March 18, 2004 
Front Page

Bear mauls aide at animal park;she's back home

By Tom Carosello and

Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writers

A 53-year-old Pagosa woman returned home Monday after undergoing several days of treatment at Mercy Medical Center in Durango for injuries sustained in a March 10 bear attack.

According to eyewitness accounts, Jeanne Hanson-Colburn, an animal curator employed by the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park for the past four years, was leading patrons on a tour of the park when she was attacked at about 2:15 p.m. while attempting to feed an animal.

The bear, a 7-year-old female named "Honey," apparently became agitated shortly after Hanson-Colburn entered its enclosure with a bucket of food and proceeded to knock her to the ground while an estimated dozen park visitors looked on in disbelief.

Rolando Hernandez, a Texas resident vacationing in Pagosa last week, was standing a few feet from the cage with his family when the incident occurred.

"All of a sudden the bear just slashed at her head and shoulder area and took her down," said Hernandez.

"We couldn't really do anything since she fell further into the cage when it attacked," he added. "All we could do was pick up chunks of ice and throw them at the bear - we felt helpless."

Other witnesses offered similar accounts of the attack.

"We were throwing things at the bear and screaming, trying to distract the bear and get it to move toward us," said Nancy Jorgensen, also a resident of Texas spending vacation time in the area.

"Then the bear went to the other side of the enclosure, and I saw a latch on a drop gate and pulled it," added Jorgensen.

The action prevented the bear from returning to the area where Hanson-Colburn lay injured.

"She (Hanson-Colburn) got up and we helped her walk out, and we tried to slow her bleeding by packing her wounds with ice," concluded Jorgensen.

"Those of us who were there were completely traumatized," said a third witness, Pagosa Springs resident Rosalind Marshall.

"It was the most shocking thing I've ever seen. We were terrified helpless because there was nothing we could do," said Marshall.

Still, she does not advocate killing the bear.

"I hope the bear is not destroyed because it wasn't the bear's fault. It was in the wrong situation at the wrong time and it did what bears do," said Marshall.

Commenting on the incident during a telephone interview Tuesday, park owner Dick Ray said no matter how accustomed to human activity a wild animal may appear, primal instincts will always prevail.

"A bear wants what it wants when it wants it," said Ray. "They are known to have short, quick tempers, but wind down pretty quick once they achieve dominance over something.

"And playing dead once you are attacked will work," said Ray, indicating Hanson-Colburn eventually employed the play-dead strategy to end the assault after an attempt to use pepper spray apparently heightened the attack.

"There's always some argument to try and fight off the bear," Ray added. "But from my experience, that's what you should try to do beforehand, when an attack is imminent.

"But Jeanne shouldn't have walked in there with Honey," said Ray, adding the bear has no prior history of aggression. "She knows she basically made a mistake."

Ray said Hanson-Colburn suffered a broken bone in her right hand, as well as injuries to her scalp and torso. She was transported by ambulance to Mary Fisher Medical Center following the attack, then airlifted to Mercy Medical Center.

According to Archuleta County Sheriff's Department reports, "Upon entering the bear's pen, Mrs. Colburn did not close the safety gate to separate her from the bear" - a practice, said Ray, that is normally performed by park employees prior to entering such enclosures.

"This was kind of out of character for Jeanne," said Ray. "But the important thing is she's doing really well, considering all she has gone through. She'll bounce back."

With regard to the fate of the animal, Ray said a collaborative decision from a number of authorities, including the sheriff's department and Colorado Division of Wildlife, is expected by the end of the month.

"Whatever they say is what we'll do," Ray concluded.

 

Judge clears path for dog attack suit

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The family of Garrett Carothers, a third-grader mauled by two dogs in the Vista Subdivision over a year ago, will be able to continue with a civil suit filed against the Archuleta County Sheriff and one of his deputies.

Sixth District Court Judge Gregory Lyman issued an order March 3 denying motions to dismiss filed on behalf of both the sheriff and Deputy Tom Gaskins. Lyman ruled that the suit's allegations of willful and wanton conduct fell outside of the sovereign immunity given to government officials under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.

The suit's assertion of willful and wanton conduct, he said, makes it a qualified immunity case, a claim that must be determined at trial, not before. State law allows the sheriff to be held accountable for acts of subordinates.

Lyman did grant the motion to dismiss allegations of willful and wanton conduct by the sheriff as an individual (rather than as a supervisor) in this case and deferred a ruling on the claims against Gaskins.

The suit alleges a breach of contract on the part of the sheriff for failure to provide animal control services and for actions of subordinates. Gaskins is being sued for willful and wanton conduct and extreme and outrageous conduct causing emotional distress in part for allegedly failing to respond to a report of dangerous dogs in the Vista area prior to the attack.

Garrett Carothers was mauled by the dogs while out visiting a neighbor Dec. 23, 2002. He received bites over 80 percent of his body before people driving by stopped and scared the dogs off. One of the dogs was shot and killed by Gaskins after the boy was taken to the hospital when it tried to attack the deputy. The other dog was voluntarily euthanized by its owner.

The Carothers' lawsuit also alleges negligence, breach of contract, willful and wanton breach of contract and extreme and outrageous conduct against the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association. A motion to dismiss allegations against the Archuleta Board of County Commissioners, included in the second amended complaint filed in January, was granted in February.

The Carothers' attorney filed a third amended complaint March 11 with the changes outlined in Lyman's order. The attorneys will now have time to review and reply to the third amended complaint.

As of March 16, Lyman had not ruled on a plaintiff's motion to postpone the trial. The Carothers' attorney argued for maintaining the previously-arranged date of May 24 to save Garrett and his family further emotional strain.

 

All night closures start Monday on Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek Pass will be closed overnight over several periods this year for construction work on the east side of the pass near South Fork. The first of these closure periods begins Monday at 10 p.m.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the overnight closures will be in effect Monday through Thursday nights from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. until mid-May. Forty-three additional overnight closures will be scheduled over consecutive nights later this year. Information on these closure periods will be distributed as it becomes available.

These closures are necessary so construction crews can haul rock material, make utility and drainage crossings and put traffic switches into place.

"In the interest of public safety, it is better to conduct some of these construction activities without cars and trucks passing through the project area," John Twiford, Kiewit project superintendent said.

During the closures, overnight traffic traveling to the west side of Wolf Creek Pass should go south on U.S. 285 to U.S. 17, then south on U.S. 17 to U.S. 84 and west on U.S. 84 to Pagosa Springs. Eastbound traffic should follow the same alternate route in reverse.

This safety improvement project encompasses a 2 1/2-mile section of U.S. 160 and includes minor road widening along with the construction of uphill and downhill retaining walls. The project began Feb. 17. Completion is scheduled for late 2004.

Updated information on this project can be found at www.cdot.info/wolfcreekpass/ or by calling the project hotline at (719) 859-2553. Information is also available on CDOT's toll-free road condition hotline at (877) 315-ROAD.

 

 Inside The Sun

Casino Royale, a grand party for a great purpose

By Beth Porter

Special to The PREVIEW

Can you see the dust in the distance?

That's the Montezuma Vineyard and Restaurants Rotary Club Casino Royale, coming up fast!

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is proud to sponsor the "Grandest Party in Pagosa Springs" for the fifth consecutive year. Break out your best western wear, hats, boots, bandanas, belts and black tie for a night of denim and diamonds. The gaming, auctions, refreshments and great fun also benefit the community.

"The Stampede," this year's theme, is Saturday March 27, from 6-11 p.m.

Ladies, we're all excited because you can complete your outfit with heels, since this year's event is at the stunning Montezuma Vineyard and Restaurants.

Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased from friendly Rotary members, at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce Visitor's Center, at Montezuma Vineyard and Restaurants and at the door.

By the way, if you wonder why every Rotary member you know is trying to lasso you for ticket sales, there is a competition for the most sales as individuals and as teams. The awards include great personal pride and a fabulous outing. Wherever you get your tickets, every penny goes directly back into our community.

There will be players who convert their $50,000 in funny money to big winnings at the black jack tables, roulette, craps and poker, including Texas Hold'em. Those winnings can be spent on the terrific items in the silent auction and good stuff in the raffle.

Not particularly lucky at the tables? Your ticket stub is automatically entered for the grand prize drawing - an overnight horseback trip into the San Juan Mountains.

But the real casino winner is our community. One hundred percent of the ticket sales from this year's event will benefit student college scholarships (50 percent) and local community projects, the teacher mini-grant program and Rotary's community grant fund.

Our first four Rotary casino events raised almost $90,000, money that has made a major impact right here in our community.

The Rotary high school student college scholarship fund received over $12,000 last year, part of over $50,000 Rotary has granted in scholarships in the last four years. Over $45,000 of the funds raised from Rotary Casino Royale events went to local community projects. Winners there include arts council summer scholarships and Town Park building renovation, 4-H county fair winners' medallions and belt buckles, American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, the Pagosa Springs 9Health Fair, $300 grants to a dozen or more teachers each year in the Rotary Teacher Mini-Grant Program, the Durango Nature Studies program attended by Pagosa Springs elementary kids, bedding for needy families, Operation Helping Hand, the GED program at the Archuleta County Education Center, free dictionaries to all third graders in our community and many other local projects.

This force of nature, the Montezuma Vineyards Rotary Casino Royale, is the best win-win situation around.

Bluegrass Cadillac will be making the evening even more authentic with toe-tapping live music. If you'd like to dine, the Cellar will be open for reservations during the event.

So buy your tickets for a rootin' tootin' good time at this year's Montezuma Vineyard and Restaurants and Pagosa Springs Rotary "Stampede!"

This event is made possible by the following sponsors: Montezuma Vineyard and Restaurants, Century Tel, Citizens Bank, Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate, KWUF Radio 1400 AM and 106.3 FM, Old West Press, Pagosa Springs Sun, Bank of Colorado, Edward Jones/Bob Scott, Upper Mesa Ranch, Wells Fargo Bank, Aaron's Fitness and Strength Training, Bank of the San Juans, Big O Tire Store, Colorado Dream Homes, Davis Engineering Services, Elk Meadows River Resort, Sundial Chevron and Dial Oil, Four Corners Distributing, LaPlata Electric Association, Mountain Snapshots, The Lighting Center, The Rio Grande Club, Timothy Miller Homes and Vectra Bank Colorado - and all of you who donate silent auction and raffle items, plus everyone who attends!

 

Boy Scout pancake feed slated April 4

Boy Scout Troop 807 has scheduled its annual all-you-can-eat pancake feed 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. April 4 in the Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street.

Proceeds from the pancake and sausage breakfast help pay for the troop's camp and summer activities. Guests can enjoy homemade pancakes and sausages with all the trimmings.

Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children 12 and under and $4 for seniors. Children under 5 are free. For further information, call Scoutmaster Dave Schaefer, 731-3832.

 

Night of Young Child is coming April 27

All you youngsters who like to perform, your chance is coming.

Night of the Young Child is all about children performing for children.

The only qualification is that you be between 16 or younger.

The event will be in the high school auditorium.

For more information, call Lynne Bridges at 264-5513.

 

Blood draw next week

United Blood Services has scheduled a blood draw in Pagosa Springs next week, March 25.

From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. donors will be welcomed at Mountain Heights Baptist Church, 1044 Park Ave.

You may sign up for drives at www.unitedbloodservices.org.

Identification is required for all donors.

 

Fire blamed on chimney fault

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A faulty wood-stove chimney was the probable cause of a fire downtown Monday.

Fire Chief Warren Grams said 23 firefighters responded to a structure-fire page at 634 South 6th Street about 8:30 p.m. to find part of the shake shingle roof in flames.

The fire was extinguished and damage was estimated at under $1,000. "There was no damage to the inside of the structure that I know of," Grams said.

No one was injured. Pagosa Fire Protection District personnel finished mop up about 10 p.m.

 

Sullivan concert to benefit United Way

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.diary-ofasongwriter.com. For information or to order tickets contact Kathi DeClark at 946-2057.

 

Planners approve development prelim

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The proposed development of 34 townhomes behind the Pagosa Lodge next to Pinon Lake spurred several questions from adjacent property owners at a town planning commission meeting Tuesday.

Jack Nightingale, manager of the Pagosa Lodge, presented the preliminary plan for The Villas at Pagosa Lodge to the commission for approval. The density, he said, had been considerably reduced since the sketch-plan phase.

The current plan calls for a five-phase development of one- and two-story town homes on the property. Access would be via the current lodge entrance under the bridge connecting the east wing of the lodge and a shared access along the Fairfield property to the west. The shared access would be more of an emergency access, Nightingale said.

"We don't see a substantial increase in traffic," he said. In similar developments, aimed at those searching for second homes or vacation properties, the townhomes would be occupied only 10 or 15 percent of the year.

The plan is to build five units in the first phase, starting in May or June. The remaining construction would be market-driven.

Town Planner Tamra Allen said the town had received three letters from surrounding property owners concerned with construction and traffic impacts.

"There is little doubt that the proposed development will have negative effects on the existing residences," David Griffiths wrote. "The prolonged noise and congestion, the blocked views and the atmosphere of a high-density development, will significantly alter the quality of life in the area."

Nightingale assured the commission that, although he did not have a contractor yet, whoever was hired would be told to keep equipment off private property and dust abatement would be addressed.

"I will do everything I can to make them (the adjacent property owners) happy," he said.

Kerry Dermody, president of the Lodge Condo Homeowner's Association posed questions about drainage, covenants and recourse if trespass of construction equipment occurred.

"We've not been approached at all as far as easements or access," Steve Lydon, resort manager at Fairfield, said. "We need to know a lot more about it."

The commission recommended approval of the preliminary plan, requesting that the developer work with adjacent property owners to address concerns, including access, prior to presenting the final plan.

 

Progress seen on water rights fees

Sen. Isgar's Report

Every now and then, I like to revisit some of the topics I've covered in past weeks when there's something new to report. What should come as good news to water rights owners is progress on the controversial water administration fees that were passed last year.

In the closing hours of the 2003 session, we reluctantly instituted these fees to avoid cutting up to 30 water commissioners. However, the fees were costly to collect since Colorado historically has not put a priority on tracking the ownership of water. The compounding administrative hassles and consumer outrage led to a number of lawsuits against the state.

Fortunately, my arguments along with economic circumstances may have helped bring the Joint Budget Committee around to reevaluate the fees.

Because Colorado is projected to run a TABOR surplus, the constitution will require us to refund the additional revenue intended for the Department of Natural Resources, but not necessarily to the people who originally paid the fees. What's worse is that the state can't deduct the $300,000 spent administering the fees from the TABOR refund. As a result, we would be charging fees to water rights owners, refunding the money to somebody else, and losing $300,000 in the process.

In addition to repealing the fees in the future, a new JBC proposal would return the money collected over the past year. Doing so would also save the state any further losses through lawsuits.

Another issue that has continued to spark interest around the district is House Bill 1273, which would mandate a state renewable energy standard. I've been working hard ever since this bill reached the Senate to encourage more hydroelectric power in the bill for the Western Slope. The problem as I saw it was that the bill attached cumbersome and unnecessary restrictions on water projects, and unfairly singled out hydropower for additional environmental standards.

By the end of the week, I had an amendment that proved acceptable to most of the bill's supporters and included more hydropower. Before my amendment, the bill would only count small hydropower less than 10 megawatts. Anything above that limit would invalidate the entire project. Now the first 20 megawatts of any hydropower project will count toward the standard without exception. The bill has been on the calendar for some time, but I hope that it comes up for a vote this week with a better chance of passing in its amended form.

Finally, I wanted to mention a new issue that incites a lot of emotion on both sides. It involves a bill written unequivocally to deny eligibility of receiving in-state tuition to any undocumented immigrant.

Outlining all the arguments to this bill would take more space than I have, but I thought that the debate last week made for a funny comment on the legislative process.

Proponents of the bill cite budget problems along with a general reluctance to subsidize non-citizens as reasons why such a law would be necessary. Others argued that the immigrants who would want to go to college probably have been living and working here for some time, contributing to the economy, and would likely be the cream of the crop.

I was sympathetic to a compromise amendment that would limit in-state tuition eligibility to students who went through Colorado high schools for three years and graduated. The amendment passed to the chagrin of the bill's sponsor, who promptly asked to lay the bill over until he could shore up his votes.

In other words, all the intense debate and hot air spent on the bill took most of the morning, and the record showed that we never even heard it.

 

Temporary office, signs get nod from town commission

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Planning Commission gave its stamp of approval for a temporary land-development office to be constructed near South Pagosa Boulevard and U.S. 160.

According to the staff report, the request was for a modular structure with associated commercial land-sales signage to assist the property owner in moving forward with a large-scale commercial development of about 100 acres on the south side of the highway.

Consultant Bill Whitbred said the current plan is for two commercial developments - the Pagosa Lakes Plaza and the Pinon Lakes Plaza - to be developed on the front of the property with multifamily residential units toward the back.

Access to the temporary structure will be off of South Pagosa Boulevard approximately 300 feet from the junction with the highway. Whitbred said 300 feet was the stacking distance recommended by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

After some discussion, the commission approved a motion to recommend approval of the temporary building, three pole signs and one wall-mounted sign with several contingencies, including that the building and signs be removed when a permanent structure is completed, or after one year, which ever comes first. All accesses are also temporary.

In other business, the commission recommended approval of a request to vacate the south half of the Navajo Street alignment east of Sixth Street. This request was brought by an applicant involved in the possible development of townhomes on property between Sixth Street and the river. The commission's only restriction was that the town retain access easements for future trails or bridge abutments.

Both of these recommendations will go before the Pagosa Springs Town Council for final approval April 6.

 

Yule sales hiked December sales tax to five-year high

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

A budget briefing presented during Tuesday's meeting of the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners indicates December brought 2003 to a close on a fiscal high note.

According to statistics provided by Cathie Wilson, county finance director, sales tax revenues collected last December were the highest in the past five years - amounting to approximately $254,000 and up roughly $11,000 over December 2002 totals.

Does the increase mean the local economy is on the upswing?

Not necessarily, said Wilson, but it's good news, nevertheless.

In short, "We're still in tight times ... cash flow is still tight," said Wilson at the conclusion of her update. "But I'm not horribly concerned with anything I see right now."

A summary comparison of sales tax revenue for 2002 and 2003 obtained from Wilson sheds light on how the local economy fared during the past year.

The compiled data reveals the total amount of revenue collected last year was 5.3 percent lower than in 2002, but also tells of positive strides in two of the last four months of the year.

According to the report, the most significant slowdown in revenue flow occurred in the months of March and April, which were down 16.30 percent and 12.76 percent from 2002, respectively.

June 2003 revenues show a decrease of 9.39 percent when compared with June 2002, while local merchants fared slightly better the following month - July 2003 totals being down just 3.16 percent from the previous year.

Revenue recovered slightly in August - down just 2.27 percent -but fell 6.21 percent short of 2002 totals for the month of September, and were 6.06 percent down for the month of November.

Only in October and December, which show respective increases of 1.27 percent and 4.65 percent, were revenues higher than those recorded in 2002.

The figures reflect an identical scenario for the town of Pagosa Springs as well, since revenues resulting from the 4-percent sales tax are split equally between the town and county.

However, the overall decrease is no cause for alarm said Wilson, since the county's spending and profit trends through early this year are progressing as anticipated.

In conclusion, given the circumstances "it's important to note we're not abundantly endowed," observed Board Chairman Mamie Lynch.

"But we're not broke, either," added Commissioner Alden Ecker.

In other business this week, the board:

- accepted the resignation of Dennis Schutz from the Southwestern Water Conservation District board of directors and appointed Roger August to fill Schutz's unexpired term

- approved contracts regarding the social services department's continuance of home-based therapeutic programs and the provision of social responsibility training/day treatment programs for local students

- at the request of Musetta Wollenweber, senior center director, agreed to support the pursuit of grants regarding a nutrition/physical activity program for local seniors

- approved a special events permit request from the chamber of commerce regarding Sept. 18 Colorfest activities at the county Extension building

- scheduled a public hearing for consideration of a conditional use permit request from the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District pertaining to a water tank replacement in the Loma Linda subdivision for 6 p.m. March 24 (an appointment to the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission will also be made during a special meeting session scheduled to immediately follow the hearing)

- agreed to waive building permit fees for low-income housing projects undertaken by Housing Solutions for the Southwest, a nonprofit entity

- denied approval of the final plat for the re-plat of a portion of Tract H in the Vista subdivision, citing nonconformance with the county land-use regulations

- approved renewal of a hotel/restaurant liquor license for Pagosa Springs Valley Golf Club

- approved renewal of a retail liquor store license for Chimney Rock Liquor Store

- acknowledged receipt of the Trails Master Plan, available for review at the commissioners' and county planning offices.

 

Fire district orders $227,000 rescue truck

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Pagosa is getting a new rescue truck.

In about 270 calendar days, that is.

The Pagosa Fire Protection District board approved a $227,000 bid for the truck March 9.

"Why so long?" one of the board members asked.

"They're busy," board member Debbie Tully said.

Warren Grams, fire chief, said one of the companies apparently had 14 rescue trucks currently on bid cycles.

Before giving their seal of approval on the truck, the board debated whether or not to include a breathing air system in the package.

The options were to have the air system allowing firefighters to refill breathing apparatus on scene, or simply include a compartment to carry an estimated 24 extra air bottles. The refilling system was $14,000 in one bid and $18,000 in the other. Currently, the tanks are refilled using air compressors at the fire stations.

"If you've got the money, I'd say go with the air and leave the spare bottles off," board chairman Dick Moseley said.

District manager Diane Bower said $100,000 was budgeted for the rescue vehicle. The rest will be financed through a lease-purchase agreement.

Eventually, the board voted to go with the on-scene refill system and a bid of $227,316 from Front Range Fire Apparatus, of Denver.

The new rescue truck will have a 16-foot box with compartments to hold everything needed for vehicle extrication, water and ice rescues, including a Stokes litter, backboard, ice sled, cribbing, hose reels and hydraulic tools. The fire protection district took over extrication duties from the Upper San Juan Health Service District last year and purchased all new hydraulic "jaws of life" equipment. Currently, the rescue equipment is spread over two different trucks.

Grams said the rescue truck will allow all the equipment to be stored in one place. Compartments are designed for the safety of the volunteers, with sliding shelves to protect backs. Other features include a portable winch for use on any side of the vehicle and repelling hooks.

 

State fishing programs gain national recognition

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) is receiving national recognition for programs that introduce children, women and families to the sport of fishing.

The National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame recently selected the DOW's angler education programs for its prestigious 2004 Organizational Award for outstanding accomplishments in education.

"All of these programs are vital to ensuring that there will be future generations of both sportsmen and women and conservationists," said Robin Knox, sport fish coordinator for the DOW. "We appreciate the recognition and are working to grow and enhance these programs in the future."

The Organizational Award recognizes the DOW's urban fishing clinics, including "Take a Family Fishing" and "Ladies Let's Go Fishing," the only freshwater angling clinic for women in the United States. A secret ballot of fishing-industry experts determines the winner of the annual award.

Each year, the DOW's angler education fishing clinics introduce urban and low-income youths to fishing, distributing more than 12,000 rod-and-reel sets to participants. Some 15,000-20,000 children and adults participate in the statewide events. In addition, the DOW stocks small ponds and lakes with 70,000 rainbow trout and 4,000-8,000 channel catfish for annual clinics and events, with most fish measuring 10-16 inches.

The Denver Parks and Recreation District, the Denver Public School System, suburban municipalities, small town recreation districts, local sportsmen's groups, and fishing tackle retailers are among the other entities that help in the effort.

More than 300 people from multiple agencies help coordinate the "Take a Family Fishing" program as part of National Fishing and Boating Week in June.

For angler education information, contact Scott Gilmore, (303) 291-7512. For sport-fishing information, contact Robin Knox, (303) 291-7362.

 

Turkey calling seminar Saturday

Area turkey hunters who would like to improve their skills get a chance Saturday to learn from a real pro.

JR Keller, a champion turkey caller, will conduct a free seminar at 10 a.m. at Pagosa Lodge.

His topics will include gear selection, game calling and game tactics.

Hunters of all ages are welcome. The local sponsor is Ponderosa Do It Best.

 

San Juan Gobblers host auction and dinner

You can help support wild turkey conservation and enjoy your evening by attending the Wild Turkey Super Fund auction and dinner hosted by San Juan Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

The event is scheduled 6 p.m. March 20 in the Vista Clubhouse with a social hour before dinner.

All ticket holders will be eligible to win valuable prizes exclusive to Federation events. Place the highest bid and you could go home with sporting art, hunting guns, knives, calls, outdoor equipment and more.

Tickets for the banquet are $45 for singles and $65 for a couple. Federation membership helps support wildlife management on public, private and corporate lands and preserve hunting as a traditional American sport.

Since it was founded 27 years ago, more than $115 million in Federation and corporate funds have been spent on more than 10,345 projects benefitting wild turkeys through the United States, Canada and Mexico.

 

Beware of Social Security fraud

It's a number most have since birth and that will stick with you throughout your life. Sure, your phone number and addresses will change over the years, but your nine-digit Social Security number won't.

This number is tied to just about everything from your bank account to where you work. And just about everyone seems to ask you for the number, from schools to insurance companies to even video stores. Often, it's used to check your credit rating, track your earnings and follow you as you move. But only a few - like the motor vehicle or tax department - really require that you give it to them.

That's why it's important to safeguard your number. Most companies who ask for your Social Security number but don't need it will still accept your business if you don't give it to them. If a merchant, for example, insists he needs your number to run a credit check, ask if he can do it without one. A merchant can usually get a credit report with just your address and full name. If he refuses, go to another business.

It's important to avoid giving out your number unnecessarily because a thief just needs your name and Social Security number to apply for a credit card, get a cell phone or get a driver's license. That's why there's no reason why places like your health club or video store need your Social Security number. If they say that it's required to get a password or account ID number, ask them to use an arbitrary number.

Guard your Social Security number by not putting it on your personal checks. If a company needs it for identification, ask if they can use your phone number or a photo ID instead.

If someone does use your Social Security number, you'll find out if he gets a credit card and doesn't pay the bills. If the thief does pay the bills, it may be harder to find out that your number has been stolen.

It's a good idea to get a credit report from all three credit-reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax and Experiona). Get a copy from each agency once a year and compare them to one another. These three credit-reporting bureaus also keep lists with your information that go to marketing companies. Get the agencies to remove your name from these lists. That way, people who don't need to know your Social Security number won't have it.

There is also no reason to carry your Social Security card in your wallet. Keep it in a safe, secure place. Your Social Security number stays with you throughout your life. Don't let it out of your sight unless necessary and you'll avoid becoming an unnecessary victim of identity fraud.

 

Extensions a welcome option with tax deadline near

April 15 is the date that causes working Americans to shudder.

Tax Day.

Even if you don't owe any taxes, the paperwork alone can be overwhelming. The choices are pretty bleak: either wade through the pages of instructions, boxes, and "Lines 1, 14, 32 ...," or pay an accountant to handle it for you. But what if April 15 comes and you can't file?

Many circumstances cause people to miss that April deadline. Perhaps a relative is sick. Maybe you're moving or starting a new job. Or maybe your toddler accidentally fed your W-2 to the family dog. Whatever the reason, this may be the year you need to file for an extension - IRS-approved extra periods for filing. Robert Job, of Ocala, Fla., has filed for several extensions since starting his own business over a decade ago. "Self-employment means tracking down lots of paperwork and receipts for deductions," Job says. "Between collecting the forms and running my business, I really needed extra time to make sure everything was completed correctly."

As ominous as that April 15 deadline may seem, extensions are surprisingly easy to file. If you qualify to file a 1040 for your taxes, or you live overseas (including members of the military), all you need to do is fill out a Form 4868, which is only about a half-page long. The form asks for your estimated tax liability, so it's good to have a W-2 or pay stub handy. You can find this form on the IRS Web site (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4868.pdf). There are also several Web sites, such as tax9er.com and ezTaxExtension.com that allow you to file this form online and receive a confirmation from the IRS right away. After filing the 4868, your new deadline without paying late filing penalties will be Aug. 15.

If four months is not enough time, pick up Form 2688 (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f2688.pdf) to request up to an additional two months. This form is more comprehensive than the 4868; the additional two months requires an explanation for the needed extension. It is also possible that the 2688 will be denied, and then your taxes will still be due by Aug. 15. The IRS describes the 2688 as for circumstances "beyond the preparer's control," so the reason must be one of importance.

A caveat accompanies any extension for which you decide to file. An extension to file is not an extension to pay. If you're expecting a refund from Uncle Sam, then no worries - the government doesn't mind keeping your money until you file. But if you file late and owe taxes, you should include the payment with your 4868 form. The penalty is 1/2 of 1 percent of the taxes owed for each month you pay late - up to 25 percent! Also, you will owe interest of about six percent compounded daily over the late period, which can quickly add up. If you can't pay the taxes you owe, you can file another form, a 9465 (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f9465.pdf), to request the IRS to set up a payment plan for you.

Extensions are definitely a welcome alternative for those who can't file by April 15. The IRS charges a late filing fee for those who miss the deadline, so why not take the time to fill out a short form? No matter what form you decide to file, please check with the IRS or your accountant to make sure you're on the right track.

 

Short of cash? Maybe IRS has unclaimed refund for you

Unclaimed refunds totaling more than $2.5 billion are awaiting nearly 2 million people who failed to file a 2000 income tax return, the Internal Revenue Service announced.

In order to collect the money, however, a return must be filed with an IRS office no later than April 15, 2004.

The IRS estimates that half of those who could claim refunds would receive more than $529.

In Colorado, the IRS estimated 32,200 taxpayers have $41,907 due from 2000, an average of $499 per person.

In some cases, individuals had taxes withheld from their wages, or made payments against their taxes out of self-employed earnings, but had too little income to require filing a tax return. Some taxpayers may also be eligible for the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit.

"The clock is running if you want to get your refund," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "People who aren't required to file sometimes overlook that they had tax withheld. Don't wait until it's too late. We want all taxpayers to get the refund they're due."

In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim the refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.

For 2000 returns, the window closes April 15, 2004.

The law requires that the return be properly addressed, postmarked and mailed by that date. There is no penalty assessed by the IRS for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2000 refund that their checks will be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2001 or 2002. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS and may be used to satisfy unpaid child support or past due federal debts such as student loans.

By failing to file a return, individuals stand to lose more than refunds of taxes withheld or paid during 2000. Many low-income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Although eligible taxpayers may get a refund when their EITC is more than their tax, those who file returns more than three years late would be able only to offset their tax. They would not be able to receive refunds if the credit exceeded their tax.

Generally, individuals qualified for the EITC in 2000 if they earned less than $31,152 and had more than one qualifying child living with them, less than $27,413 with one qualifying child, or less than $10,380 and had no qualifying child.

Current and prior year tax forms are available on IRS.gov or by calling (800) 829-3676. Taxpayers who need help also can call the IRS help line at (800) 829-1040.

 

Time running out to order conservation trees, shrubs

Last winter's ample rain and snow means plenty of moisture for growing things this spring.

For those considering reforesting an area decimated by fire or bark beetles, slow eroding winds and water, or improving wildlife habitat, time is running out to order trees and shrubs during the annual conservation seedling tree sales program sponsored by local conservation districts, CSU Cooperative Extension Service and Colorado State Forest Service.

To participate in this program, landowners must own two or more acres, use seedlings for conservation rather than ornamental purposes, and agree not to resell seedlings purchased through the program as living plants.

Intended uses of seedlings offered through this annual program include windbreaks, hedgerows, living snow fences, screens, filter strips, erosion control, wildlife habitat enhancement and reforestation/afforestation. Seedlings can also be used for Christmas tree plantations.

Many varieties of shrubs and deciduous and evergreen trees are offered through the program as bare root and potted planting stock. Prices before sales taxes this year are $27.50 for a bundle of 50 bare root shrubs and deciduous trees, $28.50 for a bundle of 50 evergreen trees, $35.50 for a box of 30 regular potted trees, and $24.60 for a box of 30 small, potted evergreens.

Order forms are being accepted through March by cooperating conservation districts in Pagosa Springs, Cortez, Dove Creek and Durango. The application is available at Cooperative Extension offices, USDA Ag Service centers, and the state forest service office on the campus of Fort Lewis College in Durango.

For further information locally call 264-5516.

 

PSHS sophomore wows Moby crowd

Richard Walter

Staff Writer

With the final notes still reverberating from cavernous Moby Arena, members of officials' row were turning to salute Pagosa's Samantha Ricker.

The sophomore from Pagosa Springs High School had provided, as one person said, "the best goose bumps I've had in ages."

Samantha had just completed her second presentation of the national anthem on opening day of the Class 3A state basketball tournament at Colorado State University in Fort Collins Thursday.

It was the appearance she had been selected for, but turned out to be her second of the day. The performer scheduled for the morning opening session failed to appear and she was drafted for that presentation, too.

Along officials' row, where they've heard just about every possible version of the national anthem, applause for Samantha was as real as that for the nation.

The lead announcer told her he'd heard hundreds do the song and "never has there been a better rendition."

One of the official scorekeepers told Ricker she brought tears to his eyes "with your flawless performance."

Her reaction: "It's nice to be praised, but the song and its meaning are the real winners."

 

Movie nights highlight Teen Center schedule

By Mercy Korsgren

Special to The SUN

Tomorrow's movie at the Teen Center 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 film is rated PG-13. ABC radio network called the movie, "a thrilling, mind-bending, mind-blowing journey" and movie critics gave this movie two thumbs up.

Monday, there will be a Key Club meeting in the Teen Center, 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 Andersen, 731-5797.

You can play stickball March 25, 5-7 p.m. and next Friday the Teen Center will feature "School of Rock" as the next movie. It is a comedy movie about a guy who teaches kids rock and roll. A New York Times review said, "Jack Black gives a roaring performance. His incandescent comic energy should establish him as the screen most popular rock-fueled wild man."

The Teen Center attendant position is still vacant. The board is hoping to hire this person by April 1 and the center will have more exciting programs.

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.

 

Small sacrifices produce big financial results

Do you find it difficult to manage the financial aspects of your life?

Are you overloaded with bills every month and find yourself living from paycheck to paycheck?

Does establishing a financial plan and creating a budget seem so overwhelming and time consuming that you just keep putting it off?

It seems that in today's hectic world, you often overlook organizing your personal finances. When you weigh it against everything else that you have to get done, you can't find the time to fit it in. Something else always takes priority - an errand, a chore or a bill to pay - knocking this tedious task lower and lower on your list of things to do.

Yet, if you realized just how important a role budgeting plays in controlling your finances, you likely wouldn't be in such financial chaos.

With the help of some financial software packages, some tedious record keeping and changes in your spending habits, you can easily begin to manage all aspects of your financial life and be well on your way to achieving the financial success you have always dreamed about.

There is no better time to start budgeting than the beginning of a new year. Here are some tips:

1. Set goals. Think about what financial goals you want to achieve and devise a timeline for yourself.

2. Track your income and expenses. Review and assess your financial situation by tracking your income and spending habits. You need to determine the amount of cash that comes into your pocket and the amount that leaves your pocket every month. You should also write down all the expenses and bills that you pay on a monthly basis.

3. Analyze your spending habits. Eliminate unnecessary spending by scrutinizing what you are buying and weighing the cost, risk and benefit of how you spend all your money each month.

4. Create and track a budget. Create a money management system that works for you. A budget will help track your income and keep your spending habits in check over a period of time, allowing you to reach your specific goals.

5. Utilize available financial software. You don't have to be alone when it comes to organizing your finances and managing all your money. Quicken 2004 and Microsoft Money 2004 are two new software packages available to help you make sense out of your finances. They can organize your financial data so you can see your complete financial picture in minutes, allowing you to take control of your money. You'll know what your cash flow looks like immediately.

Prices and features vary, depending upon which version you buy, and may range in price from $30 to $100. The lower to mid-range versions allow you to balance your checkbook, pay bills online, record transactions and track your spending. The more expensive editions have added features that enable you to manage your investments, control your taxes, plan for retirement or a home purchase, and even manage your small business finances.

Taking control of your finances and sticking to a budget is something that is up to you. It requires a small time sacrifice on your part but, in the end, it will be worth your while to gain the financial freedom.

 

Community center to hold spring cleaning rummage sale

By Mercy Korsgren

Special to The PREVIEW

Spring is here and so is the inspiration to open windows, shake out dust, clean out cupboards and closets, get rid of things and generally put things in order.

It happens every year about this time.

So the Pagosa Springs Community Center is offering a time and place to deal with the results: A spring cleaning rummage sale

Saturday, April 17, the community center multi-purpose room will be filled with tables of (depending upon your perspective) discards or valuable finds.

Anyone wishing to discard items can pay $10 for a table to display their wares.

The public is invited to come look and buy treasures, free of charge.

An alternative is to donate saleable items to the Community Center and we will do the selling.

Sale hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call the community center to reserve a table, 264-4152.

 

Outdoors

Village at Wolf Creek info meeting tonight

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. tonight 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 mailroom_r2_rio_grande@fs.fed.us.

 

Spring break programs at Grace Evangelical Free Church

Why would 16 students and six adults come to Pagosa Springs to spend their spring break to serve our community instead of skiing and snowboarding?

Because life is more than fun and games.

"We would like to make an investment that has a positive return," said Shawn Ammons, leader of this group from West Evangelical Free Church of Wichita, Kan.

"We want to teach young people the value of serving and making right choices, because we believe it can develop into a lifestyle of serving others."

Sponsored by Grace Evangelical Free Church of Pagosa Springs, the group will present "The King's Kids" ministry to youngsters in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Sessions will held each afternoon March 21-24, from 3:45-5:15 p.m. at the Power House. The sessions will consist of music, drama, stories, crafts, games and snacks.

"Kingdom Force" will be presented each evening March 21-24, 7-8:30 p.m. for youngsters in grades seven to 12 and is designed to provide answers to real questions. Food and games will be available.

 

Beef is back, store it and cook it the right way

Beef has gotten a bad rap over the years. For a long time, we have avoided it because it just wasn't good for us - too much fat and cholesterol. But now, with the uproar about carbohydrates and raves about the health benefits of red meat, we are free to eat that steak again.

Red meat provides a major source of important nutrients, such as zinc, B-12 and iron. Beef is also a versatile meat - it can be the central ingredient in everything from stews to fajitas to burgers.

When buying beef, it's important to know what you're getting. Different cuts work well with different recipes. Also, it's important to check the label to ensure the meat is fresh; the label will also tell you what percentage of the beef is fat. Leaner beef is better for stir fries and steaks, fattier is best for pot roasts.

Caring for your beef

Once you've chosen your cut, store it properly to retain its fresh taste and prevent the development of bacteria like E. coli.

The National Cattlemen's Association (beef.org) suggests refrigerating or freezing beef as soon as possible. Refrigerated steaks can keep in the fridge for three to four days before cooking and can be frozen six months to a year. Ground beef shouldn't be refrigerated longer than two days or frozen longer than three months.

To store any beef in the freezer, repackage the cut into aluminum foil or freezer paper to keep air (and freezer burn) out.

The biggest mistake people make is in the defrosting - meat should be defrosted in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter. As far as handling beef, the same rules apply as for any other food: Wash all surfaces and hands with antibacterial soap, use paper towels to clean up and wash the cutting board thoroughly after use.

Cooking beef can be simple, and there are lots of recipes to choose from. Both www.beefitswhats fordinner.com and www.food.com feature extensive recipe databases with thousands of ways to cook beef. Find tips on cooking times, what pans to use and how to season beef by visiting Beef.org's "Kitchen" page.

For example, salt meat and trim the fat off steak after cooking to keep the meat juicy. For better browning, pat steaks dry with a paper towel before putting them in the pan. No matter what you cook, the internal temperature of the beef should be at 160 F to kill bacteria.

Now that you've brought beef back to the table, what should you do with the leftovers? Put them in the fridge within two hours of cooking, and they'll keep for up to four days. Rib eye can make great sandwiches for lunch the next day, and extra hamburger meat can be turned into chili. Bon Appetit!

A cut above

Which cut of beef makes the best pot roast? Which creates the tastiest grill? This helpful guide from beef.org tells you which cut will work the best.

Chuck (shoulder steak and chuck roast) - stews and pot roasts

Rib (ribeye and rib roast) - grilling, broiling and roasting.

Short Loin (tenderloin and porterhouse, t-bone) - grilling, skillet steaks and broiling.

Sirloin (top steak and beef tips) - grilling, roasting and pot roast.

Shank (brisket) - stews and pot roasts.

Flank (skirt steak and flank steak) - marinate and grill, stir fry.

Round (top round and round roast) - roast and pot roast.

Ground - meatballs and hamburgers.

 

Unitarians will welcome Tara Mandala leader

A Tsultrim Allione will lead The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Sunday in the second of a series of monthly services entitled "The Power of Women in Religion."

These programs highlight the increasing participation and leadership of women in a variety of world religious groups: Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Moslem, Native American and Unitarian Universalist.

Tsultrim Allione, a former Tibetan Buddhist nun, who lived in India and worked with Mother Theresa, now owns and operates the Tara Mandala Buddhist retreat in Pagosa Springs.

This service, and Sunday School, will begin at 4:30 p.m. as will all programs on the third Sunday of the month. On the first, second and fourth Sundays, the services will start at 10:30 a.m. There will not be a potluck supper following the March 21 service.

The fellowship is now meeting in its new permanent home in Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza, which is located on Greenbriar Drive, off North Pagosa Boulevard. Unit 15 is on the east (back) side of the commercial plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big new sign.

All are welcome.

 

Daffodils still available for ACS fund-raiser

By Suzan Gray

Special to The PREVIEW

Daffodil Days are still in full swing and if you haven't gotten your flowers stop by Mountain Greenery on Lewis Street and pick up a bunch or two.

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

This annual event, held by 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. The Society 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, ACS goals of saving lives and improving the quality of lives are within reach.

It is estimated that, across the United States, 2.36 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2004. This figure does not include carcinoma in situ (noninvasive 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.

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

 

Low cost health screening is 9Health Fair's forté

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

Nine Health Services, Inc., a nonprofit endorsed by the Colorado Medical Society, has been supporting free and low-cost health screening and education for 25 years in communities across Colorado. Pagosa Springs has been one of those communities from the outset.

Our community shares the mission of this organization - to promote health awareness and encourage individuals to assume responsibility for their own health.

Plan to visit the 9Health Fair April 3 at Pagosa Springs High School between 8 a.m. and noon.

You will find almost two dozen different medical screenings and interactive education centers available at no cost. If you are unable to attend the fair in Pagosa, you can find other site locations and times by contacting 9Health Fair at (800) 332-3078 or at their Web site, www.9HealthFair.org.

Denver's Channel 9 is another good way of seeing and hearing updates on the 9Health Fair.

Here are some of the stations available at this year's fair.

San Juan Basin Health

At this education center you can find information, people and forms that could lead to a free mammogram or pap smear if you are qualified.

Organ donor awareness

Perhaps you think that organ donation is a good idea but have questions. Visit this education center and get answers.

Body in Balance

This station includes screening your posture, flexibility, strength, and balance, and provides you with a general interpretation of the screening.

Diagnosis is not allowed at any of the screenings and interactive education centers; however, participants have the chance to talk to a health care professional who will review the results of screenings and address any concerns that might arise in strict confidence and for no cost whatsoever.

Available at a very low cost is the blood chemistry analysis ($30), the prostate cancer screening ($25), and the colorectal test kit ($5). If you provide your age and social security number the first time you take the blood test, after that year your results will always include the previous one or two years, as appropriate.

A limited number of vouchers for free blood tests are provided by 9Health Services. These will be distributed by San Juan Basin Health, Archuleta County Social Services and the senior center to those who apply and are qualified.

Because participation of the uninsured in the fair is low, organizers are making a special attempt to increase the numbers of available vouchers by seeking sponsorship for the screenings that are not free. Individuals and organizations can sponsor one or more screenings.

To participate in this effort, make your check out to 9Health Fair and take or mail it to the Bank of Colorado, 205 Country Center Drive. Checks must arrive at the bank no later than March 26.

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

 

State ag department workshop for food manufacturers

From salsas and sauces to cookies and candies, Colorado's small businesses produce a variety of specialty foods.

To help food processors market their products, the Colorado Department of Agriculture is offering an educational workshop 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. April 22, at the Holiday Inn, 10 E. 120th Ave., Northglenn.

"Manufacturing a high-quality food product is an important part of having a successful business, and knowing how to market that product is just as essential," said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "This workshop will help companies identify effective ways to market their products on a limited budget."

The one-day workshop features hands-on, practical advice from professionals in brand building, promotions, Web site design, marketing plan development, food safety and labeling. In addition to the presentations, participants will also have an opportunity to learn from their peers by networking with representatives from other food processing companies.

The registration fee is $35 per person if postmarked by April 16 and $40 after the deadline.

Registration includes the program, information packet and lunch. For more information or to register, contact White at (303) 239-4119 or visit www. colorado agriculture.com.

 

Town police explain new check fraud policy

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Police Department has a new policy regarding check fraud cases.

Detective Scott Maxwell said only cases involving checks written for over $50 will be pursued for criminal prosecution. Anything less than that will have to be taken up in civil court, or by collection agencies.

Maxwell said the department's current case load, and the number of check fraud cases were the impetus for the new policy.

He encouraged business owners to be diligent in requiring employees to collect good identification information, including a driver's license number, from anyone writing a check.

Identifying who actually wrote the check is one of the most time-consuming elements of check fraud investigations, and one of the most frustrating, Maxwell said.

 

Letters
Defends lawmen

Dear Editor:

I'm amazed at how many part-time and permanent residents of Archuleta County feel they aren't responsible for the protection of their own homes.

Gene Wissler's letter saying "the sheriff's department does not place a very high priority on protecting the homes of county residents" demonstrates little understanding of problems faced by law enforcement, not only in Pagosa Country (he's been a part-time resident for "more than a decade") but in large and small cities across America.

This enigma of rising crime has become endemic wherever you live, and placing blame on our sheriff's department and/or PLPOA is naive.

I speak from experience. My husband has been involved in law enforcement for over 30 years. The last 13 years I've traveled the world with him on duty assignments, and witnessed, in every state (and country) the same problems:

Regardless of the population or demographic of the city, organized gangs, rampant hard drug use, the unacceptable problem of illegal immigrants flooding across our border (ANS estimates at least 10,000 of the four million a year are terrorists) with no way of supporting themselves pose serious crime (and national security) challenges.

Gangs have become increasingly violent and threats of retaliation to those who speak out has compounded the situation.

However, in the last year, I've read in our SUN of a record number of major drug seizures by Archuleta sheriff's deputies and Pagosa police. Statistics show drug users commit most burglaries. The last two issues of The SUN reported arrests and recovery of many stolen items from recent break-ins. I conclude the Archuleta Sheriff's department and Pagosa police are doing an excellent job. This, in lieu of the number of deputies and police officers for the more than 1,000 miles of highways and rural roads patrolled.

Most counties this size have two or more times the number of deputies on patrol. Perhaps Mr. Wissler would care to address this issue, or does he only spend enough time here to take advantage of our recreational activities and scenic beauty, yet not long enough to vote on the budgetary constraints law enforcement works under?

Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day, for marginal pay, in comparison to most professions. A deputy's base pay is $6,000 below the declared national poverty level of $36,000. Having had the opportunity to closely observe law enforcement on a global level, I'd say ours is doing a superb job.

I've written stress management in law enforcement papers, and on a personal and professional level I know all too well how difficult their job is. In these uncertain times they need our unwavering support and constructive suggestions, not petty criticism.

Home, like homeland security, is our responsibility also. Neighborhood watches, private security, common sense, united as a community, lights left on dispel the darkness.

World peace begins with peace in your own community. It's up to us to remain ever vigilant. United we stand, divided we fall. I'm not complacent, Mr. Wissler, how about you.

Deborah Abben

Jobs dialogue

Dear Editor:

I propose a public dialogue on the issue of jobs in the United States in 2004. It is an emotional and political issue, and one on which "experts" reach diametrically opposed conclusions.

A dialogue drawn from the collective experience and wisdom will help put this issue into perspective.

First premise: Current problems are the cumulative result of a long history of "Good for Business" economic philosophy.

It starts with the classic business model - management plus capital plus labor mixed in varying proportions depending on the product or service.

Each element now represents a major economic institution.

Historically the process typically began with an entrepreneur with an idea for a product that could be marketed for profit. This began before the transition from an agricultural to an industrial economic culture.

Next was the challenge to finance the venture. Town banker? Maybe. Friends or family? As we have grown, we have stocks, bonds, securities and venture capital; a substantial segment of the national economy but still designed primarily to finance productive ventures and secured by the same.

The final and most volatile element, labor.

The role of labor begins with a philosophic dispute about the contribution labor makes to the equation. Top it off with an early history of strikes, violence and constant disputes and finally federal regulation (NLRB, EEOC et. al.).

Second Premise: Management and finance elements look upon labor as a necessary evil at best and one to be minimized where possible.

The current dilemma of a growing economy without jobs and the publicity given to globalization, free trade (NAFTA, WTO etc. and outsourcing) draw attention to the plight of unemployed individuals.

The too-easy answer being promoted seems to be that: "Good old American know-how will find new (yet unknown) ventures to absorb the excess labor."

There is a problem. We have been innovative through our economic history; but, the majority of innovations came about in attempts to limit or diminish labor-intensive tasks and to either cut costs or improve productivity getting more product or service per man-hour expended.

"Outsourcing" is not new, nor is substituting "capital" equipment for manpower. When agriculture was king the innovators made history by inventing the various picking and processing machines, substituting tractors for horses etc. Individuals displaced moved to the city and got a production job. As the industrial age advanced the assembly line replaced the craftsman. From that point there is a straight line progression to the automated assembly lines of today, and a corresponding permanent loss of jobs.

Along with innovation it is proposed we rely on retraining to give opportunity to the displaced workforce.

These questions must be answered:

What are the odds of any "new" innovation being labor intensive?

How does our K-12 education base ( and even college undergrad programs) match up with the high tech requirements of recent innovations?

Of the displaced workforce, how many fall within the age and qualifications needed for successful retraining?

For the sake of our economic future let's contribute the best we have to offer in experience and wisdom. Please respond.

Glenn Bergmann

Oil, not ketchup

Dear Editor:

I'd rather have oil than ketchup.

Realistically,

John Feazel

Price of oil

Dear Editor:

Time to wake up and smell the coffee, America.

Like it or not the day-to-day health of our country is based on the price of oil at the pump.

The Democrats as well the Republicans are so busy throwing rocks at each other that the concern of the needs of the people run second to both of them. We all know that if we purchase that new item for the home or go shopping is based on the ability to pay those basic bills to just place a roof over our heads, food on the table, heat or cool our homes and fill the gas tank to get back and forth to work. All of those things from our jobs to that bottle of dishwashing liquid are cost-controlled by the price of oil.

Until we can place some control on that price of oil, America no longer has the ability to control our own financial growth. We have the means and the technology right now to take this control and the only thing stopping us is our elected officials who fail to grasp the responsibility of what is required.

We have the technology to build super-heater solar boilers that can separate hydrogen from water to run generators for electric power as well our transportation as a substitute for oil; we have massive oil reserves in Alaska that could be used to flood the market with American oil and force down the cost of the crude to a standard of maybe $20 per barrel.

All we get from Democrats as well the Republicans is finger-pointing while we are drained to death paying utilities bills and outrageous prices at the pump. Nothing will change unless you sit down and start calling your representative and demand action or vote them out of office and replace them with someone who is willing to make the call required to move us to freedom.

This is not a party issue, it is an American issue and unless you want to pay double for your utilities and at the pump you better do more than blame Bush for all your problems, as Kerry will do no better.

True, sustained economic growth of America depends on energy that is affordable and available. By continuing to allow foreign oil to dictates the cost of fuel at the pump, cost of transporting our goods, heating or cooling our homes, America is kept in a position of reacting after the fact rather than controlling the cost of petroleum products.

If you are not calling or writing to complain and demanding action from your elected officials you deserve to pay that $2 per gallon at the pump and $300 a month power bill. Keep on blaming Bush all you want but in a couple of years you will be paying double the cost again what you are paying today and blaming yet another President for real change that can only come from the people demanding change.

Phil Hurbace

Las Vegas, Nev.

Timely uploads

Dear Editor:

As a part time resident of Pagosa Springs, I consider The SUN my adopted home town newspaper. While I do receive a hard copy, I prefer going online to keep up with the happenings in town.

I want to thank your staff for uploading the paper in a timely fashion so I don't have to wait a week to get the news. It is much appreciated.

Deborah M. Jacob-Timmen

Knoll replies

Dear Editor:

I wish to answer the "queries" requested by Mr. Stewart and to thank him for the opportunity.

1. Yes, I do have a bias. It is for modern quality healthcare facilities. I have built them and practiced in them. I know what they are - and are not. The ProHealth group of businessmen and medical people who are volunteering their time have only one "special interest" - to help improve your healthcare. Altruism does exist.

2. I have always been clear about my "real intentions" and have made presentations to many groups. After one such presentation a former district board unanimously voted for the plan. I will continue to discuss it with groups that request it. Ten months is a really short time to explain a plan to 12,000 people - especially with all the misinformation and distortions abounding.

3. Circumstances have changed. The plan has not changed. The plan brings the district (EMS and Mary Fisher Clinic) and your local providers together again.

4. There is not enough medical money in this community to give anyone much of a profit. Duplication of services strains finances to the limit. Considering that the district has gone broke on two occasions and needs taxpayer money to survive shows this clearly. Only by merging the private and public into a "not-for-profit" integrated system will we be able to prevent this from recurring.

5. It is obvious that the small number of critics do not understand the differences among "for-profit," "not-for-profit," "community based," "private" and "public" healthcare systems. Untruthfully accusing others of scheming to set up a "for-profit" business, I hope, is being done out of ignorance and not malice.

6. I wasn't just an "administrator of a mental unit ...". I was chairman of a department and professor at Southwestern Medical School. I built a department of four inpatient units, day hospital and community mental health clinic. I supervised 10 university physicians and 65 private physicians.

7. Before becoming a psychiatrist, I had four years of medical training, one year of medical internship, and 3 1/2 years as a flight surgeon in the Navy during the Viet Nam years. I delivered babies, did family practice, etc.; 835 fellow physicians (nonpsychiatric) elected me president of the medical/dental staff of a 600-plus bed specialty/subspecialty hospital. During the last 3-5 years of my career, approximately 1/3 of my time was spent in non psychiatric medical work in administration building a hospital system and running a medical education department.

8. But more importantly, there are an incredible number of people living here with credentials and expertise in a wide variety of areas that put my background to shame. Most of them tell me they will not volunteer their talents because they want to avoid the abuse they see others get when they try to help. They could be an incredible asset to our community if we would quit attacking them and instead make use of their talents.

James Knoll

Litter woe

Dear Editor:

To my fellow Pagosans, litterers in particular:

Litter is really more a verb than a noun. That stuff that you scatter about with abandon is still garbage. The act of placing it anywhere but garbage cans is to litter.

A dear friend chides me that this letter is a waste of time and an act of folly, that "everyone knows not to litter. They just have no interest in not littering." Well, as I responded then, I seek not to remind you of what you already know, I instead am pleading with you to stop.

Littering is the beginning of squalor. I've seen other countries with rivers filled with rusted appliances and used diapers. So, all I ask is please stop.

The most commonly littered garbages are cigarette butts, cans, bottles, bags and wrappers. This moves on up through squalid detritus and rubble to nuclear waste. Trash from cigarette butts to nuclear waste is all garbage. To scatter it is littering. Please stop.

With much love,

Harvey Schwartz

Rumors abound

Dear Editor:

Rumors, rumors.

One is that Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic physicians are not available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you want to check this out, just call the clinic after hours and you will get our registered nurses referral service. Many "after-hour" phone needs can be met by a registered nurse but if not, she will put you in contact with one of the physicians. Of course, emergency needs are directed to 9-1-1 for the ambulance service.

I have no idea the origin of rumors regarding our health district services, but it makes me very sad. After serving on the ambulance for 12 years prior to my four years service on the health district board, I am very proud of the current level of professionalism we have through the coordinated services of EMS, Mary Fisher Clinic and Urgent Care.

We have never had this level of public rumors before. Plans to add to the facility to accommodate relocation of EMS, add a birthing center and a 23-hour extended care must wait on the outcome of your votes in the May election. We have plans "on paper" to fund these extensions through private sources, but cannot move forward until we know the makeup of the board in May.

I question why some wish to serve on this board. For your information, I quote from the special district bylaws regarding the responsibilities of board members: "A Director has the duty to exercise the utmost good faith, business sense and astuteness of behalf of the District. A Director is prohibited from taking personal advantage of a situation to benefit himself or prejudice the District."

In other words, members of the board are there to serve the best interests of the Upper San Juan Health Services District - any other agenda is against the stated reasons to serve. Please elect folks to this board who are committed to the goals of your community-based health services.

Siphoning off tax dollars from the health district to support a for-profit clinic will benefit no one and will jeopardize all future plans to "grow" services for the community. This election has absolutely nothing to do with who you see for your health care but it has everything to do with growing community services that benefit everyone and fill the gaps that those in private practice are unable to do.

Please do not allow this to happen - our committed, professional employees deserve your support.

Patty Tillerson

 

Community News
Senior News

Find out what your dreams mean Friday

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

If you are wondering why you are having strange dreams, perhaps you need to come to the senior center at 12:45 p.m. March 19.

Barb Conkey will be here presenting, "What Do Our Dreams Tell Us?" She will give you an overview about dreams and might be able to interpret your dreams for you. Come hear what she has to say.

We will be having a widow/widower support group again at 1 p.m. March 22 - meet with folks you share something in common with in an informal setting. This group is developing their own program, like meeting socially outside of the center.

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.

Do you remember?

Old George continues to reminisce.

"When I was a boy nearly all of my neighbors, friends and relatives seemed to have a phonograph. It was in a cabinet that made a nice piece of furniture in the living room.

"I remember one of the early records that I enjoyed was 'The Two Black Crows.' One of them said to the other, 'Meet me in Chicago. If you get there first make a blue line. If I get there first I'll rub it out.'

"Radio was just coming in and my Dad bought a crystal set, complete with crystals and a whisker where we would try to tune it in as loud as we could. We didn't have speakers on it - we used earphones and it was rough to give each of us an equal amount of time to listen to that radio.

"One of the things I remember we often listened to was the organ music at noon from the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. We thought that was the most beautiful music we had ever heard.

"After that came Amos 'n Andy. They were funny as all get out and we couldn't get enough of them. I remember Andy being the big shot and Amos being the steady one. They hired a secretary named Miss Blue and The Kingfish was their nemesis. Do you remember the old shows?"

Visitors

Bev Brown will be here 11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 23 to do lymphatic drainage massage on our seniors. This is a wonderful treatment that moves the lymph and boosts the immune system. You need not remove your clothes, and she will work on you for 15-20 minutes. I'll bet you won't want to get off the table when she's done.

We are happy to say that Rice Reavis from Jackisch Drug will be here 12:45 p.m. March 24 .

One of the most important things you can do to protect your health is to understand the possible interactions between the medications you use, and to keep your health care providers informed. Start by compiling a list of all the medications you take, including vitamin and mineral supplements and over-the-counter drugs used routinely. Bring in your list or put all your bottles in a bag and bring the bag in and Rice will review your list and make sure you are not at risk for an adverse drug interaction.

Want to know more about diabetes? We have packets of information for you from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Hurry while the supply lasts and stop in today and pick up a free packet.

Events

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

March 22 -Tai Chi Chih, 10 a.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.; Widow/widower support group, 1 p.m.

March 23 -Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; advanced computer class, 10:30; lymph drainage, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

March 24 - Beginning computer class, 10:30 a.m. Brown Bag RX, 12:45 p.m. Canasta, 1 p.m.

March 26 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; MicroSoft Word, 10:30; celebrate birthdays, noon

Menu

Friday - Chicken stew, veggies, garbanzo bean salad, biscuit, peaches and cottage cheese

March 22 - Hot turkey sandwich, mashed potatoes, gravy, oriental vegetables and fruit salad

March 23 - Beef tamale pie, buttered corn, tossed salad and apricots

March 24 - Fish fillet, Red Bliss potatoes, coleslaw, bran muffin and pears

March 26 - Roast beef, mashed potatoes/gravy, spring blend vegetables and roll

 

Chamber News

Help round the Curves to a new food record

By Sally Hamiester

SUN Columnist

You have until the end of the month to donate your nonperishable food items to the Curves annual drive to benefit our local food banks.

April has quite the collection currently going in the local Curves at 117 Navajo Trail Drive behind the Hogs Breath, but needs more to reach her 2004 goal of 2,000 pounds. Last year she exceeded her goal by over 200 pounds and hopes to achieve at least that this year.

"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 exceed her goal this year.

If you have questions, give her a call at 731-0333.

Tim Sullivan concert

This Saturday night you can treat yourself to "Diary of a Songwriter," a one-man concert presented by Tim Sullivan in Pagosa Springs High School auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.

In this concert the award-winning 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.

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 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, 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 sponsors have questions. You may submit your recipe(s) electronically if you wish at hspscook@ earthlink.net. 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, call Lynn Constan at 264-5451.

Music in the Mountains

A reminder once again to mark your calendars for three Friday evenings: July 23, July 30 and Aug. 6 for this year's Music in the Mountains concerts featuring pianists Aviram Reichert, Antonio Pompa-Baldi and wife, Emanuela Friscioni, Anne-Marie McDermont and violinist, Philippe Quint.

In addition, Music in the Mountains will host a free children's concert for kids and their families 11 a.m. July 29 in Town Park. Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" will be the centerpiece used to teach the youngsters 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.

To be placed on the mailing list for these and future Pagosa Music in the Mountains events, call 385-6820 in Durango and specify that you want to be on the Pagosa Springs mailing list.

Free counseling

Our good friend, Joe Keck, director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College, will be in Pagosa offering his business acumen and wisdom to Chamber members and charging not a farthing for this incredible service.

Whether you are considering opening a new business, writing a new business plan or need help in any aspect of the business milieu, Joe's your man.

Call 264-2360 and ask Doug to set you up with an appointment March 23, beginning at 9 a.m.

9Health Fair

This year's 9Health Fair will be held 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, make out a check for the level you wish and mail or take it to Bank of Colorado, 205 Country Center Drive, Pagosa springs CO 81147 by the March 26 deadline.

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

Women's Civic Club

This group is one of the oldest service-oriented groups in town, and Barb Draper points out that means the organization is old, not necessarily the members.

They would like to invite all the ladies in Pagosa to attend the March meeting at 1:30 p.m. today in the Methodist Church on Lewis Street. Local resident, Carole Howard, will speak on "Celebrities are Real People Too!"

This group has long been involved in supporting the Ruby Sisson Library through fund-raising activities and events and meets monthly to plan events and just have fun. Join them today and see for yourself what a lovely group this is.

If you have questions, give Dahrl Henley at call at 731-9411.

2004 Home Show

The Builders Association of Pagosa Springs is proud to announce its 2004 Annual Home Show to be held at the fairgrounds on April 3-4. This is always such a fabulous event with so many interesting booths offering anything and everything you would want to know about homes and the myriad items that you might want to put in, on or around them.

This year's event should be the biggest and best ever with a hot tub raffle and a brand new computer going to some lucky attendee.

If you need booth information or would like to volunteer your services, call Steve Schwartz at 731-9168. At the very least, plan to attend this always fascinating event.

Membership

We welcome two new members this week as well as 17 renewals.

We're always happy to recognize those who recognize and appreciate the many benefits of Chamber membership and the value of supporting the entire business community.

Remember that your membership dollars are spent on maintaining the Visitor Center and marketing the area to bring in visitors and guests. We sell Pagosa in just about every possible media avenue you can imagine: magazines, television, radio, newspaper, trade shows, a Web site, catalogues, you name it. Your membership dues help support everything we do in the way of marketing and tourism, as well as keep our Visitor Center in good shape to host our 40,000 visitors every year.

We're grateful to all our wonderful members who keep us afloat with their support and recognize our contribution to the community.

We here at the Chamber are completely enamored with the name of our first new member this week, "Ladies in Wading-Pagosa Springs Flyfishers" with offices at "a stream near you." Very clever name, ladies, with a Web site "not yet" and an e-mail, "it's coming" as part of the description. This is a nonprofit organization with a great sense of humor dedicated to the education and enhancement of the sport of fly-fishing for women. Jody Cromwell is the contact woman for this group, and if you would like to be a part of it or have questions, please call either 731-4166 or 749-4470.

Our next new member is actually a former member with a new business, John S. Farnsworth, accountant, brought to us by, of course, John Farnsworth. John is a former CPA offering customized accounting services and customized financial statements, including graphs. He also offers business and individual income tax preparation with CPA experience, not CPA prices.

For more information about John S. Farnsworth, give him a call at 264-1005.

Our renewals this week include a very nice new general manager, Chris Edwards, with Super 8 Motel; the American Postal Workers Union No. 7153; the Durango Herald; Ben Lynch and Rice Reavis with Jackisch Drug, Inc.; Eric Fisher with the Four Corners Business Journal in Farmington, N.M.; Matt Poma with Poma Ranch and Outfitting; Kelley Cruz with The Lunch Box ; Lindy Bauer with Lindy Bauer, LLC; Margie Hollingsworth, M. Ed., Licensed Professional Counselor, Lubbock, Texas; Barbara Husbands with Media America, Inc. in Las Vegas, Nev.; Herman Riggs with Herman Riggs and Associates, LLC; Nancy Hammond with Basin Printing and Imaging in Durango; Dr. Walt Moore with Moore Chiropractic Wellness Center, LLC; Brenda Eaves with Rainbow Gift Shop; MaryAnn Page with Page's Leaf Custom Catering with a new phone number, 731-3901, and Creede Repertory Theatre. Thanks to each and every one.

 

Library News

Cruise for bargains at the indoor garage sale

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

Margaret Wilson has done it again.

The library has a basket full of darling little crocheted eggs, chickens and ducks for the Easter Baskets. Margaret made them to sell to help the building fund. There are a few more left, come see them and get a few for the children and grandchildren.

Jim Wilson showed us a software program that enlarges text for people with eye problems. We will try to get a copy of the program to put on one of our public computers.

Indoor garage sale

Hope you're all intending to come to the indoor garage sale March 27 to do some bargain hunting.

And if you have some bargains to sell, don't forget to rent your booth space for the one-day sale at the Extension building on U.S. 84 at the fairgrounds, 7 a.m.-noon. Booth space is $15 for a one-table area. Double booths are available.

You keep the proceeds from sales. Booth rent goes to the library-building fund. It 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.

Disability assistance

The Rocky Mountain Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center has a free newsletter for people in Colorado who qualify.

If you are interested in receiving the newsletter, ask at the desk for the address. The latest issue deals with the pros and cons of revealing a disability when applying for a job.

Great Colorado Payback

Come and check to see if your name is listed. The state treasurer wants you to get any property that is rightfully yours. You may look at the list at the library.

Good Web site

Twelve new learning resources have been added to a government Web site: www.ed.gov/free.

There are many resources here for your enjoyment. One can both see and hear programs. One of this month's features is "Honky Tonk Women: the Changing Role of Women in Country Music."

Honky Tonks sprang up around east Texas oil fields in the 1930s as places for hard-drinking, tough-talking men to get loose after a day's work. They were for whites only.

The music that developed in these dance halls was the country music's backbone for more than a half century. Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams got their start in the roadhouses and taverns in the Southwest. Honky Tonk reflected the rural, religious upbringing of its listeners. Women were also important in the evolution of honky tonk music as they sang their laments. Kitty Wells' hit was "It wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels." It was the first song by a woman to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart. She started a revolution in country music by singing about adultery and divorce from a woman's point of view.

New books

Rowena Adamson donated a little book for English teachers entitled "The Noun and the Verb Must Agree: an explanation about 'S' and 'Z.'" It is a poetic attempt to explain some of our complicated grammar rules. Rowena wrote the book. She says it is for those who know enough about language to love "language-play." It may be checked out. Ask at the desk.

Business review

The latest newsletter from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado discusses the economic outlook for 2004 in many fields.

Jobs will be lost, new jobs will be created. What will help Pagosa Springs? What is good about outsourcing? And what is bad?

Ask for this newsletter to find out how TABOR has made it difficult to recover from the economic downturn. The report says that despite its good intentions, TABOR has become problematic as a result of the recent recession. It must be addressed and fixed. It is hurting all public services.

I understand that some state parks may have to close this year for lack of funds. I don't know if our local parks are affected or not. It is to your benefit to really understand what TABOR has done to your services, and what will continue to happen unless TABOR is changed.

Donations

Building fund donations came from Carole Howard, C.D. and Elaine Lundergan, James and Patricia Latham, Shirley and John Snider.

Materials were gratefully received from Jim and Margaret Wilson, Fran Smith, Gayle Broadbent, Betty and Russ Freeman, Susan Dussell, Bruce and Terri Andersen, Mary Ann Wissman.

 

Library fund gets $15,000 El Pomar grant

The El Pomar Foundation of Colorado Springs has approved a grant of $15,000 for the Sisson Library expansion and renovation project.

Warren Grams, chairman of Friends of the Libraries Upper San Juan, made the announcement Monday.

Grams noted El Pomar was instrumental in funding construction of the library in 1988.

The foundation was established in 1937 by Spencer and Julie Penrose and helps worthwhile groups throughout Colorado make the state a better place to live.

The foundation seeks to provide support, guidance, and manpower to those Colorado communities and nonprofit organizations that demonstrate vision and excellence.

Grams said the gift to Sisson Library is a significant one which brings the final goal within reach.

 

Veteran's Corner

38 percent more veterans registered in three years

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

It continues to amaze me how many veterans I have not met before are coming to the Veterans' Service Office.

Our numbers are growing.

Perhaps it is because we are a retirement community and most men, many women too, over the age of 50 are probably veterans of military service.

The Veterans' Service Office is located next to the driver's license office in the basement of the Archuleta County Courthouse. I have dutch-doors on my office and I keep the top door open all the time. I frequently see new faces that have just moved to our beautiful area and are signing up for a new Colorado driver's license.

Next to DMV

I often have the opportunity to exchange pleasantries with them as they wait their turn at the DMV and this gives me the chance to find out if they are veterans. Frequently they are. The location affords me the opportunity to talk to them, find out their military service and perhaps help them plan their VA benefit relocation.

I can also assess any potential VA service-connected disabilities they may have, sometimes that they didn't even know about. With the growth in veteran numbers here I am filing more and more VA service-connected claims and appeals.

I also like to get out of the office at time to attend local functions veterans often attend. For instance I will be at the 9Health Fair in April at the high school. I also go to the senior center and the community center the first Friday of each month to meet with veterans. Twice I've attended the Archuleta County Fair and met veterans at my booth.

I now have well over 1,200 veteran names in my local computer database. Of course this includes all that have ever been entered in my system. Some have passed away and others may have moved away. But consider that when I became your Veterans' Service Officer almost three years ago there were about 745 names in the system, as I remember. That represents about 38-percent growth in the database.

No longer bulletproof

It always amazes me that many veterans who come in for the first time have lived here for years. They just never bothered to come in and find out about all the wonderful VA benefits. But as they get older, benefits like VA health care become more important. When we are young we consider ourselves "bulletproof." But then we learn we are no longer immortal, as we get older. The pieces and parts start wearing out.

Wives continue to be my best salesmen. Almost daily I see local veterans who stop by my office and tell me their wives have been urging them to come see me and check on VA benefits. Most often it is for VA Health Care. We're all getting older and health care becomes a bigger issue as our needs and costs increase.

Newly discharged

But I have also been seeing more young veterans returning from active military service, some of them from the Middle East conflicts. Others are still in the military, home on leave, and are preparing for discharge. If you know someone who is in the military now or getting ready to "muster out" be sure and have them get a copy of all of their military records, including medical records.

Once they are out of the service there is this big vacuum that seems to suck up the records for a long time before spitting them out someplace. Those records are most important for quick application of VA benefits and possible service-connected claims. If they are home on leave have them come and see me so we can discuss the impending discharge.

Need to plan ahead

Often benefits from the VA are not available "on demand" when we need them. It takes time and application forms must be sent in and processed to obtain benefits, such as VA health care. It is best to plan ahead and apply before it becomes an absolute necessity.

New policies prevent many veterans from getting into VAHC because of income restrictions. But that may change soon and I urge our veterans to get ahead of the game by applying now, even if they are not eligible right now. It will get them into the system and at the head of the line when and if those policies change.

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

 

Arts Line

Summer season opens with railroad photo show April 1

By Doris Green

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is planning an exciting 2004 arts season, which opens April 1-28.

The initial show will be a photography exhibit dealing with the Durango Silverton and Chama to Antonito Cumbres narrow gauge train lines.

Featured will be works by Jay Wimer and Jeff Ellingston, including photographic documentation of two renowned coal burning steam engines in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

Rich Goebel, a retired train engineer, is coordinating the exhibit.

To maintain gallery hours during the exhibit, the arts council needs volunteers 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Call the gallery at 265-5020 or send a note to PSAC, Train Exhibit, P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs 81147, if you would like to help.

Workshops set

The council has two workshops scheduled in April.

Basics of Watercolor for Absolute Beginners will be offered April 7-10 in the community center.

This workshop provides an opportunity to explore your creative skills in watercolor.

The class is taught by master instructors Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett. Cost is $132.50. To make reservations call the gallery number above.

The Art of French Cooking will be presented 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 10 at Bear Mountain Ranch.

Art takes many forms and it takes a real talent to master the art of cooking, which we all enjoy so much.

Pagosa is fortunate to have Diane Bouma and Frank Jenkins, both certified culinary professionals, who are willing to share their talents with the people of the community.

French food tasting class with wine provided by Plaza Liquors and bread by Pagosa Bakery will benefit Pagosa Springs Arts Council and is limited to 20 people. Cost is $50, most of which is tax deductible. Call to register.

Summer Arts Camp 2004

June 1-30, Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - noon, Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

Instructors:

- Lisa Brown - multi-cultural art, just for girls crafts

- Mark Brown - boys' crafts

- Tessie Garcia - Clay'n Around, Everything your art desires

- Susan Hagan - drawing, painting.

Classes:

- Clay'n Around, grades one and two, Just for girls arts and crafts, Hooked on Drawing, grades three and up - all at 9 a.m.

- Clay'n Around too -- grades three and up, Around the world in 30 days (multicultural arts and crafts), Hooked on Drawing grades one and two - all at 10 a.m.

- Everything your art desires, boys' crafts, Fun with Painting - all at 11 a.m.

 Register before May 7 and receive 10 percent off.

Space is limited to 30 students, tuition is $300.

 Mail completed registration form to PSAC Summer Arts Camp, PO Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO  81147.

Make checks payable to PSAC.

Call Lisa at 731-3546 or Tessie at 731-9244 for more details.

Upcoming events

Today - Photo club meeting

April 1-28 - Train exhibit, reception 5 p.m.

April 7-10 - Basics of Watercolor for Absolute Beginners

April 10 - The Art of French Cooking

April 14 - Watercolor club meeting

April 17 - Denny Rose watercolor class

June 1-30 - Summer youth art workshop

June 7-25 - Teen acting workshop

June 29-31 - Expressing Yourself in Mixed Media

June 1-28 - Joye Moon Exhibit

July 5-8 - Unleashing the Power of Watercolor

July 15-31 - Batik and Screamers (papier maché) workshop

Aug. 5-31 - Watercolor class exhibit, Denny, Ginny and Gang

Aug. 16-21 - Botanical drawing and painting workshop

Sept. 11-12 - Colorado Arts Consortium convention in Pagosa Springs

Sept. 17-19 - Juried art exhibit for PSAC members

September - Art of Pagosa Springs exhibit

October - Woodworking exhibit.

 Light and composition topics at photo club meeting tonight

The Pagosa Photo Club meets tonight, March 18, 6:30 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Photographer Bill Woggon will show slides and discuss light and composition.

For information, call Barbara Conkey at 731-6877.

 

Film society will view 'Network'

The Pagosa Springs Film Society will screen and discuss "Network," Sidney Lumet's 1976 searing, prescient satire of television, March 30, at Cactus Pete's Restaurant.

The R-rated film will start at 7 p.m. and a suggested $2 donation will go The Friends of the Library.

With a visceral script from Paddy Chayefsky, "Network" follows the doomed path of aging newsman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) who, upon learning that he is to be fired after decades as a news anchor, announces to millions of viewers that he will publicly commit suicide during his last broadcast.

When the ratings consequently shoot up, hungry executive-in-training Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway) seizes the moment to exploit Beale's Messianic nervous breakdown, turning his rage into the vehicle for the network's first Number One show and a nationwide craze.

"Network's" four Academy Awards had two firsts: one to Peter Finch receiving the first posthumous award for Best Actor, and one to Best Supporting Actress Beatrice Straight for a single scene in the picture. Out of its 10 nominations, the other Oscars went to writer Paddy Chayefsky and director Sidney Lumet.

In the discussion period, John Graves will relate a rather strange series of events in which a phone call he made played a bizarre part in the genesis of this picture.

 

Education News

School board plans special Monday session

The board of eduction for Archuleta School District 50 Joint has scheduled a special meeting for 7 a.m. Monday.

Purpose of the session is to grant approval of an architectural firm for design of the planned facilities support building on the high school campus.

Five architects submitted original proposals. The field was narrowed to three and all were interviewed last week.

 

Cruising with Cruse

Get ready for Mothering Sunday

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

"Every Midlent Sunday is a great day at Worcester, when all the children and godchildren meet at the head and cheife of the family and have a feast.

They call it the Mothering-day."

- Diary of Richard Symonds (1644)

Thanks to Norma Harman for tipping us off that in Great Britain, the fourth Sunday of Lent - that would be next Sunday, also known as Mid-Lent Sunday - is called Mothering Sunday. That's halfway between Shrove Tuesday and Good Friday.

It's no surprise that this happens around the spring equinox, when the ancients celebrated the rebirth of the world, the beginning of spring, the start of new life - in short, goddesses. Ancient Greeks honored Rhea, mother of their gods and goddesses. Romans celebrated Cybele, another mothergoddess. The Roman celebration lasted for three days, from March 15 to 18.

I have no idea if that's in the old calendar or the new calendar, and maybe the dates aren't exactly right. The point is, here's a spring festival, celebrating life and goddesses, or mother goddesses.

Now let's jump ahead into the early Christian world. Most likely the early Christian church adopted and adapted these festivities to venerate Mary, the mother of Jesus. Possibly, as some historians say, the mother church was substituted for the mother goddesses, as people continued to honor the spiritual power that gave them life and protected them from harm. Custom began to dictate that a person visit the church of his or her baptism, his mother church, once a year. Custom also began to dictate that the mid-Lent Sunday was a good day to do this. And custom dictated that you come bearing gifts.

Eventually, in England anyway, honoring the mother church and honoring mothers kind of blended together. The return to the "mother" church became an occasion for family reunions, when sons who were apprenticed out or daughters in domestic service were given time off and could return home. The visit to the mother church included a family reunion for the working poor.

By the 17th century, the custom of Mothering Sunday was well established.

The young people brought their mothers small gifts, violets or trinkets.

The family might celebrate with furmety, also called frumenty. This was a dish of wheat grains boiled in sweet milk, sugared and spiced. Yum, yum.

In northern England and in Scotland, the preferred refreshments were carlings - pancakes made of steeped pease fried in butter, with pepper and salt. In fact, in some locations this day was called Carling Sunday.

Tradition has it that families also celebrated Mothering Sunday with a simnel cake. What's a simnel cake? I'm glad you asked. The name comes from the Latin word "simila," which means a fine wheat flour usually used for baking a cake. A simnel cake is a very rich fruit cake, made with two layers of almond paste, one on top and one in the middle. The cake is sometimes made with 11 balls of marzipan icing on top representing the 11 disciples (Judas not included).

One recipe says the cake was boiled in water, then baked, and was often finished with an almond icing. There's a legend that a man called Simon and his wife Nell argued over whether the cake for Mothering Sunday should be baked or boiled. In the end they did both, so the cake was named after both of them: Sim-Nell. (Yeah, right.)

Another name for Mothering Sunday was Refreshment Sunday, because people could eat some of the delicacies forbidden during the rest of Lent. I've often wondered how the chickens knew to stop laying eggs during Lent, since the people weren't eating them. Now I know that while egg production slows down in winter, by the equinox it probably has started up again. Nice that the people got a little break from all that fasting and plain living.

Now, I have to say that I'd never heard about Mothering Sunday before this year. I'd never read anything about it in Jane Austen's books, nor in Moll Flanders, nor any other early works that have crossed my desk. But hey, it's a nice custom. If you wanted, you could have two special days for mothers, the one in May and this one.

In the 20th century, and especially after World War II, England was much influenced by the American Mother's Day. Today Mothering Sunday is celebrated a lot like our own Mothers' Day, a day when children give flowers and cards to their mothers. They fix them breakfast in bed, maybe. Or Mom gets taken out for Sunday brunch. And just like our Mothers' Day, the day provides a marketing opportunity. Looking on the Web I saw ads for cards and chocolate and flowers made of soap, and outings like this one.

"Bring your family to the Moira Furnace Museum for a relaxing afternoon of traditional food and a canal boat trip on the Ashby canal. Meal and boat trip package available. Please call for booking, menu, prices and more information. Tables and boat available 12-5 p.m."

Here's another. "Why not celebrate Mothering Sunday by taking your super-mum or super-grandma on a train trip to enjoy a leisurely journey through the wonderful English countryside to the Coast at Minehead, giving plenty of time on their journey to take in the beauty of the Quantock Hills and the Exmoor Coast plus the views across the Bristol Channel to South Wales, and on your return journey eating a Somerset Cream Tea and drinking as many cups of tea as you can! All mothers and grandmothers will receive a floral gift to commemorate their Special Day."

As many cups of tea as you can drink. And a floral gift. What a deal.

Does that Somerset Cream Tea include a piece of simnel cake?

 

Local Chatter

Granny's adventure at Wolf Creek goes worldwide

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

This is a wonderful story of a wish come true.

It happened two weeks ago when Norm Vance was smoothing the snow trail to Lobo Overlook on Wolf Creek Pass summit at 10,875 feet.

He was getting ready to load his snowmobile on the trailer when two Louisiana licensed SUVs pulled into the parking area. As they moved close a window went down and a silver haired lady started asking Norm about what to do for snow recreation.

The other occupants were already out and playing in the snow. None of them had ever seen snow before and they were having a ball.

The lady introduced herself as Granny and told Norm she was giving her children and grandchildren a vacation in the snow. She said she had read about the Continental Divide and had always wanted to go to "the top of the world."

Norm said, "This is not the top, the top is up there," pointing to a mountain peak. "Does Granny want to go up?"

"Oh yes," she joyfully answered and the family helped her onto the snowmobile and took photos as Granny disappeared into the forest.

When on top she marveled at the view. One can see for a hundred miles looking out over the snow-covered peaks of the San Juan Range. Using her camera he took pictures of her.

After a few quiet moments she shared that she is being treated for leukemia and while she still can, she wanted her kids and grand kids to see Granny alive and having fun and adventure. Norm shared with her that he is recovering from a cancer surgery and so they had a short moment of bonding that only people who have suffered a life threatening problem can understand - with a hand shake, a hug and a few tears.

She held her arms out to the view and declared this to be "a most wonderful church. If heaven is any better," she said. "I'm ready."

Norm was so touched that he wrote an account of the episode and sent it out to his friends who had e-mail addresses wanting to remind folks what a spectacular environment we live in. His sister, Sharon Tennison, was included on the Internet list.

Sharon is founder and president of the Center for Citizen Initiatives (www.ccisf.org). CCI is a 20-year-old San Francisco-based organization that aids Russian people. The purpose of CCI is to connect Russian businessmen with American businessmen to teach principles of capitalism. CCI has also taken Alcoholic's Anonymous to Russia and taught Russian farmers how to farm for themselves, independent from government control.

Sharon forwarded Norm's story to more than a thousand addresses worldwide on her organization's e-mail list and Norm began receiving many heartwarming replies. With continuing forwarded messages, by the third day, Norm's e-mail was so overloaded it stopped working, allowing no messages in or out. He spent most of a day deleting pages of messages and trying to repair his e-mail site. Many replies included addresses from Washington, D.C. and across Russia.

That this lady would choose to visit the Continental Divide with her family so as to leave her family a legacy of love and inspiration is wonderful. Norm was pleased to help in making her wish come true.

Little does Granny know that her story inspired people across the world.

 

Extension Viewpoints

Saturday is National Ag Day

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

March 22 - 4-H Shooting Sports, Ski and Bow Rack, 4 p.m.; Dog Obedience, Extension office, 4 p.m.

March 23 - 4-H Council, Extension office, 6 p.m.

March 24 - Fair Royalty Prep, Extension office, 6 p.m.

No matter who you are, agriculture has an impact on the way you live. From baseball bats and crayons to shampoo and upholstery, plant and animal products are used almost everywhere you look.

National Ag Week, observed March 14-20, celebrates this dynamic and growing industry.

"While the face of agriculture is changing rapidly, the core of this industry is not," said Agriculture Commissioner Don Ament. "It all boils down to the people who work hard in order to provide Colorado, the nation, and the world with a better quality of life and the best products available."

In this age of new technology, agriculture has not been left behind. Many farmers are now using computers and satellites to track production processes and improve farming efficiency. Biofuels such as ethanol, which is produced from corn, have helped cut down on pollutants from cars. Biotechnology has helped produce better tasting fruits and cuts of beef that are lower in fat.

Colorado has more than 31,000 farms dedicated to preserving over 32 million acres of viable land and wildlife habitat. Our state's third largest industry employs over 105,000 people and also helps contribute $16 billion in gross sales to the economy.

Numerous Colorado commodities ranked nationally in 2003 in terms of production such as proso millet, commonly used in bird feed, which ranked first. Other national rankings include third in carrots, sheep and lambs, summer potatoes, and summer lettuce.

The week's festivities culminate on the first full day of spring, March 20, which is also recognized as National Ag Day. So as you buy a pair of jeans or eat a bite of pizza, remember to recognize and appreciate the benefits provided by the agriculture industry.

Seed potatoes

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 in at the Extension office each person will be contacted to pick up their order. If you are interested in ordering seed potatoes please call 264-2388, e-mail us at csuarchuleta@centurytel.net or stop by the Extension office.

Sheep shearing school

Potential sheep shearers can take advantage of national expertise at the Colorado sheep shearing school, to be held April 8-9 at the Delta County Fairgrounds in Hotchkiss. The school is being sponsored by Colorado State University Cooperative Extension and will be taught by Charlie Swaim, the technical representative for the Oster Division of Sunbeam. Charlie is a four-time national sheep shearing champion from Drakesville, Iowa, and conducts sheep shearing schools throughout the United States and Canada.

The school will be held 8 a.m.-5 p.m. each day and the cost is $75 per person. The registration fee includes instructional materials. Meals and lodging are the responsibility of the participants. We need to have a minimum of 15 participants to hold the school. Please register by April 1. To register or for more information, contact the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension at (970) 874-2195.

 

Food for Thought

Avoid the used to be: earn a Ph.D.

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

I live in a town where a staggering number of residents used to be someone, or something, else.

They're easy to recognize. At a point in a conversation with one of these people, he or she will utter the words, "I used to be ..."

You fill in the blank: Bank president, admiral, highly-placed government official, vice-president in charge of Third World exploitation at Ripco Industries - whatever sounds important.

Generally, the remark is part of a feeble attempt to mark out territory, like a dog lifting its leg in the parking lot at a monster truck rally - to define the self through reference to a nearly always exaggerated past.

Most use the phrase "I used to be " to establish how magnificent they still are, illuminated by a brilliant light shining behind them; others use it for more benign purposes, such as an attempt to provide a suitable topic for conversation with other people who used to be.

In all cases, however, what the phrase really means is "I used to be and now, well, I'm not anymore."

Happens to the best of us. Probably to most of us, if we live long enough. With the current trend of four or five occupations during a working lifetime, many of us used to be several different things by the time "I used to be alive" takes precedence.

As opposed to those who used to be, driven as they are to rely on an increasingly edited and gilded past, a few others put the phrase aside. They make an effort to grow, to move on, to wedge themselves back into a position where they can say "Currently, I am "

Some take up a hobby, an activity they enjoy and at which they can excel. Some volunteer; others get a part-time job.

And some go back to school.

I often wonder how I'll avoid the state of used to be. I don't want to be caught five or ten years from now lifting a glass of cheap white wine at a holiday party and saying, "You know, Bobby, I used to be a newspaper editor."

I want to move on, to be a dynamic guy. I intend to be a there's-no-used-to-be-about-me kind of fellow.

To accomplish this, I'll need re-education.

Unfortunately, there's a big obstacle in my way: I was never a competent student, never as much as average. In fact, I was one of the worst students imaginable. Through high school I was incorrigible (a word used often and accurately in missives from school administrators to my beleaguered parents). My sole schoolboy accomplishment was the fact I was expelled from an expensive private institution weeks before graduation. It was a goal I set for myself when I was sent to the joint, propelled there by a pathetic hope on my parents' part that the Windsor-knot prison of a place would impel me to mend my errant ways.

I was also a miserable excuse for a college student, though I managed to graduate.

The bottom line: The prospect of returning to school and succeeding was dismal, at best.

Until last week, when the solution appeared in front of me.

On the screen of my computer a flurry of e-mails informed me I could earn a degree easily, and in no time at all.

A woman named Desiree (I assume Desiree is the registrar) asked me: "Do you want a prosperous future, increased earning power, more money and the respect of all?"

Cash and the respect of all?

You bet!

Desiree went on to inform me I could obtain "a university diploma" by dialing a phone number. I could get a bachelor's degree, a master's, an MBA or a doctorate.

Well, there's no difficulty making a choice here. Who wants to piddle around with undergraduate degrees? In fact, who needs a master's when you can go right for the big boy, the Ph.D.?

According to Desiree, there are no required classes, tests, books or interviews.

Perfect!

No one, said Desiree, is turned down. Anyone can receive "the benefits and admiration that comes with a diploma."

That seems fair.

Shortly after I read Desiree's e-mail, I received another message, from another source.

Maryellen (I assume she is the registrar) e-mailed me and asked if I have "the knowledge and the experience, but lack the qualifications?"

Well, who would answer anything but "yes" to this question?

"Are you getting turned down time and time again for the job of your dreams," she asked, "because you just don't have the right letters after your name?"

Let me see: My application to work as a particle physicist at Los Alamos was rejected, as was my application for a gig as chief engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Likewise with that appointment as a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins.

Yes, Maryellen, I know rejection. How do I get the right letters after my name?

It's simple, stated the e-mail. I can get the prestige I deserve today with "academic qualifications available from prestigious NON-ACCREDITED universities."

Those are the very best kind, you know - the prestigious non-accredited institutions. Who doesn't covet a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Jimmy's University?

While I'm at it, I thought, I could procure a wall's worth of classy diplomas and charge them all to my low-interest credit card.

As I read the e-mails, I had a vision of the me I want to be, and I intend to buy it.

There's a down side to this, but I can overcome it. I doubt the prestigious non-accredited university will hold a graduation ceremony. This is a pity; I would love to bond with my fellow grads, form a group that could hold reunions. Perhaps organize a fraternity.

I realized I'll have to throw my own ceremony and party. Since I will be a new, more important man with letters after his name, with a bright future full of the respect I so richly deserve, I will forge bravely into a new cuisine to celebrate my transformation.

Perhaps, I thought, I'll offer my guests some Libyan fare. It's foreign, brand-spanking new to most local diners and in harmony with the new me.

I discovered a fish dish called Haraymi, a simple recipe involving six ingredients: fish, salt, garlic, lemon juice, chile and - here's where Libya became too foreign - kammon hoot.

I asked the folks at the grocery where they keep the kammon hoot. I explained I needed "1/2 spoon" of kammon hoot - half for a marinade, the other half for a sauce. Without the kammon hoot, the Haraymi was out of the question.

The glazed expression on the face of the customer service representative made it obvious I had to search for another cuisine.

Albanian? For a heaping helping of Qofte te ferguara?

Perhaps Slovenian, for a whopping pot of Jota

Egyptian? Dawud basha?

All fine, perhaps, but for a lesser occasion.

Croatian?

That's the ticket. Kind of familiar, yet exotic, the tastes heightened by political strife and centuries of ethnic mayhem.

I made tracks for "The Best of Croatian Cooking," by the inimitable Liliana Pavicic and Gordana Pierker-Mosher.

I need to whip up a pan of Proja s slenonom - bacon and cheese bread. Nothing like high-fat, greasy bread to enhance a rite of passage.

I pondered Govedina s lukom as a main dish (what's this s stuff?), but scurried away in favor of Punjene palac inke. (There's a weird little mark between palac and inke, but there is no way my word processing program is going to produce it.)

You whip up a batch of crepes, standard recipe, 10 or so.

For the filling: finely chopped onion is sautéed in oil with ground beef or lamb, with an addition of a tablespoon of water. Once the onion and meat is cooked, in goes about 20 canned plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, salt, pepper and a healthy dose of marjoram, oregano and thyme. The mix is cooked until the moisture evaporates. I will depart here from the directions provided by Pavicic and Pirker-Mosher and add a touch of chile.

The crepes are filled with the mix and put seam side down in a buttered casserole.

The oven is heated to 400.

The whites of two eggs are beaten until peaks form. A cup and a quarter of plain yogurt, drained in a piece of cheesecloth overnight, is mixed with two egg yolks, a half cup of grated Parmesan cheese, salt and a half teaspoon of ground nutmeg. The egg whites are folded into the mix and the mixture is poured over the crepes. The crepes are baked for 20 minutes.

It'll make for a fine graduation dinner.

I'll receive my party guests in my new office.

I informed Kathy I am emptying the guest bedroom and creating the office. This is a must for any guy who used to be something else and is now something different. In my parents' day this space in the home was called the "den" but associations with muskrats and other rodents sullied the term. Now, in the spirit of a suffocating corporate culture, it's an office.

I'll purchase an imposing desk (simulated cherry wood veneer over particle board) and a massive set of bookshelves. I'll have a nameplate made for my desk: "Doctor Karl E. Isberg, Ph.D., Ph.D., Ph.D." I'll put a set of out-of-date encyclopedias and several hundred copies of large-print Reader's Digests on the shelves along with various photos of me with important people. In the spirit of my new academic honors, I'll create the photos with a computer program. I will be in the company of political and corporate leaders. I'll be cozied up with Hollywood stars. I'll have a shot of me at the Parthenon with Mother Theresa and Salvador Dali, and another candid of me and Golda Meir outside a nondescript hotel in Bangkok. I'll establish office hours for anyone needing advice.

On the wall behind my desk, lined up neatly between the U.S. and Colorado flags, will be my diplomas.

From prestigious NON-ACCREDITED universities.

There'll be no used to be for me.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Rotary's Casino Royale is scheduled March 27

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

March is the month for green beer, green ice cream and the St. Patrick's Day "Green" Parade. It is also the month of the rollicking annual event with funny money gambling, foot-tapping music and dancing, auctions and lots of scrumptious hors d'oeuvres. I guess the funny money is green - and the novice blackjack dealers probably are, too. As for the rest, the Irish love music and dance, don't they?

The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs proudly presents its fourth annual Casino Royale 6-11 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at Montezuma Vineyards and Restaurant.

If you are a gambling man or woman, this is definitely for you. If you are not a gambler, there's the music, the food and the rare opportunity to strut those fancy threads. Since the theme is "The Stampede," western style finery should fit the ambience. I've surveyed my closet - Lycra and Coolmax just won't do. I'll have to depend on Maggi, my horsewoman friend with lots of classy western wear, to get me appropriately clothed.

Bluegrass Cadillac, purveyor of happy music, will present entertainment for the evening. By virtue of our new venue, the drinks selection will far exceed anything that Rotarian bartenders have been able to provide at past Casino evenings.

Other exciting features associated with the title sponsor, Montezuma Vineyards and Restaurant are ample parking, the novelty of being in a newly opened business and the favorable food review. I'm ready.

As many of you will plan on attending Rotary Casino Royale next Saturday, I thought it would be meaningful to know that all the proceeds from the event will be directed toward vocational and community-service projects. In the vocational service, Rotary awards six scholarships annually to college or trade-school-bound seniors and 10 mini-grants that help facilitate additional classroom programs in our local public schools.

Since its creation in 1989, the Rotary Scholarship fund has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships to local high school graduates. Annually, the mini-grant program funnels approximately $3,000 directly to classroom teachers in our school district.

Rotary's community projects are numerous and varied, covering all ages from children to seniors. Some of these include sponsorship and participation in the 9Health Fair, American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, dictionaries for third-graders, Operation Helping Hand, and the list goes on and on.

Additionally, you just might go home with the grand door prize - an overnight trip for two into the San Juans on horseback, replete with starry night, cozy camping and quality campfire fare. This foray into the mountain is valued at over $1,000.

If not, you won't need to go home empty handed. With a large selection of silent auction items, trade your funny money winnings in for something useful, something fun, or something simply wild.

The recreation center is a very busy place these days with spring-break visitors converging on us from neighboring states. To assure you get in a workout on your favorite machine, come in before the skiers get off the mountains in the evening. The facility opens at 6:30 a.m. from Monday through Friday and opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Ice conditions on the four Pagosa Lakes are unsafe. Please keep an eye out for children and pets on the ice at this time and call Archuleta County dispatch at 264-2131 or the PLPOA office at 731-5635 if you see anyone on the ice and someone will respond. Warm temperatures have made the ice soft and spotty at best. Let's wait until the ice comes off and then get ready for some great spring fishing. The PLPOA will begin stocking in mid-April with trout, bass and crappie. In the meantime, if you really need to get that fishing in, there is some open water off the fishing piers at all four lakes.

 

Watershed study update given to PLPOA directors

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The watershed study initiated by Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association is focusing initially on two aspects - assessment and monitoring.

Larry Lynch, the association's property and environment manager, gave the board of directors an update March 11 on status of the project.

Lynch said participants in the study are doing some early monitoring of inlet streams, taking chemical content and sediment specimens for analysis.

"We need to determine what is coming into the lakes and reservoirs before we can plan on how to handle it," Lynch said.

The project, initiated by the association, now has broad support from Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, San Juan Conservation District, state and federal forest service units and the Southern Ute Tribe.

Lynch told the board a plan to reduce sediment flow is one of the goals of the program and that a watershed master plan can hopefully be in place by year's end.

Other problems to be targeted, he said, are stream channel erosion and human-caused impacts like runoff of fertilizers and insecticides.

He told the board the association is working with the county to develop water protection policies and regulations, then will eye structural improvements like developing detention or settling facilities in streams and reservoir inlets to collect pollutants before they reach the major water body.

He said the study also plans to examine ways of protecting wetlands and developing new ones.

Lynch said the worst area of infiltration is the Cloman ditch and a grave concern is what goes on above it. The major water inflow from the area comes through the ditch and it is affected by any major construction activities in the area, such as the recent airport expansion.

He told the board one concern the study has produced is the fact the county apparently has no mitigation regulations concerning flow of contaminants. Both the association and town of Pagosa Springs have regulations requiring impeding flow from construction sites.

In answer to a question from the board, Lynch said the study area includes 82,000 acres, 93 miles of streams, 491 acres of lakes and houses approximately 8,000 residents. It includes the Stollsteimer Creek headwaters and, thus, the drainage as far south as Navajo Lake.

Lynch said the study panels will hold public hearings throughout the area before contemplating any final recommendations for action. "Every property owner who could be affected in the area of the watershed study will have an opportunity to be heard," he said.

Meetings will be conducted with representatives of the participating groups to determine what they hope to get out of the process, i.e., improved drainage, road system updating (related to erosion and other water damage to roads), surface flow analysis, protection of and increasing reservoir storage and drinking water supplies, etc.

All participating agencies are sharing in the study's cost, with the initial $8,500 included in PLPOA's 2004 budget.

 

Who is a property owner, and who has PLPOA vote?

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A request by property owner Keren Prior for the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association to review voting privileges was discussed March 11 but then tabled for an opinion from legal counsel.

The question was based on current interpretation of association bylaws which considers a husband and wife as joint owners and each with a vote on association questions.

Prior said that discriminates against single property owners who would get only one vote on an association question.

Walt Lukasik, association general manager, said the association view has always been "people, not lots are important, and each owner gets a vote."

The question, however, is "What constitutes an owner?"

The board of directors referred the question to its attorney for resolution.

In other action, the board:

- heard Lukasik report that new construction permit requests are still low but the rate is increasing. One permit was issued in January, three in February and six in the week prior to the March 11 meeting, with administration concluding winter snow conditions, previous overbuilding of spec housing and current economic conditions had a severe adverse affect on construction

- learned from director Bill Nobles there are no longer any skunk trappers in the county and that PLPOA is unique in that it provides traps for members who wish to rid themselves of the odorous pests

- learned Archuleta County has designated animal control officer Cathy Smith, a former dispatcher, as the primary officer for the association territory

- heard Lukasik report that receipts for this year's assessments continue to lag far behind average, with current returns 500 below last year at the same time

Obituaries

Vivian Grundy

Vivian Grundy, 47, of Olton, Texas, formerly of Pagosa Springs, died March 8, 2004, at her home.

Born Aug. 24, 1956, in Lamesa, Texas, she was married in September 1999 to Thomas Grundy III. He preceded her in death in 2001.

Memorial services were held in First Baptist Church of Olton with the Rev. Kyle Streun officiating.

Mrs. Grundy had moved to Olton in 2002 from Grand Junction, Colo. She was a member of First Baptist Church, a board member of the Olton Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Webb Elementary School Advisory Committee.

Survivors are her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Earle Hise of Olton; a son, Ian Adams of Pagosa Springs; a daughter, Elizabeth (Adams) Miller of San Diego, Calif.; brothers Raymond and Glenn Hise of Aztec, N.M.; a sister, Leeona Garlitz of Olton; and two grandchildren, Caitlin Adams and Dustin Adams.

Memorials may be made to Vivian Grundy Memorial Fund, Olton Banking Center, Olton, Texas 79064.

Herbert R. Lattin

Herbert Roane Lattin, 43, of Edmonton, Ky., and formerly of Pagosa Springs, died Sunday, March 14, 2004, in his home.

He is survived by a son, Herbert Nixe Lattin; his parents, Herbert and Faith Lattin, all of Edmonton; four sisters, Frosty Garrett of Edmonton, Hope and Charity Lattin and Rachel Snow, all in Colorado; a foster sister, Kathleen Sullivan of Edmonton; grandparents Magnus and Reta Gonnsen in New Mexico; and three step children, Kim, Darrin and Matt Strickland in Colorado; two step-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews also survive.

A memorial service for Mr. Lattin will be held at a later date.

Maria Martinez

Maria Donelia (Lelia) Martinez, 68, a lifelong area resident, died March 14, 2004, at Valley Inn

Nursing Home in Mancos.

Lelia was born Oct. 21, 1935, in the Frances community on the lower Piedra to Helario and Margarita Larribas. She was married to Raynel A. Martinez May 24, 1954, in Rosa, N.M.

A housewife, mother and friend, Lelia enjoyed fishing with her grandchildren and raising an abundant garden.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Survivors are her husband, Raynel of Pagosa Springs; son Richard and his family of Blanco, N.M.; daughter Mary Lee Trujillo and family of Pagosa Springs; son Mike Martinez and family of Trujillo; son David Martinez and family of San Diego, Calif.; daughter Carmen Jacobo and family of Aztec, N.M.; 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Visitation with family was 3 p.m. March 17 at Pagosa Springs Funeral Options. Recitation of the Rosary was 7 p.m. the same day and Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. today. Both services were in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church and officiated by Father John Bowe. Burial was to follow in Trujillo Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Los Guadalapanas, c/o Immaculate Heart of Mary, P.O. Box 451, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Fred Zeder

Ambassador Fred Monroe Zeder II died March 12, 2004, at the age of 82 in Pebble Beach, Calif., following a brief illness. Zeder was a part-time resident of Pagosa Springs where he found a spiritual home in the beauty of the surroundings and the kindness of the community.

Zeder was a fighter pilot in World War II where he participated in the U.S. invasion and repatriation of Attu and Kiska Islands in the North Pacific. Following the war, Zeder founded several successful businesses including Hydrometals Corporation, a diversified manufacturing company which he moved from New York to Dallas in the early 1960s. He served as chairman of the Board of Paradise Cruise Corporation in Hawaii from 1978.

Zeder first entered government service in 1971 when elected to the city council in Dallas.

President Gerald Ford appointed Zeder in 1974 to serve in the U.S. Department of the Interior as Director of the Office of Territorial Affairs with oversight for U.S. policy and programs relating to American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

In 1982, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Ronald Reagan's appointment of Zeder as president's personal representative for Micronesian status negotiations.

Holding the rank of ambassador, Zeder negotiated the historic Compact of Free Association under which three new Pacific island countries joined the community of nations and a fourth island group chose to become a U.S. territory. This compact was the first successful political status resolution process for U.S. administered territories since Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the Union.

The U.S. Senate confirmed President George H. W. Bush's appointment of Zeder as president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in 1988 to promote private investment and support U.S. national interests in 130 countries. Under Zeder's leadership, OPIC played a major role on behalf of President Bush in supporting the Solidarity Union reform movement that ended communist rule in Poland. Following Poland, Zeder and OPIC turned their attention to each Eastern European country that emerged from communist rule. Similar efforts were made in the Soviet Union, Nicaragua and Panama.

Zeder served as a member of the board of directors of the Air Force Academy and a trustee of the George H. W. Bush Library. He was also a decorated Knight of Malta.

Zeder was married to the late Martha Blood for 57 years, with whom he had five children. In 2001, he married Dorothy Post Rogers, celebrated in a ceremony at his home in Pagosa Springs.

He is survived by his wife, four of his children, 12 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, two stepchildren, and four step-grandchildren.

 

Business News
Ageless Beauty

Lori Stannard, of Ageless Beauty, offers anti-aging treatments and has preventive solutions.

At Ageless Beauty, Lori uses a Quantum Xeroid biofeedback program for analysis and stress tests that screen the body for existing and potential problems.

She then is able to determine what types of treatments can be used to reharmonize your body, helping combat existing aging problems and helping to prevent any future problems.

Lori incorporates the use of rife therapy and electrical acupuncture when treating aging problems, along with traditional methods such as facials.

Lori has 10 years of facial experience and can be reached by calling 946-1965.

 

People

Preview Profile

Mike Valdez

Maintenance assistant, Pagosa Fire Protection District

 

Where were you born?

"I was born in Durango but raised in Pagosa Springs."

 

Where did you go to school?

"I graduated in 1994 from Pagosa Springs High School and went to college at Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island."

 

When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"Three days after I was born."

 

What did you do before you arrived here?

"I worked for the Archuleta County Fleet Department and spent three years in the fire department working up to my position."

 

What are your job responsibilities?

"Vehicle and building maintenance."

 

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

"I like pretty much everything about the job. The worst part is, after a fire, having to talk to home owners and seeing the pain of their loss in their eyes. "

 

What is your family background?

"My whole family lives in Pagosa and in September I will be getting married."

 

What do you like best about the community?

"It's Pagosa, what's not to like?"

 

What are your other interests?

"I enjoy camping, fishing, hiking and volunteering for search and rescue."

 

Pagosa quilter a national contest semifinalist

Cindy Hamilton of Pagosa Springs has been selected as a semifinalist for the 2004 American Quilter's Society Quilt Show and contest April 21-24 in Paducah, Ky.

Hamilton was chosen to join 425 other quilters in the annual competition, now in its 20th year, with $100,000 in total prize money.

Her handmade work, "Margo's Medallion of 1840," measures 94 by 94 inches and represents of hundreds of hours of work.

Hamilton's work was chosen from an initial field of more than 760 quilts. From this point on, the work will compete against others within its category.

Three quilting authorities will judge this elite group prior to the show's opening. The individual quilt named best of show will garner the Hancock's of Paducah Best of Show award and the $20,000 cash prize. In addition, the quilt will earn a permanent space in the Museum of the American Quilter's Society where it will be viewed by more than 40,000 viewers annually.

For additional information on the American Quilter's Society, call (270)898-7903 or visit www. aqsquilt.com.

 

Cards of Thanks

Democrats

So many people graciously planned, cooked, set up, served and cleaned up to make Saturday evening's chili supper a wonderful success.

Included were Hank and Norma Buslepp, Don and Barbara Jacobs, Mike and Biz Greene, Ray and Margo Grammer, Lynda and Glenn Van Patter, Pagosa Bakery (Kathy Keyes and Kirsten Skeehan), Jan Clinkenbeard, Nancy Cole, Dave Swindells, Claudia Smith, Mitch Appenzeller, Sue Anderson, Barbara Blackburn, Jean Smith, Walt and Ellen Lukasik, Merilyn Moorhead, Nina Durfee, Margaret Martinez, Ann Graves, Shirley Hunter, Pat Joliff, Ben Farney, Phyl Daleske, Pat Boyce, Lorrie Carpino, Rita Moody, Lucy Gonzales, Ethel Nelson, Katherine Cruse, Jim Buslepp, Anna O'Reilly, Lynn Selwa and Tina Pongratz.

Others pitched in at the last minute when we really needed a hand.

Thank you all.

Kerry Dermody

Drama club

The Pagosa Springs High School Drama Club would like to thank everyone who attended and supported our performance of "The Bright Blue Mailbox Suicide Note" by Lindsay Price.

Our students earned top honors during the one-act competition held in Pagosa, and had many requests to perform for our community. As the lights came up on Tuesday, March 9, we were rewarded by a good house, standing ovation, and strong accolades. We plan on continued public performances of our one-acts in the future. Thanks for your support of the performing arts in the schools and in Pagosa.

Dale Morris

Home Again

I would like to send out a huge thanks to all the people who came to my rescue in my hour of soggy need when a pipeline burst and flooded my store.

First, the three shoppers who got more than they bargained for but pitched right in when the panic was at its highest - Sally Hameister, Mary McKeehan and Juliet Youngblood - thanks for sticking around.

And of course the crew that stayed late and helped move merchandise and displays. Mark Thompson, Ronnie Doctor, Larry Holthus, Kermit Case, Timothy Kamolz, Terry Wilson, Shea Johnson and the fabulous "Town Crew" Mark Garcia, Dennis Ford, Phil Starks and Jim Miller.

I am truly indebted and reminded again why I love this community. Thanks again everyone.

Lvonne and Cheryl

 

Sports Page

 

Pirates stop Falcon flight, win 52-46 to gain Final 4

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

They wanted it!

It's as simple as that.

Pagosa Springs lost three times to Centauri during the Intermountain League season and tournament and the players felt they should have won at least two of those contests.

Both teams advanced to the Great 8 and, as bracketing would have it, found themselves pitted against each other again in the lower bracket of the state tournament Thursday in Moby Arena at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

The Pirates were ready.

With a withering full-court press right out of the chute, they ran out to a 7-0 lead with only 43 seconds gone off the clock.

Bri Scott with a trey, Lori Walkup a pull-up 12-footer and Caitlyn Jewell on a spinner in the lane put the first points on the board and without a minute gone, Centauri wanted a timeout.

Krista Decker got two points back for the Falcons on an offensive rebound putback to cut the lead to 7-2.

But Walkup drilled a three for Pagosa to make it 10-2. Lacey Cooley, the Falcons designated three-point shooter off the bench, hammered home a long-range pair to cut the margin to 10-8.

Sophomore post Caitlin Forrest, on her first touch of the game, hooked in a left-hander to edge the lead back to four and then it was Jewell hitting a jumper from 10 feet and putting in an offensive rebound to give Pagosa a 16-8 lead at the quarter break.

Centauri, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, was not to be counted out and, combined with Pagosa going cold from the floor in the second quarter, surged to a 24-21 halftime lead.

The Pirates, thanks to a three-pointer by freshman guard Jessica Lynch, actually had the lead out to 19-8 before the Centauri run began.

But then the freeze hit. The Pirates next 11 shots were unsuccessful. Only a pair of charity tosses by Emily Buikema dented the scoreboard the balance of the period for Pagosa.

In the meantime, Centauri got three quick deuces from Ashley Dunn inside, a three and two more two-pointers from Afton Witten, the last tying the game at 19, a driving layup from Resa Espinoza and a free throw from Kiley Mortensen.

In the regular season, Pagosa had blown leads over Centauri and gone on to lose. In this contest, the stage was set for a repeat.

But the Pirates were playing from a different script this time.

They outscored Centauri 15-14 in the third period, cutting the lead to two by the end of the frame, despite two more treys from Cooley.

Scott had five in the stanza on a deuce and another long three-ball after Walkup's driving layup had cut the Falcon lead to 31-26.

Mortensen hit a hanging jumper from the left elbow but Buikema answered in the lane.

Centauri stretched the lead to 38-36 at the break with Cooley's final trey after freshman Laurel Reinhardt had given Pagosa a short-lived 36-35 advantage with a basket and two free throws.

And so, the stage was set. Centauri was up by a pair as the fourth quarter opened.

But Pirate sophomore point guard Liza Kelley and Walkup took over the contest, Kelley scoring all nine of her points in the period.

Walkup was the first to score, knotting the count at 38 on a reverse layup off a steal and coast-to-coast drive.

Kelly gave Pagosa the lead at 41-38 with a deuce and drew the foul sending her to the line for a three-point play the old-fashioned way. After Scott hit the front end of a one-and-one, Walkup was on the breakaway again, hiking the margin to 46-40.

Mortensen countered with two from the stripe to cut the lead to 46-42 but Kelley answered with a trey to make it 49-42.

Witten got two back for Centauri, but Walkup countered with a pair from the free throw line and the margin stood at 51-44. Kelley added a free throw and Dunn a deuce for Centauri as the final margin stood at 52-46 and sent Pagosa on to the Final Four.

There were several keys to the game from Pagosa's viewpoint, not the least of which was the defense.

Centauri's two top scorers for the season, Mortensen and Janette McCarroll, were held to seven and zero points respectively.

Switching back and forth from the full court press to a man-to-man and then a matchup zone, the Pirates had the Falcons out of sync except in the second quarter.

Adding to the sophomore McCarroll's problems were fouls - she departed the contest early in the fourth period with five - and the all-round play of Walkup who was the game's leading scorer with 13, and who stymied Centauri's offense time and again with her seven steals.

Kelley and Scott, each with nine points, and Jewell with eight contributed mightily to the Pagosa comeback.

Both teams had 19 field goals, Pagosa scoring theirs in 35 attempts, Centauri in 41 tries. The margin, however, was built at the free throw line, where Pagosa was 9 for 15 and Centauri only 3 of 9. And the Pirates had a remarkable 21-9 rebounding edge, limiting the Falcons to only two at the defensive end.

Sophomore post Caitlin Forrest was Pagosa's leading rebounder with five while Buikema and Reinhardt each had four. Scott was the assist leader with four while she and Buikema each had a blocked shot.

Dunn and Cooley led Centauri with 12 points apiece and Witten added nine.

As the clock ran down and Pagosa controlled the ball the roar began to build from the crowd and then the explosion that rocked Moby came with the final buzzer.

Pagosa had a spot in the Final 4 and Centauri was in the consolation bracket.

For coach Bob Lynch, the game plan was obvious. "Defense," he said. "Defense was the key and it worked the way we had envisioned it. I think the opening press surprised them, but to their credit they came back. Centauri is an excellent team."

He said Pagosa's second-period drought was a worry but at the half "the girls were chomping at the bit to get back on the floor."

They wanted that game and nothing was going to stop them.

Lynch said Scott and Walkup were keys to both the man and zone as they stopped McCarroll cold.

And Mortensen had only two field goals, both in the third period, he pointed out.

Dunn got 12 "but we stopped two of their big three," Lynch said.

Summary

Scoring: P-Scott, 3-7, 1-4, 9; Lynch, 1-5 , 3; Kelley, 3-3, 2-3, 9; Walkup, 5-5, 2-2, 13; Reinhardt, 1-3, 2-4, 4; Jewell, 4-5, 0-0, 8; Buikema, 1-1, 2-2, 4; Forrest, 1-3, 2. C-McCarroll, 0-2, 0; Witten, 4-7; Espinoza, 1-10,2; Decker, 2-5, 4; Cooley, 4-5, 12; Dunn, 6-9, 0-2, 12; Mortensen, 2-10, 3-8, 7. Total fouls, P-14, C-15; total turnovers, P-17 (8 in 2nd quarter), C-12.

 

Big second quarter gives Lamar 67-49 win over Pirates

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A 22-12 second quarter deficit spelled the end to any hopes of a state championship as Pagosa dropped a 67-49 Final Four contest to Lamar Friday.

The game was not as lopsided as the second period and final score would indicate.

Caitlin Forrest, the sophomore post for the Pirates, had the game's first five points, hitting a free throw and a pair of baskets working inside

But Lamar's Whitney Knobbe, who would be the game's leading scorer with 18, answered with two charity tosses and three field goals as the Pirate defense struggled against high post screen-and-go moves.

Still, with Bri Scott and Emily Buikema each picking up a field goal for Pagosa and Kristen Harper and Robyn Marquez doing likewise for the Savages from the Tri-Peaks League, the first period ended with Pagosa trailing only 12-9.

The second period was a standoff, temporarily. With sophomore point guard Liza Kelley pouring in four points - two from the line - Pagosa pulled into a 17-17 tie. Buikema gave the Pirates a brief lead with a 10-foot jumper, but Harper tied it with two from the stripe.

The decline began when Kayle Walker poured in three consecutive field goals and the Savages were up 28-21. Then the 6-3 Lamar center, Laura Gottschalk, scored a pair inside and the margin was 32-21.

Scott got a pair back for the Pirates with what would be her last score of the game, and 6-2 Pagosa center Caitlyn Jewell added a pair.

Gottschalk added another marker before the buzzer and Pagosa was down 34-21 at the half.

Walker opened the third with a deuce on a breakaway and Jewell answered with a drive inside.

Knobbe kept up her blistering pace with a deuce and trey before Kelley scored a free throw for Pagosa. Then Gottschalk added three from deep in the lane.

Reinhardt, Jewell and Forrest each had a free throw but Marquez matched their output by hitting a deuce and charity toss and Lamar led 47-30 after three periods.

Pagosa would not quit but could not overcome the big second quarter deficit, though scoring 19 in the fourth period to 20 for Lamar.

Casey Hines, fresh off the bench, got a trey for Lamar to stretch the margin but Kelley came back with two from the stripe and a deuce to cut the lead.

Walker hit a free throw and a trey for Lamar but Reinhardt answered with two offensive rebound putbacks.

After Gottschalk scored inside again, Jewell hit a pair of spinners, one with each hand, and Melissa Maberry drilled an 8-foot jumper.

Forrest got a deuce and Laura Tomforde matched it before Pagosa had to foul to stop action and hope for Lamar misses so the Pirates could get back in the game.

The Savages' last eight points, as a result, all came from the foul line - two each by Hines, Veronica Carillo, and Robyn Marquez and one each by Knobbe and Jordan Blain.

Pagosa was paced by Kelley with 11 points. Knobbe had 18, Gottschalk 14 and Walker 12 for Lamar.

Each team went to the charity stripe 27 times, Lamar hitting 17 and Pagosa 11. Lamar had three treys in eight attempts, Pagosa none in four tries.

The Pirates had a 33-27 rebounding edge, paced by Jewell with eight and Walkup with seven. Kelley led in assists with four and steals with three.

The Savages' 10-point margin at the foul line came off 24 fouls called against the Pirates to only 18 against Lamar.

Pagosa had six blocked shots to three for Lamar.

Coach Bob Lynch was disappointed in the loss but not disheartened.

"This is a very big, very good team, and save the second quarter, we played them close," he said.

The teams could both be back in the playoffs next year. Only Gottschalk and Harper are seniors for Lamar and Pagosa has no seniors.

For Lamar it meant a chance at the state championship, and a matchup with Platte Valley. For Pagosa it was a chance to win third place in a clash with Kent Denver, which lost to Platte Valley.

Summary

Scoring: P-Scott, 2-8, 4; Lynch, 1-3, 2; Kelley, 3-4, 5-7, 11; Walkup, 1-8, 2-4, 4; Reinhardt, 2-3, 1-4, 5; Maberry, 1-2, 2; Faber, 0-2, 0-2, 0; Jewell, 4-5, 1-4, 9; Tomforde, 1-2, 2; Buikema, 2-4, 1-4, 5; Forrest, 3-7, 1-2, 7. L-Hines, 1-1, 2-2, 5; Harper, 2-4, 2-4, 6; Walker, 5-11, 1-4, 12; Carillo, 1-4, 2-2, 4; Knobbe, 5-11, 5-9, 18; Marquez, 2-3, 3-4, 7; Blain, 0-3, 2-2, 2; Gottschalk, 7-9, 14. Total fouls, P-24, L-18. Total turnovers, P-14, L-8.

 

Ladies finish fourth in 3A state tourney

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Pirates of Pagosa Springs, sailing into uncharted waters at the state Class 3A basketball tournament in Fort Collins, came home with fourth place secured.

And, to a team member, convinced they should have had at least third place and possibly an even higher finish.

After surging to a 9-0 lead over Kent Denver in the game for third place Saturday morning, the Pirates went very cold and scored only seven field goals the rest of the game, three by freshman Laurel Reinhardt.

In fact, while losing 51-42, the Pirates shot only 23.5 percent from the floor with a 12 of 51 performance.

Despite the early nine-point run, Pagosa trailed 13-11 at the first period break as Kent's Sun Devils roared back.

Pagosa's quick start came on an opening three-pointer by sophomore point guard Liza Kelley and three consecutive scores from low post Caitlyn Forrest.

Jennifer Moore answered with a trey for Kent to cut the lead to six and Kiki Broe hit a deuce and a trey cutting the lead to one.

Pirate sophomore post Emily Buikema stretched it to 11-8 but Broe scored, was fouled, and hit the free throw to tie the game.

Then, with nine seconds left in the period Cambrie Nelson hit two free throws to give Kent a 13-11 lead at the end of the period.

And for all practical purposes, the Pirate offense went icy thereafter.

In fact, by the halftime break, Kent was up 13 at 30-17, with Pagosa's only field goal of the second period a trey by freshman guard Jessica Lynch.

Kent's Jana Borgland, meanwhile, turned in a seven-point period with a trey, deuce and two from the charity stripe, Nelson was firing in three more field goals and a pair from the stripe and Autumn Sanders dented the scoring column with another field goal, her only score of the game.

Pagosa was shooting one for 11 in the period and added three from the stripe, one by Buikema and a pair by Forrest.

Even with their anemic attack from the floor, Pagosa actually outscored Kent in the second half 23-21.

Junior guard Bri Scott opened the period with a three-pointer her only score of the game, to cut the lead to 10. Alex Marsh answered with a deuce for Kent and Kate Jankovsky, the Sun Devils senior post scored inside for her only marker of the game.

Kelley hit a pair from the stripe for Pagosa but Nelson matched that with a deuce and added a free throw of her own.

Sophomore Laurel Reinhardt hit her first points on an offensive rebound putback. Rebecca Macari stretched the Kent lead with a trey, but Jewell scored inside and Buikema chipped in with a pair from the line to make the score 40-28 at the end of three periods.

Borgland hit a quick pair from the field to open the fourth, but Kelley got one back on a strong drive down the lane and junior forward Lori Walkup got her only points of the game with a pair from the stripe.

Broe scored again but Reinhardt matched her goal, took a pass from Kelley off an inbound steal and scored again.

After Forrest added three free throws, Broe hit her final field goal. But Reinhardt wasn't done, scoring two more field goals down the stretch to give her nine points for the game, the high mark for Pagosa.

The freshman also led in rebounding with seven while Forrest had six.

The game leader, with nine was Nelson.

The interesting correlation is that the team leaders in both scoring and rebounding - Reinhardt and Nelson - were not starters.

The Pirates felt they played well enough to win had they not gone so cold from the floor and vowed to be back in the state title chase next year.

With no seniors on the squad and a Jayvee team which lost only two games all season, it is a probable they will make a run for that lofty position.

In this game, however, though outscoring Kent 14-11 in the final period, they had to keep wondering why the shooting touch disappeared after the first period.

For only the third time this year, Pagosa was outrebounded in the game, 32-28 and they hit only 14 of 22 from the charity stripe while Kent was 9 of 13.

Kent, hitting 17 of 41 from the floor, shot 41.4 percent. Pagosa was called for 22 fouls and Kent for 19. Kent was four-of-nine from three-point land while the Pirates were only three-of-13 from long distance.

The fourth-place finish ended Pagosa's season with a 19-8 record and Kent, the No. 1 seed at the tournament's beginning, finished 24-2, having lost to Platte Valley in the quarterfinals. Platte Valley defeated Lamar for the championship.

Summary

Scoring: P-Scott, 1-9, 0-2, 3; Lynch, 1-4, 3; Kelley, 2-4, 2-2, 7; Walkup, 0-11, 2-2, 2; Reinhardt, 4-6, 1-2, 9; Faber, 0-1, 0; Jewell, 4-8, 8; Tomforde, 0-1, 0; Buikema, 1-4, 3-6, 5; Forrest, 0-7, 5-8, 5. K-Borgland, 4-9, 202, 12; Marsh, 1-3, 2; Moore 1-4, 3; Sanders, 1-4, 2; Jankovsky, 1-2 , 2; Broe, 5-5, 1-1, 12; Nelson, 4-1,5-5, 13; Macari, 2-3, 1-2, 7. Total turnovers, P-11, K-10. Blocked shot, P-Walkup.

 

Pirate title hopes sink with 53-43 loss to D'Evelyn

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Ouch.

After sailing through 22 prior contests unscathed, Head Coach Jim Shaffer's Pirates suffered a most-painful setback against No. 9 seed and eventual state champion D'Evelyn Thursday night in the opening round of the Class 3A Great 8 in Fort Collins.

Pagosa was eliminated from title contention with the 53-43 defeat, which resulted mainly from an uncanny multitude of Pirate turnovers and a devastating three-point barrage led by D'Evelyn's Josh Schneider.

Save for the initial quarter, not much went as planned for the top-seeded Pirates, who held a one-point advantage after the first eight minutes of play but trailed throughout the remainder of the game.

Pirate senior Clayton Spencer controlled the opening tip, and David Kern put the Pirates up 2-0 after an inbound pass from Ryan Goodenberger 35 seconds into the contest.

Spencer hit a fade in the key to make it 4-0 Pagosa, then Schneider put D'Evelyn on the board with a back-door drive to cut the lead in half.

Kern hit Caleb Forrest underneath for a deuce and a 6-2 Pirate lead, but Spencer Gardner got two for D'Evelyn off the glass and Schneider put the Jaguars in front 10-6 at 3:25 with the second of two treys following consecutive Pirate turnovers.

Additional Pirate turnovers stalled Pagosa at the offensive end until Forrest hit one of two at the line to cut the lead to 10-7 with 2:00 to play.

Forrest trimmed the margin to one with a jam at 1:03, then followed with a late tip and Pagosa led 11-10 after the Jaguars failed to convert in the final seconds.

But turnovers continued to plague the Pirates, and a trey from D'Evelyn's Jay Soneff followed by another from Joel Anderson put the Jaguars on top for good early in the second.

Spencer and Forrest tallied a deuce each in the ensuing minutes, but two from Lukas Schnell and a three ball from Schneider resulted in a 21-15 Jaguar advantage at 3:51.

Pagosa got back to within four after senior Ty Faber hit Jeremy Caler for two, but further mishandles hindered Pirate opportunities at the offensive end, and D'Evelyn went up 24-17 via a trey from Justin Hintz with 1:50 to play.

Anderson made it 26-17 with a jumper before Caler cut the lead to six with a three ball, but Schneider hit three charity tosses with 4.6 seconds remaining after being fouled behind the arc and the half ended with Pagosa down nine at 29-20.

Spencer converted an assist from Kern to open the third before Gardner answered with a deuce and a free throw for the Jaguars, then turnovers and elusive rebounds were the norm for Pagosa until Pirate sophomore Craig Schutz scored inside at 3:37 to cut the lead to 32-24.

D'Evelyn added two, Schutz and Forrest tallied interior buckets and the Pirates managed to prevent further damage from the outside in the remaining minutes; Pagosa trailed 34-28 after three.

Neither side got into the books early in the deciding quarter until Anderson recorded a three-point play at 6:44 that extended the D'Evelyn lead to 37-28.

Back came the Pirates; Schutz hit Forrest for a deuce and Spencer put the Pagosa crowd back in the game by cutting the lead to four with a free throw to complete a three-point play at 6:05.

Soneff responded with a drive for two, then Caler got the Pirates within striking distance with a trey at 4:10 that made it 39-36 Jaguars.

But the scent of a comeback would not last; Gardner's trey from the left baseline put the Jaguars up 42-36, and turnovers haunted the Pirates, eventually forcing Pagosa to put Soneff on the line for a single bonus with 2:06 to play.

Soneff hit both attempts, then a Pirate turnover on the ensuing possession netted a successful one-and-one for Hintz at 1:56 and D'Evelyn led 46-36.

Spencer and Forrest added two charity tosses each in the next minute, but D'Evelyn remained steady at the line, adding seven points down the stretch to lead 53-40 with 18 seconds to play.

Caler knocked down a final three for Pagosa to make it 53-43 with eight ticks left, but the Jaguars were soon celebrating the win, which earned them a spot in Friday night's Final 4 against No. 13 seed Eaton.

Schneider's 17 points was tops for the Jaguars, who play in the Class 4A Jeffco League throughout the season before "dropping back" to Class 3A for playoff competition.

Forrest led Pagosa with 15 points and Caler and Spencer tallied 11 each in the loss, which dropped the Pirates into a 1:15 p.m. consolation-bracket contest Friday against No. 5 seed Valley.

Summary

PS - Kern 1-2 0-0 2, Caler 4-6 0-0 11, Schutz 2-3 0-0 4, Spencer 4-8 3-4 11, Caleb Forrest 6-9 3-4 15. Totals 17-35, 6-8, 43.

DE - Soneff 2-10 6-6 11, Schnell 1-2 0-0 2, Hintz 1-3 2-2 5, Schneider 5-10 4-6 17, Anderson 3-6 1-1 8, Gardner 3-7 3-4 10. Totals 15-41, 16-19, 53.

Three-point goals - DE, Schneider 3, Gardner, Soneff, Hintz, Anderson; PS, Caler 3. Fouled out - Goodenberger.

 

Pirates fall to Valley, end season at 22-2

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Though Pirate pride runs deep, it's tough to hit full speed with little wind in the sails.

Such was the case for Head Coach Jim Shaffer's somewhat deflated Pagosa squad during a clash with Valley in the Class 3A consolation-bracket semifinals Friday in Fort Collins.

Shortly after taking the floor to face the Vikings, the Pirates appeared to succumb to the lingering effects of Thursday night's Great 8 loss to the D'Evelyn Jaguars, who claimed the state title Saturday with a 50-45 win over Platte Valley.

The result was a 70-55 Viking victory that brought an end to one of the most successful Pirate campaigns on record.

Pirate senior Jeremy Caler hit an opening trey and fellow senior Ty Faber hoisted a lead pass to Caleb Forrest for a two-handed jam as Pagosa staked an early 5-2 lead.

Consecutive markers from Valley's Kyle Castro and Mitch Bruce put the Vikings up 6-5 after three minutes of play, but seniors Clayton Spencer and David Kern responded with four and three, respectively, as the Pirates widened the margin to 12-6 at 3:30.

But the resilient Vikings responded with five unanswered points, and despite an additional four from Forrest, Valley was up 19-16 at the end of the first behind a late flurry from Bruce.

Pirate senior Luke Brinton hit a soft turnaround to counter two baskets and a pair of free throws from Bruce as the Vikings extended the lead to 25-18 with 2:30 gone in the second.

Pagosa closed to within four in the final five and a half minutes behind two from senior Coy Ross and seven from sophomore Craig Schutz; Valley led 31-27 at the break.

Forrest cut the lead to a deuce with a reverse layin to open third-quarter scoring, then Bruce and Spencer alternated baskets before the Vikings got four straight to make it 37-31 at 5:35.

Senior Ryan Goodenberger converted a lob from Faber to shave the Pirate deficit to four, but a deuce each from Geoff Chacon, Steve Lucero and Bruce pushed the difference to 10 with under four minutes remaining.

The Pirates tried to bounce back as Goodenberger knocked down a trey, senior Casey Belarde hit two at the line and Spencer tallied four, but a simultaneous offensive surge by the Vikings had Valley in front 54-42 with one quarter to play.

The lead grew to 17 in the initial, helter-skelter minutes of the fourth before Schutz sank a trey to narrow the margin to 59-45 with the clock winding toward the six-minute mark.

But key baskets from Lucero and Bruce effectively put the outcome to rest after an inside deuce from Forrest; the Vikings held a 65-47 advantage with 2:45 to play.

Goodenberger and Faber added treys to go along with a trio of charity tosses from Belarde in the ensuing 51 seconds, but Valley maintained a comfortable 68-53 margin with 1:54 remaining.

Ross recorded the final two points of Pagosa's season with an inside move at 1:15, and the contest ended 70-55 in favor of the Vikings after a pair of free throws from Valley's Dayne Schaeffer.

Forrest tallied 12 of Pagosa's total, followed by Schutz and Spencer with 10 apiece and Goodenberger with eight.

The loss was only the second of the season for the Pirates, who posted 22 straight victories during an impressive three-month journey that culminated in an appearance at the state playoffs for the second time in as many years.

Along the way, Pagosa took top honors at the Buena Vista Invitational, Wolf Creek Classic and Pueblo Invitational tournaments, while also claiming the Intermountain League regular-season/tournament crowns and regional playoff championship.

 

Parks & Rec

T-Ball registration deadline extended

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

T-Ball sign-ups have been slow and the deadline has been extended to March 26.

We will wait for the locals to get back from spring break to start our season. We anticipate a 20-percent late entry and will split up teams with this in mind.

Parents please come to town hall and add your 5- or 6-year-old to a roster. You can also call Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 232 and leave a message. Calls will be returned upon his return March 22.

Pirate Pride

It was very interesting being able to attend the 2004 3A state basketball finals in Fort Collins. Looking back at what transpired for our local teams, I have a different perspective about this year's outcome.

The success of the undefeated boys team brought a whole new level of excitement for the Pirate loyalists.

I saw alumni on hand from the '50s (Richard Walter, Junior Sorenson), '60s (Larry Lister, Greg Schick), and from the 1960 state championship team (Jack Lynch and Chuck Michel.)

Other eras were also well represented with alumni scattered throughout the gymnasium visiting old friends and keeping up with the Pirates in every conceivable way.

Hearing all the old-timers talk the memories of teams of the past was amazing.

Having Larry and Greg recall the 1960 team with such accuracy was a treat.

Forty-plus years from now some current 6-year-old will be telling stories of the 2004 team. The memories that come from high school athletics are those some people never forget, and hold close to their hearts.

Seeing Chuck Michel cheer on the girls as if he had stayed in Pagosa, then feeling the pain of the boys, watching them go down to defeat for the first time this season, was a great new memory for me.

Chuck has been getting The Pagosa Springs SUN for the past 33 years, and notes Pirate Blood runs thick in all parts of the United States.

Congratulations and a huge thank you goes out to the players and the coaches for the great year, and the great memories.

I have been given orders from my 10-year-old to build a pad to shoot hoops on. He, too, has memories already that will last his lifetime.

I have witnessed over 35 years of state basketball playoffs myself, and seen coaches come and go, and I have never seen such well-thought-out practices, game plans, and overall planning that go into coach Jim Shaffer's and coach Bob Lynch's programs.

Pirate Pride will never end with the dedication of the coaches of 2004 at the helm. Keep up the hard work; we can't wait for the 2005 tournament.

Count on all of us "old Pirates" to be yelling and cheering on our beloved Pirates teams again.

 

Fun Races

Number of ski racers dips; but winning times sparkle

Thirty-six male skiers challenged each other in fun races Saturday at Wolf Creek Ski area with Mike Evans of South Fork recording the top time with a run of 25.01 seconds.

On the female side of the ledger there were only seven entries, all in different age divisions and therefore no competition. Erin Laine of Monte Vista had the top female time of 26.26 in the 15-17 division.

Other female entrants and their times were:

Anna Hanson of Boulder, 38.26; Sarah Bonnell of Boulder, 36.48; Jennifer Allred of Las Cruces, N.M., 39.26; Melissa Eggleston of Durango, 39.53; Diana Orr of South Fork, 33.81; and Nancy Cole of Pagosa Springs, 49.75.

In boys' 6-8 bracket, Anthony Timis of Longmont was first in 35.46 and Clay Eggleston of Durango second in 56.62.

Brandon Poteet of Waco, Texas was the lone entry in boys' 12-14 and recorded a 27.88 time; Vince Coleman, Ruidoso, N.M. was the only entry in boys' 15-17 and ran the course in 30.84.

Patrick Valliant of Ruidoso, captured boys' 18-20 in 30.02. Loren Brinton and Zack Baldwin, both of Gilbert, Ariz., were second and third in 31.62 and 34.21 respectively.

Men's 21-25 went to Conor Bonnell of Grand Junction in 28.37. Christian Sorensen of Albuquerque was second in 34.10 and Erik Eaklor of Pagosa Springs third in 37.72.

Josh Abrell of Pagosa Springs was first in men's 25-30 with a time of 26.14, followed by Shane Muller of Pagosa in 28.16.

One of the closest contests on the day was in men's 31-35 with Brent Cunningham of Dallas winning in 30.16, Paul Henning of Las Alamos, N.M., second in 30.35 and Morgan White of New Mexico third in 32.87.

Bryan Burgan of Pagosa was first in men's 36-40 with run of 27.50 and Todd Raines of Oklahoma City was second in 36.57.

Men's 41-50 went to Paul Orr of South Fork in 28.68 with Mano Timis of Longmont second in 30.82 and Paul Hodgson of New Hampshire third in 30.93.

Following Evans in men's 51-60 was Gerry Riggs of Pagosa Springs in 29.28 and Mike Nolan of Phoenix, Ariz., in 32.99.

Jim Cole of Pagosa Springs was the winner in the 60 and over bracket for men, running the course in 29.71. Second was Jim Kohrs of Pagosa in 46.22.

 

Editorial
Positive conflict

We've heard comments lately to the effect there is too much conflict in our community, too much disagreement concerning certain issues important in Pagosa Country. Parallel are expressions to the effect we should live in a harmonious atmosphere, that everyone should get along and work toward a common goal. We need to get along, agree and cooperate, say some folk, and we should project this harmony wide and far to establish a suitable "image" of our community for others.

This is sweet, sentimental, soothing, comforting and, perhaps, deceiving. We can't help but be curious about the seed at the center of the fruit.

We wonder what is to be gained by those who advocate an Eden-like image. Perhaps they are naive, committed to a lovely, but hardly realistic notion of how human beings relate to one another. Perhaps they are cynical, understanding that a call to harmony can conceal a wealth of ambition and a number of sins.

The idea that all of us - in this community, in the wider community, in the global community - should live in perpetual harmony with one another ignores a vital idea: That conflict of acceptable kinds and competition between ideas and interests, within reason, is necessary to progress and achievement. In other words: A state to be desired, not one to be eradicated or put out of view.

We advance that idea here for the sake of argument and to encourage the best kind of conflict in the ever-so political months ahead.

We contend that what is often hidden at the center of the argument for harmony is self-interest; that "harmony" is frequently a synonym for the status quo. When there is harmony, there is often a stasis that permits those who profit to profit more, that keeps those who do not share in profit or power in their places. To put it another way: A person satisfied with his or her situation, a community comfortable with its condition, no longer dreams and acts to realize those dreams. In a community of dreamers, of citizens unafraid of change, there will be collisions. There must be conflict; change occurs because of pressure, whether that change is social, economic or spiritual in nature.

Here in Pagosa Country, we've had our share of contentious dialogue in recent months. We've had more than a measure of contrary ideas and personalities, of strife - most pointed toward a set of decisions to be made at the polls in May and November.

We believe the key consideration here is not whether there will be conflict, but how the various points of view are expressed. When the discourse turns uncivil and illogical, it ceases to fertilize productive controversy. When discourse remains on the civil side of the line it is, contrary to the advocates of harmony, a positive, fertile thing.

The reality is the passion is here; the ideas are here and the battles that precede compromise and progress are taking place. If we are narcotized by a vision of harmony, now or in the future, we will lose our energy. If we sacrifice our ability to disagree, if we complacently turn ourselves over to those who profit from a lack of new ideas and new forces, we will cease to develop as a community.

Here's to conflict. Keep it civil, keep it fresh. Here's to a steady crash of opposing ideas and values: Let's continue to advocate civility as we cherish the passions that lead us in different directions. that cause us to care enough to champion our ideas. Let's honor our freedom to disagree, to find ourselves in conflict, to battle it out with respect for the opponent. To change.

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

Spring Break over before season

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

They call this Spring Break Week.

And from the long lines at local restaurants and in the community's grocery outlets, it is easy to believe many of those exercising the rite of spring are doing so here.

On the other hand, we know of dozens who live here making sojourns to other alluring places like Florida, Hawaii and even Alaska while schools are out.

A great many Pagosans opened their break last weekend with a trip to Fort Collins to watch Pirate teams in state basketball championship action.

A huge contingent of Pagosa fans, in fact, was present for each of the boys' games. What seemed surprising to me was the relatively smaller number on hand for the girls' contests.

This community had some very good fans on hand and it had some very unruly ones who cast a bad impression of our community. One youngster in fact, caused himself and others to be ejected from the fieldhouse.

The exact opposite, a feather in Pagosa's collective cap, was the performance of Samantha Ricker, singing the national anthem on two separate occasions to rave reviews from the veteran Moby Arena staff on the campus of Colorado State University.

The boys' basketball team took the state's number-one ranking in Class 3A into the tournament and found rankings only pay off if you win.

The girls went in with the number-10 seed and advanced to the Final 4 with a win over Intermountain League foe Centauri.

Some of the players were then off on spring break trips of their own, heading for rural ranches, sunny coastal areas and some, back home for practice in other sports.

And while they are gone, we need to consider some of the small things of life. Spring break will be over - for most - when spring officially begins Friday.

If it were really Spring Break, wouldn't it come after the season starts?

Winter break comes during the holidays of the winter season. Summer break comes, you guessed it, in summer. And what about fall? Why isn't there a fall break?

For that matter, when do all of us languishing at home during all these breaks get a break of our own?

Someone, after all, has to man all the job and classroom positions left empty with the break dashes. Someone must remain to keep the home fires burning while others gallivant around the world exercising freedoms some nations will never have.

My spring break, for example, began with seeing previous Pirate standouts come from collegiate settings to watch the new Pirates perform.

Ladies like Janae Esterbrook, Tiffany Hamilton, Ashley Gronewoller and Meagan Hilsabeck retained their Pagosa loyalties and came to cheer their successors on.

Watching young athletes compete for state honors after observing their development during the year was as much a spring break as I needed. It was a gallant effort and the town should be well-pleased to have had both varsity teams in contention.

 

Legacies

90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Mar. 20, 1914

The case against Charley Schaad for alleged bootlegging that should have come up in Justice Louck's court yesterday was dismissed on motion of the prosecution. The defendant, however, so we are informed, will be rearrested and tried before Judge Morgan in the county court.

Elsewhere in this paper is an article by Mrs. Ruth Parr, superintendent of Archuleta County schools, advocating the establishment of a county high school. Certainly we are progressive and have sufficient pride to unanimously support a measure for the establishment of a county high school.

Archuleta County's prairie dogs are now being fed on prunes and strychnine.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 22, 1929

Homer McKinley this week purchased from Whitney Newton the former Pagoa Lumber Co. property, adjoining Pagosa Springs on the south. He will assume possession about April 1st, when he will move his family to their newly acquired home.

Julia Cotton, of Pagosa Springs, will represent Archuleta County at the state spelling contest, as the result of winning the county contest at the court house Saturday. Fred Yamaguchi of the Talian school was second, Carlos Martinez of the Stollsteimer school was third, and Junior Clark of the Four Mile school was fourth.

Ollie Minium surrendered to Sheriff Frank Matthews, stating that he was a violator to the extend of having in his possession intoxicating liquor.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Mar. 19, 1954

Some much-needed moisture fell the first of the week in this vicinity and helped the moisture condition considerably. The light snow started on Monday night and as we go to press it is still overcast and snowing lightly. The snow is very moist and a goodly amount of moisture has soaked into the dry ground.

The snow report as of March 1, 1954, which has just been received indicates that unless a great amount of moisture falls here very soon, this will be an exceptionally dry summer. The report shows only 60 percent of normal snow cover on the headwaters of the San Juan.

At a special meeting held on Tuesday night the Town Board voted to dispense with the Town Election this spring. There are no candidates for the election.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 22, 1979

Wolf Creek Pass has been receiving heavy snow, with an estimated 36 inches falling this past week. Snowfall is fast approaching the 700 inch mark for the winter and this could be a record winter for snowfall. It is now second greatest in the past 20 years.

The Pagosa Springs Lions Club is conducting a fund raising effort to help in the cost of housing a new ambulance, to be acquired by the county. They will be conducting a contest to see who can come the closest to giving the date and time of the peak flow of the San Juan River in town during the spring runoff. They will give a $200 cash prize to the person who guesses the closest to the exact time, in half hour periods. Guesses will be sold for $1 each.

 

Features
Bus system takes people to work, play

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"If you have half a dollar I'll give you a ride," Mountain Express driver Ron Cairns said to a passerby.

"Maybe someday I'll take you up on that," the walker said.

In 2003, over 19,000 bus riders took him up on it, covering 220 miles a day from one end of Pagosa Springs to another.

David Sedgwick, director of transportation for Archuleta County, said ridership was up 26 percent over 2002 figures. In the heaviest months, July and August, drivers will greet in the neighborhood of 2,000 passengers a month, some repeats of course.

To serve residents of Archuleta County, the bus travels up and down the U.S. 160 corridor from Vista Boulevard to 1st Street eight times a day. On six of those trips it makes an even bigger loop, traveling all the way to Aspen Springs. The bus brings people to work, to the doctor's office, shopping and just out and about.

Sedgwick said the majority of riders are local residents. Tourists, he said, usually the women and children, will ride the bus downtown to shop when the men are hunting or fishing.

"We focus on the U.S. 160 corridor, that's were about 93 percent of the employment is at," Sedgwick said. "We try to get people to working areas, employment, Head Start, the high school, junior high."

Saturday was a fairly typical day for the Express. In one loop, 10 people loaded on and off the bus, bringing the total for the week to 208. Teen-agers on their way to ride their bikes. Teen-agers on their way home. A man going to visit his uncle. A man riding home from work.

Chris Coonce rides the bus, "at least 30 times a week," he said. He takes it everywhere he needs to go. Work. To visit family, friends. "Sometimes I just get on to ride around and keep up conversations with the drivers," he said.

Coonce likes Pagosa's newest bus. It seats more people and is wheelchair accessible. He did suggest adding a vending machine. Maybe a stop at the McDonald's drive through.

"We'd have a sunroof driving through there," Sedgwick said. The bus is taller than the clearance.

"Would that be a bad thing?" Coonce joked.

Trevor Trujillo and Corey Goodrich loaded their bikes on the front rack for a ride to the Pagosa Springs Community Center, only to find it closed. They decided, instead, to take the bus to the Fairfield area. In the summer, they said, they ride the bus frequently.

"It gets me where I need to be," Trujillo said. It also saves them from having to coordinate rides with parents. In one trip Saturday, five bikes were loaded and unloaded from the bus rack. Sedgwick said the size of the bus allows for a two-bike rack. The rack is first-come, first-served.

The most people loaded on and off at the City Market west stop. That's generally the case, Sedgwick said. In fact, the bus stops there twice on each circuit because of the popularity. Five people got on. One woman was carrying 25 pounds of dog food and 24 rolls of toilet paper.

"Could you stop at the four-way stop?" she asked Sedgwick.

"Yeah," he said. From that stop in the Vista Subdivision, she and a friend would only have to carry their groceries one and a half blocks.

"All the drivers are wonderful," Vicki Grant said, settling her groceries at her feet. "We love them all. They take me to my job at the community center three or four days a week."

Sedgwick said to help out people with disabilities, or those going to a medical appointment, the bus is allowed to deviate off the designed route by up to 3/4 of a mile. They have also incorporated "drive-by" stops. These are places the bus will make a stop only if people are waiting.

As far as selecting the stops, Sedgwick said it's important to consider both ridership and safety. Some places people have requested stops won't work because the lay of the land doesn't allow for wheelchair loading and unloading. Other stops cease to exist because of ridership. Still others have been added. For instance, the Vista Subdivision now has two stops, one farther west than the other, to accommodate bus users.

Sedgwick said the Transit Advisory Board, an eight-member panel, helps him decide what stops to add or subtract as new statistics are evaluated.

Many of the people getting on and off the bus Saturday knew each other and the drivers. Discussions centered on family, jobs, pets, weekend activities and health.

"Is that your daughter?" Sedgwick asked one woman getting off the bus.

"Yes," the woman answered.

"She's getting so big," he said.

"Your grandkids are getting big too I'll bet," she said.

The passengers also thanked Sedgwick as they got off. Along the way, other drivers on the road and people outside enjoying the day waved as the bus went by.

"I ride it to work every day," Dennis France said. "It runs on time. It's dependable. This, for the size of town, is a phenomenal service. It takes time to get places and time to get home but it's a great service."

Sedgwick said the Mountain Express service, a division of county government, is heavily subsidized. The rider fees actually cover very little of the cost of operating the service. In fact, it took about a year and a half to add the Saturday service, which started in August of 2003, because it took that long to secure the funding. And the bus service isn't the only piece of county transportation. Sedgwick and his staff of eight also operate senior transportation, sort of a personal taxi service, delivery of shut-in meals, a medical shuttle, transportation for people going to and from appointments in Pagosa Springs or Durango and delivery of jail meals, a service provided three times a day, every day of the year.

Without a great staff, including assistant Cindy Laner, the support of the county commissioners and the assistance of other area agencies, Sedgwick said, area public transportation would be impossible. He also gives credit to director of human services, Erlinda Gonzales, who secured the first of many grants to start the service back in 1999.

"It was started to get people who couldn't get in to work to their jobs," Sedgwick said. It does that and more. According to the bus schedule, the ultimate goal of the service, "is to enhance the quality of life here through lessened traffic congestion and improved sense of community."

Cost for a ride on the Mountain Express is 50 cents, but free 10-punch passes are available through Colorado Workforce with offices in the basement at the rear of the Archuleta County Courthouse. Children 4 and under ride free. Children 5-11 must be accompanied by an adult and children under 16 must have a guardian's permission to receive the free passes.

 

Pagosa's Past
Daniel Rodgers: Basin's first white visitor?

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

The earliest white man to enter the San Juan Basin may have been Daniel Sylvester Rodgers, the grandfather of Mrs. Robert S. Ayers and Mrs. Avery Hosner, both of Durango.

At least that is the conclusion of T. Ralph Bennett writing in Volume IV of "Pioneers of the San Juan Country" with a 1961 copyright date. Bennett's conclusion is based on a three-page manuscript left by Rodgers.

Popular history tells us the first white men to build cabins in the San Juans were the Baker Party in 1861. Bennett says Rodgers may have come sooner, as early as 1859.

Rodgers was born in Pennsylvania June 9, 1832, and died in Durango Aug. 17, 1918. The couple had eight children, including members of the Ayer family, prominent in San Juan history.

At the age of 21, in 1853, Rodgers came west, from Pennsylvania, first spending five years on the Wisconsin frontier, and then moving on to Colorado in 1857 or 1858 for the Pike's Peak Gold Rush.

He drove all of the way from Missouri with an ox team followed by cows. His first Colorado stop was California Gulch near the Leadville mining area. From there they went to Cimarron, N.M., where he obtained a job grubbing willows.

In the spring Rodgers came up what he called the old Albuquerque Trail to a point on the Animas River where Animas City was (later) located. (Motter's note: It seems likely he came through Pagosa Springs since the route through Pagosa led to Animas City. Of course there was no settlement in Pagosa Springs at the time. Rodgers seems somewhat confused on his dates and I fail to understand why he would have passed Tierra Amarilla, Abiquiu, Santa Fe, and other communities to purchase supplies in Albuquerque. Nevertheless, this is his story.)

After camping on the Animas River for awhile, Rodgers and a man named George Dean set out for Albuquerque to get grub. They were driving two yoke of cattle.

"When we were about twenty-five miles the other side of Pagosa, we stopped one night for supper," Rodgers said. "The cattle wandered off and we started to hunt for them. We found one team, but the Indians had driven off the other, back in the direction of Pagosa. Following them as far as the Springs, we encountered more Indians - Navajos - who made it plain to us by sign language that if we went on, they would kill us.

"We tried to trade for grub, but they wouldn't give us any; so we stuck it out for Albuquerque, where we got as much as we could for the money we had, and returned to camp on the Animas."

The round trip took weeks of course, and subjection to hardships not even hinted at in the text.

Rodgers and those with him went on up the Animas to Silverton (not founded yet) where they prospected until fall, then to Central City where they worked in mines until spring. Come spring, itchy feet sent Rodgers and others toward Montana.

"On the way up we had quite an experience. About a hundred miles north of Denver a band of Cheyenne Indians stopped us. They had followed us for miles. A man with us, Tom Tigner, spoke Cheyenne lingo and knew some of the bucks, which was a good thing for us. Instead of robbing and scalping us, as they might have done otherwise, they let us go.

"We went to Bannock City, Montana, where gold had just recently been discovered, working in the mines there and in nearby Alder Gulch for two years - 1863 and 1864.

"Leaving Alder Gulch in November, 1864, we went to Salt Lake City, camping at the edge of town. All was excitement at the time. The night before some soldiers had been drinking and bad trouble was brewing between them and the Mormons. Threats were muttered about blowing up the temple, but this was averted.

"One Banker Clark sent us word to get our gold dust ready and they would take it with them for safe hiding in the mountains after dark.

"Earlier, the day before we had left Alder Gulch, the stage had been held up by highwaymen in cahoots with the drivers, and robbed of $50,000 in gold dust. The next day, when we came out, all six of us sat with our Winchesters across our knees, ready for a similar experience, but we got through all right."

Rodgers apparently made two substantial gold strikes, returned to Pennsylvania where he ran a furniture factory for several years, but ultimately settled near Delta, Colorado.

Mrs. Ayer recalled, "During that time I have heard my mother say life was easy for the family. Money? Grandfather would ask. What's money? Buy all you want. There is always more where that came from. And that was pretty much the spirit of the old time western miner. He always thought he would make another strike the next day, and sometimes did."

Rodgers returned to Durango in 1887.

He claimed to have received $1,000 for guiding the Baker party to the Basin in 1861. He also reported the following story from about the same date.

"I was out riding in the mountains alone one day. A hostile band of Ute Indians surrounded me, threatening me with their guns, bows, and tomahawks, not to mention a few wicked looking knives. I thought my untimely end was near. Finally the Chief rode up and snatched my brand new rifle from me, nearly pulling me off of my horse. He thrust his battered old musket into my hands and rode off brandishing my gun. Then he brought my rifle back, laughing like mad."

More next week from San Juan and Pagosa Country pioneers.

 

Weather

 

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

3/10

43

27

-

-

3/11

43

27

-

-

3/12

43

27

-

-

3/13

39

21

-

-

3/14

34

23

-

-

3/15

37

19

-

-

3/16

39

18

-

-

Continued warmth predicted for onset of spring

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

In like a lion and out like a lamb?

Not this year; thus far, the entire month of March in Pagosa Country has been exclusively reminiscent of the latter.

With the onset of warmer weather, area waterways are swelling and hints of green are beginning to replace the ever-shrinking layer of snow that cloaked the surrounding countryside through much of winter.

And, according to the latest forecasts for the region, the final days of spring break are likely to bring additional satisfaction to those preferring unseasonal weather patterns.

"At this point, we're not looking at anything except a possible increase in clouds over the weekend," said David Nadler, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"It looks like dry, warm weather for the next week, though one model is advertising the chance for some light precipitation Sunday and Monday," he added.

"But it's a long shot, and I'd venture to say the best we could hope for is an isolated, light rain shower or two," concluded Nadler.

According to Nadler, today calls for abundant sunshine, light winds, highs in the 60s and evening lows in the 20s.

Friday's forecast predicts partly-cloudy skies, highs in the 60s and lows in the mid-20s.

Temperatures in the upper 60s to mid-70s are expected Saturday through Monday, along with variable skies, a slim possibility for afternoon showers and lows in the 25-35 range.

The forecasts for Tuesday and Wednesday predict mostly-sunny skies, a minimal chance for precipitation, highs in the 55-65 range and lows around 30.

According to data obtained from The Weather Channel, the average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 40 degrees. The average low was 22. Moisture totals for the week amounted to zero.

The highest temperature on record for the month of March in Pagosa Springs, observed in 1940, is 80 degrees.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit depth of 112 inches, a midway depth of 108 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 "low" to "moderate."

According to the latest SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan River Basin is 104 percent of average.

San Juan River flow south of town ranged from approximately 150 cubic feet per second to 400 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of March 18 equals roughly 90 cubic feet per second.