of the stock market's performance but because competition and lower profits which have led to cost cutting, layoffs, and outsourcing have crippled their ability to fund them properly. This is not only the present situation; it looks like it will be the future, too. How, then, do they expect the next two generations to be able to pick up the tab for us? Or, expect that they should?

Do you think it might be time for a single-payer national health plan? The figures quoted in the Denver Post and Durango Herald comparing what Americans pay compared to our Canadian neighbors tells me that it is certainly affordable. For those 800,000 Coloradans, it would be very desirable.

Henry Buslepp

Glaring wrongs

Dear Editor:

The upcoming proposed use tax vote will fail for the following reasons:

1. We have read that the reason the three different "uses" to be taxed were not each presented separately as individual questions to be voted on, on the basis of its own merit, as each should be, was that it would confuse the voters. That reasoning is very patronizing and an insult to any intelligent voter.

2. By placing the 4-percent auto purchase tax in with the others, the defeat of the whole question is very likely for the reasons so vividly outlined in Mr. Boutwell's recently published letter to the editor. Too bad, because the other issues had merit and probably could have passed.

3. Pagosa Springs has perhaps 1,500 residents; Archuleta County has approximately 12,000. Most of the building boom that is taking place is outside the town limits. Once again our commissioners have refused to propose a split that is truly equitable based on who is paying the tax and the relative number of miles of roads needed to be upgraded and/or maintained. (The town would not know what to do with all this new windfall if it needed to spend 90 percent of its half on roads). Most of the town's roads are already paved and all are maintained; the crying need is in the many parts of the county and the town already receives way more than its fair share of sales tax dollars. (The point of collection argument is absurd; it's who's paying it that should count. Imagine if we let Ogden, Utah, keep a large share of our federal income tax dollars, because that's where the point of collection was). Who do our commissioners represent, anyway?

4. The commissioners continue to be noncommittal about changing the county moratorium on accepting any new roads into the county maintenance system, perpetuating the inequitable situation where we all pay the same taxes, but only some of us get our roads maintained by our county tax dollars. We will never have unity in the county until that glaring wrong is righted. It's got to be all for one and one for all. Either all roads built to county standards are maintained or none should be; (While I like the fact that our commissioners are committing that 90 percent of the new revenue will go to roads, I wish they would stick their necks out and say they will end the unfair road maintenance policy). If we pass this tax too many taxpayers will still be treated inequitably and will refuse to vote yet more money to a government that shortchanges them.

I'm afraid that, once again, after another ill-conceived, highly flawed, unfair straw-man tax question is also roundly defeated, our commissioners will try to hide their wrong conclusion that the people of Archuleta County only want to complain about roads, but are not willing to pay more to get more. If so, they still just won't get it.


Jerry Driesens

Medical crisis

Dear Editor:

I find the more I know about the medical care crisis in this community, I seem to have more questions and less answers.

I was quite surprised to hear Chairman Charlie Hawkins of the USJHSD board speaking on the radio today in an advertisement that I am told will run all day. The ad states that board members could not speak at the forum put on by the League of Women Voters Sept. 9 because he had scheduled a "work session" prior to hearing the date.

The ad ended with the statement that it was paid for by USJHSD. It is my understanding that's required for political ads. It was paid for by our tax dollars. Is that a legal expenditure? Or was it just an unethical expenditure?

I happened to be at the PLPOA board meeting along with Nan Rowe, Charlie Hawkins and others on Aug. 14. Nan spoke to Charlie, then she pulled me aside and said he had just agreed to the invitation from the League for the forum Sept. 9 and that I had to mark it on my calendar.

Even if Charlie had scheduled a "work session" that same time, was it so vital it couldn't be postponed? I have read that the board was going to work on its "vision statement." The hospital district has been in business for many years. It doesn't have a mission statement? Why now? It seems odd to me that the board is just now writing such a statement. Or, did the date become more out of the question for participation when Dee Jackson and Charlie were advised that Dr. Richard Blide, the major dissident on the hospital board, was paired to speak with Dr. Jim Pruitt on the 9th?

Since the board was advised that there would be no questions from the audience and the League is nonpartisan, certainly civility was going to be the order of the evening. The board's representatives at the forum would have an excellent opportunity to tell the public what they were doing now and what they planned for the future. As taxpayers, we have a right to know what is happening.

Finally, what is the board afraid of? The truth?

Judith S. Esterly

Christian rights

Dear Editor:

After watching the vast majority of Christians, not only in Pagosa Springs but also throughout the USA, stand around and complain about how terrible it is that this right and that right are being taken away from us, I can see why the Bible would say that we would be vomited out in disgust. We're "All Blow and No Go."

Can we continue to stand by and allow more rights to be taken away when the socialists constantly tell us that people can shove all sorts of unmentionable stuff down our throats?

We're told that we have to tolerate vulgar Spam that comes across our computers as well as the immoral scenes that are inserted into many if not most of the TV shows we have available to view, all because we dare not violate their first amendment rights guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States.

Why is it that the socialists and demonic organizations like the ACLU are the only ones that have protection under the amendment? We cannot stand on a street corner and openly express our disagreement with abortion if it is too close to an abortion clinic without going to jail; nor can we pray for God to protect our kids from injury at their school sporting events or pray for God to bless our kids future as they graduate. Even Congress starts each session with a prayer to God. Oh, I know, Christian rights are offensive but so is the garbage we're expected to have crammed down out throats to protect their rights.

Now our senior center that is supported by our dollars is saying that our senior citizens cannot say a prayer before a meal. I say enough is enough. My suggestion is for any individual who goes to the senior center, attends any sporting event or goes to a public meeting place feel free to stand up and openly vocalize a prayer to God. They could say, "I'm going to ask God to ..." and proceed to say their prayer out loud. Then when anyone, whether an individual, organization, city, county or state tries to stop you, and they will, promptly advise them that if they persist that you're going to file a lawsuit against them for violating your First Amendment rights. If they persist, follow through with the lawsuit.

I'll donate to the fight. After all, Christians do have rights, too. When are we going to stand up and fight back? How quickly we forget what happened to the Jews when they took the "Don't Create Waves" mindset?

Ready, willing, and able to fight for right,

Dan James

Editor's note: In the interest of historical accuracy, if you make reference to The Holocaust, not all Jews took a "Don't Create Waves" approach to the situation.

Courage cited

Dear Editor:

I applaud the courage of Nancy VanMatre.

As Dr. Pat Luter told me your state of mind is a very large part of getting over cancer. We met just after her original surgery. At that time I had breast cancer in December 1994.

We talked several times and talked about the rebuilding surgery. We both had decided on the same surgery. The last time I heard from her she was doing great.

We retired and moved out of state and this was the first I knew of what she had gone through. This makes me realize how blessed I have been. I have been cancer free nearly nine years. I believe like Nancy that God has a reason for letting us live.

I am so proud of you Nancy for fighting so hard and beating it again. Don't give up and attack each day with a love for life. Prayer, faith in God and good doctors have taken us this far.

I hope other cancer survivors will look at what she has done and they will stay positive. Don't give up but have only one thought and that is to get well.

Thanks Nancy for your wonderful example of courage and your faith in the Lord to bring you through this.

Nancy James

Lake Havasu City, Ariz.


Dear Editor:

It's inspiring to see the SUN's photos of our community youth participating in so many physical sports, now that school-related activities and sports are back in play. In a nation that is becoming more and more lethargic, it's nice to see so many of our area youth in motion.

Pagosa Springs has one team, which in spite of its high visibility at our school sporting events, often seems to go unrecognized as an athletic unit - the PHS Cheerleading Team. These girls have been practicing long and hard, with an exercise regimen that would challenge most of us, gymnastics maneuvers that would hurt all of us, and complicated cheers and chants that only some of us would be able to remember for more than a few minutes.

In addition to having high school homework to do, these girls practice faithfully four times a week - rain or shine, and cheer for sports activities another night or two every week. Their efforts are required not only for a particular sports season, but for the whole year, since this one team of cheerleaders support just about every sports team that PHS has.

Cheerleading has a reputation of being a "social" activity. If being social were that difficult, most of us would never leave our homes. Cheerleading is truly a sport - one that requires athleticism, fitness, a positive attitude - no matter what, good sportsmanship, sacrifice, and a tremendous commitment to school spirit.

These girls are very dedicated to cheering on our high school teams- and they have the bruises, sore muscles, and smiles to prove it. As one slogan says, "If cheerleading is so easy, let's see you do it".

Let's notice, acknowledge, and appreciate our PHS cheerleaders. They deserve a cheer themselves.

Elaine Nash-Putnam

Protect geese

Dear Editor:

Canada geese are here and need to remain here. The honks and flight patterns that are made by them is nature's beauty.

The Pagosa SUN article of 9-4-03 states U.S. Fish and Wildlife may decrease the resident Canada goose populations by such methods as harvesting their eggs without a permit due to their effects, i.e., damaging property, agriculture, etc. Wildlife will always be in the way of development.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife wants to hear from the public on this matter. Let your comments be known now or by Oct. 20.

Write to Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Mgt., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive MBSP-4107, Arlington, Va, 22203 or online at

Please leave them alone.

Pam Morrow and Jerry Ethelbah

Water fee hike

Dear Editor:

Most property owners have received their new PAWS water bills by now and I bet that they have not figured out that we are now paying 50 percent more for tap water.

What is the PAWS board doing with this new windfall of funds? We gave them a bond victory last fall for capital improvements and now they stick us with a 50 percent plus rate increase.

Last year (July 2002) the PAWS board changed our equivalent units from 10,000 gallons to 8,000 gallons, which was a 20 percent increase. We were paying a flat rate of $13.50. Then PAWS added a $5.25 drought fee for pumping. We were paying $15.50 hesitater and $13.50 for tap water and $5.25 for pumping. This equaled $34.75 for 8,000 gallons whether you are using water or not.

Have you checked your new bill? Now PAWS says that you will only be paying for the water that you use.

Let's revisit the equivalent unit, which is not in effect; let's suppose that you average 8,000 gallons in a normal month. If you have a meter now you will be paying $5.50 service charge flat rate per month and $1.85 per 1,000 gallons, which is $14.80, this equals $20.30 for 8,000 gallons. Last year before the drought was declared you were paying $13.50 for tap water or $6.80 less than with the new rates. According to my calculations that is a 50 percent increase for the same 8,000 gallons. It goes up from there if you use more than 8,000 gallons.

Those of you with vacant lots and no meter are still going to pay $14.50 monthly. There will be no change in the hesitater rates at this time. They are staying at $15.50 per month for now.

If you're asking where did the new rates come from? First Integrated Utilities Group, the company that PAWS used to create these new rates, decided to incorporate the drought charge as a non-rate revenue in the analyses of the rate study. So if we are still paying for pumping in the new rates, why is PAWS not pumping into all the lakes? Which are only Lake Forest and Village Lake according to the staff at PAWS. Are we paying for services that we are not getting? The time to pump into these lakes is when the river is flowing at full throttle, not hold back for some unknown reason.

Joe Sealy

Editor's note: To say the equivalent unit "is not in effect" is not accurate. The district utilizes an equivalent unit basis for charges; currently the equivalent unit used in calculating water bills for single family residences amounts to 8,000 gallons.



Community News

Senior News


Free movie day Sept. 12 at senior center

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

We will have our free movie day Friday. "On Golden Pond" was requested by a couple of our seniors, so we will be showing it in the lounge at 1 p.m.

Popcorn is still only 25 cents.

We were pleased to see our Seeds of Learning kids Sept. 2. They always come to have lunch with us on the first Tuesday of the month and usually entertain us with song and dance, and hugs afterward.

They might still be looking for volunteers to read to the little ones, so give them a call if you would like to volunteer.

Mary Kay Taylor was here Sept. 3 and spoke to a full house about devices, services and training for the blind. She brought Inez Martinez with her, an indispensable assistant. She comes from Southwest Center for Independence in Durango, so if you need more information, give her a call at 259-1672.

We will have our second session of Medicare, prescriptions and BenefitsCheckUp 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 17. This is a fast and free way to find out which public assistance programs you or someone you care about might qualify for and how to apply for them. We will also have information available to you regarding prescription drug assistance programs. Bring a list of your medications, or the medication itself, and we will do our best to find an assistance program for you.

We will be handing out tickets to win a beautiful "Gucci" lawn chair, created by our own Ernie Yamaguchi, so you might benefit from visiting us in a couple of ways.

Our thanks to Bill Riggs for donating a flag for our lounge. We salute you!

Studies have linked gum disease to higher rates of heart disease and stroke. Now you can add cancer to the reasons to brush and floss. Researchers at the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine found that people with gum disease were nearly twice as likely to have precancerous lesions in their mouths - and four times as likely to suffer from oral cancer as those with healthy gums. (Excerpt from "AARP.")

Don't forget our new pinochle group playing at 1 p.m. Tuesdays. Give it a try, you don't have to be a pro to play with our pleasant pinochle people.

Oktoberfest coming

Oktoberfest preparations are feverishly underway.

You can help with the fun by volunteering in a number of ways - setup, cleanup, pulling beers or baking cookies. It will be a great opportunity to practice your polka.

Give Susi Cochran a call at 731-0866 for more information.


Our Sky Ute Casino trip is scheduled Sept. 16. There is a free bus to take you there and they give some little discounts when you arrive.

We leave the senior center at 1 p.m. and get back about 5:45. Sign up for the trip in the dining room.

We were pleased to see "The Grand Tour" put on by Patty Sterling and Margaret May. We had a big turnout and everyone enjoyed themselves. Thank you so much, Patty and Margaret.

Visitors and guests

We continue to sign up new members and to see new faces at the senior center, even at this time of year when people usually start leaving.

This week we got to meet Loretta Bearman, Patty Hurchalla, Ovie Peterson and Bobby and Margaret Page. We also got to see JR and Leta Waterman, James and Margaret Wilson, Hildegard Kuhne, Lee and Wanda Bower. And what a treat to see Marie and Jimmy Corcoran again. We were wondering where they were hiding.


Friday - 10 a.m. Qi Gong; 11, Medicare counseling and blood pressure checks; 1 p.m. free movie day, "On Golden Pond"

Sept. 15 - 1 p.m. bridge for fun

Sept. 16 - 9:30 a.m. Yoga; 10:30 advanced computer class; 1 p.m., pinochle and trip to Sky Ute Casino

Sept. 17 - 10:30 a.m. beginning computer class; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Medicare, prescription and BenefitsCheckUp

Lunch menu

Sept. 12 - porcupine meatballs, green beans, vegetable salad, muffin and applesauce

Sept. 15 - salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, Carribean blend vegetables, onion roll and apricots

Sept. 16 - meatloaf, baked beans, roll, carrot-raisin salad and pineapple

Sept. 17 - chicken chop suey, rice, spring blend vegetables, fruit mix and cookie.


Chamber News

Break out the colorful duds for Colorfest

By Sally Hameister

I hope you're ready for the most colorful Colorfest ever with this year's Caribbean theme replete with parrots, fish, hibiscus, beachcomber hats and the most unusual wine glasses you've ever seen.

Don't forget that the price of admission, as always, includes a complimentary "Glowing Goblet," and you will want to purchase a few more of these goodies for your collection, I assure you.

The price of admission for all the fun, food and wine is $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce.

The fun begins, rain or shine, under the big tent Sept. 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the Visitor Center parking lot.

As always, you can count on wonderful and unusual cheeses to complement the equally wonderful wines provided by Bobbie Miller and the gang at Plaza Liquor. Bobbie has done many wine tastings over the years and is something of a master at selecting just the right cheese to go with just the right wine, so you can anticipate some mighty fine taste treats that evening.

Kathy and Kirsten at Pagosa Baking Company are having a lot of fun with the theme and creating bite-sized sweets to further the Caribbean theme. When last questioned, lime bars with coconut and chocolate-dipped bananas were two of the tropical treats mentioned with a third selection in the planning stage. Whatever it is, you know it will be delicious.

For those who aren't big wine fans, Dan Aupperle of Citizens Bank has answered your dilemma by once again providing a keg of Pin Stripe Red Beer. This will be the third year for this popular addition that began with Dan asking about options for those who didn't care for wine. When he said that he would be willing to provide a keg of beer, I concurred that would be a dandy idea.

There will be two ascensions during Colorfest Balloon Rally presented by Reach for the Peaks: one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

The Saturday ascension will be just south of the Bank of the San Juans on Hot Springs Boulevard, and the Sunday ascension will take place in the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center area around 8-8:30 a.m.

Mike and Liz Marchand have worked for many years to create the amazing event we enjoy each fall, and although this has been a particularly difficult time for them because they are good friends of the Mudrochs, they are moving ahead with all the rally arrangements.

The Colorfest party continues on Saturday afternoon at the fairgrounds Extension Building with a picnic, concert and, weather permitting, a "Margaritaville Balloon Glow" at dusk.

Vince at Enzo's Catering will be serving up a "RibFest" dinner with all the trimmings for $10 (adults) and $6, and you know that when Vince is cooking, you will not leave hungry.

Bluegrass Cadillac featuring the considerable talents of Randall Davis, Robin Davis, Clay Campbell and Kevin Dunn, will provide our picnic concert this year, so you will have to learn how to eat and tap your toes at the same time. We're happy to have this ever-so-popular local group join us this year for our Colorfest celebration.

In keeping once again with the theme, we will hold the "Margaritaville Balloon Glow" at dusk if Mother Nature is good to us. Expect to hear the Caribbean steel drums and Jimmy Buffet tunes during this always awesome spectacle.

We have already had calls from so many folks all over the place inquiring about this year's Colorfest, and we are thrilled to tell them about what is new and different and so, so colorful.

You will be pleased to know that we are keeping the tickets at the same price they have been for at least four years now, but be sure to buy them in advance so you won't have to pay the extra $5 at the door. We hope to see everyone at this year's Colorfest Balloon Rally/Wine and Cheese Tasting/Picnic/Concert Sept. 19, 20 and 21.

Roasting John

Tickets are now on sale for The Roasting and Toasting of John Graves to be held Sept. 27 at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

This entertaining evening will be sponsored by Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and proceeds will benefit Friends of the Performing Arts.

I am so sorry to miss such a fun event dedicated to poking fun at one of Pagosa's real treasures and someone who has contributed so much to our performing arts scene. Wherever there has been exceptional music and talent, you could be sure that John Graves had a hand (or two) in it. He has brought so much to this community that it's no surprise that FoPA and the good folks with PUUF have decided to tell it all at a special event.

Please join the fun from 6-9 p.m. at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse and feel free to dress as elegantly as you like.

Tickets for this event are $45 and will include a full catered buffet dinner, wine and entertainment. You may purchase tickets at WolfTracks Book Store and Coffee Company, the Chamber of Commerce and Pagosa Baking Company.

Whistle Pig concert

How many times do you get the opportunity to see someone who has been described as a combination of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dr. Ruth and Deepak Chopra?

Well, you have just that chance Saturday evening at the Whistle Pig House Concert when Cosy Sheridan performs at the Hudson home.

I must tell you that all the descriptions of this woman point to the fact that she must be amazingly entertaining and talented.

This girl has won some major awards including The Telluride Bluegrass Festival's Troubadour Award and the Kerrville Folk Festival's NewFolk. The Albuquerque Journal called her "a Buddhist monk in a twelve-step trapped in the body of a singer-songwriter."

The suggested donation of $10 includes coffee, tea and homemade desserts. Bill just might have a ticket or two for those willing to distribute posters and help with set up and break down. Please call 264-2491 for information and reservations.

Colorado tax update

Member Barbara Blackburn, PA, who is president of the Four Corners Chapter of the Public Accountants Society of Colorado invites you to attend the first seminar sponsored by the PASC.

The Colorado Tax Update with Judy Campbell will be presented at the Best Western Oakridge Lodge, 158 Hot Springs Blvd. Sept. 22. A reception will begin at 9 a.m. with information about PASC and the benefits of membership, and the tax workshop will be held 10 a.m-noon. Cost for the workshop is $25 for PASC members and $35 for nonmembers. Give Barbara a call at 264-6644 for more information.

Corvette Club

Those of you who dig beautiful cars will be happy to hear the Colorado Springs Corvette Club will host a gathering of Corvette enthusiasts in Pagosa this weekend, Sept. 12-14. You're invited to join them at the Bear Creek Saloon Saturday night with proceeds donated to the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center courtesy of the good folks at the Bear Creek.

Participants will cruise through town Saturday, and the Corvette show will be held at the soccer field across from Town Park 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

Entry is open to all Corvettes and all profits will go to the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center. You can view a complete list of event with times at coloraddosprings


Heads up for the annual Oktoberfest sponsored by the Archuleta Seniors, Inc. to be held at the community center Oct. 18 from 4:30 to 11 p.m.

This event is for the entire family and will include food, fun, singalongs and dancing.

If you would like to volunteer for this event or sponsor at any level, call Susi Cochran at 731-0866 or direct questions to 264-2167.

Mark your calendars for this wonderful oom-pah-pah event with German food, complimentary glass steins and polka music to die for.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for senior members and children ages 5 to 12.

Pagosa Fiber Festival

Don't forget to head out for the Fiber Festival Saturday and Sunday at the fairgrounds beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. each day.

Admission is free and there is absolutely something for everyone in your family to enjoy. See the sheep, llamas, alpacas and cashmere and angora goats. Fiber training workshops will be held Sept. 12, at the Mountain Heights Baptist Church at 1044 Park Ave. For more information, call 264-4458 or 264-4543.

Seed sale

We have talked about the San Juan Conservation District seed sale for the last couple of weeks and just want to let you know that the last day of the sale is Sept. 12.

To order your seeds or erosion blankets, call 264-5516.


Three new members to introduce this week and 11 renewals, all of whom are as welcome as the lovely crisp fall air we're beginning to experience. Not too many things as perfect than fall in the San Juan Mountains.

Cindy Plate joins us this week with Saddle Mountain Residence Club. The Saddle Mountain Residence Club is a private, member-owned club with 24 elegantly furnished town homes, private clubhouse, Jacuzzi-BBQ and private enclosed parking. Concierge service, storage lockers and year-round maintenance are just some of the amenities you'll enjoy. There are one-eighth and one-thirteenth ownership shares available. Give Cindy a call at 731-0194 for more information about Saddle Mountain Residence Club.

We're so delighted to welcome our old friend, Bobbie Miller, who brings us Plaza Liquor. You can count on Bobbie and her gang to help you out with all your needs and questions about spirits of all kinds. You will see some of Bobbie's finest work at the upcoming Caribbean Colorfest Wine and Cheese Tasting here at the Chamber Sept. 19. Bobbie has made all the wine selections for the evening, so be sure to thank her as you're sipping away and enjoying or give her a call at 264-4770.

Our third new member this week, Barbara Mason, joins us as an Associate, and we're happy to welcome Barbara.

Renewals this week include Marsha Preuit with The Spa @ Pagosa Springs and Marsha also brings us Exodus Shipping; our former board director, Bonnie Masters, with Lone Eagle Pagosa; Dick Warring with Landstar Inway Wolf Creek Logistics; Lorri J. Hill-Bayger with Pagosa Springs Office Supply; Barbara Blackburn with Blackburn's Business Bureau; Jaye Duncan with Clean As A Whistle; Valued Diplomat Sharon (Shari) Gustafson with Gustafson Consulting Group; Roy D. Vega with Vega Insurance and Financial Services-New York Life; Valued Diplomat Pam Schoemig with Be Our Guest, A Bed & Breakfast/Guesthouse.

Our Associate Members renewal this week are Ron and Cindy Gustafson who can and will be seen at absolutely every event in Pagosa Springs. I don't know that there have ever been two people more devoted to this town and all that we do. If Pagosa Springs had a fan club, Ron and Cindy would be the president and vice president.


Library News

Language Police working overtime in schools

Kate Terry donated an important book about censorship. It touches on a subject that should be important for parents, educators and all concerned citizens worried about losing our intellectual freedom.

"The Language Police," by Diane Ravitch reports how pressure groups restrict what students learn. It describes the regime of censorship that has quietly spread throughout educational publishing in response to pressure groups from both the left and the right.

Ravitch tells how school boards throughout the country are allowing textbooks to be changed in order to be "politically correct."

Some examples included in the review: "Before Anton Chekhov and Mark Twain can be used in school readers and exams, they must be approved and sometimes changed by 'sensitivity committees.' A Twain anthology used in Tennessee schools changed 'By God!' to 'By Gum!'" as well as other Twainisms.

The New York State Education Department omitted mentioning Jews in an Isaac Bashevis Singer story about prewar Poland, or blacks in Annie Dillard's memoir of growing up in a racially mixed town.

California rejected a reading book because the "Little Engine That Could" was male.

Ravitch states that America's students are compelled to read insipid texts that have been censored and bowdlerized, issued by publishers who willingly cut out controversial material from their books - a case of the bland leading the bland.

The Language Police is the first full-scale expose of this cultural and educational scandal of beneficent censorship, quietly endorsed and implemented by test makers and textbook publishers, states and the federal government.

School boards review, abridge and modify texts to delete potentially offensive words, topics and imagery. The publishers practice self-censorship in order to sell books in the bigger states.

What do the censors find objectionable? Read this book to find out what subjects are no longer allowed to be discussed. The list of banned words, usages, stereotypes and topics will astound you.

Boring books are produced about a boring world bearing no resemblance to what children can access with the click of a remote control or a computer mouse.

We now have a generation or more in which textbooks have been censored and there are many people who know very little about good literature that has not been altered.

These efforts to sanitize language do not advance learning or bolster test scores - the very reason given for banning allegedly insensitive words or topics.

Ravitch offers an analysis of the causes of censorship and she offers some ways to liberate the publishers, boards of education and schools from the grip of pressure groups. The book has been called "passionate and polemical." It is indeed that.

We have members of the "Language Police" right here in Pagosa Springs who feel it is their duty to cleanse your library books by marking out offensive words. They defile the books you pay for. The latest example is "Perfect Match," by Jodi Picoult. We apologize for the messy volume you will now have to read.

Banned Book Week is coming soon and we will discuss more on language and thought policing.


Financial help came from Helen Hoff, Don and Ethel Rasnic in memory of Wes Huckins, Ernest Godfrey and Bill Lynn.

Materials came from Carrie Campbell, Katherine Kreston, Larry Larason, Jim Wilson, Gerda Witkamp, Micaela Bell, Dr. Mark Wienpahl, Dick Ellis and Joy Norris.

Veteran's Corner

'Means test' required for health care entry

The Veterans Service Office is closed through Sept. 19.

For scheduling the veterans' transport vehicle call Archuleta County Commissioner's office, Jan Santopietro, at 246-8300.

Please note Jan is not able to answer VA related questions, but does have some general VA information sources on hand.

The following is a reprint of an earlier article

Means test important

It is very important to remember that all veterans enrolled in VA health care must complete a "means test" every year, usually due on the anniversary of their enrollment date.

What is a means test? It is a report of the enrolled veteran's financial "means" to qualify for VA health care. This information was voluntary prior to Jan. 17, 2003. A veteran could opt to decline reporting financial means and just agree to pay the co-pay fees.

This is no longer the case. All veterans enrolled in VA health care must now report their financial means every year. The only exception is for veterans with 50 percent or more service-connected disabilities and certain other veterans such as recipients of Purple Hearts, etc.

Test required

Failure to make this all-important report could mean the veterans will be dropped from active patient status in VA health care. After two years, you could be dropped completely from VA health care, and may not be able to get back in, depending on your income status as a "new" enrollee.

If I enrolled you in VA health care from this office in the past two years, most likely I already have nearly all the information I need to assist you with your means test on the computer. You need only stop by my office and I will complete the form for you. After you sign the form we will fax it to the VA Health Care records center and it is a done deal. Won't even cost you the price of a postage stamp.

If you enrolled elsewhere, I suggest you stop by anyway and let me assist you in filling out the form. I know all the short cuts and have the form on the computer. Then I will add the form to my database under your name and thereafter have the information stored here for use each year to send in for your means test.

Information needed

To answer the test question you need to know your gross annual income from the previous tax year, value of any real estate owned besides your primary home (your residence does not count), any "out of pocket" medical expenses.

Medical expenses include dental as well as doctor expense for you and your spouse, and for those of you on Medicare, the deduction from your Social Security for Part B of Medicare, usually around $55 or so. This deduction amount is on the Social Security statement you receive every year. There are a few other easily answered questions regarding assets, etc. Close estimates are fine.

As of Jan. 17, a veteran enrolling for the first time must meet certain income standards to qualify for VA health care. Until that date all veterans could enroll in VA health care, regardless of their income.

Income rules

The rule of thumb to qualify for VA health care after that date is an income below about $28,000 for a single veteran with no dependents. A veteran with one dependent can make about $29,500 income or less and qualify for VA health care. Also coming into play is a veteran's assets, real estate owned and other valuable assets. In other words, if you make over those amounts you generally will not be able to enroll in VA health care at this time.

As I have often mentioned here, I expect these rules to change in the near future, so I urge all veterans to enroll in VA health care whether they think they financially qualify or not. This gets you into the VA computer systems and then when these financial requirements change you may be one step ahead to obtain VA health care.

Rules could change

A lot of intense pressure is being brought to bear on the VA and Congress to rescind these new income-based rules and go back to allowing almost any veteran with an honorable discharge to enroll in VA health care.

One of the big arguments in support of going back to the pre-Jan. 17 rules is that it is more cost effective to provide preventative health care, rather than deal with a veteran's declining health issues at a later date.

For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376, and e-mail is afautheree@ The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the County, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.




There is no people news this week.






A Stitch in Time

Piecemakers sew history into

heritage quilt

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer


New program puts information at officer's fingertips

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Criminals beware. A new sleuth has arrived.

This private eye needs no disguise. It needs no trenchcoat, no bowler hat, not even the old dark and rainy night.

It does, however, use its share of fancy gadgets.

This Sleuth is a law enforcement records management software by Access Data Corporation now being used by the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, the Pagosa Springs Police Department, dispatch, the jail and the municipal court.

It replaces, in some cases, a longhand system that required hours of research to come up with information or statistics, and could, in fact, be the beginning of the end for paper files. Oh, sure, there have been some start-up glitches, but the possibilities are what have people talking.

Some of those using it have termed it easy to use, a 120-percent improvement over the previous system and wonderful.

According to information on the program from Access Data Corporation, "Sleuth saves you time by reducing redundant paperwork and automatically compiling and updating reports, while providing you with quick inquiries into any information, present or past, in the computer. Time spent looking up records and compiling statistics for reports is dramatically reduced. Investigators have invaluable suspect comparisons at their fingertips; dispatchers are informed of outstanding warrants instantly; and administrators can automatically produce reports that would otherwise take hours, all at the same time."

With Sleuth - the same system used by Durango and La Plata County law enforcement - all reports, statistics, inquiries, photos or other evidence can be scanned and attached to a single file. Files can be searched and researched with the touch of a few buttons rather than hours spent leafing through paper files. The police department has a laptop which can go out in the patrol vehicles. A master name file allows access to information on every individual ever entered into the Sleuth system.

Undersheriff Bob Grandchamp said so far, it seems to be working well, especially when it comes to consolidating steps. For instance, in the case of evidence. When evidence is entered in a case file, an evidence tag is automatically created and ready to go. If stolen property is entered into the computer, it can automatically search a pawn ticket database for possible matches.

It also allows for easier communication between deputies and the Pagosa Springs Police Department.

"Before," Grandchamp said, "if they needed information on a case, they'd have to call and then hand carry or fax a hard copy of the report. Now the database is mixed so that we all know the same bad guys, we have the same intelligence information, and thereby have a better idea of what's going on across the whole county."

The change in system also meant the creation of a new position in the county - a bureau of records management. Grandchamp said the records manager, and a part-time intern, will take over much of the secretarial work once performed by dispatchers.

Detective T.J. Fitzwater said although the program is very "law enforcement friendly," it's such a change over the old system, the training period will take some time.

"Overall it's a great database," he said, "120-percent improvement over the old system."

Sleuth also comes with a security module. Besides password security, the program allows for a variety of levels of "user rights." This gives people who use the system access to just portions of the program they need.

Candace Dzielak, municipal court administrator, said the program opens up a whole lot of doors completely locked before.

"So much of what we did was longhand," she said. "Now it's so very simple."

Monthly and yearly reports can be generated at the touch of a button. Merge options allow the court clerk to bring together information from different parts of the system to get documents prepared and out to the various parties involved in a case quickly and efficiently. Even the financial program available in Sleuth will help once its online, she said.

Through Sleuth, the court can prioritize how court payments are to be routed. That allows victims to be paid first - before court costs and other administrative costs are covered, Dzielak said.

In the future, she hopes to be able to have a computer right in the courtroom to allow information to be input directly into Sleuth. Right now, they are still using tape recorders and long hand to record court proceedings. From there, it is transferred to the database.

All of the information available should help with customer service as well, she said. "People would come in looking for information, and ask 'When's my court date?' We could tell them, 'You're not here " Now, answering those questions will be easier and not involve flipping through so much paper.

Sleuth, and the hardware used to run it, was paid for in part through a $75,000 matching fund Energy Impact Grant from the Department of Local Affairs. The rest was covered by the town and county.

Town Administrative Assistant Julie Jessen, who prepared the grant, said it was awarded in October of 2002. Personnel involved went through two and a half days of training this summer and the system went "live" at the end of July.



Pagosa's Past

Trading in Pagosa Country

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Years before Anglos came to Pagosa Country, Hispanics and Utes living in the area engaged in a brisk trade.

Items of barter included furs, Hispanic woolen goods, horses and slaves. The Utes were especially known for their finely tanned buckskin.

Hispanics seldom traded guns or knives to the Indians for a very good reason. They didn't have enough of these weapons for themselves. Many of the Hispanics commonly entered the wilderness armed only with a bow. Even when they made their annual spring and fall buffalo hunts, Hispanics, also known as Ciboleros, often used the bow and arrow.

Bartering was an honorable and much cherished practice enjoyed by most Indians long before Europeans set foot on the continent. Taos was a well-known trade center, a gathering place for Ute, Navajo, Jicarilla, various Pueblo tribes, and various Plains Indians.

It is generally conceded that the indigenous natives in Pagosa Country were mostly Ute. More specifically, three bands of Utes moved back and forth, summer and winter, between southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Hispanics called them Capote, Weeminuche, and Moache. Other spellings surfaced, especially when Anglos moved in and tried to handle Hispanic words.

Early on, the Moache band summered in the San Luis Valley and wintered near Cimarron, New Mexico. The Capote summered around Pagosa Springs and generally wintered in the vicinity of Abiquiu. The Weeminuche summered in southwestern Colorado near and across the Utah border and wintered near Abiquiu or in the Puerco River Valley.

One should keep in mind that all of these definitions are loose. Utes wandered freely from one band to the next. The Tabeguache Utes summered in the Montrose area and wintered near Cimarron. Ouray, most famous of the Ute leaders, was half Tabeguache and half Jicarilla Apache. Cimarron could be considered the core area for the wide ranging Jicarilla.

Navajo were also known to have frequented Pagosa Country, although the historic dividing line between Navajo and Ute, normally bitter enemies, was the San Juan River. I suspect the Navajo presence was greater prior to 200 years ago than it was at the time Anglos entered the country.

Jicarilla and Navajo were also bitter enemies. There remains talk among older Jicarillas of a battle with Navajo in the canyon traversed by U.S. 160 just north of Ghost Ranch. The canyon is called Navajo Canyon by them.

There is some evidence that Jicarilla also used Pagosa Country. I haven't seen any evidence among Anglo or Hispanic pioneer writings. Instead, an archaeological study of pre-settlement Jicarilla camping sites conducted by Stanford University identified a Jicarilla camping site in Archuleta County, as noted in "Teepee Rings," the book summarizing the study.

Comanches are known to have fought a battle with the Utes on Embargo Creek north of South Fork, and to have raided Hispanic communities as near as Abiquiu, Ojo Caliente and other northern New Mexico settlements. I know of no evidence indicating Comanches ever entered Pagosa Country.

As we've noted over the past few weeks, Hispanics from New Mexico traded with Utes in Pagosa Country as early as the Juan Maria Rivera expedition in 1765 and almost continually thereafter. Rivera's route into what is now Archuleta County traversed Caracas Canyon and struck the San Juan River a few miles above Arboles.

Although a bit of guessing is required to identify other trading routes used through the county, it's almost certain other routes were used. Several Anglo outfits trapped the upper San Juan as early as the 1820s.

The Army Corps of Engineers visited Pagosa Country, including the hot springs, in 1859. Led by Capt. Macomb, this expedition left a detailed, day-by-day journal of their activities and route. They followed the traditional Old Spanish Trail approximately as far as present Lumberton. At that point instead of bearing in a northwesterly direction to Caracas, they continued north through Edith, Halfway Canyon, and on to Pagosa Springs before turning west along what then was named the Ria Nutria, but today is known as Stollsteimer Creek. Macomb also sent another group on a route further east that rejoined the main party before they reached Pagosa Springs.

Because all of the prominent features were already named when Macomb crossed Pagosa Country, it seems safe to assume Hispanic traders had been there before.

Another Army Engineer, Lt. McCauley, pointed out in 1879 that Indian trails led in every direction from the Pagosa hot springs. It's not too wild to assume Hispanic traders may have been familiar with a number of those trails.

One of the best known of those trails ascended the East Fork of the San Juan River and crossed the southern Rockies at its headwaters. Another trail crossed the Rockies by ascending the Middle Fork of the Piedra River, a route that seems unlikely today.

One route well known today, was never used by the Indians. We're talking about Wolf Creek Pass, which opened in 1916. Prior to building the highway down Wolf Creek, old-timers say you couldn't ride a horse down that creek.

Old-timers also say the first Army contingent sent from Fort Garland to Pagosa Springs crossed the mountains at the upper end of the Blanco Basin. Likely, there was a preexisting trail along that route. Early maps seem to indicate a trail from Edith veering in a northeasterly direction that ascended Windy Pass and crossed the mountain ridge housing Wolf Creek Ski Area before dropping into the valley and continuing in an easterly direction.

In addition to trails leading westerly to the Animas River Valley, other trails into the Weminuche continued to the north and across the San Juan Mountains.

Settlement did not come to the San Juan Mountains until after 1861, or to the Pagosa area until 1877-78. Just a few miles south of Pagosa Springs in the Tierra Amarilla, settlement began by 1861, perhaps earlier.

What strikes me as interesting is the fact that almost 100 years earlier, at least by 1765, Hispanics and Utes were trading in Pagosa Country. It is not hard to imagine long rows of tipis near the Great Pagosa Hot Springs, blackbearded Hispanic traders camped nearby, perhaps some horse races or other forms of gambling, and day after day of hard, face-to-face bargaining.

Yes, Pagosa Country had a busy human history long before the fur traders or Capt. Macomb "discovered" the land.





The right stuff?

This second anniversary of the attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. provides an occasion for somber reflection on the events of that day and on the sacrifices made by so many Americans at the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania.

It was a day when a new page turned in the history of this nation, signaling the arrival of hostility in a new guise. We responded with our military and with increased security, yet the event has not galvanized us the way the attacks on Pearl Harbor did, setting the populace on a determined course to World War II.

We are a different population, and we've responded in a different manner. Is it the right reaction?

Since Sept. 11, 2001 we have continued on our way, as indulgent a society as ever. Individual citizens tend to live compartmentalized, self-absorbed lives similar to those they led prior to the attacks, prior to the clear sign that determined forces seek our utter destruction and will pursue the goal with frightening intensity.

Most of us seem conscious of the efforts of the government and many fellow citizens to defend the nation, to seek out and deal with those who would destroy us. But most of us move too fluidly away from that awareness to concerns dissociated from the threat: we worry more about the vaguely related elements of everyday life: traffic; potholes in the road; work, wages and the items we can buy; hobbies, vacations, television programs, sports, the petty problems that pepper our waking hours.

We work to avoid persistent recognition of our significant collective realities: our dangerous position in the world; a request to increase the amount of money channeled to efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan by $80 billion - 1.5 times the amount of federal money spent on education - to bring the total to $150 billion; a federal deficit predicted to soar to $500 billion-plus; a huge population veering toward retirement in the next seven to 10 years, sure to have too much time and too many demands; a sputtering economy; pressing healthcare issues and costs on the horizon.

All the while, we continue to press the worst part of our culture on our young and the rest of the world. We are assaulted with displays trumpeting the lowest common denominator. Anyone, of any age, can witness pop stars glorifying the lifestyle of pimps, displaying women wearing dog collars and leading them on chains, can watch awards shows celebrating a shameful lack of skill and taste.

All the while, too many of us continue to fret and fuss about the most trivial of things.

But this is a time of great transition; major changes, beneficial or not, are bound to happen. There is physical and cultural peril at hand and we must ask if we are unfocused, stubbornly self-centered, ill-equipped to understand the challenge or to meet it.

We need to look back at 9/11 and renew our sense of community and purpose, recall the feelings we had that awful day and for some time thereafter. We need to continually remind ourselves that everything of value is hanging in the balance, that we are in a cultural and, yes, to a certain extent, a religious war with zealots unencumbered by our crass materialism, unfazed by the glitter of celebrity, armed with a simplistic world view and fueled by a hate that translates the act of flying planes loaded with passengers into crowded buildings into the enviable gesture of a martyr blessed by God.

Do we have what it takes to deal with them and our other problems? Today is a good day to think about it.

Karl Isberg




Pacing Pagosa

Quandaries crying for answers

By Richard Walter

There are some quandaries for which there are just no logical answers.

I have attempted to analyze them and have determined it must just be fate which puts unanswerable conflict in the mainstream.

Here are some examples:

- Why should it take Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District eleven days - after the initial report - to repair a water main leak, eleven days in which a front yard became a mini-lake and perfect spawning ground for mosquitoes? This agency preaches water conservation. PAWS officials agreed there was a problem but cited "many more leaks more serious." This one was perplexing, they said, because of problems getting exact utilities location data for fiber optics, sewer, and telephone lines. The victimized resident said the water was seeping under his house. On Monday, Gene Tautges, assistant district manager, told The SUN repair would begin soon. It began scant hours later.

- Why is it that when you're driving a steep grade, with no passing lane available, the vehicle in front of you is a livestock transport and evidence of the cargo is constantly being deposited in front of you, with its stench?

- Why does each of the 11 people in front of you in the fast food restaurant have to pay for their orders individually - by credit card - when they are obviously all in the same group?

- Why should we expect visitors to town to use the designated crosswalks when many local residents fail to do so? Some of them rather nonchalantly defy the traffic gods to saunter across, even at peak traffic periods.

- If man's best friend is a dog, as Lord Byron suggested, why does man then treat his canine friends so poorly? I should not be so all-inclusive, but there are those who refuse at any time to leash a dog, keep it on their own property, or to take the blame should it endanger someone else.

- In this age of instant communication with anyone, anywhere in the world, how is it possible that an e-mail sent Aug. 29 arrived in this office in the late morning of Sept. 3 - and it had to travel a scant two blocks? It might have arrived more quickly if shaped into a paper plane and tossed out the window on a favorable breeze.

- When one makes a mistake, why is it necessary to dredge up every possible alibi and lump them all together in an abject excuse? Wouldn't it be just as simple and more honest to simply say, "I goofed"?

- When a person with limited funds finds it desirable to make a contribution to a specific charity as a one-time sacrifice, why does that charity and every other one it contacts automatically assume you are an endless fount of charitable funds to be solicited? Each of us has his or her own favorite cause and many can afford only one - even though they give as willingly as possible when specific needs arise.

- Why do fragmented reports and rumor meld into hints of "major stories hidden by the press" when they are, in fact, little more than embellished imagination based on a seed of fact nurtured into an erroneous conclusion?

These nine items may seem picayune in comparison to the more vital issues of the day, but I see such nagging questions bothersome.

year. If they remember.




90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Sept. 12, 1913

The big gray wolf that has done so much damage this year to the West & Hott herd is still at large despite much effort to remove him. His record for the season is eleven calves and three colts. There is only the one wolf in the section so far as can be determined.

Dr. and Mrs. DeMotte expect to leave Tuesday for Meeker, Colorado, the Doctor having been prevailed upon to accept the pastorate of the Methodist Church at that place for the ensuing year. The DeMottes did not intend to quit Pagosa permanently, as all their interests are here and here they prefer to live. But the reverend gentleman believed that a temporary change would be beneficial and the presiding elder urged him so hard to accept the change that he finally agreed.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 14, 1928

Reunited after 20 years, traffic Lieutenant Ray Williams and his brother, Ralph Williams of Pagosa Springs, Colo., today were celebrating, says the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal. The two brothers had not seen each other for 20 years and yet into their celebration today entered a little sadness. They were wondering probably how soon they will meet again - for tomorrow Ralph is leaving Akron. Ralph had been planning a trip to Akron for a long time and he intended to surprise his brother. So two weeks ago he arrived in Akron. When he arrived at Ray Williams' home, no one was there. Questioning of neighbors brought forth the information that Ray had departed only a few hours earlier on a two weeks' fishing trip to Michigan and last Tuesday Ray came rushing home.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 11, 1953

Five truck outfits of one kind and another went off the Wolf Creek road during the past week, Patrolman Vess reported. Nobody was killed or seriously injured in the wrecks, though. A truck unit of a semi went off late Thursday about 2 and one-half miles this side of the summit and plunged down 300 feet to become junk. One report had one of the pass wrecks as carrying 16 tons of eggs, but this was not confirmed.

Mrs. Esther Moorehead announced this week that she had sold her auto court and house to Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Catchpole. The Catchpoles plan on moving their house to the old Mee house location east of their present court and doing considerable remodeling and improving to the combined courts.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 14, 1978

Charles Formwalt, president of the local school board, presented Mrs. Allie Mae Jackson with a plaque, which expressed the board's gratitude to Mrs. Jackson for her long teaching career. She retired effective this year.

A report showed that the enrollment in the school district stood at 917 on Tuesday of this week. Superintendent Hahn said that this is expected to increase to approximately 930 by mid-October.

There has been no appreciable rain in the area for many weeks. Total precipitation in town this past week was .08 inches and that is also the total for September to date. Streamflow is very low, conditions are very dry and fire danger is extreme.


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