March 11, 2004 
Front Page
No opposition: Town, fire board votes needless

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Two local elections will most likely be canceled for lack of competition.

Candidates for the Pagosa Springs Town Council and the Pagosa Fire Protection District are running unopposed following the close of nominations. Under Colorado state law, that means the elections may be canceled and the candidates declared elected by acclamation.

Cancelation requires public notice, and in the case of the town council, a resolution electing the nominees.

Town Clerk Deanna Jaramillo said petitions were returned by Stan Holt, Tony Simmons and Bill Whitbred for the three at-large seats open on the town council. Both Holt and Whitbred are incumbents. Simmons is slated to take the seat currently occupied by Rick Kiister who did not run for re-election.

Jaramillo said after the notices of cancellation are posted, the sitting town council will have the opportunity to pass a resolution electing the three candidates who completed petitions - most likely at the next regular council meeting April 6 at 5 p.m. in Town Hall.

Two seats were up for election on the fire district board. The incumbents, Debbie Tully and Richard Moseley, were the only ones to throw their hats back in the ring.

District manager Diane Bower said the notice of cancellation will be published in The SUN and posted as required. Tully and Moseley will take their oaths of office for another four years in May. At the regular March meeting, both thanked the other board members and the fire district staff for their support.


Stevens Reservoir expansion plan clears major hurdle

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

A major initiative undertaken by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District took a sizable step forward this week.

According to Carrie Campbell, district general manager, a much-anticipated draft opinion recently forwarded to the district by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicates a favorable assessment of the district's plans to enlarge Stevens Reservoir.

During an update on the roughly $4.4 million project to the district board of directors, "The opinion looks fairly positive," Campbell said Tuesday, before suggesting the district proceed with initial engineering plans for the overhaul of the reservoir dam.

As a result, the board reached a consensus to begin work on preliminary dam design, which will have to be submitted to the state engineer's office for approval before further engineering and/or construction developments can take place.

Though the district has not yet secured the Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit required for actual ground breaking at the reservoir, Campbell indicated thus far, no snags in the process to obtain the permit have been encountered.

"We're taking a little bit of a risk, because we know we don't have the 404 permit," said Campbell. "But at this point, it doesn't look like anything is going to crop up."

Gaining approval at the state level for even preliminary plans is a lengthy process, said Campbell - another notion that added to the decision to "get a jump" on the process.

The enlargement of Stevens Reservoir and the encasement of Dutton Ditch, which is estimated at about $4 million, are the main components of a slate of potential capital projects funded by $10.35 million in general obligation bonds approved by district voters during the 2002 General Election.

According to Campbell, the district is continuing negotiations with the U.S. Forest Service and other entities that, barring any obstacles, will result in securement of the permits necessary to initiate the Dutton Ditch project.

"It's just a lengthy, complicated process," said Campbell. "But I think we're getting there."

The goal of the district is to encase the 28,000-foot ditch to improve flow and increase storage levels in Stevens Reservoir and Lake Hatcher.

Lake levels

According to the latest readings provided by Art Holloman, district superintendent, reservoirs were at the following levels early this week:

- Lake Hatcher - 21 inches below spillway

- Stevens Reservoir - full and spilling

- Lake Pagosa - five inches below spillway

- Lake Forest - full and spilling

- Village Lake - 17 inches below spillway.


Vehicle stolen in theft spree recovered

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A vehicle stolen from Pagosa Springs in January in one in a series of burglaries was recovered in Lakewood Tuesday.

Archuleta County Sheriff's Department Investigator George Daniels said the 1996 Ford Explorer stolen sometime in January was recovered in a traffic stop. Law enforcement officials also recovered a .45 caliber pistol and a quantity of methamphetamine in the stop.

Daniels said two adult males occupying the Explorer at the time of the stop were taken into custody.

The truck was part of the loot stolen in a string of burglaries committed in the county this winter. The first report was filed in November. More followed in December, January and February bringing the total to at least 17.

According to reports, items such as electronic equipment, power tools, winter clothing, firearms and jewelry were taken from the homes. Some items have been recovered with the Explorer, valued at $25,000, the most recent addition to that list. The vehicle had been locked inside a garage when it was stolen.

So far, five people have been arrested in the case. Daniels said an arrest warrant has been issued for one juvenile believed to be out of state. An investigation of two more people continues. Names were not available due to the nature of the ongoing investigations.

A Crime Stoppers reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of suspects in this case. Anyone with information regarding the suspects or knowledge about the stolen property is asked to call Daniels at 264-8470 immediately.


School director opposes showing R-rated movies

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Is there ever a justification for showing R-rated movies in Pagosa Springs public schools?

The question arose during comment Tuesday on first reading of 14 proposed additions to the policy manual for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

Specifically, the code would control classroom use of audio-visual materials and specifies that movies and videos rated NC-17 or X are not ever to be shown in classrooms or any district facility or at district-sanctioned events.

The code also would rule no R-rated movies could be shown without parent notification and approval. Each R-rated movie shown would have been viewed, evaluated and judged by the teacher to have educational value, and have been previously approved by the building administrator.

That portion of the code drew the opposition of director Mike Haynes.

"Personally," he said, "I don't think R-rated films should be shown in our schools. I know this is a first reading and we have a chance to come back with changes, but I want it known I'm prepared to vote against it as written."

Director Sandy Caves, however, felt the code provides adequate controls in that parental approval is required in advance, and the teacher and building principal will have previewed content. "Parents," she noted, "will have been given the option of removing their children from viewing the film."

Bill Esterbrook, high school principal, said "most viewing such films at the high school level are seniors and normally the entire movie is not shown, just portions thereof."

He noted one such film used as an epochal report on developments in human history was "Schindler's List," a powerful film that provided an important lesson.

Another he cited as an important look into the development of the nation, and used earlier this year, was "Dances With Wolves."

He said the films were not used for sensationalism, but for contemporary lessons in human behavior.

Haynes again said he'd vote against the policy, but will abide by a decision of the full board.

Director Carol Feazel, board president, said she views movies and videos as being like books "and I'm against book banning and see it as an encroachment on freedom of speech, with some limitations."

The proposal, and the 13 others were accepted on first reading and will come back for final approval at the April meeting.


 Inside The Sun
Westberg declares candidacy for district attorney

Craig S. Westberg announced his candidacy Wednesday for district attorney in the Sixth Judicial District, including Archuleta County.

Westberg has lived in the area nearly 33 years, he said, and is "dedicated to its quality of life."

A career prosecutor for over 20 years, the last seven as assistant district attorney, he believes he knows the problems the office faces on a daily basis.

He promises to bring to the district a proven level of commitment, dedication and competence that the residents of the community need and deserve.

Kicking off his candidacy in Pagosa Springs, he recalled a case here in 1978 when he tried an accused murderess and won a second-degree murder conviction.

Afterward, he said, the sheriff indicated he had no available officers to escort the convicted woman to jail in Durango and asked him to escort her.

That's the kind of small town law he's accustomed to, he said, what a small-town DA was all about.

Westberg said the first duty of the district attorney's office is to assure that the community is safe as it can be. "This means that vigorous prosecution of crimes of violence such as homicide, assault and sexual assault must be of the highest priority; we cannot afford to play fast and loose with community safety."

He said Pagosa Springs is growing at a rapid rate, "and that growth is manifested in an increasing crime rate. I personally have spent a sizable portion of my time here, and with the continued help of our county commissioners, the DA's office can assure a presence and manpower presence in Archuleta County which is required.

"All of our district is facing problems which previously had been thought of as being reserved for the 'big city.' We need not accept those problems as inevitable, and must always do what we can to preserve a quality of life which is unique to our area."


Special district voting rules confusing electors

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Archuleta County voters will face a pair of special district board elections May 4.

At least six candidates have declared their intentions to vie for three open seats on the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board.

In the race for six Upper San Juan Health Service District board seats, 12 have entered the fray, six for three two-year seats and six for three four-year seats.

The elections are set up two different ways, apparently causing some initial confusion for voters. County Clerk June Madrid is working to clarify the process.

"I have been inundated with questions and concerns regarding the upcoming special district elections on May 4," she said in a recent release. "I want the public to be informed voters so they will be confident in the election process."

As the election official for the county, Madrid said, she has no power over special districts unless they coordinate onto the county's ballot.

"They are divisions of government in their own right and fall under their own statues for elections," she said. "I can help when they ask but I can not dictate to them."

The PAWS election will be a polling place election scheduled to take place at Fire Station 1, 191 North Pagosa Boulevard.

According Madrid's release, to vote in the PAWS election, a person must be a registered voter who lives in the district or owns property in the district.

Because of the Help America Vote Act, passed by Congress, it is mandatory that every voter going to a polling place show identification.

"I am still waiting for the secretary of state to issue a press release regarding this new mandate," Madrid said. "I will try my best to see that a notice of some sort is sent out to all electors before you have to go to the polls in May."

All special districts are required to request a list of registered voters and a list of property owners owning land inside the special district boundaries. Those persons whose name is on the county voter list will be allowed to vote. For the PAWS election, no distinction between "active" and "inactive" voters exists.

Any voters wishing to fill out an application for an absentee ballot must return the application to the special district office, not the county clerk.

The Upper San Juan Health Service District will conduct a mail ballot election.

In this case, the distinction between "active" and "inactive" voters does come into play. The law allows for only "active" voters to be mailed a ballot. "Active" means a person who voted in the last general election. "Inactive," means a voter who did not vote in the 2002 general election. Being "inactive" does not mean that a voter is ineligible to vote, it means they will not receive a mail ballot.

"Inactive" voters have two choices.

First, prior to April 5, they may come to the county clerk's office in the Archuleta County Courthouse and reactivate their record by signing a form. Voters may not reactivate over the phone. A signature is required.

Second, they may vote by picking up a ballot at the Upper San Juan Health Service District offices, 189 North Pagosa Boulevard, filling it out and returning it prior to the deadline.

Anyone who does not receive a ballot in the mail, but believes their mailing address was correct may contact the clerk's office in the courthouse to verify whether the ballot was returned as "Undeliverable." If it was returned, that person will have the opportunity to stop by the clerk's office, fill out a change form and pick up a ballot.

For votes to be counted, ballots may be returned in several ways. They may be mailed. Postage is required. Ballots may also be delivered by hand to the county clerk's office or the health service district office. Voters are only allowed to pick up their own ballot because ballots must be signed for. They may, however, return someone else's completed ballot for them.

For absentee ballots, electors must apply with the special district office. Technically, there are no absentee ballots in a mail ballot election, but when an application is received, the mailing address for a voter can be changed if the application is received by April 5 - prior to the printing of the mailing labels.

Those who do not remember if they are "active" or "inactive" should call the county clerk's office at 264-8350 to have their record checked.


Democrats plan chile supper Saturday

Archuleta County Democrats will host their annual chile supper starting 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street.

Norma and Hank Buslepp, special events co-chairs, said four kinds of tasty chile - red, green, white and vegetarian - will be served.

Salad, corn bread courtesy of Pagosa Baking Company, dessert and beverage will be included in the $7 per adult price. Children 10 and under may enjoy dinner for $3.

Other members of the committee helping plan the event are Mike and Biz Greene and Don and Barbara Jacobs.

Local candidates for nonpartisan offices are invited to join Democratic candidates to meet votes and enjoy the meal.

If the good weather persists, Democrats will hold their spring litter pickup in May between mile markers 5 and 6 on Piedra Road and along two miles of U.S. 84. Also in the planning is assisting at a Habitat for Humanity construction site.

The next Democratic Central Committee meeting is scheduled 5 p.m. April. 7. Call Kerry Dermody at 731-5217 for details.


Senate hopeful Miles will make stop here

Colorado Springs Democrat Mike Miles, one of several candidates for Sen. Ben Campbell's seat, will make his second Pagosa Springs appearance 5-7 p.m. March 18.

Miles, who was last here the Sunday before Labor Day, will be at a public meeting in the new Universalist Unitarian Fellowship Hall in Greenbriar Plaza (North Pagosa Boulevard and Park Street).

Beverages and finger food will be supplied.

Miles, a West Point graduate and Army Ranger trained in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare, a veteran of foreign service at embassies in Warsaw and Moscow, and a veteran teacher and school principal has championed revision of the No Child Left Behind legislation "because it does not support public education."


United Way will benefit from concert

A new musical, "Diary of a Songwriter" will be presented to benefit United Way of Archuleta County at 7 p.m. March 20 in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

The musical traces the roller coaster journey of an aspiring musician from the plains of Oklahoma to Nashville's Music Row, to the bright lights of LA. It is a unique insider's view of how creative artistry transforms personal experiences into songs that touch our lives and hearts.

"Diary of a Songwriter" explores how great songs get written, how music influences our lives, and how songs have the power to provoke our deepest and best emotions.

Award-winning songwriter Tim Sullivan has won critical acclaim across the country for his soaring tenor voice, humor and warm presentation of great material. Born in Oklahoma and now a resident of Colorado. Sullivan's style has been described as an "intriguing blend of folk, rock, country, blues and pop that is unmistakably original and all his own."

He has appeared with such well-known American artists as Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell and Tammy Wynette. He won the 1999 Songwriter of the Year award in Massachusetts for "Dance in the Rain," and was named Entertainer of the Year in the Four Corners area. In addition, he is featured on the sound track of a new motion picture, "Follow Me Outside."

"Diary of a Songwriter" has played to enthusiastic audiences and critical acclaim in America. New York critic John Hoglund of "Backstage Magazine" writes: "Tim Sullivan is one of those titan talents, masked as a good old boy. The simplicity of his words fused with great melodies make him a real winner."

A writer in Cabaret Scene says: "Tim is such a consummate storyteller, he could have held his audience all through the night."

Tickets are $15 at the Chamber of Commerce, WolfTracks and at the door.

To learn more about the production, log on to www. For information or to order tickets contact Kathi DeClark at 946-2057.


Sunday night art show set

A group of 15 Four Corners artists plan a Sunday evening art show starting 7 p.m. at the 19th Hole, 164 N. Pagosa Blvd.

The exhibit was arranged by Chris Haas, who said some artworks will be available for purchase afterward.

A number of local organizations are cooperating as event sponsors.


Cancer fight being waged with daffodils

Daffodil Days are in full swing.

If you haven't gotten our daffodils, stop by Mountain Greenery at Lewis and 4th streets to pick up a bunch or two.

These beautiful flowers symbolizing hope and renewed life, are being distributed in bundles of 10 for a suggested donation of $9.

The annual event held by the American Cancer Society helps fund research, education, advocacy and local patient services.

For nearly a century, the American Cancer Society has continued to make significant progress toward victory over cancer. It has helped lead the way in making remarkable strides in cancer science, prevention, treatment, and in cancer patients' quality of life.

Today, more than ever, society goals of saving lives and improving the quality of lives are within reach.

It is estimated that, across the United States, 1,368,030 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2004. This figure does not include carcinoma in situ (non-invasive cancer) of any site except urinary bladder and it does not include basal and squamous cell skin cancers. More than a million cases of these skin cancers are expected to be diagnosed this year.

Join the "flower power" people in the fight against cancer. Enjoy daffodils and display this symbol of hope for cancer patients.

For information about the annual event or to order your bouquets call Suzan Gray at 264-6255 or Mountain Greenery at 264-5962.


Some tips to beat the 'first-tee jitters'

It's the start of spring and time to hit the greens again. But, after a winter of not playing, you are a little nervous at the thought of going up to that first tee.

Maybe you don't want to look stupid among friends or family. Perhaps you don't want to start off a game poorly, or you are afraid you'll lose. It's even possible you fear that you won't be able to fulfill your own expectations for yourself on the course.

Such are "first-tee jitters," or fears you may have before hitting the first shot of a golf game. The first shot sets the tone for your outing, not to mention your score. Here are some tips to beat those butterflies:

- Hit a few practice balls at the club's driving range or putting green to help you loosen up. Don't worry if you aren't making perfect contact. Use the time to concentrate on your aim and try to relax

- Visualize how you will contact the ball and how the ball will soar to the target. That way, you will give yourself more confidence

- Don't think negatively in your mind. Saying "I haven't played in ages" will only make you more nervous. Instead, tell yourself that you will enjoy hitting the first shot of the day

- Take a deep breath. Basic relaxation tricks like inhaling and exhaling can help release tension

- Don't rush. Take your time on your first shot. Try not to go too fast just to get it over with

- While you aim, keep your head down and your eyes on the ball that's on the tee

- Check your ego at the door. No one else is watching you by yourself. Remember - everybody else is only concerned with his own golf game

- Don't get angry at yourself if you make a poor shot. Think of each shot separately. It's okay to have some bad shots; you'll remember the good ones when the round is over. And, as they say, "A bad day of golf is better than a good day at work."


Act now to reduce your credit card debt

Swipe! You bought that painting you've had your eye on.

Swipe! You now own that new pair of shoes everyone is wearing.

Swipe! You paid for dinner for you and a friend.

What's not to like about a credit card? You don't have to carry around cash or even have the money in your account. Plus, you can establish credit and shop online or on the phone.

But credit cards do carry risks. They can put you in debt and ruin your credit rating. They can prevent you from getting approved on an apartment lease, a car loan or a department store credit card.

These tips can help you reduce debt now and in the future:

1. Reduce your interest rate. Rates vary depending on your credit standing, the bank and the level of the card (like gold or platinum). Some credit cards offer low introductory rates, but don't be fooled - the rate will eventually increase, so ask how much it will hike in advance.

2. Don't spend more than you make. That way, you'll avoid getting into debt in the first place.

3. Set a budget and track how much you are spending.

4. Use cash instead of credit. That way, you'll be sure not to spend more than you have on hand and likely won't buy something you don't really need.

5. Pay off more than the card's minimum payment each month, and pay on time to avoid more charges. The interest you owe will be higher if you pay only the minimum.

6. If you have balances on several cards, consolidate all your debt onto one low-rate card, making sure there's no cost for transferring balances.

7. Pay off high interest rate cards first. But if your rates are all the same, pay off the smallest balance first.

8. Avoid cards that require annual fees. If you choose a card with rewards like frequent flier miles, it's a waste if you have to pay a fee and you don't even travel that often.

9. Learn the power of negotiation. Apply for a new card, and plead your case to your current company. It will likely want to keep you as a customer and help you reduce your interest rate.

10. Avoid taking out cash advances. Cards often charge a fee and higher interest rates on cash withdrawals.


Humane Society seeking local recipes for a new cookbook

Do you have a special recipe your friends always ask for? Maybe one that has passed down through your family.

Do you add a little something extra that makes your lasagna different from everyone else's? Or, do you make your own dog biscuits, cat snacks or horse treats?"

If so, the Humane Society is looking for your help.

This year, as a special fund-raising project, the Humane Society will publish a cookbook with recipes submitted by its members and friends. They hope to include recipes from Pagosa restaurants.

Committee members Lynn

Constan, Mary Jo Coulehan, Janet Karn, Cheryl Nelson, Julie Paige and Barbara Rosner are busy collecting and reviewing recipes.

Plans are to have about 250 recipes in the book in the following categories: appetizers and beverages, soups and salads, vegetables and side dishes, main dishes, breads and rolls, desserts, cookies and candy, this and that, and pet treats.

The society plans to produce a cookbook that will be elegant - spiral bound with a hard cover featuring a shelter animal, and useful, with unique recipes. The book will also contain helpful hints and cooking tips.

In order to avoid duplications and to keep the book to a manageable size, the society may not be able to included all the recipes submitted and ask that people submit no more than two recipes per person and be sure to include name and phone number in case there are questions.

Recipe submittal forms can be picked up at the Humane Society Thrift Store, Moonlight Books or the Chamber of Commerce, or, if you prefer to submit your recipe electronically, they may be sent e-mail to hspscook@earthlink. net.

You can also visit www.humane-societyofpagosasprings. org and follow the cookbook links.

Type or print clearly in ink. Phone numbers will not be printed in the book and will be used only if there is a question about the recipe submitted.

Include a title for your recipe. List all ingredients in order of use. Include container sizes if appropriate (e.g. 16 oz pkg, 24 oz. can). Keep directions in paragraph form, not numbered steps. Use names of the ingredients in the directions (e.g., "combine flour and sugar." Do not use statements like "combine first three ingredients." Include temperature and cooking, chilling, baking and/or freezing times.

Submittal forms may be returned to the Thrift Store or mailed to PO Box 146, Chromo, CO 81128.

All recipes must be received by April 30. Cookbooks will be available for purchase in mid-July.

If you have questions, call Lynn Constan at 264-5451.


Teen center schedule set for spring break

By Mercy Korsgren

Special to The SUN

Friday's teen center movie is "Secondhand Lions." It is rated PG-13. This is a happy movie about a young boy who goes and stays with his uncles on a farm for the summer.

Last Friday's movie, "Bruce Almighty," was hilarious and the teens loved it. It was a successful, fun night. Thanks to Cheri Romero for supervising this event.

The teen center board meeting went well. The board redefined membership and responsibilities. Board members are Kiva Belt, secretary/treasurer; Mike Ferrell; Kelli Ford, vice-chairperson; Leigh Gozigian; Jesse Morris, chairperson; Casey Reis.

We still need one teen volunteer to complete the seven-member board. Interested parties should call 264-4152.

The group decided the teen members play the important roles since this facility is about teens. The board is responsible in making policies, deciding and/or approving programs for the teen center. Advisers are Mercy Korsgren and the teen attendant.

The teen center attendant position is still vacant. The board is hoping to hire in the next week. In the meantime, the center needs volunteers to supervise the teens, Monday-Friday, 4-8 p.m.

March 15-19 events

It is spring break and the gym is available for teens who wish to play basketball 1-5 p.m, Monday-Friday.

Monday there will be a Key Club meeting, 6-7 p.m. Key Club is a service-oriented group of high school students under the umbrella of the Kiwanis Club of Pagosa Springs. Call Randi Anderson, 731-5797.

Thursday is stickball, 5-7 p.m. Thanks to Ted for doing this fun game.

Ballroom dance class takes place Friday, 3-4 p.m. Thank you Bob and Betty for your time, talent and energy.

Friday is also movie night, 6-8 p.m. The movie is "X2X Men United." Following a shocking attack on the president, the X Men stand united with their deadliest enemies to combat a menace that threatens every mutant on the planet. This is rated PG-13. ABC radio network called the film "a thrilling, mind bending, mind blowing journey" and movie critics gave this movie two- thumbs up.

The teen center is in the Pagosa Springs Community Center at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. It is open for teens ages 13-19 from 1-8 p.m. Monday-Friday.

For more information, call 264-4152.


Volunteers still needed for 9Health Fair programs

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

An important event is on the calendar in Pagosa for the spring. The 25th annual 9Health Fair is scheduled 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 3 in Pagosa Springs High School.

It might be wise to stop right now and put that date on your personal calendar.

This is an activity that is totally volunteer-driven and some 200 volunteers are needed to pull it off. Might you be one of them? All types of skills are needed - from dishwashers to doctors. All you need is the will and we can find something for you to do.

Those with medical training are, of course, most critical to an activity such as this. Can you draw blood? Take blood pressure? Do vision screening? Are you a health professional who could review individual data and make referrals? We can only offer a health screening or health information if we have the volunteers to do it.

This year we would like to expand our offering to include a dermatologist, a podiatrist, and an ENT specialist. Perhaps you are a health care professional with an interest in giving back to the community or you are a recently retired health care professional or perhaps, you know someone who is. Give it some thought and then give a call to one of the numbers listed below.

Last year over 650 people visited Pagosa Springs High School to receive educational and screening help that is, for the most part, absolutely free. This year we expect about 700.

One of our objectives is to increase the participation of uninsured individuals. To accomplish this we are seeking sponsorship for the screenings that are not free. Individuals and organizations can sponsor one or more screenings ($5 for a colorectal kit, $25 for a prostate screening, $30 for the blood analysis).

The process is simple: Choose a level of sponsorship; make your check out to 9Health Fair and take or mail it to the Bank of Colorado, 205 Country Center Drive, next to City Market west. Health care issues are a hot topic in our community. Here is something you can do about one of those issues. Checks must arrive at the bank no later than March 26.

Community social service organizations will distribute these funds as vouchers on an as-needed basis.

For more information call: Site coordinator Sharee Grazda, 731-0666 or medical coordinator Pam Hopkins, 264-6300.


Red Cross speakers available

Do you wish you knew more about the Red Cross?

How familiar are you with the community's training for disaster preparedness and safety?

The Red Cross Public Relations Committee is offering presentations on all aspects and functions of the organization. The presentations are ideal for businesses, service clubs and nonprofit groups interested in learning about disaster planning basics, home and workplace safety and more.

The presentations can be customized, with length from 10 minutes to over an hour.

Call 259-5383 for more information.


March 19 peace vigil in Durango

The Southwest Colorado Peace and Justice Coalition will hold a memorial peace vigil 4-6 p.m. March 19.

It is planned as a remembrance of those who have died during the U.S. military action in Iraq and to promote peaceful resolution to conflict as well as an end to militarism as a basis for foreign policy.

The event will be at 11th Street and Main Avenue in Durango.


Mesa Verde District Scout-O Rama slated Saturday

Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout troops from Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties will take part Saturday in the Mesa Verde District Scout-O-Rama.

The annual event will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Durango Mall with demonstrations of different scout skills like low-impact camping, cooking and first aid.

The Scouts will also demonstrate different activities like the Pinewood Derby, Rain Gutter Regatta and bridge building. Booth displays will feature Cub Scout programs.

The Mesa Verde District now has over 1,000 scouts and about 300 adult volunteers. For additional information call Daniel Bruce, district executive, at (970) 382-2637.


Radiation exposure screening program planned April 8

The Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program (RESEP) offers health screenings to former uranium industry workers, and to those who were exposed to radioactive fallout from above ground nuclear weapons testing.

There will be a community presentation for those who have never heard of RESEP and for those who have attended a presentation in the past.

Basic and new information about the Colorado, Utah and Navajo Service Area RESEP programs will be presented 10-11 a.m. April 8 at Durango Community Recreation Center, 2700 Main Avenue, Durango.

For more information please call 970-244-7543 or toll free at 800-860-6335.


Humane Society sets special adoption fees for cats

By Robbie Schwartz

Special to The SUN

Double your pleasure.

The cat population of Archuleta County just keeps on growing. As a result the animal shelter has received an inordinate number of kittens and cats this winter. Several months ago we trapped over 20 felines at one household.

As a result, the Humane Society is discounting the adoption fee and you can adopt two cats for an adoption fee of $45, or one cat for $22.50. Spaying or neutering is included in the cost.

Adopting cats in pairs is also good for the animals because they provide companionship for one another.

If your are interested in adopting a cat, or cats, go to the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs shelter on Stevens Lake Road. Or visit the society's Web site at www. to check out our feline friends.


English language learning program removes barriers

By Cayce Brown

Staff Writer

The English Language Learning (ELL) program is designed to leave no child behind.

Student's in the ELL program all have one thing in common - together they have to overcome an obstacle most people don't recognize as a great challenge.

What is their challenge? It's to learn an entirely new language and, in addition, a new culture.

Although these students are no less intelligent than any others in our school system, the language barrier can be discouraging to them.

Marge Jones and Mary Kaye Mayo are the teachers in the ELL program, and together they do whatever they can to ease the transition for participating students.

Mayo is in charge of the younger kids, working with the kindergarten through sixth-grade children. She spends roughly an hour with each group that comes in, providing the amount of attention needed to help students acquire necessary English reading and writing skills.

The students spend only a portion of their day with Mayo. This is because the ELL program is designed to have students spend the majority of their day in a normal classroom environment, adjusting to the school system and gaining valuable social skills by interacting with their peers.

The time of day the younger students visit with Mayo is determined by when they have certain class periods, usually language arts. At any given time, Mayo could have between two and eight kids.

When it comes to teaching the younger kids, Mayo doesn't have to carry the whole burden.

"I really enjoy seeing that the older kids are so willing to help out the younger ones," she said. "It starts with the oldest kids looking out for all of them, then goes all the way down to the first-graders looking out for the kindergartners."

In a normal class room environment, it could be a nearly impossible task to pick out which of the students are in the ELL program and which are not. However, there is still a sense of being stuck in the same boat that creates a camaraderie between the ELL students.

The student feedback concerning the program is always positive. For some students, going to class is just a sad end note to an action-packed recess, but that is not the case with Mayo's kids.

"One thing that I'm glad to see in my students is that they are always very excited about coming to class and don't feel as if they have to be dragged in here, they are just eager to learn," says Mayo.

By taking a short walk to Jones' class you will find a similar situation, but in many ways it is also very different.

Jones teaches the ELL students at the high school level.

"In this program it's usually the younger you get the child the better," she said. "It's harder for the students as they get older because instead of being able to learn to read and write in only English like the younger kids, they have to learn that in addition to what they had already learned to do in their first language."

One common misunderstanding of the ELL program is that it is designed specifically for Spanish speaking students. However, the program is designed to help all students of different cultural and language backgrounds develop the basic skills necessary to comprehend the English language.

Vietnamese and Russian students have been in the Pagosa ELL program, as have many others.

ELL students at the high school level spend the majority of their day at the Pagosa Springs High School in a normal classroom setting.

During afternoon they head over to the elementary school where Mrs. Jones has her classroom set up.

She teaches the normal ELL curriculum and can help them with their homework if they should need it.

She also teaches them other important everyday skills like counting and managing American money.

Part of the high school students' education involves interacting with the younger ELL students and helping them with their studies. They act as an English teacher to the younger ELL students and benefit from additional skills that result from such interaction.

The ELL program is relatively new to the school system.

"The ELL program has been in the Pagosa Springs school system for three years now," said Kahle Charles, ELL district coordinator and elementary school principal. "It came when the need for an ELL program in Pagosa became a priority."

Mrs. Jones began teaching an earlier version of the program at the Pagosa Springs Education Center.

The need for a more structured program that was run through the main school system became apparent as the student population became more diverse and the amount of non-English speaking/writing students began to grow.

It was then that Charles approached Superintendent Duane Noggle and Terry Alley to write a grant for the program to request funding. Noggle and Alley secured a grant sufficient to cover Mayo's salary, but Charles wasn't able to find much in the way of additional government funding.

The state does not offer a substantial amount for ELL funding, but Charles was eventually able to acquire two years worth at $600 a year.

It will help, but after two years, more will be needed to maintain a program that Charles says "will go on as long as there is a need for it in Pagosa."

The money acquired through the state goes towards additional teacher training in the ELL curriculum and program maintenance.

The Pagosa Springs ELL program is one of the first in the area, and Charles plans to expand as necessary.

"Working in the ELL program makes us, as educators, better at what we do and students in the program emerge more confident and do better in school," said Charles.

"I am very pleased with where the program is now and where it is going," he concluded.


Search opens for state's outstanding older worker

Experience Works, the country's largest provider of mature-worker training and employment, is searching for Colorado's outstanding older worker.

For the seventh year, outstanding older workers from every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and outstanding employers of older workers, will be honored in Washington, D.C., and in their home states.

Experience WorksSM Prime Time Awards Program was created to highlight the valuable contributions that older workers are making in their communities and places of work.

The organization is soliciting nominations from Colorado businesses and individuals. Applicants must be 65 or older, a resident of Colorado, currently employed, and working at least 20 hours each week for pay.

The honoree must be willing and able to travel to Washington, D.C., Oct. 5-9 for the Experience Works Prime Time Award Program events. Applicants who are part of a subsidized employment program funded by the local, state or national government are not eligible for this award.

Official nomination forms may be accessed online at www. or obtained from the Regional Office of Experience Works, 1902 Thomes Avenue, Suite 209, Cheyenne, WY 82001. The deadline for nominations is April 30.

In addition to special activities and recognition within the state, the honoree will attend the 2004 Prime Time Awards in Washington, D.C., this October.

The visit will include a tour of the city's landmarks, meetings with congressional representatives, U.S. Senate and U.S. House events, and the awards banquet and ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building.

Colorado's 2003 outstanding older worker was 81-year-old David Lopez from Greeley, a heavy equipment operator for the ConAgra Cattle Feeding Company. He is a great example of someone who demonstrates the dedication, skills, and experience needed to succeed in today's workforce.

Lopez began his career at ConAgra in 1942, and for over 60 years, has worked through and witnessed many changes and improvements in the cattle industry. He serves as a role model for all employees with his willingness to learn new things.

A search for America's Oldest Worker for 2004 is also under way. Last year, Dr. Russell Clark, 102, real estate developer and retired physician, was named America's Oldest Worker.

Experience Works is a national, nonprofit organization that provides training and employment services for mature workers. Established in 1965 as Green Thumb, and renamed Experience Works in 2002, the organization reaches more than 125,000 mature individuals in all 50 states and Puerto Rico each year.


May will be state archaeology-historic preservation month

The Colorado Historical Society will sponsor the eighth annual Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month during May throughout the state.

It is designed to celebrate Colorado's rich archaeological and historical heritage.

The theme for 2004 is "Heritage Matters."

More than 116 cities and nonprofit organizations participated in 2003 with a wide variety of activities including tours, exhibits, reenactments, lectures historical restoration, and historic preservation awards.

The growing awareness each year across Colorado demonstrates the importance of preserving our past to so many people in the state.

The Colorado Historical Society is always interested in learning of new events related to state archaeology or history.

For information on how to participate, or more information in the special events, call 303-866-3682, e-mail, or visit the Web site at


All night closures set at Wolf Creek

Highway construction will once again close Wolf Creek Pass.

According to a Colorado Department of Transportation news release, overnight closures at a safety improvement project located two miles west of South Fork on U.S. 160 are expected to begin March 22.

Closures will be in effect Monday through Thursday nights from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. until mid-May with an additional 43 nights of closures to be scheduled at a later date.

Work in this project includes minor highway widening and construction of uphill and downhill retaining walls. The project was awarded to Kiewit Western Company for $14.496 million.

During the day, crews are set to work seven days a week through Memorial Day. Motorists can expect periodic traffic stops every day between 7 a.m. and sunset.

To help skiers on the east side of the pass get to he slopes, crews plan to keep one lane of continuous traffic flow from 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m. March 15-18.

The project began Feb. 17 and is scheduled for completion in late 2004.



2004 fire season expected to be near normal

By Ann Bond

Special to The SUN

Overall, the 2004 fire season is expected to be near normal in terms of the expected number of fire and acres burned.

However, much of the interior West is expected to experience above normal fire potential this season.

Some highlights of the upcoming season include:

- long-term drought persists over much of the interior West. Drought-stressed and/or insect-damaged vegetation continues to increase in the West leading to greater potential for large, destructive wildfires at mid to high elevations

- the Southwest is the driest area of the West. The fire season is expected to start early and has the potential to be comparable to 2002

- mountain snowpack and winter precipitation is above normal mainly in the Pacific Northwest and northern California. The spring and summer should be warmer than normal in the West. Spring should be drier than normal in the Southwest but wetter than usual in the Northwest. Even with a wet spring, the unknown factor will be June weather in the Northwest and Northern Rockies. The combination of a hot, dry June and long-term drought could mitigate the benefits from a wet winter and spring

- the South (outside of west Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle), East and Alaska are expected to have a near to below normal fire season.


Current projections are for continued neutral to weak El Niño conditions and this should result in little if any impact on spring and summer weather.

The Northwest, northern Rockies, Midwest and the Northeast have seen normal to above normal precipitation since this fall with drier than normal weather across the Southwest. Snowpacks are higher than last year in most areas, except Arizona and New Mexico.

The outlook for spring and summer indicate warmer than usual temperatures in the West with a wet spring in the Northwest. This will likely lead to an early start for the fire season in the Southwest.


Potential: above normal.

The fire season has potential to be comparable to 2002. This is based on continued drought, less than normal winter precipitation and the forecast of a warmer and drier than normal spring. These conditions could lead to an early onset of the primary fire season, with both live and dead fuel components being drier than usual and more readily available for combustion.

Grass and brush are more abundant in some areas than in past drought years due to rainfall received during the late winter and spring of 2003. The total area of deforestation caused by drought and insect damage has continued to increase, resulting in additional dead fuel loading. A significant unknown is how spring weather, especially precipitation, may affect the overall situation. Spring precipitation can mitigate fire season severity in forested areas while leading to increased fire potential in grass and brush fuels.

Rocky Mountains

Potential: normal to above normal.

Snowpacks generally are much improved over the last two years with most readings currently in the 80-105 percent range as compared to 50-90 percent last year at this time. The exceptions to this include portions of the Colorado Front Ranges and the Black Hills where values are around 65 percent of average.

Most of the area is expected to have near normal temperatures and precipitation. Given the long-term drought effects, most of the area will have above average fire potential.

However, an early start to the fire season is unlikely.

Note: This national outlook and some geographic area assessments are currently available at the NICC and GACC Web sites. The GACC Web sites can also be accessed though the NICC Web page at:


Area snowpack above average, state level lags

Recent snow survey measurements completed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service for the March 1 streamflow forecasts show local snowpack has increased to 116 percent of average due to late-February storms.

The overall state snowpack level, however, continues to lag below normal at 92 percent of average.

Measurements from the Upper San Juan Sno-Tel site located west of Wolf Creek Pass summit at an elevation of 10,130 feet show a water content of 32.9 inches, or 124 percent of the long-term average. Last year at this time, the site was at 80 percent of average.

The Wolf Creek Summit Sno-Tel site at an elevation of 11,000 feet has a water content of 30.7 inches, which is 114 percent of the long-term average of 27.0 inches. Last year's readings, for the same time period, showed levels at 65 percent of average.

The Vallecito Sno-Tel site near Vallecito Lake at an elevation of 10,880 feet shows a water content of 18.9 inches, or 111 percent of the long-term average of 17 inches. Last year the site was 68 percent of average.

The average of the three sites, which is used to determine the snowpack for the Upper San Juan River Basin, is 116 percent of average. Last year's average was 71 percent.

In addition, streamflows for the Pagosa area are projected to be above average for the upcoming runoff season.

The Rio Blanco at the Rio Blanco Diversion is expected to have streamflows at 108 percent of average, while the Navajo River at the Oso Diversion is expected to have streamflows at 106 percent of average.

Likewise, the San Juan River at Carracas is projected at 111 percent of average and the Piedra River at Arboles is expected to have flows at 113 percent of average.


Comments sought on proposed Wolf Creek project

The U.S. Forest Service will hold a public scoping meeting regarding an application for transportation and utility systems and facilities easements for the proposed Village at Wolf Creek from 6-8 p.m. March 18 in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, 230 Port Avenue.

This application, if authorized, would permit a perpetual easement, through federal lands, for year-round permanent road access, obtain or modify utility easements, and modify easement terms for Alberta Lake access for the proposed Village at Wolf Creek.

The village, a connected but nonfederal action, is a planned community of approximately 2.172 hotel, condominium and private residence units solely within 287.5 acres of privately-owned land entirely within the Rio Grande National Forest adjacent to Wolf Creek Ski Area.

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy, the USDA-FS, Rio Grande National Forest, Divide Ranger District will prepare an environmental impact statement on the submission of the application and is requesting information and/or concerns from the public.

Fore more information, contact Stephen Brigham, NEPA coordinator at (719) 657-3321 or e-mail


Time now to plan spring WNV shots for your horses

Alarmed by the rampant spread of West Nile virus in recent years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other equine health experts are strongly urging horse owners to vaccinate their stock as soon as possible against the deadly, mosquito-borne disease.

Horses should be vaccinated before mosquito season to maximize the vaccine's benefit, or given a booster with West Nile-Innovator vaccine to maintain continuous, proven protection for horses already vaccinated.

Horse owners are urged to call early to schedule spring appointments with their veterinarian.

Vaccinating with the West-Nile-Innovator vaccine has proven effective in reducing the incidence of the disease. Data published by USDA/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service forecast fewer new cases in several regions of the United States this year due to protective immunity created by the vaccine or prior natural exposure to the disease.

More than 13 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the past two years. And, while equine cases have declined, CDC reports that human cases have not.

USDA said 4,554 cases of equine WNV were reported in 2003, down from 15,257 in 2002, compared to 9,122 human cases, up from 4,156 in 2002.


Health board changes March meeting date

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District has moved its regularly scheduled March board meeting to March 25. According to a press release from the district the change is due to spring break.

The March 25 meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs Community Center south room. The community center is located on Hot Springs Boulevard next to Town Hall.

Staff of the district will be providing free blood pressure checks and free kidney screening at Jackisch Drug Store on St. Patrick's Day, March 17 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.


State board association expert will guide local evaluation code revision

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Revision of the format for evaluation of superintendents and creation of a board assessment process will get local attention of a special representative of Colorado Association of School Boards.

That was the upshot of discussion Tuesday by members of the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

Director Carol Feazel, board president, told fellow board members "we should take advantage of all the services offered by the association."

One of those is utilization of the consultant services of Randy Black, association manager.

Feazel said he prefers to do back-to-back sessions in an evening-following morning format and will come to Pagosa for the service.

The board agreed to invite him here 1-5 p.m. April 5 and 6-8 a.m. April 6.

The session will deal with team building, appraising, measuring and assessing performance, working in those factors he has seen successful in other locations, and the ideas of Pagosa board members.

Director Mike Haynes said the process should "involve evaluating the superintendent as an extension of the board members themselves."

Feazel said the goals will be set "up front" and "we'll end up with a better result emphasizing teamwork."

In other personnel action, the board approved these changes:

- Tonya Hamilton was named food service transport driver and assistant cook

- Melanie Cowan was transferred from fifth grade teacher to intermediate-junior high school librarian

- Carol Stanfill's retirement as a third grade teacher was accepted

- Mikelle Brady was approved as a volunteer track coach and Dan Bond, Lynn Richey and Justin Caler as volunteer baseball coaches

- Pam Miller was transferred from intermediate school resource teachers' aide to the fifth grade teaching vacancy

- Accepted the resignation of elementary school teachers' aide Virginia Tanner who is moving out of the district.


Alive at 25 course set Tuesday

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Alive at 25 will be back in Pagosa Springs March 17.

This four-hour defensive driving course is taught by Colorado state troopers and aimed at teen-agers and young adults age 15-24. It was created by the National Safety Council in 1991 to address staggering statistics surrounding young drivers.

Some of the most astounding statistics show the number one cause of death for all people in the United States under the age of 25 is automobile accidents.

The Alive at 25 course consists of classroom instruction on topics including: risk information, interactive video participation, discussions among participants about personal experiences, role-playing exercises to help students learn to control various situations, local traffic and driving laws and vehicle preventive maintenance as it pertains to safety.

Many insurance companies will give discounts for students completing the course. Also, the state legislature is considering several bills that would increase the legal driving age. One of these bills would drop the age if students passed a defensive driving course such as Alive at 25.

Alive at 25 is opened to anyone ages 15-24. Cost is $25 for volunteer participants and $50 for court-ordered students. For more information on class times or locations, or to register for a class, go to


Buy local

Dear Editor:

These are tough times for our nation's large-scale cattle producers and owners of large-scale feed lots. New concerns about the safety of our food have arisen just as drought and economic uncertainty have taken hold in many parts of the country.

Health-conscious consumers are reading more labels, asking more questions and doing more research than ever before in an attempt to get to know their food better. And for many of us, that means buying local.

The San Juan Resource Conservation and Development Council, supported by local governments, grants and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, maintains a Web site at that provides local ag producers the opportunity to advertise their products and services for free, while offering buyers a one-stop shopping location for local meats, soils and sod, arborists and auctioneers, and many other products and services.

Consumers who routinely buy local not only benefit themselves by enjoying quality natural products, but they are also contributing to their community in a big way. From an economic standpoint, buying local keeps our ranchers, farmers and crafts people in business, and in doing so, we are saving jobs and keeping our hard-earned dollars in our own community. From an aesthetic standpoint, buying local helps to preserve open space and conserve the abundance of natural resources we're so lucky to enjoy in Southwest Colorado.

The board of directors of the San Juan Resource Conservation and Development Council is encouraged by the growing number of area residents who are eager to buy local in order to assure themselves of a quality product.

It's good for them, and good for our economy. We encourage all area producers and buyers alike to continue to support local farmers and ranchers.

Lee Campbell


Dear Editor:

It has come to my attention that our EMT's are being misinformed about the intentions of the candidates who are supported by the Prohealthcoalition for election to the Health Services District Board of Directors.

Apparently they are being told that if the coalition candidates are elected they will send EMS to the Pagosa Fire Protection District. This is absolutely not true.

Let me quote the two references to EMS from the Prohealth plan for the future:

"The ultimate goal of the district should be to provide services to the community that are not already being delivered by our local private providers. These services would primarily include EMS, Indigent Care, and Medicaid. We should not be using our tax money to compete with the local providers. Rather we should be using this money to provide care for people who are not able to obtain it otherwise.

"Administrative and Medical Management of EMS needs to be evaluated and compared with other similar districts. However, our district should maintain ownership of all equipment and direct oversight of the service. With an integrated medical system we would bring back to our EMS a local medical advisor or director and start a real Quality Assurance Program. Working with our local providers and a healthy Urgent Care Center, fewer patients would need to be transported to Mercy Medical Center and would be treated in Pagosa with quality and cost savings."

Pat Curtis

Israeli wall

Dear Editor:

I would like to offer a view completely opposite from my neighbor and friend, Ray Finney, on the wall being built by the Israelis.

I think the wall is an excellent idea, given the realities of the Mideast conflict. It will save many lives, both Israeli and Palestinian.

Given that 59-60 percent of all Palestinians approve of suicide bombing, it is a wonder that Israel allows any Palestinians to work or live in Israel.

The wall certainly won't bring "peace" to that troubled region because peace is found in people's hearts, not just in the lessening of overt hostilities.

As long as the Palestinians and most of the Arabs refuse to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, there will never be peace.

Golda Meir's quote cited by Mr. Bennett is right on. Imagine the moral outrage that would fill all the media if anyone offered a $25,000 "bounty" for the murder of each and every Palestinian - man, woman or child - like that offered and reportedly being paid to the heirs of Palestinian suicide bombers. (The silence is deafening, don't you think?) It must cost the terrorists dearly for their despicable attacks.

Unbelievably, neither the death of their children, bulldozing of their homes, nor attacks on Hamas or Al Aqsa masterminds, seems to be enough deterrent to stop the unrelenting attacks.

So, whether the economic hardships imposed by construction of the wall will do any good is certainly debatable. The wall may only prevent many of the bombers from getting into Israel, and eliminate much of the reprisal forays into the West Bank and Gaza. If that is all it accomplishes, it will be worth it.

Amazingly, the Palestinians may have their own state soon. I cannot think of even one statesman they have ever produced. Arafat is every bit the terrorist that bin Laden is, except not nearly as honest about it as Osama is.

Jerry Driesens

Mideast dialogue

Dear Editor:

I think it is very interesting that William Bennett and Judy Esterly responded to my letter on the Israeli/Palestinian situation by personally attacking me.

The issue I will continue to raise is the lack of economic and social justice in the Middle East, a large and visible part of which is the way Israel, with the financial and military aid of the United States, is treating the Palestinian people. The recent history of Palestine starts in 1946-48 with the massive exodus of European Jews and their immigration to Palestine. In 2001, Ariel Sharon and Israeli Army soldiers walked through a Muslim section of the Temple Mount which started the latest round of violence in Israel/Palestine.

Since that time Israel has lost approximately 1,000 killed by Palestinian militants and the Israeli army has killed about 3,000 Palestinians. The United States has suffered the attack of 9/11 and gotten into ground wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And let's not forget Somalia, Kobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the USS Cole and the Marine barracks in Beirut. The Middle East is a dangerous place especially if you are seen to be the invader.

Both sides are wrong! Sharon and Arafat both have innocent blood on their hands. I agree Palestine has lost some opportunities to make peace, so has Israel. That does not mean we should stop working for peaceful solutions. The issue is not blame, but how to create a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. To dismiss the issue by saying "the Middle East has been in turmoil since the beginning of recorded history" is callous to say the least.

We need to look at the social and economic side of this equation. There will not be peace in the Middle East until there is economic, social and political justice. A Marshall Plan for Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq is an idea that makes sense. To a great extent the war about terrorism is about social and economic injustice and political frustration. There is plenty of blame to share on both sides.

Our "War against Terrorism" mentality is getting U.S. soldiers and others killed, diverting our resources thus keeping our country from having decent universal health care, affordable college education, etc., and is running up a giant deficit at the expense of our children.

The Torah (Old Testament) and the New Testament speak directly to issues of peace and justice and love of those we consider enemies. We need to think about roots of the problems not the manifestations of them. It may be pragmatically less expensive and far more Judeo-Christian to share our wealth than to defend our wealth.

Maybe this exchange of letters will get more of The SUN's readers to think about global issues affecting our sons, daughters and economy. We have young people from Archuleta County on active duty and in harm's way today.

Raymond P. Finney

'Land swap'

Dear Editor:

As a new resident of Pagosa Springs, I read your local paper front to back wanting to learn as much as I can about my new-found friends and the place I now call home. I have, with great concern, been following letters from a few concerned citizens regarding a "land swap" or "property trade," by the Forest Service to an "out of state developer".

I am a native Californian, and California was once truly the Golden State, with pristine beaches and vibrant wildlife. Over the years, I slowly watched California's open space destroyed by developers and greedy politicians. It was too late before me and my fellow Californians really understood what was happening and began to fight back. California is changed forever, and clearly not for the better. As a result, many California natives like me are leaving, opting for wonderful and beautiful places like Pagosa Springs to call our home.

I now see a similar threat in my new community. In my opinion, this talk of trading land is all about money. It is about someone lining their pocket with real estate development cash? Do not think for one minute it is for the good of this community. I have been here before, and I have seen the results of sitting by passively. I believe that our community should not sit by quietly while developers and bureaucrats make decisions for us. Pagosans need to be involved, consider what is at stake, and ask why.

Why is this land swap so important? Why is it better for the environment? Why is it better for Pagosans? Remember that we have the right to question and influence the things our government is doing in our community. If we don't, we risk sacrificing our quality of life and giving up those things most important to us.

The Forest Service is charged with among other things, managing and protecting the forest for all Americans, and in doing so they have the right to trade and swap land. It is our right and obligation to provide some additional community oversight and help the Forest Service and the developer do the best thing for Pagosa Springs and the forest that surrounds us. I urge the community to get involved. Attend meetings and planning sessions. Inform your neighbors and ask that they too become involved in their community.

Stand up, be heard, and just ask "Why?"

William Hodkin

Tax gripe

Dear Editor:

It is funny every two years commercial real estate taxes either double or triple and you see two or three more businesses fold up in Pagosa. I hold a one-acre parcel on Hot Springs Boulevard with a historic church we saved and generates no income; we just wanted to save it.

My taxes have gone up 200 percent in two years. They have my church zoned as a restaurant - has anyone ever eaten there? They told me a church would pay more in taxes. They at the tax office laughed at how upset I was and refused to look up other big boys' taxes on Hot Springs Boulevard which, by the way, have an agriculture and mining tax status. I have yet to see cattle or a mine near the post office.

There are two tax rates in this town. The Good Old Boys and the rest of us. Two sets of rules depending on who you are, so check your taxes especially if you are commercial and not a proud holder of your Good Old Boy card.

Why, in a small town, are there 12 people in the tax office doing nothing but giving taxpayers a hard time and too busy to look up Big Boys taxes and explain why two different rates? I think all commercial people should be up in arms not about tea but about a misuse of government causing many people to fold, or like me, pull a million dollar project for lack of support or care if you bring business to Pagosa.

Look at other towns that attract business instead of putting a huge cost and burden on people so they can't even build or stay open. The tax assessor, Keren Prior, is an elected official. Show her commercial drives this town and send her packing. As far as the rest of the machine if we let the government keep sucking us dry Pagosa business will continue to fail and flounder. Make your voices heard and don't forget to look at your neighbors taxes, it is probably different if they are a Good Old Boy. Oh. Oh yeah, the supposed agricultural status land across from the Post Office just applied to build a 60-foot tall Red Roof Inn. A great start to a street that is so important to this town. My project was to be five star quality, but not if Motel 6, Red Roof Inn and McDonalds will be moving in.

Twisted in Santa Fe,

Sean McMullen

Editor's note:

A call to the Pagosa Springs town administrator produced the following:

The properties reputedly owned by the "Good Old Boys," adjacent to Hot Springs Boulevard on the same side of the road as the church property are zoned by the town as "Hot Springs Boulevard Mixed Use." Properties across the road from the property, from The Springs to Town Hall are zoned "Hot Springs Mixed Use."

The last proposal for a lodging establishment on property adjacent to Hot Springs Boulevard was for construction of a Holiday Inn Staybridge Hotel, approximately 45-feet in height. At this point in time, there is no project being considered by the town.

According to the Archuleta County Assessor's office the church property is currently designated "commercial" by the state for tax purposes. The property across Hot Springs Boulevard, from The Springs to Town Hall is designated "commercial" by the assessor.

The property adjacent to Hot Springs Boulevard across the road from Town Hall is designated "vacant" with the designation changed with future use. Some of the private land atop Reservoir Hill is designated Forest Agricultural by the state because of a tree farm operation at the site.

Wolf Creek Village

Dear Editor:

Reference the March 18 public meeting planned at Vista Clubhouse on an environmental impact statement for the proposed Village at Wolf Creek containing 2,172 hotel, condominium and private residence units on 287.5 acres privately owned land within the Rio Grande National Forest adjacent to Wolf Creek Ski Area:

1. Environmentally sound? No. Where will the water come from for such a development? Answer, from the farmers below; result, less food on the table.

2. Where will the sewage go from such a development? Alberta Lake? Result, kill our native cutthroat trout and other fish?

3. This location is at the headwaters of the Rio Grande; as a society we better wake up and protect our watersheds, now.

4. Air pollution from such a development from cars, roads being built, trees cut down, trash from visitors, the list goes on. Birds, other wildlife homes taken, humans and pavement taking over the land. Let Mother Nature rest.

If you cannot make this meeting, please write to Stephen Brigham, NEPA coordinator, USDA-FS, Rio Grande National Forest, Divide Ranger district, 13308 W. U.S. 160, Del Norte, CO 81132; phone (719) 657-3321; Fax (719) 657-6035; or e-mail mailroom, with your comments whether pro or con toward such a development. Let your voice be heard.

I truly hope your heart is where mine is: Save and protect the land.

Pam Morrow

Editor's note:

The meeting is set for 6-8 p.m. March 18.

Caucus forum

Dear Editor:

Those of us who lived in Colorado in 2000, during our last countywide and Presidential election year, are, to varying degrees, familiar with Colorado's party caucus system, which commences in April and culminates in the November general elections.

But only a few states utilize the caucus system, and for those who moved here after that year, understanding Colorado's caucus system, and therefore being able to participate in it, can be a somewhat daunting task.

To help Archuleta County voters better understand the party caucus system, and to encourage more voter participation in it, the League of Women Voters of Archuleta County is holding an informational forum Tuesday, March 16, at the County Extension Building. The forum will take place at 7 p.m., and will feature speakers from the Republican and Democratic parties. There will also be ample time for the public to have their questions answered.

The caucus system is intended to provide maximum participation in the process by individual voters. But first they have to understand the system. I hope all interested voters in Archuleta County will consider attending the League's forum Tuesday evening.

Nan Rowe

Queries for Knoll

Dear Editor:

This is a reply and an open letter, first to Dr. James Knoll, and then to the "others" who are endeavoring to radically change the health district.

Dr. Knoll's letter is filled with inference and assumption that imply he is an expert in the field of health care. As a matter of fact, Dr. Knoll is a psychiatrist and was an administrator of a mental unit within a hospital. This is a far cry from knowing about and having expertise in a health district that has multiple use and facilities. I would question the reasoning and motivation of Dr. Knoll's bias, declaring and claiming the health district is out of synch, antiquated and without willingness to adapt new systems, as he would term and define such systems.

In short, I have simple and direct questions for Dr. Knoll:

Why and for what purpose has it been necessary to form groups of associated doctors and other healthcare providers? And, what need is there for the political action committee called "Progressive Healthcare Coalition?" Can such "special interest groups" be construed as having a conflict of interest related to covertly intended real estate and medical profit?

In my experience with such groupings and coalitions, the real name of the game is power and force in politics - and its bottom line is money.

Dr. Knoll has tried for over 10 months to sell his so-called Six Point Plan, a plan that is ever evolving and changing, tailoring and then retailoring it to influence his audience. Dr. Knoll then "feels compelled" to correct the "misinformation" of Patty Tillerson's "column."

From where I look, Dr. Knoll appears to be using political tactics and manipulative language. And politics is more known for its false promises, deceitful rhetoric and games of one-upmanship than it is known for its healthcare benefits. Healthcare need not be a political football.

This writing is an observation to get the good doctor and his would-be fellow travelers to come out in the open and declare their real intentions.

Bill Stewart

Editor's note:

Dr. Knoll's many professional positions include medical director of Partial Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas; president of the Medical/Dental Staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas; and administrator and medical director of the Continuing Medical Education Department of the Presbyterian Healthcare System.

Health board

Dear Editor:

In 1807, John Quincy Adams took a courageous stand in congress against a heated issue and stated very clearly "... private interest must not be put in opposition to public good".

Health care all over our nation is in jeopardy, as most are managed by for-profit HMOs whose boards of directors, who are shareholders, expect a share of profits.

The board of directors of the USJHSD have no financial interests. All monies generated go to support those employees who meet your emergent needs and those who care for you and your guests when an illness needs medical attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That is the way it is. Let's keep it that way.

The responsibility of directors on the health district board is to oversee the general operations, not the practice of medicine. The practice of medicine is the responsibility of physicians. In the case of our Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center that is our medical director and our EMS physician advisor.

Physicians are not known for business expertise - that is why they all have business managers.

The Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic is the core element of the services provided by the health district. "Sell out" of the clinic to a for-profit business will most certainly be detrimental to the consolidated health services of EMS and Urgent Care.

Friends, the campaign has begun. Listen closely to the issues and take your vote seriously. The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical facility belongs to you - let's keep it there!

Patty Tillerson

Burglary victim

Dear Editor:

Although my wife and I have chosen to live only part-time in Pagosa Lakes, we look forward to returning whenever we can. Unfortunately, our sense of anticipation as we approach Pagosa Springs is always tempered by concern about the condition of our log cabin. Twice during the past six years we have returned to find our front door kicked open by burglars.

At the time of the first burglary, security in Pagosa Lakes was largely the responsibility of the Pagosa Lakes Department of Public Safety. When that break-in was detected, a PLPOA officer investigated and promptly notified us by phone. The most recent burglary was detected by an Archuleta County sheriff's deputy who was investigating a similar burglary across the road. The burglary of our home was investigated but we were never notified because, in the words of the investigating deputy, "We were unable to locate an owner of the residence."

The tax assessor, someone in the PLPOA office or either of our closest neighbors could have given the deputy our name and address; the telephone company would have been willing to provide our telephone number. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the sheriff's office does not place a very high priority on protecting the homes of county residents, a conclusion reinforced by the fact that least 17 burglaries occurred during a period of one or two months.

When PLPOA was in the public safety business, we were able to inform their department we were going to be away so they could check periodically. When PLPOA discontinued its public safety function, we assumed the Archuleta County sheriff would fill the void. We knew the home-watch service would not be continued by the sheriff (although it doesn't seem like too much to ask given the nature of this area), but expected that at least an observant officer would drive by once in a while. Since that doesn't appear to be happening, I believe the PLPOA board of directors should clarify exactly what kind of protection the residents of Pagosa Lakes need and deserve from the sheriff's office.

Protecting the homes of county residents is one of the most important responsibilities of the sheriff, one that applies equally to full-time and part-time residents. There is also a pragmatic reason for ensuring the property of part-time residents and visitors is safe; they contribute significantly to the local economy. While owning a second home in Pagosa Lakes has given us great pleasure for more than a decade and we plan to remain, others may feel that the gut-wrenching experience of having your home burglarized every few years is too high a price to pay for the privilege.

Gene Wissler

Senior News

Busy day ahead Friday at senior center

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

Patty Tillerson will be here March 12 to do free blood pressure checks 11a.m.-noon.

Senior board meeting is at 1 p.m., and we are also showing our free movie - "Secondhand Lions" at 1 p.m.

A sullen teen is forced to spend the summer with his grumpy old uncles (Michael Caine and Robert Duvall) but life on their rundown Texas farm is not dull, especially after the uncles decide to make a man out of their nervous nephew. As always, popcorn is only 25 cents.

We have a new feature in our dining room - "Because we care ..." This is a special place on the bulletin board to put up notices of happy events or concerns about our seniors. If you need special attention given to someone or to announce a birth of a grandchild, this is the place to put it for members of Archuleta Seniors, Inc. or their families. We want to share your concerns and your joys, so announce them on our "Because we care Š" board.

We are currently looking for several volunteers to provide assistance on our senior bus approximately once a week. Duties may include assistance from the home to bus, carrying groceries and assisting with grocery shopping. A background check will be completed on all applicants. Help brighten the day of a senior today by helping out! Call 264-2167 for more information.

Beverlee Brown had quite a lineup for her reflexology treatments on March 2. Be sure to come in March 16 and try out a Shiatsu treatment. This is an oriental massage done through clothing and concentrating on the energy lines in the body. Free for our seniors.

And if that isn't enough tactile stimulation, Sharon will be here March 15 for another free paraffin treatment service. Men and women both seem to like the warmth on their joints and their hands become soft and smooth. Come in for a dip.

Our volunteer meeting will be the same day at 10:30. If you want to help us out with dining room chores, you can eat free! Even if you aren't able to carry things, you can be a greeter. Be a volunteer and meet some interesting folks.

We are pleased to have Jerry Granok here next week to start our new Tai Chi Chih class starting at 10 a.m. Monday. This is a non-strenuous practice of nineteen moves and one pose based on ancient Chinese principles that acts to balance the Chi, our internal life force and our lives in general. Benefits frequently seen include stress reduction, improved balance and mobility, and numerous other effects. It is rapidly learned, is not physically demanding and can be adjusted to accommodate strength and mobility limitations. Come try out this great form of exercise.

The Sky Ute Casino trip is Tuesday, March 16. Hop on board at 1 p.m. here at the "den." Transportation is free and a few freebies are provided as well. The van will return you around 6 p.m. There is limited seating, so call and sign up now.

Don't forget to wear green on St. Patrick's Day, Wednesday, March 17. Eat lunch at the Center and show off your Irish colors at the same time and then go to the parade.

Barb Conkey will be back March 19 to help us analyze our dreams. She comes to visit every few months, as people keep requesting her. Our dreams can tell us a lot about ourselves and if you have a persistent dream, maybe Barb can help you interpret the meaning. She will be in the Lounge at 12:45 p.m.

Need a change of scenery? Try the Heritage of America Tour, set up by Four Corners Senior Travelers.

Departure date is Oct. 30 for 10 days, including 13 meals - eight breakfasts and five dinners.

Highlights include New York City, Philadelphia, Amish country, Gettysburg, Shenandoah Valley, Monticello, Colonial Williamsburg, Mt. Vernon, Washington D.C., Smithsonian Institute and Ford's Theatre.

Price: Double- $2,079; single: $2,649 and includes round trip air from Durango, cancellation waiver, insurance and hotel transfers. Call (970)565-4166 (Montezuma County Senior Center), for more information.

To discover all the exciting things going on at the Senior Center, go to your computer to peruse our monthly Newsletter. Go to and read us online.

Old George, from the SC_None (Senior Center Bars None) remembers the songs of long agoŠ"Old songs are like old soldiers, they never die, they just fade away. Some of the tunes I remember from many years ago are listed below. Do you remember them?"

"Somebody Stole My Gal," "I Cried for You," "Stumbling the Bowery," "Beautiful Ohio," "After the Ball is Over," "Alice Blue Gown," "Springtime in the Rockies," "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," "My Gal Sal," "Over There," and "Wait for the Sunshine, Nellie."


Friday - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; MicroSoft Word, 10:30; blood pressure check, 1 p.m.; movie day, "Secondhand Lions," 1 p.m.; Senior Board meeting, 1 p.m.

March 15 -Tai Chi Chih, new class, 10 a.m.; volunteer meeting, 10:30; board meeting report, noon; paraffin treatment, 12:30 p.m.; Bridge for fun, 1 p.m.

March 16 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; advanced computer, 10:30; Shiatsu, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.

March 17 - Beginning computer, 10:30 a.m.; wear green for St. Paddy's Day, noon; Canasta, 1 p.m.

March 19 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; MicroSoft Word, 10:30; What do Our Dreams Tell Us with Barb Conkey, 12:45 p.m.


Friday - Baked chicken fillets, mashed potatoes/cream gravy, broccoli salad, muffin, apple crisp

March 15 - Spanish meatballs, parsley potatoes, Brussell sprouts, roll, pears

March 16 - Tuna melt, tossed salad, peas/mushrooms, applesauce

March 17 - Salisbury steak, boiled potatoes, mixed vegetables, whole wheat roll, apricots

March 19 - Chicken stew with vegetables, garbanzo bean salad, biscuit, peaches/cottage cheese


Chamber News

There's still time to get your St. Patrick's parade entries in

By Sally Hamiester

We're looking for parade entries for our dandy little St. Patrick's Day Parade to be held March 17 with lineup beginning at 3:17 p.m. right on U.S. 160 at the light on 5th Street and wrap around on 6th Street.

The outrageous registration fee of $3.17 will be required as well as the one and only rule that you wear green. We are aware that this is spring break week and could present some challenges with folks leaving town, but we are hoping that we can reach our ten-entry minimum so that we can still have the parade. We require at least 10 entries simply because our law enforcement folks put in a lot of extra time and effort for these events, and we feel that we must provide a reasonable level of interest and minimum number of entries to make it worth all their work.

Entry forms will be found in our upcoming newsletter, the Chamber Communiqué, or at the Visitor Center. We sincerely hope that we will be able to carry on this Pagosa tradition this year, so get your gang together with a float. Don't forget that you can win phenomenal amounts of money for your entries, i.e., $25 for the Best Float, $15 for Most Green and $10 for the Most Bizarre. Give Doug O'Trowbridge a call with any questions at 264-2360.

Daffodil Days

This week is American Cancer Society Daffodil Days, and you still have time to order and purchase these beautiful yellow bouquets that promise spring can't be far off. They are $9 each and can be ordered by calling Susan at 264-6255 or Mountain Greenery at 264-5962. Keep in mind that the funds collected from Daffodil Days are used locally to support research, education and patient services.

I find it critically important to know that our dollars are used to benefit our locals who need or require help in those areas. Be a part of the American Cancer Society's brightest week of the year, Daffodil Days.

Food for Friends

Yet another way to lend a hand here in Pagosa is through the Curves 30 Minute Fitness and Weight Loss Center annual food drive to benefit our local food banks. Last year the Curves food drive collected over 4,250,000 pounds of food for local communities across the nation with their "Food for Friends" program. Our local Curves collected 1,424 pounds, exceeding their goal of 1,200 pounds by 224 thanks to your generosity.

Anyone joining Curves the week of March 8 may bring a bag of groceries and owner, April Bergman, will waive the normal service fee. She invites everyone to drop off nonperishable food items at the 117 Navajo Trail Drive location or at the Visitor Center during business hours Monday through Friday.

"The Food for Friends promotion allows the franchises to help women reach their fitness goals while simultaneously giving back to the community. Our goal this year is to collect 2,000 pounds of food," said April. Let's all pitch in and help April reach and exceed her goal this year.

Tim Sullivan Concert

As chairperson for United Way this year, I am especially pleased to announce "Diary of a Songwriter," a one-man concert to be presented by Tim Sullivan March 20 at the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. In this concert, award-winning songwriter, Tim Sullivan, explores how great songs get written, how music influences our lives and how songs have the power to provoke our deepest and best emotions.

Tim is very well known locally and performed to a most appreciative audience at last year's benefit dinner for Music in the Mountains held in Pagosa. His original style, soaring tenor voice, humor and warm presentation all blend to make him an intriguing and unique entertainer. He has appeared with such well-know country stars as Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell and Tammy Wynette. He won the 1999 Songwriter of the Year Award for his song "Dance in the Rain" and was named Entertainer of the Year in the in the Southwest Four Corners area.

A very special bonus with this concert for parents of wee ones is that the Kiwanis Club of Pagosa is offering baby-sitting services at the Community Center 6-9:30 p.m. The charge is only $5 per child and potty-trained kiddoes only, please. You can drop off the children or call to make a reservation at 264-4152.

Tickets for this special event are $15 and are available at the Chamber of Commerce and WolfTracks Coffee Company and Bookstore and at the door. You may charge by phone if you like by calling 946-2057.

Recipe search

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is looking for good cooks to provide good recipes for their upcoming cookbook which will boast the "best of Pagosa Springs" in appetizers, beverages, soups and salads, vegetables and side dishes, main dishes, breads and rolls, desserts, cookies and candy, "this and that" and pet treats.

If you have some memorable recipes that have been passed down through your family for many generations or just some irresistible, taste-tempting treat you would like to share with others, please pick up a recipe submittal form at the Humane Society Thrift Store, Moonlight Books or the Chamber of Commerce. Because the book will include only about 250 recipes, there is no guarantee that all submitted recipes will be used.

Please submit no more than two recipes and include your name, address and phone number in case the Society folks have questions. You may submit your recipe(s) electronically if you wish at The deadline for submission is April 15 and you may return them in person to the Thrift Store or mail them to P.O. Box 146, Chromo, CO 81128. If you have questions, please call Lynn Constan at 264-5451.

Music in the Mountains

We are delighted to issue a "save the dates" alert for this summer's Music in the Mountains concerts because we know that you will want to attend all three here in Pagosa. Grab that calendar right now and mark July 23, July 30 and Aug. 6 as a reminder to head out to BootJack Ranch around 7 p.m. for concerts featuring world-class musicians in one of the most spectacular settings imaginable. Once again, thanks to the generosity of David and Carol Brown, owners of BootJack Ranch, we are given the opportunity to hear pianists Aviram Reichert, Antonio Pompa-Baldi and his wife Emanuela Friscioni, Anne-Marie McDermott and violinist, Philippe Quint. Schumann, Martinu and Brahms are just three of the many composers you can look forward to hearing.

In addition, this year Music in the Mountains will host a free children's concert for kids and their families in Town Park 11 a.m. July 29. Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" will be the centerpiece used to teach the kiddoes a thing or two about the machinations of a symphony.

Tickets for the three Music in the Mountains concerts will be available only at the Chamber of Commerce beginning April 1, and because previous concerts have sold out rather quickly, I suggest that you purchase your tickets rather early to avoid disappointment this summer. If you would like to be placed on a mailing list for information about all Pagosa Music in the Mountains events, please in 385-6820 in Durango.

2004 9Health Fair

This year's 9Health Fair will be held on Saturday, April 3 and will be held as always at the high school 8 a.m.-noon. This year it is a goal of this organization to find sponsors to cover the costs of screenings for the uninsured population to encourage increased participation in that group. Screenings vary in price from $30 for a blood analysis, to $25 for a prostate cancer screening and $5 for a colorectal kit. If you would like to become a sponsor, please make out a check for the level you wish and mail or take it to Bank of Colorado, 205 Country Center Drive, by the deadline of March 26.

Those interested in becoming a volunteer at the 9Health Fair in a nonmedical role can call Sharee Grazde at 731-0666; in a medical role, call Pam Hopkins at 264-6300.

WolfTracks HotSpot

Angie and Mark at WolfTracks are excited to announce the arrival of high-speed, wireless Internet access at WolfTracks. Anyone can bring use their desktop computers or bring their notebook computers and "get connected" as they say in the computer vernacular. The minimal amount of $3 for 30 minutes will be charged, or if you bring your laptop, you can sit outside on the patio and still access the high-speed Internet. WolfTracks is open seven days a week, Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. If you have questions, please give them a call at 731-6020.


We have daffodils, two new members and nine renewals for you accompanying the amazing spring-like weather we are experiencing this week. Old Man Winter is probably not quite finished, but it is ever so refreshing to catch a glimpse of spring.

We welcome Christine Powe who brings us Christine's Cuisine with a wide range of professional chef services. Her commercial kitchen allows her to bake wedding cakes and much, much more as well as catering for any and all occasions, large and small. To learn more about Christine's Cuisine, please give her a call at 731-9562.

We welcome back an old friend, Kevin Toman, DVM, who brings us Aspen Tree Animal Caring Center. Kevin will be happy to assist you in all you small animal medicine and surgery needs. If you would like to contact him about your furry, four-legged friends, please call 731-5001.

Our renewals this week include former board director Lauri "L" Heraty with The Source for Pagosa Real Estate; Kathryn and Mark Young with At Your Disposal; Sabra Miller with Timothy Miller Custom Homes, Inc.; Bonnie Davies, creator of the wonderful cartoons in the Chamber Communiqué; Maurice (Mo-Reece) Woodruff with Woodruff Enterprises with offices in his truck and home; William Thornell, DDS, with Pagosa Dental P.C; Caroline Brown with Friends of Native Cultures; Elizabeth Young with Head to Toe Salon and Boutique; Wally Rediske with Coyote Appliance Repair with home offices; and Clinton Scruggs with Certified Folder Display Service, Inc., Castle Rock.

Library News

Fund-raising a success, expansion plans in process

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

We thank everyone for coming to meet the architect and sharing their ideas about future library services.

Dennis Humphries was impressed with the community response. He has taken away many good suggestions. He will be back soon to show the board of trustees a number of options that can be accomplished with the funds we have raised.

We'll keep you informed on future public meetings and progress reports.

We are close to our original goal of $590,000. Now we will find out what it will actually cost to build the addition and do the renovation.

Indoor garage sale

Don't forget to rent booth space for the one day sale at the Extension building on U.S. 84 at the fairgrounds.

The sale will take place March 27 from 7 a.m. to noon.

Booth space is $15 for one table area. Double booths are available. You keep the proceeds from sales. Booth rent goes to the building fund.

This is a good way to clean house, make a little money, help the library and see your friends and neighbors after a long snowy winter.

New books

We have a new delightful book with strong Pagosa connections: "From the Front Porch: the Musings of a Montana Senior," by Mike McMahon.

Mike spends many hours on his front porch observing and reflecting on the small things in his life. His wry musing, in the form of letters to his family and friends have earned him acclaims as a storyteller and humorist. The letters appearing in the local weekly newspaper led him to being named a top columnist in Montana.

McMahon tackles the problems facing aging baby boomers today, about how to gracefully enter the autumn of their years while clinging to a 1960s mentality.

Mike's sister, Nancy Davidson, lives here in Pagosa. His brother Bruce used to own the Town House Restaurant (now Juan's Mountain Sports.) And Mike devotes a chapter to lutefisk, a chapter sure to please Red Iverson and his lovely Norwegian wife, Shirley.

We thank Mike for donating and dedicating a copy of his book to the library. While the stories are about his little town in Montana, they could easily take place right here in Pagosa.

The League of Women Voters of Archuleta County donated a book to help educate the community about the electoral process. "Choosing the President 2004, a Citizen's Guide to the Electoral Process," contains everything you need to know about the selection of the most powerful person in the United States.

Windsor Chacey explains that this completely nonpartisan book explains every important landmark on the road to the White House including: primaries, caucuses and conventions, as well as the role of the media and the effects of polls and reporting. It also deals with the actual laws that govern how we choose the president, from the Constitution to the latest campaign finance rules.

The League reminds us that casting a vote is every citizen's right, and casting an informed vote is every citizen's responsibility.


Our Building Fund continues to grow.

Thanks to: J.R. Ford for a Millennium gift; a Major gift from the Julia F. Cox Trust; Sponsor gift in memory of Julia F. Cox from Barton and Jackie Cox; Sponsor gift from Kurt and Lisa Raymond; a third annual gift from Rick and Sherry Murray in loving memory of Dorothy K. Reeves; Albert and Lis Schnell in memory of Steve May and Imogene Turpin; William and Joan Seielstad in memory of Julia Cox, Peggy Jacobson and George Crouse; Jim and Margaret Wilson; Becky Porco's donation of proceeds from her personal bookbinding business.

Thanks for materials from Joseph Washburn, Don Drennen, Berkey Branch, Chris Pierce, Jim Wilson, Dean Cox, Linda Lawrie, Tony Simmons and Bruce Kehret.


Veteran's Corner

CRSC benefit program explained

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

Last year, the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2003 instituted a program called Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC), which became effective with benefits payable June 1, 2003.

Under the CRSC program, a new, tax-free, special compensation benefit was made available to the following military retirees (20-plus years military service).

1. Veterans rated at least 10-percent disabled due to a combat wound for which they received the Purple Heart.

2. Veterans rated at least 60-percent disabled, and the disability was directly attributed to combat situations, combat-related training, hazardous duty, or instrumentalities of war.

10-year phase out

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2004 further authorized that:

1. All retirees with at least 20 years of service and VA disability ratings of 50 percent or higher will see their military retired pay offsets phased out over a 10-year period (beginning Jan. 1, 2004). This is referred to as "Concurrent Receipt" throughout the remainder of this section.

2. The CRSC as outlined will be expanded to include all combat-or-operations-related disabilities (from 10 to 100 percent ratings), effective Jan. 1, 2004. In effect, this will fully eliminate the offset to retired pay for any combat-or-operations-related disability.

In both of the above cases, Guard and Reserve retirees with 20 qualifying years of service (including those with less than 7,200 retirement points) will be eligible.

Concurrent Receipt

Disabled retirees rated 50 percent and higher who do not elect CRSC payments should have started seeing their retired offset phased out automatically, beginning January 1, 2004. Details of how this program will be administered are not available at this time. However, sources report that no application is expected to be required. DFAS is expected to automatically identify eligible individuals, and increase the amount of retired pay appropriately.

For those retirees eligible for concurrent receipt (50-100 percent), there will be a 10-year phaseout of the disability offset. For 2004, qualifying retirees should see their retired pay increase by a flat monthly amount for these ratings:

Tables for rates

Disability rating/amount of monthly increase:

100 percent - $750

90 percent - $500

80 percent - $350

70 percent - $250

60 percent - $125

50 percent - $100

Phase out schedule

The remaining retired pay offsets will then be phased out over the following nine years:

Year remaining offset/reduced by:

2005 -10 percent

2006 - 20 percent

2007 - 30 percent

2008 - 40 percent

2009 - 50 percent

2010 - 60 percent

2011 - 70 percent

2012 - 80 percent

2013 - 90 percent

2014 - 100 percent

Full benefit by 2014

By January 2014, disabled retirees with 50 percent and higher ratings will be entitled to full concurrent receipt of military retired pay and VA disability compensation.

Concurrent Receipt is the restoration of retired pay, and thus will be subject to the same tax provisions as a veteran's current retired pay. If an individual's retired pay is taxable, concurrent receipt payments will be taxable. If an individual's retired pay is nontaxable, concurrent receipt payments will be nontaxable.

CRSC payments

CRSC payments will be in the amount of the VA disability compensation paid for whatever percentage of the member's disability rating is due to combat-related disabilities, as determined by the parent service.

Retirees must apply to their parent service for CRSC payments. Details on the exact application procedures were not available at this time, but I will have that information on hand as soon as it is announced. There is no phase-in period for CRSC. CRSC is not subject to taxation.


Retirees eligible for both programs will be able to make an election between the two programs, depending on which one is more advantageous.

For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376, and e-mail is 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.

Arts Line

Juried art show set in September

By Belinda LaPierre

PREVIEW Columnist

A juried art show is planned Sept. 17-19. 

Pagosa Springs Arts Council is looking for paintings, photography and mixed media.  Themes should be of fall foliage and balloons since this will be held the same time as the Colorfest balloon festival. 

Artists can capture the beauty of the remaining fall color changes and the balloons that fill our skies, or work from photographs of past balloon rallies or fall colors. 

Photographs, paintings, wood work, iron sculptures of either subject will be accepted. Stay tuned for more information about this event.

Art of Cooking

The council will sponsor "The Art of Cooking" 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 10 with Diane Bouma and Fran Jenkins at Fran's home, Bear Mountain Ranch.

A complete dinner menu will be served in tasting portions. In a demonstration class the two will teach the basics of French sauces and techniques.

All proceeds will be donated to the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. Class size limited to 20 students. Cost is $50; $45 for PSAC members

Reservations must be made and paid by April 5. Please make your reservations by calling PSAC, 264-5020 or e-mail psac@

Diane is a personal chef at Bootjack Ranch, formally worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and is a certified culinary professional.

Fran also is a certified culinary professional with the International Association of Culinary Professionals and has taught numerous cooking classes.

French tasting menu

Simon Beck's Salmon Paté on Toast Points

Fennel Niçoise Olive Salad

Pork Medallions with Calvados

Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Apples in Caramel Cream in Filo Nests

Assorted French Cheeses

Breads from Pagosa Bakery

Sea Salt Tasting

Wine by:  Plaza Liquors

Reservations have to be made and paid in advance.

Woodworks show

Pagosa Springs Arts Council asks all fine woodworkers to apply for an exhibit planned in October.

The goal of this special exhibit is to gain recognition of Pagosa Springs as a center for fine woodworking.

At present, Cappy White, David Smith and Will Dunbar have offered to organize the special exhibit. Cappy has a woodworking shop in Pagosa and exhibits his work widely in the Four Corners area.

Will Dunbar, who makes very fine "Arts and Crafts" style furniture has also agreed to submit a couple of pieces.

Teen acting workshop

Felicia Landsbury Meyer will teach an acting workshop for teens 3-5:30 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday June 7-25 in the arts rooms in the community center. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months.


Education News

Intermediate school tabbed for state award

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs Intermediate School has been chosen one of Colorado's Distinguished Title I schools for 2004.

Darrell Ryan, senior consultant for Colorado Department of Education, told Principal Mark DeVoti the award "is indeed a great honor for you, your staff and your students."

DeVoti traveled to Denver March 3 to receive a special plaque and a $5,000 check for the school.

The award is based on Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) scores on reading and mathematics data.

Each year, the state selects one school from each of its educational regions for the honor.

DeVoti, in a message to his staff and students, thanked them for their success and noted "this concerns all students at our school, not just the Title 1 students."

"It is because we have placed a focus on our lower level achieving students that we have shown growth," he said. "As I have mentioned in the past, every student scoring 'below proficient' on CSAP is weighted at -1.5 where those above proficient are rated at +.5. Therefore, any student scoring below proficient (unsatisfactory) can cancel out three students scoring advanced."

He told the staff the way to spend the money is their choice. "We can spend it any way we want ... talk about it, give it some thought, let me know and we will discuss the final decision together."

And finally, he told staff and students: "Congratulations! You are all the best of the best."


School support building architect interviews Friday

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Proposals from five architectural firms for the planned school district support services building, were weeded down to three and authors of those proposals will be interviewed Friday.

That was reported to the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint Tuesday.

Superintendent Duane Noggle told the board the administration expects to have a recommendation for approval at the April 8 meeting.

Planned is a combination transportation, warehousing, shipping and receiving facility for the district on a tract southeast of the vocational education center in the high school complex.

An original proposal to move administration offices to the same facility was deleted last month, a move which directors felt could cut total project cost up to 40 percent.

Overall cost has been estimated in the range of $1.3 million.

In a related building matter, Steve Walston, the district's maintenance director, told the board work on a contract on climate controls for the elementary school has been awarded to Jones Mechanical and June 1 is targeted as the beginning date.

Work on the project estimated at just over $101,000 is expected to be completed by the second week in July.

The work was authorized by the board last year as part of an update of the grade school structure to provide cooling to areas which become heat traps in late summer and early fall.

In other action Tuesday, the board approved the PHTV request to participate again next January in the National High School Broadcasters convention.

(It was noted the participants will have to raise more individual funds than they did this year (about $700 each) and will sell broadcast sponsorships and conduct personal fund-raising during the summer.


PSHS sophomore putting her voice on display at state

Pagosa Springs High School sophomore Samantha Ricker has a big assignment today.

The young woman with a big voice has been chosen by Colorado High School Activities Association to sing the national anthem prior to the 4 p.m. game between Lamar and Buena Vista girls at the state basketball playoffs in Moby Arena at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.


Farm Bureau scholarships

The La Plata-Archuleta County Farm Bureau is offering scholarships to local residents who will attend college.

A recipient must plan to take agricultural classes or have shown an interest in agriculture through 4-H or other agricultural endeavors.

The recipient must be a permanent resident of Archuleta county

Applications can be obtained at Pagosa Springs High School. Applications are due April 16.


Lutheran Schools Week draws many volunteers

By Pat Maree

Our Savior Lutheran School

Special to the SUN

Our Savior Lutheran School is blessed by the many volunteers who serve us. Along with the dedicated staff, volunteers make our school the special learning and growing place it is.

We would like to express our sincerest thanks to everyone who participated in the many activities scheduled throughout our Lutheran Schools Week celebration. For example, Thursday, the children remembered and thanked God for His continual promises by dressing in the colors of the rainbow.

The children also enjoyed having friends of the community share stories with them. We would like to especially thank: Mayor Ross Aragon, Pastor Bollard, Warren Grams, Sally Hameister, Lois Higgins, Shirley Iverson and Diana Kenyon for taking time out of their schedule to visit with us.

Our doors are always open, so if you missed a chance to visit with us, please feel free to stop by anytime. Our Savior Lutheran Church exists to assist parents in our congregation and in our community in the raising of their children in the nurture and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and to introduce them to the Christian faith. All with the added benefit of a top-notch academic program.


School calendar adopted for 2004-05

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Acceding to results of a vote of school district personnel, the board of eduction for Archuleta School District 50 Joint has approved a school calendar for the 2004-05 school year.

A number of alternatives were offered but were weeded down to two proposals.

Staff voted 102-57 in favor of the schedule adopted Tuesday by district directors.

The unanimous vote has teachers reporting for staff workdays Aug. 19 and 20 and the first day of school this fall scheduled Aug. 23.

Other key dates on the approved schedule are Labor Day holiday Sept. 6 and parent teacher conferences Sept. 23.

In October Columbus Day will be marked on the 11th and the 22nd will end the first quarter.

In November, Thanksgiving break will be Nov. 24-26.

The first semester will end Dec. 17 with Christmas break to follow Dec. 20-31.

Jan. 3 will be a staff work day with no classes and Jan. 17 will also have no classes for Martin Luther King Day.

In February, parent-teacher conferences will be on the 3rd for intermediate, junior high and high school and it will be a staff in-service day for the elementary school. The following day there will be no school and on the 21st President's Day will be observed.

March 10 will mark the end of the third quarter; there will be no school on the 11th, and spring break will be March 21-28.

There will be no school April 18.

In May, the semester will end on the 19th, the 20th will be a staff work day with no classes, and graduation will be May 22.

The selected calendar was approved in all schools except the elementary, where the vote was 28-23 for a version which would have had later starts for all activities.

The intermediate school vote was 10-8, the junior high 28-6, high school 24-6 and other classified personnel voted 17-7 for the approved measure.

Prior to the board's vote, there was some discussion about why parents are not a part of the committee which establishes calendar proposals.

Director Mike Haynes told the board he feels at least one parent should be a part of the calendar committee, and that perhaps the feelings of other parents could be collected by the various school accountability committees.

Director Carol Feazel, board president, agreed that parental concerns might well be considered in the future.

Director Jon Forrest asked if anyone could explain the elementary school vote, the only opposition to the adopted schedule.

Principal Kahle Charles said all teachers were given the details and exercised their vote as they saw fit. There were no pressures one way or the other, he said.

And, in answer to a board question, David Hamilton, high school athletics director, said the adopted schedule works better than any of the others for both coaches and athletes.

Director Sandy Caves' motion to adopt the staff approved schedule was then passed unanimously.

School Menus

No school menu this week.


Cruising with Cruse

Back to basics on the bunny slope

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

Picture the week following President's Day.

I know, that seems a long time ago. Practically forever.

Picture that week's snowfall. Six more inches of skiable powder. Perfect conditions at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Where did I ski? On the Nova slope. With the beginners and the Wolf Pups.

With a visiting 6-year-old.

I haven't been on the Nova chair in four years, not since I was a beginner myself.

This delightful child's parents opted for her to have private lessons. Two hours the first day. One hour the second day. The rest of the time with Grandma.

That would be me.

At the end of the first lesson we were debriefed by the instructor:

a) she's not ready for a bigger slope yet, and

b) she needs to work on her turns, especially the left turn.

Are there many people more opinionated than a self-possessed 6-year-old?

If you've not skied with such a person lately, here's a refresher course.

First, they like rules. We've barely parked ourselves on the Nova kid-sized chairlift. My knees are practically touching my chin. The tyke says, "Grandma. You have to pull the bar down now." As in right this very second if not sooner now.

As the chair approaches the dismount point, after a dizzying ride that must be all of 600 feet, she says, "Grandma. When we see the smiley faces, we have to raise the bar. I'll tell you when." The smiley faces are on two poles stuck in the snow. On the chairlifts I usually ride, there would be signs on the poles warning riders to get ready to left the bar and keep ski tips up.

We are at the smiley faces. The child says, "One, two, three. Now!" And I obediently raise the bar.

Back when I was a beginner myself, I used to fall down every time I tried to exit from the Nova chair. Fortunately, that doesn't happen any more. We start down the slope, among all the first time skiers forcing their legs into that snowplow wedge. Most of them are a lot shorter than I am.

"Make a pizza," orders my granddaughter. This is what they tell the little kids. When your skis are parallel, it's called French fries. I haven't made a pizza with my skis since my first season. Well, maybe occasionally.

"Show me how well you can turn," I say. But she's having none of that.

"Grandma," says the short person, "I want to do it my way." And she scoots straight down the hill. In that slightly hunchbacked pose that almost all new little skiers start out in. Without poles, arms held slightly out from the body, they look rather like little turtles standing on their back legs.

She sails into the lift line, and around we go again. I give up trying to encourage the turns. I practice my own turns, staying close in case she falls. Which eventually, she does.

"Grandma," she says, "help me up." Not having taken the instructor course, I'm not ready for this. Eventually I figure out the best way to use leverage and help her up, but not before I fall on her (one time) and bang her in the mouth with a pole (another time).

She forgives me.

On Day 2, I leave my poles at the bottom of the hill. I'm getting lots of practice making wide turns. And we have worked out a compromise. One trip down the slope she practices turns; the next time she beetles down in a straight line. And she rides up in the chair alone.

"Grandma. I want to do it by myself." Fortunately, the chairlift operators recognize that she's too small to pull the safety bar down and they do it for her. I ride behind in solitary splendor.

By the third day boredom is setting in. For me. As the chairlift nears the top, where the sign says "Keep ski tips up," I'm not paying attention. I'm looking with longing at Charisma, Lower Treasure, the bottom of Windjammer.

I sense more than see the chairlift operator start toward me in alarm, and I raise my dangling ski tips just in time to clear the mound of snow that constitutes the unloading platform.

On Day 3, we passed a couple in matching red outfits four times before I realized that they had not progressed down the slope. She fell, struggled up, fell again, struggled to her skis again, fell again.

At lunch I talked with a friend of theirs, who told me that the fellow was a very good skier and was teaching his girlfriend the basics. I wonder if this will be her first and last day on skis.

For that matter, will they be speaking to each other at the end of this ski vacation? Paid lessons are really worth the money.

Another woman took off her skis part way down and carried them to the lodge.

"That's it," I heard her say. "No more. I'm not having any fun."

One time, as my granddaughter and I began our "run" down the slope, I heard this behind us. "Dude, I think we're in the wrong place." Four lost guys quickly zipped around all the beginners to get off this slope as soon as ever they could and get over to Treasure chairlift, from which they could ski some ungroomed steep place at the top of the mountain, or maybe hike out to the top of Alberta Peak.

My grandchild didn't want to try any other place. She was happy mastering the beginning basics.

But next year she'll be bigger, and I hope we can get off the bunny slope.


Local Chatter

Great talents perform in a generous community

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

Carole Howard is my guest columnist this week. She writes about the summer Music in the Mountains program.

Music in the Mountains

Now that Music in the Mountains has announced the concerts for our Pagosa Springs festival this summer, my thoughts have been going in two directions.

The first: How amazing that so many world-class musicians who have performed on stages all over the world are coming to play for us here.

The second: How lucky we are that so many generous people in town are willing to donate their money and time to make it happen.

As the kids would say, "Awesome."

And speaking of kids, one of the best things about this summer's festival is that a special family and children's concert will be included for the first time ever. Another bonus: Several of the world-renowned soloists who thrilled Pagosa concertgoers last year will return, and we also will experience exciting new talent.

Our first concert will be July 23 when pianist Aviram Reichert will perform works including Schumann's Piano Quintet with several members of the Dallas and Baltimore symphonies. Reichart, who has won numerous awards and performed with major orchestras in Israel and Europe, wowed Pagosa audiences when he played here last summer.

The second concert is July 30 when Antonio Pompa-Baldi brings his piano mastery back to Pagosa. He, too, was a great hit with local audiences last summer. He will perform solo and then join his wife, Emanuela Friscioni, also an award-winning pianist who performs around the world, in piano for four hands selections.

Our third concert is Aug. 6 when we'll welcome two new internationally famous musicians, Anne-Marie McDermott on piano and Philippe Quint playing the violin. Their performance will include Martinu's Madrigals and Brahms' Piano Quintet.

In addition, Music in the Mountains will host a free children's concert for kids and their families at Town Park July 29 at 11 a.m. Highlights of this event will be "Peter and the Wolf," a work created by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev to teach his children about the symphony. Each character in the story - Peter, his grandfather, the wolf, a cat, a bird, a duck and some hunters - is represented by an instrument or instrument family and will be acted by local children. To help the kids enjoy this experience even more, Librarian Lenore Bright will include "Peter and the Wolf" in the children's summer reading program.

None of these events would be possible without the generosity of many local individuals as well as larger organizations like the Bank of the San Juans, Rotary Club and Wells Fargo. As well, we all owe a special vote of thanks to David and Carol Brown, since the three Friday evening concerts will take place at their spectacular BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs.

Orchestrating (pardon the pun) all of this for Pagosa is Jan Clinkenbeard, with her local volunteer steering committee composed of Melinda Baum, Sally Hameister, Mike and Lauri Heraty, Carole Howard, Crystal Howe, Teresa Huft and Bob and Lisa Scott. These people are dedicated - but they are not unique. In fact, they are typical of the hundreds of people who volunteer their time to make things happen in our community.

Put these Music in the Mountain concert dates on your calendar now and be ready to buy your tickets as soon as they go on sale at the Chamber of Commerce April 1. If past years are any indication, the events will sell out fast - well before the concerts take place. Each ticket is $35, the same price as last year, and a real bargain when you compare what big-city audiences are paying to see these same artists in concert in New York, Dallas or Europe.

If you have children, grandchildren or young neighbors, make plans to bring them to the free "Peter and the Wolf" event at Town Park. They'll learn about classical music in a fun way - and they may well turn out to be the musicians and concert-goers of the future.

By the way, I think I have figured out why we get such world-famous musicians here for our Music in the Mountains events every summer. Once they experience our stunning scenery, cobalt blue skies and deep appreciation for their talent, they are more than happy to flee their smoggy, crowded big cities to perform for us here in beautiful southwest Colorado.

Fun on the Run

A kindergarten teacher asked "What is the shape of the earth?"

One little girl spoke up: "According to my Daddy - terrible!"


Extension Viewpoints

It's seed potato ordering time

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Today - 4-H Oil Painting, Minor residence, 4:30 p.m.

Friday - Colorado Kids, Extension office, 2 p.m.

The Archuleta County Extension Office is now taking orders for seed potatoes. There are two kinds available: the Sangre (red potato) and the Yukon Gold (white potato).

Currently we are charging 30 cents per pound for both species. Those of you who are just starting out and are experimenting, it is our suggestion that you order 2-3 pounds of each species instead of ordering a whole lot of them.

This way you can experiment and see if you like them and then order more next year. When orders arrive at the Extension office each person will be contacted to pick up their order.

If you are interested in ordering seed potatoes call 264-2388, e-mail us at or stop by the Extension office.

Weight-loss plans

The diet craze is as crazy as ever!

As the number of Americans who are overweight or obese steadily increases, seemingly so does the number of people dieting.

These days, dieters have an entire menu of diets from which to choose. Today's most popular diets fall into two general categories: low carbohydrate-higher protein and more balanced nutrient-low calorie diets. This article will take a look at three of the more popular "balanced nutrient" weight-loss plans. Next week, we'll look at three popular low carbohydrate weight-loss plans.

Weight Watchers: Founded in the early 1960s by Jean Nidetch, Weight Watchers is a diet program centered around a nutritionally balanced diet and weekly support group meetings. TOPS and Overeaters Anonymous are other programs that use support groups well.

The current Weight Watchers diet is a points system where foods are assigned a point value based on their fat, calories and fiber content. Weight Watchers participants receive a daily points allotment and are encouraged to eat a variety of foods that add up to their daily points target. The plan does not eliminate or require specific foods, but rather encourages all foods in moderation.

Participants weigh in regularly and attend support group meetings. For some, keeping track of daily points and translating meals into their points equivalent may be complicated and/or frustrating.

The Ultimate Weight Loss Solution: Created by talk-show host, Dr. Phil McGraw, it outlines "seven keys to weight loss freedom." The underlying theme of Dr. Phil's program is that behavior modification and cognitive restructuring, coupled with a healthy diet and exercise, will lead to weight loss. The program recommends enlisting a "circle of support," creating a "no-fail environment" and engaging in the "right-thinking." Foods are divided into high response (good) foods, such as seafood, poultry, low-fat meat and dairy, vegetables, fruits and oils; and low response (bad) foods, which include sweets, refined grains, fried foods, full-fat dairy and fatty meats. Overall, the diet is relatively healthy; however, menus, recipes and advice on how much of what foods to eat are not provided, which may make it more difficult for dieters to understand and follow correctly.

Eat More, Weigh Less: Developed by Dr. Dean Ornish, the program is based on the idea that a diet low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, along with moderate exercise and stress reduction, is the key to weight loss. The overall eating plan is heart-healthy, emphasizing beans, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and non-fat dairy products.

Calorie counting is not required and there are no limits on recommended foods. However, giving up meat, poultry, seafood, oils, nuts, dairy (except non-fat), sweets and alcohol is advocated, which may be difficult to follow in the long-term, especially for non-vegetarians. In addition, the high percentage of carbohydrates recommended (70 percent to 75 percent of total calories) may raise blood levels of triglycerides and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol if a person following this plan does not exercise regularly and lose weight.


Food for Thought

Need real food, real people? Watch for Come'n Git It

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

I've had enough.

My ability to absorb and endure pretense (my own aside) has collapsed.

I'm declaring a moratorium.

On food magazines.

Have you read any of the food magazines available these days? Really read them?

If so, you're familiar with the source of my problem.

Some of you will agree with my reaction; others might be puzzled by my response.

Those of you who are puzzled are pretentious twits.

Here, let me read a passage for you.

"Sox and Bitsy were sitting at the table in the dining room - a table fashioned from an 16th century oak door removed from Bitsy's family's ancestral manse in Northumberland. They finished a fashionably late breakfast of shirred eggs, clotted cream and scones served on a set of plates fashioned for the King of Bhutan. Bitsy gazed wistfully out the twenty-foot high window, watching waves roll ashore along the Malibu coastline. It should have been another perfect day. Sox prepared to leave for work as chief executive at Low Blow Studios where he was overseeing the latest Leonardo DiCaprio project, when Bitsy sighed loudly. With her work as chairperson for the Committee to Save Abandoned French Bulldogs complete for another year and the Junior League Ball set two months in the future, Bitsy desperately needed a pick-me-up.

"Let's throw a small party, Bits," Sox suggested. Always the attentive mate, Sox knew that's what Bitsy needed to renew her legendary energy: A spring fling at the beach house, for special friends. "Don't forget," Bitsy shouted over the throaty roar of Sox's Lamborghini, "ask Leo if he can bring a date."

We skip to the captions beneath the photos accompanying the article.

"Bitsy and best pal Hillary sip Gibsons and keep a sharp eye out for migrating whales as Sox prepares the grill for his famous agavé-marinated ahi tuna steaks. Tad and Reynaldo are busy sampling crispy Singapore shrimp won tons with snappy sweet and sour dipping sauce and watching Tad's son, Flip, ride a rare Cornish mine pony on the beach below the deck."

I've reached my limit; I can't take this kind of stuff. I ask you, who on earth relates to this nonsense?

Here's another.

"Skip and Dagmar are known for their casual dinner parties, held in the roof garden next their sumptuous penthouse digs, where guests absorb sweeping views of the San Francisco skyline and the bay beyond. But Skip and Dagmar enjoy their roles as host and hostess even more when the guests are asked to put on their finest duds for a formal dinner party. Dagmar loves to surprise her guests, building each party around a theme. Tonight, the theme is World Peace, and each guest is assigned an identity as a nation. The menu consists of dishes representing each of the countries assigned. Talk about fun! Guests are notified of the theme an hour before the party begins and asked to memorize pertinent facts about their country's history, politics and economy."

Here's a caption from one of the photos.

"Serena (Bosnia) is seated next to Umberto (Croatia) at the dinner table and the two lively minds set to work solving an age-old problem. As do Sissy (Israel) and Blaise (Palestine) across the table. 'Hey,' says Sissy as she takes a bite of Dagmar's notorious Blood Orange tart, 'another slice of this divine dessert and we'll have our little tiff solved for good.' Everyone applauds and agrees a dinner party orchestrated by Skip and Dagmar could be just what the doctor ordered to bring together people who have hated each other for centuries and allow them find a way to appreciate each other and live in peace."

Get the picture?

For ten years or so, my dear mother-in-law has purchased a subscription to one of these magazines for me and each issue contains at least one feature weighed down with vapid narrative and adorned with glossy photos of elitist pinheads chowing down on designer foods. They're invariably holding forth at some place like a summerhouse on the lake, a glamorous Manhattan apartment, an estate in Brentwood, the mountain retreat in Gstaad. The hosts and guests are snappy dressers, the menus extravagant. Everyone smiles.

Even when they eat, they smile.

No one spills their food, there are no violent arguments, no indiscriminate use of edged weapons; no one inhales a chunk of brisket and chokes, no one performs the Heimlich maneuver, no one places a frantic call to 9-1-1.

I don't recognize these people. I don't recognize their homes. I don't know anyone who eats off the emperor's china. The pretense is extraordinary, smothering.

I've had enough.

In response, I've come up with an idea for a food magazine of my own, one designed to provide balance.

Soon, when you peruse the selections in the magazine rack you will see Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine and other familiar publications. And you will see a copy of the newest entry in the field - Come'n Git It.

Yep - Come'n Git It, the food magazine for real people. With recipes you can afford to make, entertaining ideas you can duplicate. All displayed in settings, and relayed in language, familiar to the basic American reader.

I, of course, will be the Executive Editor-in-Chief of Come'n Git it.

In some ways, Come'n Git it will resemble its competitors.

Each issue of a standard food magazine has a theme: Summer Delights, Comfort Foods, Holiday Entertaining, Scintillating Seders, Fresh and Fabulous, and the like.

Come'n Git It's premiere issue will have a theme - Welcome Home - with articles centering on what to do when a relative is granted parole and returns home from the Big House.

I have a list of ideas for articles and I am busy farming them out to freelance writers.

We will create a piece for our Travel section in which the reader is transported via the magic of language along the highways and byways leading from the state penitentiary to home base, stopping along the way at fast food joints, gun shops, greasy spoons, convenience stores, to purchase tools of the trade and sample the unique regional recipes available to a newly-sprung ex-con.

There'll be an article providing readers with favorite recipes from the pen, including several entrees that require liberal amounts of saltpeter.

There'll be a fascinating article about the prison barter system, with information concerning how many cartons of cigarettes are required to complete a trade for a navel orange or a cupcake. Just to hype your interest, I can tell you it takes two navel oranges and ten cartons of Camels to procure a tattoo (done with straight pin and ball point pen) of a weeping, unclothed woman holding an AK-47.

In our Technology section, we'll deal with the use of outdated microwave ovens, detailing how to cover broken door seals with duct tape and providing a list of the best places to have the kids treated for radiation burns.

The Spirits column will feature a taste test of 3.2 beers and the Tools section will evaluate plastic utensils and drink cups in terms of their ability to stand up to repeated use.

I've already written most of the copy for the feature on the homecoming. See if I'm not right on the money.

"Trixie and Plug's place sits a fur piece off County Road 950, near the wastewater treatment plant. This coosome twosome has planned a party to welcome Plug's brother, Delbert Gene, home after six years in prison on trumped up charges of armed robbery and kidnapping.

"Trixie and Plug are also celebrating their anniversary. The get-together is like a reunion; everyone on the guest list is family, since Trixie and Plug are also cousins.

"Trixie is cookin' up a storm at the main house - the 1952 Airstream trailer she and Plug and their six kids call home.

"Delbert Gene, is staying in the guest house - a camper shell Plug put in a hole he originally dug for a septic tank. Plug never tires of telling visitors 'That dirt's pure unsulation.' What a card!

"Trixie has the Fry Baby set up outside the Airstream (the last time she used it inside the trailer, she set fire to the indoor-outdoor carpet) and she's crisping up some store-bought jalapeno poppers. As soon as the poppers are cooked, in go the frozen Buffalo chicken wings and meatballs. Finally, when the grease is fully flavored, Trixie will make her specialty for the assembled guests: Corn Dogs Supremo Mexicano.

"As she cooks, Trixie keeps guests on the edges of their folding chairs with her encyclopedic knowledge of all things corn dog - from its creation for the 1942 Texas State Fair, to more than a hundred batter recipes. Today she pulls out - all the stops: a batter made of one part corn meal to two parts flour, some oil, a bit of brown sugar and dry mustard, salt, pepper, milk and eggs. She skewers the dogs, dusts them with flour, dips 'em in batter, and slides them into the hot oil. Oh, mercy, add a wiggle of yellow mustard and that's good eaten'.

"But, hold the phone: These are Corn Dogs Supremo Mexicano. Don't let the corn dog cool down before you dip it in that Crock Pot full of melted Velveeta, zipped up with a can of tomatoes and hot green chile. Whoooeeee!

"While Trixie tends to the vittles, Plug ferries the guests to the party on his ATV. There's no getting up that driveway in a car since Plug's boy, Rattler, blew up the culvert with dynamite."

Riveting material, eh?

Let's skip to a photo caption.

"Here's Plug next to the outhouse with his pal, Bobby Ray, drinking beers and discussing the subtleties of NASCAR competition. Bobby Ray's sons, Billy Ray and Bradley Ray, are breaking bottles against the side of the outhouse. This is some kind of party!"

Here's another caption.

"Trixie and her half-sister, Charity Belle (also her first cousin), discuss the relative merits of ordinary paper plates versus Chinette while they chow down on a second helping of a special casserole containing Beenie Weenies and Spaghetti O's. As the sun sets over the wastewater treatment plant, Charity Belle's daughter, Waydene, takes a shot at a feral cat with her trusty .22. Life doesn't get any better!"

Now this is food writing we can all relate to, don't you agree?

Pretense? Not a speck.

I'm thrilled about the progress I'm making with the new magazine; it's a breath of fresh air.

It's time to reverse a noxious trend, to battle the foodies and return genuine, down-to-earth American tastes and customs to center stage.

It's time to knock the Dagmars and Bitsys of the world down a notch or two, crack open a 3.2 beer, heat up the deep fat fryer and Come'n Git It.

At better newsstands soon.

 Pagosa Lakes News

Flight to Malaysia ignites 9/11 fears and unjust paranoia

By Ming Steen

SUN Correspondent

In mid-January, I traveled back to Southeast Asia to see my mother. Growing up in a small village in the central highlands of Malaysia, I was a dreamer and I had started early, helped by the fact that my older sisters had spread their wings and were studying abroad.

I wanted to travel, but more specifically, I wanted to fly.

Back then buses were the great transporters, knitting together a nation of bewildering ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic diversity.

But then the railway came and it represented progress. Except the dense jungles of the central highlands were not graced by any train tracks. The centipede of progress ran north and south along the coast.

I took my first train ride at 16 - heading south to help my older sister with her newborn. I remember the frequent stops at small stations along the way and drooling over the local delicacies offered for sale through the train window. I couldn't buy any, for I had promised my mother that I wouldn't, to allay her fears of cholera.

But what I could enjoy I did to the fullest by putting my head back and watching the lush green landscape rolling by.

Air travel continued to loom large in my mind. Since it was then available to a tiny minority of the Malaysian population, it was a symbol of privilege. The airport in the capital city was a big, soulless, solid structure of concrete patrolled by drab bureaucrats. The people who traveled by air were wealthy looking businessmen. They, the bureaucrats and the businessmen, were lacking entirely the vitality and egalitarianism of the noisy, congested, stinky bus stations.

And so, when at the age of seventeen I finally flew to the West, it was thrilling and frightening to discover La Guardia - how it contained a cross section of humanity much more multicultural than I had found in Malaysian bus stations. The richness of the world had come to me.

Over the years it had been easy and exciting to think of myself as part of this large busyness and movement of people across borders that were once not so easily accessible. But then it all changed after Sept. 11, 2001. I became afraid to fly. I became nervous about visiting my country of birth.

In mid-January when I boarded the plane in Los Angeles bound for Malaysia, I was exhausted even before the journey had begun. A 3-hour wait to get my suitcases through security, followed by a flat-out run to the departure gate, left me wondering how the old and frail do it.

Hot and agitated, I found my seat sandwiched between an elderly Japanese man and a middle-aged Chinese matron. Neither of them seemed threatening but I couldn't keep myself from casing out the other passengers.

I saw a dark-skinned man with a Muslim beard in the very back row. My heart skipped a beat. Pretending to walk to the lavatories, I checked him out, spying on what he was reading. Paranoia is not logical and I had succumbed to allowing ethnic and racial differences to define friend or foe.

The hours in the air passed slowly even though it was helped along by three in-flight movies and four meals. When I finally arrived in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, the discomfort of heat and humidity was matched by my own uneasiness at arriving in a Muslim country carrying an American passport.

The bureaucrat at the immigration counter looked at me. Was there a hesitation? I did not like his look, but at the same time I felt nervous and almost guilty of some forgotten misdemeanor. Might my affiliation with the West make him hostile? Will he question why I left my country of birth to live in America? The moments passed before he finally stamped my passport.

In retrospect, the immigration officer was probably just doing his duty, and doing it well. My self-consciousness created a strain. I wonder if it will continue to afflict my experience of travel.

Caution: Ice on all four lakes - Pagosa, Hatcher, Forest and Village - is unstable and dangerous. Please stay off the ice.



Beryl Christian

Beryl Maxine Christian passed way March 1, 2004, at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs.

Maxine was born Sept. 29, 1916 in Dennison, Texas to Henry J. and Cora Bell Barnett.

She married V.O. Christian Oct. 26, 1936 in Bonham, Texas where they farmed until her husband joined the Army Air Corps and was stationed in Denver. After that they moved to the Texas Panhandle to continue farming. She was a housewife and a farmer's wife.

She could drive a tractor or a grain truck, grow a garden like none you've ever seen, and cook chicken that tasted so good that if Colonel Sanders had had her recipe he would have been a general.

After 16 years of marriage and no children, she and her husband adopted two little girls from an orphanage in Texas. The family moved to Colorado in 1957 where they raised sheep, potatoes and the two little girls. In 1960 they moved back to Texas to farm, but in 1963 returned to Colorado to sell insurance and continue to raise the girls.

In 1964 they moved back to Texas where they owned and operated a gas station. By 1965, the little girls were raised and had started families of their own and Maxine and her husband moved to Eugene, Ore., where she worked at the University of Oregon post office during the 15 years they lived there.

After retiring, she and her husband did a lot of traveling in the western states before they settled down in Truth or Consequences, N.M.

Maxine moved to Pagosa Springs in March, 1989 and went to live at Pine Ridge in March, 2002. She enjoyed the staff there, but missed her home and mostly, her little dog, Mozart.

Maxine was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, three grandchildren; and by her son-in-law, George O. Crouse.

She is survived by her daughter Ann Masters and husband Bill of Wichita, Texas; and by her daughter, Lou Crouse of Pagosa Springs; granddaughters Laura Hamblen of Westminster, Colo., Leslie Hamblen of Pagosa Springs and Tanya Smith of Wichita Falls, Texas; and four great-grandchildren.

Graveside services were held March 4 in Pagosa Springs.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Pine Ridge Employees Education Fund, 119 Bastille Drive, Pagosa Springs CO 81147.

The family would like to thank Dr. James Pruitt and staff for years of care and understanding and the staff at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center.


Mi estimada, Hermano Ramon Murio, Febrero 13, 2004 en Mexico.

Su esposa: Maria Lerma Echavarria; sus hijas: Francisca, Sarita, Isabel y Sylvia; sus hijos, Mario y Mariano Jr. Semos cinco hermanos y una Hermana, Sra. Sarita Echavarria; Hija. Hijos y hija de: Sr. Mariano Sr. Hija, Aurora; Hijos, Mariano, Fidel, Pedro, Jose y Miguel; son seis nietos tambien, de Mexico.

Gracias por su attencion, Mariano y Violet Achavarria.




The wedding ceremony of Julian Gregory Grigsby and June Shower Palegrino was performed on Jan. 28, 2004 in the Philippines. The groom is the son of Ms. Laing and stepson to Mr. Laing of Seminole, Fla. The bride is daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Palegrino of Chicago, Ill. The groom is employed with Colorado Dream Homes of Pagosa Springs, and was originally from South Carolina. The bride is a degreed teacher in elementary education and was originally from the Philippines. The couple will reside in Pagosa Springs.



Preview Profile

Shawna Bolt

Music teacher at the Pagosa Springs Junior High School


Where were you born?

"Akron, Ohio."


Where did you go to school?

"Flagstaff, Arizona."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"August of 2001."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I was finishing school."


What are your job responsibilities?

"I teach beginning and general music along with junior high choir at the junior high school and intermediate school."


What are the most enjoyable and least enjoyable aspects of your job?

"I like to see the improvements that the students make between fifth and eighth grade. The least enjoyable aspect is trying to keep the younger students interested in the music."


What is your family background?

"I am going to be married to my fiance Tom in July."


What do you like best about the community?

"I like that it's a small town and that people still say hi to each other in the grocery store."


What are your other interests?

"Besides music, I enjoy hiking and boating with Tom."


Eighth-grader hopes to go to World Friendship Games

Becca Stephens has the opportunity to represent America in the World Friendship Games in Holland with People to People Sports Ambassadors.

The program was founded by President Dwight Eisenhower who felt that if we could understand how other people live, we could have a better chance at peace.

The first stop for the Pagosa Springs eighth-grader will be a volleyball training camp in London. Then, it's off to Amsterdam for competition.

Along the way she will learn about the culture and heritage of the host countries through historical site tours, service projects and social events with the host teams while earning high school credits.

For her first fund-raiser, Becca will show a movie at Liberty Theater. "Hometown Legend" is appropriate for all ages and will entertain young children and teens as well as adults.

It will show at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 2. Tickets will be $6 for all ages and can be purchased from Tony, Melanie or Becca Stephens or at Ponderosa Do-It-Best Home Center.

Becca is willing to work to pay her way, so the family asks that you keep her in mind if you need odd jobs done.

If you wish to contribute but need no help, donations are being accepted at Rio Grande Savings and Loan.

For more information call Becca at 731-4673.


Cards of Thanks

Schneider family

We wish to extend our thanks to all the nurses and staff of Pine Ridge Extended Care Center for the wonderful and professional care given to our loved one, Hazel Schneider, during her long stay there.

Glenn Schneider and family


The cast and crew of "Lord of the Springs," had a wonderful experience creating our original play. Many made the experience happen behind the scenes, and we would like to express our gratitude.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council offered organizational support, and provided insurance coverage.

Pagosa Springs High School staff was cooperative and helpful with auditorium use and equipment.

Special kudos Lisa Hartley and Phillip Martinez who went beyond the call and Chris Hinger and Pagosa Springs Junior High for rehearsal space .

The SUN provided generous coverage, as did radio KWUF, and Ignacio's KSUT. Moonlight Books and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Co. handled ticket pre-sales.

Terry Smith at Circle T Ace Hardware donated materials for sets and props, Jim Smith Realty gaver Xeroxing services, and Michael DeWinter and the Plaid Pony balloons for the Hobbitville scene. The Methodist Thrift Shop loaned numerous costumes, and the Humane Society Thrift Store gave purchase discounts.

Stephen Tholberg with River Run Studios loaned audio equipment; Jeff Greer from Summit Sports allowed use of his digital video camera; McDonald's of Pagosa donated refreshments.

A very special thanks to two groups: Stephanie Jones with the San Juan Ballet Academy and Daniel Gnos with the Pagosa Samuri Academy.

Mark Brown and Bill Hudson, directors

Julie Reardon, producer


I would like to give Dick McKee and Harvey McFatridgde a special thanks for sending a couple of county employees and a big water tanker semi-truck for street cleanup in front of the courthouse.

The truck was loaded with hot water to help melt the ice and they also cleared the dirt and sand from the street.

The two gentlemen working were George Maze and Richard Rafferty. They both helped me clean off the street and, once again, made it possible for safe and clean parking. They did an excellent job.

And, thanks to Radio Station KWUF for letting me record an announcement to tell people not to park in front of the courthouse March 5. It made the job easier and more efficient.

Frank Martinez


Sports Page


Pirates oust Kent Denver, face D'Evelyn at state

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

North to Fort Collins.

That's where Head Coach Jim Shaffer and the Pirates traveled yesterday to prepare for their 8:30 p.m battle with No. 9 seed D'Evelyn in today's Great 8 nightcap.

However, prior to warming up the bus that will deliver them to CSU's Moby Arena this evening, the Pirates had to reckon with a visiting, talented Kent Denver squad Saturday that also fancied a trip north.

Icy shooting from outside made it difficult, but strong team defense and a combined 29 points from Pirate seniors Clayton Spencer and Ryan Goodenberger eventually subdued the No. 16 seed Sun Devils, enabling the Pirates to claim regional honors and a spot in the state playoffs.

The Pirates took the tip, but Kent took a 4-0 lead courtesy of A.J. Frega after several around-and-out attempts from Pagosa in the first three minutes.

The Pirates pried the lid off at 4:50, getting two each from Spencer and Goodenberger before Kent's Robby Pride tipped to give the Sun Devils a 6-4 advantage.

It was the last time Kent would lead; Pagosa's Caleb Forrest tied the game with two in the paint, then back-door cuts resulted in two from Jeremy Caler and a three-point play from Goodenberger that put the Pirates up 11-6 at 2:30.

Kevin Howell netted two for Kent with a steal, then Caler put in an offensive board and Ty Faber slashed inside for two to widen the margin to 15-8.

Pride hit a trey to cut the difference to four, and the first quarter ended with Pagosa in front 17-11 after Goodenberger broke loose for a layin with 20 ticks left.

Pride stayed hot from outside and knocked down a trey early in the second frame, Pirate senior Luke Brinton hit two from the line and Kyle Lewis scored on the break for Kent to make it 19-16 at 6:05.

The Pirates then missed consecutive chances at the stripe before Pride sank a free throw that was answered with two of the same from Brinton at 3:40 to make it 21-17.

An offensive flurry ensued in the following 90 seconds as Kent's Billy Tomlin hit a jumper, Faber found Spencer in the lane for a deuce, Pride hit two from the line and Brinton scored inside at 1:49 to keep the Pirates up 25-21.

Goodenberger sank a double bonus after a Kent time-out, Spencer banked home from the right baseline and, after a wild scrum at the Sun Devil end, the half closed with the home team leading 29-21.

Neither team converted in the first 1:30 of the third, then Lewis got two underneath for Kent before Forrest fed David Kern for a layin and Faber hit Forrest on a break to give Pagosa a 12-point cushion at 4:21.

After Forrest got two more in the key, Pride and Lewis led Kent back to within 37-30 and the Pirates took a time-out at 1:18.

Spencer converted an assist from Caler on the ensuing offensive set, Lewis hit a lone charity toss, then Kern gave Pagosa a final scoring chance in the quarter with a late steal, but an inside lob wouldn't fall at the buzzer and Pagosa headed to the fourth up nine.

Pirate sophomore Craig Schutz pumped the home crowd with a deuce followed by a baseline spin that earned a three-point play early in the fourth, then Pride hit two at the line to cut the Pagosa lead to 44-33 with just over six minutes to play.

After a free throw from Spencer, Kent pulled within 45-37 behind a combined four-point effort from Tomlin and Micah Crews, then Forrest sank a pair at the line to push the lead back to 10 midway through the stanza.

Spencer answered a jumper from Kent's Greg Chalfin with two free throws, then scored in the lane off a dish from Goodenberger and the Pirates held a 51-39 lead at 2:16.

Goodenberger and Pride traded free throws, Faber drew a charge and Spencer added two more at the stripe to give the Pirates 54-40 advantage with 1:33 to play.

Lewis and Collin Schmidt combined for three Sun Devil points in the next minute, but each was offset in turn by a Goodenberger breakaway, then a charity toss from Craig Schutz that gave Pagosa a 57-43 lead with 36 seconds remaining.

Tomlin hit a final trey for Kent, then Pirate senior Casey Belarde closed the books with a late free throw and Pagosa celebrated its second trip to state competition in as many years.

Spencer led the Pirates with 17 points and pulled down 11 boards, followed by Goodenberger with 12 and five, respectively.

Forrest added eight points and seven boards in the win, which boosted Pagosa's record to 22-0.

Commenting on the victory, "Kent's a good ball team; things didn't come easy for us offensively today," said Shaffer.

"We've always known there are going to be nights when we shoot poorly and miss free throws, but defense is a constant that can keep you in the game," he added.

"And we've got kids willing to bust their rear ends for us on defense; that's what makes us successful," said Shaffer. "I can't say enough about our commitment to team."

With respect to tonight's contest with D'Evelyn, "They're always a great basketball team, and it's going to be a heck of a challenge for us," said Shaffer.

"They like to run and press, we like to run and press; they've got some kids that can really shoot - it should be entertaining," he added.

Lastly, "You need two things to move on from this point - to play well and have some luck. Hopefully, we'll get both and have a good shot," he concluded.


Scoring: Forrest 3-6, 2-2, 8; Goodenberger 4-6, 4-5, 12; Spencer 6-10, 5-11 17; Craig Schutz 2-2, 2-4, 6; Casey Schutz 0-0, 0-0 0; Brinton 1-2, 4-4, 6; Kern 1-1, 0-1, 2; Faber 1-5, 0-0, 2; Caler 2-5, 0-1, 4; Belarde 0-0, 1-2 1; Ross 0-0, 0-0 0. Three-point goals: Faber 1, Caler 1. Fouled out: Forrest. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 17. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 32. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 16.


Pirates blast Basalt 66-35 to open regionals

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

When does a seismograph come in handy during a high school basketball game?

Almost never.

But having one at the scorer's table Friday night in the Pagosa Springs High School gymnasium would have been appropriate.

Shortly after 7 p.m., the venue became an epicenter of sorts as Pagosa junior Caleb Forrest rattled the Richter scale with a trio of first-quarter dunks en route to leading Head Coach Jim Shaffer's No. 1 Pirate squad to a 66-35 victory over No. 32 seed Basalt in the opening round of regional playoff action.

The victory secured a spot in the Class 3A Sweet 16 for the Pirates, who satisfied an adrenalized home crowd by holding the Longhorns to just 14 points through three quarters before throttling back the afterburners.

Forrest opened scoring with a jam from the right baseline, then followed a free throw from teammate Jeremy Caler with a put-back to put the home team up 5-0 after 90 seconds of play.

Basalt's Clayton Peetz put the Longhorns on the board with a layin, but Forrest soon had Pagosa up 7-2 via a steal and assist from Pirate point guard Ty Faber.

After a Longhorn time-out, Faber hit fellow senior Ryan Goodenberger with a lob to make it 9-2, and Basalt's Ben Pollock answered with a teardrop runner that cut the lead to five at 2:50.

Thirty seconds later Forrest took an inside pass from Goodenberger and crushed a drop-step slam that forced Basalt's second time-out, then wrangled Faber's alley-oop pass to the front of the rim for a thunderous, two-handed smash that put Pagosa in front 13-4 at 1:10.

Basalt got a late deuce from Adam Gawrys, then Caler grabbed an offensive board with 19 seconds left and hit David Kern inside for a three-point play with 19 ticks left; Pagosa led 16-7 at the end of the first.

Traveling calls stalled both teams early in the second frame before Goodenberger matched two from Basalt's Hugo Aranjo with a baseline jumper to make it 18-9.

Caler put Pagosa up by 11 by knifing underneath for a reverse flip at 5:20, then Aranjo netted what would prove to be Basalt's last basket of the stanza at 4:35.

Assists from Goodenberger and Luke Brinton enabled Forrest to ink Pagosa's final seven of the half, including three from beyond the arc, and the Pirates went to the locker room leading 28-11.

Pirate senior Clayton Spencer stole an inbound pass for a deuce to open the third, then consecutive Faber-to-Goodenberger fast-break buckets resulted in a Basalt time-out and 34-11 Pirate lead at 5:22.

Pagosa's advantage soon grew to 29 as Forrest pumped in four straight and Brinton sank a pair from the line to make it 40-11 with under four minutes to play.

Gawrys recorded Basalt's first and last basket of the quarter with a trey at 3:28, and the Longhorns trailed 44-11 at the end of the third following a charity toss from Spencer and a three ball from Kern.

A fresh rotation featuring Brinton, Otis Rand, Casey Schutz, Craig Schutz, Casey Belarde and Coy Ross took over in the fourth, and two from Brinton and a trey from Casey Schutz to counter a deuce from Aranjo made it 49-18 with six minutes to play.

Scoring picked up down the stretch, and Pagosa held a 60-30 lead after Rand and Brinton combined for three, Belarde tallied five straight and Casey Schutz completed a three-point play at 2:00.

The end of the contest was accompanied by a standing ovation from the home crowd, which saw the Pirates improve to 21-0 after getting their last six by way of a Belarde jumper in the key, a layin from Ross and two free throws from Craig Schutz in the final seconds.

Forrest led all scorers with 22 points, followed by Goodenberger with eight and Belarde with seven. Kern, Brinton and Casey Schutz added six each to the Pirate total.

Faber led in assists with eight, while Goodenberger and Belarde recorded three apiece.

"I thought we played defense really well, for the most part - holding any team to 14 points through three quarters is not easy," said Shaffer after the game.

"There were a few times we had some lack of communication calling out the switches, and we probably fouled a little too much late in the game, but overall we did a nice job," he added.

Summarizing Forrest's contribution, "He's an exceptional basketball player, and the best thing is he's only a junior," said Shaffer.

"And, as I've said before, a lot of what de does for us is a credit to the way the other kids are willing to give up their own chances to score and get him the ball, and vice versa," he added.

"It has to be a team concept," said Shaffer. "We all know no single player can get it done alone."

With the win, Pagosa moved on to face No. 16 seed Kent Denver (18-5) Saturday, who earned a seat in the Sweet 16 by ousting Aspen in the preceding 5 p.m. contest.

Regarding Saturday's 1 p.m. court battle with Kent Denver, "They're a very talented team; they match up with us well and can cause us some problems because of their quickness," said Shaffer.

"But I don't see us making any special adjustments; we just need to come out and play Pirate basketball," he concluded.


Scoring: Forrest 10-13, 1-2, 22; Goodenberger 4-6, 0-0, 8; Spencer 1-5, 1-2 3; Craig Schutz 0-3, 2-2, 2; Casey Schutz 2-2, 1-1 6; Brinton 2-6, 2-2, 6; Kern 2-2, 1-1, 6; Faber 0-1, 0-2, 0; Caler 1-4, 1-2, 3; Belarde 2-3, 2-2 7; Ross 0-1, 1-2 1; Rand 0-1, 1-2 1. Three-point goals: Forrest 1, Kern 1, Belarde 1, Casey Schutz 1. Fouled out: None. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 18. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 33. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 16.


Double overtime, refusal to lose has Pirates in Great 8

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer


Make that Great 8!

That means champions.

Regional champions. Winners of the Faith Christian first round state basketball playoff Saturday in Arvada.

That's where Pagosa Springs High School girls find themselves today - among the final eight teams in competition for the state Class 3A championship.

They got there with a stirring, heartstopping, nail-biting, tear-jerking, double-overtime, 50-48 victory Saturday in the Sweet 16 over the host Faith Christian Eagles.

Don't think it was an easy victory, but it was a game the Pirates refused to lose.

Faith Christian, the number 7 seed had defeated Eagle Valley 47-46 to advance against the Pirates, 48-44 victors over St. Mary's Academy of Englewood.

Flashy point guard Jessica Keiter, a 5-3 senior, got the Eagles' first score, the first two of her 10 points in the game, with a 10-foot jumper. The home team went out 4-0 when 5-11 junior Cristen Wall hammered one home deep in the lane.

Pirate guard Lori Walkup got Pagosa on the boards at 4-2 with a short fall-away jumper. Natalie Gordon, a 5-7 senior guard made it 5-2 with a free throw before 6-1 senior Kristi Zevenbergen made it 7-2 with a offensive rebound putback.

After a timeout call by Coach Bob Lynch, Pagosa's 6-2 center, Caitlyn Jewell narrowed the margin to three with two from the stripe before 5-9 junior forward Bri Scott knotted the count at seven with the first of her three treys in the game.

Keiter made it 9-7 with an uncontested drive up the lane on one of the few Pagosa defensive lapses of the night.

Scott drilled a 10-foot pull-up to tie it up again but Keiter took the lead back and Faith pulled out to 16-11 at the period break.

That five-point lead grew to six at halftime, despite Scott's second trey and four points from sophomore point guard Liza Kelley, including two from the line.

Wall got her second field goal for Faith and Bailey Fricks came off the bench to score her only four points in the game during the period. Faith also got a deuce from Amber Roundtree and a field goal and free throw from Shannon Kirby.

Jewell got a single free throw for Pagosa and freshman forward Laurel Reinhardt hammered home an offensive rebound for the Pirates who trailed 27-21 at halftime.

The Pirate attack came to life in the third period while their defense stopped Eagle offensive plans almost in their tracks.

Baskets by Reinhardt and Jewell inside and a pair of free throws by Scott brought the game into a tie.

Sophomore low post Emily Buikema gave Pagosa its first lead at 29-27 with an 8-foot jumper from the left side.

Walkup dropped into the low post temporarily and on her first possession, hooked one in deep in the lane and Pagosa was up by four.

Wall cut the lead back to two and Kirby tied it with what would be her final points of the game.

Walkup put Pagosa back up by two with a jumper from the left wing before freshman point guard Jessica Lynch drilled a long three to give Pagosa a five-point margin. Walkup scored again as time ran down and the period ended 38-33 in Pagosa's favor.

But the drama had yet to begin.

Wall drove the left lane for a fly-by layup and Faith was down 38-35. On the next Faith possession she was fouled shooting and hit a pair to cut it to 38-37.

Zevenbergen hit a pair from the line and Faith had regained the lead - by one - before Scott rifled home a WNBA distance trey and Pagosa was back on top by two at 41-39 with 4:27 remaining.

Zevenbergen tied it at 41 but Scott answered again, faking the trey and driving in for a conventional score and a 43-41 Pirate lead.

That disappeared when Grace Friedman, a 6-foot junior in off the bench, scored from 10 feet on her only shot of the game, and the score was tied again - at 43 - with 1:05 remaining.

Wall made it 45-43 but Walkup responded to tie the game at 45.

With 7.3 seconds left, Scott was fouled and went to the line for a 1-and-1. She missed the front end and the buzzer wound down before Faith could get off a shot.

First overtime coming.

Both squads seemed tentative in the extra stanza and each got a lone field goal, Pagosa's by Walkup and Faith's by Wall.

Second overtime coming up.

Kelley, fouled in the act of shooting, gave Pagosa a lead at 46-45, and then Reinhardt hit a pair of charity tosses to make it 48-45 Pagosa. Keiter trimmed that lead to a point at 49-48 with a 12-foot jumper with 1:10 remaining. Kelley, fouled again, hit from the stripe and Pagosa had its final margin.

The Pirates were almost done in at the foul line, where they hit only 12 of 25 for the game, but five of those came in the critical second overtime.

Again, it is the irrepressible Pirate defense which forced five Eagle turnovers in the second overtime, which gave them possession and a chance to win.

Coach Lynch, mobbed by his team after the victory, was all smiles. He said the squad "lived up to the standard they set for themselves after some mid-season letdowns. They wanted to be here and knew they had the talent," he said. "It was up to them to put it all together."

Scott led the Pirates with 15 points, including the vital five in the fourth period. Kelley was right behind with nine and Walkup added eight, including the key shot in the first overtime.

For only the second time this season, the now 18-6 Pirates were outrebounded, a margin of 25-23. The freshman, Reinhardt, showed the way with nine boards, four at the offensive end.

Pagosa had 13 steals, paced by Scott's four, compared to seven for Faith Christian.

Pagosa had 14 turnovers in the game, five coming in the first overtime. Faith had 12, five in the second overtime after starters Zevenbergen, Wall and Kirby all had fouled out.

The victory earned Pagosa the Great 8 berth which will pit them against their Intermountain League nemesis, the Centauri Falcons, who carried the number 2 seed into first day action and advanced with victories, on their own court, against Wray and Cedaredge.

The contest is scheduled 7 p.m. today in Moby Arena on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

In the regional championship contest, Pagosa was 17 of 46 from the floor and Faith Christian 19 of 33. The Eagles were 7 of 14 from the foul line and that's where the final margin accrued.

The Eagles committed 24 fouls, Pagosa 17.


Scoring: P-Scott, 5-10 (3 treys), 2-5, 15; Lynch, 1-4, 3; Kelley, 2-5, 5-7, 9; Walkup, 4-10, 8; Reinhardt, 2-9, 2-8, 6; Jewell, 1-3, 3-4, 5; Buikema, 1-1, 2; Forrest, 1-2, 0-1, 2; FC- Gordon, 1-4, 1-3, 3; Zevenbergen, 3-3, 2-2, 10; Wall 5-9, 2-2, 10; J. Keiter, 5-9, 0-2, 10; Friedman, 1-1, 1-3, 3; Kirby, 2-3, 1-2, 5; Roundtree, 1-2, 2; Fricks, 1-2, 2; Steals, P-13, FC-7; Assists, P-13, FC-10.


Bri Scott's all-round effort hoists Pirates into Sweet 16

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Emily Walsh, a 6-foot sophomore came into the action as one of the top 50 Class 3A scorers in the state.

The center for St. Mary's Academy probably hopes she never sees or hears the name of Pagosa's Bri Scott again.

The Pirate junior forward shot her team into the Sweet 16 Friday and at the same time totally frustrated the taller but younger Walsh defensively.

The Wildcat was held to eight points, three from the foul line to go with a second quarter trey and a final period deuce.

Scott, meanwhile, drilled four treys, three in the opening quarter, and hauled in a season-high eight rebounds, in Pagosa's 48-44 victory in a state tournament opening round game at Faith Christian High School in Arvada.

It was a close game throughout, with Scott's nine first period points and a layup by Lori Walkup leaving their team down by one at the first period break.

The 12-11 Wildcat lead came basically off an offensive rebound putback by Kristen Oster, a 5-11 forward who then went outside for a trey of her own. Lindsey Dunn and Itsy Jones each added a traditional deuce and Kelly Geraghty a free throw to go with two by Walsh.

The margin reversed to 24-23 in favor of Pagosa after two periods. Walsh's trey and another by Oster opened an early St. Mary's lead, but Melissa Maberry cut it by three with a trey on her first shot after entering the game.

And then freshman forward Laurel Reinhardt made her presence felt.

The 5-9 sub went into the low post and drew foul after foul working against taller foes.

The result was a five-point period for her, all the scores coming from the charity stripe.

Scott, meanwhile, had a pull-up 10-foot jumper, freshman Jessica Lynch hit from eight and 6-2 junior center Caitlyn Jewell chipped in a free throw.

St. Mary's answered with a deuce and free throw by Dunn and a field goal by Kati Bell for the 24-23 Pagosa halftime lead.

It had been a half in which both teams had only seven turnovers, both had balanced scoring and a barrage of three-pointers had been launched.

Asked later about that fact, coach Bob Lynch said the Wildcat defense was packing in low to stop Jewell with continual double-teams. That left at least one player open "and we told the girls to take what they were being given."

The second half opened with an eight-point Pagosa surge keyed by two field goals each by Scott and Jewell that pushed the Pirates to a 32-28 lead at the 6:26 mark.

But St. Mary's wasn't going to roll over and play dead. Katie Lyons, a 5-3 sophomore answered with a quick pair of treys.

It was Dunn, however, who made the period tough for Pagosa. After a free throw by Walsh, Dunn hit three consecutive field goals to cut the lead to 32-30. Then Reinhardt and Walkup each scored field goals to stretch the margin back to two at 36-34 at the period break. A free throw by Pagosa's Caitlin Forrest stretched the lead out to three, but Kelly Burke, a 5-6 senior, drilled a long-trey to tie the game at 37 in the first minute of the fourth period.

Jewell hit a pair from the line to give the two point lead back to Pagosa at 39-37 and they were not to be headed again.

Sophomore point guard Liza Kelley dropped in a pair of charity tosses for Pagosa hiking the led to four, but Oster answered with her final points of the game to cut it back to two at 41-39.

Scott, taking time out from her defensive harassment of Walsh, stretched the lead to five with her fourth trey of the game. Walsh answered with a deuce to cut it back to three points and from that point on it was a matter of ball control and free throw success for Pagosa.

Down the stretch, Walkup and Reinhardt each hit a pair from the line as the desperate Wildcats had to foul to stop the clock and hope for Pagosa misses.

The final score was cut to a four-point Pagosa victory after Lyons' third trey with 4.7 seconds remaining.

There were some fourth quarter oddities. With Jewell at the line, Walkup was called for a line violation. On the ensuing play, Walkup was fouled while shooting.

On the first throw the referee ruled she had her toe touching the line and overruled the score. On the second shot the same referee ruled conversion invalid for the shooter leaning over the line. No one had heard of such a rule.

For Pagosa the win was a thrilling step higher.

"We're where we hoped to be," Lynch said after the game. "We thought we had playoff potential and this proved it. Now we have to go on against the winner between Faith Christian and Eagle Valley."

As pleased as he was with Scott's scoring outburst (her 18 points was high for the game), the coach was more impressed by her defense. "She stopped a very good scorer with just two field goals," he said, "and she still found to time to grab all those rebounds."

Pagosa came into the game with a 16-6 record and the number 10 seed of 32 teams in the playoffs. St. Mary's of Englewood was at 13-10 and the number 23 seed.

Pagosa had a 33-18 rebounding edge in the contest, including 14 at the offensive end. Walkup and Scott each had eight and Reinhardt added six. Pagosa had a game total 15 turnovers to 17 for the Wildcats.

And, as fate would have it, they were destined to face the host school and number 7 seed Faith Christian in their own Eagles' lair Saturday after Faith defeated Eagle Valley 47-46 in a nail-biter.


Scoring: P-Scott, 7-10 (4 treys), 18; Lynch, 1-2, 2; Kelley, 0-2, 2-5, 2; Walkup, 2-8, 2-4, 6; Reinhardt, 1-4, 7-12, 9; Maberry, 1-2, 3; Jewell, 2-4, 3-5, 7; Forrest, 01-, 1-2, 1, St. M-Bell, 1-2, 2; Burke, 1-6, 3; Dunn, 5-7, 1-4, 11; Geraghty, 0-1, 1-2, 1; Jones, 1-2, 2; Lyons, 3-8 (all treys), 9; Oster, 4-7, (2 treys), 10; Walsh, 2-9, 3-6, 8. Total fouls: P-15, St. M.- 20.


Diamond squad 1-2 in Utah tournament for season openers

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

For a team which had been hitting against a machine in a dimly lit back room, had yet to see action on a real field, and has only three returning lettermen, Pagosa's baseball Pirates went 1-2 in a weekend tournament in Moab, Utah.

Coach Tony Scarpa was pleased with the team's performance, overall, but was "a little disappointed" with the number of walks his pitchers issued and the number of errors the fielders committed.

On the other hand, he found plenty of accolades to toss out.

First, his team got a win in its season opener, stopping Manti, Utah 6-2 behind a trio of pitchers, junior Levi Gill getting the win.

Gill, the regular second baseman, is one of one of the triumvirate of returnees. Junior third baseman Marcus Rivas and senior catcher-pitcher Ben Marshall the others.

Second, Randy Molnar, a junior transfer student from Florida "has been a pleasant surprise." He was 0-1 at bat in the first game while playing first base, then pitched in the third game, "throwing 75-77 mph and hitting his spots well," Scarpa said.

Third, the hitting of Marshall, who was 4-6 in the three games with an on base percentage of .750.

As an example, Scarpa pointed to the second contest, a loss to Utah's top ranked team, Grand County.

"They have a 6-6 pitcher clocked at 89 mph and who had three major league scouts in the stands watching his performance," Scarpa said.

He faced 19 Pagosa batters, fanning 16. Only two line shots to left by Marshall marred his performance. The Pirates were 11-0 losers but Scarpa was not discouraged.

"We knew we'd have a rebuilding year," he said. "These kids (there are 16 freshmen on the roster) came out chomping at the bit for a chance to play."

Marshall was the losing pitcher in the contest but, Scarpa said, did not pitch that poorly. "He had three strikeouts, and gave up eight hits. Walks and errors cost him. Still, this team had 14 runs in three innings in each of their other games, so a loss isn't too discouraging."

In the third game, Pagosa went into the last inning trailing Moffat County Utah 7-6 but surrendered four runs to take their second loss in a game halted by the tournament imposed two-hour limit.

The opening day lineup for Pagosa featured Josh Hoffman in left field and going 2-4 in the first game; Michael Bradford at shortstop was 1-3 with a double and a walk; Rivas at third was 1-2 with a walk; Marshall 0-1 in the opener with two walks; Gill 2-3; Travis Richey in center field 0-2 with a walk; Adam Trujillo at first 0-1, relieved by Molnar, 0-1; Avery Johnson at second supplanted at the plate by Johnny Archuleta as the designated hitter (1-2); Matt Gallegos in right field, 0-1 with a walk, Jimmy Guyton, relief in right, 0-1; and Michael Spitler, who drew a walk in his only trip.

Marshall, as noted, had Pagosa's only hits in game two. Game three statistics were not available.

The Pirates, who made an appearance in the state tournament last year, will take their young players to Salida for a noon game Saturday.

Scarpa said his squad consists of the three lettermen, juniors Molnar and Archuleta (who did not play last year) and 16 freshmen.

"We will be working heavily on basics," Scarpa said. "We have a good nucleus but it is going to be a developmental year for us."


Pirate kickers bow to Salida 2-0 in the Frigid Bowl

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

They got to play outdoors for only the second time this year, the first being a training session in Bloomfield, N.M.

But the hazards of soccer in the spring - cold temperatures and strong winds - had Pagosa's soccer squad shivering through a season-opening 2-0 loss to Salida Saturday at the base of Poncha and Monarch passes in what might have been termed the Frigid Bowl.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said his squad dominated the first 10 minutes of each half, but "silly" errors grew into "big mistakes" which resulted in a goal in each half for the host Spartans.

"The temperature and wind were deterrent factors for both teams" he said, but the mistakes were the key.

"It was a learning experience for our young squad, and mistakes are part of that education," he said.

Physically, he said, the squad was in good condition but "mentally they weren't as prepared as I'd expected."

Still, Salida was playing its second game in as many days, having defeated Fountain the day before, "and we were pretty much able to stay with them."

"We lost our shape, sagging too much to the middle at times, and allowing outside breakaways as a result, but those are the kinds of mistakes we can overcome," Kurt-Mason said.

There were a number of bright spots for the veteran coach. "A lot of freshmen got their first varsity experience, and got plenty of it and one, Iris Frye, was exceptionally aggressive."

"She's a fast learner, and wants to do everything right," he said. " If I tell her to do something, she goes out and does it, the first time. That's what builds teams and team character."

He noted the squad, relegated most of the time to practicing on gymnasium floor, had worked hard on offensive moves "and it was fun to see those moves translated onto a real grass surface."

This is a very coachable group, he said, and "they will develop into a solid team when all the probable players are on hand." Several members of the varsity basketball team are expected to join the soccer roster after spring break.

Pagosa had six shots on goal and Salida 15. Sierra Fleenor in goal for Pagosa recorded two saves and the Salida keeper had six.

The Pirates will go on the road again March 23 with a 3 p.m. contest against Durango at Riverside School in Durango.

Then, weather and field conditions permitting, Pagosa is scheduled for its home opener March 26, a 4 p.m. contest against Telluride in league action.


Parks & Rec

Bid filed for state grant to fund sports complex

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

A grant application has been sent to Great Outdoors Colorado, the managing trust for the Colorado Lottery.

The application is for a local parks and outdoor recreation grant, one of four available through GoCo. It is designed for capitol improvement money for local parks and outdoor recreation. Only schools, counties and municipalities qualify for this grant.

The Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department has formed partnerships with the School District 50 Joint, Archuleta County, Rotary, and some private donators, to leverage $68,000 per year for a three-year period. The Town of Pagosa Springs has also committed $100,000 from the 2004 Capitol Improvement Fund for the development of the proposed sports complex on South 5th Street. The complex will be located on 16-plus acres just east and across from the high school football field.

The first phase of the project would contain a youth baseball field/softball field, a Colorado High School Activities Association regulation soccer field, river access, outdoor classroom area, boat ramp, and improved parking. The total cost for the first phase is approximately $850,000. If we qualify we can get up to $200,000 from GoCo.

Much of the cost will be in infrastructure, specifically construction of a raw water irrigation system designed to water all high school and town owned property at the high school site.

Between all the partners and in-kind services provided our plan is to have the facility up and running by the fall of 2005. GoCo will announce grant recipients June 3.


Penñe Hamilton, Myles Gable, and I have discussed spring and summer volleyball activities that the town can assist in offering, including team camps, clinics, open gym, and skills camps for young women athletes from fifth-12th grades.

We would make high caliber instruction available to our athletes locally, and at a price allowing all to participate.

Ideas thrown around at the meeting were the possibilities of bringing Division 1 players and coaches to Pagosa Springs, along with a high school varsity team camp with teams from within a three-hour radius of Pagosa Springs.

We estimated that for our athletes to go to Greeley or Fort Collins it would cost over $2,000. Our thought is turn this around and possibly raise money locally to put back into the clubs' coffers.

Specialty clinics, such as setters' workshops, serving, defense workshops, and coaches' clinics were all discussed. July has historically been the month for volleyball club camps, so we plan on keeping the month of July open to facilitate the young volleyball enthusiasts.

It was great to see Gabel (recreation supervisor), who has over 15 years experience as an assistant and head volleyball coach at Division 1 level, and Hamilton (Pagosa High School head volleyball coach with 17 years experience), throw out ideas for the upcoming season. The energy and the excitement in the room will pay off with our young athletes enjoying college caliber coaching right here in Pagosa at a tenth of the normal cost.


The 2004 Tee-Ball sign-up deadline was March 9. We did not have the numbers expected for the early sign up. We are trying to get registrations prior to spring break so we can divide teams and start practice-play March 27.

Parents, please get your forms in as soon as possible so we can get this program started on time.

We are registering children 5-6 years of age with birth certificates required for all age groups. Please call Gabel for more information at 264-4151, Ext. 232 after 2 p.m. Monday-Friday.



A worthy tenure

It came as a surprise last week when Ben Nighthorse Campbell an-nounced he would not run in November for another term in the U.S. Senate. Campbell and his wife, Linda, visited The SUN offices in January and the Senator seemed in top form, anxious to charge into battle, ready to take on any and all challengers in primary and general elections, armed with substantial experience and clear ideas regarding critical issues.

Campbell was preparing to work on the Omnibus Bill and an energy bill he wished to see passed in Colorado-friendly form. He was ready to deal with tort reform and to work to reauthorize the highway bill. He expressed an objection to further tax relief until an expanding deficit and debt were dealt with.

Campbell seemed ready to be what he has always been - a politician with the ability and courage to think independently.

Then, the announcement: The 70-year-old solon whose grandmother and father once lived in Pagosa Springs was bowing out due to health concerns.

At the top of his game.

The retirement from active political life ends a career that goes back 22 years, a journey that took Campbell from the Colorado Legislature to the U.S. House of Representatives to the U.S. Senate, riding an unbeaten record at the polls. A rancher in the Ignacio area, he served in the Colorado House from 1983 to 1987 representing his district in southwest Colorado that included Archuleta County. Campbell was elected as a Democrat to represent us in the U.S. House of Representatives and he did so from 1987 to 1992. As a Democrat, Campbell won a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1992, served three years then shifted his party alliance to Republican and won reelection to the Senate in 1998.

Campbell represented the concerns of southwest Colorado, Colorado and the West with intelligence and integrity. His sensitivity to environmental issues was highlighted by his work to expand national monuments in the state. He labored to shepherd the Animas-La Plata water project and he championed Native American rights and concerns.

With Campbell's departure from the scene, there is a flurry of activity among Republicans to determine who will fill a spot for the party in the November general election and equally frenetic moves from Democrats seeking the office.

It will be a tough spot to fill. And, come November, regardless of the winner, we think it will be a long time before we are represented by such a free-thinker and champion of western interests.

In January, Campbell was eager to return to his ranch near Ignacio to meet his grandchildren who were arriving to spend time with him and with Linda. Now, hopefully in good health, he will have the time to indulge the children as well as his considerable artistic skills. We wish him well.

Election letters

With the political season heating up prior to May 4 special district elections, we remind our readers that our Letters to the Editor section will not be used for candidate advocacy. Our advertising department is ready to assist all individuals and organizations seeking to promote candidacy, absent a discussion of issues.

We ask that letters to the editor concerning impending elections deal with ideas expressed in advertising, at meetings and in interviews. We will not print blatant ad hominem attacks on candidates, and we will not print obvious campaign literature as letters. To note an individual as a source of an idea, if it leads to an analysis of the idea, is acceptable; to attack an individual or organization in an attempt to dismiss an idea is not.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Authors set tone for the seasons

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Reflecting on the readings of a lifetime, I find there are many persons I would like to have known.

One such was the poet, essayist and novelist G.K. (Gilbert Keith) Chesterton who became known as the "Prince of Paradox." His novels include "The Man Who Was Thursday" and a crime fiction series known for its whimsical and wise detective, Father Brown.

A journalist and illustrator in addition, he studied both Robert Browning and Charles Dickens for "English Men of Letters."

At this Lenten season, some of the quotes from his efforts strike close to the feelings many have today.

For example, in his "What's Wrong with the World" published in 1910, he opined:

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried."

In line with the same thought process, in "The Wise Men," he wrote:

"Step softly, under snow or rain,

To find the place where men can pray;

The way is all so very plain,

That we may lose the way."

And, if you will, two more for the season:

"Fools! For I also had my hour;

One far fierce hour and sweet;

There was a shout about my ears,

and palms before my feet."

The donkey

From his preface to Dickens' Pickwick Papers:

"The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists."

As long as we're discussing seasons, it should be noted Monday will be the Ides of March, the Latin mnemonic fifteenth day; and that spring begins March 20. Between them comes the day all Ireland awaits - St. Patrick's Day on the 17th, a day when all the world seems to become sons and daughters of Erin for a day.

Many are the authors of tales about the Isle.

Irish pride is no more evident than in "Diana of the Crossways" where author George Meredith states:

"Ireland gives England her soldiers; her generals too."

He, too, penned lines that might be remembered for Lent. In "The Ordeal of Richard Feverel," he wrote:

"Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered."

Even Tolstoi, in "War and Peace," gives us an emotion for the season:

"For us, with the rule of right and wrong given us by Christ, there is nothing for which we have no standard. And there is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness and truth."

And, finally, a paean by William Butler Yeats, in which an Irish airman foresees his death:

"I know that I shall meet my fate

Somewhere among the clouds above;

Those that I fight I do not hate,

Those that I guard I do not love;

My country is Kilkartan Cross,

My countrymen Kilkartan's poor."



90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Mar. 13, 1914

If the town desires to escape paying a heavy damage to some one illegally convicted under them, it might be well to do a little overhauling on some of the town ordinances. Some of them are so loopholed and ripped up the back with complications and meaningless legal verbiage that they would be laughed out of a kangaroo court.

The ranch and stockmen of Archuleta County are urgently requested to be present at a meeting to be held at the court house on March 21 for the purpose of organizing a county stock association for the mutual protection of the stock interests from the wolf pest, which is rapidly growing to be a menace to the business in this region.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 15, 1929

Bob Hott, the well known cattleman of the Tiffany district, is sojourning in Durango for a few days to wear off the effects of a bad cold. He reports the hay situation in eastern La Plata County and Archuleta County as serious for the stockmen. Crowley and others at Chromo have shipped cattle to the San Luis Valley and several carloads of hay have been sent from the Valley to Archuleta County. Hay is bringing from $17.50 to $25 a ton around Tiffany when it can be bought. Bob has plenty to run his bunch thru to grass if this blinkety blank winter ever gets thru.

The following pupils got A in Spelling this week: Cornelia Ford, Elaine Gibson, Julia Cotton, Lily Griego, Paul Decker and Tom Hotz.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Mar. 12, 1954

Plans for the big 1954 Red Ryder Round-Up are being shaped up rapidly and from all advance indications one of the finest shows ever to be held here is scheduled for July 3 and 4 this year. The rodeo has already been approved by the Rodeo Cowboy's Association, thus insuring top notch contestants and good events. The new seating installed last year assures adequate seating for all spectators and other improvements and repairs to the grounds this year will make for one of the best rodeo plants in the country.

The School Board met on Monday night, at which time they advertised for bids for the construction of the new school building. They also made a purchase of the new desks for the classrooms in the new building.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 15, 1979

The three principals in the local school were voted contracts for the coming year at a school board meeting Tuesday night. The principals are Ron Shaw, high school; Terry Alley, mid-school; and Henry Smith elementary school.

Congressman Ray Kogovsek, of the Third Congressional District, said this week that he will recommend the South San Juan for designation as a wilderness area. The area to be recommended is that proposed by the Forest Service in its RARE II report. The area comprises about 128,736 acres. It lies between the East Fork of the San Juan River and the New Mexico border, with a portion on both the east and west sides of the Continental Divide.



Architect polls public on library remodel

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A crowd of about 20 were given $300,000 each to spend on the Ruby Sisson Library Thursday night.

It seemed like a lot until the participants reached the front of the room with the "money," - three neon-colored sticky dots. They were instructed to place one dot, whole, half or quartered, on three different poster boards with lists of possibilities for a proposed 3,500 square foot library expansion.

Added shelving. More computers. Additional storage. A glassed in children's area. A conference or meeting room. A new heating and air-conditioning system. A quiet reading room with comfy chairs and a fireplace. The three lists, titled, "The Basics," "The Public Spaces," and "The Work Areas," were a candy store of treats. The audience's allowance would only stretch so far.

"We're asking you to put on your vision caps and think of things you need which might need to be enhanced," Architect Dennis Humphries said.

They had about 15 minutes to spend their money - money it's taken over a year to raise and money that will be spent for real in just a few months.

Fund raising for the addition kicked off in December of 2002, Librarian Lenore Bright said, following three years of research and discussion by the board of directors.

Built in 1989, the current building was designed to serve the community for 20 years. It lasted 15. The original plan simply couldn't account for the growth in population, changes in technology and requests for service facing the district today.

Fifteen years ago, Bright said, volunteers moved a collection of 12,000 books into a brand new building built tax-free. Now, over 30,000 volumes fill the shelves. Three public computers receive almost constant use. A storage bin placed in the parking lot to deal with some of the overflow is reaching capacity.

With the help of two fund raising groups, the Friends of Library and the Women's Civic Club, plus private donors and state grants, Bright said, they are about $20,000 away from raising their goal of $590,000 for the expansion.

They need every cent.

"While we say we have raised the money, some of that is in large conditional grants we will only get if we raise all the money," Bright said. The library has secured an Energy Impact grant from the state, a grant from the Boetcher Foundation, the La Plata Roundup Foundation, the Hershey Foundation and the El Pomar Foundation. Some of them, Bright said, required a certain amount of matching funding making it critical to reach the $590,000 goal.

The plan is to break ground in the spring. With that timeline in mind, Humphries was in town for two days last week to gather information on the community's vision.

Bright said four groups were polled: staff, seniors, parents, children and educators and the public. Each group went through the same process. Participants were introduced to the architect and given five dots to place on a series of lists posted around the room.

Three of the five dots were worth $100,000 a piece and used to prioritize specific items for the remodel.

Participants were also given dots to identify their interest in the library and to identify their view on the overall role of the library.

As it turned out, most in attendance Thursday were frequent library users or interested citizens.

They spent their money on additional shelves and computer stations, more space for periodicals and a reference room.

Then it came to the role of the library. "We're looking for the role that's closest and dearest to your heart," Humphries said. The choices were: a community activities center, a community information center, a formal education support center, an independent learning center, a popular materials center, preschool's door to learning, a reference library and a research center.

The most dots were affixed next to the slots for independent learning center, formal education support center, popular materials center and the reference library.

Once everyone was seated, their money spent in a matter of minutes, the architect discussed the options presented.

Several years ago, he said, the theory was that advances in technology might reduce the need for libraries.

The opposite was true. Whereas in the past, people might find one or two citations on a subject, now 15 or 20 are available.

The need for more information has meant libraries have had to expand to provide more services, not fewer. He asked participants to look forward to 2024, consider even more technological advances and how that might impact today's expansion. For instance, currently, they are considering expanding the room available for pubic computer use. In the future, laptops might be available for checkout and use anywhere in the library.

As far as the remodel, he said, the $600,000 won't stretch as far as some think. Libraries are expensive to build because of the weight of the shelves and the technological infrastructure requirements. One-third of the money raise for this expansion will go toward infrastructure improvements, things like repainting, recarpeting and repairs to the roof which leaked for the first time this year. The remainder will be used for the actual extension of the building.

Bright said the overall goals are to expand the children's area and include a special place for teen-agers, create a history room for genealogy information and special collection, increase the number of computers and increase space for CD's and audio tapes.

Thursday night's crowd added a few other ideas and pooh-poohed some others. Fireplaces and comfy chairs were out. Better lighting and easier to reach shelves were definitely in.

One woman suggested a conference room groups could use for free and expanding the periodicals section with a special place for the Hershey collection. Another asked about making the library two stories.

"Will all the shelves be replaced?" one asked Bright.

"Where did you spend your money?" she replied.

The final design will, of course, come down to that - money.

Bright said the architect is scheduled to bring back some designs in a couple of weeks. The board of directors will consider the design, the costs and possibly hold more public meetings before reaching a final decision.

Humphries said additional comments or ideas are always welcome. Anyone with suggestions should get them to Bright at the Sisson Library in the next few days.


Groups spearhead fund-raising campaign

Two local organizations assist with fund raising for the Ruby Sisson Library - the Women's Civic Club of Pagosa Springs and The Friends of the Library.

"We couldn't do it without them," Librarian Lenore Bright said. To construct the current library building, the two groups raised over $700,000 and have continued to help ever since.

The Women's Civic Club, is a group that has worked to support the library since its earliest days.

"They started us and they still maintain us," Bright said.

They officially organized in 1910 to run the first Pagosa Springs Public Library which opened in the basement of the Methodist Church. The club operated the library until 1960. In 1966, Archuleta County took over the library and hired a fulltime librarian, but the Civic Club continued its work. Today, the club's main goal remains to support the public library through fund raisers and to give assistance to other civic projects when possible.

Civic Club President Dahrl Henley said the club is open to all women in the community. "There's been a misconception out there for a long time that it is by invitation only and we want to dispel that rumor," she said. "Everyone is welcome to come."

The next meeting of the Civic Club is 1:30 p.m. March 18 in the Community United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on Lewis Street. This meeting is an open house. Women of all ages in the community are invited to come, find out more about the club and bring a friend. Annual dues are $10.

The Friends of the Library was formed in 1983 as another fund raising arm. It is open to all members of the community and operated by a board of directors. Cost to join is $5 for an individual and $10 for a family. For more information, call the Sisson Library at 264-2208.


Pagosa's Past

Red Jacket aided settlers in

return for an act of kindness

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

I've been writing about the exploits of the San Juan Basin's first settlers. My emphasis has been on the early cattle industry, but from time to time I've detoured to shed light on some matter or incident that causes a reader to cover his or her mouth with a hand and exclaim "I didn't know that! That's interesting!"

That's where we're going today.

We've been writing of the life of the Ent family, pioneers who lived in Parrott City during the mid- to late 1870s.

Parrott City was a mining town located a little west and north of Durango. Parrott City was the first county seat of La Plata County. Parrott City is no more.

Through the eyes of the Ent family, we get a little peek at the Ute presence around the pioneering whites.

At the time of the Meeker Massacre conducted by Northern Utes near Meeker in 1879, settlers in southern Colorado were afraid the Southern Utes would also go on the war path. According to Ent family history a Ute by the name of Red Jacket saved the settler's lives. History tells us much about such Southern Utes as Ouray and his wife Chipeta, Ignacio, Buckskin Charlie and others. This is the only mention of Red Jacket I have run across.

Along with others living in Parrott City, the Ent family was fearful that a general uprising might occur among the Southern Utes. They credit Chief Red Jacket of Ignacio with saving them.

His friendship with the whites dated from the time Henry Smith - one of the very early settlers of the Montezuma country - had divided the last few pounds of his flour with Red Jacket to save the life of his sick wife. The chief knew that to replace it, the white man would have to go to Tierra Amarilla - a round trip of 249 miles, with four streams to be crossed and especially dangerous during the spring freshets. Nevertheless the gift was made, and it secured for the whites a friend whose good offices were frequently to be needed as the number of white settlers increased.

Red Jacket usually spent a couple of months in summer camped a mile and a half below Parrott City with a band of Utes who came to hunt in the La Plata Mountains. He was a frequent visitor at the homes of some of the white families who, either from friendship or expediency, would give him handouts. In return he sometimes brought them venison or other provisions.

He had promised these white people protection; and it was believed he turned away from Parrott City the roving Indians who wandered through the country at the time of the Meeker Massacre.

Later, the residents of Parrott City were to learn that Chief Ouray had arrived at the White River just in time to quell a general uprising and to prevent the lighting of signal fires which were to notify several hundred Indians gathered on the La Plata River - where Fort Lewis now stands - that the hour had come for the attack on the white settlers in their vicinity.

Either because of the danger from the Indians, the better facilities offered for the shipping of cattle by the nearness of the railroad, or the general egress from Parrott City in 1881, the Ent family moved to Animas City just above Durango where they lived until 1886. Then Mr. Ent moved his family to a ranch on the La Plata where they helped in the development of the New Mexico Country.

An Ent daughter, (the Ents were cattlemen), married a son of the Heather family. The Heathers raised sheep. The union of a cattle and a sheep family was unheard of.

Famous writer David Lavender - yes, Lavender's family members were San Juan pioneers - explained the antipathy this way: "Cowboys Š have always had the instinctive contempt which men on horseback have felt for the men who work afoot. But greatest fury arose over the way a close-packed herd would clip the grass down to the earth and then tramp out its roots with their razor-sharp hooves. Given ample room sheep, of course, graze harmlessly. But in the early West they were not given room. A ewe is the most helpless of creatures. Weather, predatory animals, deep water, mud holes - almost any mountain hazard can kill one. Man and his dogs constantly have to furnish protection, and to make that protection effective for the greatest number possible, the woolies are jammed together in bands almost as evil-smelling and destructive as their enemies claimed. In some parts of the West, the cowboys attempted to keep the flocks out of their country by using violence which did not stop short of the murder of the shepherds and their flocks. In Colorado, though there was much sound and fury, the situation did not become as acute as in other places."

According to the Ents, the peak of the cattle industry was reached about 1887, and a few years later the unfenced ranges had largely disappeared due to the influx of new settlers on their ranches and homesteads.

More next week about cattle raising in the "olden times."




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Dry-weather trend expected through next week

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Thanks to some of the heaviest winter snowfall since 1997, Pagosa Country's drought classification has recently been upgraded.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, moisture-content levels have increased enough to merit a change in the region's description - from "moderate drought" to "abnormally dry" - on the department's drought monitor.

However, balmy temperatures and a shriveling snow layer were the norm during the past week, and the latest forecasts indicate the trend toward drier weather will most likely continue through the weekend.

"There doesn't appear to be much of a chance for significant moisture in the next week or so," said Dan Cuevas, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"We might see a spotty rain shower or two over the weekend, but nothing widespread," he added.

"Otherwise, it looks like we'll have at least average temperatures, with a good chance to see some above-average marks as well," he concluded.

According to Cuevas, partly-cloudy skies, highs in the upper 40s to mid-50s and lows in the upper teens are expected today and tomorrow, along with a 20-percent chance for showers.

Saturday calls for mostly-cloudy skies, a 30-percent chance for showers, breezy conditions, highs in the upper 40s and lows in the teens.

The forecasts for Sunday and Monday predict mostly-clear conditions, highs ranging from 35-55 and lows around 10.

Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to bring scattered clouds, highs in the 45-55 range and lows in the teens.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 34 degrees. The average low was 17. Moisture totals for the week amounted to zero.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit depth of 128 inches, a midway depth of 119 inches and a year-to-date snowfall total of 369 inches.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains ranges from "considerable" to "high" on all aspects and elevations.

According to the latest SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan River Basin is 106 percent of average.

San Juan River flow south of town ranged from approximately 50 cubic feet per second to 185 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of March 4 equals roughly 75 cubic feet per second.