January 15, 2004 
Front Page

Carothers suit adds sheriff,commissioners as defendants

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

It has been just over a year since an 8-year-old Garrett Carothers was mauled by two dogs near his home in the Vista Subdivision, and fault for the incident is still being argued in civil court.

Carothers, now a third-grader, was attacked by two dogs in December of 2002 while standing on the porch of a friend's house. The dogs dragged the boy off the porch, biting him over 80 percent of his body.

Attorneys on both sides of the issue argued motions in District Court Tuesday based on an amended complaint filed Jan. 7 naming the Archuleta County Sheriff and the board of county commissioners as defendants. At issue was a series of depositions scheduled for the end of January.

Gordon Vaughan, the attorney for Deputy Tom Gaskins, another defendant named in the suit, said the amendments may trigger bringing in new counsel.

Before this recent amendment, the suit had named Gaskins, one of the deputies responding to the attack, and the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department. Because of similar interests, the same attorney was representing both. Now that the board of county commissioners and the sheriff have been named, that may change, Vaughan said.

The amended complaint alleges breach of contract on the part of the board of commissioners and the sheriff for failure to provide animal control services.

Deputy Gaskins is being sued for willful and wanton conduct in part for allegedly failing to respond to a report of dangerous dogs in the subdivision made about 30 minutes before the attack on Carothers.

A tape of the 911 call about the dangerous dogs from Dec. 23, 2002, was played in court. On it, a man who refuses to identify himself, tells a dispatcher that two "aggressive" dogs with a history of running loose are, again, unconfined in the Vista Subdivision. He is questioned by the dispatcher who asks if the dogs have bit anyone "today." The caller says no, but that the dogs had bitten a friend's child three weeks prior. The caller says no report of the dog bite was ever made.

"I'm calling now," the man said. His call was recorded at 12:39 p.m. The dispatcher told the caller a deputy would be notified.

Carothers was attacked at about 1:10 p.m. A deputy arrived only after two men driving in the area stopped, scared the dogs off the boy and called 911.

Vaughan said the sheriff and the board of commissioners will most likely be represented together through their insurance pool. Gaskins, however, is not covered under the insurance for cases of "willful and wanton" conduct.

Until a decision on counsel can be made, the sheriff and commissioners served with the amended suit and issues of immunity addressed, Vaughan said, the depositions of 20 or so fact witnesses should not go forward.

L. Kathleen Chaney, a Denver attorney representing the Carothers family, said none of the factual claims in the case had been altered, the scheduled depositions were expected to be used in immunity arguments and should move forward. "The Carothers need closure on this case," she said.

Immunity is involved in the Carothers' suit because governmental entities are generally exempt from being sued under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.

District Court Judge Gregory Lyman ruled the depositions would have to be postponed until counsel issues were settled. He set a hearing "to determine the scope of immunity issues and discovery," at 2 p.m. Feb. 2. He gave the attorneys until Jan. 28 to file motions.

This is the second amendment to the Carothers' law suit. Originally, the suit named only the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association and the owners of the dogs, Sandra Schultz and David Martinez.

Schultz and Martinez were dropped from the case after homeowner's insurance paid the Carothers' family $100,000.

The suit still alleges negligence, negligence per se, breach of contract, willful and wanton breach of contract and extreme and outrageous conduct based on emotional distress on the part of the PLPOA.

The Carothers' suit is currently scheduled to go to trial in late May. Vaughan and Mark Overturf, the attorney for the PLPOA, argued Tuesday in light of the amended complaint and the possibility of new counsel, the date might need to be pushed back.

Lyman agreed, but maintained that additional counsel should be brought up to speed on the issues as quickly as possible and left the May trial date in place.


Students bruised, shaken in bus collision

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The collision of two school buses on U.S. 160 Jan. 12 left student passengers bruised and shaken, but for the most part uninjured.

According to Pagosa Springs Police reports, both buses were westbound on U.S. 160 prior to the accident. The first bus, driven by Monty Jean Dietrich, was stopped behind a white 2001 Toyota Celica, also stopped, at the light on Piñon Causeway.

The second bus, driven by Darryl Stuckwish, failed to stop, rear-ending the first bus. The impact of that collision sent Dietrich's bus into the back of the Celica.

Police Chief Don Volger said Stuckwish was cited for careless driving.

Two students on board the buses were transported to Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center. One was transported to Mercy Medical Center. All were treated and released. Others received bumps and bruises, but "appeared to be in good spirits considering their order," according to a news release issued by Archuleta School District 50 Jt.

"We are extremely relieved that there were not more serious injuries reported in the incident," Superintendent Duane Noggle said.

After EMS completed an evaluation of the children involved, they were placed on another bus and transported home.

Meanwhile, school officials remained in their offices to field incoming calls and to call parents to inform them of the accident.

"We are thankful that EMS and school staff reacted quickly and appropriately to the accident," Noggle said. "The situation was handled professionally and parents were notified as soon as possible. Every effort was made to alleviate parental fears and to reunite them with their children."


Eight file applications for vacant health board seats

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Eight people have applied to fill two vacant seats on the Upper San Juan Health Service District board of directors.

The applicants include: Dean B. Sanna, Robert Brown, Dan Keuning, Lorie Woodmansee, Freda Whisman, James Carson, C. Don Lundergan and James L. Knoll.

Kathryn Saley, district public relations coordinator, said copies of the applications will be sent to each board member. Each board member will be responsible for interviewing the applicants. A vote is expected at the Jan. 27 board meeting.

The resignations of board members Wayne Wilson and Martha Garcia were announced at the Nov. 25 health service district meeting. Their departure left the board with just two elected members, Ken Morrison and Patty Tillerson. The rest of the board has been appointed to fill vacancies opened since Dec. 2002.

At that meeting, anyone interested in the vacancies was asked to turn in a resume and a letter of interest to the district offices by 5 p.m. on Jan. 9.

The remaining board has 90 days to fill the vacancies. After that time, the Archuleta County commissioners may fill the seats.

The Jan. 27 board meeting will be conducted in the north conference room of the Pagosa Springs Community Center starting at 5:30 p.m.


Drought upgraded; early water outlook favorable

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Is Pagosa Country in store for a modest dose of drought relief?

The preliminary answer, according to the latest statistics from state, local and federal water authorities, is a cautious "yes."

Thanks to a New Year's storm that piled roughly three feet of snow onto the San Juan Mountains, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently upgraded the region's drought classification from "severe" to "moderate."

Adding to the early optimism are regional reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which indicate the chances are at least decent for southwest Colorado to experience ample wet weather this spring.

"The most recent El Niño event - declared over in June - is still trying to make a comeback," reads a recent forecast summary from Klaus Wolter, a researcher with the NOAA's Climate Diagnostics Center.

"Weak El Niño conditions are the safest bet for the next few months, but I would not be surprised to see El Niño return in force (this) year," adds Wolter.

"Therefore, back-to-back El Niño years are still possible, and with it the hope for another wet spring," he concludes.

Similar sentiments are reflected in snowpack summaries issued by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

According to an NRCS report issued Jan. 6, the significant snowfall that occurred the first few days of this month boosted statewide snowpack to 108 percent of average.

In addition, contrary to snowfall statistics released during early 2003, this year's summaries indicate the river basins benefitting most from heavy precipitation are those in the southwest portion of the state.

"This year's snowfall patterns are good news for water users across southwestern Colorado," said Allen Green, state conservationist with the NRCS.

"After two consecutive extremely dry years, this year has the highest January snowpack totals since 1997," Green concluded.

Of course, snowpack conditions can change rapidly between now and April, but thus far the level in the Upper San Juan Basin stands at 121 percent of average.

With regard to statewide basin averages, that figure is second only to the snowpack level reported in the Gunnison River Basin, which is currently at about 127 percent of average.

Preliminary streamflow forecasts for much of southwest Colorado are also coming in above normal; flows in the San Juan Basin are anticipated to range from 105-115 percent of average.

Reservoir storage

According to the latest figures provided the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, lake levels within the district are slowly on the rise.

Carrie Campbell, district general manager, attributes the good news not only to an abundance of early snowfall, but to the continued conservation efforts of district customers.

"We anticipated a higher level of water production for 2003 than in 2002," Campbell said Tuesday. "But we ended up producing about 13 acre feet less," she added.

"What that tells me is people are still responding diligently to conservation philosophies, and the district is certainly grateful for their efforts," she concluded.

Echoing those sentiments, "We are optimistic, yet cautious," said Gene Tautges, the district's assistant general manager, while describing the early-year water supply outlook.

According to Tautges, district lakes and reservoirs were at the following levels early this week:

- Lake Hatcher - 15 inches below full pool

- Stevens Reservoir - at full pool and spilling into Lake Pagosa

- Lake Pagosa - 19 inches below full pool

- Lake Forest - three inches below full pool

- Village Lake - 34 inches below full pool.

While acknowledging the recent bout of wet weather has augmented the district water supply, "We still have a few tricks up our sleeve - in case no snow falls between now and spring - to help keep us in good shape," said Tautges.

Lastly, the news is not as favorable with respect to the region's larger reservoirs.

Despite encouraging snow totals, water contents are presently not expected to rebound and hold at levels anywhere near normal in the coming year.

Some, in fact, are continuing to lose ground due to the lingering effects of 2002's record drought.

For example, releases from Navajo Reservoir were holding at roughly 250 cubic feet per second early this week, while inflow averaged roughly 220 cubic feet per second.

When full, the reservoir holds approximately 1.7 million acre feet of water; current content amounts to about 709,000 acre feet, or 42 percent of capacity.

Even with projected inflow estimates ranging from 110-114 percent of average, Navajo can only expect what authorities describe as "temporary recovery" when runoff begins this spring.



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Snow showers expected by early next week

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Pagosa Country residents still needing a few days of "snow-shovel recovery" following the New Year's winter storm can rest easy - at least until early next week.

According to the latest forecasts, while clouds are expected to replace a week's worth of blue sky today and linger through the weekend, the chances for snow across the region are minimal until late Monday or early Tuesday.

"There might be a chance for a light flurry or two in the mountains at times over the weekend, but right now we don't anticipate anything major," said Paul Frisbie, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"Heading into Monday, however, the chance for some light accumulation picks up to around 30 percent," added Frisbie.

"Tuesday should bring scattered snow showers as well, and by Wednesday morning it looks as if the chances are good for some heavier, widespread activity," concluded Frisbie.

In the meantime, said Frisbie, overcast skies and highs in the 30s are expected throughout today and into Friday. Lows each day should fall into the zero to 10 degree range.

Saturday and Sunday call for partly-cloudy skies, a 10-percent chance for snow, highs in the 30s and lows in the single-digit range.

The forecast for Martin Luther King Jr. Day predicts increasing clouds, a 30-percent chance for snow, highs in the 30s and lows around 10.

Tuesday's forecast calls for continued gray skies, a 30-percent chance for scattered snow showers, highs in the 30s and lows in the teens.

The chance for snow increases to 50 percent for Wednesday; highs are expected in the mid-30s, while lows are predicted near zero.

The average high temperature recorded last week at Stevens Field was 38 degrees. The average low was 8 degrees. Precipitation/moisture totals for the week amounted to zero.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit depth of 98 inches, a midway depth of 93 inches and a year-to-date snowfall total of 223 inches.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains is "low" to "moderate."

The latest reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture describe regional drought conditions as "moderate."

According to the latest SNOTEL data, the snow-water equivalent level for the Upper San Juan Basin is currently at 166 percent of average.

San Juan River flow ranged from approximately 50 cubic feet per second to 65 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of Jan. 15 is roughly 55 cubic feet per second.



Sports Page

Parks & Rec

Youth leagues producing quality hoop performances

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The first week of the 2004 youth basketball league has been completed.

Thanks to great planning and dedicated volunteer coaches we are pleased with the participation and quality of play that these young athletes are showing.

Some minor changes in scheduling, as well as the draft, have made this year's first week a success. Teams seem to be pretty equal, however some key injuries and some other previously scheduled events have cut in to our player pool.

Dedicated volunteer coaches have tutored over 120 players, making up 15 teams in two divisions.

Teams are ready to play, and action to this point has been very competitive with games very close and players displaying their developing skills.

Elks Hoop Shoot

We sent six finalists in three age groups to Durango for the regional finals, advancing three.

Kane Lucero led all shooters, hitting 21 of 25 free throws to win the 8-9 division. Brooke Spears and Mary Brinton advance in the 9-10 and the 11-12 divisions respectively.

The winners advance to the Western Colorado Finals to be held Jan. 24 in Cortez. Six sectional finalists will advance to the state competition to be held Feb. 21 in Salida.

Adult basketball

Adult basketballers please remember to take advantage of the open gym space available for the month of January.

We will have open gym for adult males 7-9 p.m. Tuesday. Thursday nights are reserved for the women players.

Get your teams put together for the annual coaches' meeting to be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at Town Hall.


Pirate grapplers record first: capture own tourney

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Members of the 2003-2004 Pirate wrestling team did Saturday what no Pagosa team before them has been able to do: Win their own Rocky Mountain Tournament.

The Pirates hosted the annual event, featuring many of the best wrestling teams in the area. When the dust cleared at the end of the day, Pagosa had the top point total - 163, 2.5 points ahead of Aztec, N.M.

Alamosa, one of Colorado's perennial 4A powers took third with 154 points, missing several wrestlers who did not manage to make weight for the first big post-holiday tournament.

Down the line, in fourth place, was Intermountain League foe Centauri, with 142 points. Monte Vista, of the IML, finished right behind the Falcons, with 141. The other two IML teams - Ignacio and Bayfield - tallied 125 and 101 points respectively.

"I was delighted," said Coach Dan Janowsky. "We've never won our home tournament. Our philosophy is to make this tournament as tough as we can every year, and every year it's difficult to get by an Aztec or Alamosa or Centauri."

The Pirates' trek to the title was led by two tourney champions.

Michael Martinez won the title at 119 pounds.

The senior, last year's Class 3A state champ at 112, drew a first-round bye then pinned a Durango wrestler at 1 minute, 30 seconds, to advance to the semifinal.

In the semifinal match, Martinez defeated an Aztec opponent 11-4.

Martinez wrestled Monte Vista's Kyle Francis for first place in the class, defeating Francis 7-2 with two takedowns and an escape. The Monte wrestler's only points came on escapes, each a donation from Martinez.

Martinez was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler in the lower weight bracket.

Kory Hart was the tourney champ at 152.

The senior began with a fall over a Centauri wrestler at 1:06. Hart went on to log a 17-2 technical fall over an Ignacio athlete.

In the semifinal, Hart met an opponent from Bloomfield, N.M., and got the win with an 11-2 major decision.

Hart met an Aztec wrestler for the championship. The Tiger surrendered the win with an injury default.

Daren Hockett took second place at 125. The junior pinned a man from Durango at 1:13, then got a win with a fall over an Ignacio wrestler.

A 12-9 decision over a rough opponent from Espanola Valley, N.M., put Hockett in the final, which he lost in an 8-2 decision to an opponent from Centauri.

Sophomore James Martinez continued to impress, securing third place at 215.

Martinez got a first-round bye then pinned a Center wrestler at 1:45. His only loss came in the semifinal match, against two-time state champ Andrew Arellano, of Ignacio.

Martinez rebounded with style, beating a Taos athlete 11-7 in the fight for third.

Three Pirates came away with fourth-place finishes - Raul Palmer at 135; James Gallegos at 140; and Aaron Hamilton at 145.

Palmer pinned wrestlers from Taos and Centauri.

Gallegos pinned two unattached competitors on his way to fourth.

Hamilton drew a bye then won a match with an injury default against an Ignacio athlete.

Sixth place at 130 went to Pagosa's Ky Smith. The Pirate beat an unattached competitor in the first round, then pinned wrestlers from Bayfield and Espanola Valley.

David Richter got sixth at 160. Richter's two wins came over Durango (a pin at 3:43) and Centauri (a 13-11 decision).

Sophomore Orion Sandoval was seventh at 103. Sandoval got wins with a 7-2 decision over a Durango grappler and a 9-4 decision over Center.

Marcus Rivas also earned points for his team at 189 with a 17-2 tech fall over an opponent from Taos.

"Winning this one is a real positive sign," said Janowsky, "and the guys deserve to feel a good deal of satisfaction because of the win.

"What excited me was our guys' consistency. They all wrestled hard, and guys wrestled hard when they were behind. They made close matches out of some that seemed out of reach, and won some of those. If you can make that your hallmark, you'll go a long way."

Janowsky said he hopes the win at the Rocky "stimulates some momentum. We have a whole week off now to train for the next tournament."

That tournament comes Saturday at Alamosa, and the competition doesn't get much rougher.

Every season, Alamosa hosts some of the state's top 4A squads and this year is no different. The field will include the hosts, Centaurus, Broomfield, Montrose and Pueblo East, as well as Aztec and two Colorado 3A teams - Pagosa Springs and Rocky Ford.

Action at Alamosa begins at 9 a.m.



Pirates win three of four dual meets to start new year

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

So, you've been on holiday break for a couple weeks; you have several days practice under your belt.

What do you do to get yourself into top wrestling shape as quickly as possible?

Easy: You fight in four dual meets and a tournament in three days time.

Then you take a week to recuperate.

Pirate wrestlers returned from vacation with this schedule awaiting them. Prior to the Rocky Mountain Tournament in their home gym Jan. 10, the Pirates took on two teams Thursday night and another two Friday.

The hometown action gave local fans opportunities to see the wrestlers in action. It also allowed the Pirates to strut their stuff, winning three of four duals and the tournament that followed.

Thursday, the Pirates fought dual matches against 5A Durango and Intermountain League rival Monte Vista.

Pagosa dispatched Durango handily, beating the Demons 57-18.

Michael Martinez scored maximum bonus points at 119 pounds, pinning his opponent at the 3 minute, 17 second mark of the match.

Daren Hockett followed suit, getting the fall at 125 at 2:40.

James Gallegos got a pin at 140, at 3:17, as did Aaron Hamilton at 145, at 4:46.

The pin parade continued, with David Richter putting his opponent's shoulders to the mat in a battle at 160. Richter got the pin at 1:14.

Sophomore Matt Nobles won a 10-4 decision at 171.

Marcus Rivas went into a second overtime period at 189 to earn a 4-3 decision.

James Martinez also went to overtime at 215 and earned a 16-14 decision.

Durango forfeited matches at 130 and 152.

"Durango had some guys who didn't make weight," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky, "and they are rebuilding this year. But, it was a very solid victory for us."

The one that got away was the dual against Monte Vista. Prior to the dual, Janowsky figured the win would be decided on bonus points. He was right on the mark. Pagosa and Monte each won 6 bouts. Monte scored more bonus points and won the IML dual, 35-31.

Martinez scored a 14-4 decision at 119.

Hockett got the pin at 125 in the first period.

Raul Palmer pinned his opponent at 135 in the second period.

Manuel Madrid competed at 152 for the Pirates and scored a 17-2 technical fall.

Hart moved up a weight class to 160 and earned a 13-2 decision.

"The one we wanted was Monte Vista," said Janowsky, reflecting on the fact the IML title is determined on the basis of dual matches with each of the other league teams. "It'll be hard now to win the league title. We need to beat everyone else, and hope someone beats Monte."

Not to say the coach did not enjoy the battle. "I really liked the excitement, the pressure" he said. "We wrestled well in the middle weights. It was close, but we just didn't get the bonus points we needed."

Friday night, two of the New Mexico teams in town for Saturday's tournament - Taos and Espanola Valley - dualed the Pirates at the PSHS gym.

The Pirates beat Taos 48-27.

Taos forfeited four matches to Pagosa, four Pirates scored in their fights.

Nobles won an 11-5 decision at 171.

Rivas defeated his opponent at 189, 15-8.

Hockett got six points with a first-period pin at 125.

Palmer pinned his man at 135 in the third period, after building a 15-3 lead.

Pagosa overwhelmed Espanola Valley 69-12.

The visitors forfeited five matches and six Pirates won matches.

Martinez scored with a second-period pin at 119.

Palmer continued to look strong, pinning his man at 135 in the first period.

Gallegos followed with a pin at 140 in the third period.

Hart also got big points at 152 with a pin at 2:57.

Nobles stepped up again, pinning his opponent at 171 in the second period.

Rivas earned a 10-5 decision at 189.

Joe Romine got his first victory of the year at heavyweight, pinning his man in the second period.

"The Friday duals were less competitive than I'd hoped they'd be," said Janowsky. "But, meets are seeded on the basis of record at the end of the year - every win counts. These duals and the duals on Thursday were a great way to start the weekend."

The Pirates are at the Alamosa Tournament Saturday, with action beginning at 9 a.m.



Cold shooting, turnovers give Ladies a 48-41 defeat

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Nip-and-tuck basketball can be thrilling if you're on the team able to tuck it away.

It can be frustrating when you have chance after chance to even the score and take the lead but can't convert - either from the free throw line or the field.

That was the problem Saturday for the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates playing in the Aztec jungle.

Three quick fouls in the first period send 6-2 Pirate center Caitlyn Jewell to the pines, but it was not until fellow post player Caitlin Forrest also went to the bench with three fouls that Aztec was able to control the boards and thus pull away to a 48-41 victory over Pagosa.

There were some highlights for Pirates. For example:

- nine steals by junior forward Lori Walkup, playing ill

- excellent performances off the bench by junior forward Melissa Maberry who led Pagosa in rebounding with eight and added four points; and by freshman forward Laurel Reinhardt with five points, four as the Pirates tried to mount a fourth quarter comeback

- blocked shots by both Walkup and Jewell.

But, try as they might, the Pirates just couldn't get over the hump.

Bri Scott hit five first quarter points but was silenced the rest of the game. Walkup, Maberry, Jewell and sophomore point guard Liza Kelley had single field goals in the period but the Pirates trailed 16-13 at the break, the lead coming on a late three-pointer from senior guard Clarissa Todacheene in a relief role.

Both squads went ice cold in the second period but Pagosa closed the gap by a point to trail only 21-20 at the half. Pagosa had four free throws and a single field goal in the period while Aztec had a simple field goal and three free throws.

Still, it was anyone's game, a chance to break away.

But Jewell quickly picked up her fourth foul and Forrest, for the first time this season was unable to pick up the slack.

The Pirates' largesse was the biggest part of their problem in the third period, a session in which they had 10 turnovers, one more than they had in the entire first half.

That led to a 10-point outburst from Aztec guards Patricia Malouff and Kelsi Elkins.

Despite four points in the period by Kelley, two each from Forrest and Jewell, and single free throws from Walkup and Maberry, the Pirates still trailed after three periods - but by only two points, at 32-30.

With both Jewell and Forrest on the bench with foul trouble, Aztec's 5-11 senior Brittany Gillespie controlled the boards in the fourth period, turning in nine of her game high 16 points in the frame.

But still the Pirates would not quit. Twice they had a chance to tie the game or take the lead with two-shot opportunities at the line for Walkup. The usually sharp shooter missed all four.

Two more times they could have tied with a driving layup inside but both efforts rolled around the rim and trickled off.

With 2:18 left Pagosa trailed 43-39, but that was as close as they'd get down the stretch. Jewell, Kelley and Scott all fouled out and Aztec picked up its final five points from the line.

Reinhardt's four free throws and a long trey from freshman guard Jessica Lynch were the keys to the Pirate comeback effort.

For only the second time in 10 games this season, Pagosa was outrebounded - 29-27. It should be noted the squad was playing without regular starter 5-10 high post Emily Buikema for the second consecutive game.

Pagosa shot 13 of 26 from the foul line and 13 of 36 from the field. Aztec was 16 of 28 from the line and 15 of 32 from the floor.

Pagosa turned the ball over 26 times compared to nine unforced errors by Aztec.

Pagosa hit only two of six from three-point range while Aztec was one for two in trey attempts.

Maberry's eight rebounds led the category while Gillespie's six, (five in the fourth period), led Aztec.

The Pagosans will return to action with their 8-2 record at 5:30 p.m. Friday, hosting Bayfield as the Intermountain League season gets underway. They'll play their last nonconference game at 6 p.m. Saturday when they go back to New Mexico to meet Bloomfield.


Scoring: P-Scott, 2-4 (one three), 5; Lynch, 1-4 (one three), 3; Kelley, 4-9, 2-2, 10; Walkup, 3-7,2-9, 8; Reinhardt, 0-2, 5-6, 5; Maberry, 1-2, 2-4, 4; Jewell, 2-3, 4; Forrest, 0-4, 2-2, 2; A-Malouf, 4-6, 2-2, 10; Elkins, 3-3,0-1, 6; Gaston, 0-1,0; Todacheene, 1-3 , 3; Upton, 0-1, 2-2, 2; Carlyle, 0-2, 3-9, 3; 6-8, 4-6, 16; Price, 1-2, 2-2, 4; Kemp, 0-0, 1-3, 1; Jantz, 1-3, 1-4, 3.


Ladies beamed up at Dolores by Scott(y)

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Great Scott!

In perhaps her finest all-round performance as a Pirate, junior Bri Scott ripped the Dolores defense for 18 points Thursday and added her toughest defense of the season.

Pairing with sophomore point guard Liza Kelley, the two front-liners picked the Lady Bears defense apart, each hitting one three-pointer and Kelley contributing 11 points to the team total.

Those two got the game off to a fast start with Scott hitting a trey for the game's first marker and Kelley converting a nice pull-up jumper from eight feet.

Amber Thompson and Melissa Schmidt answered with field goals for Dolores and when Megan Hanson converted a free throw the game was tied at 5-5 at the three-minute mark.

Coach Bob Lynch, visibly displeased by his squad's sudden lethargy, benched all five starters and sent a fresh set of troops onto the floor.

They held the Bears scoreless, but were unable to score themselves.

With just under three minutes left in the period, the score still tied, the starters returned - with a vengeance.

By the time the buzzer sounded to end the period the Pirates had gone on a 13-point scoring spree and the final outcome was no longer in doubt.

Keying the surge was a full court press which resulted in two unforced turnovers by Dolores and four Pirate steals.

Scott added a deuce and Kelley a trey to go with two more standard field goals and Caitlyn Jewell picked up a pair of field goals on strong inside play against Dolores' high-scoring 5-11 center, LaRissa Gustafson.

A 22-7 second quarter for Pagosa turned the game into a laugher and a 40-15 visitor lead at the half.

As promised, Lynch introduced some new offensive sets, playing without 5-11 sophomore high post Emily Buikema.

Key to the success was ability of the Pirates to operate a double post overload screen set breaking a guard off the second screen for backdoor opportunities.

The result of that was eight more points for Scott in the period, all but one basket coming off the set play. The other was a putback of an offensive rebound.

In the meantime, Lynch substituted liberally, usually a full five at each move and every person suited contributed to the stats line.

Season scoring leader Lori Walkup took only two shots and was scoreless in the first half, but it was she who was setting the high pick for the breaking guards.

Quarter three produced five more points for Scott, ending her output for the game. Walkup went three for three from the floor in the period for six of her eight points and freshman forward Laurel Reinhardt came off the bench to provide some outstanding relief.

She had two assists, two steals and a blocked shot in the period while scoring two of her eight game points.

Junior forward Melissa Maberry pulled down three rebounds in the period to go with her three second period points and added a pair of steals.

As has been the case for several games, Caitlin Forrest remained a demon on the boards, pulling down seven rebounds, five at the offensive end, keeping possession for her team. She also had four blocked shots and three assists while scoring six points.

By the third quarter break it was 55-22 for Pagosa and the reserves were entrusted with the Pirate outcome for most of the final stanza.

Kelley and Walkup each added a two-pointer before going to the bench and Reinhardt contributed a pair as did Forrest with two from the line.

Dolores got only one field goal in the final period, a last-minute three from Megann Thompson, but added seven charity tosses to capture a 10-8 margin in the period.

But that did little to gladden a home crowd as the Bears fell to Pagosa by a final of 63-32, hiking the Pirate record for the season to 8-1.

The only sad spot for Pagosa was an injury to Maberry with 3:13 left when she hit the wall in a rebound scramble and hobbled off the floor in obvious pain.

For the Pirates, it was the best percentage shooting of the season - 28 of 53 from the floor for nearly 53 percent. They outrebounded their foe 30-10 and turned in 20 steals, 12 assists and eight blocked shots.

Dolores shot only eight of 24 from the floor for 25 percent and only 13 of 27 from the line for just under 50 percent.

Pagosa was two-for-five from three-point land, one each for Scott and Kelley.


Scoring: P-Scott, 8-9 (one three), 1-2, 18; Lynch, 1-6, 2; Kelley, 5-8 (one three), 11; Walkup, 4-8, 8; Reinhardt, 4-8, 8; Maberry, 1-1, 1-2, 3; Faber, 0-3, 0; Jewell, 3-3, 1-2, 7; Rivas, 0-1, 0; Tomforde, 1-3, 2; Forrest, 2-4, 2-3, 6. D-A. Thompson, 3-7 ), 1-2, 8; Kyla McCracken, 0-1, 1-4, 1; M. Thompson, 1-7 , 3-4, 6; Maddie Stephans, 0-1, 0-1, 0; Megan Hanson, 1-4, 1-1, 3; Erin Lopez, 1-1, 2; Audrey Weitzel, 0-1, 3-4, 3; Gustafson, 0-4, 0-2, 0; Schmitt, 3-5, 3-5, 9. Total rebounds: P-30, D-10; Total fouls, P-19, D-14; Turnovers, P-23, D-19.


Youth volleyball tourney in Cortez

The sixth annual Cortez Youth Volleyball Tournament will be held Feb. 21.

There will be four divisions: fourth-grade girls, fifth- and sixth- grade girls; seventh- and eighth- grade girls and boys 13 and up, if enough boys teams enter.

There is a $60 fee per team and an 8:30 a.m. check-in time with play to begin at 9 a.m. in Cortez Middle School for grades 4-6 and boys and at Montezuma-Cortez High School for competitors in grades 7-8.

The format is pool play, double elimination (three divisions in each group if there are enough teams). Forty-eight teams entered last year.

Awards will be made for first through third place in each division.

Deadline to register is Feb. 13 and only teams with registration and fee turned in will be accepted.

For more information or to enter a team, call or write Linde Mortensen, 1902 E. Macarthur, Cortez, CO 81321 or phone (970) 565-2135.

Checks should be made out to Cortez Volleyball.


Kern sparks late rally; Pirates top Tigers 46-39

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Sometimes, traditional basketball statistics are lacking.

For instance, there's no column in the official scorebooks reserved for description of the participant who turns in the proverbial "play of the game."

If there were, the appropriate space in the ledger for last week's contest between Pagosa Springs and Aztec would undoubtedly have read something like:

"David Kern, 5-9 guard, Pagosa."

It cost him some elbow skin and a few floor burns, but what the Pirate senior accomplished in a five-second span midway through the final quarter Friday night probably decided the outcome: a 46-39 victory for visiting Pagosa.

With Aztec in possession and Pagosa down 31-30, Kern's diving steal and prone-position assist to teammate Jeremy Caler sparked a rally that turned the tide for the Pirates, who were in desperate need of a lift after struggling offensively throughout much of the game.

In the opening minutes, however, it appeared as if Head Coach Jim Shaffer's squad was on its way to another easy win - before a plague of foul trouble and icy shooting soon made it apparent a victory would not come easy, if at all.

A lob from Clayton Spencer to Caleb Forrest put the Pirates up 2-0 in the first 15 seconds, then stingy defense led to assists from Ty Faber to Spencer and Forrest that pushed the lead to 6-0 at the 4:40 mark.

Ryan Goodenberger extended the lead to 7-0 with a free throw after a technical foul call on Aztec, and the Pirates continued to hold the Tigers scoreless until Michael Lambourne hit a trey to make it 7-3 with 3:23 to play in the first.

Pagosa got its next five by way of a deuce from Spencer and a three from Caler, but hot shooting from the Tigers cut the margin to 12-10 by period's end.

Aztec's Corey Hales sank a charity toss to open the second quarter and shave the lead to one, then a rebound and put-back from Goodenberger made it 14-11 with one minute gone.

But the Pirate offense grew silent thereafter; Pagosa mustered just one additional point in the half - a final-minute free throw from Goodenberger - as several starters exited due to foul trouble and shot after shot failed to find the net.

The Tigers took a 15-14 lead on a four-point play from Matt Thompson after he was fouled on a successful trey attempt with 5:58 to play, and by halftime the Pirates trailed by four at 19-15.

Forrest tallied two free throws and a pair of inside baskets on assists from Faber and Caler to give the Pirates a 21-19 lead early in the third, but Thompson hit for three to give Aztec a one-point advantage with three minutes burned.

Fouls and cold shooting continued to hinder the Pagosa offense, and with key Pirate personnel watching from the bench, by late in the quarter the Tiger lead had grown to 27-21.

Then Goodenberger drained a trey to trim the margin to three with two minutes remaining in the period, and the final quarter began with Pagosa trailing 27-24.

The scoring pace quickened early in the fourth as a determined Spencer traded two interior hoops with Hales and Aztec's Zant Doty to keep the Pirates within three at 31-28.

Kern found Forrest underneath to cut the gap to 31-30 with under five minutes left, then followed the assist with the play that swung momentum to the Pirates for good.

On the opposition's next inbound, shadowing defense from Kern on the Tiger point guard resulted in a loose ball at the Aztec end.

Kern then dived to recover the ball near the Tiger sideline, and before draping Aztec defenders could reach in to force a jump, flipped the sphere to a trailing Caler who put home a layin to give the Pirates a permanent lead.

The sequence energized the Pirates at both ends of the court; Spencer hit for two after an Aztec five-second call on the following inbound, then converted a dish from Goodenberger to give Pagosa a 36-31 with 3:30 to play.

Forrest was forced to sit after being whistled for a fifth personal with 3:03 to play, but seconds earlier had put his team up 38-33 with a soft hook in the lane that answered a layin from Doty.

Goodenberger then stole the ensuing Aztec inbound pass, and Shaffer instructed the Pirates to spread the floor and milk the clock.

Aztec added another six points to its total, but was forced to foul down the stretch and free throws from Caler, Goodenberger, Faber and Luke Brinton netted the final nine points for the Pirates and the 46-39 win.

Forrest led Pagosa scorers with 14 points, followed by Spencer with a dozen, Goodenberger with nine and Caler with six.

Rebounding leaders were Forrest with nine and Spencer with six, while Goodenberger and Brinton each pulled in four.

Commenting after the win, "We'll take it, but we've got to learn to adjust to the way the game's being called on the road and be able to play smarter," said Shaffer.

"What was most frustrating is the fact that we got tentative on offense when things started to slide," he added. "But it's the mark of a pretty good ball team when you can play as poorly as we did most of the night and still come out with a win."

Regarding Kern's effort in the fourth quarter, "It got everyone excited again - it really changed the whole approach to what we were doing out there," said Shaffer.

"Bottom line is he made just a great all-around play when we needed something to get us going," he concluded.

Next up for the undefeated Pirates (8-0) is a home court battle with Intermountain League rival Bayfield. Game time tomorrow night in the high school gym is set for 7 p.m.


Scoring: Forrest 6-9, 2-3, 14; Goodenberger 2-7, 4-6, 9; Craig Schutz 0-0, 0-0, 0; Spencer 6-8, 0-0, 12; Kern 0-1, 0-0, 0; Faber 0-2, 3-4, 3; Caler 2-6, 1-2, 7; Brinton 0-5, 2-2 2; Belarde 0-0, 0-0 0; Ross 0-1, 0-0 0. Three-point goals: Goodenberger 1, Caler 1. Fouled out: Forrest. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 12. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 30. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 18.




Full circle

Dear Editor:

Over the holidays I got a disturbing call from the bookkeeper engaged by the health service district to clean up their financial records. The essence of the call was "the reasons how come we can't comply with the request for financial information at this time."

I was appalled to hear that bank accounts had not been reconciled since January, (that they had 45 statements to go through); that payroll taxes (state and federal) had not been paid since June and they were swamped with delinquency notices; that accounts receivable were grossly behind, and that accounts payable are just being posted.

This seems to contradict the assurance we got at the November board meeting from the chairman and newly appointed treasurer that everything was "hunky dory" and they only had a couple of things to verify before up-to-date financial information would be available.

What is the truth?

Was the July 2003 rejection of the so-called "privatization proposal" on financial grounds totally fabricated?

Was the recently approved 2004 budget also a total fabrication based on no knowledge whatsoever? Challenges to the reality of the income estimates at the November board meeting were summarily ignored. Based on what?

This is reminiscent of what I came into in June of 2000 - the (non-financially astute) district manager and (non-financially astute) bookkeeper had the books in total disarray and the board was totally ignorant of the situation.

Payroll taxes were in arrears, penalties were occurring, bond money was being mixed with general tax revenue, incomplete financial reports were being presented to the board, vendors were not being paid, and key employees weren't keeping time records to account for their salary. Looks like we have gone full circle.

When I left the board in February 2003, I believe the (financially astute) district manager and (financially astute) staff CPA had just reported $385,000 in the bank, and all accounts payable were caught up to within 30 days. I wonder where we are now? I wonder if this will be reported at the January board meeting - that is, unless it also is cancelled.

Note that the vote to cancel the December meeting was 3 to 2 in favor of cancellation. Do you know how your elected representatives voted? Pay attention - there is an election coming up in May.

Dick Babillis

Real support?

Dear Editor:

We are often admonished to support out troops, and surely we should.

President Bush has submitted his budget for the next fiscal year to Congress. In it, he proposes cutting veterans' benefits while our troops are under fire. This would be the second cut in veterans' benefits in two years.

It seems to me that cutting veterans' benefits seems a strange way to support out troops.

Jim Buslepp

Peggy's legacy

Dear Editor:

Some people are expected to live forever and Peggy Jacobson was one of them. Her passing is a shock.

Astute, accurate in her knowledge, with an understanding dignity in her dealing with others, and a drive to get things done, she was "the" Forest Service to those who knew her.

I remember hearing that she reminded a friend of mine that we live in the San Juan Mountains, not the San Juans.

Her legacy includes founding the science fair for Pagosa Springs public schools. Her interest in science went back a long way - to when she was a student of Frank Oppenheimer when he taught science at Pagosa Springs High School in the years 1957-59.

Frank was the brother of Robert Oppenheimer of atomic bomb fame. Frank and his wife went on to found the "Exploratorium" in San Francisco.

Kate Terry

Final report

Dear Editor:

I am pleased to share with you, my friends, the final report from the state health department regarding on-site inspection of the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic, as follows:

"Five randomly selected patient charts were reviewed, three patients were interviewed, and patient satisfaction surveys were reviewed. Interviews were conducted with the administrator, as well as with the medical director, three registered nurses, the clinic manager and the clinic consultant. Patients expressed satisfaction with their treatment at the clinic, and staff state their main concern was to ensure that residents in the community received quality medical care. As a result of these findings, the allegation that the clinic was no longer safely staffed or functioning were unsubstantiated."

This excellent report is quite remarkable evidence that the rumors circulated by those who had hoped the health district's efforts would fail, have no honest basis.

Now, it is true the deficiencies were noted; but I must say to you that these were accepted as constructive requirements and that most have already been met - the remainder will be met by early next month.

Despite these, the Colorado Department of Health has certified the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center and we are pleased Archuleta County has one state-certified health facility to meet the needs of its citizens and tourists.

The rebuild and reorganization of the Upper San Health Services District is now complete with the addition of the long-promised 24/7 hours physician access and the extended Urgent Care, along with our excellent paramedic ambulance services.

If you have not visited the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center already, please do - meet our dedicated, highly certified health care providers and staff. See how clean, efficient and professional are their services.

Many thanks to our executive director, Dee Jackson, for her dedication and expertise. She enjoys the highest respect and appreciation from her employees, who are proud of the opportunity to play a significant role in the building of these quality, professional health care services for the citizens of Archuleta County.

Patty Tillerson

Keep it clean

Dear Editor:

This morning, my wife, and I decided to take our dog on a stroll down the river walk to enjoy the beautiful morning and the Kodak moments along the river.

What a joy it was to walk down the path dodging piles of dog poop all along the way.

I certainly can't blame the dogs, but I do blame their inconsiderate owners who have absolutely no regard for others using the walkway.

This beautiful walking path was constructed for the use of all citizens to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this beautiful area we live in. Somehow, the enjoyment of walking down the path is tainted when you're occupied looking out for dog poop instead of enjoying the moment.

To these inconsiderate dog owners, I plead with you to clean up after your dogs before dogs are prohibited on the river walk. Your cooperation in keeping the path clean for the enjoyment of all users will be greatly appreciated.

Gary Waples



Community News

Senior News

Special senior center photo contest slated

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

The U.S. Administration of Aging is pleased to introduce the 2004 Older Americans Month National Photography Contest.

The purpose of this contest is to enhance the image of older Americans to all generations through pictures. The photographs are to reflect the photographer's interpretation of the 2004 Older American's Month Theme: "Aging Well, Living Well."

This contest is open to nonprofessional photographers, age 60 and older representing a senior center. The photo subject should include at least one older person or groups of older people reflecting the above mentioned theme. Intergenerational photos are allowed and encouraged.

Only senior center directors can submit a photo, only one per center. Photos must be 5 x 7, can be in black and white or color, and if using digital, include a print of the photo and a copy of the digital file on a disk, (floppy, zip or CD). Entries must be postmarked no later than Feb. 15.

The first, second and third place winners and their senior center representative will receive an award and a trip to Washington, D.C. for an awards ceremony in May.

Take some interesting pictures and bring them in to Musetta. Maybe we can show the world how well Coloradans age!

Our walking program is back on again, and while we won't be handing out pedometers or name tags this time, we are still encouraging people to walk in the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11 a.m.-noon. All you need to do is sign up at the front desk of the community center so they know how many people are using the gym. With winter snow and cold finally here, the gym is the best place to walk. Come join us.

Are you currently receiving our newsletter? If you would like to continue to get our newsletter, we need to hear from you by Jan. 20. If we don't hear from you your name will be removed from our list and you'll have to miss out.

How do you get an Archuleta Seniors, Inc. membership card? You must be at least 55 years old, and come in between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday to fill out a form. It only costs $3 for a year, helps our seniors and gives you great discounts around town. Remember, free Internet access is available in the lounge and use of the paper shredder.

Dr. Nelson's talk on glaucoma was well attended on Jan. 6. He will be back in a couple of months to talk about macular degeneration, but he enjoys answering all sorts of questions about your eyes, so keep reading the Senior News to find out when he'll be back.

We are very pleased to have Glen Raby here again to present Moonrise at Chimney Rock. At the end of 2004, we will be starting an 18.5-year moon cycle that we have never noted here before. Glen will give us all the exciting details about this rare event. Come listen to him talk at 12:45 p.m. Friday.

There will be a blood drive at the Senior Center 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Jan. 20. Call the center to sign up. It will take between 30 minutes and an hour to give this wonderful gift of life, so take that into consideration when you make your appointment.

Our trip to Sky Ute Casino is Jan. 20. We have had some luck with our past trips, so sign up and see if you can win something too. The sign-up sheet is in the dining room, priority seating is given to seniors.

Please note that the senior center will not be open Jan. 19 for Martin Luther King's Birthday.

Old George, the ranch hand at the SC_0 (Senior Center Bars None) reminisces:

"Do you remember the 5 and 10 cent stores? Woolworth's and Kresges were two of the best known. Displaying merchandise on open tables was a new idea. Floor walkers were employed to help patrons locate the area that displayed their desired merchandise. But, also, the floorwalkers watched to see that no thievery was done. Do you remember the 5 & 10?"

Knowledge is power! If you're tired of feeling confused and in the dark about the effective treatment of arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus or one of the other 100 forms of arthritis, help may be as close as your telephone.

The Arthritis Foundation is hosting a free telephone call-in program titled, "Doc-On-Call." This unique event is designed to provide access to the specialized knowledge of rheumatologists (arthritis specialists) for anyone who has questions about a previous diagnosis, medications, surgical procedures or other issues related to the treatment of arthritis.

This is an informational program, and is not intended to diagnose, treat or prescribe.

Rheumatologists Judy Weiss and David Collier will address callers' questions Jan. 27. Whether you're a health professional, patient or family member this is your opportunity to speak with a doctor who can provide clarity and direction. All calls are confidential, and those with questions are invited to call toll free (800) 475-6447 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. to speak directly to a physician.

For more information about this educational and supportive program or to receive printed literature, please call the Arthritis Foundation at (800) 475-6447.

You can pick up your ColoradoSHARE food package Jan. 24 at the First Assembly of God Church, 10:30-11 a.m.


Friday -  Qi Gong, 10 a.m. Medicare Counseling, 11; Moonrise at Chimney Rock with Glen Raby, 12:45 p.m.

Jan. 19 - Center closed

Jan. 20 - Yoga in motion, 10 a.m.; advanced computer class, 10:30; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.

Jan. 21 - Beginning computer class, 10:30 a.m.

Jan. 23- Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; Medicare Counseling, 11.


Friday -  Roast Beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli blend, citrus cup and roll

Jan. 19 - Center closed

Jan. 20 - Ham and beans, spinach, carrot sticks, corn bread and peaches

Jan. 21 - Lasagna, tossed salad, bread stick, fruit cup

Jan. 23 - Swiss steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, Brussels sprouts, whole wheat roll and pineapple.


Chamber News

Return your Mardi Gras RSVP by day's end today

By Sally Hamiester

We'll expect to see you and your entourage at the Pagosa Lodge Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m. for our wild and crazy Mardi Gras/Annual Meeting celebration.

Expect to find four fabulous food stations featuring the tasty, feisty treats representative of those marvelous Cajun classics one finds on Bourbon Street in New Orleans at their little Mardi Gras soiree.

The good thing about our party is that you know a lot more people than you would in New Orleans and you don't have nearly as much territory to cover.

This year the Bayou Room (Southface) will feature chicken and sausage gumbo, crab cakes and fried catfish. In the Bourbon Street Lounge (Bar), you will find peanuts and pretzels and a full bar, and the French Quarter will offer Cajun spiced chicken strips and the ever-popular hush puppies. You will find the pralines and beignets at the dessert station in the Piñon Room along with the New Orleans Mardi Gras must, the King Cake.

If you happen to be the lucky devil who finds the baby in your piece of cake, you will win a year's free membership in the Chamber of Commerce which can be quite the considerable amount of dough according to the size of your business.

The bar, of course will provide any cocktail of your choice, but you will additionally find a wine/beer station in both the French Quarter and the Red Hot Jazz Room so you can easily avoid waiting in lines.

At the annual meeting, we will bid adieu to outgoing directors Will Spears, Angie Dahm and Ken Harms, acknowledge the three top Pagosa Pride winners and the honorable mentions, Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year along with Best Costume prizes.

Please keep in mind that Mardi Gras will be your last opportunity to vote for your three top choices for Chamber board director.

All in all, Mardi Gras is a great night to relax, play, and just generally, eat, drink and be silly. Costumes are optional, but we do reward the best male and female for the very best ones. Please join us for all the fun and to help us honor those who will be acknowledged for their good works in Pagosa Springs.

Tickets for this event are $25 presale and $30 at the door as they have been for the past several years. We try very hard to make this an affordable evening for everyone and feel that you get a big bang for your buck on this one. You will receive an RSVP card with your invitation, and we request that you make your reservation by the end of the day today.

We hope you will join us for very best way to beat the January doldrums, the Chamber of Commerce Mardi Gras. Just give us a call with questions at 264-2360.

Open house

We have yet another suggestion for you earlier in the day on Saturday, to get you in shape to party down at Mardi Gras. The Club at 450 Lewis Street is hosting an open house 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with membership discounts and drawings for prizes throughout the day. Class demonstrations will be presented at different times, and The Pagosa Samurai Academy will perform at noon. Drop by The Club Saturday and enjoy refreshments provided by Club Café and take a chance on winning a one-year full membership.


This event promises to be way too much fun, so you need to be in the Pagosa Springs High School gym at 6 p.m. Sunday when the local "ringers" take on the Harlem Ambassadors.

Sponsors Troy and Cody Ross of Troy Ross Construction, LLC, and Buckskin Towing & Repair, LLC, are not only the generous sponsors of this event, but are members of the team as well.

These are the same wonderful guys who sponsor their own tournament every year, so they are definitely no strangers to a basketball court. The other members of this hometown team include Jon Forrest, David Snarr, Yul Wilson, Rock Wilson, Cord Ross, Les Lister and Brad Schick.

In addition to the Ross brothers sponsorship, Wells Fargo will donate $300 for advertising and KWUF and Will Spears will interview Cody on the air. The Springs Resort and Best Western Oak Ridge will each provide three double rooms for the Ambassadors, and additional sponsors include Ace Hardware, At Your Disposal, Bank of Colorado, Bank of the San Juans, Citizens Bank, Colorado Land Title, Edward Jones Investments, Pagosa Glass, Ponderosa Do It Best, Raymond Rent-A-Nerd, Rio Grande Savings and Loan Association and Ski and Bow Rack. If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please call 264-4152.

Advance tickets can be purchased at all local banks, the Chamber of Commerce, the community center, the Pagosa Fun Place and Ski and Bow Rack at $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Tickets at the door will be $10 for adults and $8 for seniors/students. Kids 5 and under are free. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Pagosa

Springs Community Center, and you can call them at the above number for more information.

Tree, shrub orders

The San Juan Conservation District is taking orders for seedling trees and shrubs to be used for conservation planting, shelter belts, reforestation and wildlife habitat enhancement.

To participate, you need to own at least two acres of land, use the seedlings for conservation purposes (not landscaping )and agree not to resell seedlings purchased through the program as living plants.

The seedlings come from the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery in Fort Collins. Bare root trees are available in multiples of 50 per species and potted trees are available in multiples of 30 per species. Place your order early for best selection, and all orders must be placed by March 1.

If you need more information, please call 264-5516.

Marketing in Europe

Pagosa Springs will be represented at the world's largest travel trade show in Berlin March 12-16 in collaboration with the Colorado Tourism Office and the International Travel Bureau.

The CTO offered this opportunity to distribute brochures at the Colorado booth to 10 tourism industry members, and we were one of the first to respond.

The physical size of the show equals 52 Colorado Convention Centers, has an attendance of 60,000 of which 43,000 are Germans and 17,000 non-Germans. The German market is the second largest market for international tourism in Colorado.

The two components of ITB Berlin are the travel trade piece and consumer/public piece. Colorado will have a booth for the travel trade component as well as the consumer/public component. The consumer/public section allows German consumers to view the more than 100 U.S. destinations exhibiting their product.

We will also be partnering with Colorado Activities Center, other chambers and resort associates in the next few months providing coverage at ten out-of-state 2004 summer consumer travel shows plus two in Denver (Denver Golf Expo and the Sport, Boat and Travel Show). Our information will be available to folks in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Omaha, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Tulsa and Wichita.

Obviously, we are hoping to lure prospective summer guests to our area this summer or any time at all. Inclusion was on a first-come, first-served basis, so I'm delighted that we acted quickly and will be a part of these shows. Total attendance for all these shows is projected to be over 500,000, so it is well worth our participation.

Photography contest

Don't forget the 16th annual Photography Contest coming up in February with an entries deadline of 5 p.m. Feb. 4.

Sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and Moonlight Books, this competition is open to all amateur and professional photographers who may submit three entries in either black and white or color, but only two entries in any one category.

Each photo must be at least 5 x 7 (unmatted/unmounted) and the total circumference of the matted/mounted/framed photo may not exceed 85".

All are invited to attend the Opening Reception at Moonlight Books 5-7 p.m. Feb. 7, and the photos will remain there on display until Feb. 28.

School age care

The Rising Stars of Pagosa Springs and Discovery Junction Child Development Center announce a full-year school age care program.

Enrollment opened Jan. 5 with hours of 3:15-5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday 1:15-5:30 p.m. The cost is based on a tiered income rate of $35, $45 or $55 per week. Program instruction is provided by Ashley D'Ambrosi who is a certified art education teacher with 3 1/2 years experience.

For more information, please call Amy Hill at Discovery Junction Child Development Center, 731-KIDS or visit them at 1860 Majestic Drive off Piedra Road.


Not only do we offer Mardi Gras this week, we have four new members and 14 renewals to pass along to our loyal readership. I would call that a banner week and am happy to share the following new Chamber members.

Jeannie Dold joins us with Doves Crossing Massage Therapy. Jeannie specializes in sports and deep tissue therapy and trigger point therapy. She is totally portable and will come to you. Call 731-1187. What she didn't say on the membership form is that she has a beautiful voice and performed in a number of Christmas concerts much to the delight of the audiences.

We also welcome three new associate members: Roger and Caryn Dyer, Maryjane Knight and Jean and Gautam Shah. What is remarkable about three of our new members is that they were recruited by, yep, you guessed it, Kathryn Heilhecker. Our Recruiting Queen has outdone herself this time and will be able to place those three new SunDowner passes with her ever-growing collection. Thank you so much, Kathryn, we do appreciate all you do for us. We also want to thank Jan Brookshier for recruiting Jean and Gautam Shah. We do love it when our members are good enough to recruit new folks to our Chamber team.

Our renewals this week include Chief Warren Grams with the Pagosa Fire Protection District; Jane McKain with Pathfinder Construction of SW Colorado, LLC; Susan Angelo with Pagosa Realty Rentals, LLC; Roberto Lopez with Ramon's Mexican Restaurant; Judy James, broker associate and office administrator for Four Seasons Real Estate Company, Inc; Ken and Jan Harms with Harms PhotoGraphic, SelecPro School Photography and Harms Photo/Graphic (yes, that's three businesses), and it's a good thing they both have lots of energy; Joanne Irons with Enzo's Catering; Gilbert and Nancy Davidson with Davidson Country Inn; Lee Riley with Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate; Bruce Andersen with Bruce Andersen Photo Graphics; Joe Steele with Main Street Antiques, LLC; and, last but far from least, Larry D. Melton with Snow Country Adventure. We are delighted with each and every member and thank you for your continued support and loyalty.



Library News

Year end statistics show our picture of growth

It is always a pleasant duty for me to get this final information for the many reports I have to make to various government agencies.

The board of trustees makes many resolutions concerning the budget and funding. We are fortunate that the trustees are fiscally conservative and take good care of our tax money. We make the most of the limited dollars from our small 1.5 mill levy. So, it is with great pleasure that I share these reports.

We are finally all changed over to our new Horizon circulation system. This has been a three-year, difficult process that we trust will not have to happen again for many years to come. But the new system can generate incredible reports on all aspects of library management. I am in awe of what it will do for us. So welcome to Horizon.

We find 1,582 more people got new library cards. The patrons checked out 54,977 items for an average of 4,582 a month. This does not include the many items staff had to read and review each month, or the 1,550 magazines checked out.

We now have 30,330 books and other materials in the collection; 1,604 magazine titles were also added. The staff processed 4,119 items, and deleted 2,213; 592 interlibrary loans were borrowed from other libraries for an average of about 50 per month.

Computer use continues to grow; 8,845 people used the equipment at an average of about 730 a month. This does not include folks who came and used their own laptops connected to our system; 37 volunteers give us enough hours each year to make up for more than one full time position.

It was a busy, fruitful year thanks to our generous friends and patrons that donate both money and materials.

We look forward to this year's challenges as we try to figure out how to do the addition and renovation and not be closed for long periods. We trust the hardships will not be too many.

New books

"Wild About Wildflowers," by Kathy Darrow Warren is a beautiful book with good color photographs of wild flowers you can recognize.

Warren's book is actually about Crested Butte, the wildflower capital of Colorado. Her discussion of aspen forests will give you a lot of insight into our special deciduous trees. She explains that aspen forests can be both short and long lived with openness favoring regeneration of Aspen clones over the growth of evergreen seedlings.

Her information on lupine is most interesting along with the warning that it can be poisonous. I especially enjoyed the dandelion discussion. She tells us there are three native species in Colorado. Around the world, over 50 species are recognized. Some of our Colorado natives grow above 10,500 feet.

Warren studied botany at Colorado College and has a master's in plant ecology at CSU in Fort Collins. She lives in Crested Butte.

Anyone interested in our local wildflowers will find this a most interesting book.

"The River Reader," edited by John Murray is a collection published by the Nature Conservancy. It is one of a series of anthologies dedicated to bringing readers the finest nature writing from the past and present. Each volume will be devoted to a single subject - this one being about rivers.

Twenty-two diverse writers share their visions of rivers throughout the world, from the raging Amazon to the Mississippi.

Murray is the author of 26 books and now lives in Denver. He has taught at the University of Alaska, and is a life member of the Nature Conservancy. The mission of the group is to preserve plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

Holiday closing

The library will be closed in honor of Martin Luther King's Day, Monday, Jan. 19.


Thank you for building fund donations that are bringing us much closer to our goal: Major gift - Bank of the San Juans; Dick and Patti Blide in memory of Lee Sterling. Director - Judith Oppenheimer. Benefactor -Southwest Insulation and Roofing. Sponsor/Donors  - Mary and Eva Loudermilk, Shirley and John Snider, Fred and Norma Harman in honor of their grandchildren.



Veteran's Corner

Tobacco funds giving Veterans' Trust a boost

Seems like good things are happening for veterans' interests these days. Maybe the current conflict in the Middle East has turned some favorable ears toward veterans' issues in federal and state government offices.

They may be finding it is not a good idea to shortchange those men and women who are dodging bullets in our armed forces to secure our country's peace and prosperity. Once they are discharged from the military, these soldiers and sailors become veterans.

For one thing, Congress approved a huge increase in the VA budget in the past few weeks to provide additional benefits for veterans. This included an increased VA health care budget.

Colorado Trust Fund

Here in Colorado, for instance, I just received word from the Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs Office that a little known matter of Colorado Tobacco Settlement Funds (CTSF) will not be "securitized" for the Colorado budget. It means the CTSF money will not be appropriated for the state general fund, and used on a short-term basis. The CTSF money will be kept for long-term goals in the state budget. This is great news.

But, what does this have to do with veterans' issues and Archuleta County, you ask? Much of veterans services, both at the state and county level, are supplemented and paid for by funds from the Veteran's Trust Fund (VTF), which gets its money from the CTSF. Archuleta County government pays for our Veteran Service Office. However, monies from the state through VTF provide some money for these services.

County receives money

Ah ha, now the connection comes to light. For instance, Archuleta County will receive $2,400 this year for county veteran services (this office) from the VTF. Obviously this money helps offset the expenditure for county veterans services that won't come out of the county general fund, tax money.

Two years ago our Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 was successful in obtaining a grant for $25,000 to purchase a new vehicle for use by our local veterans to travel to their VA health care appointments. Archuleta County government has been a partner with our local veterans in this special program for years. That grant money came from the VTF.

A brand new vehicle was purchased to replace the old vehicle. However, the old vehicle continued to give good service and it was decided to keep both in service. Well over 500 Archuleta County veterans travel to five different VAHC locations, often at the same time or with overlapping appointments. The distance to these VAHC facilities is as much as 530 miles round trip.

Grant reapplication

Our local American Legion Post is applying to the VTF once again for a grant to purchase another new vehicle. If successful, the new vehicle will definitely replace the old vehicle. By the time the grant may be issued this summer the old vehicle will have about 165,000 or so miles on it and will be well past its useful and reliable life. We wouldn't want this vehicle to break down in the middle of winter on some mountain pass, with one of our aging veterans at the wheel.

Archuleta County generously provides maintenance, insurance and scheduling of the vehicles through this office. Citizens of Archuleta County can be very proud of our county government and their continued strong support of veteran's services. It proves to be money well spent in the number of veterans served.

WWII Memorial aid

Another little known program we can thank the VTF money for is assistance to send World War II veterans to the World War II Memorial dedication in Washington D.C. next Memorial Day. Sen. Jim Isgar was responsible for introducing the bill in the state Legislature early last year. Though approved by the Legislature at the time, no money was available because of the state budget shortfall.

The VTF has come to the rescue once again for veterans' interests. They have set aside a certain amount of money to fulfill this state-authorized program.

So far, this office has applied for money to assist in sending one of our Archuleta County veterans to Washington next May for the dedication.

If there are any other Archuleta County WWII veterans who would like to attend the Memorial dedication and are in need of financial travel assistance I encourage you to get in touch with me right away. We may be able to apply to the VTF for you, for some travel assistance.

It's called "connections"

So you see, sometimes a little known, obscure news item on the second or third page of the newspaper can have great impact on us veterans. This time, and in this case, it was good news. And, the word "veteran" probably won't even appear in the news story. It's called "connections."

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




All the News that's fit to Print

Class takes weekly look at local paper

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

About half of the 18 members of Heidi Keshet's sixth-grade reading class had read a newspaper before starting the school year.

Some said they'd read sports once-in-a-while, or the comics. Wesley Rickard said the stock market reports generally caught his eye.

Nicola Shaw admitted to reading The Denver Post's front page once, "because I was bored."

Now, they're reading a newspaper once a week. Every Friday, their class focuses on reading The Pagosa Springs SUN. Sometimes it is cover to cover. Other times they focus on certain sections. Activities correspond with the reading assignment.

"I have done a hunt for answers activity as well as having the students choose the articles they want to read and report on that," Keshet said. One week, after reading two articles on mountain lions, the students created safety posters outlining tips for living with mountain lions. The posters now hang in the school office. One student even used parts of the newspaper article to illustrate the poster. Others picked out information and used their own artistic talent to design a picture around the words.

Some weeks, they must look through the whole paper and find the answers to questions. Other weeks they design posters based on information from articles. An assignment to take home is also included.

Jan. 9, the students received a two-paragraph assignment based on a story in the Jan. 1 paper headlined: "Police sting nets suspect, drugs and cash." They were to analyze the article, offer their opinion on the article and discuss their opinion of drugs in general.

"Relaxed," is how Keshet described the normal class atmosphere. Students sit at computer tables and read - hands-on learning. They have discussed the structure of news writing, and are learning the various elements that make up a newspaper. For instance, Friday's assignment on the drug arrest was found on two different pages of the paper. Keshet went over how to find the "jump" of the story, or the continued part, by following the keyword directions from page A1 to page A12.

That was one step some of the students didn't like to take.

"I don't like how you have to turn the page every time," Tanha Sell said.

It wasn't the only thing the students would like to see changed.

"I'd change it to have more pictures and to be in color," Denise Bauer said.

"I don't like how it's all about what happened and no comics," Sierra Olachea said.

Comics would be a plus, all three boys in the class agreed.

The ink that smears on fingers and inserts that slide out all over the floor were other downsides, the students said.

It's also, they agreed, a good source of information about the community.

"I enjoy all the sports, learning who won, how it happened and all those kinds of things," Olachea said. Later, she added that the newspaper is a good place to find people who might be in trouble in the community and how to help them.

Denise Bauer added, "I think sports are important - that's why I think the paper is important."

Several students said reading about the animals, such as the stories on mountain lions or the capture of the puppy thieves, are the best parts of The SUN.

Shaw, who had read the Post once, said reading about the felonies, "the exciting stuff," has been the most enjoyable part of the class. "The newspaper gives you information. When you're bored you can read it and not just when you're bored."

"I like that it has an index," Kyle Winblood said.

"You can learn something from newspapers," Beth Lucero said.

And, that, Keshet said, is the whole point.

"I hope to instill a habit of reading current events into these young people. I also want them to become familiar with the layout of a newspaper. Most of the students haven't read a paper before, except for the comics. I want them to learn the difference between an ad and an informative article and so on. I also want them to learn that by reading the paper and responding (letters to the editor, etc.) they can become an active part of the community."


Pagosa's Past

Easy for young hotbloods

to get in trouble with Utes

John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Gold was king, but cattle raising created much excitement during settlement of Pagosa Country and the San Juan Basin.

Cattle raising began on a commercial scale at least by 1875, if not sooner. Last week, we began recounting early days in the business as recalled by Charlie Pinkerton, who, as a young boy, came with his father to the San Juans in June of 1875.

Years later, Charlie recalled the following incident.

"I'll tell you how easily a bunch of young fellows could get themselves into trouble with the Utes. Coming out of Wild Water there were five of us - Charlie Talbot, Ellis Taylor, Nate Garrett, Alf Dunham, and myself. We had around fifty head of cattle which we were taking to the John Reid corral. Wild Water runs into Cherry Creek which runs into the La Plata River. We were going through a bunch of pinon trees when a lone Ute came and scattered our cattle; we did not think much of it, rounded them up and went on. After awhile we passed through more piñon trees; we were not looking for a repetition, but the same thing happened again, and at a third clump of trees it happened once more. Then Alf Dunham said,

"'You boys look after the cattle and I will tend to that Indian.'

"So he took after the Indian and we got the cattle together. Alf caught up with the Ute and hit him on the head with his gun - it was a Colt revolver and the cartridge extractor on the side of the six-shooter made a hole in the Indian's scalp. Alf meant to kill; there was much blood but it did not kill him. The young brave rode back down the trail and met Nate Garrett and Charlie Talbot and said,


"Nate could talk good Mexican, so he and the Ute talked good natured, and the Ute did not make a fuss about being hurt; but suddenly he reached over and took Nate's six-shooter, spurred his horse, and was off like a flash.

"It was close to dark so we did not follow, but next morning we went down to La Plata Mesa. We knew where the Indians were camped in the sage brush on the river bottom; we left our horses at a safe distance and slipped up, all set to fire from the edge of the mesa and kill the Indians; we supposed there were about five of them. We looked down - all was quiet - and there was no camp.

"We rode on down toward the mouth of Cherry Creek, riding single file; when halfway across an open flat we heard a noise on a cliff; there we saw Indians; each with a gun and each behind a rock. We were startled to say the least; but Nate called out 'How!' and they began to talk; their spokesman said, if we would bring back their black heifer that was with our cattle, they would give back the gun. We lit out, killed the heifer for beef and let them keep the gun."

Pinkerton's memoirs are recorded in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country," Volume II. He also recited the following story.

"Another time, after the Animas City bridge had been built, someone walking across the bridge early in the morning saw a man lying under the other end of the bridge; upon investigation, he found the man was dead. The news spread and a crowd gathered. Captain Flagler, who was a Justice of the Peace, (judge, jury, and sort of town boss) was sent for. He appointed two men to examine the man's pockets for papers that might identify him as no one knew who he was; the search revealed no papers, but yielded $75 cash, which was handed to Cap. The Cap told them to turn the man over; they did and found out he was lying on his six-shooter. Quick as he could, Cap pointed to the dead man and said, "'I fine you $75 for having a concealed weapon. Take him away and bury him.'

"No one ever knew who he was or where he came from."

Death was a constant threat on the San Juan frontier. More than one grave contains the remains of a John Doe, someone with a family somewhere, a family forever puzzled by his disappearance.

More next week on frontier cattle raising in the San Juans.



Open and accountable

It's the embarrassing relative who asks to stay a day or two. A week later, he's still there. Six months later, he's taken over a wing of the house. He won't, or can't go away. He talks too loud and he scratches himself in public.

It's the ongoing saga of the Upper San Juan Health Services District.

Letters are written, complaints and defenses continue to materialize, anger simmers, fingers point, accusations fly.

With a district board meeting set Jan. 27, there are two things to watch for. It will be unproductive to let emotion and trivia cloud the screen. It will be equally unproductive to allow philosophical questions about a vision for the district to take the floor; that issue will flower in May.

Two new directors will be appointed at the meeting. How refreshing would it be if the board were to select new directors whose opinions differ from the majority, who provide a new perspective?

Perhaps more important is a promise that key financial information concerning the district's health and management will be available at the January board meeting.

An analysis of district finances is the base on which we think discussion of the district, its administration, its future, must now rest.

A recent incident engenders suspicions - and the district's predicament hardly needs an infusion of more suspicion.

On Dec. 10, board member Dick Blide - whose opinions have been at odds with the board majority - asked for access to the district's general ledger. Blide was denied access until this week, according to him on grounds the ledger was a "work in progress," legally exempt from public inspection.

This is outrageous. Blide is charged with participating in the operation of the district. While administrators, accountants and other board members pore over district financial records, a director is denied access?

Not only is this unacceptable, it will inevitably cause some to think the move was made for one of two reasons: that there was something to hide from political opponents, or that some people just don't get it - the appearance of wrongdoing, in a context such as this, is the last thing you want to create.

We ask the board and administration to clear the air, present the financial information Jan. 27 and answer all questions that arise.

Let's start with these questions:

- Why is the district working to "reconcile" financial records going perhaps as far back as February 2003, and how did records get into a condition where so much work is required?

- Are all of this tax-collecting entity's bills paid on time? If not, why not? What was the total dollar amount of district debt 30 days past due as of Dec. 31, 2003?

- Are paychecks to district personnel on time and in correct amounts? Are any employees owed money?

- Have payroll taxes from the third and fourth quarters of 2003 been paid?

- Is there money available to last until the next infusion of tax revenue in March? Has the district attempted in the last six months to borrow against tax revenues that are due? If so, why would this be necessary, given that voters passed a bond issue providing significant additional revenue?

- Has the district funded its TABOR Reserve?

These questions will work as starters. There will be more. Answer them honestly. To the best of your ability, give anyone who makes lawful requests the quickest and easiest access to materials that help answer their questions, whatever the answers might be.

If there is nothing wrong, don't create the appearance there is something amiss. Observe federal law and put patient information out of bounds. Reveal everything permitted by the Colorado Open Records Act.

Honesty, accessibility, accountability, now it works for the best, for all of us.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Fond memories of two women

The car topped Molas Pass and began the treacherous turn immediately below the summit into the notorious reverse-banked curve.

Suddenly, the vehicle went into a slide, the rear end crashing sideways into a roadside snow bank.

The driver and five Pagosa Springs High School athletes braced for the worst. The trunk flew open and the silence of fear was broken with one teen's simple comment, "There goes a screwdriver."

The car halted, the trunk was closed and the vehicle inspected for damage. Finding none, the troupe continued on for an engagement on the basketball court in Silverton.

It is strange to consider the instant memories which pop into someone's mind on the passing of an old friend. And it is equally unusual to recall all the things such persons did for their community, mostly behind the scenes.

The Molas Pass incident came in the 1951-52 school year. The lone comment came from Victor "Moose" Montano sitting in the back seat.

The driver was Julia, better known as Juju Cox, a longtime Pagosa Springs treasure whose obituary ran in last week's paper.

She was a mainstay in the community, driving athletes to games in towns throughout the league. The Molas incident was just one of those many trips worked into her busy schedule.

The Cox home was on Pagosa Street adjacent to the Forest Service headquarters and it became one of two or three neighborhood hangouts because it had a basketball hoop attached to the garage and because Mrs. Cox always had a treat ready for the winded warriors.

In the same edition ran the obituary of another person whose behind-the-scenes activities were much more than just her love for and service to the Forest Service.

Peggy Ann Seavy Jacobson came into my life about the same time as Mrs. Cox.

She was a freshman when I was a junior at Pagosa Springs High School and, like myself, a trombone player. In fact, the trombone section that year carried a number of longtime county names - Russell Crowley, Bob and Joe Shahan (the three-member Chromo connection), Peggy and myself.

But the memory which popped to mind hearing of her passing was her long arms.

Because of them, not a lack of talent, she was made third chair trombonist. The long arms made it easier for her to reach the long slide positions and thus play the bass notes they allowed for companion rhythms.

The fact both Mrs. Cox and Mrs. Jacobson traced lineage from long-time area families and not from the new arrivals links them to the area's history despite the difference in their ages.

It is too bad such memories have to flood back only when the persons have left our midst for a greater role in God's kingdom.

But in every life there are simple moments like those described which make unending impressions on the psyche of youth.

And the world needs more people like these two women who devoted their lives to their families, their community and its residents.



90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Jan. 16, 1914

Assessor Betzer, assisted by Mrs. Betzer, is busy spreading the 1914 tax roll, a work that has been held up until now awaiting a court decision.

Bert Roush, the O'Neal park ranchman, has purchased the San Juan Pool Hall, McNay & Jones, and will take possession of the business February 1.

Pagosa has a population of about 800 exclusive of South Pagosa. There are probably 1,000 more people exclusive of the mill population who are tributary to the town for trading purposes. But a large percent of these 1,800 in and out of town send to outside places for practically all or a part of their merchandise. At a guess we should say that 1,800 people do 60 percent of their trading in Pagosa.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Jan. 18, 1929

Many unforeseen difficulties have been encountered in installing the light plant at the company site below town the past week, and during a test made yesterday morning it was discovered that a piston rod had been broken during a previous start-up at Alamosa where the plant had formerly been in operation. Manager Giger immediately departed for Durango, where a new rod is now being turned out at the foundry. The part is expected to be ready tomorrow noon and will probably reach here by tomorrow night, and providing installation can be made without other trouble developing, there is a possibility of lights and power Sunday night or within a short time thereafter.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Jan. 15, 1954

The weather the past week has made like it was going to be winter for a couple of times, but no real storms have developed thus far. Prospects for one over the weekend are very good, however, and some badly needed moisture may be on the way.

County Clerk Philip R. Johnson has announced that the 1954 auto and truck license plates will go on sale this Friday. Those who wish the same numbers they had last year should get their license plates before the 25th according to Mr. Johnson.

The greatest road revolution in Colorado's history took place at midnight, December 31, 1953. Thousands of miles of highways will change hands in a big switch which involves every city and county in the state.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Jan. 18, 1979

Three police officers have agreed to remain on the job until a new police chief can be found. Their action followed the resignation of the entire police department last week and subsequent meetings between the board and officers. The chief of police did not remain and has accepted a position elsewhere. Applications are now being accepted for the position of chief of police.

Total snowfall for the winter on Wolf Creek Pass went over 400 inches Tuesday of this week, with snow continuing since that time. In town the winter snowfall total went over 100 inches, and more has fallen since. Wolf Creek Pass was closed for about 32 hours because of the heavy snow and some slips, with a couple of slides coming down.