January 22, 2004 
Front Page

School board weighs combined services building

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A preliminary study of feasibility and basic building suggestions for a combined maintenance, administrative and transportation building for school operations was presented Jan. 13 to the school board.

But, after extensive description, the board delayed a decision and scheduled a 6:30 a.m. work session tomorrow to determine feasibility.

Steve Walston, maintenance director for Archuleta School District 50 Joint and Steve Eccher, a Durango architect, described the possibilities for a district site southeast of the vocational educational building adjacent to Pagosa Springs High School.

Eccher told the board the site it had designated has a 10-foot elevation drop from high to low point, but can be adapted for the use desired and that the roadways serving it are sufficient.

He said the 10-acre site would provide adequate space for any one of three possible designs that would concentrate all the ancillary service units in one location.

Safety factors are causing the search for a new structure. The current maintenance facility adjacent to the elementary school is outdated; the traffic flow to that school, despite a newly constructed turn lane on U.S. 160, is a detriment to the general public; the administration building is undersized and the receiving department for incoming supplies is almost nonexistent; and authorities have urged the district to eliminate truck traffic into the junior high-intermediate campus area.

All these issues prompted the search for a centralized operation.

Eccher told the board each of the three separate building alternatives envisioned would involve about 15,000 square feet.

The first alternative shown was a lineal structure segregating the different intended uses into specific sections with public spaces and warehousing in back.

The second, which Eccher said would make better use of the site, would relocate the structure closer to the southwest embankment with the administration facility to the north and closer to the high school building.

The third alternative footprints two separate structures, one isolating the administration building from the other which would house all the other planned uses.

Cost estimates would be based on an anticipated $140 per square foot for a pre-engineered base structure with masonry and mortar to match.

Total cost estimates will not be made until the board has decided if it will go ahead with the project and, if so, which alternate plan it chooses.

While agreeing the site is probably the best for the intended use, several board members were unsure what funding process should be used, and also what process to follow to construction.

Nancy Schutz, business manager for the district, said the board could consider partial financing from the capital reserve fund, some use of unrestricted Whit Newton funds on deposit and a lease-purchase agreement as overall tools.

An alternative option, one most members seemed to disdain, would involve floating a bond issue for a new elementary school on a district-owned site in Pagosa Lakes, and then utilizing all of the current elementary school and transportation department facility for the new operations-administrative center.

Cost would seem, members indicated, to make that route prohibitive.

Noting that "financially it's not the best of times, but I don't know that it ever will be," Superintendent Duane Noggle said, "we could patch and fix and repair for a couple more years, but replacement costs would continue to rise and the safety concerns would get worse."

Schutz told the board her concerns "are not so much the cost of the new structure, but the increased operational costs which would accrue."

"Wouldn't a new structure be more cost effective to operate?" asked director Mike Haynes. He was assured that is not the case. "New always costs more," said Noggle, "because it utilizes new concepts."

Director Jon Forrest said the square footage estimates for construction "seem a little high, but any extras, like the variations in design to accommodate different departments in a single building, probably take it up in a hurry."

Director Carol Feazel, board president, noting $12,000 had been authorized for the preliminary study, asked what the next step would be in terms of cost.

Eccher said that would include development of full architectural and engineering plans and biddable line drawings at an estimated cost of $127,000.

Director Clifford Lucero, acknowledging "we have to do something before we have a serious accident involving existing facilities," moved for the work session "so we can see just where we have to go and study the possible ways of getting there."


Planners eye sign code revisions

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Planning Commission will meet Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. in Town Hall on Hot Springs Boulevard to discuss possible revisions to the sign code.

The town council began considering a reworking of the code in early 2001 following citizen complaints about a proliferation of banners and other temporary signage. Revisions to that portion of the code revealed other issues with the 20-year-old ordinance, called out-of-date and cumbersome.

A sign committee made up of representatives of business owners, members of the planning commission and town staff was appointed to lead the revisions. The committee worked nine months developing a new sign ordinance, drawing ideas from several area sign codes. The new ordinance was approved by the town council in the summer of 2003.

In the fall, some business owners began to complain about the ordinance, claiming it was too limiting and had the potential to hurt the town's economy because of a series of triggers requiring them to bring signs into conformance with the new law.

Since then, the sign committee, planning commission and town council have been debating whether or not to revise the triggers for conformance. Those revisions will be the sole topic of the commission's meeting Jan. 28. The public is invited.


Pagosa High TV students win two national awards

By Amy Tautges

Special to the SUN

Most of them probably never saw his program, even in reruns, but Ed Sullivan's introduction to "A really big shew" would have been a perfect kickoff for the Pagosa High School television team this month.

Twelve members of the class were in the home of the movie industry, Los Angeles and Hollywood, for the annual Student Television Network convention.

Enjoying the palm trees and the unusually warm weather they were among 550 students and teachers from across the nation in attendance.

Students from sixty schools, from Hawaii to New Jersey - large and small - were in attendance to learn, compete and immerse themselves in the Southern California environment.

Local market anchors, network reporters and industry insiders were part of the program designed to help youngsters learn how to produce "on the spot."

The Pagosa Springs contingent and all the others listened, asked questions, and began to open the doors of opportunity these types of careers have to offer.

There were many breakout sessions on all phases of the television industry.

Some of the special sessions dealt with writing screenplays from scratch, basics of set design, basic reporting, interview techniques, getting the best picture, anchoring skills, what makes a great newscast, news ethics and decision making, and high school journalism at its best.

Keynote speaker was Carole Simpson, 22-year veteran of ABC News who has reported on some of the top stories of the 20th Century.

Convention sponsor was American Academy of Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to training, developing, recognizing and awarding talent achievement in the visual, digital and performing arts.

Three members of the Pagosa Springs team, with teacher Curtis Maberry as advisor, came home with top awards from the session.

Drew Mitchell, now graduated and already at Fort Lewis College, captured a second-place award for his video essay shot on location during the convention.

The team of Amy Tautges and Sierra Fleenor brought home a third-place award for a spot feature assignment shot on location in Los Angeles during the convention.

In addition to the convention, the students enjoyed many aspects of the geographical location, visiting Universal Studios, City Walk, Hollywood, downtown LA and, of course, the beach on the Pacific.

In order to make the trip even more unforgettable, the students had to raise their own money but received some help from local sponsors and the school district.

PHTV, now in its fourth year at the high school, believes this student experience will benefit the program for years to come.

Students participating, in addition to the prize winners already cited, were Amber Farnham, Danny McGinnis, Ellen Emanuel, Emily Buikema, Hattie Mayne, Jeremy Gallegos, Liesl Jackson, Lindsay Abbott and Sandra Griego.


Ten named to county land use task force

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Land-use policy and watershed management were two of the focal points this week for the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners.

As part of a continuing effort to ratify the remaining policies outlined in the Community Plan, the commissioners appointed 10 volunteers Tuesday to a land-use task force.

The appointments are the latest in a series of related actions taken since a growth-management blueprint inked by the county planning department got the green light last fall.

Deemed the "Community Plan Implementation Team," panel members include Lee Riley, Ron Chacey, John Tallman, Lynda Van Patter, Ronnie Zaday, Bob Nordmann, Linda Jaycox and Bruce Edwards.

In addition, two Pagosa Springs High School students - yet to be named - will also serve.

According to Marcus Baker, county associate planner, team sessions will occur regularly for approximately the next month and a half.

"Right now I'm thinking four to six meetings will be recommended, once or possibly twice a week, at times," said Baker.

With respect to the 10 individuals selected from an original pool of 13, "These people understand what the commitment is, the time involved, and have shown a high level of interest," Baker concluded.

Team members will be charged with supplying input and feedback on several growth-management scenarios comprised of information gathered by planning staff during a series of volunteer, land-use focus groups conducted late last year.

According to Baker, barring any snags, new or revised land-use policies resulting from team sessions could be inked in draft form as early as this spring, with final policies scheduled to be ready by sometime this fall.

Watershed study

In a change-of-heart decision this week, at the request of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association the board agreed to help fund a joint effort to complete an analysis of the watershed supplying reservoirs in the Pagosa Lakes community.

As a result, the board will eventually move forward with the appropriate budget amendment proceedings that will enable the release of $6,000 from the Road Capital Improvement Fund toward the watershed study.

The commissioners had previously elected not to participate - at least fiscally - in the study after an initial request for project funding was made by the PLPOA last year.

According to Bill Steele, county administrator, the decision against contributing funds originally hinged on the notion of fairness to county residents.

Since, said Steele, the initial belief was that "the primary benefactor would have been the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District," county residents not served by PAWS would, in effect, be paying for a study that would not directly benefit them.

However, following a review of new information supplied by Sue Walan, county engineer, and Dick McKee, county public works director - the board decided Tuesday to reconsider.

The county will benefit in the long run, said Walan, because the costs of a similar, required county study that "has to occur anyway" will be offset by the collaborative effort. (In addition to the county and the PLPOA, PAWS, the town of Pagosa Springs and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation are contributing as well.)

In conclusion, said Walan, though only about 10 percent of the study area lies within county boundaries, "This is an excellent opportunity ... we need to jump in and do our part."

According to Walan, the county's participation in the project will amount to a savings benefit equalling roughly $50,000.

Other actions taken this week by the board included:

- tabling consideration of a fee schedule regarding county right-of-way permits

- approving an agreement for professional services with Brillium Engineering regarding the fairgrounds sewer line extension

- accepting Sandra Bramwell's resignation from the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission

- reappointing Cindy Jackson to serve a three-year term on the Work Force Board

- approving grants related to the department of social services' implementation of social responsibility training

- approving an agreement with Drug and Alcohol Testing Associates for services related to the hiring of prospective county employees

- scheduling a public hearing regarding a conditional use permit for Mountain Creek Manor Bed and Breakfast for Feb. 3, 7 p.m.

- scheduling a work session regarding USRPC candidates, the Feb. 3 agenda and right-of-way permits for Jan. 28, 2:30 p.m.


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Winter-storm conditions possible this weekend

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Defying forecasts predicting a negligible chance for precipitation late last week, snow appeared with regularity across the Four Corners region during the past seven days.

Snowfall totals were as diverse as the Pagosa Country terrain, with higher elevations picking up to 16 inches of new snow while areas close to town received only 1-5 inches before showers tapered off early Wednesday.

Though sunshine is expected to persevere this afternoon and into tomorrow, the latest forecasts for the region indicate the second significant storm of the season could arrive by Saturday night.

"Right now it looks as if this next strong system could start to lay down some snow as early as Saturday night," said Joe Ramey, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"We expect the main thrust of the storm to hit Sunday morning, with snow accumulation continuing into Sunday night," he added.

"Our best guess is it will slow down by Monday morning, though the possibility for snow showers should remain through the middle part of next week," concluded Ramey.

According to Ramey, morning clouds and patchy fog should yield to sunny skies by this afternoon; high temperatures are predicted to peak in the mid-30s while lows should plunge to around zero.

Friday calls for partly-cloudy skies, highs in the 30s and lows in the 5-15 range.

Clouds are expected to increase throughout the day Saturday and snow showers (40-percent chance) are a possibility by evening. Highs should hit the mid-30s; lows are predicted in the single-digit range.

Sunday's forecast includes a 50-percent chance for snow, highs in the 30s and lows around 10.

The forecasts for Monday through Wednesday predict breezy conditions, a 30-percent chance for snow showers, highs in the 25-35 range and lows in the single digits.

The average high temperature recorded last week at Stevens Field was 37 degrees. The average low was 9 degrees. Precipitation/moisture totals for the week amounted to .20 inches; snow depth equalled 1.5 inches.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit depth of 111 inches, a midway depth of 103 inches and a year-to-date snowfall total of 245 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 between 160-170 percent of average.

San Juan River flow ranged from approximately 50 cubic feet per second to 60 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of Jan. 22 is roughly 55 cubic feet per second.



Sports Page

Parks & Rec

Thirty six games have been played in youth basketball

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

We started youth basketball play Jan. 10 in the 9-10 and the 11-12 divisions.

As of today we will have played over 36 games in both divisions.

League record will determine final seeding for the end of the season single elimination tournament.

Championship Saturday is scheduled Feb. 7 and will feature both divisional championship games at the community center gymnasium, with the first game scheduled for 10 a.m.

Please check the Sports Hotline at 264-6658 for weekly updates on recreation schedules.

We are trying to get schedule data online at townofpagosa springs.com or call Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Community center news

Mercy Korsgren, community center facility coordinator, wears many hats in running the center. This week she put on her fund-raising cap, and raised money for the community center.

She brought the Harlem Ambassadors to town for a fun, entertaining night of basketball. Playing to a packed house against some of our local basketballers, the event brought some great laughs and great opportunity for our children to see some quality players in action.

Many locals are not aware the community center is owned and managed by a nonprofit group that pays the bills with user fees and fund-raisers. Hats off to Mercy for providing the public such a win-win night of entertainment.

Her efforts to raise money are nonstop, so if you would like to donate or ask her questions about the center call 264-4152. Your time and donations are appreciated.

Skate ponds

The warmer weather and the tremendous amount of snow we received at the start of the new year does not help our skating ponds.

The snow serves as an insulator on the ice. Pockets and uneven mounds of frozen snow make for less than ideal skating. It does not help when skaters get on the pond before the ice sets up, making for even more bad skating.

So, please be attentive to the posting on the ponds, especially on the nights that we resurface them.

Organizational meeting

Since Jan. 13 we have hosted open gym nights for both men and women each Tuesday and Thursday at the junior high and intermediate school gyms.

Tonight there will be a meeting of coaches, managers, and players wishing to get on a team. League rules and format of the league will be outlined and rosters passed out.

Team managers must fill out rosters and turn them in with players' fees and sponsorship fees by Jan. 29. We expect to start league play by Feb. 9.

To date we have had no women showing up for open gym, so if anyone has any interest in organizing a women's league, please attend this meeting.


Forrest nets 27 as Pirates blast Bloomfield 66-27

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

How does a "mercy rule" work south of the border?

Head Coach Jim Shaffer and the Pirates found out last weekend during the brief second half of Pagosa's 66-27 win over an overmatched Bloomfield, N.M. squad.

Apparently, New Mexico's high school basketball rules indicate once the point differential hits 35, the "merciful" clock should stop only for two-shot fouls and time-outs.

That being the case, thanks to a first half in which Pagosa topped the 50-point mark for the second game in a row, most Pirate fans on hand for Friday's 7:30 p.m. contest were home in time for a midnight snack.

Pagosa big men Caleb Forrest and Clayton Spencer set the tone in the first quarter, combining for 11 early points as the Pirates jumped out to an 11-4 lead with three minutes gone.

Then a rejection by Spencer led to a layin from Ryan Goodenberger, a deuce by Forrest was followed by a three-point drive from Ty Faber and with 3:15 to play the lead was 18-5 in favor of the visitors.

Unable to solve the inside problem posed by Forrest, the Bobcats fell further behind as the 6-8 junior added five more points in the quarter to finish with a first-frame total of 14.

In addition, Goodenberger and Luke Brinton aided the Pirate cause by pumping in a combined three from the line, and by quarter's end Pagosa led by 20 at 26-6.

Forrest and Goodenberger supplied a total of six from the line to answer a lone charity toss from Bloomfield's Eric Hellekson early in the second, and after a layin from Pirate senior Casey Belarde, Pagosa led 34-7.

The margin soon expanded to 44-11 behind a deuce from Craig Schutz, free throws from Spencer, a Brinton layin and a trey and free throw from Jeremy Caler.

A resounding tomahawk jam from Forrest in the final 90 seconds had Bobcat fans reaching for their car keys, and the half ended with the Pirates up 52-17 after a pair of Belarde layins and an inside dish from Faber to Forrest.

With the mercy rule in effect to start the second half, Forrest supplied the Pirates' first five with a layin followed by a flush and free throw before retiring for the evening with his team up 57-17.

By the time Caler connected with a trey at the three-minute mark to make it 60-17, the majority of those previously in attendance were present no more.

Craig Schutz added two from the stripe for Pagosa, and though the Bobcats got late-quarter baskets from Sam McGee and Patrick Navarro, at the end of three Bloomfield trailed 62-21.

Casey Schutz, Craig Schutz and Otis Rand supplied free throws to counter a combined six from McGee and G.W. Riley in the accelerated fourth quarter, and the final horn sounded with the Pirates on top 66-27.

Forrest led all scorers with 27 points and pulled in 10 rebounds. Caler added seven points, followed by Belarde, Goodenberger, Spencer and Craig Schutz with six apiece.

Faber dished out seven assists and tallied five steals, while Goodenberger totaled five assists and three thefts.

The win improved Pagosa's overall record to 10-0 (1-0 in IML play) heading into a nonleague, 7 p.m. contest tonight with Kirtland, N.M.

League rival Monte Vista hosts Pagosa tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., and due to a late addition to the Pirates' schedule, Pagosa will take the home floor Saturday for a nonleague clash with Battle Mountain.

Game time against the Class 4A Huskies is set for 2 p.m.


Scoring: Forrest 9-14, 9-10, 27; Goodenberger 1-3, 4-4, 6; Craig Schutz 1-4, 4-4, 6; Casey Schutz 0-3, 1-2 1; Spencer 2-5, 2-2, 6; Kern 0-2, 0-0, 0; Faber 1-2, 1-1, 3; Caler 2-8, 1-2, 7; Brinton 1-4, 1-2 3; Belarde 3-4, 0-0 6; Ross 0-0, 0-0 0; Rand 0-2, 1-2 1; Przybylski 0-0, 0-0 0; Shaffer 0-0, 0-0 0. Three-point goals: Caler 2. Fouled out: None. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 18. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 41. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 18.


Offensive outburst quiets Bayfield in 83-51 Pirate win

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

What happens when the Intermountain League's best defensive team decides to send a rather loud message on offense?

If you're a Pagosa Springs opponent, most likely - you lose big.

Over the past two seasons, a black-plague defense has become a trademark for Head Coach Jim Shaffer and the Pirates.

But in Pagosa's IML opener against visiting Bayfield last week, it was obvious the Pirates can be a formidable offensive threat as well.

After posting a modest total of 46 points in a Jan. 9 victory over Aztec, Shaffer's crew hung 50 Friday night on the Wolverines - in the first half - while easily coasting to an 83-51 win.

Pirate senior Ty Faber was generous early and often after teammate Clayton Spencer controlled the tip; assists to Caleb Forrest, Ryan Goodenberger and Spencer had the home team up 8-2 with just under six minutes to play in the first quarter.

Then Spencer poured in the next six for Pagosa before Bayfield's C.J. Bell scored his third point of the game with a free throw and the Pirates led 16-3 at the four-minute mark.

Bayfield's Troy McCoy hit a jumper for the Wolverines, but a layin from David Kern, a trey from Spencer and another deuce from Kern put the Pirates up 21-5 with a minute left in the frame.

McCoy added a late basket for Bayfield to answer a pair of free throws from Forrest, and the first period ended with both teams piled atop a loose ball and the Pirates leading 23-7.

The Pirates put the game out of reach early in the second; Forrest netted two inside, Faber knocked down a three from the top of the arc and Spencer got two on the block to widen the gap to 30-7.

Faber scored with a put-back with 5:55 to play, then a steal by Coy Ross following a Bayfield time-out led to an interior deuce from Craig Schutz and Pagosa led 34-7.

Bayfield's scoring pace picked up in the heated final minutes of the half, but the Wolverines grew increasingly frustrated as the Pirates continued to pull away.

Ross followed a jumper from teammate Casey Belarde with a drive and free-throw to complete a three-point play after a hard foul, and Pagosa led 39-10 with 3:53 to play.

Craig Schutz added to the margin with a pair from the line, Jeremy Caler nailed a trey and Goodenberger hit a baseline jumper to make it 46-19 in favor of the home team.

Bell and Kyle Guilliams scored a pair each for the Wolverines, but a deep jumper from Faber and left hook from Forrest had the Pirates up 50-23 at the horn.

Pagosa got four straight from Forrest and a free throw from Kern to counter five from the Wolverines early in the third, then a deuce from Craig Schutz and three-point play from Luke Brinton pushed the lead to 60-28 midway through the quarter.

Ross and Kern combined for the Pirates' next six from the line, and the quarter closed with Pagosa leading by 38 after a breakaway buzzer-beater from Kern made it 68-30.

Caler hit Forrest underneath for a reverse layin seconds into the fourth quarter, and the Pirates led 70-30 before the referees began to call it tight and fouls slowed the pace of the game to a crawl.

Spencer, Brinton and Paul Przybylski added free throws to counter a late flurry of baskets from the Wolverines, and the Pirates led 75-48 with 2:01 to play.

Bayfield's Sam McDonald hit a late trey for the Wolverines, but a three from Przybylski and a deuce each from Kern and Casey Schutz helped send Pirate fans home happy and preserved a 32-point win.

High scorers for Pagosa were Forrest with 16, Spencer with 14, Kern with 9 and Ross and Faber with seven apiece.

Spencer led the defensive effort with five steals, followed by Kern and Goodenberger with three each.

Faber led in the assist category with six, while Goodenberger and Belarde each handed out three.

The win boosted Pagosa's overall record to 9-0 (1-0 in IML play) heading into a nonleague contest with host Bloomfield, N.M. the following evening.

The Pirates' agenda this week includes a late addition to the schedule - a home game against Battle Mountain has been set for 2 p.m. Saturday in the high school gym.

Pagosa will take on the Class 4A Huskies after traveling to Kirtland, N.M. tonight for a 7 p.m. contest and heading to the San Luis Valley tomorrow to battle league rival Monte Vista at 7:30 p.m.


Scoring: Forrest 7-13, 2-2, 16; Goodenberger 2-6, 0-0, 4; Craig Schutz 2-4, 2-2, 6; Casey Schutz 1-1, 0-2 2; Spencer 6-9, 1-2, 14; Kern 3-5, 3-4, 9; Faber 3-5, 0-0, 7; Caler 1-4, 0-0, 3; Brinton 1-5, 2-4 4; Belarde 1-1, 0-1 2; Ross 1-2, 5-5 7; Rand 0-0, 1-2 1; Przybylski 1-2, 3-4 6; Shaffer 1-2, 0-4 2. Three-point goals: Caler 1, Faber 1, Spencer 1, Przybylski 1. Fouled out: None. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 20. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 29. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 20.



Senior Men's Golf League accepting membership bids

The Northern New Mexico Senior Men's Golf Association is accepting membership applications for the 2004 season.

Members must have attained the age of 55 in 2003, and reside in northern New Mexico or southern Colorado.

The association will be playing 25 tournaments in various cities throughout the two-state area from April through September.

The championship tournament will be at Los Campanas Golf Course in Santa Fe in late September.

Tournaments are scheduled, in alphabetical order, at Angel Fire Country Club, Arroyo del Oso Golf Club, Black Mesa Golf Club, Cattails Golf Club, Chamisa Hills Country Club, Four Hills Country Club, Grandote Peaks Golf Club, Los Alamos Golf Club, Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe, New Mexico Tech Golf Club, Paa'ko Ridge Golf Club, Pagosa Springs Golf Club, Pendaries Golf Club, Pinion Hills Golf Club, Rio Grande Golf Club, Riverview Golf Club, Santa Ana Golf Club, Santa Fe Country Club, Taos Country Club, Towa Golf Club, and University of New Mexico South Golf Course.

The schedule of play and membership applications are available now. Membership is $35 per year. Contact NNMSMGA, Attention: Brooks Wilson, Executive Director, PO Box 40, Cimarron, NM 87714 or call (505) 376-6394.



Turnovers doom Ladies' comeback at Bloomfield

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

If someone would just tell coach Bob Lynch which of his Pirate teams is going to show up on the floor, it would help him avoid severe headache.

A 64-53 loss to Bloomfield, a game in which no five players could put together consecutive good quarters is a prime example.

His charges played an excellent first period Saturday against Bloomfield on the latter's home court and trailed just 13-11 as senior Sunni Payne hit two free throws for the Bobcats just before the period ended.

Then came a second period in which the Pagosans could do little right, scoring only 10 points, four on free throws and defensively losing sight of the offense.

And, in a dramatic change from the previous night against Bayfield, the Pirates handed the ball over to Bloomfield 17 times in the first half, nine of those coming in the second period when both the rudder and sails of the Pirate ship seemed to come off.

Junior guard Amanda Gay took the Pirate gifts literally and drove the lane alone three consecutive times for layup field goals, then added a trey for good measure.

Breana Casaus, her running mate at guard, also benefitted from the Pirate's "here, you take it" attitude to hit a layup and a trey and then Calla Cox converted pair of field goals and a free throw. She would be the leading scorer in the game with 19.

Down 32-21 at the half, the other Pirates appeared on the floor in the third stanza.

Junior forward Bri Scott almost single-handedly pumped the Pirates back into the contest with an opening trey and a pair of inside baskets, one on a rebound of her own missed shot.

Those seven points came with no answer from Bloomfield and the lead was down to four. Junior forward Lori Walkup, silent in the first half, added a driving left-hand layup off a mid-court steal and Pagosa was down by just a pair at 32-30 at the 5:45 mark of the period.

Casaus answered with a deuce to stretch Bloomfield's lead back to four, but Pagosa wouldn't go away.

Sophomore point guard Liza Kelley drilled a long trey from the right side and the lead was cut to one.

Lindsey Sulthen got a Bobcat field goal and Cox added a free throw.

Then it was Caitlin Forrest's turn to shine. Snaring three consecutive rebounds underneath, she finally converted and at the 2:48 mark Pagosa had erased the Bloomfield lead and held onto a 37-36 margin of their own.

Kelley stretched the lead to four with her second trey of the period, and Emily Buikema hit an 8-foot turnaround jumper and Pagosa led 42-38 at the end of three.

Pagosa's defense was the downfall in the final period as the "other" team returned to the court in Pirate black.

With Casaus and Cox leading the way, the Bobcats charged back into the lead at 51-50 at the 4:17 mark.

Each had five points in the surge, Casaus a deuce and a trey and Cox two layouts driving the lane and a free throw.

Jewell, in early foul trouble in the game and silent in the first and third periods, came alive with six points for Pagosa during the Bobcat run, but fouled out with 3:43 remaining. That sent Cox to the line for a pair and she hit both to give the lead back to Bloomfield at 53-52.

That, for all intents and purposes was the end for the Pirates. They got only one more point in the game, a free throw from freshman Laurel Reinhardt.

Without Jewell to contest her, Cox hit another deuce and free throw and Gay and Jennie Smith each scored field goals on breakaways off errant Pagosa passes.

Scott and Kelley, who had led the Pirate scramble to the lead in the third period were both silenced in the fourth - as they had been in the second.

For Pagosa, starters Walkup and Jewell were blanked in the first and second and first and third periods respectively and Buikema and Forrest both were blanked in the fourth.

It was a valiant effort gone awry and the big bugaboo, as it had been in earlier losses to Cortez and Aztec, was turnovers, 30 in the game, just one short of the unremarkable 31 in a drubbing by Cortez.

So, if you can tell the coach which of his mystery teams is going to show up for which period, he might be able to work out a plan of attack.

Pagosa, even with Jewell in foul trouble, outrebounded Bloomfield 39-32 but that could be because Bloomfield had 12 more shots (53-41) from the floor as the Pirates handed the ball over.

Lynch with 11, Jewell with nine and Buikema and Scott with eight each were Pagosa's scoring leaders.

Pagosa goes back into IML play Friday with a 6:15 game at Monte Vista.


Scoring: P-Scott, 3-5 (1 trey), 1-1, 8; Lynch, 1-2 (1 trey), 3; Kelley, 4-5 (2 treys), 1-2, 11; Walkup, 2-6, 4; Reinhardt, 0-1, 1-2, 1; Maberry, 3-3, 6; Faber, 0-2, 1-2, 1; Jewell, 4-5, 1-2, 9; Buikema 3-10, 2-2, 8; Forrest, 2-5, 4. B-Casaus, 7-11, 1-3, 17; Sulthen, 2-3, 0-1, 4; Jasmine Cecil, 0-1, 2-3, 2; Gay, 5-12, 11; Payne, 2-4, 2-3, 6; Smith, 2-6, 2-4, 6; Cox, 6-16, 7-10, 19; Marieanne Yazzie, 0-6, 2-2, 2. total fouls, P-18, B-15. Total turnovers, P-30, B-11.




Early Pirate fusillade buries undergunned Wolverines

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

From the minute Bri Scott drilled a trey 17 seconds into the game there was no doubt of the outcome of Friday's contest.

Her score led the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates to a 49-16 win over an outgunned but game group of Bayfield Wolverines.

By the end of the first period, Pagosa was up 14-4, all of the Wolverine points by Cassie Dunavant on two from the foul line and a lone field goal.

Scott was joined in the scoring parade by sophomore point guard Liza Kelley with a three and a traditional deuce, junior forward Melissa Maberry with a 14-footer and junior center Caitlyn Jewell with four on two free throws and a rebound putback.

For Bayfield the second period on the Pirate's home court was an even worse embarrassment.

Their only point of the period came on a free throw by freshman Whitney Howard who would be their leading scorer in the game with eight.

It was a period in which the Pirates' Jewell took command inside and scored six points before taking a seat as coach Bob Lynch worked all his players into the action.

Scott and Kelley each had a field goal in the period as did junior forward Lori Walkup who took only one shot in the first half. Also getting into the second period scoring column was sophomore forward Caitlin Forrest with three for four from the charity stripe.

Up 31-5 at the half, the Pirates had only six turnovers, their lowest give-away rate for a half this season.

A 13-7 Pirate push in the third period was keyed by the suddenly active Walkup, scoring three field goals, two on driving layups of steals and one a pull-up jumper from 12 feet.

Bayfield got single field goals from Howard, Dunavant and Ashley Shaw and a free throw from Howard in the period the seven points their best output of the evening.

For Pagosa, Walkup got support from Jewell with another inside bucket, sophomore Emily Buikema scoring her only field goal of the game and Forrest chipping in a field goal and another charity toss.

It wasn't all good news for Pagosa, however. Jewell was helped off the floor with an apparent high ankle sprain at the 5:29 mark of the fourth period and was markedly limping afterward. She had scored two field goals in the stanza and they proved to be the last Pirate points, save a charity toss by freshman Laurel Reinhardt.

Despite holding Pagosa's reserves to just five points in the final period, Bayfield still was outscored 5-4, their only markers coming on a pair of field goals by the freshman Howard.

Lynch was happy to have the win to open play in the in Intermountain League, but noted Bayfield was without suspended regular starter Nikki Calderwood.

He was pleased with his team's defense which held Bayfield to only six field goals in 43 attempts, most of them hotly contested.

Bayfield was outrebounded 41-11, Maberry leading the Pagosa effort with 11 boards. Forrest was right behind with eight and Jewell had seven before her injury.

Pagosa was 18 of 55 from the floor and 11 of 19 from the foul stripe.

The Pirates were paced offensively by Jewell with 16. Buikema had two blocked shots to lead in that defensive category while Jewell led in steals with three and Kelley in assists with three.

The victory hiked the Pirates record to 9-2 for the season, both losses to Class 4A teams.

In other IML weekend action, league favorite Centauri drubbed Ignacio 74-42. Monte Vista, the other IML team, was not scheduled but will host Pagosa in their first league tilt at 6:15 p.m. Friday.


Scoring: P-Scott, 2-7 (one trey), 5; Lynch, 0-2, 2-2, 2; Kelley, 3-7 (one trey), 0-1, 7; Walkup, 4-5,0-0, 8; Reinhardt, 0-3, 1-2, 1; Maberry, 1-5, 2; Faber, 0-3, 0; Jewell, 7-10, 2-2, 16; Rivas, 0-1, 0; Buikema, 16, 2; Forrest, 1-6, 4-6, 6. B- Howard, 3-14, 2-6, 8; Shaw, 1-7, 2; Ivy Shank, 0-3,0; Dunavant, 2-10, 2-4, 6; Carrie Bulwan, 0-5, 0; Danika Friedby, 0-1, 0; Tawney Farmer, 0-1-0. Total fouls, P-17, B-11; total turnovers, P-18, B-15.



Wrestlers fifth in prestigious Alamosa Invitational

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pirate wrestlers continued to prove their worth in the tournament format, following up a win at the Rocky Mountain Tournament Jan. 10 with a fifth-place finish at the predictably tough Alamosa Invitational Jan. 17.

Each year, Alamosa coach Gary Ramstetter assembles a stellar cast for what is recognized as one of the most rugged small tourneys in the state.

The lineup this year made the tournament tougher than usual as the Mean Moose were joined by several Colorado 4A powers - Centaurus, Broomfield, Pueblo East, ThunderRidge, Montrose Douglas County and Delta - perennial New Mexico contender Aztec, and two strong 3A teams - Pagosa Springs and Rocky Ford.

"Four very good 4A teams beat us," said Pirate Coach Dan Janowsky. "We finished behind Alamosa, which won the tournament, Broomfield, Montrose and Delta. We finished ahead of the likes of Centaurus, Pueblo East and Aztec.

"It's always a tough tournament and it was a considerably tougher field this year. Things were consistently difficult, in every match."

Pirate senior Michael Martinez continued to build momentum heading into the last part of the regular season. Martinez took first place at 119 pounds and was named Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament.

"Being named the outstanding wrestler was particularly noteworthy," said Janowsky, "since they name only one wrestler at Alamosa, where most tournaments name outstanding wrestlers for upper and lower weights. It was a great signal of respect from an elite group of coaches."

Martinez stared his day with a 20-3 technical fall over an Aztec wrestler.

In semifinal action, Martinez forged a 16-5 decision over an Alamosa opponent.

In the finals, Martinez looked across the mat with a score to settle. His opponent: Derek Brewer, of Delta - the man who beat him at the Warrior Classic in December and handed him his only defeat of the season. Brewer took second place in Colorado 4A last season and has the stuff to take the title in the class this year.

"It was a hard-fought match all the way," said Janowsky. "It was a typical Michael Martinez match, with Michael picking up the pace all the way along. Brewer was really tired by the end of the match." And Martinez had his revenge with a 2-1 victory.

Pagosa had one other tournament champ at Alamosa - Kory Hart, at 152.

Hart, like fellow senior Martinez, has been a force and is a key leader on this year's team.

He began his trek to the Alamosa championship facing a Centaurus athlete and defeating him 13-4.

Next up, a ThunderRidge opponent fell to Hart, 7-2.

Hart captured first place in one of the most exciting matches of the day - against hometown favorite, Antonio Aguilar. Hart scored a controversial takedown at the buzzer ending regulation time to win with an 8-6 decision.

"Kory is doing everything you want him to do," said the coach. "He's working on specific weaknesses during his matches, constantly trying to improve his core techniques."

Sophomore James Martinez gets better each week at 215, proving the point with a second-place finish at Alamosa.

A first-period pin over an Aztec wrestler put Martinez in the semifinal against the No. 1 seed from Centaurus. This was a seesaw battle, but the Pirate came out ahead, winning with an 8-6 decision.

The young Pirate's only loss was to a strong competitor from Montrose.

"Bubba is exciting," said Janowsky of Martinez. "He's young and he shows a lot of promise. He showed a lot of improvement this week despite missing mat time while he recovered from an ankle injury (suffered at the Rocky)."

The last Pirate to medal at Alamosa was Marcus Rivas, at 189.

The junior pinned an Aztec wrestler in the first period. In the consolation semifinal, Rivas defeated a Delta opponent, 15-5.

"Marcus was battling a cold," said the coach, "and kind of ran out of gas in the fight for third, where he had a lead in the first part of the match. I tried to talk him out of fighting the match, but he insisted. All things considered, he did very well."

Other Pirates won matches and earned points for the team.

Orion Sandoval beat an Alamosa wrestler at 103 in a 5-0 decision. It was a step forward for Sandoval who lost to the same wrestler a week before.

Daren Hockett won one match at 125, defeating an Aztec athlete 8-4.

Sophomore Ky Smith was 2-2 at 130. Smith won a pigtail match, pinning an Alamosa wrestler then pinned a Rocky Ford opponent in the first period.

Aaron Hamilton was 2-2 at 145. The senior pinned a Rocky Ford wrestler in the third period and got a third-period pin over an opponent from Alamosa.

Sophomore Matt Nobles (171) came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat an Aztec athlete 7-5 in overtime.

"We did well," said Janowsky, "but we were a little flat in the early rounds. To put it in perspective, I care more about how competitive we are in individual matches than I care about the team score. We stayed in there in most of our matches."

The Pirates are back in dual meet mode this week, fighting the second of two critical battles with Intermountain League opponents at Centauri Friday night. It is a meet the Pirates must win in order to have any chance to finish ahead of Monte Vista for the IML title.

Action starts at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Falcons' gym at La Jara with junior varsity matches.


Pirate wrestlers pin Bayfield, stay in hunt for IML title

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

A 43-30 dual meet win Tuesday at Bayfield kept the Pirate wrestling team in contention for the Intermountain League title.

The meet began at 171 pounds, and by the time the action rolled around to 119, the Pirates had only one win and trailed the Wolverines 24-9.

That win came at 189, when Marcus Rivas earned a 5-3 decision over Sean Melrose.

Michael Martinez got the ball rolling again at 119 with a 17-2 technical fall over Quinn Overy.

Daren Hockett kept the train on the tracks at 125. The junior pinned Bayfield's Chris Simmons in the first period of the match.

Ky Smith repeated the performance at 130. The Pirate sophomore pinned Jason Cathcart in the first period.

At 135, Raul Palmer earned points when he decisioned Joe Vasdic, 11-3.

James Gallegos fought to a 17-6 decision over the Wolverines' Ryan Wirth.

At 145, Aaron Hamilton earned bonus points with a 19-3 technical fall over Jake Zink.

Kory Hart continued his winning ways at Bayfield, nailing a 15-2 major decision over Cody Moore.

"This was a solid performance, for our guys" said coach Dan Janowsky. "Nothing fancy, just solid. Bayfield put up a good fight in the middle weights."

Noting the 24-9 deficit early in the meet, the coach said it put "a bit of pressure on our guys. Bayfield's guys fought hard; they were hard to turn and hard to pin, but our kids kept their composure and got some solid wins that put us over the top."

Whether or not Pagosa is able to battle through to the IML title depends on the team's fortunes in dual meets against Centauri Friday, and Ignacio Feb. 5. It requires the team to win both duals and another IML team to defeat Monte Vista.

The Pirates lost a close dual to Centauri at the Buena Vista duals Dec. 13, but the team was not settled in terms of wrestlers moving to their expected weight classes.

Now, the team is essentially in place. "Our lineup is stronger now than it was at Buena Vista," said Janowsky, "and it will need to be." The reason? Centauri is likely to field a complete team, while the Pirates will surrender points with at least one, and perhaps two forfeits.

"A win is a difficult thing to pull off in their home gym," said the coach of the Falcons, "but I think we have a chance to do it."

The dual at La Jara begins tomorrow night at 6 p.m. The Pirates next action is at Del Norte Jan. 29 in a tri meet with the hosts and Salida.


Pee Wee Wrestling signups open

Pee Wee Wrestling will kick off the 2004 season with preregistration Feb. 5 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the junior high cafeteria.

Anyone with children between the ages of 5-14 interested in joining the team is encouraged to attend.

Regular practices are scheduled to begin Feb. 16 in the junior high mezzanine. Divisions 1 and 2 (ages 5-8) will practice 5:15-6:15 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. Divisions 3, 4 and 5 (ages 9-14) will practice 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Registration will remain open through the first week of practices.

For more information, call 264-6968.




Stunning answers

Dear Editor:

I'm saddened by last week's unanimous response to the "Whaddaya Think" piece on the most important news story of 2003.

Surely an administration that justifies preemptive war with lie upon lie must be a bigger story than the capture of some thug whom the U.S. armed, supported and encouraged right up to Gulf War I.

After more than a decade of sanctions, bombings and weapons inspections it was clear that what was left of the Iraqi's military was hardly a threat to its neighbors in the Middle East, and certainly not to the U.S.

This administration has not and cannot prove a link between Iraq and the events of 9/11, but they continue to cynically advance their agenda by hiding behind that tragedy. I hope that the "biggest story" of 2004 is a regime change right here at home.

Jamie Blechman

Letter derided

Dear Editor:

In response to Dick Babillis' letter Jan. 15, as newly appointed treasurer I was appalled at the misinformation presented by Mr. Babillis. I present the following information:

The disturbing call the temp bookkeeper placed to you was in response to the untimely request for our general ledger, check registries, and cancelled by Dick Blide, J.R. Ford and you. You said the bookkeeper discussed bank statements, payroll taxes, and delinquent notices, accounts receivable and payable with you. After speaking with the temp bookkeeper, she did not say anything about accounts payable or receivables nor delinquent notices. She had no knowledge of those issues as her only charge was bank reconciliations and payroll taxes.

You quoted me as saying everything was "hunky dory." I did not make this statement. My statement at the meeting was that due to the financial situation left by a past employee, bank reconciliations were not current and there was a need to verify all transactions before printing financials. I also stated that our figures were not believed to be fraudulent. I truly believe that the figures presented for the privatization proposal and budgets for 2004 were based on knowledge available at the time and as you will see at the January meeting, our figures are not that far off.

After several hours of copying records to meet the demands of J.R. Ford, Dick Blide (citizen) and The Pagosa SUN, I felt this took me away from my real job of reviewing the financials records for our next board meeting.

In regard to canceling the December meeting, a meeting was held Dec. 2 at which the majority agreed to cancel the Dec. 16 meeting to spend the time with our families for the holidays.

Dick, you did make one accurate statement - that there is an election in May.

So Dick, what is your truth? What about your unexpected resignation from the board in February 2003? Some people know the truth. Upon reviewing past financials and minutes under your direction as interim executive director and board chairman, I found the financials to be in horrible shape and employee morale, as stated by Dr. Wienpahl, was deplorable. So, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.

I know that the majority of our community is really tired of this barrage of attacks. It's really disturbing to me when a few citizens wish to keep us from our mission of providing quality health care by rebuilding the clinic and EMS for all people in our community.

Karl, in response to your editorial on Jan. 15 regarding financial questions of the district, it is our intention to give honest and accurate answers to the public. We hope to see you personally at our next board meeting. By coming to the meeting, you will bypass gossip, rumors and innuendos and receive official information directly from the source.

Debra Brown

Editor's note: Thanks so much for the invitation, but our reporter, Tess Noel Baker, has covered the district situation accurately and fairly and I have no doubt she will continue to do so when she reports on your Jan. 27 meeting. For those who wish to attend, the meeting will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center at 5:30 p.m.

Scathing report

Dear Editor:

It was difficult to recognize that Patty Tillerson and I were commenting on the same Colorado Department of Health report in our recent letters to the editor. Director Tillerson failed to mention that the report was a dual function report.

The section of the report which said in part "the allegations that the clinic was no longer safely staffed or functioning were unsubstantiated" was the result of a November 2003 investigation of a July 2003 complaint. The clinic was understaffed when the complaint was filed but was not during the November investigation. It was like comparing apples and oranges.

The balance of what Ms. Tillerson calls "this excellent report" was a recertification investigation and was a scathing report of serious legal and operational violations at the clinic. There were over 35 references in the report regarding lack of policies, no regulations, no documentation, failure to report an incident, failure to post a required public notice, no protocols, and others, and 10 violations of law.

While Ms. Tillerson calls the report "this excellent report," I choose to be more accurate in calling it a disgrace.


Pat Curtis

True diversity

Dear Editor:

The University of Michigan case has proven that its admissions policies are concurrently inclusive and exclusive. It therefore commits at least two crimes at once - against society and both entrants.

Sandra D. O'Connor said this color-coded discrimination should continue for another 25 years. This means the so-called playing field must be artificially leveled by requiring lower standards for those of the correct color and off the chart standards for entrants of the wrong color. People of the wrong color won't be allowed because they're too smart. This also is admitting that their public education system does not work.

Because of what happened in the past, it's all right to take it out on those in the present.

Anyone who is in favor of affirmative action which has been warped into forced diversity of color, not ideas, ambition, accomplishment, or solutions, are either of very low IQ, racists, or very guilty for what their own ancestors caused.

America is supporting their de facto lawsuit but it has no representation and has not seen its day in court. We, the American people, have been denied our right to face our accusers. We have not seen the specific charges other than racism, which is a generalized accusation. We have not seen times, names, dates and specific infractions etc. In the past there certainly have been vicious racial incidents against members of minorities, but the then current infractor is who should have been nailed, not everybody else.

Light bulb: If somebody does something wrong, that person should pay for it, not everybody else. What a novel, but truly just concept that is not being applied.

Jesse Jackson says more African Americans should be CEOs, but why not let the people earn their way to the top instead of being granted their positions via extortion because of some professional shortfall, i.e., being admitted to a school with subpar qualifications makes them qualified.

He also says this is democratic. To force something on somebody is dictatorial and this just shows us how he thinks and it's because of the stuff he's gotten away with.

Even Queen Hillary says to let the private sector handle this issue. She used to be a Republican. If MLK could see what people such as Jesse Jackson have done to his cause of justice for all Americans, regardless of color, he'd be appalled.

Here's another problem they've created: They've applied affirmative action, which was intended for disadvantaged Americans, internationally, therefore making whites the true minority in America.

True diversity will be found in one individual after another, some six billion of them/us, but this is an uncontrollable quantity and magnitude to those who are in overqualified positions in the public sector. Diversity will never be exemplified by groups or group thought.

John Feazel

Slap in the face

Dear Editor:

I lived in Pagosa for most of my life. I am no longer around Pagosa, however I was home for Christmas and something struck me that perhaps might spark a thought in your head too.

A while ago I joined the Army and have spent the last eight months both loving every moment and dreading the next for the torture it might bring. This is the nature of being a soldier. It is difficult at times, to say the least.

While I was home, I was visiting an establishment that need not be named, and being that it is already outrageously priced I had the audacity to ask for a military discount. Normally I don't ask for special recognition for what I've chosen to do with a minimum of five years of my life but the price was a bit daunting for anyone who makes $900 a month after taxes, so I asked.

The person behind the counter smiled and asked for ID, which I presented. With a glance they nodded and happily knocked a dollar off the price.

I'd almost rather get slapped in the face and pay full price.

Not to say I don't appreciate saving a dollar, but is our whole town like this? This is not about the money. It is about the respect that all soldiers putting life on the line to protect freedom deserve.

Does that one dollar speak of respect? Do the real heroes of our country, the ones who went to the desert and heard what it is like to have an RPG go by their head, come to Pagosa with their family and get that same slap in the face?

I hope not, and that is what I would ask every businessperson in Pagosa to ask themselves. Do we appreciate what the soldiers of the U.S. military do for us, today and have done throughout our history?

Zecheriah Flaugh

A travesty

Dear Editor:

In regard to the non-construction and delay of pavement to the section of Village Drive between Piñon Causeway and Talisman Drive - it's a travesty.

I have made phone call after phone call to the town and county but no one seems to take responsibility for the road. If it had just been left alone until weather permitted, there would be little problem.

It is one of the busiest roads in the Pagosa Lakes area because of the rerouting of Talisman Drive. Something needs to be done about this immediately. My colleagues and myself have to drive this road at least four times a day, and have to drive two miles per hour with much abuse to our vehicles. I feel this was a very poorly planned and irresponsible action.

This area of town is where most of the tourists reside while they visit our town. I wonder what they think about our town when they have to drive down a road filled with Mesa Verde-sized potholes everywhere they go with no way to get around them. I do not think they are very impressed.

In response to this letter and the outrage of the community, I have acquired 108 signatures. This letter, along with the signatures, has been delivered to the county commissioners and the town administration offices.

Hopefully, this problem will be resolved directly and these practices will be looked at more thoroughly in the future.

James E. (Rick) Harvey

Wake up call

Dear Editor:

If you live on a National Forest boundary, if you are a hunter, hiker or outdoor enthusiast, are you aware the Forest Service can trade your favorite National Forest area for development?

Are you aware that the Forest Service in Pagosa Springs is actively considering trading the Job Corps site four miles from town on Piedra Road to an out-of-state developer?

The Job Corps forest site is widely known to Pagosa's residents as a rich wildlife area (bear, mule deer, elk, turkey, fox, coyote) and is both an elk migration route and elk wintering area. It is widely used by our residents to hunt, hike, picnic and in general, enjoy the outdoors.

The Forest Service is considering trading this 350-acre piece of land for development in exchange for a 62-acre parcel, known as Laughlin Park, off Jackson Mountain Road and a 160-acre parcel, known as Spiler Canyon, 40 miles south of town. Both of these parcels are surrounded by thousands of acres of National Forest on all four sides and would have little added benefit for the people of Pagosa and our wildlife.

While the Laughlin park property is valued by the Forest Service, there are other options for the service to acquire this land (i.e., grant funding) rather than trading away valuable property used by Pagosans.

Once the Job Corps site is turned over for development, its availability for use by the public and wildlife is lost forever.

A group of citizens, known as Pagosans For Public Land, has been formed to assure that Pagosa's interests are heard and respected on this issue. This group believes the exchange is not in the best interest of the people of Pagosa.

If you do not want to see your public land traded away, call the Forest Service at 264-1512 and ask to be placed on the mailing list for information concerning the Laughlin Park-Job Corps site land exchange. For more details, call Marcia Jarvis of Pagosans for Public Land at 731-6586.

Marcia Jarvis

'Bush bashing'

Dear Editor:

Isn't it wonderful: Mr. Jim Buslepp in his SUN letter of Jan. 15 put one straight.

Congratulations, you are 100-percent correct Mr. Buslepp. Any resident of this country should be earnestly admonished if not wholeheartedly supporting its warriors while they are defending your freedoms. Unfortunately, ya left out something.

Any so-called American who prefers to sling implied uninformed barbs at a president because he's not a liberal Democrat should also be rebuked. Better yet, they should just relocate to another country.

The vehemence of your "Bush Bashing" utilizing U.S. veterans and their benefits as a goat in this critical election year is not going to help liberal Democrats defeat the current commander-in-chief. Ya might as well face the fact that each of your current candidates' scents is beyond stink. The liberal quest to regain the White House will not prevail employing negativity gibes; so sorry.

By the way, ya might want to digest the Archuleta County Veteran Service Officer's Jan. 15 column in The SUN. Andy Fautheree mentions that Congress had just approved a huge increase in the VA budget. Of course, it could be that Andy is totally uninformed.

Do not hesitate to let us know via these columns if you are more informed concerning current and future VA benefits than Fautheree. Other county veterans and I would be most interested in reading your ameliorations.

Regardless, I am confident that any war-related trauma or injury to our patriots is covered by my country.

Jim Sawicki

Save Mary Fisher

Dear Editor:

Jim Knoll and Robert Brown are the obvious best selections to bring experience, common sense and reason to the board.

The people of this community are lucky that these fine two gentlemen are willing to give of themselves to this effort.

I hope they will be only rewarded with like kind civility and respect.

Christopher Smith

Truth of matter

Dear Editor:

As a twice-elected member of the USJHSD board, I must comment on the truth of matters presented by the editor in last week's SUN.

Dick Blide was acting on his own as a private citizen rather than a representative of the board as stated. Members of the board had agreed to have all financials completed and printed by the January meeting.

Since all district records are not public, following legal counsel advice, we had to remove all patient names from the ledger prior to release. This activity required many extra hours from our employees. The review is complete and honest answers will be provided at the meeting.

Dick Blide was well aware of the situation with a former employee who was terminated due to lack of performance. This activity by that employee meant that all records of several months back had to be reexamined for accuracy - or would the public rather we simply accept the reports of that employee without question?

I doubt it.

So, again, Dick Blide uses his position on this board to discredit our capable and responsible employes. If Blide were a board member truly committed to the business on whose board he serves, he would surely understand that things were, by necessity, "a work in progress."

Dick Blide must stand for election in May.

Patty Tillerson

Editor's note: Contacted Wednesday, Blide asserted his request for access to records was made as a director of the district.

Blide will stand for election, if he chooses to run. In that same position are current directors Charles Hawkins and Debra Brown. The seat on the board occupied by Ken Morrison will be filled at the May election since term limitation will keep Morrison from running again. Two new directors, slated to be picked at the Jan. 27 meeting will also have the choice of running for the seats in May.


Community News

Senior News

Canasta planned on Wednesdays in February

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

If you hasta play Canasta, come to the senior center!

We have a lot of people signed up so we are starting a 1 p.m. class Wednesdays in February. Whether you need basic instruction, a refresher course or can play like a pro, come join us for a game of Canasta. First game starts Feb. 4.

San Juan Basin Health is presenting a free course for family caregivers. This course is designed to help families acquire the skills they need to provide safe, confident home care.

Classes include detailed instruction on how to care for someone on bed rest, personal care, safe wheelchair use, medication management, infection control, fall prevention, fire safety, and more.

Attend these supportive, information-packed classes in the downstairs conference room at San Juan Basin Health in Durango Jan. 24 and 31, and Feb. 27, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. For more information, call Karen Forest at 247-5702, Ext. 248.

Old George, the ranch hand at the SC_0 remembers nursery rhymes from long ago:

"A wise old owl lived in an oak.

"The more he heard the less he spoke.

"The less he spoke the more he heard.

"Now wasn't that a wise old bird?"

Since a lot of people don't know what curds and whey are, you know this is an old one:

"Little Miss Muffet, sat on her tuffet

"Eating her curds and whey.

"Along came a spider and sat down beside her

"Frightening Miss Muffet away."

"There was a great one about Casey Jones, but I only remember snippits of it. Anyone know how that went?" asks George.

To reminisce with Old George, you might want to come down to have lunch at the SC_0 (Senior Center Bars None) around noon, (except Thursdays. You'd be surprised at some of the stories of old we hear.

By the way, "Old George" is one of our art instructors, and we are doing the art class again Mondays at 12:45 p.m. Whether you are new to art, or an old pro, you will want to check out this class.

Our next 55 Alive Class is scheduled March 3-4, 1-5 p.m. It is still only $10 and still at the Methodist church. For more information, call Don Hurt at 264-2337.

We have a source available for people who need diabetic shoes. These shoes are also good for people with a history of partial or complete foot amputation, history of previous foot ulceration, peripheral neuropathy with evidence of callus formation, foot deformity or just poor circulation.

If you have diabetes and Medicare, you could get a significant discount on these shoes. For more information, call (719) 754-2488 to schedule an appointment.

What are some signs of Parkinson's disease?

Although tremor, muscle rigidity and slowness of movement are the most common symptoms, others that occur less frequently include:

- episodes of "freezing" in which there is sudden difficulty in walking, particularly in turning or moving through a doorway

- dementia, characterized particularly by decreased memory for recent events

- depression.

Are you knowledgeable in Medicare?

If so, we can use your help. We are looking to provide free training for one or two individuals in the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program. For more information, call Musetta at 264-2167.


Friday - Qi Gong, 10 a.m. Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.

Jan. 24 - Pick up ColoradoSHARE food orders at First Assembly of God, 10 a.m.

Jan. 26 - Paraffin treatments, 12:30 p.m.; Mary K. Taylor, Southwest Center for Independence representative here, 12:45 p.m.; bridge for fun, 1 p.m.

Jan. 27 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; advanced computer class, 10:30

Jan. 28 - Beginning computer class, 10:30 a.m.

Jan. 30 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m. ; Medicare counseling, 11 Blood pressure check, 11; senior board meeting, 12:45; celebrate birthdays, noon


Friday - Swiss Steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, Brussels sprouts, whole wheat roll, pineapple

Monday - Salmon patty- lemon, mixed vegetables. parsley noodles, Waldorf salad, sherbet

Tuesday -Pasta Primavera, tossed salad, garlic roll, orange wedges, chocolate cake

Wednesday - Roast turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, three-bean salad, roll, pears

Friday - Breaded pork chops, whipped yams, broccoli, whole wheat roll, spiced applesauce


Chamber News

Jesse Formwalt, Patti Renner

and Tony Gilbert new directors

By Sally Hamiester

Three new Chamber of Commerce directors were elected Saturday night, and we are delighted to welcome them to the fold and look forward to working with them for the next three years.

Congratulations to Jesse Formwalt, Patti Renner and Tony Gilbert who will be joining the ranks Friday for the all-day Chamber board planning session at Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat. Bob and Mary Hart are kind enough to give us one of their beautiful cabins for the day which allows us to ponder the year ahead in a comfortable, homey setting.

We want to thank Sherry Neill and Robin Auld for appearing on this year's ballot and running a great race. We always think that everyone on the ballot would make a good director, be a great addition to the board and hate it that anyone has to lose.

Awards aplenty

We also offer our heartfelt congratulations to our 2003 Citizen of the Year, Judy James, and our 2003 Volunteers of the Year, Bonnie Masters and Dick Babillis. We were honored to have Mayor Ross Aragon present the Citizen award and sorry that Bonnie and Dick were not with us to accept their well-deserved accolades.

Top Pagosa Pride certificates were presented to Summit Ski and Sportswear, Pagosa Fire Protection District and Wells Fargo Bank. Honorable mention for Pagosa Pride was awarded to Big O Tires, The Club, Pagosa Health and Fitness, Davis Engineering Service, Inc. and Bogey's Mini Golf.

Mardi Gras

We had quite the party Saturday night and it sure looked like everyone had a grand old time at the annual Mardi Gras.

Any successful event is the result of a lot of hard work and dedication, and this year's Mardi Gras is no exception. We thank the following folks who worked their little hearts out decorating and tearing down the five rooms we used: Toby and Renae Karlquist, Angie Gayhart, Ron and Sheila Hunkin, Sally and Walter Hovatter, Scott and Kris Asay, Bob Eggleston, Will and Christi Spears, Bob and Jesse Formwalt, Sherry Neill and Patti Renner. The work always goes so much more quickly with more hands, and we are grateful to those who shared their hands.

We presented a well-deserved "thank you" award to Mike Alley and La Plata Electric for their ongoing public service to the community and Chamber with flag and banner hanging efforts with their great crew and blessed cherry picker. They have always been terrific with helping us with our flags and are now hanging the banners in town.

Best Costume prizes were awarded to Sally and Walter Hovatter for the most colorful ensembles I've seen in a long time, and the baby in the King Cake was discovered by Eleanor Shelton who won a year's free membership. Thanks to Don and Mary McKeehan and Ron and Sheila Hunkin for being our ballot counters this year, and to Michael DeWinter at The Plaid Pony for the loan of two big vases, for donating Mardi Gras decorations and for the perfectly lovely arrangement he put together from The Evil One. Thanks too to Jeff Laydon for being the official Mardi Gras photographer for the evening. We could never put on any event without the help of our friends, and we are so grateful to each and every one for their contribution.

Free counseling

If you would like to spend some time with an expert on business in the Four Corners area, just give us a call at 264-2360 and we'll set up an appointment with Joe Keck, director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College. Joe is a great guy who will be happy to discuss any and all aspects of business with you right here at the Visitor Center Jan. 27 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 or 4 in the afternoon. He normally makes the sessions for around an hour, but will be happy to spend all the time you need.


It looks like we'll be able to safely say that the "Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race" will take place at 1 p.m. Feb. 8, at the Best Value High Country Lodge located three miles east of town on U.S. 160. The past several years have been difficult to predict because of the lack of snow, but I think we'll be good this year, and Dick and Kathey Fitz are always gracious and enthusiastic hosts for this event.

We have already received several phone calls inquiring about this wild and wooly race, so if you are interested, please give us a call or stop by. You will need to fill out a form for us, so please let us know.

Colds and flu

The Pagosa Community Health Alliance will present an open discussion on preventing and treating colds and flu 2-4 p.m. Sunday in the lobby of the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center on South Pagosa Boulevard.

Panelists for this discussion include Dr. Dan Hepburn, Dr. Edward Norman, Dr. Marianne Calvanese and certified herbalist, Jenny Blechman. Moderator will be Penny Greenwell, and this event is sponsored by the Upper San Juan Health Service District. Each panelist will make a brief presentation of his or her perspective and then take questions from the audience.

For more information, please contact Greenwell at 731-9559 or Norman at 264-4772.

Brazil ski article

You may or may not have read the article that appeared in The Dallas Morning News last year written by Ben Brazil extolling the many virtues of the Wolf Creek Ski Area. It's a great piece and, evidently, so good they reprinted it Jan. 9. If you would like to see it, please stop by and we will share it with you.


We are happy indeed to welcome two new businesses this week, one of which hails all the way from Jensen Beach, Fla., and seven renewals.

We first welcome Jack McKim who brings us the Edelweiss Townhome at 517 Alpine Drive, Units A and B, just six miles from downtown Pagosa. This townhome is brand new and boasts 1,400 square feet with three bedrooms, two full baths and a half bath. Wolf Creek Ski Area is only fifteen miles down the road with easy access off U.S. 160. Just walk out the door to the San Juan River and beautiful nature walks. Please call Jack at (305) 505-0409 for more information about Edelweiss Townhome.

Carole Walters joins us next with At Your Service Travel, LLC, with offices in her home. At Your Service offers a full range of travel services with specialized services such as: honeymoon bridal registry; custom itineraries for anywhere in the world; cruises, including small ships and special interests and laid-back adventures for the curious traveler. You can call Carole at 731-1819 for more information about At Your Service Travel.

Our renewals this week include Michael Hanosh with The Hanosh Agency/Allstate; Larry and Heidi with ANCO Southwest Insurance Services, Inc.; Joe Steele with Main Street Antiques, LLC; Fred C. Harman with Fred Harman Art Museum; John Steinert with Juan's Mountain Sports; Liz Marchand with Reach for the Peaks and Judy Cramer with the San Juan Outdoor Club. Our thanks to each and every one.

Tree, shrub orders

The San Juan Conservation District is taking orders for seedling trees and shrubs to be planted especially 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 and 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.

Photography contest

Don't forget the 16th annual photography contest coming up in February with an entry 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 inches.

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

La Dolce Vita

The Pagosa Film Society invites you to join them Jan. 27 for the screening of "La Dolce Vita," starring Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg and Anouk Aimee at Cactus Pete's beginning promptly at 7 p.m. John Graves stresses the "promptly" because the film runs around three hours, and also mentioned that it was probably not appropriate for children. If you plan to have dinner prior to the film, call Cactus Pete's for reservations at 731-0683.



Library News

Three winners in our book title contest

We had three winners in our literary contest; Mary Loudermilk, Barbara Rosner, and Leanne Goebel. They tied with eight correct answers each.

The title of "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway comes from the Hebrew Bible and Ecclesiastes, 1:4-5. "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose."

"From Here to Eternity," by James Jones, is from "Gentlemen Rankers," by Rudyard Kipling. "We're poor little lambs who have lost our way, We're little black sheep who have gone astray. Gentlemen-Rankers out on the spree, damned from here to eternity. God ha' mercy on such as we." (Also a Yale drinking song.)

"All the King's Men," by Robert Penn Warren - from "Humpty Dumpty" the nursery rhyme. "All the king's horses, and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again."

The title of "The Sound and the Fury," by William Faulkner came from Shakespeare's "Macbeth." "Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

"The Winter of Our Discontent," by John Steinbeck, is from "Richard III" by Shakespeare. "Now is the winter of our discontent ... made glorious summer by this sun of York "

"Grapes of Wrath," by John Steinbeck - lyrics from the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, he is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored "

"Butterfield 8," by John O'Hara, is from a telephone exchange in the Manhattan telephone book.

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," by Ken Kesey - from a children's rhyme. "Some fly east, some fly west, and some fly over the cuckoo's nest."

"For Whom the Bell Tolls," by Ernest Hemingway, is from a quotation from John Donne's "Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions." "No man is an island because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

The title of "Advise and Consent," by Allen Drury , is derived from the U.S. Constitution, which allows the Senate to restrain presidential powers of appointment and treaty making.

Congratulations to our three well-read participants. Their prizes are on the way.


Our building fund continues to grow thanks to a Director gift from Robert Ptolemy and Colorado Land Title Company. We received a Sponsor gift from Reverend Donald and Barbara Ford; Associate gifts from Michael and Onalee McEwen, Jack and Brenda Rottman; and a Donor gift from Elizabeth Muegge.

Other gifts came from Don Coughlin, and Cindy Gustafson in memory of her Aunt Eleanor Fitch.

Thanks for materials from Charlene Baumgardner, Peg Cooper, Marcy Norris, Linda Lawrie, Nicholas Afaami, Charlene Short and Nettie Trenk.


Veteran's Corner

Veterans eligible for VA home loan program, guarantees

Veterans who decide to buy a house are eligible for a home loan guarantee offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

As a rule of thumb, VA home loan eligibility usually requires the veteran received an honorable discharge and served 90-120 weeks of continuous military service, unless discharged for service-connected conditions. Unremarried widows of veterans who have died from service-connected disabilities are also eligible.

The VA does not make the loans. Rather, it guarantees the loans, which minimizes lenders' risks and reduces their losses in the event of foreclosure. The money comes from private lenders who volunteer to participate in the VA program.

Because of the guaranty, lenders are willing to offer mortgage loans larger than what service members otherwise might qualify for.

Home purchases

A VA loan can be used to buy a house, townhouse or condominium; a mobile home, with some restrictions; or a mobile home lot and a farm - but not farm-related items such as machinery or livestock.

VA buyers and lenders can negotiate interest rates. Discount points also are negotiable and can be paid by the buyer or seller.

Down payment: VA does not generally require a down payment, though the lender might. The down payment on a VA loan is minimal; in many cases there is none.

Mobile homes

Mobile home buyers, however, must make a minimum down payment of 5 percent. Generally, VA lenders will lend up to four times the available entitlement without requiring a down payment.


A common misconception is that a VA loan can be used only once. There is no restriction on the number of times VA-backed loans can be obtained, as long as there is enough available entitlement to obtain the loan.

That means a veteran who bought a home using a VA loan can sell the home, pay off the loan and thus "restore entitlement," making him eligible for a new VA loan.

Restoration benefits

Veterans, on a one-time basis, can obtain restoration of entitlement without disposing of the property as long as the loan has been paid in full. Eligibility can be restored if the person buying the home is an eligible veteran who assumes the loan and substitutes his entitlement for that of the original veteran.

Funding fees

Recipients of VA home loans pay a funding fee similar to user fees or origination fees paid by civilian borrowers. Funding fees offset losses that occur when borrowers default on loans.

VA borrowers are not required to pay an up-front funding fee in order to secure a loan, but can include the fee as part of the loan amount.

Funding fees

The funding fee for loans with a down payment of less than 5 percent is 2 percent or 2.75 percent for those qualifying based on service in the reserve or National Guard. It is lower for veterans making down payments of 5 percent or more.

Veterans who have a service-connected disability for which they receive compensation are exempt from any funding fee.

There is an additional option for those who already hold VA-approved home loans: the Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan. The funding fee is 0.5 percent.

Maximum loan

VA does not establish a maximum loan amount. However, lenders generally will lend to qualified veterans up to four times the basic maximum entitlement.

This means a typical ceiling for a loan with no down payment is $144,000 (4 x $36,000). In certain cases for loans above $144,000, the maximum entitlement can be increased to $60,000. That would enable a person to borrow four times that amount, or $240,000, without a down payment.

For information on these and other veterans' benefits 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.




On a glorious autumn day in Pagosa, Andrew Dufresne Morehouse and Tanju Sabine Streidt exchanged vows of marriage at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. They arrived at the Morehouse Ranch reception in style, driving the Flying M Ranch Clydesdale stallions Jock and Irish Moss. Andrew and Tonja reside in Los Angeles. Andrew is the son of Jim and Lucille Morehouse of Pagosa Springs and Tanja the daughter of Peter and Angelika Streidt of Old Greenwich, Conn.


Two former Pagosa Springs High School students received degrees from Fort Lewis College at winter commencement, Dec. 20, 2003.

Receiving bachelor's degrees were Kayla Mackey, economics; and Corrilee Patterson, music education.

Fort Lewis College awarded degrees to 180 students at winter commencement.



Pregnancy Support

Center offers resources for women, families

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"I'm pregnant and I'm moving out of town."

That's what Brynn Earley told her boyfriend almost two years ago. She was 19 and several weeks pregnant.

"I was totally ashamed," she said, and terrified of telling her parents. At lunch one day, she confided in a close friend. Together, they made a visit to the Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center. There, Earley found support and some of the strength she needed.

"The ladies there are wonderful," she said. "They're just very encouraging and they didn't pressure me about anything."

The nonprofit Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center, located in a small home on 8th Street, opened its doors in 1999, as a resource for people facing unplanned or "crisis" pregnancies. Services are free and confidential.

Executive Director Kathy Koy said when a woman walks through the door, the goal is to help meet all of her needs -physical, emotional and spiritual.

To accomplish that, they offer free pregnancy testing, counseling, support and referral for those who have suffered miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death, parenting education, abstinence education, resource information, free maternity and baby clothes for moms-to-be and single parents and abortion recovery programs. The center is a Christian ministry and some of the programs, like the abortion recovery support group, are faith-based, but Koy said the mission is not to pressure people to convert. The mission is to help clients make good decisions.

The majority of the center's funding comes from local fund-raisers. The rest stems from private donations and churches. It is led by a volunteer board of directors and affiliated with two national organizations, Care Net and Heartbeat International.

In the past five years, Koy estimated, 500 women and girls used the center's services.

"Not all come for a pregnancy test," she said. Some come for the support groups, for assistance with maternity or baby clothes or just to talk with someone who is willing to listen. When a girl does walk in wanting to take a pregnancy test, Koy said, the first 15 or 20 minutes are spent getting to know that person, "understanding where she is." Then, they will take the test. If it's positive, they'll begin to talk about her options - parenting, adoption and abortion.

"We don't promote abortions because we feel it hurts women," Koy said, "but we don't hide it either. We try to be realistic with them."

If the pregnancy test comes back negative, they talk to the girls about sexual behavior, sexually transmitted diseases and decision making.

Some women, Koy said, decide to become sexually active outside of marriage and want to stay that way, but "many are not happy with their decision, many voice regret over not being a virgin anymore." Those who show interest are introduced to the Sexual Integrity Program which encourages participants to think beyond the present to who they are and what they want for the future.

"When it comes to sex," Koy said, "We tend to take it so lightly." Unlike illegal drugs where the message for years has been "Use none," the message with sex is different, and yet the result of sex can be just as life-altering and just as life-threatening, she said. According to a pregnancy support center brochure, three million teens acquire a sexually transmitted disease every year.

As for pregnancies, the same brochure read: "34 percent of births in Archuleta County are to unmarried women, and nearly half of these women are teens."

Two years ago, that number included Brynn Earley.

"No matter how good your intentions, no matter how you grow up - I grew up in a Christian home - I wasn't raised to have premarital sex, to have a baby before I was married, things happen."

When Earley walked in the door of the center, she had already made one choice. She had taken two pregnancy tests. Both came back positive.

"I don't believe in abortion," she said. Adoption was also out.

It didn't maker her any less scared. Any less nervous. Any less ashamed. What she learned was that she wasn't alone.

"Two of the women there had been in my situation, had been pregnant before they got married and both had been married to their husbands for 20 years," she said. "It calmed me down. I needed to go down there and hear them say, 'Yeah, that happened to me.' I needed to know it's not just me in this world."

Several months later, Earley and the father of her baby married. "I was lucky," she said. "I knew Jason was one of those guys who would've helped out and supported Katie and I whether we got married or not." The Earleys are the proud parents of a 17-month-old little girl.

One common assumption some make, Koy said, is that once teen-agers start having sex they will never be able to stop. "I don't agree with that. I think if women are empowered and given good support, they can make good decisions." Members of the pregnancy support center teach abstinence education at the high school.

Most of the center's clients, Koy said, come only once. "Getting follow-up is difficult. Once the crisis is over, it's easier to go back the way we were."

The exception is the center's abortion recovery program. As often as needed, they offer a 11-week support group for women who have had an abortion in the past. Koy said some women will suffer from Post Abortion Syndrome sometimes seven or 10 years after undergoing an abortion because of emotions repressed for many years.

"It's a legal choice," Koy said, "but then they don't feel like they can talk about it with anyone." In the coming year, they are hoping to add a recovery group for women who suffered from miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death.

President of the center's board of directors, Dennis Yerton said the coming year will also bring the start of a building project. The center has outgrown its current facility and is hoping to break grown on a new home in the summer.

Yerton has served on the board for two years. In October, he attended a national convention where he learned that in the United States alone over 230,000 women called on pregnancy support centers in one year. Of those, 70,000 carried their babies to term.

"We want to increase that number through the United States starting here," he said.

"I always felt there was a call as a Christian to help the widows, orphans and prisoners," he said. "As such, I think it's important to help young women, to empower them to take control of their sexuality and help them to make good decisions."



Pagosa's Past

Rustling a common, if life-threatening occupation

John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

The cattle industry started in Pagosa Country before barbed wire separated one man's brand from the brand of another. In fact, there wasn't much separating the cattlemen except respect; a respect often tied to skill with a six-shooter.

Even when I sat in on historical society meetings during the early 1970s, some of the old cowboys, talked about the old days and how this or that respectable rancher built his herd with a long rope and a lot of night riding.

Those stories were told in a quiet way, with one eye or the other surveying the immediate vicinity to make sure the listening audience didn't include anyone related to the topic of conversation. Personally, I'm willing to let those stories die a quiet, natural death.

Still, there can be little doubt that rustling was a common, if sometimes life threatening, occupation in those days. And the frontier remedy, hanging was implemented more than once. A life that took nine months to launch could end with the jerk of a rope.

Louisa Weining Morgan wrote the following description of her family's first days in Animas City about the time Durango was being laid out, circa 1880. Her description gives us an idea of how much at least once aspect of rustling affected common folks who didn't even own a cow.

"Even before the D. & R.G. tracks were laid into the town there was trouble among the cattle owners, who claimed that many head of stock were stolen, and a bitter fight resulted," Mrs. Morgan wrote.

"Men were advised to carry arms to protect the community. Our house (located on Railroad Street, Main Street at that time) was struck by several bullets one night so father made us bed in the bake oven for protection." The family had started a restaurant and bakery.

A girl friend often stayed with Louisa. Of one of those occasions she wrote, "Lillie and I were awakened in the night by men's voices and the tramp of horses. We learned from her parents who were already dressed and on guard, that officers and other men were looking for a man who killed a man during a fight in one of the dance halls. He was found at daybreak hanging on a large pine tree on what was then called G Street, now 9th Street, near the railroad tracks."

This particular hanging was not precipitated by rustling, but does give us a view of how wild and dangerous life could be during those days when Pagosa Country was being settled.

Frances Keegan Heffernan left the following account of the same event.

"Soon after we were to witness another type of justice which always seemed quick and final in those days. One morning Aunt Annie went for the mail. Opposite the post office was a large pine tree and on it hung a man, the diamonds on his fingers flashing in the sun. He had been taken from a saloon the night before for some misdemeanor, and the men who hanged him did not care to take the trouble to cut his body down - it was finally cut down by Sheriff Dwyer. The pine tree stood on Ninth Street west of Keightley's Stationery Store, now the Gordon Store, and for some time there dangled from its branches a piece of blackened rope, mute warning to offenders against pioneer law of what might happen - to them, or indeed, to anyone"

Yet another view of this particular event is provided by Charlie Pinkerton.

"In the summer of 1881, Jake Bohannon and I had come inform Fort Lewis, put our horses in the livery stable, while we ate supper and loafed around for awhile, then we intended to go on to the ranch. We were at a dance hall which was on the flat this side of where Graden's Mill now stands. We were watching the dancing when Bib Charlie Morman, who was dancing and rather drunk, started shooting. He was just "cutting up," shooting into the floor and so on, but one shot hit Bohannon in the heart, killing him instantly. I was only a few feet from him when it happened. I hung around for some time to see what would be done with Morman, but no one seemed to be going to do anything so I went on home. Next morning as I was going out on the range, I learned they had hung Morman to a pine tree which used to stand back of where Gordon's Store now is."

We return to Frances Keegan Heffernan's memory for this additional picture of early day Durango.

Our house had the frame work about completed when one day as we sat in the tent we heard shots. The night watchman came running in and asked my mother if she had a feather bed - and she did, having brought it all of the way from England. He stuffed it on the side from where the shots were coming and then ordered us to get under the bed. There was a lively exchange of shots for an hour or two. The battle was between the Farmington cowboys and the Durango cowboys who had been stealing their cattle, butchering them and selling meat. The Farmington cowboys had found some buried hides carrying their brands, and the war was on."

The stories told by Morgan, Heffernan, and Pinkerton can be found in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country."



An informative visit

It is informative and revealing when one of Colorado's U.S. Senators

stops in to exchange ideas in the informal confines of The SUN off-

ices. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell and his wife, Linda, did just that Jan 10. A trip to Pagosa for Campbell is a trip to a site important in his family history. Campbell's grandmother and his father, Albert, lived in Pagosa Springs early in the last century. When his grandmother met an untimely end, his father, a Northern Cheyenne, was taken away by family.

The first thing that comes out of Campbell's wide ranging discussion is the assurance, despite what some political opponents might say, that he intends to run again in November, and in a primary if necessary.

Campbell has the ability to rile people on both extremes of the political spectrum. Though a Republican, he can be a nonpartisan thinker and voter and, as a result, he expects a race this year. But he will run, he says, believing his record reflects solidarity with the majority of Coloradans - those in the moderate political center, regardless of party affiliation.

Campbell has some goals to achieve in an upcoming legislative session he expects to be colored by the inevitable sniping of a major election year. The goals include completion of the Omnibus bill and working to get what he thinks is a Colorado-friendly energy bill out of conference.

The Senator wants to deal with tort reform, noting the difficulty small businesspeople and many in the medical profession have with current costs of coverage.

Campbell wants to reauthorize the highway bill and sees no harm in drawing down the trust fund.

The Senator disapproves of unfunded mandates, typified by the recent No Child Left Behind, and affirms his allegiance to states rights and local control. But he believes federal funding must be accompanied by rigorous oversight.

He has qualms about the Bush approach to illegal immigration, but cites the need for a solution, given federal statistics that show the significant role played by illegal farm, restaurant and domestic labor. He does not approve of any plan that amounts to amnesty and worries about effects of a plan on those who have waited to come to this country legally, as well as on health, Social Security and other federal programs. The answer, he says, is in a much improved guest worker system.

With regard to the conflict in Iraq, Campbell reflects on his military service and laments the loss of American lives. He questions whether the administration had a realistic exit strategy prior to the war and occupation. But, he notes progress has been made, stating the U.S. has restored 80 percent of the country's power and water systems; that we have opened schools and more hospitals than were open during the reign of Saddam Hussein. He cites elections on the American model held in Iraqi communities and the training of police and army. According to Campbell, in another six months we will see the results of progress, but he cautions us not to expect the guerilla war to end soon.

On the domestic front, the Senator says he will probably not support additional tax relief in light of a deficit that could reach $500 billion this year. He believes existing tax relief primed the pump of the economy, but does not think more is warranted until the deficit is drawn down.

The revealing aspect of the visit? At conversation's end, it was time for the Campbells to leave Pagosa, to drive the remaining distance to their home near Ignacio. There was something more important than politics and a race for the Senate waiting there - an overnight visit from the grandchildren.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

San Luis Valley in quake danger We live in an area of beauty and serenity - usually.

Has it always been so? We know there have been killer floods and killer winter storms, but what about the most dread natural disaster, earthquake?

An item in the Colorado Geographical Survey late last year piqued my interest because I recall a day, in perhaps 1950, when the then Pagosa Springs School (now the intermediate school) began rocking gently.

No one knew for sure what had happened. Some thought it might be from the atomic test site in Nevada. Others feared a structural collapse of the building. Few even considered the quake possibility.

But, in retrospect, it might well have been the cause.

Earthquakes are not uncommon in the state, but have been comparatively rare according to data from reports prepared by the Earthquake Subcommittee of the Colorado Natural Hazards Mitigation Council.

The Geological Survey item referred to earlier said:

"Two earthquakes (magnitude 3.5 and 3.1) occurred Saturday (Dec. 27, 2003) evening 17 miles south of the Great Sand Dunes National Park where a seismograph was installed just a year and a half ago. Analysis of the data indicates the earthquakes were most likely centered on the Sangre de Cristo fault located along the southern base of the Sierra Blanca mountain complex of the Sangre de Cristo Range. This is an area both the range and fault make a right angle turn to the east."

Now I may be naive, but I had not been aware of that fault nor of any other earthquakes that close to Pagosa Springs or in the area west of the San Juan Mountains which form the western boundary of the San Luis Valley.

The San Luis Fault was first recognized as an active fault in the 1970s and scientists say geographic evidence shows it has had more than four miles of vertical displacement during its history. It is given credit for having lifted the Sangre de Cristos and their 10 peaks that exceed 14,000 feet above sea level.

Then I found the zinger in the report.

"The fault is considered to be one of the more dangerous faults in the state. It is included in the USGS' National Seismic Hazard Maps as capable of generating an earthquake as large as magnitude 7.5."

That, friends, is a whole lot of shaking going on.

The recent quake in Iran, for example, registered 6.7 on the Richter scale, killing more than 30,000, leaving 60,000 homeless.

A little more research turned up the fact there have been 14 "large" earthquakes in Colorado since 1867 when records began. The largest, with a 6.5 magnitude, took place Nov. 7, 1882 in the north central portion of the state, causing damage in Fort Collins and Denver.

Others of large magnitude included a 5.5 event Oct. 11, 1960 in the Montrose-Ridgway corridor and three of 5.0 or better northeast of Denver in 1966 and 1967.

The biggest close to Pagosa was a 5.5 temblor Jan. 23, 1966 north of Dulce, N.M., a scant 50 miles from our mountain paradise.




90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Jan. 23, 1914

C.O. Snow, son of W.H. Snow, the Devil Creek ranch man, was married Thursday in the parlor of the Commercial Hotel to Miss Mabel Green of Bayfield, Judge Morgan officiating.

As the result of a heavy snowfall in Pagosa and vicinity last week many phone wires were down. Today is clear and moderate.

I am now prepared to teach all kinds of fancy work, the Macrame, Tatting, Hardanger, etc. those interested call on Mrs. Esther Cummings in the Doc Taylor building.

Farmer Frank Matthews loaded out with supplies to his O'Neal Park estate Thursday. No, just grub - dry town you know.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Jan. 25, 1929

Robert, son of Sheriff and Mrs. Frank Matthews underwent an operation Tuesday night at his home for the removal of his appendix. A few weeks ago he submitted to an emergency operation for the purpose of drainage, and the resultant adhesions and condition of the appendix made Tuesday night's operation necessary. The lad is making a splendid recovery - much to the gratification of his parents and their hosts of friends.

Various thermometers in town registered all the way from 28 to 36 degrees below zero this morning.

The New Light & Power Co. has received a new electric thawing machine that seems to be the proper care for frozen pipes on mornings like this one!

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Jan. 22, 1954

The Pagosa Springs High School basketball team is hanging up a good record in league play. In conference play they presently have four wins and no losses - which gives them a mighty good chance of becoming Basin 'B' league champs.

The long-awaited and much needed moisture started to arrive here on Monday night of this week when a storm slipped in after midnight and dumped down four inches of new snow before morning. This depth was greater in the country areas and over 18 inches of new snow was reported on Wolf Creek Pass. Weather forecasts indicate that a cold snap may follow clearing weather from this storm and this area may be in for its first really cold weather of the winter.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Jan. 25, 1979

A heavy storm last week closed Wolf Creek Pass for a few days, and it also caused all roads to be snowpacked and in some cases, icy. The snow is deep in town, almost three feet, and more than five feet of snow fell on Wolf Creek Pass. The highway there is open and in good shape at present and Wolf Creek Ski Area is operating.

The town board has directed police officers to crack down on parking in the business area that interferes with snowplowing and to also enforce the ordinance requiring the property owners in that area to keep sidewalks shoveled.

Coldest reading at the U.S. Weather Observation Station was 19 below Tuesday morning of this week.