Town's sanitation standard slips; improvement mandated
By Tess Noel Baker
The Pagosa Springs General Sanitation District faces a rather expensive future - a future that will require compliance to stricter standards for wastewater treatment and necessitate several improvements to the treatment plant.
That means a rate study that covers the needs of the district for now and the future.
Tuesday, the district board, made up of the same members as the Town Council, reviewed a "notice of significant noncompliance," received from the state March 6.
According to the notice, monthly testing from February 2003 to November 2003 revealed the district had reported 10 results that exceeded permit conditions. These involved outflow limitations for ammonia, total residual chlorine, dissolved oxygen and fecal coliform.
Town Administrator Mark Garcia said because each violation was addressed with the state as it came up, the letter came as a bit of a surprise - especially the part on enforcement. That section reads, "Should enforcement action be pursued, it will include the imposition of civil penalties of up to $10,000 per day of violation."
The town was required to respond by March 20 detailing how violations would be prevented in the future. That deadline was extended to April 7.
Garcia said Patrick O'Brien of Briliam Engineering had been retained to help the town with a two-phase plan for compliance. The first phase, to be completed by October, would focus on improvements to the aeration system. In the second phase, the plant's chlorination system would be upgraded to use ultraviolet light.
Garcia said the plant has never been able to secure a permanent permit from the state. For six years, it has operated under an amended temporary permit, and a permanent one may have to wait until new standards for treatment take effect.
But the bottom line is the issue. To complete these projects and others lists on a five-year capital improvement plan, the district will need more money. And that will probably mean a rate hike.
Even with grants, Garcia said, which could come from either state or federal sources, matching funds will be needed.
"The 160 east project really put a dent in our revenues," he said. That project, extending the sewer line three miles east of downtown, was completed last year.
The board voted Tuesday to hire a consulting firm to complete a rate study. Several board members directed Garcia to ensure the study covers not only what other sanitation districts are charging, but how much will be needed to complete the capital improvement projects necessary to bring the district into compliance.
"It seems to me we need to start with the costs and work back from there," board member Darrel Cotton said, adding that the district needs a 10-year plan, not a rate study to tell them what the neighbors were up too.
Garcia and district supervisor Phil Starks said the consultants will do just that.
The five-year capital improvement plan presented to the sanitation district board outlined an estimated $1.7 million in projects. This includes three sections of line replacements as well as upgrades to the treatment plant.
Garcia said figures are rough estimates. Actual costs may differ.
Right now, town staff is focused on finding funding for the immediate concern - a better aeration system. The equipment alone runs $138,000. Add in the cost of labor and installation and it will probably rise near $200,000.
County faces $2.58 million airport crisis
By Tom Carosello
"I'm sick to my stomach about this."
Such were the sentiments of Mamie Lynch, chairman of the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners, after reviewing documents Tuesday indicating the county faces a potential $2.58 million funding shortfall for the continuance of improvements to Stevens Field.
Lynch's comment came on the heels of a presentation by Ken Fox, who was hired to oversee operations at Stevens Field on a temporary basis after former airport manager Tim Smith departed in late February to accept a similar position in Fort Collins.
Reiterating information provided in a cost-estimate memo to the board, Fox outlined the county's responsibility for construction of a new, fixed-base operations facility and relocation/replacement of eight box hangars and several fuel-related structures.
The issue Tuesday concerned which aspects of those requirements were anticipated - financially - and which were not.
Apparently, many were not.
However, the fulfillment of the obligations, said Fox, is necessary under contract agreements struck between the county and Federal Aviation Administration - contracts that have provided over $9 million in federal grant funding for a series of upgrades to Stevens Field that were initiated in the '90s.
In summary, the county must comply with the provisions and general timelines in the agreements or risk forfeiting eligibility for future funding, and, perhaps, the payback of millions in resulting funds and revenues.
According to Fox, under previously approved contracts, the development of the midfield terminal area is the next step in the improvement process.
As stated in Fox's memo, "this means that midfield infrastructure, the hangar construction and the relocation of the fuel farm must be completed by the time the runway is completed ... estimated by October this year ... only six months from now."
Preliminary cost estimates for the slate of tasks amount to just over $3.2 million, though roughly $640,000 of that amount could be carried by FAA "match funding."
The balance, however, falls to the county - costs that could be adjusted downward, but expenses that were apparently unexpected until recently, and therefore not considered in this year's budget.
The bulk of the price tag relates to providing a new structure to house fixed-base operations, a notion that dominated the majority of discussion this week.
Questions concerning the fate of the current fixed-base facility, Nick's Hangar, have existed since at least the fall of 2002.
According to the minutes of the Oct. 1 board meeting that year, Energy and Engine Technology, a corporation pursuing a fixed-base operation contract with the county, "wanted assurance the county would pay for relocation costs should it become necessary to move or tear down Nick's Hangar."
Furthermore, "A part of Nick's Hangar protruded into the object-free zone, which the (FAA) guidelines prohibit. The options of relocation and reconstruction of a new building were discussed along with provisions for renegotiation of lease terms should the county construct a new building."
Speculation surrounding a pending FAA decision on such options at that time included the possibility of razing Nick's Hangar and building a new one, moving it, or grandfathering it in at it's present location and building an additional new hangar.
Where the specifics of the FAA's eventual decision and corresponding language in subsequent contacts became lost in translation, at this point, remains somewhat unclear.
Nevertheless, while details were not given Tuesday concerning exactly how the current situation came to be, some degree of insight was offered.
To that effect, "Much of this came about from a leap of faith ... that we could use the existing building as the terminal," said Commissioner Bill Downey after indicating he is "very disappointed in having the additional expenditures."
Likewise, "This is an expense we weren't counting on," added Commissioner Alden Ecker.
Though she indicated she believes the project will benefit the public in the long run, "I have to feel the taxpayers of the county have been cheated," said Lynch.
"Because they're the ones that have to pay this bill back," she added. "But I feel there is no choice; we have to do it."
In response, "Everything is happening at once, I recognize that and I apologize for that," said Bill Steele, county administrator. "But we have to proceed."
As a result, the board unanimously passed a three-part motion aimed at keeping the project on track.
The first part of the motion authorized the pursuit of a $2.5 million loan from the State Infrastructure Bank - a loan, if granted, that is expected to be paid back over a 10-year span at roughly 4-percent interest.
The second portion of the motion authorized administration to pursue the acquisition of a steel building that will serve as the new, fixed-base operation facility.
The last part of the motion authorized an expenditure from the General Fund - not to exceed $90,000 - to cover down payments on the acquisition of steel for construction of the fixed-base facility and new fuel storage structures.
Cathie Wilson, county finance director, explained that an expenditure from the General Fund is necessary in this case because, "The Airport Fund doesn't have the cash, I can tell you right now."
In response to board questions regarding how the expenditure will affect the county's bottom line, "I can't answer that solid, right now," said Wilson, though she added county revenue collections through the early part of this year are the highest since 1998 and "look much better than they have been."
Further discussion conducted during the public-comment portion of the meeting included the possibility of resurrecting an "airport advisory committee."
The reestablishment of such a committee, said one member of the public in attendance, may help prevent similar obstacles.
The board acknowledged the notion might be a worthwhile addition to future agendas, though Steele stated he is generally against the concept, indicating the current predicament, in part, is the result "of actions taken" by the former airport advisory.
Known as the Airport Authority, the committee was created in 1991 and eventually dissolved after a unanimous vote by the commissioners in late 2002.
In response to some final questions, Steele said the recent developments, specifically those related to Nick's Hangar, are "a very, very complex topic."
In addition, "It's been a hard animal to chase, sometimes," said Steele, adding the hangar will be retained, but, according to FAA regulations, cannot be utilized as a hangar or fixed-base facility.
With regard to whether or not the county was aware of its potential responsibility for other arrangements, "Did we recognize that before - yes - but I don't think we were necessarily sure we had to do that," said Steele.
"Now, we know we do," he concluded.
EMS accreditation process outlined
By Tess Noel Baker
"I feel like the board is defensive about this and this is not something we need to be defensive about."
That was one of the comments made by Upper San Juan Health Service District Director Ken Morrison following the approval of an outline of standard operating procedure to be written for EMS.
The outline was approved unanimously, but only after many questions from the board and the public. It was one of several topics met with a barrage of questions at the regular board meeting March 25.
Earlier in the meeting, an audience member observed that the board and administration seemed to be setting up a series of "smoke screens."
Morrison agreed, saying it was time for the board and the staff to focus on explaining issues more clearly and providing information further in advance of a vote to give board members a chance to understand what was before them.
District Executive Director Dee Jackson said the list of index topics submitted for approval came from requirements necessary to meet the Commission on Accreditation for Ambulance Service standards.
Kathy Saley, public relations coordinator, said the district has been working diligently to put the necessary procedures in place to achieve accreditation because acceptance would mean the district had met the "gold standard" of patient care.
"Who oversees the final draft of the procedures?" board member Dean Sanna asked.
"I do," Jackson said, adding that it is the job of the board to set policy, whereas it is her job to write the procedures to put policy into effect. After several more questions, Jackson said her role in approving the final copy would be more of an editing function. The three paramedic shift supervisors and physician advisor Dr. Dan Hepburn would be tasked with writing the procedures.
Larry Escude, a staff-member at EMS, asked if the EMTs would have a chance to review the standard operating procedures prior to approval.
District Chairman Charles Hawkins said that would be determined by the supervisors and Hepburn.
Saley said the accreditation procedure required buy-in by all of the EMTs before approval could be given.
Other questions related to the accreditation agency, out of Glenview, Ill.
According to the group's Web site, the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services was incorporated in 1990. It offers a three-year accreditation based on performance in an on-site review and an off-site review. A panel of commissioners, representing health care, law and business, determines whether an organization can be accredited.
The CAAS board of directors includes representatives from: the American Ambulance Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Association of EMS Physicians, National Association of EMTs and the National Association of State EMS Directors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is an additional liaison.
Nationwide, 87 ambulance services have received accreditation by CAAS, including three in Colorado - American Medical Response in Colorado Springs, Eagle County Ambulance District, Edwards and Northglenn Ambulances, Inc. The Albuquerque Ambulance Service is also CAAS accredited.
According to the Web site information, cost for the accreditation is $100 for the application package, plus $3,500 for an ambulance service the size of Pagosa's. Another $5,000-$6,000 deposit is due at the time of application for reviewer fees. This includes travel and per diem for the on-site review.
The index of standard operating procedures, which ended up being passed unanimously, is part of the district's preparation for application.
Jackson said the policies are being written now using a template provided by an already CAAS-accredited agency in Colorado. About half have been completed. The goal is to have site reviewers come out in May for a preliminary review.
Because the district's policies are so new, she said, the accreditation company might only issue provisional approval and then return after a year to make sure the district is following its policies and it's quality assurance program.
A record 210,819 utilized slopes of Wolf Creek Ski Area this season
By Tom Carosello
Did big winter snows across Pagosa Country equate to big numbers for the 2003-2004 ski season?
The answer, according to statistics provided by Wolf Creek Ski Area, is a definite "yes."
In short, "Basically, we had our best year ever," said Roseanne Haidorfer-Pitcher, Wolf Creek sales and marketing manager.
According to Haidorfer-Pitcher, a record 210,819 skiers tested Wolf Creek's 1,600 acres of terrain between Nov. 7 (opening day) and Sunday, the area's final day of spring operation.
That figure eclipses the area's previous high mark of 202,053 recorded during the 1998-1999 ski season, and reflects an increase of over 14 percent when compared to last year's total of 183,907.
In addition to tallying a new all-time high in season totals, said Haidorfer-Pitcher, Wolf Creek set single-day attendance records on consecutive days in mid-March.
"Spring break started out a little slower than we anticipated - still good, but fewer numbers than last year," said Haidorfer-Pitcher.
"Then came the third week of March and it seemed like everybody decided to come up to the mountain at once," she added.
Despite unseasonably high temperatures during that week, 5,586 skiers flocked to the slopes March 15, narrowly breaking the area's prior, single-day attendance record of 5,585 by a margin of one.
The benchmark was short-lived; the following day's total of 5,647 surpassed the mark to claim the top spot in the record books.
Although the area was in the midst of a dry spell with respect to snowfall, Haidorfer-Pitcher said springlike conditions during the two-day span enabled the record crowds to move about the area with little congestion.
"Normally everyone is kind of confined to the inside areas, but we had people eating outside on the picnic tables and we even opened a burger stand on the Alberta Lift," said Pitcher. "The warm weather actually helped us accommodate everyone."
Lastly, said Haidorfer-Pitcher, though nine inches of new snow recently boosted Wolf Creek's summit depth to 109 inches, Sunday's closing date is not viewed as premature since many people are already beginning to focus on summer activities.
"With all the warm weather we've been having, people just aren't thinking about skiing as much," said Pitcher, adding the area drew a combined total of roughly 1,600 people over the weekend.
"There's still a lot of snow, just not enough people to justify staying open, from an economic standpoint," said Haidorfer-Pitcher.
"But nobody's complaining," she concluded. "We had outstanding support this season, and we owe a lot to our customers and employees for making this just a great all-around year."
April 30 deadline for heating aid applications
Archuleta County residents wishing to receive heating assistance from the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) must act quickly to meet the April 30 deadline.
If eligible, applicant households could receive up to $700 annually to help pay home heating bills.
According to the county's Department of Social Services, which administers LEAP, over 350 households in the county have been approved this season for an average benefit of nearly $636.
Households not approved since Nov. 1, 2003, may still receive a full 2003-04 benefit, but they must apply and present proof of eligibility before the deadline.
Households with gross incomes below 185 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible if they meet other program requirements.
For example, a family of four grossing $2,836 during the month of March would meet the income requirement. The maximum allowable gross monthly income is determined by the number of household members, ranging from $1,384 for a single-person household to $4,773 for a household of eight.
Anyone interested may call social services at 264-2182 for specific income guidelines or to request an application. Application forms and brochures explaining requirements are also available at the social services office at 551 Hot Springs Blvd., 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Eligibility can only be determined after a competed application is submitted with proof of income and other information. Both homeowners and renters may qualify if they pay for heat, either directly to a utility company or as part of their rent.
LEAP is a federally funded program receiving supplemental funding from the nonprofit Colorado Energy Assistance Foundation which, in turn, receives contributions from energy companies and utility customers which help protect the program from funding shortfalls when actual need exceeds projected costs.
Pagosan violates probation, sentenced to six years
By Tom Carosello
A Pagosa Springs man convicted of sexual assault last year was resentenced to six years in prison Monday for an apparent parole violation.
Scott Firth, 53, was handed the sentence after a March 26 probation revocation hearing in which Sixth District Court Judge Gregory Lyman ruled Firth had violated the conditions of his parole.
Sixty days in the Archuleta County Jail, registration as a sex offender and electronic home monitoring were stipulations included as part of the probation given Firth last May after he pleaded guilty to an amended count of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, a Class 4 felony.
The case dates back nearly two years; Firth was arrested and booked on those charges July 19, 2002, after an arrest warrant was issued for him the previous day.
According to court records, Firth's six-year sentence, which includes credit for 98 days served, is "indeterminate," meaning he will be subject to reevaluation at the end of his sentence to determine if further incarceration is necessary.
The Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. April 14, in the county commissioners' meeting room, in the county courthouse.
The agenda includes:
- Call to order/roll
- Final Review of the re-plat for Parcel 18 of Pagosa Alpha Section 23. This is a request for a re-plat of Parcel 18 in the Pagosa Alpha Subdivision. Parcel 18 is 10.02 acres and, if approved, the replat will create two 5.01-acre parcels (18A and 18B). The designated use for Parcel 18 is single family residential and will remain the same for the two new parcels.
The property is located in Pagosa Alpha Section 23, Section 23, T35N, R2W, N.M.P.M. The street address is 93 South Squaw Canyon Place. The nearest cross streets are South Squaw Canyon Place and Oakbrush Street
- Conditional Use Permit for Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District proposed Temporary Rock Crushing Project
This is a request for the planning commission to review the proposed Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District temporary Rock Crushing Project, located at the Lyn Avenue facility.
The property is located at 100 Lyn Avenue. The legal description is the SE 1/4, NW 1/4 of Section 19, Township 35N, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M.
- Variance request for setback requirements for Pagosa Smiles Dental Clinic
This request is for a variance from the building setback to be reduced from the 15 feet as required per Section 11.9 to a 10- foot setback
The property is located at 51 David Drive, Lot 18X of the Old West Landing Subdivision. The legal description of the property is NW 1/4 SW 1/4 of Section 15, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO.
- Variance request for freestanding signs for Pagosa Smiles Dental Clinic
This request is for a variance for freestanding signs to allow two freestanding signs rather than the one allowed per Section 26.5.2(c)(1).
The property is located at 51 David Drive, Lot 18X of the Old West Landing Subdivision. The legal description of the property is NW 1/4 SW 1/4 of Section 15, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO.
- Review of the March 10 and 24, 2004 planning commission minutes
- Other business that may come before the commission
Republicans set sites for precinct caucuses
Archuleta County Republicans have announced locations for precinct caucuses at 7 p.m. April 13.
Voters who have been registered Republicans for 60 days and who have lived in their precinct at least 30 days may participate in the caucuses.
The caucus locations are:
Precinct 1 - County commissioners' meeting room in the county courthouse
Precinct 2 - Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.
Precinct 3 - Archuleta County fair building, 344 U.S. 84
Precinct 4 - St. Peter-St. Rosa Catholic Church, Colo. 151/County Road 975, Arboles
Precinct 5 - Chimney Rock Restaurant, 18710 U.S. 160 West
Precinct 6 - Pagosa Lakes Vista Clubhouse, 230A Port Ave., Pagosa Lakes
Precinct 7 - Community Bible Church education building, 264 Village Drive
Precinct 8 - Our Savior Lutheran Church gymnasium, 56 Meadows Drive just off U.S. 160.
At the caucuses, Republicans will select their central committee members who will serve two-year terms and will select delegates to the Republican County Assembly scheduled April 24.
Resolutions proposed and passed at the caucuses will then move on to the county/state levels and eventually move to the national level if approved at the lower levels.
All registered Republicans are urged by the party to participate in the precinct caucuses because of hotly contested presidential, Senate and House election races this year.
Any questions concerning locations and agendas for the caucuses may be referred to Mojie Adler, 731-4277.
Police cast for leads in theft from auto
By Tess Noel Baker
The Pagosa Springs Police Department is fishing for information in the case of some missing rods and reels.
Detective Scott Maxwell said visitors from Englewood, Colo. reported the theft March 30. A total of four fly rods, a fishing vest, a car stereo and 100 compact discs were taken from their vehicle, a 1993 Subaru station wagon, parked in the 300 block of Pagosa Street.
Maxwell said a slim jim and another, similar, device were used to enter the vehicle.
The stolen rods include: an Orvis four weight silver-label fly rod, two Cabela's three weight stowaway rod and reel combos, a Sage six weight fly rod SP 690 and a Ross Cimmaron fly reel. The Columbia fishing vest is tan with a variety of fly-fishing equipment in the pockets.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call Maxwell at 264-4151, Ext. 241 or dispatch at 264-2131, immediately.
Parallel parking approved for parts of Hot Springs Boulevard
By Tess Noel Baker
Three road projects are on the table in the Town of Pagosa Springs this year - Hot Springs Boulevard, Cemetery Road and upgrades on Talisman and Village drives and Piñon Causeway.
Town Administrator Mark Garcia said the advertisement for bids on final curb, gutter and asphalt work on Hot Springs Boulevard are ready to go with one detail remaining.
Garcia said the road width of the project was designed to accommodate either a center turn lane or on-street parallel parking slots. The council was tasked Tuesday with deciding how to dress the road to start.
Their answer was to give both options a chance. The road will be striped for parallel parking on both sides from Spring Street south, adding approximately 70 spaces. The northern half of the road will keep the center turn lane configuration.
"I have had several people come to me and say they're not finding parking at the Pagosa Springs Community Center," council member Stan Holt said, advocating the parallel parking on that portion.
Council member Tony Simmons, sworn in along with Bill Whitbred and Holt earlier in the meeting, asked if parallel parking on Hot Springs Boulevard would lead to added congestion.
Garcia said traffic on the road generally clears out once the Post Office closes for the evening, reducing the chances of congestion during evening events at the community center.
The other two road improvements are joint town and county projects.
Garcia said work on reconstruction of Talisman and Village drives and Piñon Causeway has resumed although the contractor has not been given an official notice to proceed. That will happen in the next several days depending on the weather patterns.
Once they are given the notice, Garcia said, they will have 46 days to complete the project.
The asphalt project planned for Cemetery Road, which was set to include resurfacing on the portion from 5th Street to Hilltop Cemetery, and paving the remainder of road to Bienvenido Circle, may have to be completed in two phases. Garcia said the design is complete, but utility, right of way and environmental agreements are pending on the non-paved portion.
This project is funded in part by a state air quality grant.
In other business, the council:
- approved a letter outlining concerns and comments regarding the Village at Wolf Creek Subdivision, a proposal for a 2,000 unit residential and commercial project planned at the top of Wolf Creek Pass. The letter included requests for detailed economic and social impact studies, a traffic impact analysis for U.S. 160 and U.S. 84, the needs for affordable housing for employees of such a development and adequate engineering.
Council members requested the letter be sent to Mineral County, Rio Grande County and the U.S. Forest Service.
- approved $10,000 to retain consultants for a vision committee. The town has applied for a $60,000 Energy Impact Grant to help fund a comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan is a requirement under the town's Home Rule Charter passed last year. Garcia estimated it would take about 18 months to put a comprehensive plan in place.
- reviewed a draft ordinance of a smoking ban for public buildings within the Town of Pagosa Springs. The ordinance was provided, along with information on bans in other parts of the state, for information purposes only.
A copy of the draft is available at www.townofpagosasprings.com.
A public hearing will be scheduled May 4 to give business owners and residents a chance to voice their opinions on the issue.
Circus, rummage sale support center credo of family fun
By Pauline Benetti
Special to The SUN
What could a rummage sale and a circus possibly have in common?
Well, in Pagosa they have the community center in common. Both these events are coming up this month and both are sponsored by the community center. In addition, both are consistent with the mission of the community center - to offer the community useful services and family fun events.
What could be more fun for the family than a circus? The fun and excitement begins early (8 a.m.) on April 15 with the set-up of the Big Top, accomplished with the strength of the great circus elephants.
Later in the day the Carson & Barnes Circus will offer two performances, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Spectators will be treated to a spectacular parade, acrobats and trapeze artists, clowns and performers from around the world along with lots of performing elephants, lions, camels, dogs and horses in five different rings.
Advance tickets are $5 for kids 2-11 and $10 for adults. They can be bought at any bank in town plus the Shell Station, Shang-Hai Restaurant, Corner Store, Chamber of Commerce and the community center.
Now the other part of the mission - offering useful services. What could be more useful than an indoor yard sale?
This event gives us a good reason to open windows, shake out dust, clean out cupboards and closets, and just get rid of "stuff" that has been taking up space.
Get rid of it by taking it down to the community center April 17 and putting a price tag on it. Chances are someone will find their treasure among your discards.
For $10 you can have a table ($20 for two) upon which to display your wares 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Come to the community center right away and reserve one (or two) of the best spots.
For further information call the community center at 264-4152, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Hispanics a key part of the circus family
With approximately 100 Hispanic employees from various countries, including Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Brazil the Carson & Barnes 5-Ring Circus is proud to honor their contribution to the 2004 edition.
Hispanic performers, technicians, office workers and department heads provide the unique skills and talents vital to success of this unusual business.
Both Traci and Krystin Byrd, daughters of the circus owners, Barbara and Geary Byrd, have merged by marriage into this great Hispanic culture. Traci is married to Julio Cavallini, from a sixth-generation circus family from Peru and Kristin married Gustavo Parra from Mexico.
Together, they represent the next generation of circus management.
Various departments have long-term Hispanic employees in charge.
Jaime Garcia from Mexico has been with Carson & Barnes for more than 30 years. As superintendent, Jaime makes sure the big show moves and the world's largest big top goes up on schedule.
"Many people say that it's the most amazing act of the show," Jaime says with a smile.
Wardrobe manager Hernando "Fichi" Reyes from Colombia, is responsible for the hundreds of exotic and colorful costumes for the performers and animals. This year's edition will feature Spanish costumes in the opening aerial ballet and mid-show spectacular parade.
Properties manager Luis Soto and his crew ensure that all props and equipment are in the right place at the right time - in the circus, lives depend on it.
Martin Rivera and Yamina Huaman, cookhouse managers, are natives of Peru and responsible for feeding the crew of this international company.
"Catering to their tastes is a challenge I enjoy," Rivera said. "It makes my job interesting and very rewarding."
The circus is a small town that not only moves daily, but also generates its own electricity.
Andrew Huaman of Peru is head of the electrical department.
Carson & Barnes Circus features more than 30 Hispanic performers, many of them following in family footsteps with generation after generation of circus performers.
The cast of highly talented artists also includes performers from other countries around the globe and over 100 animals.
Carson & Barnes Circus will present two performances in Pagosa Springs - 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. - April 15 in a fund-raiser for the Pagosa Springs Community Center.
Advance general admission tickets are available at the Shell Station, Bank of Colorado, The Corner Store, Wells Fargo Bank, the Chamber of Commerce, Bank of the San Juans, Pagosa Springs Community Center and Citizens Bank. Special prices are being offered or you may choose to go online and get your tickets at www.carsonbarnes circus.com.
On circus day, advance general admission tickets can be upgraded to preferred seating for an additional charge.
The circus will be presented in the open area between the community center and hot spring.
Health services district changes meeting date
The date for the regular April meeting of the Upper San Juan Health Service District board has been changed.
The meeting is now set for 5:30 p.m. April 13. A location has yet to be determined.
Kathy Saley, public relations coordinator, said the meeting was moved because of a lack of a "full quorum." Meetings of the district are generally held the third Tuesday of each month.
Citizen Alliance needs volunteers
Has too much free time been getting you down?
Why not donate some of it to the San Juan citizens Alliance?
The group is looking for volunteers who are interested in helping to increase genuine democracy, and foster social, economic and environmental justices in the San Juan Basin.
Extra hands are needed to help out in projects big and small. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Carol Clark at 259-3583.
Used cell phones can aid in fight against cancer
Can something in your kitchen drawer really help cure cancer?
You bet it can!
The American Cancer Society has teamed up with a company that has created a unique way of raising money for Relay For Life in the fight against cancer.
Donate your used cellular phone, your friends' and your neighbors' too. Every phone makes a difference. Each cellular phone collected equals a donation directly to our Relay For Life.
The more phones collected, the closer we'll be to a cure. Please bring your old cell phones to the collection bin at the Chamber of Commerce, or if you are participating on a relay team, give them to your team captain to count as a donation towards your team's total.
For more information, contact Morna Trowbridge at 731-4718.
Easter sunrise rite set
The fifth annual Pagosa Springs communitywide Easter Sunrise Service is planned at 7 a.m. Sunday in Golden Peaks Stadium at Pagosa Springs High School.
Instrumental music will highlight the session opening with the hymn "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" and closing with "Because He Lives."
The Rev. Don Ford of Community United Methodist Church will deliver the message. He noted that every year attendance has increased, peaking at 127 in 2003.
The program will go on, rain, snow or shine, and will be followed by a breakfast in the church 7-10:30 a.m. A $5 donation is requested for the meal but no collection is taken at the sunrise service.
'Believe, Talk, Act' during Sexual Assault Awareness Month
By Carmen Hubbs
Special to The SUN
Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon, with Archuleta County Commissioner Mamie Lynch, declared April Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs at a ceremony held April 1.
To increase public attention of sexual assault and to encourage community member involvement, the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program held the kickoff event in downtown Pagosa Springs.
The mayor read a proclamation saying sexual assault affects everyone and that many citizens of Archuleta County are working to provide support for victims; citing the importance of raising awareness through education and prevention; and making a request for "public support ... to work toward a society where all women, children and men can live in peace, free from violence and exploitation."
As the proclamation ended, Commissioner Lynch raised an awareness flag encouraging all who read it to "believe, talk, act" to "work to end sexual violence in our community - to believe that sexual assault is a communitywide problem; to talk about the issue in our homes, with friends, and in social groups; and to actively become a part of ending sexual violence."
Next, three students from Pagosa Springs High School displayed 72 smaller flags, representing 72 sexual assault victims served in Archuleta County during 2003. The flags displayed images of children, women and men, demonstrating the many faces of victims.
The flags were then "planted" around the Bell Tower Park to be flown throughout the month, honoring victims, while increasing awareness of the extent of sexual assault that exists in our community.
As the ceremony ended, people lingered, humbled by the impact of the event. It is the hope that each day, as people see the many faces of victims, and are encouraged to "Believe, Talk, Act", that the honoring of victims continues and personal awareness arises.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. What will you do?
For more information on how you can get involved, contact the victim assistance program at 264-9075.
Few amendments made it into the Long Bill
Rep. Larson's Report
In even numbered years the budget bill (aka The Long Bill) is introduced in the House of Representatives first. HB04-1422 was distributed to the members March 30, and we were given the afternoon off (well most of us were, because one committee met) to dig into this 607-page document with its accompanying 217 page narrative.
Generally each caucus will meet and painstakingly pour over the budget looking for vulnerable funding that can be shifted to a program that a legislator particularly likes and perceives to be underfunded or at risk of being eliminated. This year the Republican caucus did things differently.
On March 31 the Republicans met in their caucus, listened to our Joint Budget Committee (JBC) members explain the many nuances that led them to their revenue and spending assumptions and then we closed the budget ... all within a couple hours. One Western Slope member moved to close the budget explaining that after her eight years in the Legislature and years of sitting for 10-14 hours dissecting every line item, headnote and footnote that we needed to do things differently. She said that through discussions with their colleagues and constituents members knew what they were looking for and could seek out the guidance of any of our excellent JBC staff if they have questions.
An overwhelming "sense of the caucus" (under law caucuses cannot be binding) majority vote confirmed agreement. Leadership allowed a few more questions that were focused on understanding the overall picture and then we adjourned. Simple as that.
The Democrat caucus continued to scour the budget all day Tuesday and part of Wednesday. When the house convened on Thursday afternoon to work on the budget in second reading, 65 amendments had been drafted for offering.
Much to my surprise, the elimination of the derrière and mind-numbing budget caucus process did not significantly impact the outcome. Members still drafted their amendments, we still debated them on the floor (some were debated ad nauseum) and the JBC members still fought to protect their good work. At the end of the day, few amendments made it into the Long Bill. The JBC's countless hours of work had essentially withstood any significant challenges and the bill is now on its way to the Senate.
K-12 education, Medicaid caseload growth and prison growth eat up all revenue increases. But improved revenue projections and a one-time redistribution of tobacco funds (resulting in a $40 million transfer to the general fund) meant that with a few exceptions, most programs were allowed to receive at least last years funding level. Unfortunately two exceptions will particularly impact our region.
Senior programs that provide meals, transportation and other services was cut by $2.5 million. This is on top of previous year cuts of $1.5 million. These cuts will directly impact our seniors by cutting already strapped nutrition programs. The house was only able to restore $500,000 to this line item.
Field administrators in the Department of Human Services provide an important liaison connection to the counties. Elimination of these positions means reduced efficiencies, training and a host of other valuable services.
It is now up to the Senate to try to restore funding. Sen. Isgar and I have suggested cuts to the governors office line items since the governor is sitting on approximately $22 million in federal flexible funds and he could use this "slush" fund to backfill the cuts. It would have been nice for those funds to have flowed to the Legislature for us to appropriate as stipulated under the law.
Citizens should call the governor's office (303)866-2471 and ask the governor to fund these critical senior programs and not sit on that money in these critical times.
As policy 'morphs,' solutions cause new problems
Sen. Isgar's Report
Even though this is my third year in the state Senate, I still find it remarkable how public policy can morph under political pressure.
Such was the case last week with Senate Bill 189, which purportedly offered a solution to Colorado's funding crisis in higher education.
I've addressed higher ed in previous columns and argued that the constitutional constraints imposed by TABOR and Amendment 23 have led us to balance our budget on the backs of our colleges and universities.
This result has reflected poorly on our state's commitment to higher education and, in my view, undermined the state's economic recovery.
The most immediate problem facing Colorado colleges is the insufficiency of state funding coupled with the inability to raise revenue.
Under the state constitution, there is a limit to the amount of money state schools can bring in without it counting toward a TABOR refund. Hence, schools like the University of Colorado have lobbied for a way to exempt tuition increases from TABOR so they can maintain their institutions in times of declining state general fund support.
Last year, the Legislature passed a bill to grant CU enterprise status to do just this, but it met the governor's veto. Reintroduced this year, SB 189 also combines enterprise status for CU with a new voucher program for higher ed funding.
The principle behind the voucher plan is to give TABOR the slip on a technicality. Instead, the argument goes, of funding state institutions of higher education, Colorado would provide stipends directly to in-state students, which they could use toward the cost of their education.
In effect, the bill provides no new money, but only shifts the mechanism through which it is distributed in the hope that rerouting the money will exempt the schools from TABOR.
However, the problem with this premise is the flimsiness of the link between the vouchers and the students. Students never see a check, and are only made aware of their stipend when it's counted toward their bill.
There are already fears that Doug Bruce may sue the state to challenge the bill's constitutionality. In addition, there are objections to the fact that selected private schools will receive tax dollars at a time when we are having trouble funding our public schools.
Ironically, if the vouchers are constitutional, we might make things worse for public higher education by creating a feeding frenzy among private schools. For example, affirming the idea that higher ed vouchers really aren't subsidizing state schools indirectly, there's no reason why a student shouldn't have a choice between any accredited school public or private. In other words, we are welcoming a challenge from any number of private schools that weren't earmarked for vouchers. Where do we draw the line?
But more importantly, simply allowing schools to raise tuition only hurts the smaller colleges in our area when we start pricing potential students out of the market.
If our goal is to provide any meaningful relief to higher education, the solution will have to come from a constitutional reform on the November ballot. I feel that anything else that doesn't create new money, or remove our structural fiscal problems, only sends the message that we're still thinking in the short-term and aren't putting enough energy into finding a solution with the voters.
In the end, however, SB 189 passed the Senate 22-13 with my vote in opposition. The bill will now move on to the House.
This week, the Senate will start work on the budget.
My hope is to offer several amendments to reallocate some of the federal flexible funds and restore programs that were cut close to home. With any luck, we'll find some money for things like our area senior programs and local field administration for the Department of Human Services.
'Prepare Colorado' is Red Cross challenge to boost state safety
The Colorado Chapter of the American Red Cross has released statistics from a random telephone survey conducted with 400 state households.
According to a previous survey conducted by the Red Cross national office, 60 percent of Americans are unprepared for a disaster of any description. However, nearly 90 percent of respondents to the Colorado survey find it imperative to know how to handle an emergency situation.
Eighty percent of Coloradans also think it is important to have an emergency evacuation plan including an out-of-area contact and a place to meet away from home. However, only 50 percent reportedly have such a plan and only 42 percent have emergency kits in their homes.
The statistics for emergency preparedness are more positive for households with children that are found to be better prepared and more informed. Surprisingly enough, less than 20 percent of Coloradans reported they have been involved in any community effort related to disaster preparedness in the past few years.
And, although many employers have created disaster plans and hired safety and security officers, only half of all Colorado employees are aware of a disaster plan at their workplace.
The Colorado Red Cross survey further states that nearly a quarter of the state's households do not have anyone who is trained in first aid, CPR or other lifesaving skills. According to the survey, the American Red Cross comes to mind first and most often when Coloradans (i.e. families) think of organizations that help save lives and provide information on preparing for emergencies.
"The statistics are concerning," said Christine Benero, chief executive officer for the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross. "With some training, a little planning and preparation, we feel anyone can be better prepared for whatever emergency might arise.
"By following a few simple steps to be prepared, Coloradans can make Colorado the most prepared state in the nation for all types of emergencies from a near drowning or a heart attack to a home fire, major snow storm or the threat of wildfire."
The Red Cross commissioned the survey as the preliminary step of the "Prepare Colorado" campaign being launched this month. It encourages individuals, families, businesses and communities to take five simple steps: 1, build a kit; 2, make a plan; 3, get trained; 4, volunteer; and 5, give blood.
Health and safety training coupled with disaster education including a line of emergency products make up "Prepare Colorado."
"Our mission is to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies," said Benero. "Many people are familiar with the reactive nature of our mission, responding to care for people impacted by disaster. With "Prepare Colorado," we are hoping to show Coloradans that by being prepared and completing these five simple steps, everyone can minimize the potential destruction to property as well as injury and loss of life often associated with the smallest personal emergency to the largest communitywide disaster."
For more information about "Prepare Colorado," visit www. preparecolorado.org.
Divorce/custody seminar Monday
Doing your own divorce and/or custody in Colorado will be the topic of a 6 p.m. April 12 seminar presented by a volunteer attorney from Southwest Bar Volunteer Legal Aid.
The seminar, at 1474 Main Ave., Suite 200 in Durango, is free and no preregistration or income eligibility is required to attend.
Anyone wishing to apply for the free book of forms and instructions available to low income individuals is encouraged to arrive 10 minutes early.
For more information call Legal Aid at 247-0266 or the Women's Resource Center at 247-1242.
Heart Association classes coming to Pagosa for four weeks
American Heart Association classes are coming to Pagosa Springs the next four weeks.
Over the last few years there have been very few association classes available to the public here, but these classes are considered the gold standard of CPR training.
Always conducted by a health care provider, the courses are based on the latest science available.
The Pagosa Springs classes will be: Adult CPR, 5:30-9:30 p.m. April 15; Pediatric CPR 5:30-9:30 p.m. April 23; First Aid, 5:30-9:30 .m. May 10; and Health Care Provider CPR, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. May 17.
For information on location and to register, call 731-0296.
Pagosa Bible Church sets Easter service
Pagosa Bible Church will present "Lion of Judah, Calvary's Lamb," a contemporary worship service, 9 a.m. Sunday.
All are welcome.
The church is located at 2017 U.S. 160 West.
For information, call 731-1158.
Habitat sets annual fund-raising luncheon
Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County will hold its annual fund-raising luncheon at noon April 28 in Pagosa Springs Community Center.
Purpose of the fund-raiser is to assist the chapter's ability to not only provide a home for a deserving family, but to hopefully be in a financial position to build a second home this year.
While Habitat has never been able to complete two homes in the same year, with the community's generosity, the dream could be realized.
Twenty-five giving individuals and businesses have purchased sponsorship tables which will each seat seven guests. These guests will also be asked to donate at the luncheon. Some tables will have seats available for those wanting to attend.
Speakers will be Sally Hameister, executive director of the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce; Terry Alley, former superintendent of schools; and John Hostetter, president of Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County and of Wells Fargo Bank.
Information will be announced regarding the impending start of the first home of the year and an opportunity to become involved, whether it be in time, talent or monetarily will be available.
The luncheon will start promptly at noon and will last approximately an hour.
Signs and Wonders camp set for children
By Virginia Humphreys
Special to The PREVIEW
The International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo., is coming to the Pagosa area June 1-3 to minister to children.
The camps and retreats are a training ground for children to experience God's healing compassion and power for the lost, the sick and broken hearted.
Planners believe children can walk in the power, revelation and knowledge of God's mission to assist and empower the children with an understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the destiny God has placed on each life. We model and teach Biblical truths that exalt Jesus.
At each camp and retreat, we offer clinics and seminars for the children that teach Kingdom of God principles. Each session is filled with praise and worship and ministry.
Each day we play hard and enjoy God-centered fun through recreational activities.
Lenny and Tracy La Guardia, children's pastors from International House of Prayer and a team of children's leaders from IHOP will be here.
Cost is $110 (additional children in family $100 each). With groups of 10 or more, the leader comes free. Cost includes everything needed to have the best week of a lifetime with food, lodging, Signs and Wonders Teaching Syllabus for Children, recreation, T-shirt and more; after May 15 cost will be $135.
A registration form must be filled out by each parent or guardian. The forms are available at Community Bible Church or can be downloaded from www.fotb.equipchildren.com.
Be sure to mark Durango camp dates June 1-3, 2004. If mailing registration, there is a $25 deposit that must accompany registration, with the balance due no later than May 15.
Make checks payable to CBC and note Children's Signs and Wonders Camp. Mail to Community Bible Church, 264 Village Drive, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Call 731-2937 for more information.
Exploring metaphors of Easter message
At 10:30 a.m. April 11, program facilitator Mike Greene will lead a special Easter Sunday Meditation Service for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
He will explore metaphors of Easter's message of renewal with four short meditative exercises from the sandbox of stress reduction modalities:
- Progressive relaxation (experiencing physical tension and release)
- Autogenics (working with the mind-body connection)
- Open focus (opening the narrow doors of attention and perception)
- Releasing (letting go of felt demands for control and change).
The Fellowship is now meeting in its new permanent home in Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza, 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 North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big new sign.
All are welcome.
Lutheran youth group will host Easter breakfast
By Julie Martinez
Special to The PREVIEW
All are invited to an Easter Breakfast 9-10:30 a.m. Sunday at Our Savior Lutheran Church and School, 56 Meadows Drive.
The youth group will fix breakfast burritos - plain or smothered in your choice of red or green chile. The meal will be served in the school gym, which is adjacent to the church, and shares the same parking lot. Donations are welcome but not required.
Holy Week services include a Maundy Thursday service at 7 p.m. today and a Good Friday service at 8 p.m. Friday.
Maundy Thursday commemorates the night when Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, with his disciples, immediately before his betrayal and trials by the Sanhedrin and the Roman authorities.
The Good Friday service this year will once again be the traditional Tenebrae, the Service of Darkness. It is a time to reflect on His sacrifice and death in the stillness and quiet darkness.
Due to daylight saving time, the service will be held at 8 p.m. to take advantage of the full darkness of that hour.
The service ends with the church bell tolling 33 times, one time for each year of our Lord's life on earth.
Holy Week concludes with two services on Easter morning, at 8 and 10:45 am (with the breakfast held between services). All are welcome as we join in celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Good Friday service slated
The public is invited to a Holy Friday worship service led by youth at Community United Methodist Church at 8 p.m. April 9.
Through drama, scripture and special music, the youth and adults will recount Christ's final hours prior to his triumphant resurrection. Music Director Melinda Baum said, "Our hope is that by reminding ourselves of Christ's suffering, we will be more prepared for Sunday's joyous Easter celebration."
Community United Methodist Church is located downtown one block North of U.S. 160 on Lewis Street.
Special services at CUMC
Community United Methodist Church will hold Maundy Thursday services at 6 p.m. today.
Featured will be a stone soup supper, communion and time for personal and group prayer in the garden.
Good Friday service will be at 8 p.m. with church youth presenting Christ's final hours. Although it will not be of the magnitude of "The Passion," they will use drama, scripture and music in depiction of this event.
A non-traditional worship service will be held in the church 8:15 a.m. Easter Sunday as will a traditional worship at 11 a.m. Nursery care will be available beginning at 8 a.m.
Anyone is welcome to join the congregation in these opportunities for worship of significant events in Christian history.
Noted archeologist will address new Chimney Rock Interpretive Association
By Dahrl Henley
Special to The PREVIEW
Dr. Steven Lekson, curator of anthropology at the University Museum of Natural History in Boulder, will speak April 19 on the topic "The Place of Chimney Rock in the larger Chaco World."
Hosting his presentation will be the newly formed Chimney Rock Interpretive Association. The public is invited to the 7 p.m. meeting in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street.
Dr. Lekson received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico and is a southwestern archaeologist who has led 18 expeditions in the Four Corners area. He is the author of two dozen books, and a frequent contributor to Archaeology and other magazines.
The association, a nonprofit partner with Forest Service, operates the Chimney Rock Interpretive Program. Formerly the San Juan Mountains Association in Durango governed this program. Now the same volunteers operate the program from Pagosa Springs.
"The local volunteers in Pagosa Springs have always been the driving force, and provided the majority of the volunteer services that have made the program so successful," said long-time volunteer Ann Van Fossen.
"The only difference is that now we have the opportunity to make decisions locally in a way that will benefit the community as well as the association," she said. "It is by far the most interesting and rewarding volunteer work I have ever done."
The association serves nearly 11,000 visitors from all over the world each season on four two-hour walking tours each day, seven days a week from May through September. They also greet another 4,000 visitors at the visitor center. The program's operating funds come from tour fees, donations and sales at the gift shop.
Each season the association provides free tours to local schools. Between 300 and 500 elementary, middle, high and home school students, as well as scouting, other youth groups, and Indian cultural group students from northern New Mexico and southern Colorado communities visit each year.
The association also hosts many special events including the Pueblo Indian dances, "Life at Chimney Rock: A Festival of Crafts and Culture," full moon programs, and sunrise programs at the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox.
"Obviously it takes a large number of volunteers to make a program such as this a success. We will welcome anyone with an interest in southwest archaeology, and specifically Chimney Rock, to join us," said Dave Jackman, president of the association's governing board.
More information about Chimney Rock Interpretive Association and the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area may be found on the Web site at chimneyrockco.org.
Six of 37 planned lynx releases made
The Colorado Division of Wildlife released six lynx last weekend in southwest Colorado as part of the agency's long-term effort to restore the native cat to the state.
According to Todd Malmsbury, chief spokesman for the Division, three males and three females were released at a remote location northwest of Creede.
"All of the animals were in excellent condition," said Malmsbury. "The release went off without a hitch."
The Division's reintroduction program began in 1999 with the release of 41 lynx, followed by 55 more in 2000 and 33 in 2003. Up to 50 more lynx will be released in 2005, and another 15 may be released in 2006 and 2007.
Colorado, said Malmsbury, "is literally writing the textbook with respect to lynx in the lower 48; something like this has never been done before."
Optimism for lynx recovery in the state has been increasing each year as the Division continues to learn more about the cats, said Malmsbury, but the effort still faces great challenges.
"We really want to emphasize that while it appears to be going well, we still have a long way to go before we can call it a success," said Malmsbury, citing mortality rates that have greatly improved since seven lynx succumbed to starvation in the first year of reintroduction.
"In 1999 we were advised to perform what are called 'hard releases,' or releasing the animals as soon as they arrived here in the state," said Malmsbury.
"But we've since learned to hold them longer and release them when we are certain they are in top condition," he added. As a result, "We've had only two deaths related to starvation since that first year, and none recently."
According to Malmsbury, while starvation is a factor among even established populations, the leading causes of lynx mortality in Colorado are human-related.
Of the 129 lynx released between 1999-2003, 51 have died, said Malmsbury, with 11 mortalities confirmed or "strongly suspected" as the result of shooting.
In addition, at least eight lynx have died after being hit by vehicles, said Malmsbury.
However, Malmsbury indicated only four of the 33 cats released last year have died, and stated work on measures that will potentially reduce mortality rates further is continuing.
For example, the Division is developing a vaccine that will protect the lynx from plague, an affliction that has claimed at least four cats since the reintroduction began.
"The ultimate goal is to have the number of births exceed the number of deaths, but we're certainly not at that point yet," concluded Malmsbury.
This year's release efforts are expected to help bolster the chances for such a ratio - a total of 37 lynx will be released into the high-alpine forests of the San Juan Mountains before the end of April.
"These lynx will go into the core reintroduction area where previous releases have occurred," said Rick Kahn, coordinator of the agency's lynx reintroduction program. "The lynx released this year will find habitat that's already occupied by animals we released in previous years, increasing the likelihood that they'll adapt and establish territories.
"Our goal is to have a high enough population density to allow a self-sustaining population of lynx to become established in Colorado," Kahn explained. "If the density is too low, it makes it much less likely there will be sufficient reproduction to allow the population to become established."
Division tracking crews confirmed the birth of at least 16 kittens to six lynx mothers last spring, the first time reproduction has been documented. The births marked an important milestone for the reintroduction effort. Wildlife managers had previously confirmed other important milestones including lynx establishing territories and finding ample prey.
This winter, tracking crews led by researcher Tanya Shenk confirmed that at least six of the kittens have made it through the winter and are already hunting on their own.
Crews have also seen tracks and other evidence suggesting that female lynx that can no longer be tracked because their radio collars have failed may have had kittens as well.
"We have confirmed that four of the six females that had kittens last spring were still with the kittens later this winter," Shenk said.
"We are already seeing breeding behavior with at least 11 pairs of males and females, and we could see kittens this year from mid-May through mid-June," she said. "Some of these are the same pairs that produced kittens last year."
The lynx to be released this month were captured earlier this year in Quebec and British Columbia, said Scott Wait, the Division's area biologist in Durango who coordinated with Canadian officials.
"We had hoped to have as many as 50 lynx to release, but extreme cold in Manitoba didn't allow them to capture any lynx this year," Wait said.
Prior to their release, the lynx are housed at a private facility near the San Luis Valley where they are fed and examined to be sure they are in peak condition when they are released into the wild.
Releases occur in April to provide enough time to ensure the lynx are in top condition and to coincide with the spring emergence of prey species that increase the chances for lynx to survive.
Lynx once inhabited much of Colorado's high country, but human activity and habitat changes lead to the extirpation of the species around the state in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The last confirmed lynx was illegally trapped near Vail in 1972.
For more information, visit the Division's lynx Web site at http://wildlife.state.co.us/species_cons/lynx.
Spring turkey hunt opens April 10
Turkey hunting is more popular than ever in Colorado largely due to ongoing efforts by the Colorado Division of Wildlife to introduce more birds to the state and effectively manage native populations.
After years of careful species management, Colorado is now home to thriving populations of Rio Grande and Merriam's wild turkeys. Both subspecies will offer sportsmen and women ample hunting opportunities when this year's spring turkey hunting season begins April 10.
"Whether they are hunters, or people who just enjoy watching wildlife, folks are very passionate about the turkey," said Rick Hoffman, avian researcher for the DOW. "Maybe it is because of their secretive nature or their size - they are basically the largest land bird in North America - there is a kind of mystique to turkeys.
"People really seem to enjoy them. From a hunting perspective, the turkey is really the small game version of an elk. Hunters enjoy the challenge of calling them. The spring season offers opportunity to hunt where there aren't a lot of other competing seasons, plus the spring is a great time to be outdoors," Hoffman said.
DOW statistics illustrate how much wild turkey hunting has risen in popularity over the past three decades. There were only 1,301 turkey hunters in the Colorado in 1973. By 2002, however, the number of people buying Colorado turkey hunting licenses had risen to 12,367. Most of Colorado's turkey hunters are residents, with a mere 4 percent of them traveling from other states. DOW biologists attribute the trend to higher turkey populations and more suitable turkey habitat in neighboring states.
Colorado's total wild turkey population stands at an estimated 25,000, outnumbering hunters by a ratio of 2-to-1 and providing plenty of opportunities for both sportsmen and wildlife watchers to hunt for them or observe them in their habitats. Two subspecies of wild turkeys call Colorado home, including the Merriam's, which typically resides in higher altitudes along the Front Range and Western Slope, and Rio Grandes, which live in habitats bordering riparian areas on the Eastern Plains.
Turkeys were nearly eradicated from much of their occupied range in the United States as pioneer settlement progressed westward. Due to nationwide management efforts, turkey numbers have rebounded across the country, making the wild turkey one of the most successful species conservation stories in U.S. history.
Wild turkey management efforts continue today. The DOW, with the help of the National Wild Turkey Federation, has conducted three transplant operations this year alone. Merriam's turkeys have been transplanted to the Colorado River near Grand Junction, and to the Hayman burn site near Divide. Rio Grande turkeys have been transplanted to Bijou Creek in Adams County.
"Normally, when we put these birds out, they reproduce their first year," said Ed Gorman, small game manager for the DOW. "A lot of that depends on the quality of habitat that we put them into as well as weather patterns. What you see with released turkey populations is when the habitat is right and the weather is appropriate, turkeys do really well. They should expand quickly if the habitat is correct."
Typically, transplanted birds are both trapped from and released into areas temporarily closed to hunting. Therefore, neither hunters nor the transplanted birds are interfered with and the hope is that additional hunting opportunities in these areas will be available in the future once there is a solid population of birds.
Colorado offers hunters two wild turkey seasons, including one in the spring and another in the fall. However, 70 percent of the state's turkey harvest occurs in the spring. Hunters have an advantage during the spring because male turkeys, or toms, are vulnerable to decoys and calling while they search for mates during the spring.
Hoffman said several counties in southwest Colorado provide hunters who buy over-the-counter licenses with good hunting odds. They include: Archuleta, Montrose, La Plata and Montezuma.
"Simply put, these areas tend to be the best because there are more turkeys on public land," Hoffman said.
While Las Animas County produced the highest number of turkeys harvested in 2003, hunters should keep in mind that most of the land in the county is private and gaining access can be difficult.
Colorado has both limited and over-the-counter turkey tags for certain portions of the state. The average harvest success rate for the entire state is 23 percent, while the success rates for the more coveted limited license areas, with higher density turkey populations, averages 53 percent, state biologists said.
The spring turkey season for over-the-counter licenses is April 10-May 23. Closing dates vary for limited licenses. Resident turkey licenses cost $10.25. Nonresident over-the-counter turkey licenses cost $75.25.
During the spring season, hunters who draw a limited license are also allowed to buy an unlimited over-the-counter license. Hunters with two spring licenses can take two bearded turkeys if one of the turkeys is harvested in a limited license area and the other is harvested in an unlimited license area. Hunters are also allowed to harvest one turkey of either sex during the fall season as long as they did not harvest two birds in the spring.
Those who are heading out into the field this spring to hunt turkeys will find the Spring Turkey Outlook for 2004 a useful tool. DOW biologists give a region-by-region break down that will educate hunters about what to expect throughout the state. The document can be found by visiting http://wildlife.state.co.us/hunt/turkey/spring_outlook.asp.
Big game hunts getting safer in Colorado
Colorado had one of the safest hunting seasons on record in 2003, according to state wildlife officials.
Unfortunately, seven accidents did occur, including two deaths, underscoring the importance of taking the basic, essential steps necessary for a safe hunt.
Last year, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) sold more than 560,000 hunting licenses, resulting in millions of hunter recreation days across the state. Wildlife officers said fewer and fewer hunting incidents occur each year, which is a strong indication that the state's hunter education program is working.
"While we hate to see any incidents at all, when you compare the number of hunters and the amount of time they spend in the field with the seven incidents, it tells us that we are getting through to hunters with our safety message," said Mark Cousins, acting hunter education coordinator for the DOW. "Because of the quality of our program, we are confident that the trend of fewer incidents will continue into the future."
Cousins noted that three of the five non-fatal incidents involved people who had not received hunter education.
In 1970, the Colorado Legislature mandated hunter education classes for all hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1949. Since then, the number of hunting accidents has decreased steadily. In the 1960s, before mandatory hunter education, Colorado averaged 10.1 fatal hunting accidents and 24.2 non-fatal accidents every year. However, those figures had dropped to 1.3 fatal accidents and 11.1 non-fatal accidents by the 1990s.
Six of last year's incidents occurred while the parties were hunting for big game; the other involved small game hunters. One of the deaths and four of the injuries were self-inflicted, and the other two involved individuals in the same vehicle or hunting party. Some of the incidents were the result of illegal behavior, including possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle or hunting in a careless manner.
Both fatalities occurred during big game hunts. In one instance, an archery hunter fell on one of his broadhead arrows, which cut his femoral artery and caused him to bleed to death. In the other, a hunter shot a member of his own hunting party with a muzzleloader, apparently mistaking him for an elk. Authorities said the incident was the result of the hunter failing to identify his target.
A third fatality was recorded last year, too, though it did not involve firearms or archery equipment and was not classified as a hunting mishap. A waterfowl hunter died after he fell through the ice and drowned while attempting to rescue his dog.
"When hunters head into the field, they need to remember that a moment of carelessness can result in a lifetime of consequences," Cousins said.
For more information on the DOW's hunter education programs call (303) 291-7530, or visit the Division Web site at http://wildlife.state.co.us/hunt/huntereducation where a copy of the hunting incident report for 2003 can also be found.
Wide-ranging conditions in Colorado's life zones
By Chuck McGuire
As an eternal optimist, I believe life is always good, but as an emphatic outdoorsman, I believe life in Colorado's high country is truly grand.
Sure, there's winter, with snow and sub-zero temperatures, to contend with. The inevitable spring thaw and mud season seem to last forever, and even long summer days under a blistering hot sun wear me down after awhile. But as far as I'm concerned, seasonal change is part of the real beauty of mountain living. Then again, it certainly helps to have one of the most diverse landscapes in the entire United States.
Colorado is just far enough north, and with a low point of 3,300 feet above sea level, that one can never quite escape winter entirely. But if winter is unavoidable, at least lower-elevation temperatures are relatively moderate, and ample sunshine allows for many comfortable afternoons hiking or horseback riding in canyon country. For those of us who enjoy cold and snow, there are high alpine ski areas with beautiful forests and lots of light fluffy powder.
Needless to say, winters aren't like that everywhere.
I vividly recall, as a child growing up in the Midwest, my joy and astonishment watching the annual Tournament of Roses Parade on television. Naturally, it was New Year's Day, and as participants and spectators basked in the warm California sun, most wore only short-sleeved shirts. Lawns were green and neatly groomed, Coconut palms swayed lazily in the temperate breeze, and fruit trees appeared heavy with ripening citrus.
Meanwhile, the air temperature outside my window was seldom more than 10 or 15 degrees, and even if the sun was shining, the ever-present windchill quickly nullified any warming affects it might offer.
I can't say how old I was back then, but I remember thinking it odd that two totally different climates could exist in the same country at the same time.
As a young adult, I moved to a Colorado ski resort, and soon discovered wide-ranging conditions existing in a variety of life zones, depending primarily on elevation.
For instance, it's April now, and here at 7,000 feet, spring has gained a fairly solid foothold. The sun is out, and through moderating temperatures, the once heavy valley snow pack has quickly vanished. Grassy meadows are now that illustrious green, unveiling renewed life after a season of dormancy. The aspens and Narrowleaf Cottonwoods bear new buds that will soon unfurl into a thick canopy of green, providing shade for a lush understory of sprouting grasses and shrubs. Robins and Mountain Bluebirds are back after a long winter hiatus. Meanwhile, Gunnison's prairie dogs have emerged from their burrows, and await the arrival of a new generation of offspring.
No doubt it's still possible, if not probable, that more wintry weather will befall us before I'm completely comfortable digging out the camping gear. Then again, should the impulse become too great, I can head for lower elevations. By now, regular daytime highs in the western canyons are reaching into the 70s and low 80s.
The canyons and mesas of western Colorado are part of the vast Colorado Plateau, a high-elevation tableland of sedimentary rock formations and sagebrush flats. Other than narrow bands of willows and a few cottonwoods along the Colorado River and its many tributaries, no trees grow in the arid landscape, which averages less than 10 inches of precipitation a year.
Towering escarpments, boulder fields, sagebrush and prickly pear cactus provide cover for a variety of snakes, small lizards, Jackrabbits and Sage grouse. Golden eagles and the occasional Ferruginous hawk will ride the mid-day thermals, watching for the slightest movement below. Meanwhile, nocturnal predators like the Great Horned owl and bobcat find an assortment of small rodents easy prey.
With sub-zero temperatures on the coldest winter nights, and daytime highs hovering around 100 in July, the canyon country is a land of extremes. Between winter, with its short days and chilly nights, and the long hot summer, camping season is relatively brief. More often than not, I'll limit my visits to day trips for a few hours of hiking, or jeeping the back roads.
Between 5,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation, the sagebrush flats are lost, and the piñon-juniper woodlands appear. This transition zone, called the upper Sonoran, is really the beginning of the "high country." While the region is still very dry, slow-growing Piñon pines and Juniper cedars will eventually attain a height of about 30 feet. To conserve moisture, they're typically widely-spaced, often allowing the dense Juniper to live 2,000 years or more.
A wide array of birds, squirrels and other mammals live in the upper Sonoran zone, with the highly nutritional piñon nut making up an important part of their diets. I've never actually harvested one, but according to those who know, it's larger and heavier than most other pine nuts, while supposedly containing as many calories as chocolate, and as much protein as beef.
Drought is always a concern in the semi-arid West, and over the past few years, it has taken its toll on vast stands of coniferous forests throughout the high country. In the upper Sonoran zone, as well as the higher Montane and Subalpine zones, various beetle infestations have decimated thousands of acres of Piñon, Ponderosa pine, Lodgepole pine, and Engelmann spruce. In some regions of southwest and north-central Colorado, Piñon and Lodgepole forests stand brown and lifeless, adding significantly to the threat of fires.
Beetles are always present, but adequate moisture usually allows trees to produce sufficient sap to fend them off. In the Montane zone, between 6,000 and 9,500 feet, 15 to 25 inches of annual precipitation generally fall as snow. Here, Ponderosa pines cover the dryer south-facing slopes, with Douglas firs dominating the shaded north-facing slopes. In disturbed areas, where avalanches or fires have raged, faster-growing Lodgepole pine or groves of aspen fill in.
Higher still, the Subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce dominate the cool Subalpine zone between 9,000 feet and timberline at 11,500 feet. With frequent high winds and cold, moist conditions, the growing season is only about two months long. Nevertheless, the slow-growing spruce and fir tolerate the harsh climate well, where at higher elevations, a spruce with a trunk a few inches in diameter might be several hundred years old.
The Montane and Subalpine zones make up much of the Rocky Mountain timber belt. With moderate summertime temperatures and sufficient moisture in the form of heavy winter snows, conditions are well-suited to sustaining immense forests and a wide variety of wildlife. Everything from small reptiles and amphibians to bears, mountain lions and moose inhabit the region.
The Alpine Tundra is the highest of Colorado's life zones, easily recognized by its lack of trees. With its thin atmosphere and harsh cold, winter is the dominant season at elevations reaching as high as 14,433 feet (Mount Elbert), and summer may sometimes last only a few weeks. Strong winds are the primary factor in the vegetation makeup of the tundra, where any trees or shrubs not insulated by a blanket of snow are freeze-dried by gusts that can exceed 200 miles an hour.
During winter, wildlife is scarce above tree line. Ptarmigan and pikas remain active, but except for the wind, the land is almost silent. In contrast, the tundra comes alive during its short summer. The greatest diversity of Colorado's 300 species of wildflowers are found here, and bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, other mammals and many birds move onto the tundra to forage and escape pesky insects found at lower elevations.
I've gained a few years since my childhood fascination with seasonal diversity, but today, I still marvel at the broad range of climates, flora, and fauna found in the Colorado high country. With such multiplicity always available to an emphatic outdoorsman, life is truly grand.
Nest box time
The bluebirds have arrived and it is time to check out those nest boxes that are already hanging for mice, etc. Any old nests should be cleaned out. Also it is time to put new boxes in place.
The Western and Mountain Bluebirds require a nest box hole of at least 1 9/16 inches. It is best to place boxes approximately 300 feet apart as these birds are territorial. My preference is to have the boxes mounted on a seven foot metal or PVC pole that is slippery so as to deter varmints and cats. Other birds such as chickadees like to use the boxes as well. Good luck on your bluebird sightings!
It was with great difficulty that I resisted a response to the ridiculous remarks found in the SUN's letters, titled "Saddam Sharon?" I am pleased now I did not, as Mr. Boutwell and Mr. Gross did a fine job on behalf of all thinking individuals who don't just automatically fall for the bigoted anti-Israel propaganda from the left. I would like to add some other information as reported by the Haaretz News Service out of Israel.
Since Arafat declared intifada, "war" against Israel, after he refused to accept 97 percent of his own demands, there have been 29 Palestinians under the age of 18 who have carried out "suicide attacks" and 22 others under 18 who have carried out "sacrificial attacks" in which the attacker opens fire and then is killed by I.D.F. soldiers. Forty others under 18, have been arrested under suspicion of intending to carrying out attacks.
Last week soldiers found an explosive charge on a cart being pushed by a pre-teen Palestinian boy, and by now every one is aware of another boy who was stopped before he was able to detonate his explosive vest. As reported by Haaretz, the 14-year-old boy, Hussan Abdu, said he was "tempted by the promise of having sexual relations" with 72 virgins. He was said to have been bullied by fellow Palestinian students for having bad grades in school and wanted to "prove himself a hero." A 17-year-old girl who was caught committing fornication was offered, "martyrdom" or stoning. She chose to die for Allah.
I once had the privilege to stay in a Roman Catholic home in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The first night after arriving, a terrorist bomb was detonated nearby. I asked my host when the violence in Northern Ireland would end. His response was simple: "When the radicals leave the young people alone."
Another time, while staying with friends in London, another bomb went off less than a mile away. For over 50 years the I.R.A. and other splinter groups continue the violence and the indoctrination of youth on both sides, continues.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said the violence in the Middle East would end when the "Arab's love for their children was greater than their hatred for the Jews." There are no greater cowards than so-called "victims" who sacrifice children rather than take up the fight themselves.
The left, including John Kerry, if allowed to change the balance of power, will embrace the brutal dictators of the Arab world in order to appease their threats of continued terror, and will desert the Israelis who at least enlist adult males as opposed to children to fight their battles.
Something to think about, come November.
In the March 30 Denver Post, Bill Husted reported on a penthouse gourmet dinner and strategy meeting that took place with Ken Salazar and 20 backers.
A March 31 headline referred to how much money these fat cats have put up in order to win the election. All this money and attention for a candidate who has yet to state what he believes or what he hopes to accomplish in office.
When President Bush's father was campaigning for his own reelection we heard complaints that he could not explain why he wanted to be president. Could the same be said of Ken Salazar and his bid for the Senate seat? Does Salazar know why he is running or has he been enticed to sing someone else's song in exchange for a lucrative U.S. Senate seat? Why is he asking us to support him on the basis of his name alone? Where does he stand on issues of health care, foreign policy, alternative energy, job creation and education?
Several of my friends say they support Salazar because he can win. No one can question his record as attorney general. It is superb. Salazar knows Colorado like the back of his hand. But what value is this expertise in Washington? We need to send someone to the Senate who understands foreign policy, has military and counter-terrorism experience, knows how to improve education and will stand up to special interests to ensure the health of our citizens and the environment.
Better to give this kind of candidate, a candidate like Mike Miles, the nomination than to elect one based solely on name recognition. This is shallow. It lacks principle. Like the rah-rah Little League parent whose interest is not in the game but whether or not his kid wins - and winning is everything.
Due to negligence on the Village Drive project, I am appalled by the lack of upkeep and the way this road has been put off due to weather.
Why was it torn up in October, knowing that bad weather was on the way? Mark Garcia, the town administrator, told us at Fairfield Activities they would start paving as soon as we had four consecutive days of weather over 50 degrees.
We had that weather for over a month, but they're just now getting to it, and they are doing things that could have been done when it was still chilly out. Things like digging trenches for water run off; and the bike path that was put in by the town last year is now in danger of being destroyed by this construction.
After asking the construction workers how long this project would take, I was told "by the end of the summer." How is it that Highway 84 can be paved from the New Mexico state line to U.S. 160 in a couple of months, yet it is going to take five months to do less than a quarter mile here? Taxpayers should be outraged.
A day after my first letter to the editor all that was done was a Slow sign was put up and then a few days later the road was graded. Damages to peoples' vehicles have been overlooked and no compassion has been shown.
James E. (Rick) Harvey
Editor's note: Since workers hired by a contractor are not always the best source of information concerning contract specifics and project schedules, it is best to refer to this week's article about the town council and the update on the paving.
An ambulance with two uniformed district employees arrived at the South Pagosa Park on 8th Street Saturday morning. A medical emergency or trauma injury? No. Taxi service.
A passenger stepped out of the back of the ambulance. To the astonishment of onlookers, he came to remove a campaign sign. A campaign sign listing "independent" candidates.
The ambulance was stopped (by Pat Curtis) and the driver was asked the name of the man he had delivered. This question apparently caused distress as the driver hesitated to answer, looked to the other crew member, then identified the passenger delivered by the ambulance as Neil Dennis.
Was he sent by district officials by ambulance to move the sign of the "independent" candidates? No, no, can't be any connection.
He probably just hitched a ride with an ambulance on the way to the Health Fair - except the ambulance turned around and went in the opposite direction.
Is this a legitimate use of tax-supported resources? Money? Manpower?
Just how "independent" are these candidates?
Who is at the wheel of their campaign?
Are your tax dollars being spent on a campaign?
Leading up to this event: the South Pagosa Park was reserved for a neighborhood cookout during the Health Fair by the ProHealth Coalition, which is running six candidates for the upcoming USJHSD board election. When I and other volunteers arrived that morning to prepare for the event, there stood the 13-foot sign on a trailer promoting the "Independents." Apparently, supporters had parked the truck on the town park property earlier and left.
Since the ProHealth group had reserved the park in advance, dispatch was called to inquire if that group had also reserved space in the park.
Why was the sign a problem, you ask? Town officials determined that no money was paid and no permission sought or given for the sign to be there. The officials decided there was no provision in the sign code to issue a permit for campaign signs on public property so they asked that the sign be removed.
A short time later, the ambulance arrived.
Do we want a duplication of the fiasco at the Wolf Creek Ski Area?
I would like to point out to the citizens of Pagosa Springs that you now have to opportunity to try to prevent the Forest Service from consummating another land exchange that threatens our wildlife, our way of life and our choice of leisure time activities.
Just like the Wolf Creek property exchange, discussion is now in the works to exchange Forest Service land in our town with a developer. The approximately 320-acre Job Corps site, four miles up Piedra Road, is a haven for deer, elk, grouse, wild turkey, bear and fox. I have even run into a lynx on one of my hikes.
This site is also a recreation area for Pagosans who like to hunt, ride horses, cross country ski and hike. In addition to aesthetic arguments, it is outrageous that the Forest Service would even consider such an inequitable exchange.
The area proposed for the exchange, 102 acres known as Kenney Flats and Laughlin Park, has a questionable commercial value. The asking price for an acre in a subdivision just two miles up Piedra Road from the Job Corps site is over $50,000 an acre, making the Job Corps site worth about $16 million commercially.
Make your opinions known. Let the Forest Service know your feelings about taking this land away from us. Remember, the Forest Service works for us, the taxpayers.
Bryant W. Lemon Sr.
Most of your readers have heard by now that there is a proposed development adjacent to Wolf Creek Ski area to be called "The Village at Wolf Creek" (you have covered this possibility in recent issues). It is to be located at the foot of the Alberta lift on 286 acres of private land inside the Forest Service boundary. The developer has requested from the Forest Service certain easements for access and utility systems to serve the development.
Unfortunately, preliminary plat approval of the development by Mineral County has been granted. The development is unreasonable in many respects and the Forest Service should not grant any easements beyond those already in existence. The scheduled EIS will show the extent of negative impacts, including physical and socioeconomic, which would result if the requested access to the proposed development is granted.
At this stage, it appears the only way to limit or deny the development is for the Forest Service to refuse augmented access and easements for utilities through federal property.
It is evident that the addition of more than 4,000 beds on site would far exceed the capacity of the ski area facilities which are already taxed by attendance levels near 5,000 on peak days. This alone should be reason enough to restrict access to the "Village" site to limit drastically, if not prevent the development.
It is unjust that negative socioeconomic impacts of any development at Wolf Creek are almost imperceptible as far as Mineral County is concerned, but the county would be the beneficiary of any tax base generated by development.
Archuleta and Rio Grande counties would bear the costs of government services for occupants of a developed site and for the work force and its families located in Pagosa Springs and South Fork. Yet, these entities have had no say in the approval process.
It is the public obligation of the Forest Service to prevent these inequities and deny the requested easements for access and utility systems. If you should choose to print this letter, reader comments should be directed to:
Stephen Brigham, NEPA Coordinator, Rio Grande National Forest, Divide Ranger District, 13308 West Highway 160, Del Norte, CO 81132 by April 15.
I am a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, Class of 2003. After graduation I decided I wanted to join the Marine Corps and am currently with the 1st Marine Division, 9th Comm. at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
The other day I called home and was talking with my parents and we got on the subject of the current situation in Iraq. During this conversation, they told me a certain individual wrote in condemning what we are doing there.
They read me her letter and the more they read to me, the madder I got.
I signed up because I thought I had a debt to pay to all of my fellow Marines who have paid the ultimate price for this great nation. Not only have Marines died, but also members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
Whenever I hear of people such as this lady, I can't help but say, "you're welcome." I will continue to go in harm's way for you. Let's not mention the countless tears that are shed by American servicemen and women, the loneliness and having to say good-bye to our loved ones.
I guess she has also forgotten the ages of these American servicemen and women - 17, 18, 19 and 20, mostly. Yes, they are the ones who are going into harm's way daily so those like her can criticize the American military.
Did you ever stop to think that if it wasn't for the American military your children would have had to live on a daily basis wondering if they would see tomorrow?
If you think we should have left the Iraqi dictator in power, maybe you should have lived over there for a few years getting to see little children and, yes, babies, being gassed and killed.
Just be thankful you have young men and women who are willing to die so you can stand back and enjoy the freedom you have daily. The next time you criticize the American military, stop and think of the blood and tears shed, the loneliness and having to see your comrades die, comrades you spend 365 days a year with.
In closing, all I have to say is, "You're Welcome!" And the next time the need for our assistance to defend freedom arises, I will answer it willingly.
Enjoy your freedom of speech, freedom to worship who you want, and being able to not live in fear.
May God bless this nation.
Pfc. Jerry Parker, USMC,
Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Stop litter - now
The litter in Pagosa Springs has to end. In the past, letters have been written in a cooperative spirit pleading for support, but to no avail.
So now, this message will be a little more to the point. When asked about the overabundance of litter, people say, "Well, it is because the snow is melting." Some say it is the fault of tourists and vacationers.
These answers can no longer be used as an excuse. The litter was here before the snow and has been on the ground for weeks since the snow has been gone.
Humans are the reason for the litter. The same litter will sit in spots for weeks until a caring person picks it up. We need to educate those who are littering our beautiful Pagosa Springs. We need to advertise the importance of keeping our county clean.
Many towns have signs urging "Please Keep Our Town Clean." Our radio station and newspaper need to start campaigns for the litter to stop. I understand there are community service programs and certain days for community litter pickup, but it is not enough.
It is not solely the job of the town employees. Each member of the community needs to help stop the litter. Each property owner/manager needs to be responsible for their litter. Simply get a bag and clean up your property.
Myself and others try to pick up as much litter as possible but we can only do so much. People need to stop overfilling their trash cans, trash trucks and Dumpsters. The poor animals have to swim right alongside plastic bags, boxes and trash of all sorts. I consistently see birds eating plastic.
As Harvey Schwartz mentioned, the most commonly littered garbages are cigarette butts, cans, bottles, bags and wrappers. Packing materials are also a major concern. Materials such as the little white Styrofoam pieces and shredded paper used for packing are scattered everywhere and makes for time consuming cleanup.
Some areas do not have restrictions on their litter, but it should be illegal for the trash to blow onto my property.
We need to come up with a new plan for litter because the current plan is not working. I stress the education part of the plan, not only for the young, but for the adults as well.
Everyone needs to work together. I am asking for the help of the community, business owners, real estate firms, radio stations, newspapers, and others who feel this is an important issue.
Since we are going to be on an extended vacation, I have tried since last week to get absentee ballots for the USJHSD. Last week I was told that this week they would be available.
Monday morning I visited their office again, and was told the ballots were not printed yet but will be available April 12.
Since we are leaving before that date, and have no forwarding address, we will be unable to vote. In case we had a forwarding address, it would cost $46 to mail the absentee ballot overseas in three days and return the ballots in the same manner.
As residents and users of the health services we should be able to vote.
By Kate Terry
The Newcomer Club will meet 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.
The Pagosa Investment Club meets at the Community United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. Contact Paul Draper at 731-9979 for more information.
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 carpool to the nursery following the luncheon.
Good Friday and no school. There is no school April 12.
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.
The Pagosa Piecemakers will have a "Bee Meeting" at 10 a.m. This is the Saturday before Easter Sunday, but is still scheduled. The board will meet at 9 a.m. prior to the "Bee" at the Mountain Heights Baptist Church. Sharon Cairns has asked members to bring some more nine-patch squares so she can piece some more lap quilts to be given to ill members. This is using a 3 1/2 inch strip.
The Archuleta County Genealogical Society will meet at 2:30 p.m. at Sisson Library.
The Pagosa Women's Club will meet at JJ's Upstream Restaurant. Doors open at 11:45 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon, followed by the program: Patti Renner speaking on xeriscaping. Cost is $9.50 and reservations are taken. Call Robin Struck at 731-6468, or 731-6006 Ext. 0.
Wear a spring hat or colors Friday
By Laura Bedard
Join us in celebrating spring Friday by wearing a spring hat! (Or at least bright spring colors) We will be close the center at 1 p.m. this day.
The circus is coming to town and the folks at the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center are pretty excited about it, especially since it will be right next door. We will have a contest on Tuesday, April 13, for the best clown costume. If you win, you will receive two free tickets to the circus. Seniors, come dressed up on the 13th in your best clown clothes and see if you can win a free trip to the circus!
We are sad to say that April Owens won't be teaching MicroSoft Word class anymore. She is now working full time. Good luck and thanks, April. Do we have another volunteer out there willing to take over?
Dr. Nelson will be here 1 p.m. April 13 to talk about macular degeneration. This is a common eye disease for seniors, but there are new treatments available, so please come down to discover the newest information on this disease.
Yoga in Motion has been canceled for April 13; see you the next time.
A Mexican Train dominoes set has graciously been donated to the Center by the Lundergan's. If you feel the urge to play Mexican Train, come in and try it out.
Taxes will continue to be prepared by the AARP volunteers free of charge for the low to moderate income folks every Thursday from 9-4 in the arts council room of the community center. E-file won't be available on April 15 at this location, but you can still mail in your returns on that day.
Dr. Guy Paquet will be here 1 p.m. April 14 to talk about hypertension. There are many things you can do to lower blood pressure, so you need to come in and find out what you can do for high blood pressure.
"Do you remember Rocky Mountain Conference? The other day I was remembering the old Rocky Mountain Conference. If you lived in Colorado years ago you probably do too.
"I recall most of the teams that played in it. There was Colorado University (CU) and Denver University (DU). Those two teams had a big game on Thanksgiving. It was a great game and was played in the new DU stadium, which was a fantastic thing to most people in those days. Another team was the Colorado School of Mines which was often the champion of the league. There was Colorado Teachers College in Greeley, Western State in Gunnison, Colorado State in Fort Collins and Colorado College in Colorado Springs. I believe Wyoming and Montana were members and there was Utah which was a perennial champion.
"I remember very well how we often talked about the day when a Colorado team would beat Utah! Regis College in Denver was a perennial power but they belonged to the Catholic Conference. While they did not play in the same conference, they often played practice games against the Rocky Mountain Conference teams. That Rocky Mountain Conference was replaced by the Big 8 and then by the Big 12 of today. Do you remember?"
We are pleased by the number of people who enjoy George's contribution to the Senior News. Some have been inspired to tell me their memories, so don't hesitate to let me know if you have some interesting memories of old, and they may end up in the paper.
Do not give important numbers (credit card, bank account, calling card or Social Security) over the phone, unless you have done business with your contact in the past and know of their reputation.
Check out a company before you do business over the phone. Wait for the information before you buy anything or give out your credit card number.
If you do make a purchase over the phone, get the company's telephone number, address and name of sales agent.
If you've never done business with a company that contacts you, request written information from them.
Remember that you pay for "900" numbers.
Do not allow yourself to be hurried into a decision, and if you are not interested in a telephone sales pitch, say so and hang up!
Friday - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; celebrate spring, wear a spring bonnet, noon; center closes, 1 p.m.
April 12 - Tai Chi Chih, 10 a.m.; Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.; Bridge for fun, 1 p.m.
April 13 - No Yoga in Motion; advanced computer class, 10:30 a.m.; table massage, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Dr. Nelson on macular degeneration, 12:45 p.m.;
April 14 - Beginning computer, 10:30 a.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.; Dr. Guy Paquet on Hypertension, 1 p.m.
April 16 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.
Friday - Baked salmon, pickled beets, pea salad, veggies, whole wheat roll and fruited Jello
April 12 - Baked ham, yams, broccoli, muffin and pineapple
April 13 - Meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, spiced applesauce and whole wheat roll
April 14 - Chicken chop suey, wild rice, Oriental vegetables, fruit mix and cookie
April 16 - Beef stew, vegetables, cole slaw, biscuit and plums.
There's a waiting list now for display board
By Sally Hamiester
We now have a waiting list for space in our Visitor Center Display Board thanks to alert readers and listeners who responded so quickly to last week's announcement about available ad space, and now all we have to offer is one brochure space at the La Plata County Airport in the Pagosa Springs display.
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, give us a call at 264-2360.
Cinco de Mayo
The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club will host a Cinco de Mayo celebration 5-7 p.m. Saturday, May 8 at the Vista Center. This is a family affair with games and prizes provided by nonprofits and hot dogs and refreshments served by the Spanish Fiesta Club.
The entertainment for the evening will be provided by Grupo Espinosa, a local family of talented young Folklorico Dancers. Under the instruction of Hispanic Cultural Educator, Gloria Lopez, this troupe has danced to the delight of many audiences.
The 2004 Fiesta Grand Marshall will be announced and the coronation of Spanish Fiesta Royalty will take place at 6 p.m. Applications are available at the Chamber of Commerce or you can call Natalie Ortega at 264-4604. Nominations for Grand Marshall are welcome at P.O. Box 71 in Pagosa, 81147.
At 7 p.m. the clubhouse will be cleared out and doors will reopen at 7:30 for the dance featuring local Spanish band, Variety Express. Cost for the dance is $10 and it will begin at 8. The Guadalupana Society will offer delicious posole and tortillas, and the Fiesta Club will serve other refreshments. You can purchase a slice of Cinco de Mayo cake from the Grupo Espinosa dancers with proceeds benefiting each organization. Door prizes have been donated by several Pagosa individuals and businesses, and the best dancers of the evening will be rewarded with prizes.
If you would like to volunteer for this event or are interested in being a part of the Spanish Fiesta taking place June 19, call Jeff Laydon, 264-3686, or Lucy Gonzales at 264-4791. You are also invited to attend the next Spanish Fiesta Club meeting, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 13 in the Chamber of Commerce boardroom. Viva la Fiesta.
I talked with Cody Ross just this morning and he said everything is moving along right on target with their 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. I am truly delighted to hear that all is going well with an event that has become yet another Pagosa tradition and certainly encourage everyone out there to support it.
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, please call Troy Ross at 264-5265.
You still have time to submit your favorite family classics and maybe not-so-classic recipes for an 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.
The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is about the business of collecting recipes from local cooks to be published in a cookbook that should be available for purchase around the middle of July. As always, you can count on some absolutely scrumptious dishes (after all, who in their right mind would submit a bad recipe to this kind of project?) and a potentially great gift item for friends and family.
If you have 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 email@example.com.
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.
Last Friday afternoon a local woman came in to purchase tickets for herself and her children and could barely contain her excitement at the prospect of attending a real-live circus. On Thursday, April 15, we will all 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 8-10 a.m. to watch the elephants raise the Big Top and see the circus come alive. I think this is a fabulous chance for all of us to become kids again and enjoy the wonders of a circus.
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 (FINA Station) 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
For those of you who were so upset last year when you couldn't purchase tickets for sold-out Music in the Mountains performances, I offer a word or two of caution: We will most assuredly sell out again this year well before the concert dates, so I would suggest that you head on down to the Chamber and buy them as soon as possible. I say this not only from a historical perspective, but from the current reality that we have already sold around two hundred tickets for performances that don't even begin until July. Please don't procrastinate and become a very disappointed classical music lover.
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 on 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 are always especially delighted to announce anniversary celebrations for our members because it, of course, speaks to the success of yet another year in business. This time we congratulate the good folks at Monograms Plus, Mike and Martha McMullin, on not only completing a year with Monograms but on the recent expansion and renovation of their facilities. They invited me to tour the "new look" and I was most impressed with the additions.
The McMullins are combining forces with Marla Hubbard who has relocated right next door to Monograms with her alterations and custom sewing business, Let 'er Rip, to host the open house. Please join Martha, Marla and Mike 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at 510 San Juan from for free hot dogs, chicken legs and drinks. There will be drawings for all kinds of cool "stuff" like clothes and alterations, so don't miss it.
We are happy to introduce two new members this week along with seven renewals, certainly one of the more pleasant aspects of our Chamber activities.
An existing member, Wade Duncan with Genesis Mortgage, joins us with a second business, Rocky Mountain Home and Leisure. Wade offers retail sales of Jacuzzi Premium and Nordic Spas, billiards equipment, deck and patio furniture and bars and barbecue islands. All of this sounds like a party in the making to me with the summer months rapidly approaching, and I'm sure Wade will be able to fill you in on all the details about each and every one of these offerings. You can give him a call at 264-1717 to learn more about Rocky Mountain Home and Leisure.
Our second new member this week is Cindy Gowing who brings us A Beautiful Memory Photography with offices in her home. Cindy reminds us that one of the ways we can cherish our memories for many years to come is with photographs. Cindy is the one to call for professional photography of families, children, pets and special events. She brings with her 18 years experience and will be happy to answer any questions you might have about A Beautiful Memory Photography at 731-3563.
Our renewals this week include Arthur (Hank) Anstine Jr. with Wolf Creek Outfitters, Inc.; Mike and Martha McMullin with Monograms Plus; Petra Joy with Joy Automotive at their excellent new location downtown; Duane Noggle, superintendent of Archuleta School District 50 Joint; Mike and Lisa Kraetsch with The Liberty Theatre; Linda Gundelach with Coolheads, Inc. and Elsa Lucero with Bank of the San Juans. We sincerely thank each and every one of you.
Many resources on health issues
By Lenore Bright
Congratulations to Sharee Grazda and the many volunteers who put on this year's health fair.
We thank the generous community organizations and leaders that help with financial needs as well as provide warm bodies to keep this fair operating for the public good.
The library had a booth telling about the many information resources we have about health issues.
One item is called the "Nidus Report," that covers more than 75 diseases and problems. The report is updated quarterly and has excellent background pieces.
Please ask for help in accessing these reports if you want information on any specific health problem. We have many books on general medical subjects as well. We can also help with Web site addresses on a variety of health subjects.
Just received a CD from the Colorado Health and Hospital Association that is the annual reference guide to financial data about all the hospitals in the state. If you are contemplating hospitalization, you might want to look at the CD. You may look at it on our computer.
"George and Laura: Portrait of an American Marriage," by Christopher Andersen is a compelling look at a unique partnership, and the courage, grace and humor that defines it. Not since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has a president faced a surprise attack on American soil. And not since Eleanor Roosevelt has a first lady been called upon to be a strong ally during such a crisis. This book is the story of what shaped the Bushes as individuals and prepared them to play the important historical roles forced upon them by 9/11.
Andersen paints a vivid, sometimes startling portrait of the couple. Andersen is author of 23 books and a former editor of Time and People.
"Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 keys to weight loss freedom," by Dr. Phil McGraw, is the latest in a long list of diet books. He has cut through the confusion of fad diets with clinically supported information and action plans for lasting weight management. There is even a chapter on "weight loss resistant people." Dr. Phil hands you the keys so you can finally be in control of your weight. You get to make the right decisions.
Dr. Phil is one of the world's foremost experts in the field of human functioning.
"Creative Play Activities for Children With Disabilities: a Resource Book for Teachers and Parents," by Lisa Rappaport Morris and Linda Schulz, covers 250 games and activities designed to help infants to 8-year-olds with all types of disabilities grow through play.
Each chapter focuses on a particular activity theme including exploring the world of the senses. Each activity has complete direction and a list of the equipment needed.
These are wonderful activities for all children caregivers. They were developed in conjunction with the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation. The book has an excellent resources index of associations and agencies dedicated to helping children with disabilities.
We are grateful for building fund donations from The Community United Methodist Church Supper Fellowship, Albert and Kathie Marchand, Donna Faye Hallford, Jacqueline and Peter Welch, Don and Ethel Rasnic, and the Pagosa Springs Film Society. Thanks for materials from Jennie Schoenborn, Charles Hannah, Lili Palmer, Doug Stevenson, Moonlight Books, Lory Thompson, Ellie Zimmerman, Carole Walters, Paul Matlock, Susan Baker, Lindsay Morgan, Windsor Chacey, R. L. Preston, Diane Fackler, Mike Green, Jim Pippen, Sally Hameister, Barbara Blackburn and Jean Carson.
Many veterans utilized 9Health Fair opportunity
By Andy Fautheree
It was great pleasure to meet so many veterans attending the 9Health Fair Saturday at the high school. This was the third year I have had a table at the fair.
Sharing my table were representatives from Homelake Veterans Home in Monte Vista. Vickie Olson, admissions director, and Juan Gomez, member of Homelake Board of Directors, were on hand to advise veterans and their families about Homelake. It is the nearest full-service Veterans' Home, offering assisted living and full 24/7 patient care for veterans and their qualified family members.
Many veterans attend
I lost track of how many veterans I was able to visit with.
There were several new veterans I had not met before who stopped by. Others stopped by with information to update their VA Health Care eligibility. Others just stopped by to say hi. Seems like I was so busy with interviews I noticed several just waved hi and went on with their 9Health Care screenings.
I was able to fill out VA health care applications right on the spot with my trusty laptop computer. For others, we filled out their annual financial "Means Test" to keep them up to date in the VA health care system.
Taking care of health
It is so gratifying to see our citizens, especially our veterans, take advantage of this very important community program of providing health care screenings. Many are enrolled in VA health care and receive good care through that benefit, but it never hurts to also obtain assistance and information at 9Health Fair. The cost certainly is very affordable for most people.
VSO spring training
April 19-23 I will be attending the annual Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs spring training conference. The Archuleta County Veterans' Service Office will be closed during this period.
I will have the opportunity at the conference to learn about the latest VA benefits and claims processes, new regulations and the latest procedures.
It's always a lot of information to absorb, but certainly very important to keep abreast of the latest information so that I can provide the best assistance to our veterans and their families.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Rail veterans have works on display
By Leanne Goebel
Jeff Ellingson and John Coker create detailed watercolor canvases of quaking aspen leaves, roaring mountain streams, snow-capped San Juan peaks - and trains, steam engines belching billowing clouds of black smoke while pulling passenger cars, lumber, ore and bright red locomotives.
Jay Wimer captures in photographs the last run of Engine 488, the grizzled faces of conductors and engineers after a long day on the rails, or a train crossing a trellis somewhere on Cumbres Pass.
Ellingson, a Durango resident since 1970, attended Ft. Lewis College before finishing his art degree in Interior Design at the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver. He returned to Durango and worked as a graphic artist and ran the sign shop for Art Works. In 1981 he designed the logo for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad which adorns T-shirts, caps, brochures and all railroad advertising materials. In 1983, Ellingson designed the poster for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
It is Ellingson's 20 years with the D&SNG that shaped his art career the most. Today he is a man of all trades: conductor, brakeman, fireman, museum manager, restoration artist. That interior design degree comes in handy when he is restoring passenger cars and private cars like the No. 37 owned by Al Harper. Ellingson not only designs the cars, but he gets in there and hangs wallpaper and lighting fixtures and paints the lettering on the outside of cars and engines.
In 1997 the D&SNG opened a museum in the building across the railroad tracks from the depot. Filled with artifacts and memorabilia, including the pale green boxcar used in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the museum traces the history of the narrow gauge railroad. Ellingson manages this museum and the one in Silverton. Several of Ellingson's original watercolor paintings, owned by the railroad, are on display at the museum.
Ellingson paints meticulous and accurate renderings of historical trains. He completes four paintings a year and is currently working two years out on seven commissions for private collectors. It's a rare treat to see his work outside of the D&SNG museums or a private home. Two unframed Ellingson prints are available for purchase for $39.95 each
John Coker spent 30 years as a brakeman, fireman and engineer for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. During the long winter layoffs he developed his artistic talents painting the trains, the mountains and scenery through which he traveled during the summer.
Coker is animated as he discusses his original paintings and the technique he uses to get those quaking aspen leaves to come alive on the canvas. He works from photographs to create his canvases, occasionally combining two photos into one detailed painting.
Coker's work is widely exhibited and collected in Colorado, California and New Mexico. Several original paintings plus numerous framed signed and numbered prints of Coker's work are available for purchase during this exhibit.
Wimer has dedicated the past four years of his life to preserving the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad that runs from Chama, New Mexico to Antonito, Colorado. He credits the team of shop crews and operations staff for helping him create his photographs.
Ellingson, Coker and Wimer are the featured artists in an exhibit which opened April 1 at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in Town Park. The exhibit will remain on display until April 28.
Call the council at 264-5020 for hours or Richard Goebel at 731-1841 to schedule a viewing appointment.
Felicia Lansbury Meyer will instruct a three-week acting workshop for teens.
Lansbury-Meyer is a Los Angeles performer and filmmaker who has worked on stage 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 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 June 7-25, Mon-Wed-Fri, 3-5:30 p.m., in the community center. Cost is $125. Class size is limited.
For more information, contact Pagosa Springs Arts Council, 264-5020 or Felicia Lansbury Meyer, 264-6028.
Kids summer art camp
Summer Art Camp is June 1-30 in Pagosa Springs Elementary School, 9 a.m.-noon, Monday through Friday.
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 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.
Art of French Cooking
The class is filled. Contact PSAC at 264-5020 to add your name to a list for future classes.
State 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 KREV, e-mail email@example.com.
PSAC needs volunteers to hang out at the gallery during the current 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, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at community center
April 10 - The Art of French Cooking, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Bear Mountain Ranch
April 14 - Watercolor Club meets at community center
April 15 - Photo Club meets at community center, 6:30 p.m. Show and tell: bring slides, digital, 35 mm or prints
April 17 - Saturday Watercolor with Denny Rose at community center
May 6 - High School Art Exhibit opening reception at the gallery, 5-7 p.m.
May 6-19 - High school art exhibit
May 20 - Bonnie Davies opening reception for the artist at the gallery, 5-7 p.m.
May 20 - June 1 - Bonnie Davies and Rita O'Connell 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 in the gallery, 5-7 p.m.
July 1-28 - Joye Moon exhibit in the gallery
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
Symphony sets final concerts in series
Concluding on a high note, the San Juan Symphony brings its Blazing Trails series to an end April 17-18.
The orchestra climaxes its season with Farmington and Durango performances.
These concerts include music by visionary composers, works that have blazed trails through the course of music history.
The program opens with Beethoven's "Coriolan Overture," probably the first piece of concert music intended to tell a detailed story without words. The composer was inspired by the arguments concerning justice, freedom and democracy that often moved him.
After moving the crowd with Beethoven's great spirit, the audience will be treated to the work of Igor Stravinsky, controversial in his day. While rioting in the streets no longer accompanies Stravinsky music, listeners will be treated to his "The Fair" from the "Petrouchka" ballet. There is little in musical history equaling the innovation of Stravinsky's ballets.
The program's first half concludes with a groundbreaker in the series theme - John Adams' minimalist "Lollapalooza." And it's just that, an orchestral treat. This American word suggests something large, outlandish, not unduly refined.
Following intermission, audiences will hear one of the region's favorite pianists, Norman Krieger, playing the massive Brahms' "Concerto No. 2."
Durango concert goers are directed to FLC Community Concert Hall 7:30 p.m. April 17. A few single reserved seats range from $5 for children to $25 for adults. Call the box office at 247-7657 for tickets.
Good seats are available in the Farmington Civic Center 3 p.m. April 18. Prices range from $5 for children/students to $20 for adults. For Farmington tickets call (505) 599-1148.
Springfest for kids features full slate of fun activities
In honor of Week of the Young Child and National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Upper San Juan Health Service District is sponsoring Springfest.
A day of fun activities, including a chili cookoff for kids is planned April 24 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center.
Children ages 6-16 are invited to participate in the chili cookoff. To register, call Melissa, 264-9014, before April 19.
Other activities will include face painting, finger painting, games and a cake walk. Food and beverages will be available.
Participants can bring new or "gently new" toys for donation.
For additional information, call Kathy Saley, 731-5812, Ext. 107.
Early bird tickets for folk fest available
Early bird tickets for the ninth annual Four Corners Folk Festival are on sale through April 30. The event will take place over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5, on Reservoir Hill in Pagosa Springs.
The lineup features some returning favorites from past festivals, as well as performers who are making their Four Corners debut.
Scheduled performers so far include: Tim O'Brien, Eddie From Ohio, Eileen Ivers Band, the subdudes, John Cowan Band with guest Pat Flynn, Drew Emmitt & Freedom Ride, the Bill Hilly Band, Mark Erelli, the Matt Flinner Quartet, the Marc Atkinson Trio, the Waybacks, the Pagosa Hot Strings and Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand, with more to be announced.
The event is family-friendly, with free admission for kids 12 and under; a free children's program including arts and crafts, magic shows and musical performances; a merchandise expo; food court and on-site camping. Performances will take place on the main stage during the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with additional late-night shows on the Summit Stage Friday and Saturday nights.
A big attraction besides the live performances are the more than 20 free workshops taught by the performing musicians and some of the best campground picking sessions to be found at any music festival.
The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts. The Colorado Council on the Arts and its activities are made possible through an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Early bird tickets are discounted $10 off regular advance ticket prices for two-day, three-day and on-site camping passes. Additional information about the festival and the musicians can be found online at www.folkwest.com. Tickets can be purchased online, downtown at Moonlight Books or by calling 731-5582.
Writers' workshop planned April 18
Local writers are invited to join C. J. Hannah for a writer's workshop at noon April 18.
Each writer is given 20-30 minutes to read aloud and then 30 minutes is spent hearing feedback from other writers that focuses on the craft of writing only, i.e., characterization, plot, setting.
The basic philosophy of Hannah's workshop is "How can I help make this better?" He's fine-tuned his workshop method over many years and is an amazing and on-target critic.
Writer Susan Vreeland, who dedicated her current book "The Forest Lover" to Hannah, sums it up on her Web site.
"My real learning came when I joined the Asilomar Writers' Consortium, a serious fiction critique group led by C. Jerry Hannah. This was not one of those pat-ourselves-on-the-back hobbyist groups. Here was criticism I could depend on, a disciplined format of reading our work aloud without defending it, but listening to an ordered and insightful response by writers who had the best interest of the work at heart. Working with this group for a dozen years has provided a sound alternative for an academic program."
If you are interested in participating in this opportunity, contact Leanne Goebel at 731-1841 for more information and directions to the workshop.
High school cast prepares its version of 'Fame, The Musical'
By Lisa Hartley
Special to the PREVIEW
Pagosa Springs High School will present "Fame, The Musical" April 22-24.
"Fame The Musical," which follows two successful predecessors - the hit movie and the television series - focuses on the last class to graduate from New York's High School of the Performing Arts on 46th Street before the school relocated to Lincoln Center.
"Fame, The Musical," with book by Jose Fernandez, and a score by composer Steven Margoshes and lyricist Jacques Levy, tells an insightful and exciting story about the passions and dedication shared by a group of young people with exceptional artistic gifts.
The show documents the prayers, hopes and ambitions of a group of committed and talented streetwise students as they work to develop their unique talents with the encouragement of a supportive faculty. We learn about the temptations facing these aspiring dancers, actors and musicians, their need for values and the importance of discipline in their lives as they confront issues ranging from illiteracy to drug abuse.
We stay with them through four years of intense involvement with their art, following their frustrations and their triumphs from the first day of their freshman year until graduation. "Fame" had its world premiere at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami in 1989.
The show will start at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a 1 p.m. matinee Saturday. Advance ticket sales are available in the high school office and at the Plaid Pony. Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $4 for students, elementary through high school.
Principal actors include: Brandon Samples as Nick; Hattie Mayne as Serena; Tim McAlister as Joe; Jesse Morris as Tyrone; Amber Farnham as Carmen; Cindy Neder as Iris; Randi Andersen as Mabel; Chris Baum as Schlomo; Veronica Zeiler as Lambchops; Joe Quick as Goody; Danae Holloman as Miss Sherman; Christine Morrison as Ms. Bell; Michael Spitler as Mr. Myers; and Ryan Versaw as Mr. Scheinkopf.
Dancers in the performance include: Katie Vowles, Liesl Jackson, Matt DeWinter, Taryn Burnett, Tiffany Mayne, Ben DeVoti, Havi Kornhaber, Chelsea Taylor, Anna Hershey, Kelly Johnson, Angelica Leslie, Jenna Finney, Esther Gordon, David Smith and Darran Garcia.
The musicians include: Kyle Peterzen, Heather Hooper, Kelly Crow, Sara Baum, Shiloh Baker, Shanti Johnson and Shannon Baker.
Half, full-day kindergarten sign-ups set
Beginning next school year both half-day and full-day kindergarten classes will be offered at Pagosa Springs Elementary School, pending school board approval.
Because funding by the state is available only for the half-day classes, full-day sessions will be on a tuition basis, but at half tuition level because of a special grant.
The tuition price is $150 a month and there are 40 slots open. If there is higher demand, the slots will be filled by lottery drawing.
Kindergarten registration will begin April 26 and continue through May 21. Please bring a copy of a child's birth certificate, immunization records and his/her Social Security number. Parents will not be able to register their child without these items.
Parents may request full day or half day (morning or afternoon) at this time.
The morning and afternoon slots will be filled as students are registered. There will be waiting lists for any slots filled. For the full- day class, a $100 deposit is required at registration.
School officials say a half-day schedule can be a low stress way to ease a child into the school routine, noting a student may be away from home for the first time and a half-day experience could be the best.
Parents, they added, may not be ready to send their child to school for a full day, preferring to spend extra time with the child for one final year.
And, a student may still need a nap or later wake up time at this age. Each child is unique.
A full-day kindergarten schedule allows for additional activities to enrich the variety and depth of the younger child's education experience.
There is more time to give individualized attention to students. A full-day schedule helps parents manage their day between family and work.
And, in the full-day concept, students have additional time to process the concepts being taught.
Junior high school third-quarter honor roll released
Eleven seventh-graders and eight from the eighth-grade class pace the third nine weeks honor roll released last week for Pagosa Springs Junior High School.
Seventh-graders with perfect 4.0 averages were Anna Ball, Dylan Burkesmith, Dylan Caves, Jacob Haynes, Rachel Jensen, Alexa Midgley, Julia Nell, Duster Ross, Brittney Siler, Leah Silver and Shelby Stretton.
Eighth-graders with perfect marks were Chance Adams, Natalia Clark, Mackenzie Kitson, Danielle McGuire, Keith Pitcher, Trey Quiller, Rebecca Stephens and Cory Windnagel.
In addition, 44 eighth-graders and 29 from the seventh grade were named to the regular honor roll.
The seventh-graders cited were Alex Baum, Jordan Boudreaux, Joseph DuCharme, Jacob Faber, Eric Freudenberger, John Jewell, Jennifer Low, Stephanie Lowe.
Also, Kyle Monks, Raesha Ray, Bailee Ruthardt, Jackson Walsh, Kyle Brookens, Aniceta Gallegos, Benjamin Gallegos, Zane Gholson, Jaclyn Harms, Ryan Hujus.
Also, Ashley Iverson, Judith Martinez, Shasta McMurry, Jennifer Mueller, Clark Riedberger, Jada Salazar, David Schaefer, Betsy Schur, Kade Skoglund.
Also, Anthony Spinelli, Juniper Willett, Gabrielle Winter, Casey Griffin, Kelsey Hanavan, Allison Hart, Justin Johnson, Julie Maez (Holt), Bruno Mayne.
Also, LeeAnn Phillips-Martin, Kacey Tothe, Mattea Weddle, Alicia Cox, Joshua DeVoti, Samantha Hurlburt, Caleb Pringle, Heath Rivas and Joshua Yager.
Eighth-graders listed for the regular honor roll were Madeline Bergon, Caleb Burggraaf, Jessica Low, Hannah Price, Sarah Schultz, Dan Cammack, Ryan Candy.
Also, Shannon DeBoer, Patrick Ford, Kailee Kenyon, Joshua Laydon, Travis Moore, Forrest Rackham, Paul Brinton, Misha Garcia, Aliya Haykus.
Also, Whitney Jackson, Stephan Leslie, Shantilly Mills, Adam Price, Cameron Creel, Tamara Gayhart, Bradley Iverson, Michael Moore, Ashley Portnell, Camille Rand, Laurena Thomas and Isaiah Warren.
26 intermediate school students have all-A quarter
Nine fifth-graders and 17 sixth-graders pace the third quarter honor roll with straight-A averages at Pagosa Springs Intermediate School.
Fifth-graders with perfect marks were Will Candy, Amanda Barnes, Kelvin Parker, Kayla Catlin, Andrea Fautheree, Mele LeLievre, Caitlin Muller, Zach Lucero and Dakota Miller.
High scoring sixth-graders were Kayla Matzdorf, Ashley (Miller) Taylor, Julia Adams, Seth Blackley, Ashley Brooks, Taylor Cunningham, Victoria Espinosa.
Also, Kara Hollenbeck, Sarah Smith, Josie Snow, Gary August, Mary Brinton, Bridgett Brule, Megan Bryant, Jessica Blum, Amber Lark and Casey Crow.
In addition, 36 fifth-graders and 28 sixth-graders were named to the regular honor roll with averages of 85 or better.
Fifth-graders listed include Shea Johnson, NaCole Martinez, Kaitlin Mastin, Colt Larkin, Cy Parker, Sierra Riggs, Jefferson Walsh, Daryn Butler, Jamie Claw, Trent Johnson.
Also, Tyler Johnson, Kelsie McNutt, Brittnie Sharp, Rachel Shaw, Colton Ward, Shaun Jackson, Tayler McKee, E.J. Romero, Katherine Smith, Luke Baxtrom.
Also, Briana Bryant, Tiana Johnson, Hope Forman Krogh, Joshua Long, Kelsi Lucero, Crystal Purcell, Garret Stoll, Sienna Stretton, Christopher Brown.
Also, Gabrielle Dill, Michelle Garcia, Taylor Loewen, Zack Montoya, Kimberly Rapp, Michael Sause and Sarah Stuckwish.
Sixth-graders on the A-B honor roll included Denise Bauer, Shelby Chavez, Courtney Hudnall, Kiaya Humphrey, Sierra Olachea, Jessee Martinez, Mike Flihan.
Also, Samara Hernandez, Jonathan Hudson, Ricardo Marenelarena, Jessie Bir, Jamie Salazar, Ami Shearston-Webb, Tamra Leavenworth.
Also, Douglas Rapp, Jordan Frey, Thomas Milburn, Amanda Oertel, Trenton Pinson, Jordan Caler, Ryan Hamilton, Paul Hoffman, Taylor Shaffer, Becky Riedberger, Austin Jones, Lauren Silva, Wes Ricker and Nick Jackson.
In addition, 10 fifth-graders were cited for perfect attendance, including Angela Brousseau, Randy Dodson, Kristianna Lujan, Clinton Manz-anares, Kelsie McNutt, Rocio Palma, Roxana Palma, Kelvin Parker, Rachel Shaw and Colton Ward.
Students speak at annual ed center luncheon
The By Livia Cloman Lynch
The Archuleta County Education Center would like to say thank you to the student speakers at our annual Making A Difference Luncheon held recently at the First Baptist Church..
Crystal Snow and Luke Brinton, both seniors at our alternative high school, the Archuleta County High School (ACHS), shared their personal insights.
Crystal shared stories about how the flexibility in the program allows many students to successfully complete either a high school diploma or GED. She talked about the opportunities for students to take day or evening classes, work-study combinations or to do independent study. Some of the students' needs that she highlighted in her talk were students who are also parents or are living on their own.
The second student speaker, Luke Brinton, transferred to ACHS this past fall from Pagosa Springs High School.
Luke shared his personal educational experiences during the past 12 years. Luke spoke about how everyone learns differently and that there should be educational opportunities for everyone regardless of their learning styles. Luke shared how ACHS provides individualized programs to meet each student's needs.
Rosalie Martinez was our third speaker at the fund-raising event. Rosalie is a student in our Adult Education program and she shared her personal experiences after returning to school this past fall to complete her GED.
Rosalie's heartfelt talk was an inspiration to all who had the privilege of hearing her speak.
Thank you Rosalie, Luke and Crystal for representing all of our 1,046 students at the Making A Difference Luncheon.
The Archuleta County Education Center has been making a difference in Archuleta County since 1989. We see lives changing and doors of opportunity opening for our students. Give us a call at 264-2835 or stop by and see us at Lewis and 4th streets for more information about any of our education programs.
The following menus will be used for the breakfasts and lunches served in the Pagosa Springs public schools April 13 through April 15.
No school Friday, April 9 or Monday, April 12
Tuesday, April 13 - Breakfast: Egg and cheese muffin, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Ham and cheese pocket, tossed salad, corn and ice cream cup.
Wednesday, April 14 - Breakfast: Cinnamon rolls, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Corn dog, pork 'n beans, fries and pudding.
Thursday, April 15 - Breakfast: Biscuit and gravy, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Turkey sandwich, tomato soup, celery sticks and fruit.
Daffodils, Easter eggs and don't forget the candy
By Katherine Cruse
Spring is springing, jerkily. The weather is jerky. Last weekend it didn't know whether to rain or snow. It's hard to decide what to do, ski or raft.
As I drove east with my skis I passed a vehicle heading west with kayaks mounted on top.
Here in Pagosa Country, we can really appreciate the little signs of spring.
Daffodils. New tiny leaves on the potentilla. Bluebirds checking out the boxes. Horses shedding their winter coats and nibbling tiny new grass shoots. Any month now the tips of the scrub oak twigs will be swelling with new growth.
After four years living here, last fall Hotshot and I planted daffodils around the S Bar S place. I was inspired by the acre or so of yellow blooms I once saw under the aspen trees near the late Betty Feazel's home on At Last Ranch.
I've put off planting flowers, shrubs, anything that needs water or attention. Out here in the meadows the color and movement of the dryland grasses are beautiful enough, and flower beds seemed superfluous. When we moved here I told Hotshot, "No flower beds." He said, "Okay, that's fine. But, could we have a little color around the place?" It was just a little failure to communicate.
Another deterrent to planting, besides my laziness, has been the deer. Why move into deer habitat and plant things they like to eat, just so you can get angry at the deer for eating them? Things like roses. And tulips. And they can eat some of those in a hurry. A friend back in Tennessee went out one bright noontime to walk down her long driveway and collect the mail. On the way she paused to admire a row of tulips that were newly opened.
By the time she came back from the mailbox, a passing deer had admired the same tulips and neatly plucked the heads off every stalk.
You probably have similar stories.
But daffodils are safe, we've been told. Deerproof.
We started small, with a bag of 30 bulbs. I planted half under the scrub oak around the base of a birdhouse. Hotshot planted the other half between the shrubs that he put in beside the house. Guess what? They're coming up. They're blooming. Bright bold bits of yellow in an otherwise brown landscape.
My gardening friends in lower and warmer climes tell me that their crocuses came up weeks ago. All the spring bulbs are just about finished. They're about to start major planting projects, like one friend who bought 50 - count 'em, 50 - asparagus plants. They'll soon be shifting into summer, and we're just starting to see the end of winter.
And since next Sunday is Easter, some of us will be purchasing extra cartons of eggs and packages of dye. We'll be getting the candy ready for those baskets. Well, I won't, but you might. We'll be checking out the chocolate bunnies and the sugar eggs, the kind with the window in the end and the tiny scene inside.
How was the Easter basket situation handled in your family? At my house, the basket contained candy. The eggs were hidden around the house, tucked in shoes, reclining in bookcases. However, they were not in little individual grass nests, like someone else recalled for me. Hotshot says that in his family the eggs were already in the decorated baskets. No hunting required.
A few years ago we attended a reunion of old college friends. It happened to be over Easter weekend. "Are we going to dye eggs?" I asked the person hosting us. I meant it as a joke. "Of course," she said. And all that Saturday, as we gathered at the house, she insisted that everyone dye at least a couple of eggs. Then came Easter morning, after the late night partying.
Someone hid the eggs around the back yard. Having no baskets, we went out with assorted bowls, pots, a colander. I think someone used a hat. We squealed like children at each find. We jealously counted each other's eggs.
We had a great time.
One of my persistent Easter memories is of being at my grandfather's farm one year, when my cousin and I tiptoed out of the house early in the morning and went to check out the rabbits in their hutches. One of the does had brand new babies. True Easter bunnies. We were enthralled. We were stroking their tiny hairless bodies, marveling at the new life, when suddenly our grandfather yelled at us, "Get away from there! Leave those rabbits alone."
Okay, it's not a perfect memory. But here's the big question: how did bunnies and eggs and candy come to be associated with the religious holiday of Easter?
Rabbits and hares are associated with spring, and with new life, with fertility, around the world. Eggs are another obvious symbol of new life.
Long before the Common Era dyed and decorated eggs were given as a celebration of spring.
And how did they get together? Why do we have this myth of a big ol'’ bunny bringing baskets filled with candy and eggs and, in the old days, baby chicks? Just who laid those eggs, anyway? I'm pretty sure it's not the rabbit.
The association of eggs with the Easter Bunny is apparently pretty recent, starting maybe 100 years ago. It seems to be the result of efforts by European candy makers to advertise their product. They matched up two traditional symbols and sweetened the pot, or the basket, with candy.
And that's why the Easter Bunny brings you a basket of dyed eggs. And candy.
Don't forget the candy.
Turkey hunting on the Bluebonnet Trail
By Kate Terry
A relative told me that another relative was going turkey hunting in Texas and needed company on the trip.
I didn't pass up that invite because I like Mason. It's where my brother and his wife winter - on a ranch complete with a yard full of cardinals and white tail deer who come from the surrounding woods every evening to feed on corn.
Mason is called the Gem of the Hill Country, a good description for this charming community of 3,000 people.
The Texas Hill Country is an area loosely defined as that between San Angelo, Austin and San Antonio. The rolling hills are noted for bluebonnets, flowers that bloom between the middle of March and most of April. To see a field blanketed with bluebonnets and a road edged with them is a spectacular sight. People make annual pilgrimages to the Hill Country to travel the Bluebonnet Trail.
Mason's history is far from boring. It was settled by English and Germans who had their differences - something to do with cattle rustling that resulted in the famous Hoo Doo Wars, 1875-1876, a time when Mason had more murders than any other county in the state. It is rumored that to this day there are still more unsolved murders than any other Texas county.
And with tongue in cheek I report another war.
First of all, a new version of "The Alamo" is hitting the movie theaters. John Lee Hancock's version differs from John Wayne's romantic version, if you would believe the reviews.
Anyway, apparently some woman wrote a letter to the San Antonio Express-News saying, "Anglos in the Alamo were illegal aliens breaking the law." Now I didn't see the letter but did see some of those who fired back.
The newspaper described the letters as "Readers disagree whether the Alamo defenders were thieves or fighters."
A sign on the kitchen wall of this ranch house where I'm staying says, "I only have a kitchen 'cause it came with the house." So it's time to go home - so I think!
Just a reminder that tickets are now on sale at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center for this summer's three Music in the Mountains classical music concerts. All tickets are $35, the same price as last summer - a wonderful bargain when you consider what it costs to go to a similar event in Boston, Houston or New York.
The concerts will take place Friday evenings at 7 p.m. at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs, thanks to the generosity of David and Carol Brown, owners of the ranch.
July 23 pianist Aviram Reichert will perform works including Schumann's Piano Quintet with several members of the Dallas and Baltimore symphonies. July 30 Antonio Pompa-Baldi will perform solo and then join his wife Emanuela Friscioni, also an award-winning pianist, in piano for four-hands selections. Aug. 6 we'll hear Anne-Marie McDermott on piano and Philippe Quint playing the violin.
In past years, the concerts have sold out well before the event, so I recommend that you buy your tickets as soon as possible.
Fun on the run
More test results from high school students.
"Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Since then no one ever found it."
"Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin and Benjamin Franklin were singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backward and also declared, 'A horse divided against itself cannot stand.' He was a naturalist for sure. Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead."
"Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. They believe the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career."
"Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on the old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian and half English. He was very large."
"Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf that he wrote loud music and became the father of rock and roll. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this."
Changing landscapes workshop is April 12
By Bill Nobles
Today - 4-H Oil Painting, Minor residence, 4:30 p.m.; 4-H Entomology, Extension office, 4:30 p.m.
Friday - Colorado Kids, Extension office, 2 p.m.
April 12 - 4-H Dog Obedience, Extension office and exhibit hall, 4 p.m.; 4-H Sports Fishing, Extension office, 4 p.m.; 4-H Shooting Sports-Preview YHEC, Ski & Bow Rack, 4 p.m.
April 13 - 4-H Outdoor Cooking, Bomkamp residence, 6 p.m.; Rocky Mountain Riders, Extension office, 6 p.m.
April 14 - Fair royalty rehearsal, Extension office, 6 p.m.; Junior Stockman, 7 p.m.
A "Changing Landscapes" workshop will be held 1-4:30 p.m. April 12, at the LaPlata County Fairgrounds in Durango.
The workshop is free of charge and open to the public, and is sponsored by CSU Cooperative Extension and Colorado State Forest Service.
Topics to be covered include the Piñon IPS Beetle epidemic and other forest insects and diseases of note; clean up, salvage, and reforestation of beetle infested areas; wildfire hazard mitigation; and revegetation.
Dave Leatherman, Colorado State Forest Service entomologist, will be a featured speaker. Please come to learn more about important issues affecting our forests and woodlands, and to ask questions.
While some speculate the Western Slope may be hardest hit this year by West Nile Virus, one thing remains clear: horse owners across the state should vaccinate their animals.
"Last year alone, Colorado led the nation with 604 horses testing positive for the disease," stated Colorado State Veterinarian Wayne Cunningham. "Vaccination and controlling mosquito populations are still the most effective tools in preventing West Nile Virus in horses, but owners with questions should discuss it with their local veterinarians."
Horses that have been vaccinated in past years will need an annual booster shot this spring. However, if an owner did not vaccinate their animal in previous years, the horse will need the two-shot vaccination series within a three- to six-week period. Statistics show that of the unvaccinated horses exhibiting clinical signs from the infection, one in three will most likely die.
Humans, horses and companion animals will benefit if owners control mosquito populations on their property. Officials recommend eliminating standing pools of water where mosquitoes breed and using mosquito larvicide products. Owners should also keep their animals inside during the morning and evening hours when mosquitoes are most likely to be active.
"Unfortunately, there is no WNV vaccination at this time for companion animals such as cats and dogs," said Cunningham. "They are also susceptible to the disease and concerned owners should consult with their veterinarians if their pets are exhibiting unusual symptoms."
West Nile Virus can cause an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and was first discovered in the United States in September of 1999 in a dead bird.
Mosquitoes transmit the disease and infected horses may display symptoms including head tilt, muscle tremors, stumbling, lack of coordination, weakness of the limbs or partial paralysis.
The department's Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory can test equine serum for West Nile Virus. The fee is $5.75 per sample with results within 48 hours. Samples must be sent to CDA-RMRAHL, 2331 W. 31st Ave., Denver, CO 80211.
For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the Internet at www.ag.state.co.us or the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/oa/wnv/index.html.
CSU Cooperative Extension and the 4-H Program would like to thank Maria Kuros and the Econo-Lodge for accommodating the 4-H Rabbit judge, who will be in town for the 4-H Rabbit Meat Pen and Judging Clinic, April 29. This clinic will be held at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. Thank you for your support Maria and Econo-Lodge.
No reward for Mr. Nice Guy
By Karl Isberg
I'm the nicest person I've ever known.
I've been this way for a three and a half weeks.
It's almost a month since Kathy had surgery. Rotator cuff. Painful, incapacitating stuff.
Before she went under the knife, I took a hard look at what a jerk I am and resolved to change in order to facilitate my wife's recovery.
And change I did. Overnight, I became Karl Isberg, nurse and saint: The Florence Nightingale of the southern San Juans. The nicest person I've ever known.
I plunged into my new duties with max enthusiasm.
The new me ferried Kathy to and from the hospital for pre-op work; I was there for the surgery and in the recovery room. I took her to doctor's appointments, I gave her pain medication, I tended to her every need.
Each day, I tidied her up and dressed her; I dosed her with pain medication. I made ice packs for her; I helped her in and out of the sling for her arm; I scurried up and down stairs fetching and toting; I cooked soup and procured gelatin dessert treats. I dosed her with pain medication. I did the laundry, washed the dishes.
The first two weeks, I changed her bandages twice daily, swathing her shoulder, protecting my precious love bunny from infection. I was hyperdiligent; there was so much gauze and tape on Kathy she looked like she was auditioning for a part in a revival of "The Mummy."
I fetched potions and teas, dosed her with pain medication, did all the household chores, came home from work to make lunch, took care of Arnie. When it came time to cart Kathy to physical therapy, I did it. At the end of each day, after I dosed her with pain medication, I was exhausted, but satisfied.
Not only was I helping my wife in a time of great need, I was a good person as well. The nicest I've ever known.
I was selfless. And that's saying something: An egomaniac has to be very careful of creating a void. Nature abhors a vacuum.
The third week after surgery, Kathy was making tremendous progress.
I went to the pharmacy to refill her prescription for pain medication.
Her therapist, Mark, was super-optimistic; he told Kathy she was way ahead of schedule, she could return to work. He told me, in a well-practiced professional way, that using $30 worth of gauze and tape each day on Kathy's wounds was unnecessary.
So, she went back to work. I made Kathy her breakfast every morning, dosed her with pain medication, helped her get ready, loaded her stuff (including some pain medication) in a rolling suitcase and delivered her to the high school.
I was the nicest person I've ever known.
Then, as the fourth week of the process neared an end, it happened. It was inevitable, I suppose, but I never saw it coming. That's the problem with being extra nice - you're oblivious to reality.
Kathy started to feel better. Not well enough to do everything for herself, and not well enough to drive herself around. Oh no, I was still needed.
But she was more energetic. In a nutshell - she - didn't want the pain meds, and she was ready to take account of how to live a better life.
This is an old story, isn't it? A person undergoes a trauma, begins the healing process, takes stock of things. How can I live my life in a more healthy, productive way, they ask, what dramatic changes can I make?
It's the next step I should have seen coming.
And how, asked Kathy, can Karl live his life in a more healthy and productive way as well?
I suppose I deserved it.
While Kathy was feeling poorly and under the influence of massive amounts of pain medication, she was a real lamb peach. I admit I liked her that way and I got away with murder. After I dosed Kathy with the meds, I cooked and ate all sorts of things she would normally object to and, in her semi-delirious state, she ate and enjoyed them: macaroni with four cheeses, medium rare meats nearly every night, puddings, chile in darned near everything, tons of butter, cream. As an added bonus, she was too far gone to notice what I watched on TV. I enjoyed an entire Cops marathon and four solid hours of Cheaters and not once did she utter as much as a peep. After a couple caplets I even got her to agree that Paris Hilton is the most talented actress to hit the scene in decades. I used the credit card to order the video.
The healing gets underway, her head clears, no more meds: Paradise lost.
Oh, I'm still toting stuff, driving places I don't want to go, fetching cold packs and helping with the sling and the garments. I'm rubbing Kathy's back and applying lotion to dry skin. I'm changing the bandages. But now, instead of "Karlahmmpfeerringtbeh Š" I hear " Turn the channel, that noise is bothering me, I hate the sound of sirens. No more meat this week, we've eaten too much red meat. Oh, and no more cheese, no more dairy products - I'm starting to experience severe congestion. Tonight, we're going vegetarian and I want you to make that ratatouille-like stuff with brown rice. In fact, let's try to stay vegetarian for the foreseeable future. We need to cleanse our systems."
I comply. I am a nice person. Cleansing is an excellent idea, isn't it?
I cook up a batch of brown rice and set it off to cool.
I sweat rough-chopped white onion, minced shallot, and chopped red and green peppers in olive oil. When they're soft, I remove them from the pan. I add more oil and sauté cubed eggplant, adding chopped zucchini when the eggplant begins to soften. I chuck in some oregano, basil, a bit of thyme and several seeded, chopped Roma tomatoes. As everything melds, I throw in a batch of minced garlic and add the onion and pepper mix. I cheat on the vegetarian program by splashing in a bit of chicken stock and I pour in some tomato juice. I cook the mess for a while, adding salt, fresh ground black pepper and a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a smidge of honey. I taste, add a touch of chile powder, a bit more of the herbs and spices and extra-virgin olive oil as needed. When most of the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency, I turn in a blob of the cooked brown rice - not too much, just enough to make the grain's presence known. The mix sits over low heat for a few minutes and, voila, its cleansing time.
Since Kathy is on the anti-dairy warpath, I omit a desirable ingredient: freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano or a bit of grated asiago (if one is in a tart mood). For an instant, I consider crushing a few pain pills into Kathy's rice, but Š
The dish goes well with a simple green salad and crusty bread.
But the good times are over for Florence Nightingale.
As she recuperated, Kathy finished a book she ordered from the Deprive-Yourself-and-Live-Longer Book Club. The title is something like "Cool down Your Brain, You're Way Too Hot." She has ideas.
I finish doing the dishes and sweep the dog hair from the living room floor. I replace the cold pack on Kathy's shoulder and tie her shoes. I collapse on the couch to watch an episode of South Park when Kathy pipes up.
"You know, I've been looking at you the last couple weeks and I sensed there's something different about you," she says. "At first, I couldn't put my finger on it, probably because of the huge doses of pain medication you were giving me every few hours. But once I stopped taking the pills, all of a sudden it was clear. I saw you in profile and realized you're growing a fourth chin; the other three are completely full. Plus, how many days have you worn the same shirt and socks? And I can tell from your incredibly bad breath that you have another sinus infection. We need to do something about this, and right now, buster. Turn the sound off; you're taking a test."
She whips out her book about hot brains.
She's baaaaaaaaack! And, Mr. Nice has no defenses. It's that void I referred to earlier.
"There are 150 questions here," she says. "If the statement does not apply to your life at all, give it zero points. If it applies sometimes, give it one point. If it applies most of the time, give it two points. Answer honestly. At the end, I add up the points and figure out what supplements you need to take and which diet regimen you need to follow, depending on whether your brain is too hot or too cold."
We slog through the list of questions: "Do you have a family history of mania and/or high blood pressure?" "Would you rather sleep in a cold bedroom?" "Do you prefer large dogs or small?" and the like.
I answer each one and Kathy changes my answers.
I end up with a 59 in the hot brain category. I need adjustments, pronto. Kathy spells out the program.
I do some quick math: The supplements will cost approximately $250 per month for at least eight months. The organic foods must be ordered from a special source in Palo Alto, California, and delivered by next-day courier. By my reckoning, once I am out of the starvation phase of the process, costs could total well over $2,000 per month. If I wasn't so nice, I would resist.
"As soon as I'm able to drive myself around town," says my sweetheart, "you can get a part-time job on the graveyard shift at the convenience store. That fourth chin will be gone in no time, your sinuses will be clean as a whistle, and you'll have your energy back. Once we deal with your brain temperature, you'll be like new. Now that I'm not taking those pills, things are crystal clear. I'll manage everything. And, since you are a new person, you'll do everything I say, won't you?
I need to change the sheets on the bed and put Kathy's special surgery-girl shirts in the washing machine. Then I have to mix up another isopropyl alcohol and water cold pack. I'll go to the store before it closes to buy a loaf of spelt bread so I can make toast for Kathy's breakfast.
Kathy is well on the road to recovery. I'm still the nicest person I've ever known, but I've got four chins and I'm way too hot.
I wonder if pain medication would help?
Running in the jungle alone: Not a good idea, but ...
By Ming Steen
"Did you just run through there alone?"
The Indonesian maid looked at me as if I were very dim. Tuti is a large woman of 38, very strong and very bold. She hails from the islands of East Timor, Indonesia, and has contracted to care for my mother.
I was in Raub, in the central highland of Malaysia, visiting my mother. This small finger of land is surrounded by the South China Sea on one coast and the Indian Ocean on the other coast. White sand rings the peninsula, but the central highland is pure jungle. It wasn't uncommon for me to hear the crashing waddle of a 7-foot long monitor lizard escaping into the thick undergrowth when I ventured along the game trails for my early morning run.
"Yeah," I told Tuti, aware that sweat was flowing from my body as if I were a cloudburst unto myself. Malaysia is just a couple degrees north of the equator. The heat and humidity are off the charts. "I like to run by myself."
"You shouldn't do that."
"I like to run alone. It helps clear my head."
The run had lasted an hour. After leaving my mother's house, I picked up another trail, barely discernible, that went uphill through a portal into the jungle's thick shade. I'd established a loose rhythm and slowly increased my pace. The trails were spongy, except for the Banyan roots. The air was thick and wet, with the aromas of rot and growth combining for a fresh scent reeking of life itself. Too much life, maybe, for I could never totally relax. I kept my eyes glued to the trail, searching for the black cobra.
A leaf touched my shoulder. It was a very small leaf, and its touch was no more than a slight tickle. But my senses were so heightened that I leapt in the air and anxiously brushed the imagined snake back into the bush.
That's when I decided to head back. All in all, however, the run had been very calming. There's something primal about running through a jungle that centers me.
"It's not a good idea," Tuti insisted.
"Yeah, I know, but ..."
"You see, the pythons that live in these jungles grow to be 30 feet long and as big around as this." Tuti held up two strong hands six inches apart, as if clutching an imaginary basketball. "They only eat once a month, but when they get hungry, they go to a tree branch above the trails. When they hear an animal coming they drop ..."
Yes, they drop onto their prey. As if I don't know. I grew up in this part of the country. Did she think I was some dumb tourist?
Since the pythons weigh about 300 pounds, the python wraps it up, chokes it to death, then swallows it.
In a nutshell, that's the Malaysian jungle running experience: a little danger, a little paradise, a little common sense. Running there is a slow confrontation of personal fears.
I only hope the jungle will always be there. Green and thick and beckoning, laced with leeches and cobras and those monstrous pythons. Huge sections of these panoramas of trees and vines and insects and noise are being cleared to make room for progress. A ridiculously misplaced Swiss theme retreat already hangs on one slope of the jungle.
Last Saturday's Eggstravaganza wasn't graced by little girls in pretty pastel-colored dresses. Last Saturday's Easter egg hunt was well attended by kids in Arctic-style coats, a gloves, caps and runny noses. That's spring for you in the Rockies.
The PLPOA employees who organized the egg hunt would like to thank the fire protection district, Flame the clown and her buddy "Frisky" (who likes to frisk), the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, the bunny, and 70 tough kids for making it all worthwhile.
May the joy of renewed life be yours this Easter.
Austin and Kate Collins are thrilled to announce the birth of their second daughter, Emmanuel Jael Collins. Emma was born Jan. 6, 2004, weighing in at 7 pounds, 4.9 ounces, and was 19 inches tall. Delighted big sister is Elizabeth Esther Collins, 18 months old. Proud grandparents are Nancy and Randy Schauwecker of Iron River, Mich., and Sheri and Bill Collins of Durango. Great-grandparents are Lee and Cleon Schauwecker of Avon, Ind., and Doris Grundahl of Lakewood, Colo.
There were no obituaries this week.
No biz beat this week.
Investigator, Archuleta County Sheriff's Department
Where were you born?
"Fort Worth, Texas."
Where did you go to school?
"I attended high school and college in Texas."
When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?
"My wife and I first moved here in 1999 and lived here for two years before moving back to Texas. We came back three months ago."
What did you do before you arrived here?
"I was a deputy in Texas."
What are your job responsibilities?
"Investigations and follow-up."
What are the most enjoyable and least enjoyable aspects of your job?
"I enjoy dealing with the people. The least enjoyable part is that there's too much work to do"
What is your family background?
"I am married to my beautiful, sweet bride, Carolyn. I have two stepdaughters and my wife and I have two Springer spaniels."
What do you like best about the community?
"The people are very friendly. When I first worked for the police department, people I didn't even know would say hi to me and call me by name; it was neat."
What are your other interests?
"I love the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the reasons we moved here was so we could attend Frontier Baptist Church."
Julie Jessen, representing the Town of Pagosa Springs, attended Colorado Community Revitalization Association's fourth annual Main Street 101 training in Olde Town Arvada, March 17-19.
Approximately 100 representatives from 29 Colorado communities were present to learn more about the Main Street approach to downtown revitalization, making it the largest Main Street 101 ever conducted in Colorado.
Logan Marlatt of Pagosa Springs earned a place on the dean's list for the fall quarter at Western State College in Gunnison. To qualify, Marlatt maintained a grade-point average of 3.7 or better for at least 12 credit hours. Marlatt is majoring in mathematics.
Resha Rayne Watkins of Pagosa Springs, majoring in management at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla., has been named to the dean's honor roll for the 2003 fall semester. In order to qualify, she had to maintain an average of 3.4 to 3.69.
Cards of Thanks
The family of Doris Sitze thanks you for the many prayers, calls, cards, flowers and words of comfort we received. Your loving thoughts and prayers sustain us as we grieve the loss of our beloved mother and grandmother.
We especially thank the staff at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center for your loving and gentle care of our mother for the past 3 1/2 years. You blessed her, and you blessed us. Additionally, hospice volunteers read to her and visited with her, and we appreciate the time you spent with her.
We are thankful to God for all of you.
Wilbur and Annette Sitze, children and grandchildren
Bob and Pat Sitze, son and grandchildren
Richard and Laura Manley, children and grandchildren
With sincerest appreciation, the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program would like to thank the following for their support and participation in this year's Sexual Assault Awareness Month kickoff event:
Mayor Ross Aragon and Commissioner Mamie Lynch for proclaiming April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and raising the awareness flag to be flown throughout April; Leslie Montroy at The Sewing Source for donating materials and her time to sew the awesome flag and provide awareness ribbons for participants; Alex Silver, Ali Dubner and Stephanie Swenson for decorating the 72 victim flags; M&M Drop Service and LPEA for donating the locate flags; and everyone who came to honor those who have been victimized.
This year's event was extremely successful, but could not have happened without everyone's support. We live in a great community, with many compassionate and caring individuals.
Pirates break scoring drought, rip Ignacio 8-1 for first victory
By Richard Walter
"We'll hold back, no more helter-skelter attacks. We'll set the field for team attack and we'll create space, looking for open lanes."
That was Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason's pre-game prediction before his squad took the field Tuesday and surged to an 8-1 Pagosa Springs soccer victory over Ignacio at Golden Peaks Stadium.
And the team fulfilled all the conditions he outlined ahead of time.
In fact, after the game he was amazed by how well the team reacted to his game plan.
"They used their heads, not just offensively, but by playing smart and knowing ahead of time where the next pass should go," he said.
The key to Pirate soccer success has always been teamwork and he got plenty of that Tuesday.
It wasn't just the veterans who played well, he pointed out, but the huge corps of underclassmen performed as if they'd been in the program for years.
Still playing without veteran defender Kyrie Beye, cleared to practice while recovering from a broken bone in her leg but not yet ready for action, Kurt-Mason also had to add veteran Brett Garman to the injury list with a back muscle strain.
The youth connection was evident early when freshman left wing Iris Frye broke containment, outraced a defender to the goal mouth, but missed the shot wide right less than three minutes into the contest.
The Pirates got their initial score of the season at 6:58 with young Alaina Garman registering her first varsity marker.
It came on an assist by senior attacker Melissa Diller who drove off a fake right and delivered a crossing pass with the left foot to the wide open Garman.
Ignacio, also a team in a rebuilding program under coach Duane Odoms, evened the score at 14:10 on a free kick by Emily Sanford from 14 yards after a Pirate handball in the box.
It was to be the last major Ignacio threat.
The Pirate teamwork mode espoused by Kurt-Mason soon became evident.
Time and again one-touch-and-pass to the open player was the routine and after two misfires on offensive thrusts, freshman Laurel Reinhardt took a 45-degree crossing pass from Frye all the way to the net for a 2-1 Pagosa lead at 26:08. A lead they would not surrender.
Ignacio wasn't going to roll over and play dead for the Pirates and the Bobcats thwarted several Pagosa attacks, keeper Jamie Lucero stopping Diller twice and blanking Reinhardt on a breakaway.
Then came the play which exhibited best the Pirate teamwork ethic in the game.
It started innocently enough when Pirate sweeper Jenna Finney recorded her fifth block-takeaway of the game, looked downfield and saw Reinhardt breaking free.
Her looping pass over the midfield grouping was right on target to the freshman. She bore down on Lucero from the right, faked a shot and then dropped a pass to the flying Diller who had Lucero out of position for the third Pagosa goal at 38:15.
Less than two minutes later and just 15 seconds before the half ended, Reinhardt had another breakaway but Lucero made a great stop on a dive to her right to rob the freshman.
But, just before the three-minute mark of the second half, Reinhardt got even, hiking the Pirate lead to 4-1 at 44:34 scoring unassisted on a steal and broken field jaunt through the defense to beat Lucero high to her left.
Sanford, who had scored Ignacio's early tying goal, had an opportunity to hit the scoring column again at 51:40 but Pirate keeper Sierra Fleenor had the shot under control all the way.
Just over three minutes later, Pirate junior Brittany Corcoran was wide right on a lead from senior Amy Tautges. The Ignacio outlet was intercepted by sophomore midfielder Caitlin Forrest and her crossing pass to Corcoran lifted the Pirate lead to 5-1 at 52:01.
Less than two minutes later the crowd roared when Tautges' reverse kick from 30 yards appeared on target. But at the last minute it hooked just outside the pipes to the left.
The lead went to 6-1 at 63:50 when Diller picked off a Bobcat lead just inside the midfield stripe. She cut left and 18 yards out reversed her field and went directly at Lucero for the goal.
After Ignacio's Janelle Matthews had a shot go wide right just a minute later, Reinhardt scored again, on another three-person teamwork effort for Pagosa.
This one began at midfield when junior Roxanne Lattin lifted a perfect looping lead to Diller cutting toward the left wing. Two touches and a crossing pass later, she had Reinhardt wide open at the goal mouth for the freshman's third goal, the team's seventh, at 72:32.
But Reinhardt wasn't done.
Four minutes later she was on the attack again, breaking right wing defense, but after faking the shot hit Jennifer Hilsabeck with an in-stride crossing pass and it was drilled in for the final goal of the game at 76:20.
The balance of the contest was the Fleenor show. The senior keeper withstood a spirited Ignacio flurry with a stop on a free kick from 20 yards, a diving catch of Sanford's bid for her second goal, and a stop of Annie Lucero's blast from 30 on a free kick.
And Coach Kurt-Mason's game plan had been proven.
Scoring: 6:58, P-A. Garman, assist, Diller; 14:10, I-Sanford free kick; 26:08, P-Reinhardt, assist Frye; 38:15, P-Diller, assists Reinhardt and Finney; 44:34, P-Reinhardt unassisted; 52:01, P-Corcoran, assist Forrest; 63:50, P-Diller, unassisted; 72:32, Reinhardt, assists Lattin and Diller; 76:20, Hilsabeck, assist Reinhardt. Saves: P-Fleenor, 6; I-Lucero, 6; block /takeaways, P-Smith 6, Finney, 5, Jewell 5 and Tautges, 4.
Alaskan trip plans spur soccer schedule changes
Because they will participate in the Juneau-Douglas (Alaska) soccer invitational April 15-17, there have been a number of changes in the Pagosa Pirate soccer schedule.
The league season will continue at 3 p.m. Monday with the Pirates hosting Center in Golden Peaks Stadium.
After the Alaskan trip, Pagosa will go to Ignacio for a 4 p.m. game April 20 and then host Ridgway at home at 4 p.m. the following day.
They'll be on the road to Bayfield April 23 and then host the Wolverines April 27, both games at 4 p.m.
The balance of the regular season will have the Pirates at Ridgway April 29 and Telluride April 30, both games at 4 p.m., and then closing the league season May 1 with a 1 p.m. game in Center.
No go in Bloomfield; Pueblo next for Pirates
By Tess Noel Baker
Sheets of rain stymied the Pagosa Springs' tracksters hopes of medals in Bloomfield April 3.
Head Coach Connie O'Donnell said the meet was canceled following the 100-meter dash. Some Pirates were able to compete in field events, but no official results sheet was completed.
The team's next test will be at Ignacio April 13. The Pirates will follow that with a two-day trip to Pueblo for the Pueblo Challenge Cup April 16-17. Pagosa competed in this event for the first time in 2003. It allows the team to race in the state track venue against teams they won't meet again until finals in May.
Basketball league tourneys are underway
By Joe Lister Jr.
The 2004 adult basketball leagues are beginning the playoff push this week.
Round-robin play has ended and seeding for playoffs has been determined in all leagues with the exception of our men's competitive league which has one more regular season game on the schedule.
The women's league semifinals began April 6 with Car Quest taking on Tequila's. The game was followed by the second semifinal contest, matching Jewell-Caroll Mortgage and Concrete Connection.
The women's league championship will be played at 7 p.m. today in the upstairs gym at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.
Last night, the men's competitive league playoffs began with quarter-final action at 6:30 p.m. followed by the second quarter-final at 7:45. Both games were played at the junior high school.
Our men's recreation league playoff featuring three games begins tonight with a 6 p.m. encounter between S. C. & C. and Citizen's Bank. The 7 p.m. game will feature Shot Callers against the Ruff Ryders ending with the 8 p.m. quarterfinal, American Legion against Lord's/Ponderosa/AYD. These games will also take place at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.
The recreation department is looking forward to some spirited and sportsmanship-filled games. All teams are excited to begin playoffs and are set for their championship runs.
Tee-ball is off and running with seven teams and over 60 participants ages 5 and 6. Opening day was April 3 with all teams participating in spirited games.
Amazingly, all games ended in a tie, with every child celebrating with snacks and juice. Ah, wouldn't it be great if all recreation games were played in this manner.
Also, the weather was not a deterrent for our Tee-ball league as we have set up games during the first part of our season in Pagosa Stadium (the gym in the community center). Everyone stayed dry and had a wonderful time.
Tee-ball continues throughout the month of April with games scheduled outdoors as the weather allows.
Registration began April 5 and will run through April 16. Applications were made available through all of the schools in Pagosa Springs with additional applications at Town Hall.
Call Myles Gabel at 264-4151 Ext. 232 with any questions. Tentative start dates should be in early May.
If you are interested in helping to develop girl's softball leagues in Pagosa Springs, please contact Myles Gabel at 264-4151 Ext. 232.
We will have a meeting to discuss all options available for this exciting girl's youth league.
Each year about this time we are faced with a rush of people planning and scheduling special events in town parks during the summer.
You must reserve a town park if you need it for your event.
We charge a user fee and collect a deposit, with all money collected going into the general fund to help us with maintenance and upkeep on our parks.
Park rentals for weekend use in the summer are going fast so think ahead and call Parks and Recreation Director Joe Lister Jr. for availability. The number is 264-4151.
We need volunteers
With the 2004 fireworks show being held at the Sports Complex this year, we are in need of all kinds of volunteers. Help with parking, entertainment, fireworks, food and security are needed. You can volunteer by calling 264-4151.
Nonprofit service groups have a chance to make some money at the event; call to find out the details.
New sports complex
We will know if we are recipients of a GoCo grant by June 3. We will start preparing the site with as much in-kind help as possible, and if we are lucky enough to receive the grant we will hit the ground running.
Clean top soil and good fill dirt are needed for the new Sports Complex.
A storm offshore
It was not long ago Rep. Mark Larson warned us that "The Perfect
Storm that everyone has been reading about has begun." At the
time, Larson warned of impending, severe budget cuts that would adversely affect juvenile programs, state parks, higher education, and other areas. He saw the storm coming against the backdrop of two years of serious budget surgery and laid blame squarely on TABOR and Amendment 23.
Well, the storm did not crash ashore with the ferocity expected and, no doubt, there are those who will castigate the naysayers, chide the doomsayers. The problem is they will most likely be wrong if they do so. Hurricanes have been known to change course before they come ashore to blow away the shanty.
Last week, the House approved a proposed $14 billion-plus budget and, on the surface, the waters seemed relatively calm. Supporters of TABOR will note nearly all state departments, with the exception of higher ed, experienced budget increases. In a way, that is true: The overall budget calls for a 4.4 percent increase in spending. Departments will see funding equal to 2001-2002 levels.
The storm was avoided with smoke and mirrors. In order to return most state departments to 2001-2002 levels, the state has to borrow money from the education fund and use a one-time addition of $40 million from a tobacco lawsuit settlement.
Most of us have not yet felt the wind pick up; cuts made during the past two years and the funding proposed this year have not yet had a profound effect. What has happened thus far in Pagosa Country will be felt by some of our local seniors. The local senior program could experience a cut of $14,000. The program is changing its meal delivery program, terminating paid personnel who deliver meals to the elderly and seeking volunteers to make deliveries. Senior bus hours have been reduced by one hour per day. The bus is used to transport seniors to stores and to medical appointments. Senior Center director Musetta Wollenweber gamely says "We're surviving," but she awaits final word on possible cuts, worries that senior meal services could be changed in the future and plans fund-raisers as a cushion.
The storm waits off shore, ready to hit other programs. With TABOR imposing restraints and Amendment 23 gobbling mandated revenue increases, with Medicaid costs going through the roof, with a high percentage of the state population reaching retirement age, with prison costs escalating and human services costs doing the same, the clock is ticking.
Part of the solution is to demand lawmakers be fiscally responsible and restrained.
A second way to deal with the problem should come in November, if citizens of the state vote on reasonable modifications to TABOR and Amendment 23.
Last week, state Treasurer Mike Coffman advanced a plan to deal with the amendments. Coffman proposes creation of a rainy day fund to handle shortfalls when the economy turns down again - and it will. Second, ground lost during the last few years (if the economy holds) would be made up over three years with money due to be returned to taxpayers under TABOR.
Coffman also proposes suspending the 1 percent annual funding increase to K-12 education required by Amendment 23. Other legislative leaders and Gov. Owens suggest relaxation of the requirements of both amendments for a set period of time.
No doubt, other ideas will surface as the House sets to work on the problem this week.
They have to: We need proposals on the ballot, we need to make a decision.
The storm is still brewing.
We may be our worst enemy
By Richard Walter
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
"For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead.
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
- I Corinthians 15:20-22
As Christendom prepares to celebrate the persecution and resurrection of the Son of God, Americans are again mired in the chaos of seeking a meaning in life.
The Biblical message above should quickly supply that meaning.
As the advocates of martyrdom pursue their eternal reward in promised physical pleasures, the Christian sees the ultimate as eternity with Christ and the Father.
The doubting Thomases among the civilizations of the world invariably want to know how they can be sure, how they can trust the word of a man they never saw, how the story of Salvation born in death on a cross can possibly relate to their search for truth today.
It is a matter of belief, trust and reliance. Believe the word which outlines the story of Jesus of Nazareth; trust the veracity of the translations and the changes which have been made through the years; rely on the sustenance of the Holy Spirit (again unseen) to carry you through.
Taking a different approach, one might look to the cartoonist Walt Kelly who stunned the world with his 1970 Pogo strip in which Pogo acknowledged, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
While it was the line which started a comedic series of responses, we need look father back, to Kelly's 1953 "The Pogo Papers" for the original which read: "We shall meet the enemy and not only may he be ours, he may be us."
Who is the enemy of the people of America today?
Is it the Saddam Husseins and Osama bin Ladens of the world? The terrorist hijacking an airplane to crash it into a structure which is the epitome of worship of money and stature? The foreign soldiers on the battlefields of the world who have no idea what the freedoms of America can offer?
It is all those and, it is as Pogo said, ourselves.
As Christ's death on the cross and his subsequent resurrection proved to the believers, we have within us the strengths to meet the challenges of untruth, the wavering spirit of modern doubters, and the fear of death from the unknown.
In the First Epistle of John, Chapter 2, verses 1 and 2, we find the explanation:
"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
"And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
Tomorrow is Good Friday, the date marking the crucifixion, the raising of Christ onto the Cross.
Perhaps, just perhaps, we can use it and the celebration of Christ's resurrection on Easter Sunday as bases for a resurrection of our own lives and those of the ones we see as enemies.
Even if that enemy is in fact - US.
90 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of April 10, 1914
The town authorities should take the initiative in the rebuilding of the grandstand at the ball grounds. The heavy snows the past winter have made it a total wreck. So long as the ball boys contribute their time for the public's amusement gratis, it seems to us the public can well afford to provide accommodations for their own convenience. Let the new council appoint a soliciting committee and start the ball rolling towards a new and up-to-date grandstand.
Charley Schaad last Friday was for the second time tried for bootlegging in Judge Morgan's court. The jury, largely comprised of Allison citizens, was a repeater of the first installment - just hung, standing eleven to one for acquittal.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of April 12, 1929
Pagosa Springs' first train since Wednesday of last week will arrive tonight from Pagosa Junction, the bridges damaged and destroyed by the flood waters of last week having been repaired or replaced. Service on the main line was resumed several days ago, and the state highway to Durango was opened to traffic today.
In a recent interview with Louis Jordan, overseer of highway construction work in this district, C. H. Frye, local businessman, states that Mr. Jordan had advised him that it had been his instruction to proceed with clearing and improving the Wolf Creek Pass highway, preparatory to opening it for spring and summer travel as fast as the snow cleared and conditions would permit.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of April 9, 1954
On Tuesday night of this week representatives of the town board, Civic Club and the Chamber of Commerce met to discuss the possibility of a new library for the community. The library is one of the more important and popular attractions of the town and has been sponsored by the Civic Club. It is presently outgrowing its quarters in the Town Hall and additional space will soon be necessary. The group met to discuss the possibility of joint action in construction of a new building.
The County Commissioners this past week purchased a new Austin-Western grader. The machine is one of the larger types with a tandem rear end. All wheels on the grader may be used to steer and it is equipped with the necessary attachments for snow removal.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of April 12, 1979
Spring snow storms this week brought more moisture in the form of snow and rain in this area. Snow continues to fall and Wolf Creek Pass had more than 740 inches this winter by Wednesday. In town the total through Tuesday for the winter was 222 inches.
Lightning struck the TV translator stations Monday night. All were knocked from the air and it took repair crews almost four hours to battle their way through mud and storm up to the station. The education channel suffered the most damage and probably won't be back on the air for some time. Channel Six from Durango was also knocked out until more repairs can be made, however, the three major network channels from Albuquerque are back in operation.
Unitarians hold forums on alcohol abuse
By Tess Noel Baker
"What does a six-pack cost?"
That was the question Archuleta County Court Judge Jim Denvir asked a group of about 20 at a Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship forum.
The answer: $10,572.50. That's his estimate of the cost of a first-time offense for a driver found guilty of driving under the influence with no aggravating circumstances.
All Denvir's figures were laid out on a one-page worksheet handed out to the group as part of the forum, one of four planned monthly through June to address local issues of alcohol abuse and rehabilitation in Archuleta County. It was a worksheet he asked members of the group to pass on to their friends and family. To pass on to those who might consider one night, after consuming a six-pack in three hours, whether or not to get behind the wheel of a car.
A six-pack. In three hours. That was the basis for Denvir's example, "Joe Driver." Driver weighed around 160 pounds and drank the six pack while watching football with his buddies. While driving home, he loses control of the car, drives off the road, and crashes through a fence. After a Breathalyzer test, he is ticketed for driving under the influence, driving with excessive alcohol content and careless driving.
The first costs come from the tow truck, posting bail and the first court appearance for which he must take two hours off work. His job is construction and he earns $16 an hour.
The attorney fees pile up, as do the hours he must take off work. Joe decides to take the case to a jury. The jury finds him guilty of DUI.
Of course, Denvir said, those who can't afford to pay an attorney can be represented by a public defender. Still, the dollars and cents add up. And Denvir said, the estimate of six beers over three hours was fairly conservative.
According to the handout, "if he had been drinking malt liquor or had three more beers, he'd be at .18 blood alcohol content. He would receive two nights in jail at that BAC and the accident."
Sentencing at the lower BAC would include costs for the alcohol evaluation, restitution for the damage to the fence in the accident, time away from work for 48 hours of public service, the victim impact panel and alcohol education and therapy.
As far as what part of that sentencing regimen works, Denvir said different things affect different people. It's also about timing, and has as much to do with what is going on in a person's life outside the courtroom as in it.
The Victim Impact Panel is one option. This is a presentation done by the state patrol for those convicted of alcohol-related crimes and puts the offenders face-to-face with some of the victims of drinking and driving accidents. Sometimes, Denvir, said he will also require offenders to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Jail time is generally not given to first-time offenders, but is as the offenses worsen or multiply.
According to studies, he said, the greatest impact a jail sentence has on recidivism, or the chance of a person repeating the offense, is on a first-time offender spending a couple night behind bars - perhaps for the first time in their lives.
Others may be sentenced to receive random Breathalyzer testing, or Antabuse, a drug that makes people ill if they consume alcohol.
Even with all the tools of sentencing, Denvir said, alcohol abuse is not a problem that can be addressed in court. Alcohol abuse is a societal problem.
"Our children are growing up in a situation where drinking is a positive thing, in a situation where drinking to excess is a positive thing," he said. It is a situation where the advertising message is that drinking alcohol brings a person everything they might want in the way of fun and social acceptance.
And what if the price is even higher? What if can't be paid off?
That was the question Police Chief Don Volger addressed.
What if the cost was a life? A father? Brother? Sister? Daughter? A teen-ager?
Of the more than 40,000 deaths in motor vehicle accidents in 2000, over 17,000 involved alcohol. During the Vietnam War, more lives were lost on the country's highways than in the war. Lots more. Deaths on the battlefield numbered 58,000. Deaths on the roads numbered 228,000.
Volger said the drinking and driving deaths are devastatingly violent and equally unintentional.
In Archuleta County, he added, about 18-20 percent of accidents involving injury also involve alcohol. About 1 percent of those involve a death.
"We have about one death a year in Archuleta County that involves drinking and driving," Volger said.
Still, that's one too many.
To try to address the problem, both county and town law enforcement participate in the Law Enforcement Assistance Fund program, a state grant program providing matching funds for overtime saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints. Both the sheriff's department and the Pagosa Springs police participate in this program, receiving about $27,000 for such patrols this year.
It's helped, Volger said.
In 1981, when the LEAF program started, the number of motor vehicle deaths in Colorado was 756,425 of those were alcohol related. In 2002, the last year statistics were available, 742 died on Colorado roads in motor vehicle accidents, 249 of those involved alcohol.
The question the Unitarians have posed is, "Could the community do more?"
Ilene Haykus, program committee chair for the group, said as Unitarians, proactive community action is part of their faith. Addressing the issue of drinking and driving is simply their latest attempt to mobilize the community to address a social concern.
Haykus said DUI arrests and convictions seem to have an all-too constant slot on the town's police blotter, a fact that drove the program committee to set up this series of forums as a first step toward addressing the issue as a community. Three forums remain.
"Once we have all the information we'll have had three or four months to digest it, and maybe by then we'll have the resources to implement something," she said, suggesting that a mentoring program brought up during the question and answer session March 29 might be a place to start. Alone, she added, the Unitarians do not have enough resources to adequately address the problem. As a community, we just might.
The forums on alcohol abuse continue April 25, with speaker Alice Kelly who will address court-appointed rehabilitation programs. May 23, Ken Puhler, of Durango, will speak on resources for alcohol abuse prevention and education in the Durango area, and June 27, Mary Jo Rakowski, president of the Southwest Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, will take center stage to talk about the activities of that group. A question and answer period follows all speakers.
Presentations are given during the Unitarian's regular Sunday services at 10:30 a.m. The universalists meet in Unit 15 of Greenbriar Plaza. Unit 15 is on the east side of the commercial plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa, then left into the parking lot. Look for the fellowship's sign.
All are welcome.
We've forgotten what it is to be hungry
John M. Motter
Travel is so easy these days, continent to continent in a few hours.
Of course we all know it wasn't always so. Not so long ago, not much more than 125 years, about the time our great-grandparents were born, travel was an ordeal at best, even for a Baptist minister.
The family of the Reverend Dan Bartholomew, a Baptist minister, came west from Minnesota about the year 1877.
During late 1877 or early 1878, Pagosa Springs was birthed. But Pagosa Springs was not the destination for this family. They were bound for the Pine River area around Bayfield. Bayfield wasn't named until around 1900, but settlers homesteaded in the area during the mid- to late 1870s.
According to a descendant, the chosen means of transportation for this family was a covered wagon pulled by ox team. We don't know if they had a red rooster and an old yeller dog, as the song goes. They did have many harrowing experiences along the way with Indians, drought, and the great grasshopper plague in Kansas and Nebraska. The railroad tracks were so covered with grasshoppers, the trains could not move. The cattle's tongues hung from their mouths for the lack of water. People starved and died during this plague; the land was stripped, not a leaf or blade of grass was left.
One incident told as truth, not fiction, is that a starving family was fed by its cat which brought in a rabbit each day.
One day while traveling they met a man walking. A little later, they met a woman walking. Then the man and woman started walking together. After about a week, you guessed it, the Rev. Dan performed a wedding ceremony for the couple. It was one of two weddings he performed while traveling west. Upon entering the San Juans, the family first went to Lake City, then on to the Pine River Valley.
An average day's travel was 10 or 15 miles. At that rate, it would have taken a week to go from Pagosa Springs to Durango.
The family reached the vicinity of Bayfield and Ignacio after being on the road from Minnesota three or four months.
Railroads had not yet reached this part of Colorado. Almost everything for their livelihood as well as the mail had to be brought across the mountains afoot or by horseback.
Flour was $25 a hundred pounds and sugar $1 a pound. Meat and meat products were either raised or shot wild. For as long as three or four months at a time, there was nothing on the dinner table but potatoes and pork. Many times the family did not have enough to eat.
The Bartholomews first took up land on Florida Mesa near the east end of Horse Gulch. Mr. Bartholomew helped T.C. Graden haul freight from Alamosa. Later, they homesteaded east of Pine River.
Mrs. Dan Bartholomew (Minerva) was a fine seamstress, a lady tailor in her day. There were times they had only the clothes on their backs that she had made, sometimes from grain sacks. When they were able to get flour, she spent many nights baking bread and making clothing by candlelight.
The Rev. Dan was the first minister of the gospel stationed in the Pine River Valley. He did not believe in delivering a sermon for a salary. His congregation paid in food, a sack of potatoes, a little pork, and a few vegetables. In the summer they picked chokecherries and berries from the mountainsides to make jams and jellies.
There were many Indian scares after settling in the valley. One time the whites were preparing for war, boarding up their homes and making a stockade, as there was a rumor of Indian attack. They waited and waited and nothing happened. So they finally sent a white scout to talk to the chief and found out that the Indians were doing the same, expecting a white attack. The chief said, "Indians do not attack, but the whites would."
The story just told was written by Harriet Gladys Schiller Jackson, the granddaughter of the Rev. Dan. It may be found in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country," Volume IV.
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture
Wet weather expected to linger through weekend
By Tom Carosello
Keep an umbrella handy.
The recent chain of wet weather moving through Pagosa Country may continue into the weekend, according to the latest forecasts for the Four Corners region.
After an arid March that brought only trace levels of precipitation to southwest Colorado, area lawns and gardens are greening once more due to last week's steady schedule of afternoon showers.
More of the same is on the way, says Brian Avery, a forecaster with the National Weather Service Office in Grand Junction.
"It looks like chances are pretty good for things to stay on the wet side through Saturday," said Avery.
"We're looking at scattered rain showers and thunderstorms during the day, with the possibility of snow flurries during the night," he added.
"Low temperatures around 20 can be expected through Sunday night, then things should start to warm up and dry out by Monday," concluded Avery.
According to Avery, mostly-cloudy skies, scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected today, especially during the afternoon hours.
Highs are predicted in the 45-55 range; lows should dip into the upper 20s.
The forecasts for Friday through Sunday include a 30-percent chance for rain and snow showers, highs in the upper 40s and lows in the upper teens to low 20s.
Monday calls for variable skies, highs near 50 and lows in the 20s.
Mostly-sunny skies are expected for Tuesday and Wednesday, along with highs in the upper 50s and lows around 30.
According to information obtained from The Weather Channel, the average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 40 degrees. The average low was 23. Moisture totals for the week were not available at press time.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains is "low" with pockets of "moderate."
The Pagosa Ranger District rates the current area fire danger as "low." Conditions are subject to change rapidly this time of year; for updates, call the district office at 264-2268.
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 550 cubic feet per second to 720 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of April 1 equals roughly 290 cubic feet per second.
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