April 1, 2004 
Front Page

Physician advisor role sparks new questions

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"The most important thing is that we have a physician advisor."

That was the statement made by Dee Jackson, executive director of the Upper San Juan Health Service District following a discussion on the status of the county's Emergency Medical Services at the district's board meeting March 25.

And, according to representatives from the State Department of Health and Environment, that is correct. The EMS physician advisor is Dr. Dan Hepburn.

It's also true that as far as narcotics distribution, the EMS service is operating under Dr. Guy Paquet's DEA certification.

The status of the physician advisor and official oversight of narcotics between Dec. 15, 2003 and March 25 is more muddled. And district liability is at its heart.

At the core of the debate is whether or not the district was operating without a DEA narcotics registration number for three months and, the status of Hepburn's Colorado medical license issued Feb. 14, 2003.

Kathy Conway, the EMS operations manager who has been on leave since Nov. 24, 2003 for health reasons, said at one point March 25 she was told by a representative from the DEA to pull the narcotics off the ambulances because the district was operating without DEA certification.

Dan Reuter, public information officer for the Colorado DEA, said anyone needing to dispense legal narcotics must operate with DEA certification.

Conway said the lapse in coverage was discovered when a member of the EMS staff called her with questions about the procedure for ordering morphine. She said she received a call from Jackson later in the morning telling her to stay out of the situation, but because of information she'd received concerning Hepburn's medical license, she decided to call the state anyway.

According to DEA's records, the district's physician advisor of record was Dr. Dianna Fury of Cortez.

Conway said Fury resigned as physician advisor in December.

At the district board meeting, board chairman Charles Hawkins said the confusion was "the result of a woman in the office of the DEA who did not do her job right." It boiled down, he said, to a failure by the DEA to change Hepburn's address from Pennsylvania to Colorado. He added that the DEA would do a investigation into Hepburn's background prior to issuing a DEA certification here.

In an interview Monday, Hepburn said he understood he was under investigation by the DEA pending their issuing him a narcotics certification. He said he originally applied for DEA certification in Colorado in January.

Representatives of the DEA said they informed district representatives in January of the paperwork required to switch a DEA license, but paperwork was never filed.

Jeffrey Sweetin, special agent in charge of the Denver division of the DEA said Hepburn applied for his Colorado licence in October 2002. It was approved in February 2003.

At 4:55 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2003, the DEA received a fax from the Upper San Juan Health Service administration alerting them Hepburn was taking over as physician advisor.

At that time, Sweetin said, the DEA employee informed the district that DEA certification could not be changed until they received a request directly from Hepburn. It's a simple, two-line letter, but it must come from the physician.

"The next time we hear about this is now," he said. He estimated that the DEA takes about 100 calls per day regarding narcotics certifications. Each call is documented.

When the oversight was discovered March 25, Sweetin said, staff at the DEA offices worked all day to complete the necessary steps to certify Paquet and keep the narcotics, like morphine, on the ambulances. As of March 26, they had received no request to process certification for Hepburn, Sweetin said.

Both Sweetin and Gail Finley-Rarey, EMS section chief for the Department of Health and Human Services, said that to serve as a physician advisor, a doctor need only to be in good standing with the Colorado State Board of Medical Examiners and have a Colorado license to practice medicine.

Finley-Rarey said because her department is responsible for the state's EMT certification, they work in coordination with the board of medical examiners to keep records of physician advisors.

According to her records, the state was informed Hepburn would be taking over physician advisor duties Dec. 15, 2003. However, the file is incomplete. Hepburn still needs to file an affidavit, and copies of EMS protocols and quality improvement procedures.

Finley-Rarey said the rules are "silent" when it comes to setting a deadline for submitting these things. "However," she said, "everyday you're operating without protocols is a day you're operating with risks should anything go wrong."

She said she still plans to check with the board of medical examiners to insure everything was up-do-date in regard to the status of Hepburn's license.

According to the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners Rule 500, a physician advisor establishes protocols and quality assurance procedures for emergency medical services. In Colorado, all EMTs must have an advisor if they provide direct patient care in any setting.

The status of Hepburn's license was yet another question raised by the public Thursday. They peppered Jackson and the board with accusations that Hepburn was on probation and perhaps unqualified to serve as physician advisor.

"He is not on probation," Jackson said. (In an interview Monday, she said that statement referred to his status with the DEA, not his medical license.)

Hepburn's Colorado state license does contain a five-year probation stipulation. According to an order of the State Board of Medical Examiners signed by Hepburn in January, the board placed the license on probation after Hepburn voluntarily disclosed in his application for a Colorado license that he had been treated for marijuana dependence resulting from an incident in 1999.

Hepburn said in Pennsylvania he was licensed and held a DEA certification number. He added the incident occurred prior to his becoming a medical doctor, and he has complied with all treatment requirements since 1999 with no problems.

"I have nothing to hide," he said. "I have been forthright about it to the people who've needed to know about it." That, he said, included Jackson and Paquet, who both have to file regular reports with the state board of medical examiners to fulfill requirements of the probation.

According to the state medical board's order, Hepburn is to abstain from the use of addictive substances, undergo frequent urine testing and be monitored by another physician for five years. He can petition for early termination of the monitoring of his medical practice after 18 months. The order places no other restriction or limitations on his medical practice.

"There is no problem with my license to practice medicine or with my being a physician advisor as far as I know," he said.


Conflict disclosure by-law OK'd

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

New directors of the Upper San Juan Health Service District will have to sign a notarized conflict of interest disclosure as part of the district's bylaws.

The disclosure is part of an addition to the bylaws passed by the board of directors March 25.

It reads, in part, "A director has a general common-law fiduciary obligation to the district. Š As a fiduciary, the director has the duty to exercise the utmost good faith, business sense and astuteness on behalf of the district. A director is prohibited from taking personal advantage of a situation to benefit himself or prejudice the district."

The amendment also outlines specific examples of conflict of interest and some exceptions. The last line reads, "Failing to disclose a potential conflict of interest is a criminal misdemeanor and could result in prosecution."

"Why was this brought up tonight?" Dan Keuning asked from the audience. The district bylaws as a whole were recently reviewed by the district's attorneys and readopted by the board.

Board member Patty Tillerson said a conflict of interest policy will help bring the district up to date and make the bylaws stronger overall.

"No one elected to this board would have a problem signing this," she said.

Board member Dean Sanna asked at least twice if passing such a bylaw amendment was relevant when the topic was already covered by state law.

In the end, the conflict of interest rules passed unanimously.

In other business, the board:

- heard a report from Kathy Saley, public relations and training coordinator on customer service polls. Saley said the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center staff received an average of 9 points out of a possible 9.5 in areas of courtesy, efficiency, friendliness and wait time. Over 150 questionnaires were received

- heard a budget report from board member Debra Brown. Brown said the district had only one outstanding bill in payables 90 days overdue and said Rocky Mountain HMO had finally agreed to renew a contract with the district.

"In the next two months," she said, "I believe we will see incomes meeting projections."

Currently, they are down. In response to a question from J.R. Ford, Jackson said revenues for the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center were $43,479 for 2004. In 2003, revenues over the same time period were $81,254.


Planning 're-vision' called 'preferred alternative'

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

It's titled "Re-vision: Archuleta County."

It's the document that may evolve into new county growth-management policies - a proposal given generally favorable, yet scrutinous commentary March 24 by the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission.

Last week's commission meeting marked the second time this month the proposal has been critiqued by a county courthouse audience; the draft got a preliminary green light from the county board of commissioners at a March 8 workshop.

The document is the result of six weeks of collaboration between county planning staff and an eight-member citizens' task force appointed by the board in January.

Deemed the "Community Plan Implementation Team," panel members have been charged with supplying input and feedback on several growth-management scenarios comprised of information gathered by planning staff during a series of volunteer, land-use focus groups conducted late last year.

Wednesday night's presentation of results by Marcus Baker, associate county planner, was the latest in a series of related briefings initiated soon after a growth-management blueprint inked by the planning department gained board approval in September.

At the onset of the session, Baker explained three notions governed the development of the proposal - social acceptability, political acceptability and administrative feasibility.

"We want something backed by the community," said Baker, after acknowledging a perfect, one-size-fits-all document is unrealistic.

"We don't want something too complex for (staff) to handle, or something too complex for the public to handle," he added.

Before introducing the specifics of the document, "I want to stress that we are at a very conceptual point here ... the very sketchy phase," said Baker.

In summary, the framework presented by Baker, labeled "the preferred alternative," is based loosely on an award-winning growth-management policy implemented in Fremont County, Idaho.

According to statistics provided by Baker, the demographics of Fremont County are comparable to those of Archuleta County, indicating a population of about 12,000 and one incorporated town of 3,300.

In addition, roughly 32 percent of the land in Fremont County is privately owned and the local economy is based mainly on tourism, recreation and agriculture.

One difference, however, is that Fremont County's growth rate is 1 percent, whereas Baker indicated Archuleta County's growth rate usually falls between 4-6 percent.

The Fremont County development policy addresses the environmental, cultural and visual impacts of growth and includes identification of commercial and industrial hubs, a transfer of development rights option and elements related to traditional zoning plans.

"Zoning districts," or areas delineated according to geographic orientation, are main elements of the Fremont County code which directly relate to the county's review process for development proposals.

Examples used by Baker to illustrate how zoning/planning districts could function in Archuleta County included reference to the potential establishment of areas such as the "Blanco District" and "Aspen Springs District."

The concept of zoning districts, said Baker, envisions each district defining the appropriate areas (within the district) for commercial and industrial development.

On a related note, the Fremont code lists specific criteria concerning gravel pits, signs, roads, noise, etc., while "Class I" and "Class II" permits are issued accordingly (similar to limited-impact use and conditional-use permits.)

The code also implements "overlay zones," or areas that take scenic and wildlife corridors, floodplains, etc. into special consideration without completely restricting development.

Other key factors in the policy are "suitability analysis" and the notion that "density is not specified by zones or districts, but rather calculated on environmental sensitivity of the land."

In short, "We're planning based on impact" instead of land use, explained Baker.

A good deal of Baker's presentation centered on the Fremont County review process, which evaluates development proposals according to a "scoring system" comprised of three major components: "absolute standards," "relative, standards" and "importance factors."

Absolute standards, said Baker, are requirements "that are a must in order to get approval from the county"; they are all-or-nothing criteria, with compliance or variance requests being the only options.

Applicable and constant across all zoning districts, examples given related to compliance with established state and federal water/air quality requirements, evidence of adequate water/sewage and maintaining access to public lands.

According to Baker, relative standards are additional criteria - expected to be based on ideals set forth in the Community Plan - that factor into a project's review.

Relative standards could vary slightly among zoning districts, but mainly "encourage or discourage certain types of design," said Baker.

Examples of relative standards include the encouragement of defensible fire space, the use of native plants in buffering/revegetation efforts and compatibility with neighboring land uses.

Relative standards include a corresponding point system; part of a proposal's evaluation hinges on the range of points given according to how successfully a project complies with relative-standard goals.

The point system could range from minus 2 to 2, for example, with negative points assigned when there is little or no effort to implement the relative standard, zero points given when the standard is irrelevant or achieved at the minimum level, and positive points assigned when there is successful or maximum effort to achieve the standard.

Finally, factors ranging from 1-5 are assigned to describe the importance of relative standards, with 1 being the least important and 5 being most important.

According to Baker, each zoning district could be allowed to assign its own "importance factors," though minimums would be set by the county to establish a consistent baseline for acceptable levels of compliance.

Approval of a project would be determined by multiplying each relative standard's importance factor by the number of corresponding "compliance points" awarded and summing the total.

For example, if a relative standard labeled "wildfire mitigation" is assigned an importance factor of 3 within a particular district, and it is determined by staff that an applicant demonstrates maximum effort to implement the relative standard - receiving a 2 on the point (compliance) scale - a total of six points would count toward the project's final score.

Only projects receiving a cumulative score of zero or more would be awarded a permit.

Near meeting's end, after reiterating the plan is in its infancy, Baker invited comments from members of the planning commission.

"It seems to lack some objectivity," said Commissioner Dan Aupperle. "But parts of this may work real well."

In addition, Aupperle expressed concern with the comparison of county growth rates, questioning if Fremont's policy is the cause of a 1-percent growth rate, or the result.

Aupperle also indicated he would like to see more traditional zoning aspects included in the proposal, and added he would like to see more details before passing judgment on the plan.

"My overall opinion at this point ... is that I don't know enough about (this) process to recommend moving forward with it," said Aupperle.

"But there's certainly a lot of merit to this," he concluded.

Board Chairman Rex Shurtleff praised the plan's flexibility, but questioned who has initial control over the review process.

"Does the planning department assign points, and how do they do that?" asked Shurtleff.

Nevertheless, "I think it could work," he added.

"We're looking at a huge picture, here," mused Commissioner Jerry Jackson, adding he feels the cultural effects and aspects of the plan are especially important.

Jackson added he is not a proponent of variances, and echoed Aupperle's concerns regarding the comparison of growth rates, but seemed pleased with the general concept.

"There are some holes in the details," said Jackson, "But overall I like it."

Commissioner Larry Garcia called the proposal "a good basic building block," yet wondered if the plan could be simplified, and suggested keeping an eye open for other options as well.

"I'm still kind of like, 'wow,'" concluded Garcia. "I'd just like more information, I guess."

Commissioner Bob Walkinshaw indicated he would like additional specifics as well, but also expressed optimism for the plan.

Specifically, "I believe it would help stabilize the county's growth pattern," said Walkinshaw.

Further commentary from Michael Goldman, county attorney, advised those present to bear in mind that any new land-use policies must adhere to state statute.

Colorado law, said Goldman, requires "clean codes," policies that are "applicable across the board" as well as "popular with citizens and legally sufficient."

In response, Baker acknowledged that adding specific details and hammering out the mechanics "will be the bulk of the work" in the coming weeks.

Then, said Baker, the goal is to present a more refined version of the proposal to the planning commission at its May 26 meeting.

Lastly, Baker indicated public comment is invited and necessary, and stated familiarizing county residents with the proposal will be the toughest challenge.

"The biggest hurdle is - how do we get the public to buy into this and understand it, " he concluded.


Blasting brings down huge rocks; Wolf Creek Pass closed three hours

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

In an age when giant sport utility vehicles seem to be the bane of drivers on area highways, those four-wheeled monsters took a back seat Tuesday.

In fact, they were flat-out halted - along with dozens of other vehicles - in their tracks on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass by boulders which dwarfed them.

The pass, already into overnight closures Monday through Thursday, was unexpectedly closed just short of three hours starting just after 9 a.m. Tuesday when highway construction work brought down a pair of larger-than-normal rocks.

Contractor blasting for reconstruction adjacent to Fun Valley Campground produced larger stones on the roadway than workers had anticipated.

So large, in fact, that traditional clearing equipment was unable to master the situation.

Mike Coggins, project manager with Colorado Department of Transportation, said his crews "can move rocks the size of Hummers ... but for these we had to bring in our drills and blast some more ... they were 20 feet high."

The incident occurred at 9:15 a.m. and the road was closed until 12:10 p.m. CDOT officials were not sure exactly how many vehicles were stopped for the shutdown, but the normal daily Wolf Creek use estimate is 2,800 vehicles.

Officials said rock in the area is badly weathered and pitted with creases and shaftlike breaks. It is likely, they said, that the stones would eventually have fallen, whether or not crews were blasting in the area.

That blasting is a routine element of the construction process four or five times a day and traffic is normally stopped for periods of up to 30 minutes to clear the debris.

A department employee took photos of the blockage and others walked the lines of cars in both directions showing motorists what they were faced with and advising them to turn around unless they had plenty of time to spare.

The project is scheduled to continue all summer and, Coggins said, "it may happen again."

He said crews still have 400,000 yards of rock to get through at the nearly two-mile construction site near the east foot of the pass.

The project is one of three still underway on the pass, including the east-side tunnel project expected to come on line within a year, and resurfacing and roadbed support work higher on both sides of the pass itself.

Tuesday's incident was reminiscent of one early in the tunnel project when a rock the size of a home was intentionally felled by a similar blasting operation, closing the pass for several hours.


Inside The Sun

Community service supervisors needed

By Davilyn Valdez

Special to The SUN

Whether it's trash being picked up in Archuleta County or extra help at one of the local thrift stores, the benefits of Useful Public Service (UPS) - also known as community service, are being noticed around the community.

Colorado state statutes allow judges to impose community service hours as a sanction for various traffic, misdemeanor and felony crimes.

The Archuleta County UPS program assists clients in successfully completing their community service by connecting them with a sponsor, tracking progress and reporting that progress to the court.

All community service clients must commit to the program, pay the $80 processing fee, schedule their work times with their sponsor, log their hours, and complete work on time. The responsibility for a timely and successful community service complete ultimately rests with the client.

For an agency to be a UPS sponsor, it must be a bona fide non-profit agency or a unit of government. Currently, there are approximately 30 agencies in Archuleta County that fit that criteria and are registered with the Archuleta County UPS Office as sponsors.

In addition to the agency sponsors, the program is currently seeking individuals to volunteer to supervise UPS clients who will participate in a community project or to oversee a neighborhood reparative board.

The UPS program is striving to recruit the necessary volunteers who could supervise community based projects. With the help of volunteers from the community, UPS clients can be utilized to the fullest, providing maximum benefit to the community.

Most of the current sponsors require UPS clients to clean or perform some type of maintenance work. A few sponsors have been creative in assigning light duty projects for people with physical impairments. It should be noted that court ordered community service doesn't include any work that could endanger or possibly cause harm to the health and safety of the public, client or sponsor.

UPS is a form of progressive rehabilitation which assists persons to move toward productive lives, by giving them positive responsibility to repair the harm they caused to the community. Truly practicing restorative justice requires a positive union between the community and offenders. It is important that our community give offenders the opportunity to give back to the community in a significant way; hopefully instilling a positive feeling about going through the judicial system, their progress, quality of life and society.

If you would be interested in supervising UPS clients in a community project, contact me at 264-3183, Ext. 27.


Democrats set April 13 precinct caucus sites

Archuleta County Democrats have announced the locations of precinct caucuses scheduled 7 p.m. April 13.

Any voter who has been a registered Democrat for 60 days and lived in their precinct for 30 days may participate in the caucuses.

"We strongly encourage all Democrats to come out and participate in this fundamental grassroots organizing step of Colorado's political process," said Kerry Dermody, county Democratic chair.

"Across Colorado," she said, "and across Archuleta County, we're seeing people get excited about involvement in politics again. President Bush has squandered his unique opportunity to lead this nation, and Democrats in our county are excited about putting America - and Colorado - on the right track again."

Caucus locations will be:

Precinct 1 - Pagosa Baking Company in the 200 block of Pagosa Street. Contacts: Jan at 264-5918 or Sue at 264-0244.

Precinct 2 - Community United Methodist Church in the 400 block of Lewis Street. Contacts: Mike at 264-5181 or Charlie at 731-4794

Precinct 3 - Pagosa Springs Community Center, Hot Springs Boulevard. Contacts: Ginny at 264-5299 or Pauline at 264-5232.

Precinct 4 - Appenzeller residence, 53 W. Cedar St., Arboles. Contact: Mitch at 883-5511.

Precinct 5 - Aspen Springs/Chimney Rock (site not yet decided). Contacts: Sally at 883-5489 or Juanalee at 731-5653.

Precinct 6 - Unitarian Universalist Hall, Greenbriar Plaza. Contacts: Lynda at 731-4795 or Ray at 731-0341.

Precinct 7 - Mountain View Baptist Church, 1044 Park Ave. Contacts: Dave at 731-2554 or Lynn at 731-0144.

Precinct 8 - Pagosa Springs Community Center, Hot Springs Boulevard. Contacts: Don at 731-9271 or Nancy at 731-2073.

Precinct caucuses are the first step in the party nominating process. At the precinct caucus, Democrats select their precinct committee persons, who serve for a two-year term on the county central committee. In addition, precinct caucus attendees will discuss the U.S. Senate and presidential races and select their delegates to the county assembly and convention May 4.

Finally, the caucus is the first step in the process of building the party's platform. Resolutions passed at the caucuses move up to the county and state levels, eventually going before the national platform committee that will draft the platform to be considered at the Democratic National convention in Boston in July.

Dermody said the Archuleta County Democratic Party is interested in encouraging more people to attend the caucuses and get involved in the 2004 elections.

"We have an opportunity this year for historic changes," she said. "We need every volunteer who is interested in better schools, more affordable health care and better jobs for Americans to get involved with the Democratic Party's efforts."


Biggest Big Top on Earth is heading for Pagosa

Did you say a 5-ring circus? Over 100 exotic and domestic animals? A host of performers from around the world? The biggest circus tent in the world?

Here in town?

"Yes," to all of the above and more.

Carson & Barnes Circus is coming to Pagosa Springs for 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. shows April 15.

Hosted by the Town of Pagosa Springs to benefit the community center, this is the largest traditional big top circus touring America today. Its 300-foot tent is longer than a football field, and it takes a space equal to three football fields for the entire circus community to unfold.

When you see its 80 transport vehicles begin to arrive you'll know this circus is one big operation, one that has been traveling America for over 67 years.

One night stands? You bet. Of the 250 days a year the circus plays, some 200 of them are in different towns and cities where folks of all ages turn out for some good old-fashioned circus fun. Live, and right in front of you, it's the best bang for the buck anywhere.

Rated "G", with no sensationalism, foul language or violence of any kind, the Carson & Barnes circus can be billed as fast-paced, action-filled family entertainment.

Watch in awe as lions, tigers and ligers mix in the same cage. Marvel at the death-defying double wheels of destiny as acrobats perform at the peak of the big top. Be astounded by flying trapeze artists, clowns, jugglers, and the mammoth elephants.

Carson & Barnes presents the only Liberty Horse Act in the United States composed entirely of Friesian stallions. This rare breed of horses, marked by broad bodies, long flowing manes and tils, was common in the Netherlands prior to World War II. As these majestic stallions prance and parade around center ring, their beauty and power will entrance you.

New this season, the Fusco family from Argentina will bring their "Malambo" act to the United States. This Big Top center ring "Gaucho Extravaganza", will feature the cracking and sparkling whips used on the plains of the Pampas in Argentina.

Early circus morning see the elephants pull the big poles up in the tent and visit the large traveling zoo featuring exotic and domestic animals, as they are unloaded, watered and fed. Many of these species are rare and endangered, such as hippo, giraffe, zebu, zonkie, zebra, camels and both Asian and African elephants.

Advance general admission tickets are available at special prices or go online to get tickets at www.carsonbarnescircus.com

On circus day advance general admission tickets can be upgraded to preferred seating for an additional charge.


Baby Jennie is prepared to steal your hearts away

Baby elephants are rare, but Carson & Barnes 5-Ring Circus has one already trained to perform to be the star of the show.

See her in action at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. circus performances April 15 in the open field behind the Spring Inn as the Town of Pagosa Springs hosts the touring circus in a benefit for the community center.

"Baby Jennie," as show folks affectionately call her, takes over center ring, dancing, playing the tambourine, harmonica and drum. She also walks the balance beam doing (for such a large animal) an amazing "turnaround" with a hind-leg and head stand.

Like a playful youngster, she is fantastic to watch.

Best of all, though, is to see how much Baby Jennie enjoys performing. Her delight is obvious. She is quite a "showoff," and just loves to be in the spotlight.

When it is her turn to enter the tent, her handler can hardly hold her back, she is so eager. With great energy, she comes prancing into the ring and begins her routine, carrying it out flawlessly.

Her trainer jokes, "I just handle the props. Jennie does the rest."

When Baby Jennie has finished her performance, she leaves the ring, waving goodbye to all the children. With squeals of delight, children of all ages wave back.

She returns later in the show to perform with the big elephants. They are huge creatures and it is a mammoth herd, but Baby Jennie holds her own.

There is quite a controversy today about whether performing animals should be in the circus at all. Activist groups have tried to claim the animals are abused. Baby Jennie, who was trained through the use of animal cracker rewards and positive reinforcement, is living testimony and testament to the contrary. The love showered on this baby comes flowing back to all who have the opportunity to see her shine.

Baby Jennie is now six years old, weighs about 2,500 pounds and is about six feet tall. She weighed 250 pounds at birth and grew to 600 pounds by her first birthday. Until she was two years old she lived and traveled in her own specially built pink van and was always accompanied by an adult elephant, one of her "aunts." Now she lives with the regular elephant herd.

Children of all ages may join the Baby Jennie & Friends Fan Club at www.carsonbarnescircus.com to learn more about elephants and keep in contact with her as she grows.

Watch for her in center ring.


Handgun safety class starts Saturday

Handgun safety classes are scheduled to begin Saturday under the direction of Archuleta County sheriff's deputy Curtis Roderick.

These classes meet all requirements for concealed handgun permit licenses. Space is limited per class and students will be on a first come, first trained basis.

For more information on class times, location and cost, call 264-2131, Ext. 1017 and ask for Curtis. If there is no answer, leave a message. Between 4 and 9 p.m. call 731-1999.


Backcountry Horsemen meet tonight

Four Corners Backcountry Horsemen will meet 7 p.m., today in Calvary Presbyterian Church on Mill Street in downtown Bayfield.

Using her "glass horse," large animal veterinarian Linda Grayson will present a program on the equine leg.

"If you're 25 miles into the back country, it is really important to know how badly hurt your horse's leg is," she said. "Finding out is a lot easier than having to walk out. Knowledge is the key."

The May 6 meeting will be at La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango.


Pagosa heritage poster contest display Tuesday

Want to know what our children know about the history of Pagosa Country?

If so, you might want to visit the lower junior high gymnasium Tuesday during heritage day.

More than 100 seventh-graders will have prepared posters on their knowledge of the heritage of Pagosa Springs and all will be on display.

The contest, with several cash prizes, is being cosponsored by the town of Pagosa Springs, the historical preservation board, and directors of Pioneer Museum.


Unashamed tears of sorrow mark ceremony

Rep. Larson's Report

Each year the Legislature honors our military with a joint resolution proclaiming Military Appreciation Day. This year we focused on the troops from Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. In all the memorable things I have seen in the House chambers, what I observed on Monday, March 22, 2004, set the standard for years to come.

On this special day the Legislature recognized our military leadership from Fort Carson and the troops that had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. All 146 seats in the gallery were occupied with khaki-attired young men and women. The benches along the floor had special guests too, all dressed in the uniform of their designated branch.

Three of our guests were not in uniform. Melissa Givens and her sons, Carson, 10 months and Dakota, 6 years, were in civilian clothes, but they were honored first and foremost. You see, Ms. Givens, her infant son squirming anxiously in her lap and her first-grade son looking wide-eyed around the chamber were a part of the ceremony because their husband and father, Private First Class Jesse Givens, was the first Fort Carson soldier to be killed in action in Iraq.

Sitting on the front row of the House at desk No. 2, I am fortunate to be close to the benches that line the large room's walls. With the Givens family sitting a mere six feet from me, I listened as Rep. Bill Sinclair, R-Colorado Springs, read a description of how Pfc. Givens and his Abrams A1M1 tank crew ran into the Euphrates River. All other members of the crew survived but Pfc. Givens died in the tank.

The stark realization that this beautiful young woman and her very young children will never again see her husband and their daddy became very real. When I made eye contact with Melissa her eyes were welling with tears. I broke into my own tears of sorrow. I turned away in my chair and tried to hide my sobbing from Melissa and her kids.

When the house arose in a standing ovation for the Givens family, the son was joyfully clapping along with us as if nothing in his world had changed. I knew better and could not help but drop my head in prayer for their future.

Many times during the session the House stopped and paid respect as Ft. Carson's representative, Mark Cloer, R-Colorado Springs, would read the names of Fort Carson soldiers who had fallen in combat or the ensuing unrest in Iraq.

But the face that was put on this war by the visit of the Givens family will never leave my mind. Members went over to greet the Givens family after the resolution and introductions were done. Handshaking and words of thanks and shared sorrow were exchanged. When I was next to greet Melissa, I could not help myself and reached out and hugged her not knowing anything meaningful to say. She welcomed the hug and whispered a soft, "Thank you, we'll be fine" in my ear as if to reassure me! I cried again.

After everyone had gone and the House tried to settle down into its work for the day, I went to the bench where Melissa and her sons sat and pulled the now abandoned seat assignment tag of "Melissa Givens" from the backrest. I put the tag on my desk and promised myself to remember Melissa and her family each and every day as a tragic reminder of the terrible price that many Americans pay for our freedoms.

Several other heroes were praised that day, all very much deserving and worthy of much more than the General Assembly was able to afford them. Now, when I think that the partisan politics is more than I can stand or when self pity sets in for whatever reason, I will simply gaze upon Melissa's name and be thankful to Pfc. Jesse Givens, Melissa, Dakota and Carson for paying the ultimate price for this freedom we all too often take for granted.


Deadlines force pending bills to decision and all go dow

Sen. Isgar's Report

Three bills representing part of a larger conservative agenda came up for debate last week after waiting on the calendar for their supporters to gather enough votes to pass them.

However, the impending deadline for these bills to be heard in the Senate forced each of them to the surface, and all failed after some Republicans crossed the aisle.

Perhaps the most sensitive legislation was Senate Bill 194, introduced by Sen. Ed Jones, R-Colorado Springs, which sought to ban affirmative action in Colorado. This topic always provokes emotional arguments, and the Senate debate was no different.

Historically, race is a difficult subject in this country, but many of the impassioned arguments I heard have unfairly characterized the spirit of affirmative action. I opposed SB 194 because I believe that diversity should be encouraged, and the best way to do it is to give capable people wider access to the applicant pool.

In other words, affirmative action is about recognizing people's potential and then giving them the opportunity to compete.

But in addition to the principle behind it, there are practical benefits to affirmative action. The military understood the value of promoting minority officers after the Vietnam War in order to boost the morale of the troops. In higher education, it is recognized that one way to increase minority graduation rates is to have minority faculty who can serve as positive role models.

The second failed bill this week involved the judicial branch. In Colorado, we have state and district commissions on judicial performance to which the Colorado Supreme Court is entitled to appointees.

This particular bill, SB 151, revoked the Supreme Court's input on the state commission and made the appointees subject only to the speaker of the house, the Senate president, and the governor.

Considering the current makeup of Colorado's leadership, the move was highly partisan. Also remembering how recent battles in the Legislature have spilled into the courts, this bill struck me as a form of political retaliation against judges who had not ruled a certain way.

The courts, in my opinion, are to remain separate and independent of political pressure from the other branches of government, and I opposed this bill to maintain their integrity.

Lastly, HB 1078, which sought to penalize the display of "sexually explicit" material to minors, drudged up many familiar arguments on censorship, free speech, and what should be considered offensive to the public. I've received several letters and e-mails in support of this bill, and I'm sensitive to the fact that people are disturbed about what is floating around the media, especially in light of recent events.

However, the bill was so broad in its scope as to what could be considered sexually explicit that people were concerned about the censorship of educational and artistic material. To illustrate this point, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Doug Lamborn argued that certain artists who painted nude figures wouldn't be prohibited because they were world renowned. I've never considered myself an art expert, but you had to wonder how any artist, from Michelangelo on down, would ever become renowned if these standards were in place when they were alive.

Consequently, the bill failed on a bipartisan 21-14 vote.

With the budget scheduled to be introduced Monday, the weeks ahead look to be busy. The good news is that proposed cuts to the Tony Grampsas Youth Services Fund, the state parks, the Agricultural Marketing Division, and the regional library systems will likely be restored.

This by no means indicates the state is in good fiscal health - it isn't. The budget was balanced by using one-time funds, and again delaying capital construction and maintenance.

In future columns, I will talk about the budget in greater detail.


Post-prom party planned

Plans are underway for a Pagosa Springs post-prom party.

A committee composed of parents, students and members of the Teen Center program at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, are organizing the event.

The fun will start in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard at 1 a.m., immediately following the May 1 prom. So far, planned events include hourly prize drawings, giant inflatable games, a DJ, food, beverages, a Pagosa Idol singing contest and a movie room with scary movies.

The post prom party will be open to all 2004 prom attendees, as well as all PSHS juniors or seniors who may not want to attend prom, but want to attend the after-party.

It will end Sunday morning at 5 a.m.

This is an alcohol- and drug-free event. Attendees will be signed in and may sign out, but will not be allowed to return if they choose to leave the party.

Tax-deductible contributions are being accepted. Checks can be made payable to Pagosa Springs Community Center with a note that they should be used for the post-prom party, and mailed to the community center, P.O. Box 3187.

Anyone with questions should call Johnson at 731-5386 or Korsgren at 264-4152.


Pagosa Ranger District conducting prescribed burns

Conditions permitting, the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest will do prescribed burning during the next four to six weeks.

Prescribed burns are planned for the Benson Creek/Kenney Flats, Mule Mountain, Fawn Gulch and Valle Seco areas. The actual order of burning will be determined by weather and ground conditions.

Each of the treatment units are adjacent to areas where prescribed burning has occurred in the past three to five years as part of an ongoing program.

Before any fire is ignited, all conditions described in an approved burn plan must be met. Conditions include temperatures, fuel moisture levels, wind predictions, smoke dispersal, available crew, backup crew and equipment.

Fires will be kept at low intensity and contained with natural and man-made firebreaks. The goal is to reduce undergrowth and ground fuels.

Under ideal conditions, as many as 3,000 acres could be treated.

The Benson Creek prescribed fire area is southeast of Pagosa Springs and east of U.S. 84 between Blanco Basin and Buckles Lake roads.

The intent is to burn 800 acres within a unit bordered by Big Branch Road (Forest Road 664) and the Alpine Lakes development.

For public safety, portions of Big Branch Road may be closed for a short period during active burning adjacent to the road.

The Kenney Flats portion is along U.S. 84 south of Spiler Canyon. Daytime smoke will travel to the northeast during the day and downslope along the Blanco River at night, where smoke will linger until mid-morning.

The Mule Mountain prescribed fire area is north of U.S. 160, approximately 23 miles west of Pagosa Springs.

The unit is northwest of the area consumed by the Devil Creek Wildfire, which burned 235 acres in July of last year.

Devil Mountain Road (Forest Road 626) may be closed for a short time during active burning. Daytime smoke is expected to rise and move toward the northeast.

Nighttime smoke will move downslope, but is not expected to impact populated areas because of the remote area of operation.

The Fawn Gulch area is about five miles northeast of Pagosa Springs. Burn units are on both sides of the Fawn Gulch Road (Forest Road 666).

Daytime smoke is expected to move to the northeast. Nighttime smoke will move downslope toward the San Juan River.

The Valle Seco prescribed burn area is about 11 miles south of Pagosa Springs and due west of Trujillo.

Again daytime smoke will move to the northeast while nighttime smoke will move downslope to the southwest.

These projects are part of the National Fire Plan underway across the nation to make public and private lands safer from wildfire by reducing natural fuels buildup.

Prescribed fire improves the health of ponderosa pine stands by reducing competition from Gambel oak, removing ground litter to expose mineral soil for seed germination, and releasing natural minerals and nutrients into the soil.

Local radio announcements will be made prior to the beginning of each prescribed burn. For more information, contact the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268 or stop by the office at 180 Pagosa St.


San Juan Forest getting added funds for fire plans

The San Juan National Forest is one of six forests in the Rocky Mountain Region that will receive additional money over the next three years to accelerate implementation of the National Fire Plan.

The Forest expects to receive an additional $500,000 each year. The money will be used to reduce the fuels buildup in the wildland-urban interface and important watersheds.

Two factors contributed to the Forest being chosen to receive the additional monies - first, the thousands of dead or dying piñon and ponderosa pine trees in the area due to the recent beetle epidemic, which has significantly increased the fire danger; and second, the Community Fire Plans completed in 2002, which identify areas in the wildland-urban interface needing fuels-reduction treatments.

Local, state, and federal fire officials and communities collaboratively developed the CFPs for Archuleta, Montezuma, Dolores, La Plata and San Juan counties and these plans are being used to identify high-priority areas for treatments over the next several years.

Public meetings will be held during 2004 to verify the high-priority areas.

The Forest Service and BLM are especially interested in treating public lands adjacent to private lands that have already been treated.

Land managers have typically tried to treat about 70 percent of the forest's fuels-reduction acres with prescribed burning and 30 percent with mechanical methods. One of their goals with this strategy is to achieve closer to a 50-50 split between the treatment types.

"While prescribed burning is still a very viable treatment method, it can't be relied upon as heavily because it is so weather dependent," said Mark Stiles, forest supervisor/center manager.

Another factor affecting the burning program is the current overcrowded forest conditions, coupled with low fuel moistures from years of drought, which make many areas unsafe to burn until some form of mechanical treatment has taken place.

Initially the number of acres treated may actually be lower than in the past due to two factors: 1) mechanical treatments are more expensive and 2) some new environmental analysis will need to be done.

In 2004, fire managers expect to complete approximately 15,000 acres of hazardous-fuels reduction work. That number could increase to 20,000 acres in 2005 and 30,000 acres by 2011.

Other forests that will receive additional money for fuels reduction include the Black Hills, Shoshone, Arapaho-Roosevelt, Pike-San Isabel, and the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests.


Native plants, watershed and lynx on SJCD program

The San Juan Conservation District annual program will be May 8 at Archuleta County Fairgrounds on U.S. 84.

The event, held in cooperation with Archuleta County, the town of Pagosa Springs and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will open with registration, coffee and doughnuts, district activities and financial report, 9-9:15 a.m.

The first presentation, 9:15-10:20 a.m., will feature "The Usefulness of Native Plants - recipes included" with Scott Woodall of Natural Resources Conservation Service.

That will be followed by a break, with door prizes awarded.

Jerry Archuleta of NRCS will be next on the agenda, 10:35-11:05 a.m., with a report on "Stollsteimer Creek Watershed Project."

Another break with door prizes follows.

Doug Purcell of Colorado Division of Wildlife will report on "The Lynx Recovery," 11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

Lunch will follow featuring roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, salad, rolls and fruit cobbler.

Preregistration fee is $8.50 per person by April 30. Registration at the door will be $10 per person. The fee includes lunch and materials.

Additional materials will be available on use of PAM (polyacrylamide) for sealing ditches and ponds; anti-seep collars and cloud seeding.

For more information, call 264-5516.


Open house Monday on lynx habitat plan

The public is invited to attend an open house on the Southern Rockies Lynx Amendment, a regional proposal to amend the forest plans of six national forests in Colorado and southern Wyoming, including the San Juan National Forest.

The open house will be held 4-7 p.m. Monday at the San Juan Public Lands Center Sonoran Room, 15 Burnett Court, Durango.

U.S. Forest Service wildlife biologists and planners will be on hand to answer questions about lynx habitat management. Maps showing lynx habitat on the San Juan National Forest will be displayed.

A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposal is currently available for review and comment. The EIS studies 12.3-million acres of National Forest lands, which includes 6.3 million acres of lynx habitat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed Canada lynx as a threatened species in March 2000, citing the lack of guidance in federal land management plans as the chief threat to conservation of lynx and its habitat.

The U.S. Forest Service is responsible for providing habitat that will support a viable population of lynx. Reintroduction of lynx, a project of the Colorado Division of Wildlife that began in 1999, is not a topic of the EIS or the open house, because lynx reintroduction is a responsibility of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, not the U.S. Forest Service.

The proposed amendment adds direction for conservation of lynx and their habitat to the forest plans involved. The proposed alternative responds to concerns about restrictions on new snowmobile trails, pre-commercial thinning, and fuel reduction projects associated with communities at risk of wildfires. It modifies earlier standards to be more flexible in addressing local situations and new information. Limited copies and CDs of the Draft EIS will be available at the open house.

For more information on the scope and specifics of the Southern Rockies Lynx Amendment, please visit: www.fs.fed.us/r2/projects/lynx.

Comments on this regional proposal must be postmarked no later than April 29. Written comments may be mailed to:

R2 Lynx Scoping

P.O. Box 22810

Salt Lake City, UT 84122

Comments may also be faxed to (801) 517-1021, e-mail comments may be sent to: r2lynx@fs.fed.us.

For more information on the open house, contact Public Affairs Officer Ann Bond, (970) 385-1219. For information on management of lynx habitat on the San Juan National Forest, contact Wildlife Biologist Mark Ball, (970) 385-1345.


April 6 deadline looms for Internet hunter applications

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is urging hunters who plan to use the Internet for 2004 big game applications to complete their applications well before the April 6 deadline.

This is the first year big game licenses are being offered over the Internet as a part of the Division's ongoing effort to improve customer service and officials want to be sure unforeseen problems don't interfere with submitting applications on time.

To this point, the new system is not only working smoothly, but it is also popular with hunters. Over 40 percent of the applications submitted to this point - more than 1,600 a day - have been online instead of by regular mail. The Division has received positive feedback from throughout the state.

"In my line of work, I am very heavily involved with computer systems," said Eric Long, an Internet applicant from Loveland. "I must say that I am extremely impressed with the efficiency and ease-of-use of your new online application system, especially for the first year in use. Hats off to you!"

The Total Licensing System, as it is called, is best accessed with newer Web browsers such as Netscape Navigator 6.2 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0. Internet applicants should make sure their computers meet these minimum software requirements.

While there have not been any glitches so far, officials want to avoid a last-minute rush that could overload the system. This is why officials are appealing for the early applications online, which will give the customer service center time to correct them, if any complications occur.

For more information on applying for 2004 big game licenses online, or to apply for a licenses using the Internet; visit the Total Licensing System page directly at http://wildlife.state.co.us/total_licensing/.

For questions or help using the new system contact the Division's customer service center at (303) 297-1192.


Cattlemen's banquet is April 17

Tickets are currently on sale for the La Plata-Archuleta Cattlemen's annual banquet and dance April 17 in the Fort Lewis College Ballroom with the social hour beginning at 6 p.m.

Prime rib will be the main dish, there will be a silent auction, a raffle of the CowBelles Brand Quilt, a live auction for a brand quilt and a stock brand first recorded in 1949.

Tickets are $25 and are available at Boot Hill in Pagosa Springs. For more information call 247-2816.


Kids, teens, clowns abound at the center

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

On a regular basis the Pagosa Springs Community Center hums with youthful activity.

We have little ones all over the place - playing Tee-ball, involved in 4-H projects (mask making, learning First Aid, finger painting, etc.) or practicing for the Children's Chorale performance on Mother's Day.

Then we have teenagers in the Teen Center with their pool and ping pong games - a great mixture of activities and sounds to be sure.

Finally, we have community center-sponsored activities that go on - this month a circus and a spring cleaning rummage sale.

Circus time, Thursday, April 15, will be a big day in Pagosa Springs from morning to eve. The Carson & Barnes Circus will begin to set up at 8 a.m. in the field next to the community center. Everyone is invited to watch the circus come alive as the elephants raise the Big Top.

Performances are at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. and will include a spectacular parade, acrobats and trapeze artists, clowns and performers from around the world. To top it off, there will be lots of performing elephants, lions, camels, dogs and horses.

Advance tickets are $5 for kids 2-12 and $10 for adults. At the box office: $7 for kids and $14 for adults.

Tickets are sold at all the banks in town plus the Shell Station, Shang-Hai Restaurant, Corner Store, Chamber of Commerce and the community center.

Proceeds will be shared by the community center and the town's parks and recreation department.

Now about freebees: There are a couple of possibilities right now and maybe more later on.

Bank of the San Juans is sponsoring a 25-winner random drawing. The winners will receive a certificate to ride one of the 15 ponderous performing pachyderms at the circus. Wells Fargo is sponsoring a "Guess Susie's Weight" contest, Susie being a full-grown 50-year-old Asian elephant. The person guessing closest to Susie's official weight will receive a family pass for preferred seating at one of the shows.

Rummage sale

We are accepting reservations for the best locations at our Spring cleaning rummage sale to take place April 17 at the community center.

Reserve early and be up front where your treasures will be seen first. A table is yours for $10. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Take advantage of this great opportunity to open windows, shake out dust, clean out cupboards and closets, get rid of things and generally put things in order.

When you have done all that you can take the results down to the community center and sell them.

If you prefer, donate saleable items to the community center and we will sell them for you. For information call 264-4152.


Tickets go on sale today for Music in the Mountains

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Tickets go on sale today at the Chamber of Commerce for this summer's three Music in the Mountains classical music concerts which will bring world-class musicians to Pagosa Springs in July and August. All concerts are $35, the same price as last summer.

The concerts will take place 7 p.m. Fridays at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs, thanks to the generosity of David and Carol Brown, owners of the ranch.

Several of the world-renowned soloists who thrilled Pagosa concertgoers last year will return, and exciting new talent is also expected:

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

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

- On Aug. 6 Pagosa welcomes two new internationally famous musicians, Anne-Marie McDermott on piano and Philippe Quint playing the violin. Their performance will include Martinu's "Madrigals" and Brahms' "Piano Quintet."

In addition, Music in the Mountains will host a free children's concert for kids and their families 11 a.m. July 29 in Town Park. Highlight of this event will be "Peter and the Wolf," a work created by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev to teach his children about the symphony.

Each character in the story - Peter, his grandfather, the wolf, a cat, a bird, a duck and some hunters - is represented by an instrument or instrumental family and will be acted by local children. To help the kids enjoy this experience even more, librarian Lenore Bright will include "Peter and the Wolf" in the children's summer reading program.

Chairman of the committee organizing these local events is Jan Clinkenbeard.

"We're incredibly lucky to have first-class musicians who have performed to rave reviews around the world come to Pagosa to play for us," Clinkenbeard said. "And thanks to the Browns, we will enjoy this music in a tent in a spectacular mountain setting at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass."

Clinkenbeard pointed out that in past years the concerts have sold out well before the event, so she recommends you buy your tickets as soon as possible.

She said ticket prices pay for only a small portion of the cost of the concerts. "It is thanks to contributions from individual donors and larger organizations like the Bank of the San Juans, Rotary Club and Wells Fargo Bank that our Pagosa festival is possible," she said. As well, all of the organizational work is done by Clinkenbeard's local volunteer steering committee composed of Melinda Baum, Sally Hameister, Mike and Lauri Heraty, Carole Howard, Crystal Howe, Teresa Huft, and Bob and Lisa Scott.

Since its debut in 1987, Music in the Mountains has grown to become one of the best summer music festivals in the country.

This is the third year concerts have been held in Pagosa, and the first time there has been a free concert for children and their families. To get on the mailing list for these and future Music in the Mountain events, call 385-6820 in Durango and specify you want to be on the Pagosa Springs mailing list.


Unitarians will examine web of existence Sunday

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will present a program which serves as a statement of what Unitarian Universalists affirm about life.

It is based on the seventh of the UU principles: "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are a part."

Jennie Blechman, clinical herbalist and owner of Artemisia Botanicals, will speak about her experience with this life-affirming web of existence in the plant world. An opportunity for questions and dialogue will be included. All are welcome.

An open forum will be held following the service to discuss and receive input regarding the future directions the Fellowship should undertake now that it has its own property and facilities. The forum is open to both members and friends of The Fellowship.

The new and permanent home for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is in Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza, 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.


Builders Association Home Show this weekend

By Sharee Grazda

Special to The PREVIEW

Signs of spring are everywhere. The heavy winter snow is rapidly melting, flowing into nearby streams and rivers. Birds are back and filling the air with song. Blades of grass are pushing their way through the recently thawed ground.

This time of the year, thoughts seem to naturally turn to home improvement, clean-up and sprucing up the yard.

Fortunately for Pagosa area residents and nearby visitors, the Builders Association of Pagosa Springs' timing couldn't be better for presenting the 2004 Home Show.

This year the Home Show takes place April 3 and 4 at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds on U.S. 84. Show hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday.

The annual home show has proven to be very successful and enjoyable for both participants and attendees. In 2003, attendance for the show was over 1,000. Local businesses that had booths at the show found themselves inundated with new business opportunities and customers. This year's show should be even bigger and better.

People looking for information on building, remodeling or decorating their home will find the home show the perfect place to find ideas and solutions.

For 2004, there will be over 80 booths with vendors representing local businesses as well as some from as far away as Albuquerque and Denver.

Services and products represented include garden/landscaping supplies, homebuilders, log home packages, masonry, plumbing, heating, financial/mortgage providers, window coverings, appliances and more.

There will even be representatives from local utility companies to assist the do-it-yourself homeowners who want to build their own homes.

Admission for the show is $2. The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs will provide a food booth, park cars and collect the admission fee. Additionally, the Builders Association will donate half of entry fees collected to the humane society.

There will also be a number of special events for attendees. KWUF will broadcast live from the home show Saturday. There will be a drawing for a new Dell Computer Sunday. Upon admission, each paid visitor will receive a ticket and a map showing all booth locations. To be eligible for the drawing for the computer, visitors must visit each booth and have their maps marked. When exiting the home show, visitors will turn in their maps and their tickets will be deposited in the drawing box. Many vendors will also have special drawings throughout the weekend, so visitors should be sure to visit every booth.

The Builders Association will also hold a raffle for a brand new, six-person spa valued at over $5,000. Tickets for the raffle drawing will be $5 each with proceeds going to help cover operating expenses for putting on the show.

So, get your spring off to a great start. Whether you're building, remodeling, working on your landscaping, or just wanting to spend a day with friends enjoying some good food and a little sunshine, the perfect place to be is the 2004 Home Show. Watch for a complete list for participating vendors in Home Show ads, and join the Builders Association for this year's show.

For additional information, contact Steve Schwartz, the Home Show coordinator at (970) 731-9168.


This is the weekend for 9Health Fair

Saturday is the day.

Be at Pagosa Springs High School between 8 a.m. and noon to take advantage of the best deal you can get for your health's sake at the 9Health Fair.

Whatever else you are doing, make your health a priority. Volunteers 230 strong, both medical and nonmedical, run this event. Organizations supporting the event include local service organizations such as Rotarians, Telephone Pioneers and the Lions Club, as well as local businesses, the town and county.

Effective traffic control is key to a successful operation. The 500 to 700 fairgoers must be moved quickly and smoothly through the different stations. This is the job of the folks in orange vests who have a big responsibility and with it goes the authority to give people directions.

Should you be on the receiving end, please do as you are told. Rules they are sure to enforce:

- you must be 18 or older to participate

- no food or drinks (except water in a clear nonbreakable covered container) allowed

- the order of entry into the blood draw area is by the number found on your registration - no exceptions - and these numbers will be posted where you can see them. You will also see some folks with ribbons pinned to their shirts; they too are in positions of authority. Look to any of these folks if you have questions or special needs.

This year the health fair will again offer a snack bar with a selection of nutritious snacks for a quick bite to eat for those who have been fasting. This means you do not need to rush home after having your blood drawn but can take advantage of all the other screenings and information available to you.

If you can't make it to the Pagosa Springs fair, there are 144 sites statewide; the ones closest to us are Durango, April 17, and Bayfield, April 24. For more information call (800)332-3078 or go online to www.9HealthFair.org.

The Lions Club will collect used eyeglasses for distribution to those in need. The Cerebral Palsy Association will collect used printer cartridges - both inkjet and laser - and cell phones. So bring any of these along if you have them.

If you can arrive mid-morning you will avoid the early line. Visit the 30 different medical, interactive and learning centers for different types of health screening or health education - all available at no cost to you. Also available is low-cost blood chemistry analysis ($30) and Prostate Specific Antigen testing for men ($25).

The blood chemistry analysis is one measure of your overall health, though by itself offers neither diagnoses of nor treatment for any specific disease. The analysis covers heart, thyroid, gout, muscle and bone, pancreas, liver and kidney, blood, electrolytes and prostate for men. PSA testing measures a protein produced by the prostate gland; an elevated value is not always an indicator of prostate cancer but indicates a need for further evaluation.

Here are some special instructions for taking the blood chemistry analysis:

- you must fast for 12 hours with these exceptions: Drinking water is highly encouraged and tea or coffee is permissible if served without sweetener or cream. Those on medication should take their medicines, as usual. Diabetics should not fast. If you enjoy late snacks, eat your last meal or snack a little later than usual and arrive later in the morning

- remember the fair is open 8 a.m.-noon; arrive early and avoid the big rush for blood work

- if you are planning on having blood work, please wear loose clothing, short sleeved shirts, or shirts/blouses with loose fitting sleeves.

Screenings are not a substitute for a physical examination and no diagnosis will be provided; however everyone will have the opportunity to talk with a health care professional once they have collected data from their screenings. Here is what is available to you.

Blood pressure: High blood pressure is called the "silent killer," for it has no symptoms until serious medical problems arise, such as a stroke, heart attack or blindness. If you have not had your blood pressure measured lately, do it at the 9Health Fair, even if you do not plan to have your blood drawn.

Colon cancer screening: Learn about colorectal screening. Kits are available for $5. The colorectal kit is a "take home" easy-to-use kit. Individuals will be on site to answer questions and show you how to use the kit.

Breast cancer screening: Women of all ages should visit this station to learn proper self-examination techniques. Self-examination has been proven to be the best procedure for early detection of this deadly disease.

Vision acuity screening: Have your near and far distances vision evaluated and determine if your corrective lenses (contacts or glasses) are adequate.

Hearing: Do you think your spouse "mumbles" at you all the time? It could be your hearing is the problem! Get it checked!

Height and weight: Are you within the norm for your sex and build? Visit this station and see if or where you need to improve. Helps to identify those participants who are 20 percent over/under weight.

Body in balance screening: Are you steady on your feet? Physical therapists assess body position, strength and flexibility with the goal of identifying physical problems and discussing the prevention of physical injuries.

Oral screening: Have a professional examine your mouth and provide you with information on oral health.

Lung function screening: Be tested on the respiratory peak flow or the spirometer - in addition to receiving information on sleep apnea.

Ask a pharmacist: OTC, herbal, prescription drugs, supplements - bring a list of names and dosages or just throw all into a bag and bring to this table. A pharmacist will be on hand to check what you are taking to see if they are in conflict.

Bone density screening: Questionnaires will be available to help determine your risk for developing osteoporosis. The questionnaires are from National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Body fat analysis: Should you be building body muscle? Assess body composition by determining the percentage of body fat.

Talk with a health professional: Professionals confidentially review with you the results of your screenings and discuss any concerns you have.

Here is a list of educational centers at the fair: Sometimes all we need is a little information to help us establish a healthy life style.

San Juan Basin Health: Visit the Colorado Women's Cancer Control Initiative, Preventative care and home health needs learning center - information is available on health related issues.

American Cancer Society: Be sure to pick up the free literature that may help save your life. Forms will be available for those needing monetary assistance to obtain a mammogram and other assistance.

Vial for Life: The vials handed out could save your life. Use the vial to store a list of the medications you are taking. Should an emergency arise the list could save your life.

CPR/First Aid: Information and practice we all should have at our command in an emergency.

Veterans' services: Special information for special people.

Archuleta County Senior Services: Get the latest about what is offered to seniors at the Silver Foxes Den.

Sisson Library: A valuable community resource; learn what is available to you.

Southwest Center for Independence: We all want to remain self-sufficient as long as possible. Find our how to achieve that goal here.

Hospice: Learn about a resource in our community that is set up to make our final days as comfortable as possible.

Organ donor awareness: Perhaps you think it a good idea to donate organs. Get more information here.

Multiple Sclerosis: Get information about a disease that strikes many.

Colorado State Patrol: Experience the effects of alcohol on your perception in a safe environment.

Area Agency on Aging: It is either happening or will happen to all of us. There is no escape, from aging, so learn to do it gracefully.

Pagosa Fire Protection District: Information about an organization we depend on for our safety.

Colorado State Extension Service: All kinds of valuable information available here.

Medicare counseling: For all those questions you have. Don't wait on the phone; ask them here.

Screenings are not a substitute for a physical examination.

No diagnoses are allowed at any 9Health Fair.


Planning talent

Dear Editor:

We seem to frequently miss opportunities to praise county employees who labor on our behalf. May I share my recent letter to the board of county commissioners with your readers? The content follows:

I want to let you know what a remarkable person I think Marcus Baker is. In my opinion, we are quite fortunate to have him as a planning technician in Archuleta County.

I just attended his presentation to the planning commissioners on "re-visioning" the community plan, and, as always, I was so impressed with his abilities. Marcus is a very mature young man who is wonderfully talented in making presentations. He is extremely articulate. He's a great listener with a lot of patience, and he uses these qualities to advantage to bring understanding to the issues.

The community planning process is bound to meet with success with Marcus leading the implementation team. I am pleased with the committee's effort and believe we are on the right track. I urge your support for the model presented this week and look forward to the details, as they unfold.

Marcus deserves acknowledge-ment for his diligent performance of duties. I hope this letter of appreciation helps serve that purpose.


Karen L. Aspin

Another paraplegic

Dear Editor:

In response to Tom Kyle's Letter, "Saddam Sharon?", I think he should have been a little more informative in one of his statements. He talked about a "paraplegic religious leader" and five others who were killed by an Israeli rocket, and badmouthed the U.S. for refusing to condemn Sharon's "cowardly attack."

I assume his use of the word "paraplegic" religious leader is supposed to stir up sympathy on this man's behalf.

Let's see exactly who this "religious leader" was. His name was Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and he was the spiritual leader of a terrorist group called Hamas. His group has publicly claimed responsibility for the murder of not only hundreds of innocent Israelis, but Muslims also. Just because a man's legs don't work doesn't mean that his heart cannot hate with a passion that is hard to contemplate.

Want to hear another wheelchair story that should stir up some sympathy? This one unfolded on Oct. 7, 1985, on an Italian Cruise Ship called the Achille Lauro on the Mediterranean Sea. Some Palestinian Liberation Organization thugs hijacked the ship and terrorized 400 passengers and crew members for two days. They murdered, execution style, a 69-year-old paraplegic gentleman by the name of Leon Klinghoffer and rolled his body, still strapped in his wheelchair, over the side of the ship.

What did he do to deserve this? Nothing more than being a Jewish American, emphasis on Jewish!

I watched in horror last week on NBC Nightly News, a 16-year-old being successfully talked out of blowing himself up in order to kill some Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint. This boy is only five years older than my grandson, who still believes in the Tooth Fairy. The boy said he had been promised martyrdom, Heaven, and 70 virgins for eternity, by fanatical "religious leaders" like Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

I sincerely hope that when all the martyred suicide bombers arrive at The Pearly Gates, they find out that Saint Peter has been replaced by George Washington, and those 70 virgins turn out to be 70 butt-kicking Virginians.

Roy K. Boutwell

Added to list

Dear Editor:

 I believe it was during the December board meeting of the Health Services District that Executive Director Dee Jackson was appointed the designated election official to run the May 4 district election. In the same motion she was instructed to select her election judges from a list of approved judges to be provided by County Clerk June Madrid.

 During the March 25 board meeting, I asked for the names of the judges, only two of the four names were from June's list. The others were names of the husband of a director and of a party who has done contract work for the district.

 Another member of the audience reminded the board members that the names were to be from June's list. Ms. Jackson's response was, "I added a couple of names." Not one member of the board spoke up to remind Ms. Jackson that she was in violation of the motion. Isn't that interesting?

 Think about it for a minute.


 Pat Curtis

Not too late

Dear Editor:

I wasn't at the scoping meeting because it took place during the busiest part of spring break and I had to work. I heard there was a dominant attitude against the proposed "Village at Wolf Creek’" but many left saying, "It's a done deal, there's nothing we can do about it."

Exactly what Texas developer Bob Honts, partner of billionaire Red McCombs, would have us believe!

Reviewing a video of the meeting, Mr. Honts' outstanding career in town planning and urban development is obvious; he knows the laws and how to get around them, but he does not know the value of the wilderness.

A representative of Tetra-Tech (performing the EIS) reminded us of the NEPA law, passed in 1971, to determine feasibility of development, through the essential knowledge of local residents. He reiterated how extremely important are our written comments before April 15. (Stephen Brigham, NEPA Coordinator USDA-FS, Rio Grande NF, Divide Ranger District, 13308 West Hwy 160, Del Norte, CO 81132. E-mail: sbrigham@fs.fed.us, or fax (719) 657-6035).

Critical issues may very well stand in the way of this development, such as the obvious: water, desecration of lush wetland meadows, alpine creeks, unspoiled backcountry, and one of the most critical wildlife corridors in the Southern Rockies. See www.friends ofwolfcreek.org.

This affects an entire watershed, ecosystem and communities built on hard work and respect for the wilderness.

But another point: the initial land exchange states that any development must be compatible with Wolf Creek Ski Area and NF, as well as economically supporting surrounding communities. Wolf Creek has carved out a unique niche among ski areas, as an unparalleled wilderness experience. Herein lies the essence of its inestimable value; such development would mean the end of untracked powder on remote terrain. With a development of 8,500 people (more than Pagosa) businesses in Pagosa and the San Luis Valley would suffer perhaps to their demise.

Such is the epitome of unsustainable development. Often such ski villages are utilized below capacity (i.e. Cuchara developed by Red McCombs); a quick buck made by the developer, unbalancing local economies while leaving an irreparable scar on a pristine landscape.

Will we act in our own behalf and that of future generations? If not us, who? If not now, when? Are we wiser than when great buffalo herds were massacred? Often those who don't live in the wilderness don't comprehend its delicate balance. Let us protect that which can only speak through silent beauty and the magic it puts in our hearts.

Cary Ellis

Epidemic seen

Dear Editor:

Summer is coming and we are expecting to see the reemergence of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus. This disease first appeared in the United States in 1999 and has rapidly spread throughout the country.

It arrived in Pagosa Springs last fall, and this year is predicted to be far worse. Last fall our hospital saw eight positive equine cases. Some of the horses were mildly affected, but five cases were severe enough that the horses could not get up and four of those eventually had to be euthanized.

The disease is most prevalent in late summer, but the time to start prevention is now.

Horses are particularly susceptible to the disease, with a death rate of over 30 percent. The clinical signs include lethargy, weakness, incoordination, and paralysis. The average duration of the disease can last several weeks and can be very costly to treat, depending on the severity in that animal. We now know some horses that survive the disease have lifelong damage to their nervous system and never fully recover.

A vaccine was developed for horses several years ago. It is proving to have a lot of success in preventing the disease, but it must be given well in advance of the mosquito season. If your horse has not received any WNV vaccine in the past, we are recommending a series of two vaccines, three weeks apart this spring. If your horse had the WNV vaccine last year, you need to booster them now. Because we expect this year to be the most deadly year, it is recommended all horses be boostered again in midsummer.

Horses are not the only species of animal to come down with this deadly disease. Dogs, Camelids and many other species have been diagnosed with the disease, but the susceptibility and the severity is much reduced. Since there is no vaccine for other animals, the best protection is mosquito control programs including repellants and larvicides to decrease mosquito populations.

Repellants such as DEET should be applied to exposed skin especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are out. Dogs can be given a product called Advantix which protects them from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Horses should be sprayed with insect repellant. To eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, standing water should be drained if possible. Lagoons and septic tanks can be treated with larvicides such as Bti dunks or other approved products which can be purchased at feed stores and hardware stores locally.

San Juan Veterinary Hospital will host an information meeting for anyone interested in obtaining more information about the disease and its prevention at 6:30 p.m. April 7 at 2197 E. U.S. 160.

For more information about the disease, the meeting, or to schedule an appointment, call 264-2629.

Have a great summer and "Fight the Bite."

Kitzel A. Farrah

Wreck ahead

A person is either a Christian, a Jew, or headed for a wreck with prophecy.

John Feazel

A better solution

Dear Editor:

I have lived in Pagosa Springs since 1978 and have never written a letter to the editor. Until now. After reading Tom Kyle's letter "Saddam Sharon?" I was appalled by Mr. Kyle's apparent lack of understanding of the facts surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I am a supporter of Israel's right to exist in a peaceable and secure environment. This does not mean however that I agree with all of Mr. Sharon's policies on how best to achieve this. But, unlike you, Mr. Kyle, my indignation cuts both ways.

Look at a map of the Middle East. See that tiny speck of land called Israel? Now look at the rest of the Middle East including North Africa and Iran. Israel, with its 5 million or so people, faces a hostile population of at least 10 times that number who occupy at least 50 times the land area. They would like nothing better than to "drive Israel into the sea." Add to that the fact that this hatred of Israel has existed since 1948.

Would that scare you if you lived in a similar situation Mr. Kyle? Would that force you to use any means possible to ensure your very survival? That poor, paraplegic religious leader whose killing you are so indignant at: Do you know that he was the founder of Hamas, a terrorist organization recognized by the United States and other nations as such in the same way as is al-Qaeda?

It was this man's incitement to violence in the name of Allah and with his tacit approval that hundreds of innocent men, women and children have been murdered and maimed for life by suicide bombers, some as young as the boy captured at an Israeli military checkpoint last week carrying a vest full of explosives as witnessed by a CNN film crew.

Did you know that it is common practice by Palestinian militants to place explosives workshops near schools and mosques to shield them from attacks and to enlist children to act as scouts for suicide bombers and as human shields for gunmen when attacking Israeli positions as photographed by the Reuters News Agency earlier this year?

Where is your indignation about these facts? Would you be indignant if a U.S. Army helicopter fired a rocket into the hole Osama bin Laden is hiding in?

This by no means excuses Israel's killing of innocent civilians when pursuing these murderers. But unfortunately, that is the nature of war. Its brutal, its violent, its ugly and innocent people do die.

Israel has always been willing to negotiate for a just and lasting peace. But who do they negotiate with? Terrorists?

Learn the true facts Mr. Kyle and then you might be able to offer a better solution to this tragedy than a misinformed letter to the editor.

Howard Gross

Untruths spewed

Dear Editor:

I sit here, shaking my head in amazement and disbelief, as I remember the discussions during the health services district board meeting March 25. The untruths that spewed from the mouths of certain district officials, especially after written fact and first-hand information came to light, are beyond unconscionable!

What is laughable is that some of the officials acted clueless and blameless when addressing a particular issue with an employee of the district. They denied the truth saying it's false and the employee was misinformed even when the employee has impartial and honest witnesses who can testify to the actual events and information.

They even insist that a professional publication, and the Colorado Medical Board, are wrong about an important issue concerning one of their doctors.

The community is not stupid. When those of us who know the right questions ask them, we get smoke screen answers, hemming and hawing and then an off-hand sarcastic answer. Sometimes their answers are so far from the truth it causes everyone to laugh out loud. Then the chairman has the audacity to ask the audience what is so funny.

Now that many people are informed of the many wrongdoings and administrative mistakes being made and are also asking questions, they only seem capable of giving untruths and administrative false interpretations of fact and truth.

They tell the citizens during meetings we "don't matter" that we are "misinformed" and "rumor spreaders." They also felt the need to order the former employees last year and the new employees this year to not talk about district business or spread rumors. Well, let me turn this around. Stop spreading the fertilizer and then trying to convince us that it's sweet smelling flowers. If you haven't noticed, it stinks and we're not impressed.

Start taking responsibility for your mistakes. Admit to covering up the truth, blaming others for your mistakes, and stop interpreting everything to your convenience to help cover up your shortfalls in fulfilling your jobs. Stop micro-managing the entire district and own up to the fact you have failed in fulfilling the job you were hired and nominated for. Your policies and "transition" have failed. The full truth will come out, too many people are aware now, and you can't stop it.

This election next month is so very important. Please fill out every ballot and get them mailed in ASAP. We need each and every one of you to make a statement with your ballot about how we want things done and how we do not want things done in Archuleta County. This community embarrassment is not how we do things here.

Joyce Little

Elect professionals

Dear Editor:

As the time nears to elect members to the board of the Upper San Juan Health District, I urge the citizens of Archuleta County to elect healthcare professionals to the board.

They provide an important balance to the others who possess business management skills when making decisions for future services.

As a former obstetrical/newborn nurse with 12 years of experience, I read with interest in the proposal of creating a birthing center. This proposal while attractive to childbearing couples is impractical in this setting and provides false hope to the families. To provide the optimum care to mother and baby, a surgically certified provider (obstetrician) has to be available for each birth, an operating crew on standby, and all parties trained in advanced cardiac life support and neonatal resuscitation.

I have seen low-risk deliveries become high-risk in an instant due to complications suffered by the mother such as uterine rupture, or umbilical cord accidents in the newborn. The standards of care for this field require the delivery of an infant within 15 minutes for emergencies.

I've lived in other small communities (population 20,000) where the obstetrical units were closed because it was too expensive to keep them open with doctors, nurses, and ancillary staff on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, the expense of necessary equipment is cost-prohibitive.

Had healthcare providers been consulted, this proposal would never have been considered due to requirements for safe obstetrical practice. So, when you choose your candidates please remember to include healthcare providers to balance the board and enable them to make the best decisions for this county.

Linda Mozer

Woeful effort

Dear Editor:

The real eye opener from the 9/11 Commission hearings is the realization that for 20 years our government's collective intelligence effort has been woefully ineffective protecting U.S. citizens from attack on their own soil and elsewhere in the world.

CIA Director Tenet testified that an impenetrable barrier exists between the CIA and FBI with respect to sharing intelligence.

Laws on the books and operational rules restricting interagency sharing of intelligence date back 30 years to the Church Committee reports. It is a different world than in 1973 when the committee convened. Many restrictions became obstructions as far back as the Reagan administration; and events leading up to 9/11 demonstrate our enemies have known how to exploit our bureaucratic inflexibility at least since the Beirut suicide bombings in 1983.

We face a persistent organizational problem rather than an intelligence problem. Domestic security will continue to elude us if our intelligence agencies are not working arm-in-arm to provide for the common defense, a basic function of federal government.

What about Richard Clarke's testimony? The recent poll by the Pew Research Center showed 9 of 10 Americans had heard of Richard Clarke. But whatever Clarke specifically did or did not do on the job is already diminished in importance. Whether or not there is an element of self-promotion on Clarke's part is also unimportant. Undoubtedly Mr. Clarke and his book will fade quickly into history, but there is now a clear picture emerging of an intelligence-gathering apparatus characterized by its obsolescence.

Perhaps, as Secretary Rumsfeld said, none of Clarke's recommendations for combating al-Qaida in Afghanistan could have prevented 9/11 because the perpetrators were already in the country planning their deed. That merely begs the question of the lack of intelligence that permitted the terrorists to enter the country and set up shop in the first place.

Clarke's testimony must have hit a raw nerve. The Bush Administration is in full damage control mode, lashing out at Clarke, attempting to impugn character and credibility.

As the president's personal representative, NSA Rice is in an untenable position: she is aggressively attacking Clarke's veracity while virtually admitting to having given no hearing to his insistent warnings about the threat posed by al-Qaida.

Predictably, Democrats are relishing the latest troubles to befall their political foes. And, not surprisingly, the well being of Americans is again all but ignored while priority on both sides is given to a political fencing match.

For those interested in laying blame, there is certainly enough to spread around among four administrations over a span of 20 years. The fact is, however, 9/11 occurred on this president's watch, and Americans have only this president to look to for protection against future attacks.

FBI Director Mueller trumpets warnings about an election year terrorist attack, and Tenet is adamant about the certainty of future terrorism. But we now know that they are not talking to each other about it.

Mr. President force yourself to rise up above the political fray and lead us to safety.

Henry J. Silver

Economic foe

Dear Editor:

I am opposed to the Village at Wolf Creek for several reasons: environmental, logistical, aesthetic and economic. The purpose of this letter is to address the economic reason.

While it is true this development will increase employment in the construction and service industries, the development will also bring associated costs. The development sits entirely in Mineral County, and that county will receive all of the property, sales and use taxes associated with the development.

Most of the employees of the development will live in either Archuleta or Rio Grande counties. These counties will be expected to provide schools, fire and police protection, basic health coverage and other necessary county services. Archuleta and Rio Grande counties will have to pay for these services by increasing taxes on the people living here rather than depending upon the development to contribute to the tax base.

The residents of Archuleta and Rio Grande counties need to seriously weigh these real costs against the dubious benefits of the Village at Wolf Creek. Contact the Divide Ranger District of the Rio Grande National Forest with your concerns about this development.


Lynnis Steinert

A caring man

Dear Editor:

I hope some of you will remember a man you once knew. A person who always said hello or Good day Sir or Ma'am.

I/we sometimes did not understand Morris, so let me clarify some.

I knew a man who loved life, but more than that, loved his fellow man. I never met someone who helped another human no matter what the circumstance.

You see, Morris didn't care about material things, about cars, boats, houses, money. He cared about feelings, about yours and ours. A special being with a soul you and I may not see in another very, very long while.

I myself have been truly honored to know Morris Gheen and to have celebrated life together. I will not forget Morris Gheen for a long, long time.

Russ Williams

Community News

Kate's Calendar

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist


Bingo at the American Legion Building on Hermosa Street next to the gazebo in Town Park. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the game starts at 7. Free coffee. The building is smoke free. Bingo games are held on first, third and fifth Thursdays.


The Ladies in Wading, Pagosa Springs Flyfishers meets at 6 p.m. for a program on entomology, basic knots and reading water. Anyone needing information about meeting locations should call Jody Cromwell at 731-4166.


Monthly meeting of the San Juan Outdoor Club at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. Social time starts at 6:30 p.m. followed by the meeting at 7. The program will feature Jim Knoll M.D. speaking on "Better Healthcare for People who Heartily Use and Enjoy the Outdoors." For information about the club and its activities, contact Glenn Van Patter at 731-4795.


Tickets are now on sale at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center for this summer's three Music in the Mountains classical music concerts Friday evenings at 7 p.m. at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs. July 23 features pianist Aviram Reichert. Performances by pianists Antonio Pompa-Baldi and his wife Emanuela Friscioni are set for July 30 and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott and violinist Philippe Quint will perform Aug. 6. All concerts are $35, the same price as last summer.

April 3

The Chimney Rock Interpretive Alliance will hold an open house 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Parish Hall. This association is locally administered. It used to be part of the San Juan Mountain Association. Volunteers will be present to tell people about Chimney Rock projects and events. Refreshments will be served.

April 3

9Health Fair, 8 a.m.-noon at Pagosa Springs High School.

April 4

Palm Sunday

April 4

Boy Scout Troop 807's annual pancake and sausage breakfast fund-raiser, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors, $4 for children 12 and under. Children under 5 are free. Proceeds from the breakfast go to pay for camp and summer activities. For more information, call Scoutmaster Dave Schaefer, 731-3832.

April 4

Pagosa Area Singles will meet for dinner at 6 p.m. at the Hog's Breath. All singles age 35 and over are welcome. RSVP at 731-2445.

April 5

Passover begins at sundown to be observed until April 13.

April 8

The Newcomer Club will be meeting at JJ's Upstream at 6 p.m. The cost is $7 per person. Reservations are not necessary. All newcomers are most welcome. For more information, please call Lyn DeLange, 731-2398. Something new: Win Pagosa Perks.

April 8

The Mountain View Homemakers will meet with Joan Guckert who lives at 51 Pineview Drive. Directions: South on U.S. 84 to Continental Estates, left on Easy Street approximately 1/2 mile to 51 Pineview (on right). Mary K. Carpenter will give the program on Rio Blanco Nursery. Members will be carpooled to the nursery following the luncheon.

April 9

Good Friday and no school. There is no school April 12.

April 9

The Instep Dance Club will meet at the Vista Clubhouse, 7-9 p.m. Call Deb Aspen 731-3338 for more information. The Rhumba is the featured dance. Dues are $20 single and $30 couple.

April 11

The Archuleta County Genealogical Society will meet at 2:30 p.m. at Sisson Library.

April 11

Easter Sunday

Senior News

'Bugs and the Drought' program slated Friday

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

As we mentioned last week, Glen Raby will be here Friday to present "Bugs and the Drought."

Bugs are susceptible to climatic changes and Glen will tell us what might happen to local insects this summer if it continues to be dry. Glen's talks are always popular, so come in at 12:45 p.m. and see why.

We will also have Patty Tillerson here at 11 a.m. Friday to check blood pressures.

And at 1 p.m. Friday our senior board meets in our dining room.

Don't forget to come visit us at the health fair. Musetta and I will be at our usual table and will have a lot of information and some freebies to hand out. Patty Stewart, our SHIPS counselor (Medicare Counselor) Barbara Scoville, ombudsman from Area Agency on Aging will also be there. Handouts on fall prevention and more will be given out.

For everyone who is interested in what goes on at our senior board meetings but cannot attend, we will have a board meeting update at 11:45 a.m. April 5.

Don't forget that Bev Brown comes every Tuesday to give massages to our seniors 11 a.m.-1 p.m. She has been quite popular, come in and find out why.

If you want to go to Durango and "shop till you drop," then sign up in our lounge. We will be going April 8 and the suggested donation for seniors is $10.

Bear in mind that we will be celebrating spring April 9. Our center will close at 1 p.m., but before that we are hoping everyone will come in wearing a spring hat, (or at least bright colors) to celebrate a new season. Show off your beautiful chapeaus!

Old George remembers

"Do you remember barn dances? When I was young our entertainment was very different from today. Nearly all of the nearby farms in my hometown had big barns. I think they were intended to be large enough to have a barn dance occasionally. When baled hay is stored in the loft of a barn, and especially if it is moved frequently, the floor of the loft becomes slippery, which makes a very good dance floor.

"That was how the barn dance started - with a nice dance floor upstairs in the hay loft. Square dancing was the dance done most often. Music was provided by local musicians and anyone who played a musical instrument could join in.

"There were also many dance halls all over the Denver area. Young people spent Saturday nights meeting, socializing and having fun dancing. The local bands were wonderful. Some, like Paul Whiteman, went on to New York and became famous. Dance halls at Elitch's and Lakeside brought in many famous bands like Wayne King, and Lawrence Welk.

"Dancing was great way to meet the girl of your dreams and many of us went on to become married partners as well and dance partners. It sure beat watching television like we do today!"

Classes and projects

Are you interested in taking a watercolor class? We have a teacher, now we need students. You will provide your own materials. Let me know at the senior center and we'll see if we can get a class started.

Another project we might get started: Every April, people get together to paint a chair for auction to benefit the American Cancer Society. If one of our seniors would donate a sturdy wooden chair, perhaps a group would like to paint it up for auction. These chairs will be displayed in different businesses around town, and if our talented seniors can paint up a beautiful chair, it will be sure to sell. Anyone interested in helping with this? Call Laura at the center.

We are also 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.

Another great way to volunteer is to deliver home delivered meals. A lunch meal is delivered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday year-round to our home- bound folks.

Volunteers must have a vehicle and be willing to dedicate approximately an hour and a half on a chosen day. We welcome all volunteers including businesses. Perhaps your business would like to sponsor one day a week? Training will begin in June with routes beginning in July. A background check is required for all volunteers.

Call or stop by the senior center for more information, we look forward to hearing from you!


Friday - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; MicroSoft Word, 10:30; blood pressure check, 11; "Bugs and the Drought," 12:45 p.m.; senior board meeting, 1 p.m.

April 3 - See us at the 9Health Fair

April 5 - Tai Chi Chih, 10 a.m.; Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; senior board update, 11:45; bridge for fun, 1 p.m.

April 6 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; advanced computer, 10:30; massage, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

April 7 - Beginning computer, 10:30 a.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.

April 8 - Durango trip

April 9 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; MicroSoft Word, 10:30; celebrate spring - wear a colorful hat, noon; center closes, 1 p.m.


Friday - Cubed Steak, boiled potato, gravy, spinach, whole wheat roll and plums

April 5 - Roast turkey, mashed potato, gravy, mixed veggies, whole wheat roll and pears

April 6 - Rice and beans with sausage, broccoli spears, corn bread, and cherry cobbler

April 7- Lasagna, Capri vegetable blend, tossed salad, bread sticks and banana pudding

April 9 - Baked salmon, pickled beets, pea salad with vegetables, whole wheat roll and fruited Jello

Chamber News

A full weekend of things to do - Pagosa-style

By Sally Hamiester

SUN Columnist

Hope you're geared up for a very busy weekend because you have a few things to attend and the 9Health Fair should be at the top of that list.

The fair begins at 8 a.m. Saturday and will continue until noon in the high school commons area. I have always been astonished at the results uncovered thanks to the screenings performed at the fair. A number of friends have discovered they need to pay attention to a condition they might not otherwise have been aware of as a result of these screenings. Do yourself a big favor and plan to attend the 9Health Fair. If you have questions, call 731-0666 or 264-6300.

2004 Home Show

When you have finished the screening rounds at the Health Fair, you can treat yourself to the 2004 annual Home Show presented by the Builders' Association of Pagosa Springs at the Fairgrounds.

This event will take place 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Not only will you be able to gather lots of information and inspiration for your spring/summer home projects, but you will have the opportunity to win a hot tub or a brand new Dell computer.

This is always a marvelous event where you can see all your friends and neighbors and learn ever so much about services and products that are so plentiful here in Pagosa. Call Steve Schwartz at 731-9168 if you have questions.

Open house

My good friend, Dahrl Henley, was kind enough to give me information about the Chimney Rock Open House at Parish Hall 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. This would be a good place to visit after the health fair and before the Home Show because you will be able to partake of refreshments while you learn about Chimney Rock activities and their new association.

There will be information available to you concerning the next couple of years and the fascinating things taking place at Chimney Rock like the Lunar Standstill and other astro-archeological happenings. Guest speakers who are Chimney Rock experts (I'm guessing Glen Raby will be among that esoteric group) will be on hand at absolutely no charge to you.

Join the Chimney Rock gang Saturday at Parish Hall or call 731-9411 for more information. Dahrl also wanted me to mention that since the association will now be local, we will all benefit because they intend to "Shop Pagosa First" whenever possible.

Advertising space

We now have only one 8 1/2 x 11 horizontal space available in the Visitor Center reader board display case. This is a dandy advertising opportunity that will cost you only $50 a year. Since there are in excess of 40,000 visitors coming through our doors each year, your ad is sure to be seen by thousands of eyes. If you are interested, please give us a call at 264-2360.

Also left is one brochure space in the Pagosa Springs display at the La Plata County Airport. We have a beautiful lighted display there located right across from the baggage claim area and right next to the Avis Rental Car booth. There are six spaces available and all have been claimed but one. The price for participation in this display is $50 per month, and the Chamber pays all the quarterly invoices and invoices the other investors. If you are interested in this opportunity, please give us a call at 264-2360.

Ross tournament

I certainly hope you have assembled your team and submitted your $100 deposit to participate in the ninth annual Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament to be held on April 15-18 here in Pagosa. The proceeds from this terrific event will go to a scholarship fund to benefit local youths of Pagosa and Ignacio. College competition is expected along with quality referees and a special memorial presentation.

There will be the three divisions: Open, 6 Feet and Under and 35 and Over with a $200 fee per team. Prizes will be awarded to first, second, third and fourth place teams, an All-Tournament Team, Tournament MVP, Mr. Defense, Mr. Hustle, Slam-Dunk Contest, 3-Point Shootout and many door prizes.

For more information on this popular Pagosa event, call Troy Ross at 264-5265.

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 HS folks 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.

5-ring circus

Wow, when was the last time you attended a circus? I have scratched my head and am pretty sure I was living in New York around 1960 when I was last under a big top. April 15, you will have the opportunity to attend the Carson & Barnes 5-Ring Circus right here in Pagosa Springs for either a 4:30 or 7:30 p.m. show with acrobats, clowns, trapeze artists and performing elephants, lions, camels, dogs and horses.

Performers from around the world will be there as well as "Jennie" the star baby elephant. If you would like, you are invited to come early in the day between 8 and 10 a.m. to watch the elephants raise the Big Top and see the circus come alive.

Advance tickets (must be purchased before April 15) for this event are available on the west side of Pagosa at the Shell Station, Bank of Colorado, Shang Hai Restaurant, The Corner Store and Wells Fargo Bank. In town you can purchase tickets at Citizens Bank, Vectra Bank, Chamber of Commerce, Bank of the San Juans and the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Box office prices will be $14 and $7, so obviously you will save a considerable amount of dough by buying your tickets in advance. The circus will take place on Hot Springs Boulevard in the field between the Bank of the San Juans and the Community Center.

Music in the Mountains

Even though today is April Fool's Day, only the very clever will know to come by the Chamber and purchase tickets for the three Music in the Mountains classical concerts to be presented in Pagosa Springs this summer in July and August. All three concerts will take place at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 East thanks to the wonderful generosity of BootJack owners, Dave and Carol Brown.

Music will begin on these three Friday evenings at 7 p.m. and tickets are the same price they were last summer, $35 per person. I will caution you that last summer's performances sold out quite quickly, so I would strongly encourage you to purchase your tickets early on.

On July 23, a real Pagosa favorite, pianist Aviram Reichert will perform the works of Schumann with several members of the Dallas and Baltimore symphonies. Another crowd-pleaser, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, will appear July 30 with a solo performance and a performance with his wife, Emanuela Friscioni, an award-winner in her own right. On Aug. 6, we will welcome Anne-Marie McDermott on piano and Philippe Quint on violin playing Martinu's Madrigals and Brahms' Piano Quintet.

If you would like to get on the mailing list for these and all future Music in the Mountains events, please call 385-6820 and specify that you want to be on the Pagosa Springs mailing list.


We're happy to introduce three new members this week and 15 renewals. We consider these introductions among the more pleasant tasks we perform here at the Chamber and always will.

Melissa Rodgers joins us first with Stamp with Mel working out of a home office. Melissa teaches creative ways of making greeting cards, gift bags, gift tags, home décor and scrapbooking using rubber stamps. To learn more about this truly unique business, please give Melissa a call at 731-0511 or check her Web site at Melissarodgers@stampinup.net. Sincere thanks to our official Chamber Recruiting Queen, Kathryn Heilhecker, for scoring yet another Chamber member for us and adding yet another free SunDowner pass to her formidable collection.

Edwin Raymond joins us with another business, Raymond Custom Maps with offices in his home. Map-making is a skill Ed acquired many years ago and has thankfully decided to revisit the endeavor. He creates customized maps for cities and counties that are great for realtors, Chambers of Commerce and retailers. Super detail and accuracy are Ed's specialties, and he would be happy to answer any questions you might have at 731-6729.

Our third new member this week is J.P. Rappenecker who brings us The House of Muskets located at 120 N. Pagosa Blvd. J.P. is a wholesaler of muzzle loading firearms and accessories and also produces a gorgeous catalog of all his wares. To check out his amazing inventory, you can call locally at 731-2295 or on the Web at www.houseofmuskets.com. We thank Barbara Blackburn of Blackburn's Business Bureau for recruiting J.P. to Chamber membership and will cheerfully send off a SunDowner pass with our gratitude.

Our renewals this week include Mary Mingis with Parelli Natural Horsemanship; Denise Rue-Pastin with Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; Valerie Green with Canyon Crest Lodge; Sandra L. Foster with MJM Ranches Land and Marketing, LLC; Dawn Ross with Buckskin Towing and Repair; Jan Beasley with Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County; Marcia Wakefield with Copper Coin Liquor Store; Blasé Dragna with Aspen Springs Realty II; Peter Dach with Pagosa Bar, Inc., Peter Dach Professional Bail Bonds and Silver Dollar Liquor located (we love three businesses, Peter); Jim Askins with Fairway Mortgage ; Kathi DeClark with United Way of S.W. Colorado; and Claudia and Gary Weger with Associate Member renewals with Galles Fine Properties. We are grateful to each and every one.


Library News

Indoor garage sale a success, thanks to volunteers

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

Thanks to everyone who came to our spring happening - our indoor garage sale.

The building fund grew by close to $900 and a good time was had by almost all.

Special thanks to Frank Martinez and his helpers who put up the tables and chairs.

Sharee Grazda, Maureen Covell, Donna Geiger, Barbara Draper, Kris Embree, Gil and David Bright continue to be our guardian angels. We could not pull this off without them.

Thanks to Archuleta County for providing the facility for our library affairs.

New genealogy program

The library houses an excellent genealogy section. It is quite extensive for a library this small.

People interested in the subject might want to call Dan Senjem, president of the Archuleta County Genealogy Society, at 264-6540. The society meets at the library on the second Sunday of each month at 2:30 p.m.

I was trying to find microfilm of a very early Pagosa newspaper and Peg Cooper told me there is a Web site - familyhistory.org - that might have some of the earliest ones.

This is a free site that has many interesting search possibilities. It is run by the Mormon Church.

Anyone interested in searching for family history should visit this site.

Health related Web sites

Lynne Fox, librarian at the CU Medical Library recommends some of the health related free full text sites that we use.

If you would like a copy of the latest list, ask at the desk.

New program

The "CMP - Captioned Media Program," from the National Association of the Deaf, is now available in Colorado.

CMP is a free lending library funded by the U.S. Department of Education. There are over 4,000 titles on a variety of subjects.

Videos or DVDs are "open-captioned," meaning they will display the text (English text and some Spanish) with any TV/VCR or DVD player. No special equipment is necessary.

These materials are freely lent to deaf or hard-of-hearing Americans, their parents, families, teachers, counselors or others whose use of our collection would benefit a deaf or hard-of-hearing person. The captioned videos may be kept up to one week and returned. Postage is free both ways.

You may register for this wonderful, free program at the Web site cfv.org. If you do not have access to the Internet, call CMP at (800)237-6213 or Janet Rose at (719) 578-2206. If you would like a paper copy of this information, ask at the desk.

The subjects are varied - both educational and general-interest including movies. Janet Rose manages the library at the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind in Colorado Springs. Janet tells us that more than 28 million Americans have hearing loss. Captioned Media augments the Book on Tape for the Blind.

We trust the federal funding for these two important programs will continue. If these programs are important to you, please let your elected officials know.

Mountain Express

A list of the stop locations and times of our local public transportation company, Mountain Express will be on the bulletin board. The bus runs Monday through Saturday and costs 50 cents a ride.

One can ride from all over downtown to Aspen Springs and back with stops along the way. Truly a bargain.


Building fund donations came from Don and Ethel Rasnic in memory of Wilma Morrison and Gene Schick. Other donations came from Community United Methodist Church Supper Fellowship, Peter and Jacqueline Welch, Donna Faye Hallford, Shirley and John Snider, and Anne Grad in memory of Mary Saunders.


Veteran's Corner

CHAMPVA application deadline extended

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

Don't forget the 9Health Fair Saturday in the high school, 8 a.m.-noon. I will be there to meet Archuleta County veterans and help them with any questions or benefit applications.

If I don't have a file in the office for you, please bring your DD214 with you for reference information.

I received some recent news regarding remarried spouses of deceased veterans with 100 percent service-connected disabilities. New extended deadlines for filing for CHAMPVA benefits now apply to remarried spouses under certain criteria.

CHAMPVA benefits

A new extended CHAMPVA benefit deadline will allow more time for some remarried surviving spouses of veterans to seek health care insurance under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This extension will allow VA to provide health care benefits to more widows and widowers of veterans. This is another illustration of VA's long-term commitment, not only to veterans, but also to their surviving family members.

Remarried spouses

The extension applies to CHAMPVA-eligible spouses who remarry after a veteran's death. The surviving husband or wife lost access to CHAMPVA benefits if they remarried before their 55th birthday and before Feb. 4, 2003.

Under rules announced last March, those survivors had until Feb. 4, this year, to apply for reinstatement of their CHAMPVA coverage. This announcement gives them until Dec. 16 to apply for reinstatement.

To be eligible for CHAMPVA, people must be family members of veterans who have a permanent and total service-connected disability, who died of a service-connected condition or who were totally disabled from a service-connected condition at the time of death.

Most health care covered

In general, CHAMPVA covers most health care services and supplies that are medically and psychologically necessary.

People who want an application for this benefit or more information can contact VA's Health Administration Center at (800)733-8387.

Surviving spouses who remarry at a younger age and lose their CHAMPVA benefits can have these benefits restored if their later marriage is annulled or ends due to death or divorce. Similarly, widows or widowers of any age who lost benefits under VA's Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program due to remarriage are eligible for reinstatement of monthly DIC payments if their subsequent marriage ends.

May be overlooked

This restoration policy has been in effect since 1998, but VA officials are concerned widows or widowers may overlook this benefit if a subsequent marriage ends years later. VA's average payment to surviving spouses is about $12,720, including adjustments for minor children, survivors who are housebound or who need a home aide, and other factors.

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

Arts Consortium bringing party to people in Pagosa

By Leanne Goebel

PREVIEW Columnist

For 20 years, the Colorado Arts Consortium has coordinated an annual statewide conference bringing together arts organizations for skill building, technical assistance and networking opportunities.

In 2004 the Consortium is bringing the party to the people by hosting an Art pArty in four regions of the state.

The Consortium will partner with numerous organizations to provide experts and speakers on issues relevant to arts organizations in each region. Some possible ideas include: Volunteer development, legal advice on copyright, licensing and liability, data gathering and statistical analysis, creative fund-raising and funding opportunities, educating the public on the history of arts and crafts and the psychology and spirituality of art, a voice workshop, how to write press releases, business writing, and working with the media.

The Pagosa Springs Art pArty will be a one- or two-day event and include an Arts Day luncheon which is an informal opportunity for legislators, art advocates and members of the community to get to know each other.

Contact Leanne at 731-1841 for more information or to make recommendations or suggestions.

When the Colorado Arts Consortium incorporated as a nonprofit agency in 1983, there were 36 local arts councils in the state; today there are almost 90. There are a growing number of independent arts organizations, as well as new community, state and federal agencies, such as the Forest Service, that are now operating arts programs.

Not only have the number and origin of arts organizations changed, so has Colorado's population and demographics. Many communities are faced with growth and cultural issues that directly affect their school districts, social service needs and economic conditions.

With these dynamic changes taking place all over the state, arts organizations are finding themselves playing new roles. They are developing partnerships with schools, government and health care agencies. With these new partnerships comes the need for new information and education on how to integrate their arts into local community development plans, youth programs, arts education, tourism and cultural heritage.

These new roles then become new areas of needed technical assistance for arts organizations. With a network of regional representatives and a quarterly electronic newsletter the Consortium helps to strengthen the statewide arts nonprofit sector by generating new ideas and overcoming barriers via sharing information and resources, training volunteers and board members, and promoting effective planning and development.

Musicians wanted

KREV-LP 104.7 in Estes Park would like to feature Colorado musicians! Send a complimentary CD to KREV, 1509 Hatchery Road, Estes Park, Colorado 80517. If you are interested in being interviewed on air, e-mail paulsaunders@estesvalley.net.

Teen acting workshop

Felicia Lansbury Meyer will instruct a three-week acting workshop for teens.

Felicia is a Los Angeles performer and filmmaker who has worked onstage in New York, Los Angeles and Europe and has appeared in numerous television roles. She received her MFA in directing from the American Film Institute, where she directed the award-winning short film, "Desert Snow."

She has taught previous acting workshops in Pagosa Springs and Sun Valley, Idaho and directed "An Evening of Shorts - Revelations" for FoPA in Pagosa Springs last year.

In her youth workshops, she emphasizes fostering individuality and leadership, as well as teaching the skills necessary to listen, communicate and collaborate.

This upcoming workshop will focus on aspects of creating character, using objectives, being present, listening, memorization and blocking in a contemporary scene. There will be an informal presentation of scenes at the end of the session.

The workshop will run 4-5:30 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, June 7-25 at the community center. The cost is $125. Class size is limited.

For more information, contact Pagosa Springs Arts Council, 264-5020 or Lansbury Meyer, 264-6028.

Kids summer art camp

Summer Art Camp is 9 a.m.-noon June 1-30 (Monday through Friday), in Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

Once again, Tessie Garcia, Lisa Brown and Susan Hogan bring this terrific opportunity for children who love art.

This year, Lisa's husband Mark Brown, will teach Crafts for Boys and Lisa will lead Multicultural Art, Just for Girls. Tessie Garcia will teach Clay'n Around and Susan Hogan will teach drawing and painting.

Pick up a flyer at the elementary school and drop off your payment at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park.

A limited number of scholarships are available as the cost for this year's art camp is $300 per student.

A 10-percent discount is available for those who register by May 7 and PSAC members receive an additional 10-percent discount.

Leave a message at 264-5020 to reserve your space today.

French cooking

There are three more spaces available for the Art of French Cooking class 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 10.

The class will feature culinary artists Fran Jenkins and Diane Bouma at Bear Mountain Ranch.

Cost is $50, or $45 for PSAC members. Call 264-5020 today to register and drop your payment in the mail to PSAC, PO Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Watercolor class

The Basics of Watercolor for the Absolute Beginner, with Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett, will teach absolute beginners the basics of watercolor 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. April 7-9 in the community center.

Cost is $130 for nonmembers and $123.50 for PSAC members. Leave a message at 264-5020 to reserve your space today or send payment to the address above.

Volunteers needed

PSAC needs volunteers to hang out at the gallery in Town Park during the Train Art Exhibit.

We want to keep the gallery open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Earn $5 credit for every hour spent volunteering to apply toward workshops or classes sponsored by PSAC. Moms and dads, it's a great way to pay for part of Summer Art Camp.

Leave a message at 264-5020 if you are available to help out.


April 1 - Jeff Ellingson, John Coker and Jay Wimer, railroad artists opening reception at the Gallery in Town Park, 5-7 p.m.

April 1-29 - Railroad Art Exhibit

April 7-9 - The Basics of Watercolor for the Absolute Beginner, in the community center 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

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

April 14 - Watercolor Club meets at community center

April 17 - Saturday Watercolor with Denny Rose at community center

May 6 - High school art exhibit opening reception at the gallery in Town Park, 5-7 p.m.

May 6-19 - High school art exhibit

May 20 - Bonnie Davies: Opening reception for the artist at the gallery in Town Park, 5 - 7 p.m.

May 20-June 1 - Bonnie Davies cartoon art exhibit

June 1-30 - Summer Art Camp for Kids at the elementary school, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon

June 7-25 - Teen Acting Workshop with Felicia Lansbury Meyer

June 29-31 - Expressing Yourself in Mixed Media with Amy Rosner

July 1 - Joye Moon: Reception for the artist at the gallery in Town Park, 5-7 p.m.

July 1-28 - Joye Moon exhibit at the gallery in Town Park

July 5-8 - Unleashing the Power of Watercolor workshop with Joye Moon at community center

July 15-31 - Batik and Screamers papier maché workshop

Aug. 5-31 - Watercolor exhibit with Denny Rose, Ginnie Bartlett and watercolor students

Aug. 16-21 - Botanical drawing and painting workshops with Cynthia Padilla

Sept. 11-12 - Art pArty with the Colorado Arts Consortium

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


Cinco de Mayo celebration, Spanish Fiesta returning

The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club will host a Cinco de Mayo celebration 5-7 p.m. May 8 in the Vista Clubhouse.

The festivities will allow families to enjoy games and prizes provided by local nonprofits. Hot dogs and refreshments will be served by the club.

Entertainment will be by Grupo Espinosa, a local family of talented young Folklorico Dancers. Under the instruction of Gloria Lopez, a Hispanic cultural educator, the troupe has danced to the delight of many audiences.

The 2004 Fiesta grand marshal will be announced and the coronation of Fiesta royalty will take place at 6 p.m. Applications for royalty are available at the Chamber of Commerce or by calling Natalie Ortega, royalty committee chair, at 264-4604.

Nominations for grand marshal are welcome at Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club, PO Box 71, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

At 7 p.m. the clubhouse will be cleared and at 7:30 doors will reopen for the Cinco de Mayo dance featuring a local group, Spanish Express. Cost is $10 per person at the door and the music starts at 8 p.m.

The Guadalupana Society will offer delicious posole and tortillas. The Fiesta Club will have refreshments available and Grupo Espinosa dancers will sell slices of the Cinco de Mayo cake.

All proceeds will benefit the participating organizations. Door prizes donated by a number of Pagosa individuals and businesses, will go to lucky ticket holders and best dancers.

The 2004 Spanish Fiesta is on the calendar for June 19, starting 10 a.m. with the traditional parade and then a party in Town Park with great food and entertainment for the whole family all day.

If you are interested in donating time, services, talents or just need more information, call Jeff Laydon at 264-3686 or Lucy Gonzales at 264-4791.

The next Spanish Fiesta Club meeting will be 5:30 p.m. April 13 in the Chamber of Commerce conference room.


Education News

High school sets eighth-grader orientation

The Pagosa Springs High School counseling staff will present an orientation for this year's eighth-grade students 2:30-3:20 p.m. April 7 in the high school auditorium.

Parents are encouraged to attend as well as any home-schooled students or students from private schools who intend to take classes at the high school next year.

The orientation, designed to ease the transition from junior high to high school, will provide important information on a number of topics.

Counselors will explain how the scheduling process works, new requirements for those wanting to enter a four-year college after graduation, the scholarships-in-escrow program, and the August open house.

If you have questions, call one of the high school counselors: Mark Thompson at 264-2231, Ext. 226, or Lisa Hudson at 264-2231, Ext. 225.


School Menus

The following menus will be used for the breakfasts and lunches served in the Pagosa Springs public schools April 2 through April 8.

Friday, April 2 - Breakfast: scrambled eggs and tortilla, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Nachos and cheese, pinto beans, celery sticks and cake.

Monday, April 5 - Breakfast: Breakfast pizza, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Bean burrito, salsa, cheese, lettuce, corn and mixed fruit.

Tuesday, April 6 - Breakfast: Ham and cheese croissant, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Chicken patty, bun, lettuce, tomato, French fries, mixed vegetables and granola bar.

Wednesday, April 7 - Breakfast: Cinnamon rolls, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Frito pie, lettuce and cheese, corn and brownies.

Thursday, April 8 - Breakfast: Biscuit and gravy, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Stuffed crust pizza, tossed salad, green beans and fruit roll-up.


Cruising with Cruse

Power's out: Concentrate on Crusoe-like stories

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

Where were you when the power went off last week?

I was sitting in the living room beside a crackling fire, listening to music on the CD player, and reading "Robinson Crusoe," a most appropriate book for this occasion.

Upstairs the computer surge protector warning system beeped shrilly. I shut down the computer and turned off the power to it.

Fortunately, it wasn't dark outside. I went searching for a flashlight, candles, matches. Some people have kerosene lanterns. I think I do, but it hasn't been used in five years, if ever.

I have a friend who does dry runs of emergency equipment, just so that he'll be ready should the need arise.

Not me. That's too organized.

Some people, the organized ones, had dinner ready. They dined by elegant candlelight. I ate peanut butter and crackers. The tall candle on the kitchen counter was my elegant touch.

The good: It wasn't midwinter. The house was reasonably warm already. No danger of freezing. I had plenty of candles. I had plenty of firewood.

The bad: I was alone. Most of the time, I'm content being alone in the house. But not when I can't at least have the radio or music to fill the empty spaces.

Sometimes a power outage can be an adventure. When our children were young and we lived in woodsy Connecticut, winter power outages were not uncommon. We'd make popcorn in the fireplace and read stories to the kids by lantern light.

Years later, our daughter would say dreamily, "Remember when the power went out? And you read to us by the lantern?" I don't think those events happened often, and they usually didn't last for more than half an hour, but they loomed large in her memory.

Candlelit evenings are romantic, if someone special is with you. When you can't turn on the radio, or the television, when the dim light makes reading difficult if not impossible, all you've got are your own thoughts. They probably aren't cozy, romantic thoughts.

During last week's outage, my thoughts dwelt on survivor stories, on characters who are all by themselves, but not because they choose to be. On Robinson Crusoe, on the Tom Hanks character in "Castaway," on the boy in "Hatchet." Mostly on Robinson Crusoe.

This famous literary character was alone on his tropical island for almost 25 years. That's a long time to spend talking to yourself.

Okay, he wasn't totally alone. He had a dog and a couple of cats that survived the shipwreck. He had someone to talk to: his parrot. Named "Poll," of course. Robinson kept his vocal cords in working order by teaching Poll to talk. (Although the bird had a name, the dog did not.)

Later he captured and tamed two more parrots. There were goats on the island, and he captured a kid, or two or three, and raised them up in his stockaded home. So he had some company.

What struck me about the book was that Robinson, surrounded by water, never tried to catch a single fish. He never even thought about what the ocean might offer, except for an occasional sea turtle that lumbered ashore to lay its eggs. Then he dug up the eggs.

Clearly he was a landlubber, a farmer at heart. He had salvaged about a ton of powder and shot from the wrecked ship, and more guns than you could have imagined. He shot goats for meat.

Eventually he penned some up, so that he had a herd of goats. Then he started a small dairy.

He also brought onto the island some grains, rice and barley, which got wet.

He thought they were ruined and tossed them aside. Of course they sprouted.

Of course he saved the harvest and replanted it, and in time was growing enough barley to be able to grind the grain and make bread.

With all that he did grab off the ship, it never occurred to him to bring any cooking pots ashore. For the first few years he roasted the goat meat.

But eventually, having all the time in the world, he found clay, made pots, and accidentally learned that if he baked them in the fire they would hold water and maybe even work as cooking vessels.

Old Robinson was on the island for 18 years before he saw another man's footprint. He was so afraid the footprint had been made by cannibals that he ran home and hid behind his stockade for three days before he dared to go out again.

In this work of fiction, the Carib Indians only came occasionally to this island, and then only to build fires on the shore and roast and eat their captives.

Another six years passed before he saved Friday from the cannibals who would have eaten him. Although it seemed to take him forever to do some things, he had Friday understanding English within weeks.

Robinson "got religion" on the island. He begged God to forgive him for his past wicked life, although it hadn't seemed so wicked to me. Most of his sins consisted of ignoring advice to stay where he was and quit sailing off in search of something more. He read the Bible he'd salvaged. He kept track of the days, and remembered the Sabbath. He marked each anniversary of his being shipwrecked, his "deliverance," with prayer and fasting.

In contrast, the much more modern survivor of "Castaway" talked to a volleyball. If he'd had more time, who knows what else he'd have done.

Of course, I didn't expect to be alone in the dark for many hours, let alone days or months. I was sure that power would be restored long before the crawl space filled with water because the sump pump couldn't kick it out.

The telephone worked. And if I were desperate for company, I could always walk up the hill to the neighbors' house. Or I could get in the car and drive away.

Reading and thinking about how you might manage your life if you were the only person in it is an interesting diversion. But how much sweeter to be in a house, with all the things you need close at hand. We usually don't miss them until we don't have them. Until we're sitting in the dark.

What a relief when the power came back. I didn't even mind having to reset all the blinking clocks.

Local Chatter

Tourneys and terms: Kate's basketball primer

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

Well, spring is in the air and with it comes, "March Madness" which, for those of you who don't have your priorities quite right, means the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) men's and women's national basketball championship tournaments. Or, as they are also known, "The Big Dances."

I recently came across several interesting facts about the men's tournament which even you most rabid fans may have forgotten.

First, why 65?

According to Stefan Fastis in the Wall Street Journal, "For years the tournament included 30 conference champions and 34 (at large) invitees. A new conference, the Mountain West, was formed in 1999, and received an automatic bid. Rather than reduced the number of invitees - most of which come from the big and powerful conferences - the NCAA added an "opening round" game between the two weakest conference champs for a spot among the sacred 64. The winner gets an extra cut of tournament revenue - and a date with a No. 1 seed in the next round. So far that's meant defeat every year." (This year, Florida A&M beat Lehigh in the "opening round" game and then carried on the tradition by losing to Kentucky.)

And second, how does the NIT fit in? Jeffery Kessler wrote in the New York Times that, "once upon a time, the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) which is older than the NCAA tournament, and culminates every year in Madison Square Garden, provided strong competition to the NCAA tournament and attracted many of the top teams in the country. In 1950, for example, City College of New York played in and won both tournaments.

In 1962, Loyola, Mississippi State, Dayton, Houston and St. John's all chose to participate in the NIT rather than accept invitations to the NCAA tournament. In 1970, Marquette, one of the best teams in the nation that year, chose to go to the NIT over the NCAA tournament which provoked an outcry by the powers that ran the NCAA tournament.

Eventually, in the early 1980s, seeing the pot of gold that a monopoly could produce, the NCAA took decisive action by expanding the field from 32 teams to 64 teams (and now 65 teams, if you can remember what you read above) and, more importantly, by requiring any team invited to the NCAA to boycott the NIT under pain of NCAA penalties. So never again will CCNY or anyone else, win both the NCAA and the NIT in the same year.

And while we're talking basketball a few definitions of often heard terms might make watching more enjoyable for those of you who do not stayed glued to your TV during March Madness but do stumble onto a game or two while channel surfing to avoid all the political mumble jumble that seems to be going on these days.

Markings on the court

(1) "In the paint" refers to the rectangular area near the basket which is usually painted a dark color representing the home teams' colors. Often referred to as "points made in the paint," for baskets made while the shooter is "in the paint."

(2) The 3-point line is the line in an arc 19-plus feet around the basket. A shot from behind this line is worth three points, while a shot inside the line is worth only two points. (Some courts have two 3-point lines because NBA (professional) teams also play there and the professional line is farther from the basket than the college line. This is because the pros are stronger and richer than the college players.

(3) The free throw line is the line which a player stands behind to shoot free throws after being fouled. It is at the "top" of the paint, also called the "top of the key."


A foul is basically a rule violation. There are two types - a personal foul and a technical foul. A personal foul is usually a physical violation committed by one player against another player like charging, where the player with the ball runs into a defender (who is supposed to be stationary); or blocking, where a defender is moving when run into by the player with the ball; or hacking, where the defender reaches for the ball but hits the arm instead of the ball, etc. Other common personal fouls occur when an offensive player without the ball is too aggressive in pushing a defender back when trying to get position for a shot or the defender is too aggressive in trying to stop him.

A technical foul is usually a nonphysical violation of the rules when a player disputes a referee's call too vehemently or taunts another player etc. or, more frequently, when a coach does the same toward a referee.

A player is disqualified when he gets a fifth foul (total of personals and technicals) and can usually be identified as the guy on the bench with a towel over his head or with some other anguished facial expression. A coach is ejected after his second technical foul and must leave the court. At this point he is usually very red in the face/neck.

Foul shots

The number of foul shots that the player who is fouled gets varies from one to three. If he is fouled while shooting he gets three shots if he was shooting from behind the three point line or he gets two shots if he was shooting from inside (toward the basket) of the three point line.

If he was fouled while not shooting he gets no shots unless the foul was the seventh (or more) committed by the fouling team in that half. If so, he gets to shoot a one-and-one, meaning that he gets a second foul shot if, and only if, he makes the first shot. However, if the foul was the tenth foul committed by the fouling team in that half, he gets a second shot whether he makes the first shot or not. His team is referred to as "in the bonus." (There are also some fouls known as "player control," fouls where no one gets shots regardless, but your probably already sufficiently confused so "enuff" of that.)


(1) "Bench points," refers to the points made by players who do not start the game but come off the bench.

(2) A "short bench" refers to a team which has only a few (2 or 3) reliable substitutes and

(3) A "deep bench" refers to a team with many reliable substitutes.

Time violations

A 10-second violation occurs when the team inbounding the ball doesn't get the ball over the half court line in 10 seconds or less. A shot clock violation occurs when a team with the ball does not get a shot off that at least hits the rim of the basket within 35 seconds (30 seconds for women) of when they get the ball. Once the ball hits the rim, the 35/30 seconds starts again. (The shot clock is usually shown in the bottom left corner of the TV screen in red numerals.) A three-second violation is rarely called but occurs when a player whose team has the ball stays in the paint for over three continuous seconds while he or she does not have the ball or the ball is not in the paint.

There is also a five-second violation when a player with the ball is closely guarded by a defensive player but again it is rarely called and depends on the position on the floor, etc.

Player positions

Teams usually play with one center (their biggest guy who stays near the basket) and two forwards (next biggest) and two guards (usually smaller but quicker). The point guard is the quarterback and runs the team. He usually brings the ball up the court and sets up the plays. The other guard is often called the shooting guard and is the three point "expert."

Walking or traveling occurs when a player with the ball takes too many steps without dribbling the ball or moves his pivot foot when he stops dribbling.

A rebound occurs when a player gets a missed shot. An offensive rebound occurs when a player on the team that shot the ball recovers the ball, and a defensive rebound occurs when a player on the other team gets the ball.

An assist occurs when a player passes the ball to another player who then makes his shot. If it's your team this is good.

A turnover occurs when the other team gets the ball due to a bad pass or walking or a steal etc. and you don't even get a chance to take a shot. If it's your team, this is bad.

Hopefully, this will make your March Madness a little less mad and a little more fun and, more importantly, that your team is not one that missed the Big Dance or, if it did get invited, it's not one of the 64 that did not win. Unfortunately, mine was. But then, I will have had lots of company.

And finally, speaking of basketball, how about some kudos to those fine young people who brought so much credit to themselves and their coaches and their school and their community during their version of the Big Dance. And of course I'm talking about the 2003-04 PSHS Pirate basketball teams.


Extension Viewpoints

Weed inspector training set by ag department

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Today - 4-H Oil Painting, Minor Residence, 4:30 p.m.; Shady Pine, Extension office, 7 p.m.

April 2 - Colorado Mountaineers, Extension office, 2 p.m.; 4-H Goat, Extension office, 3 p.m.

April 3 - 4-H Food Preservation, Brooks residence, 9 a.m.

April 5 - 4-H Dog Obedience, Extension office, 4 p.m.

April 6 - 4-H Outdoor Cooking, Bomkamp residence, 6 p.m.

April 7 - Pagosa Garden Club, Extension office, 10 a.m.; Fair Royalty rehearsal, Exhibit Hall, 6 p.m.

Workshops scheduled

Those interested in inspecting for the Colorado certified weed-free forage program are invited to attend a free training session.

Coordinated by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the certification program is open to anyone interested in contracting with the department on an as-needed basis.

To qualify for certification, individuals should have a working knowledge of weed identification.

Training includes instruction on weed identification and field inspection procedures as well as information on rules and regulations.

The program is designed to stop the spread of noxious weeds throughout Colorado. Established in 1993, the program certifies about 40,000 acres each year with the help of more than 100 contracted inspectors who are paid $15 per hour and 24 cents per mile.

The meeting will take place at:

Monte Vista Co-Op

2607 U.S. 285 N.

April 6, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information on the weed-free forage program, contact Don Gallegos or Terry Gander at (303) 239-4149.

Seed potatoes

The Archuleta County Extension Office is now taking orders for seed potatoes.

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


Food for Thought

Who needs culture when you have a plate caddy?

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

My friend is visiting. He is a very smart person.

He forgets, however, I am an idiot, neglects the fact I can't concentrate on anything for more than 30 seconds or so, and attempts to have an intelligent conversation with me.

He tries to do this while I am watching TV. To avoid a confrontation, I hit the mute button on the remote and turn to a position where I can pretend to look at him, all the while keeping an eye on the screen in case something bright and shiny appears there. Bright and shiny things fascinate me, especially if they move.

My friend's topic: The possibility that our culture is now defined nearly exclusively by consumerism, by consumption and a slavish relationship to corporate America - no longer by reading, art, conversation, history. He asserts our culture relies more and more on an ignorance of history and the embrace of kitsch, on ignorance of the values available in literature and philosophy, on education geared to a productive role in a corporate machine, on the immersion of the individual in an ocean of transient goods and exposure to a relentless barrage of ideas so shallow they are no more than slogans.

As he mentions this, I notice a woman on the screen is blasting the living daylights out of her thighs and rear end with a medieval looking device - all elastic bands and springs. It must work: Her thighs are magnificent. Who wouldn't want thighs like that? She is in absolute control of her appearance and, therefore, of her universe.

My friend is still talking.

Š that, with each passing day, what it means to be an American - and increasingly, a citizen of the globe - is defined by what one purchases, what one owns, where one lives, what one does to produce the income necessary to own more things. That, in fact, what we are as persons is increasingly defined by our cooperative response to corporate demands.

In short, he asks, are we trapped in a net cast by increasingly dominant commercial entities and a parallel economic elite, lured in by an appeal to a logo-burdened sense of self - a sense of self built with a short horizon line, resting on a foundation of indulgence and immediate gratification?

A guy on the tube is selling a product that removes mold from grout. "Like magic!" You've got a moldy bathroom, for example. Well, first, what does that say about you? Nothing good, you can be sure. Your neighbors, after all, do not have moldy bathrooms. One application of the magic formula and you can invite the Queen of England to have dinner in your bathroom and you will feel not an iota of shame. Buy it. Now.

My friend is still talking.

Š could it be our major media are operated to direct consciousness to topics and events structured to divert us from consideration of certain realities - the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor, the intentional attempt to destroy public education with governmental mandates, the steady undermining of states rights and local control, damage to the environment, the shrinking middle class, the commercialization and homogenization of politics, the increasing lack of loyalty of giant business interests to any and all nations, the impending serfdom of the overwhelming majority of the planet's population? Has our news become entertainment of a perverse sort, designed like sitcoms, as mindless filler between commercials?

Out of the corner of my eye, I watch a Hummer blast through a major league berm of snow. I decide I want a silver Hummer, with special hip-hop wheels and rims. My new vehicle will feature a sound system capable of breaking glass at a distance of 100 yards and I will have a television system installed so members of my posse can watch music videos as we blast our way through banks of snow, effortlessly, at 50 miles per hour and 12 miles per gallon. We will impress many, many people. We will be important because my vehicle is huge. Bigger than yours.

My attention wanders back to my friend's monologue.

Š look at national politics, for example. Democrat or Republican? Isn't it kind of foolish to think there is a great difference between the two? The media's been in a frenzy to create the right versus left, liberal versus conservative distinction, to take advantage of people's gullibility, massage them as they swallow the false distinction because it is made personal, shaped to fit their ego needs. But, upon examination, isn't each faction as beholding as the other to corporate money, interests and demands? Haven't people been conned into adopting false political identities, their energies shifted to an empty, loud discourse characterized by exaggeration, anger and fictions? Haven't people been conned into becoming political caricatures and turned against each other so they don't get together and assault those who really deserve the ire?

Suddenly there it is, on the screen: something truly revolutionary. I halt the conversation.

"You want meaning? You want substance?" I ask my friend. "Don't hand me your kitsch-as culture crapola. Regardez, mon ami. I mean, check it out; it's incredible."

There it is, all bright and shiny, held in the hands of fit-looking people who've gathered on a snazzy patio, each illuminated by the strongest of suns, happy in only the way fully satiated consumers can be. It's the Plate Caddy. Available only through a one-time television offer. All major credit cards accepted.

Never again will your party guests have to fumble with a risky combination of plate, eating utensils and glass or cup.

Think about it: You can throw a luau, a cocktail party or a holiday bash at the new grotesquely large house you built on former ranch or farm land, and never have to worry about a guest ruining a new outfit from Lord and Taylor with spilt food and drink.

How? With the Plate Caddy.

Could anyone criticize consumer culture once they've seen this beauty? It's a space-age piece of molded plastic that looks like it's straight from the bridge of The Enterprise. Imagine Kirk and Spock and the rest of the interstellar gang putting their chow on these sleek wonders. The plastic plate is locked in place in the center of the caddy; a cup holder makes the drinks secure as The Enterprise goes to Warp 7. There's a utensil slot on the side for knife, fork and spoon, just in case the crew needs to draw their phasers and rub out a Klingon or two.

Who says kitsch is lacking in depth and not related to fundamental needs? Who wants Chaucer or Rembrandt, who cares about Toynbee or Spengler, when you've got a creation like the Plate Caddy?

Plus, each caddy has a special, color-coded "snack pick" with it so you'll always know which caddy goes with which guest when it comes time to circulate with another platter of store-bought meatballs.


I ponder the purchase of a set of plate caddies.

Let's see, I say to my friend: I'm rabidly antisocial; I inhabit a televised space, full of jingles, low interest rates and special, one-time offers. I have little time left for real people. So, should the occasion arise when I actually allow people into my house and serve them food, how many caddies will I need?

I can't foresee inviting more than six people total for dinner, and that's stretching it. After all, I have a couch and two chairs in the living room, all placed directly in front of the television set. The idea of eight or more guests is out of the question; someone would not be able to see the screen.

Unfortunately, the caddies are sold in sets of four, so I will have to purchase two sets, keeping two caddies aside in case I lose or break one of the essential six. (Break a space age plastic plate caddy? Fat chance!).

When my caddies arrive (I'll have them sent next-day express) I'll surprise my socially deprived wife and throw a caddy party. We'll set the event to coincide with the prime hours on the Shopping Network. Or perhaps we'll share the final episode of Friends, given that the guests are Anglo and well-to-do.

What to have? What is the perfect food for a plate caddy and an evening of rocking good commercial fun?

Obviously something that, with the ordinary plate-cup-utensil combo, would set the stage for disaster. Something hot and messy, hard to manage without the help of modern design and industry. Something in harmony with contemporary tastes, with the consumer culture, with globalization. Something kitschy.

Sloppy Joes.

This is a fine one, both tastewise and in terms of symbolic meaning.

Ponder this: A huge packing plant located somewhere in Nebraska uses uninsured illegal workers to grind random chunks of animals together to produce the meat I'll use as my base. How about some tomatoes, genetically engineered and grown to the point where they are full-sized, green and hard, then turned red through the scientific application of a gas? Oh yeah.

And I'll need some onion and garlic and green pepper, again genetically engineered to create the right appearance (Flavor? What's flavor?), sprayed repeatedly and kept bug free. Liquid smoke, produced in a test tube? OK, bring it on. Some spices finish off the list, the pungent goodies harvested somewhere in Southeast Asia by 10 year olds working for $2 per day.

I'll plop the saucy melange on top of hamburger buns saturated with preservatives and other additives, baked thousands at a time in an automated facility outside Spokane. For a beverage: simulated orange drink, chock full of artificial flavor and colorings.


"That ought to suit the new cultural elite you're so worried about, eh?" I say to my weak-kneed intellectual friend.

No response.

In my zeal, I hadn't noticed he was gone.

Kitsch? Hah.

Oh well.

I hit a button on the remote. The sound is back on.

A talking head on the news says gasoline prices are on the rise and Ben and Jennifer still seem to be finished as a couple. The president is looking for WMDs and L'IL Bow Wow has advice for kids thinking about dropping out of school.

There's a new plastic wrap that seals with the touch of a finger.

Three more Americans died in Iraq.

No child is left behind.

"You deserve a break today Š"

With nothing down.


Pagosa Lakes News

We're all fat and we need help

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

It's April and I play my favorite game: How many people who signed up for classes and gym use in January are still working out?

There's hardly a crushing disappointment and the numbers reflect the dream of total body transformation is still very much alive.

Oh, it is a beautiful thing to see, a rainbow coalition of the sweaty and the purposeful. If you want diversity, you've got it. Low-carbers mingle with Weight Watchers. The Tae bo kickers mix with the Pilates disciples.

The treadmill regulars and the recumbent bikers, the free-weight addicts and those who build muscles from pulleys and machines, all are getting along.

And in the pool they come in all shapes and sizes; the fat guy in a Speedo is the crowd pleaser.

"We've come a long way," I said to Harry. "I'm feeling the love in this building. How about you?" Harry stared at me and said nothing. But I am used to this - I get it all the time - and did not take it personally at all.

As I work out, contributing and partaking of the energy in the weight room, it occurs to me that the same scene is being enacted in thousands of gyms and recreation centers all over the country.

The message being beaten into Americans now is this: We're all fat. Sixty-five percent of the country, we're reminded over and over again, is overweight or obese. With the way people are eating these days, is it any wonder that everybody needs something?

Put the fork down every once in a while, the experts say. Get off your duff and do something.

So, we flock to gyms and recreation centers every year at this time, making good on our New Year resolutions to drop weight, tone up, get presentable for swimsuit season, and blah, blah, blah.

Folks in the fitness industry spend sleepless nights thinking of ways and means to broaden the reach and appeal of the business to a much larger population. Hard bodies have had their day - now it's time for "real" people.

Okay, I am not saying it's time to exclude the guy with the freakish rock-hard abs, upon which I can park my mountain bike. No, I like having him around for comic relief. It's time to focus on real people with real needs.

Local facilities are staffed by folks who can help you. Don't be shy to make that first step. Engaging in regular physical activity doesn't come naturally. The lure of the couch is strong. The temptation of the corn chips can be overwhelming. The same can't be said of the treadmill.

Sometimes, you just don't feel the love.

Don't forget to bring the children to the Egg-stravaganza (a mighty big egg hunt) Saturday. It will be at the recreation center on the front lawn, beginning at 9:30 a.m. sharp. In addition to goodies-filled plastic eggs, there will be lots of kiddie treasurers, clowns, Mr. Bunny and general commotion.

The hunt will be broken up into two waves: up to 6 years of age and 7-10 year olds. Extra parking will be available next to the recreation center at Mountain Heights Baptist Church.

If we should get rained out, the Egg-stravaganza will be held the following Saturday, April 10.


Shepherd's Staff

Not a movie you will enjoy, but one that tells the truth

By Rev. Richard Boland

Our Savior Lutheran Church

There's been an incredible amount of discussion in the public media in recent weeks about Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ."

It is interesting to see the subject of the central teaching of the Christian faith being almost completely ignored in all the discussions. It is the central doctrine of the Christian faith that all sinners are justified by grace through faith in what Christ has accomplished. From this doctrine, flows all other doctrines or teachings of the Christian faith.

What is the connection between the content of Mr. Gibson's movie and this central teaching of Christianity? Frankly the movie does not make it very clear. Therefore, permit me to provide a sort of viewing guide to "The Passion of the Christ":

1. In the Garden of Gethsemane: It is critical to understand that Jesus Christ is both truly human and truly divine to understand the struggle that occurs in this scene. Never is Jesus having second thoughts about what needs to be done in order to redeem the world. As He has previously prophesied three times, He knows that He must be arrested, tried, convicted and put to death and then rise from the dead. His very real human nature is understandably seeking relief from this terrible course of action, but never to the point of asking to abort the plan. Indeed, finally the divine nature of Christ strengthens the human nature so that both are in complete agreement that the Father's will must be accomplished. There is no turning back.

Second, the serpent that comes from under the "Satan" figure is a symbolic fulfillment of prophesy given in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3:15, Satan is addressed by God, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your (Satan's) offspring and hers; he (the seed of the woman) will crush your head, and you will strike his heal." The fulfillment of this first promise of the Messiah is depicted in this scene as Christ Jesus kills the snake by crushing its head.

2. The trials of Jesus: First, it is necessary to understand that the trial before the Sanhedrin, (The high Jewish Council) was conducted in a completely illegal manner. Trials were not to be held at night. Additionally, when witnesses couldn't agree on their testimony, the law demanded that the accused be released. Neither of these things occurred. This was a first-class "Kangaroo Court" seeking a predetermined sentence. It is also necessary to know that Roman law forbid the administration of capital punishment by the Jewish authorities. Only the Romans could do this. Therefore, the charge of "blaspheme" (claiming to be God), was not actionable by the Romans. So the charges of political sedition that were brought to Pontius Pilate, were not the real reason the Council sought His death. Pontius Pilate understood that and indicated five times that there was no basis for putting Jesus to death. However, the primary obligation of the Governor was to maintain the peace, and a riot was being instigated by the members of the Sanhedrin to have Christ executed. Giving way to political expediency, Pilate symbolically washes his hands of the whole affair and gives in to the mob.

3. The punishment of the Romans: The gruesome depiction of Christ's scourging and mistreatment at the hands of the Roman soldiers is absolutely accurate! It was not at all uncommon for criminals to die from the scourging before they were able to crucify them. This was in no way Hollywood overplaying the reality of the violence. This was exactly in accord with the gospel accounts. The one who suffered these indignities was God Himself in human flesh. It is incredible that God loves us sinners so much that He submitted to this kind of torture.

4. On the cross: Crucifixion is one of the most brutal, cruel and inhumane methods of execution ever devised by man. It was a way of combining public humiliation with excruciatingly slow death.

Essentially the condemned was slowly and very painfully suffocated by the process. In order to breathe, a person had to push up with his nailed feet with each breath. When the loss of blood and lack of strength finally took their toll, the ability to push up was finally lost and death ensued.

5. The reason for it all: All of mankind fell into sin and condemnation when our first parents fell in the Garden of Eden. Indeed, all that humanity would ever be was contained in our first parents and when they sinned, they violated the nature, person and will of God, and all who came from them (that would be all of us), likewise and logically were lost and condemned. Now mankind had three insurmountable problems: a.) We are by nature sinful and unclean -therefore unfit to be in the presence of a holy and righteous God, and b.) We have no personal righteousness of our own and only righteous (sinless) people may enjoy fellowship with God, and c.) No amount of human effort to behave well is sufficient to please God and remove the stain of sins committed.

Therefore, God became fully human and fully divine in Christ Jesus. As a sinless man, He keeps God's unyielding Law without compromise and gives to those trusting in Him His very own righteousness. As fully divine, Christ offers Himself to the Jewish and Roman authorities to become a substitute sacrifice for the sins of all humanity. No mere man can die for his own sins much less those of others, but the divine Christ's life is of such inestimable value that this sacrifice (the fulfillment of all Old Testament sacrifices), is fully adequate to pay for all our sins. Therefore, we are saved, not by good works, but by faith in what Christ has done. Faith in the price He has paid. Faith and trust in the righteousness of Christ as our own. Faith in His victory over death and the grave in His very real, physical resuscitation and resurrection from the dead.

The Christian faith is all about Christ, not about men. It's all about what He does, not what we vainly attempt to do.

Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," is simply the portrayal of the final two days of Christ's pre-resurrection life. It is a powerful portrayal of the height, and depth of God's amazing love for sinners. It is a poignant reminder that what Christ endured was done for us! What Christ endured was to pay for our sins!

For all sinners there is nowhere else to go but to the cross. Here alone is the forgiveness of sins! Here alone is our hope! Here alone is the Christ, the Son of the Living God who suffers, dies and raises to life again for us all!

This is not a movie that you will "enjoy," but it is a movie that tells the truth!



There were no births this week.


Frank R. Caldon

Frank Richard Caldon, 67, passed away March 8, 2004, in Santa Maria, Calif. He was born in Pagosa Springs on July 7, 1936, to Tinnie E. (Conner) and Richard N. Caldon.

Frank graduated from Pagosa Springs High School, attended Fort Lewis College for two years and later received credit equivalency from Brigham Young University.

In 1954 he was married to Alice M. Jones and they moved to Wheatridge, Colo., where they raised two daughters, Vicki Marie and Patricia Lee.

The majority of his adult life, he worked as a metallurgist and chemical engineer. The early years of his career he was employed by Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. He also worked for Sunshine Mining Co. in Kelogg, Idaho and United States Antimony in Thompson Falls, Mont., before venturing into private consulting and starting his own mineral processing company. His private consulting allowed him the opportunity to travel to many parts of the world, including South and Central America and Asia.

He also enjoyed growing and tending a variety of trees, plants and flowers. This led to him building a number of greenhouses and for a period of years was commercially raising and selling carnations. He was an animal lover, caring for numerous pets during his life. He was also a skilled mechanic and talented carpenter and handyman.

When his daughters were grown, he relocated to Moscow, Tenn., and later to Lovelock, Nev., where he continued to work in the mineral-processing field.

His oldest daughter, Vicki, preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Alice, of Santa Maria, Calif.; daughter Patricia Mettam (husband Robert) and granddaughters Lindsey and Lauren of Moorpark, Calif.; son-in-law Vince Lamberton and grandsons Andrew and Colin of Aurora, Colo.; sister-in-law Carolyn Bowdish (husband Dan) of Santa Maria; his mother Tinnie E. Lattin and an aunt, Ione Patterson, of Pagosa Springs; Aunt Wilma Conner and cousin Cheryl Conner of Lakewood, Colo., and cousin Anna Maria Price in Michigan.

He was a very honest and hard-working man and a loyal friend. He will be missed by those who knew and loved him.

Plans for memorial services are pending and will be announced in The SUN when finalized.

Homer Ray Dirks

Homer Ray Dirks, 70, died March 25, 2004, at his residence in Pawnee Rock, Kans. He was born Sept. 10, 1933 in rural Dundee, Kans., to Harvey and Ella Schultz Dirks.

He married Patricia "Pat" Hoffman Oct. 19, 1957 in St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Great Bend. She survives.

He was owner of Dirks Dirt Construction, a farmer and former stockman. A lifetime resident of Barton and Pawnee counties, he was a member of Peace Lutheran Church of rural Albert, where he served as Sunday School superintendent, Sunday School secretary/treasurer, and had held all church council positions, including president. He was also a member of the board of Pawnee Rock Farmer's Grain Fuel and Livestock Co.

Preceded in death by a brother, Leon Dean Dirks and by his father, Harvey, is survived by his wife, Pat at home; son Dale of Albert, Kans.; daughters Darla Rae Clarke and husband Clint of Great Bend, Kans., and Danine Fay Martinez of Pagosa Springs; his mother, of Great Bend, Kans.; a sister, Beverly Ann Prescott and husband Keith of Larned, Kans.; and six grandchildren: Ashley Dirks, Taree Dougherty and husband Stacy, Abby Dirks, Kyle Clarke, Jenna Clarke and Conner Martinez.

A prayer service was held 7 p.m. Sunday, March 28, 2004 at Bryant Funeral Home in Great Bend. Services were at 10 a.m. Monday, March 29 in Peace Lutheran Church, Albert, Kans., with the Rev. Jack Russell officiating. Interment followed in Great Bend Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Peace Lutheran Church.

John A. Swanson

Graveside services were held at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango on Wednesday March 31, 2004, for John A. Swanson, a Pagosa Springs native and longtime La Plata County rancher, who passed away at Four Corners Health Care Center March 27, 2004. He was 93 years old.

Mr. Swanson was born in Pagosa Springs, March 17, 1911, the son of Swedish immigrants, John and Hilda Swanson. He attended public schools in Pagosa Springs and joined the U.S. Army in 1942. He served in Guadalcanal, Northern Solomons, and Luzon. While in the service, he received an Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, and a Philippine Liberations Ribbon with one Bronze Service Star. He married Virginia G. Schiesser in Yuma, Ariz., in 1983. They later moved to Rochester, Minn.

Survivors include sisters June Mortensen of Grand Island, Neb., and Ebba E. Percell of Durango. He is also survived by nephews John Mortensen of Grand Island, R. Hilmer Percell, of Granite Falls, Wash., and Kim S. Percell of Wilmington, N.C. Also surviving are nieces Linda K. Foote of Grand Island and M. Gay Percell of Durango; and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his nephew Mike Swanson, and his brother Mitchell Swanson, all of Pagosa Springs.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Rocky Mountain Chapter.


Business News
Biz Beat

Big Sky Studio

Big Sky Studio, a home-based local business, offers stained glass with all inventory at reasonable prices.

Other products and services offered include glass tools, supplies, repairs, custom windows, lamps, doors and panels. Customer designs are welcome and estimates are free.

Workshops are also available and students take home a finished product in every class.

Call Carl or Mom at 731-5374.



Preview Profile

Richard Fulton

Parking enforcement officer, Pagosa Springs


Where were you born?

"Lynn, Massachusetts."


Where did you go to school?

"I graduated from North Reading High School."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"January of 1997."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I was a customer support representative for a jet engine manufacturer."


What are your job responsibilities?

"Public relations first and the second part of it is parking violation enforcement."


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

"I enjoy meeting people and working outside the most. The least enjoyable is the noise made by diesel trucks and all the snow vehicles leave behind after parking."


What is your family background?

"I have two daughters from a previous marriage and two granddaughters. I am currently happily married and living in paradise."


What do you like best about the community?

"I like the friendliness of the people and the fact there's no big city trauma to deal with."


What are your other interests?

"I currently enjoy hiking and playing the organ. I used to enjoy sailing and flying."


Engagement announcement

Jim and Nancy Smith of Pagosa Springs announce the engagement of their daughter, Kimberly, to Chris Ridgely, son of Cliff and Kathy Ridgely of Show Low, Ariz. Kim and Chris plan a June wedding in Pagosa Springs.


Cards of Thanks

Crouse family

The family of George Crouse would like to say thank you for the food, flowers, cards, phone calls and words of comfort.

A special thanks to those who took the time to visit with George during his long illness. Bill Warr, Tom Broadbent and Lou Poma, your regular visits made George's last days so blessed.

The hospice volunteers and staff put in many hours to give comfort to George and our family and for that we are so very thankful.

Lou Crouse, Worthe, Michelle Crouse and family, Steve and Sydney Crouse and family, Janet and Mike Rieger and family, Sharon Schultz and family, Laura Hamblen, Leslie Hamblen and family

Victim Assistance

To Pastor Ford and Community United Methodist Church members:

On behalf of the many victims we serve, I wholeheartedly thank you for your generosity.

This community, including CUMC, continues to amaze me with the humbling support and compassion shown for the needs of many of our residents dealing with the misfortunes of violence and abuse.

Please know your assistance makes an incredible difference, and we are extremely grateful.

Carmen Hubbs,

executive director, Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program


We fully intended to write each and everyone a thank you note but the list has gotten too long.

It is truly amazing how much our community and neighboring communities have helped us, one way or another, since our home burned back in December.

We have been blessed and we are not so unlucky after all, because we live in an area where people care. Thank you so much.

Someone told us that the next party is at our house. You bet!

We're shootin' for Christmas and you're all invited.

Jody and Barbara Martinez


Sports Page

Pirate track team season underway; next stop, Bloomfield

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Pirate boys' track team opened its season with style in Alamosa Saturday, taking on both the competition and the elements to collect eight top-three finishes.

Pagosa's lone first-place finisher was Junior Turner who leaped into the winning slot with a 19 foot, 9.5 inch long jump.

Coach Connie O'Donnell said Turner was kept out of the triple jump to give him a chance to try some open events and relays. The junior's contributions Saturday bode well for the future of the team.

Another junior, Otis Rand, claimed the team's only second in the 400-meter run, crossing the finish in 54.40 seconds.

"Rand is running much more at track meets now because he is part of the four-by-800 and four-by-400," O'Donnell said. "That is a lot of hard races for one person in a day, but it didn't seem to bother him."

In the 3200-meter relay, Rand raced to a third-place finish along with senior Aaron Hamilton, sophomore Orion Sandoval and senior Brandon Samples. They finished in 9:25.85. He combined with sophomore Daniel Aupperle, junior Manual Madrid and Hamilton for yet another third in the 1600-meter relay. That time, they claimed the medal in 3:49.51.

The boys continued to rack up points with Hamilton who finished in 5:11.74 to claim third in the 1600-meter run, a time on course for a great season, O'Donnell said. In the 3200-meter run, sophomore A.J. Abeyta captured third in 12:08.6, and senior Dan Lowder earned the three spot in the triple jump.

Pagosa's sixth third-place finish came from junior Manuel Madrid who finished the 300 hurdles in 46.60.

O'Donnell was also impressed with the efforts of several freshman.

"Jordan Shaffer and Gunner Gill both ran great 400s," O'Donnell said. "They had really good times for being freshmen and they ran with so much determination. The other freshman surprise was Travis Furman. Travis ran a great 800 and wanted to win the heat so much that he leaned at the finish line and did a roll to the ground. He now has the battle wounds on his leg and shoulder to prove he gave it everything he could."

The team's next challenge will be the Bobcat Relays in Bloomfield, N.M. April 3.


3200 relay: 3. A. Hamilton, O. Rand, O. Sandoval, B. Samples, 9:25.85. 100-meter hurdles: 4. M. Madrid, 20.19. 800 relay: 6. P. Przybylski, C. Ormonde, J. Shaffer, G. Gill, 1:46.02. 1600: 3. A. Hamilton, 5:11.74. 400 meter relay: 5. P. Przybylski, J. Shaffer, D. Aupperle, J. Turner, 48.93. 400: 2. O. Rand, 54.40. 300 hurdles: 3. M. Madrid, 46.60. 200: 4. D. Aupperle, 25.29. 3200: 3. A. Abeyta, 12:08.6; 5. O. Sandoval, 12:28.83. 1600 relay: 3. D. Aupperle, M. Madrid, O. Rand, A. Hamilton, 3:49.51. High jump: 6. D. Lowder, 5-2. Long jump: 1. J. Turner, 19-9.5. Triple jump: 3. D. Lowder, NA; 4. C. Schutz, NA. Discus: 5. C. Schutz, NA.


Lady Pirate track team starts strong at Alamosa

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Despite cold temperatures and some inclement weather, the Pirate girls track team outlasted most of the competition Saturday to finish second in the team's opening invitational.

Centauri finished first - this time.

"We still have the goal of winning the IML meet," Coach Connie O'Donnell said. "We have to really work hard in practice and be determined to do it. It's not just going to happen without any effort."

That effort was on display in Alamosa where the girls captured three first-place finishes, two seconds and three thirds.

The first-place medals went to the 3200-relay team, sophomore Mia Caprioli in the 100-meter dash and sophomore Emilie Schur in the 1600-meter run.

O'Donnell said Caprioli's win in the 100 with a time of 13.19 seconds was a great kick off for a runner who is shooting to beat the school record of 12.99 set by Nikki Webb in 1989.

"Mia's running form has really improved and I think that she is going to get that record before the season is over," O'Donnell said.

Schur won the 1600 in 5 minutes, 52.60 seconds, to add another first place to last year's collection of distance medals, and tried something a little new - a sprint.

O'Donnell said the cold weather and excitement of the first meet led to a few injuries for the Pirates, one of which left an empty slot on the 400-meter relay team. Schur stepped up.

"She said it was fun and that she couldn't figure out why everyone was out of breath afterwards," O'Donnell said. The 400 relay team of Schur, sophomore Emily Buikema, freshman Lyndsey Mackey and Caprioli finished fourth with a time of 58.28.

Schur combined with freshman Elise McDonald, freshman Jessica Lynch and sophomore Drie Young to win the 3200 relay in 11:08.40.

In the 1600-meter relay, Schur, sophomore Liza Kelley, McDonald and Lynch crossed the finish in second posting a time of 4:55.33. Kelley's efforts in her first track season impressed O'Donnell.

"She is a very athletic girl who is tough mentally as well," O'Donnell said.

Freshman Jen Shearston added to the team's points with a second-place 2:55.30 effort in the 800-meter run. Pagosa racked up a two-three-four punch in that race. Freshman Candace Etcitty claimed third in 3:06.65, and Young captured fourth in 3:13.45.

Sophomore Heather Dahm captured third place in the 3200-meter run, finishing in 14:44.17. The medley relay team of freshman Kristen DuCharme, freshman Kim Canty, Mackey and Shearston finished third in 2:10.30 to round out the team's top-three finishes.


100: 1. M. Caprioli, 13.19; 5. L. Kelley, 14.14. 800 relay: 6. E. Buikema, K. Fulmer, K. DuCharme, M. Caprioli, 2:04.24. 1600: 1. E. Schur, 5:52.60. 5. E. McDonald, 6:38.67. 400 relay: 4. E. Buikema, L. Mackey, E. Schur, M. Caprioli, 58.28. 400: 4. L. Kelley, 68.81; 6. J. Lynch, 70.42. 200: 5. M. Caprioli, 31.09; 6. L. Kelley, 31.43. Shot put: 6. K. DuCharme, NA. Medley relay: 3. K. Ducharme, K. Canty, L. Mackey, J. Shearston, 2:10.30. 3200 relay: 1. E. McDonald, J. Lynch, D. Young, E. Schur, 11:08.40. 800: 2. J. Shearston, 2:55.30; 3. C. Etcitty, 3:06.65; 4. D. Young, 3:13.45. 3200: 3. H. Dahm, 14:44.17. 1600 relay: 2. L. Kelley, E. McDonald, J. Lynch, E. Schur, 4:55.33.


Pirate volleyball player will compete in Australia

Pirate varsity volleyball regular Laura Tomforde has been picked to play on a Colorado team at the Down Under International Games, July 10-22 in Australia.

Tomforde, a starting setter on last year's Pirate team that advanced to regional tournament action, was notified the Colorado squad will travel to Australia with other American teams to play in a competitive volleyball tournament as well as take advantage of opportunities to learn about Australia and its people. The team will spend time in Surfers Paradise and Sydney.

The program is sponsored by International Sports Specialists.

Tomforde is planning several public service projects, with requests to local businesses for sponsorship, as well as a car wash to raise funds for her trip. An account has been set up at Citizens Bank to receive contributions.


Pirates battle back but drop doubleheader to Piedra Vista

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

They found themselves down early and losers of the first game under the 10-run mercy rule.

But the fledgling Pagosa Springs Pirate baseball team refused to count themselves out Saturday, taking highly favored Piedra Vista of Farmington through its entire pitching staff before bowing 19-16 in a second game slugfest.

Coach Tony Scarpa and staff are fielding a team with one senior, two juniors, two sophomores and 16 freshmen vying for positions.

The losses dropped the squad's season mark to 1-7, but if you listen to Scarpa and his coaches, then watch the learning process underway on the field, you can see the lights beginning to come on.

The first game final, 12-2, featured two bad innings by Pagosa, innings in which Piedra Vista scored five and four runs respectively, and some sharp pitching by diminutive lefthander Jamie Nunez of the host school.

Pagosa managed only three hits in the opener, all coming in the fourth inning when they scored their two runs.

The second game summary showed Pagosa scoring 16 runs on 11 hits and coaxing 11 walks from five Panther hurlers. Four Pagosa players had two hits each including freshmen Michael Bradford and John Hoffman. Senior Ben Marshall also had a pair as did Hoffman's sophomore brother, Josh.

First game detail

Pagosa opened with junior catcher Marcus Rivas grounding to short; Bradford flied to right and Marshall to left.

Panther leadoff hitter Loren Ashcroft beat out an infield single and scampered back to first when Bradford flagged down Wes Pate's line shot up the middle. Teryn Lamoreux reached when his fly ball to right was dropped, Ashcroft scored. Cleanup hitter Brad DeWees reached on a throwing error, Lamoreux scored. DeWees scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Paul Mitchell before Nate Hooven flied to left to end the first inning with Piedra Vista leading 3-1.

Pagosa was out in order in the second. Freshman Karl Hujus reached on a passed ball on third strike and stole second but was picked off. Junior second baseman Levi Gill reached on a walk but was thrown out attempting to steal. Freshman third baseman Casey Hart fanned to end the Pirate's second.

Left fielder Chris Price beat out an infield hit to open the second for Piedra Vista but Marshall bore down and got both Matt Ahlbrandt and Nunez on strikes before Ashcroft flied to left to end the inning.

The Pirates went quickly again in the third, Josh Hoffman popping to second, and Adam Trujillo and Travis Richey (two more freshmen) each striking out.

The Panthers struck for five in their half of the inning, gathering them on only three hits.

Pate opened with a double to center. Lamoreux reached on an error and a second Pirate miscue allowed Pate to score and moved Lamoreux to third. Consecutive missed fielders' choice plays, another error two singles, a hit batsman, a lineout and a popup all played parts in the five-run inning.

Pagosa, trailing 8-0, got temporarily closer in the fourth, starting with Rivas' double down the right field line. Bradford flied to right, but Marshall lined a single to center scoring Rivas. Hujus went down swinging, but Gill picked him up with a shot to left center driving in Marshall. Gill stole second but died there when Hart grounded to short.

DeWees walked to open Piedra Vista's fourth but was wiped out when Mitchell hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Hooven reached on an error, going all the way to second, and advanced on a wild pitch. He did not score because Price flied to center to end the inning.

Pagosa had three quick outs in the fifth as Hoffman, Trujillo and Richey fanned in order.

That set the stage for Piedra Vista to end the contest early and they did so.

Ahlbrandt led off with a single to center and Nunez reached on an error. Ashcroft singled, one run scoring, Page and Lamoreux both walked, another run scoring, and then DeWees singled to drive in the fourth run of the inning and the game ended with the mercy ruling and a final 12-2 score after less than two hours.

Second game detail

Pagosa jumped out to a quick four run lead in game two.

Rivas grounded to first to open the game and Bradford followed with a ground-out to second. Marshall got things rolling for Pagosa with a double off the Rickett's Field wall. Hujus walked and Gill drove in the first run with a single. Junior Randy Molnar, the second game starting pitcher, also drew a walk to load the sacks. When Hart also walked, Hujus scored and then Josh Hoffman singled to drive in the third and fourth runs. Hart was caught at second to end the uprising.

Piedra Vista erased the four run deficit and took the lead in the bottom of the inning.

Ashcroft led off with a double. Page grounded to second but Lamoreux singled, driving in Ashcroft. DeWees walked and Hooven singled to drive in Lamoreux. Kevin Hecht reached on a fielders' choice before Price singled and designated hitter Paul Mitchell also singled. Five runs on five hits.

Pagosa's second opened with John Hoffman hit by a pitch. Rivas reached on a fielder's choice, Hoffman out pitcher to shortstop covering. Bradford fanned but Marshall walked to keep the rally alive. It died, however, when Hujus flied to center.

Ahlbrandt led off Piedra Vista's second with a single to center. Ashcroft popped to short, Pate flied to center Lamoreux singled but was cut down at second when DeWees hit into a fielder's choice.

Pagosa jumped back into the lead in the third. It opened with Gill striking out and Molnar popping to second. Hart singled to center and Hoffman singled to right and they exercised a double steal. John Hoffman reached on an error, both runners scoring, but was out trying to advance to second. Pagosa now led 6-5.

That lead lasted until Hooven led off for Piedra Vista, with a long home run to left center.

Molnar bore down after a visit from Scarpa on the hill, fanned Hecht and got Price on a fly to left tracked down by Josh Hoffman. Mitchell singled, but Molnar got Ahlbrandt on a grounder to Rivas at third and the score was tied at 6-6.

The fourth was fast for Pagosa. Rivas fanned, Bradford bounced back to the pitcher and Marshall walked but was out attempting to steal.

The Panthers took the lead back in their half of the fourth.

Ashcroft opened popping to third but Pate reached on an error and Lamoreux on a fielder's choice, Pate out at second. But DeWees singled for one run and stole second after Lamoreux scored. Hooven walked but Hecht flied to left and Piedra Vista led 7-6.

Not to worry, Pirate fans. The fifth inning for Pagosa was to feature four hits, four walks, a hit batsman and a new Piedra Vista pitcher.

Hujus opened the frame bouncing to second but Gill, Molnar and Hart drew consecutive walks and that brought Ahlbrandt to the mound. His first pitch nailed Josh Hoffman, forcing in a run. Then John Hoffman greeted him with a line shot single scoring two more. Rivas coaxed a walk and Bradford delivered a pair of runs batted in with a single. Marshall doubled in another and Hujus singled for one. Gill grounded to short and Molnar struck out to end the uprising with Pagosa having scored eight runs for a 15-6 lead.

Piedra Vista got four of those runs back in its half of the fifth. Ahlbrandt led off with a double but Ashcroft struck out. Pate reached on an infield single and Lamoreux delivered three runs to the plate with a homer to left. DeWees singled and Hooven reached on an error. Hecht struck out, but Price delivered the fourth run of the inning with a single to center before Mitchell flied to left. Pagosa's lead was 14-11.

The Pirates padded the lead by one in the sixth. Hart opened the frame drawing a walk and stayed at first as Josh Hoffman fanned. John Hoffman delivered a single putting runners on first and third. Rivas reached on a fielders' choice, Hoffman out at second. Bradford singled to drive in Hujus but Marshall grounded to third to end the uprising, Pagosa leading 15-10.

The stage was set for Piedra Vista's big inning, an eight-run outburst.

Price opened it with the first of his two triples in the inning. He was driven in by Mitchell who, in turn, scored on Ahlbrandt's double to center. Hujus came on to pitch for Pagosa and nailed Ashcroft with his first pitch. Pate singled and Lamoreux flied to center for the Panthers' first out in the inning. DeWees and Hooven each singled and Bradford was brought to the mound for Pagosa. He hit Hecht and gave up Price's second triple and walked Mitchell before fanning Ahlbrecht with the score at 19-15 for Piedra Vista.

Pagosa, showing no sign of quitting after blowing the lead, sent seven men to the plate in the seventh but got only one run for the effort.

Hujus drew a walk to start the inning and moved up when Gill reached on an error. Michael Spitler, batting for Molnar, beat out an infield hit to load the bases. A wild pitch sent Hujus in with the run and left two men on. Hart struck out but Josh Hoffman drew a walk and Pagosa was still alive. John Hoffman, however, also struck out and Pagosa's rally - and the game - had ended with a 19-16 score after nearly four hours of action.


Pirate's booming bats bury Demon JV 16-4

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

They needed a morale booster, a reason to cheer for the improvement they've made.

The Pirate baseball squad provided that lift for themselves on their newly refurbished home field Tuesday.

Riding a barrage of 14 base hits aided by four walks, the Pirates pounded out a 16-4 decision over a Durango junior varsity squad.

Yes, they beat a jayvee team but not just any team, one representing the Class 5A Durango Demons.

And, for the second consecutive game, they scored 16 runs, this time in a winning cause.

With junior Randy Molnar opening on the mound for Pagosa, the initial confrontation didn't look good.

On a 2-2 pitch from Molnar, Durango's leadoff hitter ripped a double to left center.

But Molnar recovered nicely, getting the next three hitters on infield groundouts, one to third and the others to second.

The Pirates struck for three in the bottom half of the inning, with a leadoff walk to junior third baseman Marcus Rivas igniting the uprising.

Michael Bradford singled to center, moving Rivas to third from where he scored on a throwing error by the Demon catcher. Then senior catcher Ben Marshall drew the second walk issued by Durango's pitcher. Karl Hujus grounded out to first and Levi Gill fanned leaving the bases loaded with two outs for freshman first baseman Casey Hart.

His liner eluded the Demon shortstop for an error, both runners scoring as he moved on to second. A wild pitch advanced him to third, but he died there when Josh Hoffman bounced out to first.

An error by Rivas allowed a Durango baserunner to open Durango's second inning but the following batter hitter hit into a 6-4-3 double play to clear the sacks.

The next Demon batter doubled to right center, and Molnar seemingly lost concentration momentarily, walking the next two batters. It cost him a pair of runs, because a Demon delivered two runners with a single to center. The next batter struck out and the rally was over.

Perhaps stunned by the Durango uprising, the Pirates responded with the first of two consecutive six-run innings.

Molnar, himself started the fray with a single to center on a 3-0 count, having missed coach Tony Scarpa's take sign.

Travis Richey popped to second but then the Pirate parade began.

Rivas lined a single to left where the outfielder made a two-base error, one run scoring. Bradford tripled to right scoring Rivas and then was plated himself on a single by Marshall.

Marshall stole second and was wild-pitched to third. Hujus walked and advanced to second on defensive indifference as he went down on the first pitch,

Gill then singled for a pair of runs and Josh Hoffman followed with a single of his own. Molnar walked, but Hoffman was out on a 1-5-1 rundown for the third out.

Durango got a pair back in the third with Bradford now on the mound for Pagosa.

A Demon batter singled to center and then stole second. He was out trying to go to third when Rivas flagged down a line shot and beat him to the bag. Durango singled to right and the base runner moved up on a fielder's choice play on Wilson. One Demon fanned, one walked. The next Durango batter delivered the two runs with a single to right but was then cut down in a 1-3-4 rundown.

That would be the end of Demon scoring, but the Pirates were far from done.

Their third inning was a nightmare for Durango.

It opened innocently enough with Richey popping to second. But Rivas followed with his second single and advanced to third on an error by the center fielder. When Bradford reached on an error by the third baseman, Rivas scored. Marshall drew a walk and John Hoffman, batting for Hujus, was hit by a pitch.

Gill's sacrifice fly to right scored one run and Hart followed with a double plating two more, then advancing to score, himself. Umpires ruled, however, that the ball had gone under the fence and Hart was sent back to second with a ground rule double. Hoffman had an infield single and then Alan Trujillo, batting for Molnar, singled to drive in the sixth run of the inning before Richey fanned to end the Pirate onslaught.

Durango's fourth inning was a fast one, with the first batter striking out, the second grounding out to short and the third fanning.

Rivas opened the Pirate fourth with a long home run over the left field fence and the end was in sight for Durango.

After Bradford flied to center, Marshall picked up his second single of the game but was left on base been both John Hoffman and Avery Johnson struck out.

Durango had a final chance to avoid the mercy ruling ending the game.

With Michael Spitler on in relief for Pagosa, a Demon ripped a single to center and Durango fans came alive.

But, in rapid order, Durango batters flied to left, popped to second and grounded out to Gill to end the game with the score 16-4.

Rivas paced the Pirates going three-for-three with a walk and the home run. Gill's single and sacrifice fly gave him three runs batted in to lead in that category. Both Josh Hoffman and Hart had two runs batted in and Bradford, Marshall, Trujillo and Molnar each had one.

The Pirates will take their attack on the road again Monday, traveling to Bloomfield, N.M., for a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.


Pirates kickers locked in 2-0 loss syndrome

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

With a young - make that very young - team you have to work on one thing at a time.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said his Pirate girls' soccer squad is a team in creation, blending the few returning letter winners with youngsters intent on learning the game.

That learning curve, so far, has produced three losses, all by scores of 2-0, with two of the three to bigger schools.

The third loss came Friday when the host Pirates gave up two first period goals to Telluride.

"After last week's game (a loss to Durango)," Kurt Mason said, "our emphasis was on better communication on the field.

"We were silent when we should have been alerting teammates to game situations," he said.

"I saw much improvement in that respect today, and despite the loss, saw many other things to be happy with," he added.

Noting the squads seemed evenly matched early in the contest, he nonetheless recognized a letdown in aggressiveness in the middle portion of the first half.

"We need to build confidence every game," he said. "We can't afford to let down. The fact we've not scored doesn't go unnoticed by the girls on the field."

He was "extremely happy" with the "speed and moves exhibited by our wings today," he said, citing in particular the play of freshman Laurel Reinhardt making her first varsity appearance.

Telluride came out in a spread offense to open the contest and just inside the first minute Caitlin Kirst's blast from 20 yards sailed wide right.

Pagosa's senior keeper Sierra Fleenor made her first save at 5:36, a diving stop on a blast by the Miners' Shelly Hale.

At 7:10 the Miners got on the board when Hale drilled shot high to Fleenor's left. Then, just 11 seconds short of five minutes later, what would be the final goal of the game came from Telluride's Brenna St. Onge.

As had both goals in Durango, this one was a corner kick that dribbled through the crease untouched and St. Onge was is the right spot to turn it back into the far corner of the net.

At 17:45 Hale was wide left and then stopped point-blank by Pirate sweeper Emmy Smith who came from nowhere to dive in front of the 18-footer.

Pagosa's first shot, a penalty kick from 14 yards by Melissa Diller, was on line but high over the crossbar.

Fleenor was called on for two more routine saves in the half and Pagosa went to the break trailing 2-0.

The second half was a lesson in how to play defense by both squads. In fact, for the first 15 minutes it was give and take at midfield, no shots on goal at either end.

Then, in the span of 27 seconds in the 56th minute, Fleenor had to make to outstanding saves, one on Kirst and another on Riley McIntyre as the Pirate defense got caught deep in the zone on a breakaway keyed from Hale.

Fleenor was deep right for the first stop and diving to her left for the second.

At 62:38 Reinhardt beat her defender on the right wing taking a crossing pass from Amy Tautges. But while she eluded the first defender two more closed as her shot was deflected but still on goal for the first save of the game by Miner keeper Genna Kirsch.

Kirsch was injured on the play and replaced in goal by St. Onge.

On the next Pirate possession, Reinhardt's indirect kick from 22 yards was stopped by St. Onge.

Fleenor was called on just one more time in the half, collecting a blistering drive from Hale and kicking it out of danger.

For Pagosa, Reinhardt was stopped, again on a deflection, at 76:03 and as time wound down, Diller's direct kick from 20 was flagged down.

Each game, Kurt-Mason said, "I see improvements not just in performance, but in understanding of what's happening on the field."

He said getting Reinhardt back, and soon to get the services of veteran sweeper Kyrie Beye who has been out with a broken leg, are key moments for the team.

Others drawing Kurt-Mason's praise for actions against Telluride were midfielders Brittany Corcoran and Kailey Smith, wings Iris Frye and Caitlyn Jewell, and defensive specialist Brett Garman.

The Pirates will host Ignacio at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Golden Peaks Stadium in their second league game of the season.


Porpoises splash their way to state honors

By Audrey Miller

Special to The SUN

While all Pagosa anxiously rooted the Pirate basketball teams on, members of the Pagosa Porpoises swim team were swimming their way to the Silver State and state championships.

Keegan Caves, Michael Caves, Teale Kitson, Aaron Miller and Austin Miller qualified for the Silver State competitions Feb. 27-29 in Arvada, each hoping to use that competition to qualify for state events the following week.

Keegan's times were: 52.46 in the male 10 and under 50 breaststroke; 1:30.19 in the 100 freestyle; 40.37 in the 50 free; and 1:56.88 in the 100 breast.

Austin swam 1:33.31 in the male 10 and under 100 backstroke; 51.58 in the 50 breast; and 1:49.52 in the 100 breast.

Michael Caves was fourth overall in the male 15-18 100 free, cutting 3.96 off his best time to make the race in 54.99. In other races, he hit 2:05.66 in the 200 free; 1:15.99 in the 100 breast; 25.67 in the 50 free; and 2:49.35 in the 200 breast.

Kitson placed fourth overall in the male 11-12 200 free, cutting 4.56 seconds off his time to finish in 2:18.44; He also swam 1:18.95 in the 100 individual medley; 2:44.10 in the 200 IM; 1:23.01 in the 100 butterfly; 1:05.72 in 100 free; 29.62 in the 50 free; and 35.97 in the 50 fly.

Aaron Miller cut 14.96 from his time and finished first in male 13-14 200 breast in a time of 2:46.63.

Aaron's other times were 2:04.59 in 200 free; 1:15.67 in the 100 breast; 2:27.29 in the 200 IM; 57.73 in the 100 free; 26.77 in the 50 free; and 1:10.56 in the 100 fly.

The results sent Kitson and Aaron Miller to Loveland March 5-7 with Teale qualifying in five events and Aaron in seven.

Teale placed eighth overall in male 11-12 100 back with a time of 1:10.46. His other times were 2:31.03 in the 200 back; 6:33.60 in the 500 free; 33.81 in the 50 back; 2:23.29 in the 200 free; and 1:10.46 in the 100 back.

Aaron continued to shed time in his events. He cut 5.01 seconds off his time in male 13-14 500 free, finishing in 5:36.90; cut 1.28 seconds in the 200 fly, finishing in 2:39.88; trimmed 15.34 seconds in the 400 IM to finish with 5:09.38. His other times were 1:17.21 in the 100 breast; 1:07.05 in the 100 back; 2:05.61 in the 200 free; and 2:23.74 in the 200 back.

The swim season is continuing, and anyone interested in joining the other state championship team can contact coach Chris Corcoran by leaving a message at 731-2051.

The annual swim-a-thon, in which all members do their best to swim 100 laps in the pool to raise money for meet entry fees will be held May 18. Spectators are welcome.


Parks & Rec

Adult hoops tournaments next week

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The 2004 adult basketball leagues are at the midpoint of the season. So far, things are going smoothly, thanks to all the referees, scorekeepers and gym supervisors.

All the employees at parks and recreation earn their money this time of year.

Adult sports are very difficult to sponsor because the adults work hard all week and look forward to their play time to let off steam. The rough part of the whole deal is that many forget the purpose of adult leagues is to provide recreation and exercise in a safe environment, and at an affordable price.

The minute we put out the score clock, a couple of referees and a score book, the transformation of fun loving adults into competitive wild adults begins. They get to an out-of-body experience and tend to get too serious.

When all is said and done, all feelings are put aside and they start planning for softball.

Adult bracket tournament dates are April 6-8 with a single elimination bracket for all leagues. All games in the tournament will be played at the junior high gymnasiums, starting at 6:30 p.m. Be on the lookout between now and April 6 for seedings, and come watch some very entertaining basketball.


After a very lengthy sign-up period we have fielded seven teams to play Tee-ball. The game is for boys and girls ages 5-6.

This year we started early with clinics and the first round of games to be played in the community center gymnasium. There was some question on having clinics indoors, however with the parking, indoor bathrooms and cold evening weather, we have heard rave reviews about the positive experience and the learning environment the center has to offer.

Having the children in a controlled area, especially this age group, makes a huge difference.

Baseball registration

Please call Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 232 for registration schedules for boys' and girls' interested in baseball and girls' fast pitch leagues. Tentative start dates should be in early May.

Fourth of July

Vendors, and volunteers who wish to participate in the fireworks and the annual picnic/dance, should call me to get information on this year's event. We are looking for people to be on committees to help run the event. Thank you for your consideration; call 264-4151, Ext. 231.

Raw water feed

A meeting was held Monday with Gene Tautges of Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, myself, and Don Ford of U-Can-Afford Landscaping.

We are in the final stages of firing up the pump to start watering all the school- and the town-owned properties at the high school/town Sports Complex site.

With planning and permit setbacks we are closing out a three year project, with hopes of irrigating all athletic fields with raw water from the San Juan River. We hope to fire up the pumps by April 15.

We are very excited that PAWS, the town and the school district have worked together to ensure a raw water source for all the grounds, preserving the more expensive and valuable treated water that has been used in the past.

In the long run we will save taxpayers money, plus we are using one of most valuable resources right here for our citizens, instead of seeing our valuable water go downstream.


Fun Races

Final Fun Race draws diverse state entries

The last Fun Race of the season drew 47 male and nine female contestants Saturday to Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Fastest time for the female racers was the 31.28-second effort by Brisa Jankovich of Banner Elk, N.C. in the bracket for those 15-17. Second in the bracket was Molly Wineteer of Jamestown, N.D., in 36.11.

Other female times were a 42.43 for Georgia Redd of Pagosa Springs in the bracket for girls 6-8 and a 40.22 for Lucy Redd of Pagosa in the 9-11 bracket.

Melissa Eggleston of Durango was first among women 36-40 in 36.91 while Barb Kelley was first at 55.30 in women's 41-50 and Jette Schuh of Santa Barbara, Calif., was first for women 51-60 in 54.88.

Joanna Smithers of South Fork was first in women's 60 and over in 33.79, with Nancy Seay of Pagosa second in 1:06.47.

Fastest time on the male side was recorded by Rob Kelley of Las Cruces, N.M., with a run of 26.81. He was followed by Duke Eggleston of Durango in 30.34 and Pat Messerli of Durango in 30.67.

The Egglestons of Durango were very prominent on the male side of the ledger.

Jack ran the slope in 1:22.97 to lead boys' 3-5; Clay finished in 1:03.86 in boys' 6-8 and Curtis was a fast 30.69 for first place among boys' 9-11. Curtis was followed by C.D. Scull of Texas in 36.10 and Bryan Sandoval of Taos, N.M. in 40.39.

The race in boys' 12-14 was a coastal challenge. Devan Ferguson of Charlotte, N.C. won in 33.06 while Eric Schuh of Santa Barbara, Calif., was second in 40.48. Third went to Joe Sandoval of Taos in 42.22.

Paul Muirhead of Pagosa Springs had fastest time for boys 15-17, running the slope in 28.30. He was followed by Derek Wolpert of Golden in 31.03 and Patrick Mayfield of Oklahoma City in 32.45.

The bracket for men 18-20 was an all Monte Vista affair, Tyler Horst winning in 33.13 with Ryan Murray second in 34.10.

Likewise, the bracket for men 21-25 was all Pagosa, Erik Eaklor winning in 31.23 and Mike Kissell second in 33.83.

Men's 26-30 went to John Abrell of Pagosa in 26.96.

Morgan White of Las Alamos, N.M., was first in men's 31-35 in 36.84. Scott Nelson of Armington, Texas was second in 42.66 and Chris Spence of Armington third in 50.18.

The bracket for men 41-50 went to John Redd of Pagosa Springs in 28.85 with Curtis Mayfield of Oklahoma City second in 32.15 and Eric Ecruson of Banner Elk, N.C., third in 32.30.

Bob Olsen of South Fork won men's 51-60 in 26.83 and John Scull of Texas was second in 27.80.

Bryant Lemon of Pagosa Springs finished first in the bracket for men 60 and over with a time of 28.58 and Dick Bond of Pagosa was second in 29.88.



Time for a trade-in

You have a vehicle and it has never worked properly. No matter who's attended to it or who has taken the wheel, it has never operated as it should. You hire a succession of mechanics, the machine works more poorly as time passes. Finally, it doesn't really work at all; it moves slowly, belching smoke and fire from the tail pipe. You realize the thing was a lemon all along.

Thus, we have our hospital district.

The political situation surrounding the district has, for a couple years, been one of the most embarrassing displays in memory - fraught with rumor mongering, deceptions, slanderous pronouncements, nastiness of all kinds delivered from all possible points on the compass.

Behind the outlandish public behavior, accusations, name-calling, the gnashing of teeth, sits the vehicle, a wreck many years in the making, but one finally and fully arrived.

It's time for a change, time to rebuild the engine. The mechanics have had their chances and the situation continues to degrade. It ain't fixed.

What we have, ignoring the harpies who sit on the sidelines creating self-serving pressure in an already overly dramatic situation, is a garage full of mechanics none of whom seems to be to blame for the condition of the vehicle. We have a carousel of error on which no one rides long enough to be identified, to be held accountable. It is always someone else's fault, the problem seems always to exist with another person, another agency.

The budget blows up, despite claims the financial health of the district is assured, bills go unpaid, accounts are in arrears. It's someone else's fault.

Employees are initially, arguably rightly, dismissed, yet a significant percentage of those hired on are no longer in the employ of the district. Whose fault is it?

Certifications are not obtained, sanctions are imposed. It is the state's fault, someone else's fault.

Insurance payments withheld from employees' paychecks are not sent to the insurer (an ethical if not a legal problem) and go to the general fund to be mingled with other monies. Payments to the insurer are late, imperiling the coverage. Is it someone else's fault?

It could be EMS operated several months without approved supervision. It is the state's fault. It is the DEA's fault. It is the fault of mishandled paperwork. It is the physician's responsibility. Blame was taken by others. No, it wasn't. Apologies were issued. No, they weren't.

Let's cut to the chase: Who was overseeing the bookkeeper?

Who was overseeing the certification processes?

Who was overseeing the paperwork, who was taking care of the personnel?

Someone else?

We needed sound administration and guidance- we got mission statements and visions. And smoke.

Instead of a healthy district, there is a record of things not done the right way, or in a timely fashion.

Allowing for any misperceptions and corrections, the question is clear: Who's been at the wheel, letting this crate run off the road on a regular basis?

Someone else?

It's time to procure a new vehicle, with better drivers, a new shop supervisor.

With a directors' election coming in just over a month, voters should ignore the noise from the gallery and ask pointed questions of candidates, regardless of their alliances, demand answers that transcend the obvious. Candidates will begin the process of revealing themselves in an article in this newspaper in two weeks, then will face more, and hopefully more detailed, queries at the League of Women Voters forum April 20.

We need accountability, people willing to take blame when warranted, people who will silence the barkers in the sideshow with competence, send the audience packing, put the machine back on the road.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Awakening to headline reality

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Do you ever awaken in the morning, flip on television for the news headlines and wonder if you've perhaps nodded off for a Van Winklean nap and, like old Rip, don't recognize what you've awakened to?

Sometimes the headlines are just too much to believe. For instance:

- Hundreds of Soviet missiles lost

- Crash closes Boston-N.Y. highway

- School suspends all sixth-graders

- Pope: Sundays for God, not sports

- Man admits murder after 'Passion'

And those were just in the breaking news category last Friday.

Where'd we go wrong? Why are we now learning that perhaps as many as 700 Soviet cold war era missiles cannot be accounted for?

A crash closing a highway is not an unusual story. This one, however, involved 10,000 gallons of fuel which was spilled and then ignited. It burned so hot it melted the metal highway supports beneath the roadway, closing it off to thousands of daily commuters.

In Oklahoma City, meanwhile, a public school suspended nearly all of its sixth-graders for class disruptions and a cafeteria ruckus, though many of the students were allowed to return after their parents met with school officials.

Sixteen of the 147 sixth-graders at F.D. Moon Academy were suspended for class disruptions, and 120 students were suspended two days later after they picked up cafeteria tables, slammed them to the floor and talked back to faculty, school officials said.

The mother of one of the suspended students, said after the meeting that she wasn't surprised by the students' behavior because some parents in the audience were yelling while school officials talked.

"If we don't get involved, I don't know who will," she said.

Pope John Paul, understandably, said Sunday should be a day for God, not for secular diversions like entertainment and sports.

"When Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes subordinate to a secular concept of 'weekend' dominated by such things as entertainment and sport, people stay locked within a horizon so narrow that they can no longer see the heavens," the pontiff said in a speech to Australian bishops.

John Paul criticized the "culture of the 'here and now,'" urging Church leaders to "lead men and women from the shadows of moral confusion and ambiguous thinking."

The 83-year-old pope also encouraged Christians, especially young people, to remain faithful to Sunday Mass, saying the secular culture is undermining family.

The pontiff may have been more prophetic than he knew. The very next headline dealt with the story of a Houston man who had gotten away with murder but confessed to police after seeing "The Passion of the Christ."

His viewing of Mel Gibson's cinematic depiction of the last hours of Jesus, along with the discussion with a family friend, led him to walk into a county sheriff's department and confess to a killing which had been ruled a suicide.

Sometimes the reality of the news is more than even we in the business can understand.



90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of April 3, 1914

Last week West & Hott shipped in 150 head of cattle from their Spring Creek ranch consigned to their O'Neal Park range.

The big band re-saw soon to be installed in the Pagosa Lumber Company's mill will increase the lumber out-put 20 per cent. Under the skilful management of O.S. Galbreath, Jr. this immense lumbering plant for the past year has been on a steady hum, the logging arrangement being so perfect that in spite of the storms and mud that force all other plants in this part of the state to a temporary shut down, the raw material keeps rolling in irrespective of the weather conditions. No rust gathers on the machinery in this big mill, none also on the brain of its manager.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 5, 1929

Secretaries of the school districts are asked to give special attention to the taking of census of the illiterates. An illiterate is any person over ten years of age who can not read or write the English language.

This section was visited by an unusually heavy rain and snowstorm yesterday, causing flood waters in some parts of the county. Owing to one or more railroad bridges being washed out on Cat Creek, the Pagosa train was unable to return yesterday from Pagosa Junction. A crew is now at work replacing the structure and repairing other damages on the main line, but it is reported that service cannot be resumed for a week or ten days. Numerous highway bridges are reported out or beyond condition to cross.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 2, 1954

Progress on the town water works extension and improvement program has picked up this past week with the better weather. Most of the water distribution mains around town are in place and according to the contractor most of the streets and alley will be cleaned up by the end of next week.

This issue of the SUN contains the first of a series of articles and pictures dealing with the section of the San Juan National Forest in this area. We are sure that some of the facts and figures in the article will astonish many readers but they are accurate and reflect the importance of the national forest to us. Thanks to Rod Blacker and John Stevenson for their help in gathering information and for the time it took.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 5, 1979

More snow fell last weekend and the total snowfall on Wolf Creek Pass is now just over 700 inches. This is a record for this time of the year when compared to any winter in the past 20 years. Some snow also fell in town and it was mixed with rain.

Officials warn that there is a very good chance that there will be some flooding in various places throughout the county this spring. Homeowners along streams should take precautions and be warned that they might need to evacuate their homes. It is expected that the runoff this year will be the greatest since 1952.

The volunteer firemen were called to the high school gym Tuesday evening by a small fire. The fire was caused when an electrical cable was shorted out.



Pagosa woman's 40-year hobby fueled by passion

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"It'll never be done."

That's what Pagosan Cindy Vermillion Hamilton said of quiltmaking. Her hobby. Her passion. Her love.

She sat in her living room, surrounded by quilts. They hung from the walls. Draped over the furniture. Provided a dozen hiding places for two fluffy cats. Told the stories weaved among their colors, design and stitches, and enveloped the room in a warmth that emanates only from things handmade.

Each quilt is a piece of art representing hundreds of hours of imagination, drafting and sewing.

In one week, Hamilton estimates she spends as much time quilting as she does as a full-time librarian at Pagosa's junior high school.

"It's an incredibly creative process," she said. "It can just totally absorb you."

Hamilton rises each morning at 4 a.m. to quilt for an hour, then takes a walk and goes to work. Each evening, she spends another three or four hours with needle, thread and fabric. On the weekends, she focuses most of her time on the quilts.

"I go to bed thinking about the quilt I'm working on or the next one I want to make," she said.

She has quilted through college, hiding in the back of the classroom during lectures to sew. Through two marriages and three children. Through full-time jobs. In 40 years, she has never tired of it.

Hamilton, who learned needlework from her mother at the age of 5, started quilting in college.

"I had this cross-stitched quilt top my mother was sick of and I've been doing it since then," she said. "When I started quilting, I didn't know a single person who did it. There was no such thing as a modern quilt book." It was 1971. Fabric store shelves were brimming with double-knit fabrics and quilt guilds were something read about in history books.

Hamilton found five books on quilting still on the shelves at the public library - all printed between 1915 and the 1930s when the Depression forced people to use everything at hand, including brightly colored potato sacks, to keep warm and make their homes beautiful. Those books introduced her to some of the traditional patterns and techniques. Since then, she has only been limited by imagination.

"I started rearranging the patterns, developing what to me is an exciting color combination and drafting the designs myself," she said. Every stage of her quilts is done by hand. She rarely uses a template and tends to weave together fabrics from the same historical time period. She is drawn to the history. To the quilts of 200 years ago people all-too-often think of in black in white and not in the brilliant reproduction fabrics that show the real hues and tones of times long-gone.

Many of her quilts are done in a medallion style, with a large center block surrounded by several different borders. It's a different style than the traditional repetitive blocks, which Hamilton has also worked with, but it keeps her constantly fascinated and constantly in search of new fabrics.

In 40 years, the fabrics available have changed dramatically. When she started, she said, fabric stores might have aisles and aisles of double-knits with maybe five bolts of 100-percent cotton in a store. Now, whole stores are devoted to cotton quilting fabrics.

Hamilton said it all started with the country's bicentennial in 1976 when people began looking back to traditional arts and crafts. Today, she said, there are more quilting bees and quilting guilds than there were 100 years ago. In 20 years, membership in the American Quilter's Society has jumped from 1,500 to over 50,000.

It's become a major market for retail, a change that has put Hamilton in paradise.

"I used to long for fabrics like we have now," she said. "Now, everything I've ever dreamed about is out there. I don't know how long it will last, so I'm buying as much as I can." Reproduction fabrics from the 1700s and 1800s are being produced in limited edition collections that are around for six months and then gone. Hamilton buys what she can and stores it in her "fabric garage," where it waits until inspiration hits.

Sometimes that inspiration will come from the fabric itself, sometimes from a picture of an antique quilt or pattern, sometimes from a theme suggested or one Hamilton wants to express and sometimes from a certain time period.

Right now, she is in the process of finishing two of six patriotic quilts she started for an upcoming exhibition sponsored by the local quilting organization, the Pagosa Piecemakers. Both are a medallion style. The center of one features a sunburst and draws its inspiration from a reproduction fabric first produced by the French following the Revolutionary War. One of the medallion borders is a pattern of large and small circles, an idea pulled from an antique quilt dating to 1915.

The center of another is a piece of fabric saved from her mother's things, saved from 1978 until just the right idea came along. Its border includes a fabric made with the portraits of all the presidents. The portraits were all jumbled on the original fabric, but Hamilton cut them apart to stitch them on her quilt in order from George Washington to George W. Bush.

These two she is working hard to finish; the other four will have to wait. In fact, she might have as many as 50 quilts in some stage of development at any one time.

To keep on task, she enters contests now and then. Those kind of deadlines help her focus on finishing a quilt.

This year, her quilt "Margo's Medallion of 1840," a 94 inch by 94 inch creation dedicated to Margo Krager, a woman who has produced many of the reproduction fabrics that have inspired Hamilton, has been chosen as a semifinalist in the Quilter's Society Quilt Show and Competition April 21-24 in Paducah, Ky., an annual competition that draws 35,000 quilters, collectors, enthusiasts and vendors. Hamilton's quilt will compete against 425 other entries for a piece of the $100,000 total prize money.

This is the fourth time in the 20-year history of the contest Hamilton has entered. She won first in 1992 and second in 1997.

The individual quilt named best of show will by awarded a $20,000 cash prize and a permanent space in the Museum of American Quilter's Society.

It would be in good company. Another of Hamilton's quilts hangs there already, one she donated to the museum.

"I felt good about that," she said. Hamilton does not sell her quilts commercially, although she has sold one to the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania. Oh yes, and the first one she ever made start to finish slipped away, sold for $25 in a garage sale. But in general, she said, they're simply too precious for a price tag.

"I just put too much of myself into them," she said. "After you invest the time, they're part of you, they're part of your family." Hamilton estimates Margo's Medallion alone represents something like six months of eight hour days.

"The design and ideas, that's the part I can share," she said. And starting next year, she hopes to share those things with many. After three years as a librarian with Pagosa Springs public schools, she is retiring at the end of the school year.

She's working on a couple of quilting books and hopes to be able to travel, offering lectures and workshops to quilting guilds and organizations.

But no matter where she goes, she's sure to take her passion with her. It doesn't take much.

Needles. Thread. Scissors. Cardboard. A few pieces of fabric. And some ideas. A love. A passion. A hobby. A quilt.


Pagosa's Past 

Romance in the early San Juans no easy feat

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Country during the 1860s and 1870s was known by outsiders, if they had ever heard of it, as part of the San Juans.

Of course Pagosa Country today remains a part of the San Juans, but times are different now, even though we are still awash with newcomers.

Prospectors, cattle ranchers, merchants and an assortment of adventurers drifted into the San Juans during the 1860s and 1870s. Worried about bloodshed between the venturing whites and angry Utes, the U.S. Army sent Bt. Lt. Col. E.H. Bergman into the area with the idea of locating the best spot for a military post.

We don't know whose idea it was to launch the expedition during February when snow and cold make outdoor living almost impossible. The survey certainly had all of the distinguishing characteristics of government planning. Last week we talked about some of Bergman's observations. We'll conclude this week with Bergman's conclusions.

After noting that a fort near the great hot springs would be a waste of time because deep snow would prevent the troops from getting out to protect anyone, Bergman instead recommended building a fort on the Animas River above today's Durango. Upon returning to his starting point at Camp Plummer near Tierra Amarilla, N.M., Bergman wrote the following glowing account of what he had seen.

"This part of the New Mexico and Colorado territory is beyond doubt, the best portion of it, although I viewed it in the most unfavorable light (the middle of a bad winter), and needs only (add) an industrious population to the advantages nature so generously affords here. This population will soon flock to this region as soon as the fact is known that they shall have protection from the Indians.

"Men who were in 1860 and 1861 here in search of gold have expressed their desire to return to this country for the purpose of farming, mining, stock-raising, and indeed many are already planning to go, as soon as they hear troops will be sent to protect them."

Bergman was right. The people came, ignoring the fact that most of the area was reservation for the Southern Ute Indians. And the army came and peace was kept and most of the land was transformed from reservation to private, non-Indian ownership. But, even with the army and peaceful Indians, the trip into the San Juan Basin was not easy. Not even on the train.

Early Pagosa historian Laura Manson White wrote of young newlyweds who made the journey during the winter of 1880. The honeymooners started from Missouri; their destination, the brand new frontier town of Durango.

The bridegroom, Charles Naegelin, first came to the San Juan Country in 1875 after spending the three previous years in Pueblo. After living in Del Norte, Parrott City and Animas City, Naegelin made the 1880 trip to his old home town to claim his bride.

The journey from Missouri to Durango was made by rail as far as possible. Their first adventure occurred in Kansas where the train derailed forcing a layover and extra expenses. They had to lay over again in Pueblo where their funds gave out because of the extra expenses in Kansas. A man in Pueblo who happened to be a banker helped them and they set out again.

In Antonito, they were again compelled to stay overnight and catch the morning train for Cumbres Pass. They spent the night at the old McNeally House, the nicest hotel in town. The proprietor seemed unusually nervous that night, and he cautioned them: "Do not go out of your rooms tonight. Stay right up there."

Which is just what they did. During the night they heard a great commotion outside, but remembering their landlord's admonition to stay where they were, they did not investigate. The next morning they saw the bodies of two men suspended from a telegraph pole near their room.

They managed to get from Antonito to Chama without any further trouble, as the stage met them at Cumbres, and drove the to Chama. (Cumbres was as far as the rails went. They did not reach Durango until 1881.) Here their old friend, J.P. Lamb, greeted them cordially and said: "Let me show you the finest hotel in the city!" And with a long, low bow, he introduced them to a large, white tent.

Just as they reached the tent, they saw a couple of young men who were playing with their six-shooters, twirling them around one finger as was the custom in the days of the old-fashioned gun. Bang! One of the guns went off, and shot the man through the heart, killing him instantly.

After a peaceful night, they had sleds take them to Pagosa Springs the next day.

The snow was very deep across the mountains, and they were required to dress very warmly - our young man put his own wool-lined overshoes on his bride to keep her warm.

Just as they reached Pagosa Springs that evening, an old-time desperado, Big Alex Fleming, shot and killed the stage driver over some grievance. By this time they were getting so accustomed to such a reception that they would have been lonesome if everything had remained quiet and peaceful. The Barlow and Sanderson outfits, with their dapple grays were operating the stage lines at that time, and of course the next stage went out on time just as if nothing happened.

The young couple stayed only one night in Pagosa Springs, as they were anxious to reach their new home in Durango and the weather was becoming quite wintry. Out on the Florida Mesa, as they neared home, the snow was so deep that everyone had to get out and help push the stage up the hill on the mesa. The road at that time came into Animas City right across the bridge as it does now.

This story was written before 1934 and included in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country, Volume IV."



Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture




































'Chaos' expected to result in April showers

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Thanks to a small dose of wet weather Saturday, this year's month of March narrowly avoided going into the record books as one of the driest ever in Pagosa Country.

While recent temperatures have been slightly lower across the Four Corners region than the near-record marks of weeks past, snowpack levels are falling and moisture totals for the month continue to lag well behind average.

However, according to the latest forecasts for southwest Colorado, the first few days of April may bring some much-needed relief.

"Frankly, there's a lot of chaos in the atmosphere right now," said Mike Chamberlain, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"But overall, the general trend over the next few days should be toward cooler and wetter conditions," said Chamberlain.

"We're looking at a couple of pockets of low pressure moving into the southwest, but to say how much moisture a certain area will get at this point is anybody's guess," he added.

"It's a complex weather system right now, but we expect at least some modest precipitation," he concluded.

According to Chamberlain, clouds and wind gusts should increase throughout today, raising the chance for afternoon showers to 30 percent.

Daytime highs are expected in the 60s, while evening lows should fall into the 25-35 range.

Friday calls for overcast skies, breezy conditions, a 20 percent chance for showers, highs in the upper 50s and lows in the 20s.

Highs should drop into the 40s for Saturday and Sunday, and mostly-cloudy skies, lows in the 20s and a 30-percent chance for showers are forecast for each day as well.

The forecasts for Monday and Tuesday indicate highs in the mid-40s to mid-50s, partly-cloudy skies and lows in the upper teens to mid-20s.

A 40-percent chance for rain is in the forecast for Wednesday, along with increasing clouds, highs near 50 and lows around 25.

The average high temperature recorded last week at the Fred Harman Art Museum was 59 degrees. The average low was 24. Moisture totals for the week amounted to two-hundredths of an inch.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit depth of 104 inches, a midway depth of 96 inches and a year-to-date snowfall total of 366 inches.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains ranges from "low" to "moderate," with pockets of "considerable" near steep outcrops.

According to the latest SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan River Basin is 91 percent of average.

San Juan River flow south of town ranged from approximately 500 cubic feet per second to 1,000 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of April 1 equals roughly 190 cubic feet per second.

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