April 15, 2004 
Front Page
DEA procedure flap keys health panel turmoil

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Admission was free.

The event included phrases such as "Shakespeare wasn't this funny." Also, "You're an Our Gang comedy" and "I'm not laughing at this; it's pathetic."

Other highlights included heated shouting matches, several interruptions featuring numerous attendees speaking simultaneously and, of course, finger pointing.

One exchange, in fact, nearly led to a chest-to-chest confrontation between two members of the public.

It was this week's meeting of the Upper San Juan Health District board of directors, presumably the last session before a new board takes charge following the May 4 election.

Much of the circuslike atmosphere stemmed from recent controversy surrounding the district's Drug Enforcement Agency narcotics registration/procedures as they apply to Emergency Medical Services.

What initially resembled a somewhat traditional board meeting Tuesday night rapidly spiraled downward into a lengthy, he-said/she-said affair shortly into a Citizen's Advisory Committee report from director Debra Brown concerning "what was going on with our Emergency Medical Services."

With reference to DEA procedures, Brown asserted a number of errors were made in subsequent reports indicating possible violations by the district.

In short, Brown stated she was upset with Kathy Conway, former EMS operations manager, asserting Conway "had given a false statement" two weeks ago to The SUN concerning the issue.

According to Brown, phone calls placed to an unidentified DEA representative resulted in answers that did not jibe with Conway's statement.

Brown dismissed Conway's claim that she was told March 25 by a representative from the DEA to pull the narcotics off the ambulances because the district was operating without DEA certification as part of the "gossip, rumors and innuendo (occurring) over the past year."

"You just openly slandered our operations manager," responded a member of EMS staff in attendance, questioning why such dialogue would not be reserved for an executive session.

"She opened herself up to the public," responded Brown.

Conway, however, maintains she fabricated nothing.

"What you are saying is not true," said Conway. "You are wrong."

Attempts were made to contact the DEA representative in question via a conference call, but failed.

With respect to an April 8 "emergency" executive session scheduled to address the situation, Conway stated she was not informed the meeting would be delving into "my personal affairs," adding she could not have attended anyway because she was out of town at the time the meeting was held.

In response, Dee Jackson, district executive director, stated she called Conway at around 8 a.m. that morning to advise her of the session but "was put on hold for 20 minutes."

Conway acknowledged as much, indicating she was on another important call and "when I came back, you were gone."

After further deliberation and accusations, both sides agreed to settle the dispute, as Board Chairman Charles Hawkins put it, "lawyer to lawyer."

"That's fine," answered Conway. "But don't accuse me of stuff that didn't happen in front of these people."

On a related note, Jackson later indicated, in response to a question posed by an EMS staff member on hand, that she is currently serving as the EMS operations manager for the district.


Spiraling fixed costs spur water rate increase

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

New rates will soon be in effect for Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District customers following this week's meeting of the district board of directors.

The board's consideration of a rate increase during the past several months has centered on the district's need to keep pace with growing fixed costs, including increases regarding property/liability insurance, workman's compensation and industry regulation compliance.

For example, swells in district operating costs for 2004 range from 6 percent (chemical purchases) to 550 percent (water tank maintenance).

Another main factor in the need to keep pace with growing district expenses relates to revenues from water sales, which were lower last year than anticipated.

Tuesday's board session focused on adjusting rates in a fashion aimed at fairly and evenly distributing the rate-revenue burden among district customers.

As a result, a motion was passed that will put a monthly charge of $6 (per equivalent unit) for water service into effect within the next two months, along with the following "usage tier" charges:

- $2.10 for every thousand gallons up to 8,000 gallons

- $4.25 for every thousand gallons between 8,000 and 20,000 gallons

- $5.20 for every thousand gallons exceeding 20,000 gallons.

During mandatory water conservation levels, an additional drought surcharge will be imposed as follows:

- no charge for every thousand gallons up to 8,000 gallons

- $1.20 for every thousand gallons between 8,000 and 20,000 gallons

- $2.40 for every thousand gallons exceeding 20,000 gallons.

The district's new charge for wastewater service, per equivalent unit, will be $17.50.

In addition, fill station rates were set at $4.74 per 1,000 gallons. This amounts to an 8-percent increase over current fill rates, equating to five gallons less per 25 cents.

Finally, the district's new leak rate will be $2.10 per thousand gallons, provided customers can verify repairs have been made to leaking pipes, connections, etc.

According to Shellie Tressler, district administrative assistant, the new rates are scheduled to take effect during the May/June meter-reading period, while the subsequent charge adjustments will appear on district billing statements mailed in July.

For more information on how the new rate structure will affect water and wastewater billing, call 731-2691 or stop by the district office at 100 Lyn Avenue.

Water conservation plan

In other business this week, the board adopted an updated water conservation and drought management plan.

The multifaceted plan is aimed at, among other things, reducing water requirements and system losses and increasing operating efficiencies.

District expectations associated with implementation of the plan include:

- operation and maintenance costs that depend on water demand, such as pumping and chemical costs, can be reduced

- conservation measures could reduce long-term water needs and thus reduce or delay the need for new water supply, transmission, storage and treatment facilities

- reduction of water demands means that more water remains in streams and reservoirs, augmenting stream flows, water quality, aquatic life, recreation and aesthetic benefits to customers and community

- reduction in water consumption will reduce wastewater flows and costs associated with the operation of wastewater treatment plants.

For further details, or to view the plan in its entirety, visit the district Web site at www.pawsd.org.


School board approves kindergarten expansion

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The kindergarten program in Pagosa Springs public schools will be doubled next year with two full-day and two half-day classes.

The proposal was approved unanimously Tuesday by the Board of Education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

The plan was outlined for the board by Kathy Faber, teacher of the district's first full-time kindergarten class this year. Other kindergarten teachers were on hand to answer questions but had none to field.

Faber pointed out more than 100 had applied for the lone full-day class this year and 93 of them actually were involved in a lottery to determine which ones would be accepted.

Adding another full-time class, she said, would give the service to 40 more youngsters, with the parents of each one selected signing a contract with the district.

Monthly payments of $150, beginning Aug. 23 and then on the first school day of each succeeding month, would be required for full-day classes, or parents can make a one-time annual payment of $1,350.

A $100 deposit must accompany the child's application. If the child is not selected for the full-time class the fee will be refunded. If selected it will apply toward the tuition. Unless the yearly tuition is paid in full, the first and last month's payments, totaling $300 will be required in advance.

Faber said the full-day classes have proved to eliminate multiple transitions for youngsters, i.e., going from home to kindergarten to day care and back home. "And the benefits have been readily evident in the performance in the classroom," she added.

The actual cost for the district to operate the expanded program will be $37,794, including salaries, materials, insurance and other incidentals.

A portion of the cost is borne by a grant received by the district this year.

When Director Clifford Lucero asked if there are funds available under the School in Escrow program or other funding for families which simply cannot afford the fees, he was told the escrow fund is only for post high school classes.

But, Faber said, there is a possibility some scholarship funding can be found and the county's Department of Social Services is investigating how it can play a role for the neediest pupils.

The cost, Faber noted, is somewhat less than the average charge for day care in the area. A study by the district indicates that cost right now averages $290 to $300 per month.

Nancy Schutz, district business manager, said state tax funding right now covers only half-day sessions for kindergarten.

Carol Feazel, board president, said the growing demand for kindergarten classes indicates the cost factor is a problem parents are willing to deal with.

But Director Mike Haynes wasn't convinced.

"Why are we even considering full day kindergarten?" he asked. "Is there some underlying factor, some pertinent benefit?"

Faber said the main reason is demonstrated "improvement of performance down the line by those who have taken a full-year class.

"As a teacher," she added, "I'm constantly amazed at how the kids are doing more and more. What they are doing is incredible compared to what we've seen in the past."

Feazel then called for a motion but, before it could be made, Lucero asked to speak.

"We, as a board, and as part of the greater community, are fortunate to have the teachers we have, people like you who really care. We always say we want what is best for the students. In this case it is you."

The kindergarten expansion was approved unanimously on a motion by Director Jon Forrest, seconded by Lucero.


Home, pet dog lost in Coyote Park blaze

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Fire raged through a residence in the Coyote Park subdivision Thursday, killing a family pet and rendering the structure a total loss.

According to Chief Warren Grams of the Pagosa Fire Protection District, personnel answering a 3:50 p.m. page to 1515 Coyote Park Road arrived at 4:07 p.m. to find thick smoke and flames spewing from the roof and windows of the residence.

The home, located 17 miles south of town off U.S. 84 and outside fire district boundaries, was apparently burning for some time before a passerby noticed the blaze and called dispatch. According to fire protection district sources, the home is owned by Stanley Maddux.

"The fire was reported by a person who was driving down the road and saw flames coming out of the house," said Grams, indicating the owners were not home when the fire erupted.

"So we didn't have much to work with when we arrived, although the family was able to salvage a lot of items that were stored in the garage," Grams added.

Grams said the lone casualty of the fire, a dog, apparently died after a portion of the roof collapsed and fell into the kitchen.

Twenty-two firefighters, one pumper and two tankers responded to the blaze, said Grams, and a two-person crew monitored smoldering debris through the night to ensure the fire did not rekindle after the bulk of the force was dismissed at 8 p.m.

Grams said an official investigation to determine the cause of the blaze began Friday morning, and indicated the home owners resumed supervision of the site Friday afternoon.

As of press time, a cause had not been determined. An investigation into the source of the blaze is continuing.


Inside The Sun

Mayor's Council works to develop plan for town

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Next week, a California consulting group will present a Pagosa Springs committee a strategic positioning plan for the town.

The plan will include four parts: imaging, outreach, planning and programming and events.

The goal is to give the community a vision for Pagosa, a unified theme to put out to the world aimed at directed growth, enticing the people and businesses who would help preserve what makes Pagosa Springs unique to knock on its door. A theme that could help shape a comprehensive plan, a unified theme that would require a buy-in from Pagosa's current residents, organizations and businesses to be successful.

Members of the Mayor's Council for Strategic Positioning of Pagosa Springs heard a quick summary of the plan April 9 by conference call.

Mayor Ross Aragon started the meeting by reading a rationale provided by the consultants as they began to shape the goals of the project.

It read: "All communities have an identity whether they want one or not. A community's identity is shaped by all that it is, says and does. This includes its history, geographic location, natural resources, industry, architecture, landmarks, streetscapes, gathering places, codes and ordinances, housing, schools, programming and events, public works and individual initiatives. All these elements can be left to evolve haphazardly and incoherently or they can be guided and encouraged to evolve in a way that preserves and enhances the unique values and qualities that the community embraces."

A group including representatives from the town council and the public schools, local business owners, developers and residents listened to the consultants sketch out the positioning plan, saving questions until the end.

Philip Dubrow, a consultant with Marshall Strategies, said, to start, they did dozens of personal interviews with a cross section of the community, looked at similar communities for comparison, conducted a Web audit and met with planners, architects and marketers to begin to assemble ideas for the community.

What they identified, Dubrow said, were certain qualities people tend to want to preserve in Pagosa Springs. These include the natural environment, abundant recreational opportunities, a sense of belonging and a casual, unpretentious quality of life. These qualities may be threatened by a number of things facing Pagosa in the future, including continued growth, economics and urban sprawl. If population growth continues over the next 20 years like it did in the last ten, Dubrow said, it will triple. If is slows a little, it will still double.

"You need to have a concept that attracts the people who share values, come for the right reasons and concern themselves with the things you care about," he said, using "you" to mean the entire community.

Their research keyed on two things that define Pagosa Springs. First, it's a very "normal" place. Economic diversity exists, diversity of people exists and it's possible to find multiple generations of the same family still living in town. That separates it in some ways from places like Vail or Mountain Village near Telluride. Second, Pagosa Springs has extraordinary natural resources and recreational opportunities running right through the heart of the town.

"We think it's the combination of those two things that makes Pagosa Springs competitively alluring," he said.

With that in mind, Dubrow and Marianna Leuschel are putting together ideas for a strategic positioning plan. When presented, it will include ideas for an advertising campaign, identifying the different audiences interested in Pagosa Springs and how to reach those audiences, identifying a focal point for planning and programing and events that could further promote the town, especially during slower seasons.

After the consultants finished with their presentation, they asked for comments and questions to help focus their work toward the final presentation. The committee debated the boundaries of the group's focus as far as the physical area of town and the economics and organization needed to make a strategic positioning plan work.

"What is Pagosa Springs?" David Brown asked. "Is it the old downtown or the new development out west?"

Some said the group ought to restrict efforts to the downtown area, to an area that is walkable in size. Other said to exclude the western edges of development was to ignore part of the problem instead of addressing it.

J.R. Ford, a local business owner, said becoming so focused on a certain image for one part of town could end up forcing businesses outside those boundaries instead of encouraging them to become part of the vision efforts.

Leuschel said, "It's easier to create a stronger sense of place by focusing on a smaller area." She gave the example of Santa Fe, a place identified by its historical square, but yet a town that changes in atmosphere outside that "place" attracted to its identity.

Darrel Cotton, town council member, said defining a manageable size for the core, or focus area of the town for strategic positioning is something that needs to come from the consultants.

"Your expertise might help us in that regard," he said.

Dubrow said the water features possible for Pagosa's downtown area are an asset other places only dreamed about.

"Your image soars when you think of the water features you could have right in town," he said. "It could be unlike anything else, anywhere."

Several options are on the table: where the committee goes, where the community grows remains up in the air. That it will continue to grow is a fact few debate.

"It will be up to the community to decide whether or not they want to embrace this, to move forward with it," Leuschel said. "They know better than us what they need."


Ads backing health district administrator irk employees

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Tempers flaring. Accusations flying. Fingers pointing.

That trio of ingredients, in keeping with what had become an established recipe by then, were part of the mix during the final portion of this week's Upper San Juan Health Service District board of directors' meeting.

At issue were a pair of ads appearing in the April 8 issue of The SUN voicing general support for Dee Jackson, district executive director. The ads were placed, apparently, by Susan Spencer, district administrative assistant.

The language in the ads apparently raised the hackles of more than a few Emergency Medical Services personnel, who reportedly did not contribute - financially or otherwise - to the publication effort.

Joyce Little, a part-time emergency medical technician for the district, voiced such displeasure via a prepared statement Tuesday, beginning with a concept outline of both ads.

One ad reads, "We the professional employees of the Upper San Juan Health Service District support Dee Jackson ... are very fortunate to work with Dee Jackson and are very happy to have her as our boss."

The ad concludes with, "Paid for by the administrative staff of the USJHSD, Susan Spencer representative."

A similar ad placed in the classified section begins with, "We, the administration staff ..." and ends with, "This is paid for by the employees of the (district). Susan Spencer, representative."

In summary, "How dare the administrative staff make such a blanket political assumption that I and all of my fellow professional coworkers support Dee Jackson ...," said Little.

Furthermore, said Little, "Was I asked if I supported Dee? No. Were any of the other (EMT staff) asked if they supported Dee Jackson? No."

In addition, Little indicated she is "outraged" at the assumption that employees of the district "automatically" support Jackson and questioned the motive for the ads.

"Is administration relying on the idea that if the public reads that the professional employees of the district support Dee Jackson, who supports a certain slate of candidates, that the public will then vote for that slate of candidates?" asked Little.

In conclusion, "I ask that this board demand that Dee Jackson make a public apology in this meeting tonight ...," said Little.

In response, "Dee does not owe anybody an apology," said Charles Hawkins, board chairman, adding that Jackson had no role in the placement of the ads.

However, an apology was offered by Spencer, who indicated the language in the ads may have been "worded a little wrong," though not intentionally.

"I put that in, Joyce ... that was wrong," said Spencer, who added a correction to that effect in a future issue of The SUN will follow.


Postal cluster box decision riles many

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The U.S. Postal Service decision to stop installation of cluster mail boxes has some Pagosa Lakes residents upset.

The board of directors of the area's property owner's association debated the issue April 8 after hearing that a number of owners are upset at having to drive downtown to pick up mail.

Walt Lukasik, association general manager, told the board the postal service has apparently now told property owners it will allow individual boxes on streets close to currently existing mail routes.

Lukasik said he toured the county, camera in hand, to depict what visual affect such installations could have on subdivisions within the association.

Samples of the photos, with long lines of mail boxes in some, were distributed to directors.

Lukasik told directors he had broached the subject with Brad Quintana of the county's road and bridge department, who said he was unaware of the change in postal feelings on the issue.

Citing "thinking sickness," Lukasik asked the board to "consider the appearance of 6,200 mailboxes out here a few years from now."

While board president David Bohl contended "it's not a new idea, just revival of an old one," director Fred Ebeling said "we have no jurisdiction over the rights of way, so it is a moot question for this board."

However, he said, the board could help the county develop adequate standards for installation and maintenance of individual mail box sites and noted "it is entirely possible mail routes could change in the future."

In answer to a board question, Lukasik said cluster box costs are about $16,000 initially for a 16-box cluster, plus annual maintenance and management rental payments by the user of the box.

Bohl said the association "has no business providing mail boxes for anyone. They can get together and finance a cluster if they want, but we have no right to put the costs for one or two or more groups on the shoulders of the entire association."

When it was determined no one has yet talked to local postal officials on the issue, and an audience member said it would do no good, Lukasik was directed by the board to contact the regional postal service office in Colorado Springs for information on the cluster box decision and alternatives for the area.


Program for gifted students outlined

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Less than two cents of every $100 spent on education in the United States goes to programs for the gifted and talented students.

That was a surprising fact in a presentation Tuesday by Gail Hershey, teacher for the program in schools of Archuleta District 50 Joint.

That came as she outlined for the board of education what the program does and how it works.

Hershey, in her fifth year with the program in Pagosa Springs, said it is an enrichment effort which has special sessions for participants twice a week.

"We've had sessions on desert survival, aeronautics, and continuously successful Knowledge Bowl teams," in the program, she said.

The focus, said Hershey, is to identify the students who would benefit from the classes and to balance the group on the same racial basis found in the district's enrollment.

"That means we should have 17 percent Hispanic and we have 10-plus percent, which I think is very good," she said.

The program is designed for students 5-21 and applies to those who demonstrate capability of high performance across the board.

She said the program is designed to challenge "the obviously talented who are not performing to their full potential."

"Sometimes," she said, "the student is bored in classes that are too easy and needs a chance to create classroom success in a more challenging program."

She said educators need to "challenge ourselves to look for the gifted student in the rough and be careful not to segregate them."

In other action Tuesday, the board heard Superintendent Duane Noggle report the maintenance and traffic building design process is ongoing with both Steve Walston, maintenance supervisor and Dolly Martin, transportation director, meeting with architects to assist in design decisions.

The board anticipates receiving proposed final drawings next month.

Noggle also told the board development of the high-speed fiber link for schools in the regions is ongoing, but there are some doubts about linking Pagosa Springs and Silverton. La Plata Electric is planning the system but distance may be a problem for Pagosa and Silverton.

He also told the board CSAP testing has been completed for the year and the results will be sent to the state by Friday at the latest.

The Board of Cooperative Services, involving Pagosa Springs, Ignacio, Bayfield, Durango and Silverton schools, will meet in Pagosa Springs May 3. The 5:30 p.m. session, Noggle noted, will vie with National Honor Society induction scheduled at 6 p.m.

Policy revisions

Finally, on second reading, the board approved 13 of 14 recommended policy revisions, holding out for separate vote, at the request of director Mike Haynes, the proposed changes to policy on use of audiovisual materials.

Haynes, in a prepared statement, said misleading information was published in The SUN after his comments on the subject last month.

He said the story did not make clear there already is an audiovisual policy, and that references to an R-rated movie having been shown were erroneous in that the movie referred to was only rated PG-13.

"My position," his statement said, "is that current policy is sufficient and does not need to be amended. I understand that there are certain parts of some R-rated movies that may be appropriate to be shown in a classroom setting.

"My opinion is that overall R-rated movies are not films we would want viewed in our schoolrooms. I feel that if we begin to show bits and pieces of these movies, our children will get the idea that viewing R-rated movies is acceptable because they are shown at school. R-rated movies are not acceptable for children to view. That is why children are required to be accompanied by an adult to view such pictures. R-rated movies can have devastating effects on our kids. Let's not begin showing them in our schools."

A motion for approval of the amended policy as proposed by director Clifford Lucero, seconded by Sandy Caves, was approved on a 4-1 vote, Haynes dissenting.

The policy, as approved, prohibits showing of any NC-17 or X-rated films in any district facility or at any district-sanctioned event; allows PG movies in grades K-8 (including PG-13 available only for grades 7-12) after viewing and evaluation by the teacher and approval by the principal; PG-13 movies that have been viewed, evaluated and judged by the teacher to have educational value may be viewed in grades 9-12 classrooms with building administrator approval; no R-rated movies may be shown without parent notification and approval and if a parent or student chooses against viewing, an alternative assignment will be given. Each R-rated movie will have been viewed, evaluated and judged by the teacher to have educational value, and must be previously approved by the building administrator.


Health district addendum aims to 'save a future board'

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

An addendum to the Upper San Juan Health District bylaws establishing a process for filling board vacancies gained split-vote approval during Tuesday's district board of directors' meeting.

Near the end of what proved to be a helter-skelter session, director Patty Tillerson introduced a brief policy outlining how the appointment process may be facilitated.

Board member Debra Brown and Charles Hawkins, board chairman, voted to support the new measure; director Ken Morrison cast the lone dissenting vote.

As a result, district bylaws now include language aimed at what Tillerson described as "trying to save a future board" when it becomes necessary to fill vacant board seats with qualified candidates.

The addendum includes the notion that a "reserve list" of potential board members will now be established, a list comprised of candidates in this year's district election who do not gain board seats.

In addition, the adoption includes a secondary measure; if no candidates on the reserve list are willing to serve on the board, applications will be accepted from the public.

At the suggestion of Morrison, language stipulating a qualification/resume requirement for potential board candidate was added as well.

All applicants and qualifications will be subject to review of the board, and applicants will only be awarded a seat - within 60 days of an opening - after a popular vote of the board in favor of appointment.

Some members of the public in attendance questioned the need and timing of the move in light of the looming May 4 election.

In response, "What if the new board is installed and resigns after being installed?" asked Brown.

One attendee questioned the order of determination, expressing discontent with the notion that the reserve list of candidates will get priority consideration before members of the pubic are evaluated.

That protocol, he said, eliminates the possibility of a highly-qualified "white knight" being appointed from the general population - someone who may be new to the community, but at the same time possesses the necessary credentials.

However, the motion carried without further changes a short while later.

"Future boards can change it if they want," concluded Tillerson.


Voting issue headed for PLPOA annual meeting

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Say you're single, own a two-bedroom home in a Pagosa Lakes subdivision, and intend to vote on an issue presented by Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

You have one vote on that issue.

Then you learn the couple that lives in a similar home next door, with the same property value, plan to vote on the same issue - and each has a ballot.

That perceived inequity in the right-to-vote issue, broached last month by property owner Keren Prior, occupied a majority of the association's board of directors meeting April 8.

The upshot is that the next association newsletter will carry a survey to be completed by property owners concerning their thoughts on the issue preparatory to including discussion at the annual meeting in July.

Getting to the point of a survey, however, was a roundabout trip including a motion which died for lack of a second and a 4-2 vote to submit the survey. Dissenters were directors Pat Payne and Fred Ebeling.

After Prior's appearance last month, said Walt Lukasik, general manager, a legal opinion on the issue was requested from association counsel.

Basically, the opinion said, what the association is doing with reference to voter rights is specifically within the bylaws which grant the multiple votes when couples are registered as joint owners. It also upholds the opinion that a single owner of multiple lots has a vote for each of those lots assuming annual dues are up to date for each lot.

It is that apparent inequity which bothers Prior and had the board soul-searching in sometimes heated debate.

Director Gerry Smith recommended the issue be discussed, but not put to a vote at the annual meeting, for owner consensus , giving time to develop the bylaw amendment, if warranted, prior to the 2005 meeting.

Ebeling argued it is a question of whether the bylaw is equitable or not, "and I think not."

That said, he moved to have a ballot printed to put the question to voters at this year's annual meeting, a motion dying for lack of a second.

Director Hugh Bundy said he could see the wisdom of the bylaw the way it was written because "we are a community of people, not a community of lots."

But, came the argument from the audience, what if one person owns 110 lots in a 220-unit development? If that owner is current in assessments, he or she can control the subdivision on any vote, it was argued.

Prior argued she, and other individual owners, pay exactly the same assessments as the multiple owners yet have a lesser voter right.

"I shouldn't be penalized on rights simply because I'm a single owner," she said. "In my office (county assessor), I often see instances of ownership deed changing from two persons to one, but there is no comparable change in association voting rights. The now single owner still has two votes. The same is often true in a case where one of the joint owners dies."

Asked by the board for possible problem areas, Lukasik pointed out the association has 747 property owners holding 2,404 lots.

In two areas - Chris Mountain Village and Trails - there are instances where owners currently not in good standing (i.e., assessments unpaid) own large numbers of lots and thus have large numbers of potential votes.

In Chris Mountain, he said, a single owner holds 98 of 460 total lots and in Trails one owner holds has about 100 of 760 total lots.

"If they're not in good standing," argued Ebeling, "they cant vote anyway."

Smith, defending his motion position, said it is the board's duty to "abide by the governing document" as recommended by counsel. "We can adjudicate the appearance of unfairness without going to a one lot-one vote change in rules."

He argued for appointment of a committee to formulate the question for discussion at the annual meeting and moved that it be included as an agenda item for that session. Director Bill Nobles seconded the motion.

In pre-vote discussion, the syntax of the debate swirled about the issue of multiple lots with multiple votes and one lot-one vote.

Smith said the board should apply a limit to the number of votes that can be cast from a single property on a single issue.

Ebeling said it would be a misleading discussion for the annual meeting. "We might get 150 of 15,000 property owners represented," he said, calling that a "minuscule percentage of those affected."

Director David Bohl, board president, noted the attorneys said it is important for the board to "get the feeling of the community ... to determine if there is a consensus for change."

That led to the survey proposal and finally the call for a vote and the 4-2 decision.

Finally, Bohl advised it takes a ballot decision to change the bylaws and that vote, if it comes in 2005, will have to be conducted under the voting rights now on the books in the bylaws.

Smith agreed, but contended it is "an issue of fairness and political correctness that we have an obligation to solve."


School board mourns loss of Sue Gast

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The name was familiar to many, but few knew the extent of her effect on the community.

Sue Gast's death last week left a void which will be felt, particularly, by Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

Carol Feazel, school board president, opened Tuesday's regular board meeting with a tribute to Gast, executive vice president/cashier at Bank of the San Juans.

Noting Gast's passion for education, Feazel said, "She set the pace, established the parameters for all local banks in the investment of school funds."

The community's loss, she said,

"will be felt especially throughout the education family."

Nancy Schutz, district business manager, echoed the comments, saying Gast was "a prime example of what a financial advisor should be."


It isn't too late to seek a tax extension

This is it. The last day to file your income tax returns - both federal and state.

But people who need more time to complete their federal forms will find it easy to extend their filing deadline - they don't need an excuse, or even a stamp.

Automatic four-month extensions are available by phone or by computer, as well as through the paper Form 4868. The IRS expects to receive almost 9 million extension requests by the filing deadline at midnight tonight.

An extension of time to file does not give more time to pay any taxes owed. A person may choose to pay any projected balance due when requesting an extension, and the payment can be made electronically. Even without a payment, one can still get the extension.

The IRS has a special toll-free phone line for extensions, (888) 796-1074, for those who filed a tax return for 2002. Callers may use Form 4868 as a worksheet to prepare for the call, figuring their 2003 tax and total payments made. They should get a confirmation number signifying the extension request has been accepted, put it on Form 4868, and keep it for their records. They do not need to send the form to the IRS.

Taxpayers may also e-file an extension request using tax preparation software on their own computer or by going to a tax preparer. Those filing by computer get an acknowledgment the IRS has received their request.

Taxpayers asking for extensions by phone or computer can choose to pay any expected balance due by authorizing automatic withdrawal from a checking or savings account. They will need the appropriate bank routing and account numbers for that account and must also have the adjusted gross income from their 2002 tax return to verify identity.

For 4868 may downloaded or call toll-free at (800) TAX-FORM. Those with a fax machine may use the IRS TaxFax by calling (703) 368-9694 and request item 13141 by return fax.


Scholarship open for Head Start grads

Tri-County Head Start/Early Childhood Programs announces the availability of the Herb Jones Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship is open to all graduates of Tri-County Head Start programs who plan to attend a post-secondary education program in the 2004-05 school year.

Applications must be postmarked by May 5. Recipients and amount of grant will be announced in late April.

Information and forms are available in the high school counselor's office.


Blood draw set April 24

United Blood Services has scheduled a blood draw 9 a.m.-1 p.m. April 24 at First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs, 2900 U.S. 160 West.

Identification is required for all donors. Donors may sign up at www.unitedbloodservices. org.


Drivers needed to deliver meals to area seniors

Are you looking for a way to volunteer some time to your community and make an immediate impact on someone's life?

The Archuleta County Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has an opportunity for you to make new friends while you donate one lunch hour per week to the home delivered meal program for senior citizens.

Applications are currently being accepted from individuals as well as businesses, churches and other organizations that would like to make a difference. All applicants must provide their own vehicle and be available for one hour once a week. We are also are accepting applications for substitute drivers. A background check will be completed on all applicants.

Adopt a home delivered route today and brighten the lives of a few senior citizens. For more information please contact Musetta at 264-2167.


U.S. will stop issuing series HH savings bonds

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced it will stop issuing Series HH savings bonds this summer as part of its plan to eventually move to a paperless, electronic account system encompassing all of Treasury's retail securities.

After the close of business on August 31, owners of Series EE and E bonds will no longer be able to exchange them for HH bonds, and owners of matured HH/H bonds will no longer be able to reinvest their holdings in HH bonds.

However, investors holding HH bonds on that date will continue to earn interest until their bonds reach final maturity 20 years after issue.

Issued since 1980, HH bonds - which are available in multiples of $500 - are current income securities. They provide owners of E/EE bonds a means to defer reporting accrued interest on those bonds for federal income tax purposes, while earning interest income semiannually on both the principal and interest of the E/EE bonds. Income taxes on the deferred income become due when HH bonds are redeemed or reach maturity.

HH bonds pay interest income to owners semiannually on their face value. This interest is taxable in the year received. They cannot be purchased with cash, but are acquired only in exchange for Series E and EE bonds or by reinvesting the proceeds of matured HH/H bonds.

Relatively few people have invested in HH bonds over the years. Today, there are only a little more than 607,000 owners, compared to the tens of millions of individuals who own at least one savings bond. HH bonds make up $13.3 billion worth of the more than $200 billion invested in savings bonds, representing just 7 percent of the market.

"Even after the discontinuance of HH bonds, U.S. Savings Bonds will continue to be a flexible, low-risk and practical investment for long-term financial goals, such as retirement and college expenses, for people at all income levels," says Stephen Meyerhardt, public affairs officer for the Bureau of the Public Debt. "We're simply consolidating the bonds we offer as we move to make it easy for Americans to purchase, manage and redeem bonds online through our TreasuryDirect account system."

With the end of new Series HH issues just a few months away, there are several things to consider. First, there is no effect on HH bonds issued before Aug. 31, 2004. Investors can hold onto these bonds, which will continue to earn interest until the end of their 20-year life.

The annual interest rate for new HH bonds is now 1.5 percent, but HH bonds issued (or having entered their second 10 years) between March 1994 and December 2002 earn 4 percent until they are 10 years old, at which time the rate will change for their next 10 years, or stop if the bonds have reached final maturity.

As for investors who had planned to defer taxes by purchasing HH bonds when their E/EE bonds matured, they have only a limited time to make an exchange. But they too must carefully weigh the tradeoffs of exchanging higher-interest E/EE bonds, which may be earning as much as 6 percent, in order to gain the benefits of HH bonds while they're still available.

Owners of E/EE bonds who want to purchase HH bonds before the August deadline should fill out an exchange application and submit it with the bonds being exchanged to a qualified savings bonds agent. Financial institutions that serve as agents are able to help customers fill out the application form and forward appropriate materials to a Federal Reserve processing site or the Bureau of the Public Debt.

After Aug. 31, when the last HH bonds will be issued, investors can still opt for I and EE bonds. I bonds currently pay an interest rate of 2.19 percent, composed of a fixed rate of 1.1 percent for 30 years and an inflation rate that's adjusted semiannually.

EE bonds, which are guaranteed to reach face value in 20 years and earn interest for a total of 30 years, earn interest tied to 90 percent of the average return on five-year Treasury marketable securities.

U.S. securities can be compared online at www.treasurydirect.gov, where investors can open an account to buy savings bonds directly over the Internet. Investors can track and manage their holdings online - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - from anywhere they have Internet access. There are no charges or fees, and you can buy paperless bonds in penny increments ranging from $25 to $30,000 each year.

The site is ideal for small savers and investors because you don't need to have $1,000 or $5,000 or an even larger amount to use the site.

Whichever bonds you choose, they remain among the safest, most secure and affordable investment opportunities available, and they offer attractive interest rates and tax advantages.

More information about savings bonds and exchange transactions can be found on the U.S. Treasury's Web site, www.treasurydirect.gov.


A look at benefits, risks of a vegetarian diet

By Tecla Coleman

CSU Cooperative Extension

Special to The PREVIEW

Vegetarianism is a common dietary habit that requires partially or completely eliminating animal products.

Religion, animal welfare and personal beliefs are some reasons why people may choose to follow a plant-based diet.

When properly planned and followed, some vegetarian diets have been shown to help reduce cholesterol, body weight, hypertension and constipation, as well as decrease the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and gallbladder disorders.

However, the term vegetarian is sometimes confusing, loosely used and left for individual interpretation.

It's also important to note that when individuals follow plant-based diets that are extremely restrictive and not well rounded, this can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Knowing the different vegetarian diets and the possible nutrient deficiencies can help people make smart choices related to following a plant-based diet.

The following are common definitions used to qualify vegetarian dietary habits:

- vegan - only plant products

- lacto vegetarian - plant products, milk and milk products.

- ovolactovegetarian - plant products, eggs, milk and milk products

- pescovegetarian - plant products and fish

- pollovegetarian - plant products and chicken

Protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, zinc and calcium are nutrients that vegetarians must closely monitor to ensure suitable intakes.

Protein found in animal products such as milk, eggs and meat is complete, meaning the protein has all the amino acids necessary to carry out bodily functions such as proper blood cell development, muscle maintenance and skin regeneration.

The proteins found in plant products are missing one or more amino acids, and this makes the protein incomplete. Combining a plant food that has the amino acid that another plant food is missing makes a complete protein. For example, beans and rice, tortilla with beans, tofu and rice are examples of combination complete proteins.

Vitamin B12, which is needed by the body to promote a healthy nervous system and fat metabolism, is found in animal products. Vitamin D, also found in animal products like eggs, some fish, and fortified dairy products, is important for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the bones. Vegetarians can get vitamins B12 and D from fortified breakfast cereals and breads. Vitamin D also comes from sunshine.

Iron, a mineral found in both animal and plant products, is needed to carry oxygen throughout the blood. It's better absorbed by the body when it comes from animal products, however adding vitamin C by drinking orange juice or eating a baked potato with the skin when eating the plant food high in iron will increase the iron absorption in the body.

Another mineral found in both plant and animal products, but also more easily absorbed from animal products, is zinc. The body needs zinc to utilize carbohydrates, proteins and fats for energy and normal growth. Calcium is a concern only for vegetarians who do not incorporate any dairy products into their diet. Dry beans, tofu processed with calcium sulfate, calcium-fortified orange juice, and dark green leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens and broccoli are all plant-based sources of calcium.

For the most part, properly planned vegetarian diets have been shown to provide great health benefits. However, great care must be exercised when following a vegetarian diet to ensure that all nutrients are provided in the right amounts, especially for pregnant and lactating women, infants, and children.

Vegetarians who incorporate eggs, dairy products and fish into their diets will have fewer concerns with deficiencies than vegetarians who only consume plant products. Also, just because someone follows a vegetarian diet does not mean that person has a healthy diet.

Vegetarians should monitor their intake of eggs, dairy products, sugar, fried foods and calories so that they do not load up on cholesterol, sugar, and high calorie, low nutrient foods.

Careful diet planning and preparation, along with good physical activity, will help those who choose to follow vegetarian diets enjoy food health.

For more information about vegetarian diets, visit the Food and Nutrition Information Center at www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/pubs_and_db.html, the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org, and the Vegetarian Resource Group at www.vrg.org.


Regional mental health plan is still alive in Legislature

Rep. Larson's Report

The budget cleared the Senate Friday and will be coming back to the House for concurrence with changes the Senate made. This is the point in the budget process when we normally squabble about very small amounts of funding in the $5.8 billion budget.

I do not anticipate much of a battle. I was very pleased to see that my amendment requesting the appropriate state agencies to perform a needs assessment study for the proposed regional mental health acute treatment unit was included.

This report is anticipated to render findings we in southwestern Colorado already know ... we are geographically isolated from most state services and that we can do a better job managing programs ourselves if resources are properly channeled to us, especially for our mental health consumers.

With this report in hand we should be able to make the case for sustained funding for this new unit that will allow effective and timely delivery of acute treatment services for our region while reducing state costs overall.

Now that the budget is all but done, the Legislature will return to working on the remaining bills. With just over three weeks left in the session, things will start to heat up substantially and the pace quicken.

I have four bills all in the last stages of the process and they should experience no problems getting out in time. They are:

- HB04-1157, Purging Title to Manufactured Homes (Sen. Isgar is ushering this through the Senate)

- HB04-1231, Commercial Driver License updates

- SB04-28, Substance Abuse Treatment for Native Americans

- SB04-186, Authorizing Roadside Memorials.

The Legislature will also be taking up the many concurrent resolutions proposed to fix the imbalances between the constitutional amendments that have created the so-called "perfect storm." The conflicts between TABOR (Taxpayers Bill of Rights), Amendment 23 (K-12 education funding) and Gallagher (property taxes) must be addressed this election cycle if Colorado is to repair the damage that the last several fiscal years have wreaked on our state programs and institutions.

Readers can review the current proposed legislation in summary at http://LarsonColorado.com. I will keep this Web site updated for changes in these proposals as well as information on any new ones. There is also a brief rundown on the citizen initiatives as well as Web site links to those organizations an others working to avoid the fiscal train wreck.

It is incredibly important that voters be informed on these referenda and initiatives. Come the November elections you will be asked to decide which ballot initiatives you support. One fear that I have is that an uninformed electorate will approve several initiatives that, in combination and depending on which ones are voted in, might only exacerbate the problem.

Citizen sponsored initiatives must comply with the single subject rule (i.e. each initiative can only address one issue.) This single subject constitutional amendment was passed after voters voted in the 1,926-word TABOR amendment and thought it too expansive and cumbersome. Consequently, to overturn TABOR now it is estimated that as many as 25 different initiatives would have to be voted on.

I am trying to remain optimistic about the Legislature passing out a referendum or two that will address more than just one constitutional amendment. You see, while the single subject rule should also apply to the Legislature, if a referendum is referred by the Legislature and approved by the voters, by the time an appeal can be filed, it is doubtful that a judge would overturn a voter approved initiative.

While all the constitutional amendment discussion is going on regarding fiscal issues, there is also a referendum being proposed to increase the number of votes necessary to approve future constitutional amendments.

One has to see the irony in this conundrum of clashing constitutional amendments that require even more constitutional amendments to fix them.


One of eight 'no' votes on the budget bill

Sen. Isgar's Report

 The busiest days of the legislative session, aside from the final week, occur when we work on the budget.  Last week, the state Senate received the Long Bill, which is the 600-page document that lays out state expenditures for the next fiscal year.

 Unlike previous years, when the problem was lack of state revenue, now the constitutional constraints imposed by the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, Amendment 23, and the Gallagher Amendment have removed most of our ability to significantly alter the budget.  Consequently, the debate was limited to moving around small amounts of money from programs that couldn't afford to lose it in order to save other programs that couldn't afford to do without it.

 Most of the amendments I offered to the Long Bill hinged on the General Assembly exerting its authority to appropriate federal flexible funds.  The $146 million was Colorado's share of $20 billion made available to the states by the federal government to assist in balancing their budgets under the "Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003."

When the state was granted the money, the governor assumed custodianship over the funds and proceeded to allocate them.  This action, however, alarmed lawmakers from both parties over whether he had circumvented the legislature's constitutional authority to appropriate money and set the budget.

In an attempt to avoid a fight in the courts, the governor offered the General Assembly $35 million to help with the Long (budget) Bill.  To their credit legislative leadership did not accept the offer, as I believe the Colorado Supreme Court will rule in the Legislature's favor.  However that will only affect future funds as the Legislature has taken the position that the way the governor allocated these funds this time was OK. 

And at the time the governor allocated the funds I didn't disagree with most of the needs that were targeted. I didn't think the new airplane for the governor or expenditures on the governor's mansion were high priorities but the $10 million allocated to each of the six Colorado Department of Transportation Regions will help with needed transportation projects.

On April 7 the State Controller's office provided information that over $112 million of the funds was not yet spent or encumbered.  That would leave about $52 million after one subtracted the $60 million for highways.

Accordingly, several senators and I argued that we should take some of the remaining money and use it to restore programs that were hurting from massive budget cuts.  The governor allocated the funds before the budget was put together and now it would seem appropriate to reallocate dollars based on the realities of that budget.  I am also concerned that none of the Federal Flexible Funds were appropriated in the Long Bill.  By the legislature not doing that I fear that the Governor will reallocate these funds as he sees fit.

It has always been a practical view of mine as a legislator to honor the original spirit and intent of the law.  This idea has served me several times during this session when I worked to reform possessory interest taxation, argued to repeal water administration fees, and helped establish a task force to investigate payment of royalties to mineral owners. In the case of the Federal Flexible Funds, my understanding of the Legislature's authority to use this money was the basis for my arguments on the budget.

We had several amendments that would have used approximately $33 million of the federal funds and put additional dollars into such programs as juvenile diversion, mental health, senior services and child immunizations.  In my mind, claiming the legislature's right to allocate unexpended money was not a hostile challenge to the governor.  He maintains his place in the budget-making process with his veto power and his ability to line item veto any portion of the Long Bill that uses the flexible funds.  But our inability to assert our authority made it difficult to gain support for most Democratic amendments.

 Because of this frustration, I ended up voting against HB 1421, and I was one of eight "no" voters on the budget, which ultimately passed.  The good news was that a bipartisan effort to keep the field agent positions within the Department of Human Services passed and that will help the state stay in touch with people in the community.

 On a more positive note, hasn't this rain been great?


MADD backs lowered blood alcohol law

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Colorado used World Health Day April 7 to remind state residents about the dangerous issue of drunk driving.

The national theme, "Family Road Safety: Protect the Ones You Love," spotlights the many factors that lead to traffic fatalities, including alcohol.

Nationwide, alcohol-related traffic crashes account for 41 percent of all traffic fatalities and drunk driving remains the nation's most frequently committed violent crime.

In Colorado, MADD noted, 328 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes in 2002 and countless others were injured.

Christy Le Lait, MADD's Colorado executive director, said, "It is time for those of us who live in Colorado to take the issue of road safety seriously. Let's finally pass the .08 blood alcohol content law and let's start looking a primary seat belt law."

MADD advocates for the most effective tools to combat the drunk driving problem, including frequent and highly publicized law enforcement efforts such as sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and impaired driving/seat belt mobilizations; an illegal 0.8 percent blood alcohol content law in every state and enacting national standards to reduce DUI/DWI offenses, ban open alcohol containers in vehicles and increase seat belt use.


Your car's tires can be deceiving; here's how to check them out

Like most of us, we buy a set of tires, have them put on our car and then forget about them until our next inspection rolls around or until we notice they need air or we get a flat.

We should be checking our vehicle's tires more often to make sure they are fit for the road and to ensure their longevity. Here is a checklist on what you can do to make sure you get the longest life out of them.


One-fourth of all cars and one-third of all light trucks have at least one substantially underinflated tire. These tires can cause blowouts and tire failure, which can cause serious accidents. And appearances can be deceiving - a tire can lose up to half of its air pressure without appearing flat. Overinflation, on the other hand, puts unnecessary stress on tires, which can result in irregular tread wear. Check tire inflation with an accurate gauge, which can be found in any auto parts store and most service stations.


Improper alignment of your car's steering mechanisms - including the front and rear tires and the steering wheel - can reduce the lifespan of your tires by thousands of miles. Have a tire dealer check the alignment if you notice:

- excessive or uneven tire wear

- the steering wheel "pulling" to the right or the left

- a feeling of "looseness" or "wandering"

- steering wheel vibration

- the steering wheel is not centered when the car is moving straight ahead.


If you fail to rotate your tires, the front tires may last 10,000 to 20,000 miles, while the rear tires will last 50,000 to 80,000 miles. To achieve more uniform wear, experts recommend that you rotate your tires every 6,000 miles. Refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for correct pattern rotation. Common patterns include straight forward and straight back or crisscrossed.


Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to grip the road in adverse conditions - especially on wet roads. When checking tires, look for uneven wear, high and low areas, bubbling or excessively smooth areas, as well as cuts or foreign objects.

Tires must be replaced when tread has worn down to 1/16 of an inch. If you don't have a measurement device, use a penny to check tread depth. Insert a penny with the head pointed down into the tread groove. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, your tires need to be replaced. When shopping for new tires, it's best to replace all four at the same time - if you have been rotating your tires as recommended.

You should also think about the type of driving you do most often - highways, rural back roads or the like - and choose tires that are right for you.


You, too, can be an IRS advocacy panel member

The Internal Revenue Service is inviting civic-minded individuals to help improve the nation's tax agency by applying to be members of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. The panel provides a forum for citizens from each state to make suggestions regarding IRS decision making.

Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) members:

- provide opportunities to listen to citizens and make recommendations to the IRS and Treasury on customer-service issues

- identify and prioritize taxpayer issues

- report annually to Treasury and the National Taxpayer Advocate

- participate in meetings where taxpayers are invited to raise issues about their experiences with the IRS

- refer taxpayers who contact the panels to the IRS offices best able to address their issues

"Because of the administration's actions to greatly expand the Taxpayer Advocate Panel to all 50 states, it now is able to play an even more critical role - ensuring that taxpayers from every corner of the country will have their voices heard," said Treasury Secretary John Snow. "To reach the goal of providing world-class service to the hard working Americans who pay the taxes, one of the most vital things we must do is listen better to their concerns and suggestions, and ensure that their rights are being fully protected. After all, it's their money."

"We are committed to working with taxpayers to improve the customer-service focus of the IRS," said Nina Olson, IRS National Taxpayer Advocate. "Working with taxpayers directly helps us identify issues that may not be on the IRS radar screen. We can also hear their concerns about issues the IRS is already addressing."

To qualify as a TAP member, applicants must be U.S. citizens and be able to commit about 300 hours during the year to the panel. In addition, they must be current with their tax obligations and pass a criminal background check.

The application is available at www.improveirs.org. You can apply online or download the form and mail it to:

Milwaukee TAP Office

Stop 1006MIL

310 West Wisconsin Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53203-2221

If you do not have access to a computer, call (866)602-2223 for an application form.

Applications must be received by the TAP Office by April 30.


Percentage of overweight, obese Americans growing

By Leigh Fortson

Special to The SUN

Our nation is growing steadily. Not in numbers; rather in weight.

"In 2001, 61 percent of Americans were overweight and obese. That's a 23-percent increase since 1994," said Rebecca Zamora-Van Sice, family and consumer science agent for Colorado State University Cooperative Extension in Mesa County.

Adults aren't the only ones battling the bulge. Sadly, one in eight children are overweight, almost twice as many as there were in 1980. That means those children are not only being teased for how they look, but they're also having to cope with serious health conditions.

"Up until about 10 years ago," Zamora-Van Sice reports, "we rarely saw Type II diabetes diagnosed in people under the age of 40. Now, in Colorado, we're seeing it in children as young as seven."

The issues of obesity and diabetes are complex, involving cultural, socioeconomic and environmental issues. That isn't good news for America's children.

Recent reports by the Center for Disease Control predict that one-third of all children born today will suffer with diabetes as an adult because of overweight issues. If the child is Hispanic or African American, half will likely get the disease when they reach adulthood.

Improving Coloradans' health by preventing obesity and diabetes will be the focus at the first annual Western Colorado Nutrition Conference May 1, at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction. The event is sponsored by CSU Cooperative Extension, Mesa County Health Department-Steps to a Healthier U.S. grant, Colorado State Department of Health, Kessell Health and Wellness Consulting, and Rocky Mountain Health Plans.

Health care providers and participants can obtain continuing education credits from Western Colorado Area Health Education Center by attending the conference.

"We've lined up a very impressive group of professionals to address these issues," said Zamora-Van Sice, "so it will be highly informative for those in the health care profession. But we're also encouraging parents, teachers, coaches and anyone else interested in the health and future of our youth to come."

Featured speakers include Dr. James O. Hill, professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and Dr. Chris Melby, professor of nutritional science and chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at CSU. Other speakers include nutritionists, dieticians and experts in public health, sports medicine, fitness, food stamp education, and integrative medicine.

Zamora-Van Sice is upbeat about what participants will glean from the conference. "Understanding how we've gotten here is one thing," she said, "But then we have to tap community resources to manage both the expense and debilitating impacts that we face as an overweight nation. We're aiming to help members of Western Colorado communities do both at the conference."

A light breakfast and exhibits will kick off the conference at 8 a.m. May 1. Participants can choose from a selection of afternoon breakout sessions that will conclude at 3:45 p.m. Preregistration is advised. For more information, contact the Mesa County Extension office at (970) 244-1834.


Test your state flower knowledge

Can you name the state flowers? Test your U.S. trivia knowledge by checking out the 50 varieties of flowers below.

Alabama - Camellia

Alaska - Forget Me Not

Arizona - Saguaro Cactus Blossom

Arkansas - Apple Blossom

California - California Poppy

Colorado - Rocky Mountain Columbine

Connecticut - Mountain Laurel

Delaware - Peach Blossom

Florida - Orange Blossom

Georgia - Cherokee Rose

Hawaii - Pua Aloalo

Idaho - Syringa-Mock Orange

Illinois - Purple Violet

Indiana - Peony

Iowa - Wild Prairie Rose

Kansas - Sunflower

Kentucky - Goldenrod

Louisiana - Magnolia

Maine - White Pine Cone and Tassel

Maryland - Black-eyed Susan

Massachusetts - Trailing Arbutus

Michigan - Apple Blossom

Minnesota - Pink and White Lady's Slipper

Mississippi - Magnolia

Missouri - Hawthorn

Montana - Bitterroot

Nebraska - Goldenrod

Nevada - Sagebrush

New Hampshire - Purple Lilac

New Jersey - Violet

New Mexico - Yucca Flower

New York - Rose

North Carolina - American Dogwood

North Dakota - Wild Prairie Rose

Ohio - Scarlet Carnation

Oklahoma - Mistletoe

Oregon - Oregon Grape

Pennsylvania - Mountain Laurel

Rhode Island - Violet

South Carolina - Yellow Jessamine

South Dakota - Pasque Flower

Tennessee - Iris

Texas - Bluebonnet

Utah - Sego Lily

Vermont - Red Clover

Virginia - American Dogwood

Washington - Coast Rhododendron

West Virginia - Rhododendron

Wisconsin - Wood Violet

Wyoming - Indian Paintbrush


Eyeing a cell phone? Here are some questions you should ask yourself

It's hard to imagine life in the pre-cellular era. Cell phones offer so many benefits, from finding that blind date at a restaurant to enabling you to chat while you walk.

When it comes to cars, they are especially helpful when you get lost en route to a family function or are stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire.

With so many plans on the market, choosing a provider and plan can be overwhelming, not to mention headache-inducing. AT&T, T-Mobile, Cingular Wireless, Sprint and Verizon are just a few cellular companies that offer packages at varying price points and daytime and weekend minute options.

Making the choice will take some time and research. To get you started, here are a few simple questions to ask yourself to help determine what's right for you.

Q: What will you be using it for?

A: By figuring this out first, you'll be able to determine how many minutes you'll need per month. If your phone is simply going to be for emergencies, save money and get the minimal number of minutes. But if you think sitting alone in traffic for three hours is a good time to call everyone in your phone book, you'll need a more inclusive package.

Remember that phones are for more than talking these days. They can also be used for text messaging, surfing the Web or e-mailing. Think about how often you will be using those functions and what kind of plan will get you the most for your money. The more you know about how you'll be using your phone and how often, the easier it will be to pick a plan.

Q: Who will you be calling?

A: If you're only making local calls, you don't need to spring for long distance but if there's any chance you'll be calling the opposite coast, a long distance plan is a necessity. Many companies offer inexpensive nationwide coverage but tack on high amounts for long distance phone calls made on a local plan.

Q: How many people in your family need a cell phone?

A: Family plans are gaining in popularity. They can often save you money in the long run, but again, you need to be careful when picking your plan. Instead of each phone getting an individualized number of minutes, family phones share airtime. Just make sure that you get enough minutes to cover everyone in your family.

Q: Which plans do my friends have and are they generally satisfied?

A: Asking around and word of mouth are probably the best ways to do research. Sure, you should do some price and plan comparisons on your own, but that won't tell you about service quality or hidden fees. If your next door neighbor has a hard time getting a signal, you probably will too. That can lead to extra charges, not to mention frustration and defeating the purpose of having a cell phone to begin with.

Also, by talking with someone with similar cell phone needs, you'll get a better idea of how many minutes you'll need each month and how much they will cost.


Women in religion series continues

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will present the third in its series exploring "The Power of Women in Religion" Sunday.

Guest speaker Lakme Elior is cofounder and co-director of the Walking Stick Foundation in Cuba, N.M., and coauthor of "The Place Where You Are Standing Is Holy: A Jewish Theology on Human Relationships."

Her topic will be "Women in Judaism: A Woman of Valor."

According to Jewish sacred texts, the Feminine has shaped and governed the course of Creation. She continues this work even now in the form of individual women (and the feminine side of men). This program will take a look at the full range of choices and activities that women in Biblical times actually had, and relate them to the positive legacy this has given Jewish cultures today.

As always on the third Sunday of the month, the service and Sunday School will begin at 4:30 p.m.

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 of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big new sign.

All are welcome.


Girl Scout Council announces summer science camp dates

Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council will host two Fair Play Summer Science Camps this year.

The resident camp, for girls entering freshman and sophomore years, will be July 6-16 in Albuquerque.

The day camp, for girls entering seventh and eighth grades, will be July 26-30 and Aug. 2-6 in Farmington.

Fair Play is funded by Girl Scouts of the USA, Intel Foundation, and corporate contributions.

The council is now accepting applications for both programs. Those interested in participating need to complete and return the application and a $20 deposit by April 30.

To request an application, call (505) 343-1040 or (800) 658-6768, Ext. 3004.

Total participation fee for the older group is $120 per girl ($110 for currently registered Girl Scouts); and for the day camp, the fee is

$80 per girl ($70 if currently registered).

Primary goal of the program is to encourage girls to develop their knowledge of science, technology and related skills. The summer camps and follow-up workshops will promote individual and team science projects over the next year.

Girls from throughout southwestern Colorado and all of New Mexico are eligible to participate.


Spring cleaning rummage sale at community center

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

Once the circus has come and gone, activity at the community center will resume its normal hectic pace and we can concentrate on Saturday's Spring Cleaning Rummage Sale.

What a good idea to plan this event inside where it's warm and dry. And the timing coincides with the universally observed instinct to clean out the nest after a long, confining winter.

Everyone experiences the urge to sweep, vacuum, dust, wash windows and just get rid of things.

What better to do with all those things than to bring them down to the community center and sell them to your neighbors? Spend a relaxing few hours catching up with what has been happening in the community. There will be lots of folks to chat with and coffee and snacks will be available.

For those of you who have things but don't want to sell, worry not. Donate them to the center and we will find someone to sell them.

For $10 you can have a table (for $20, two) upon which to display your wares 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Come on down to the community center right away and reserve one (or two) of the best spots.

Teen Center news

Welcome to Karen Carpenter, our new Teen Center supervisor.

Karen joined us last week and the Teen Center has already experienced the impact. Movie night last week featured a double feature and food. The operative word here is food and it impacts on the teen-age insatiable appetite.

Before the movie, Karen could be seen engaged in one very hot Ping-Pong game with a teen-age opponent. It is not clear who emerged victorious.

Among her many talents, Karen is a professional clown. In fact, we were just a little concerned she might run off with the circus. Now we can't wait to see how she brings this skill into the Teen Center.

Karen has B.A. in education, special education and athletic training with a minor in psychology. She taught physical education to kindergarten-high school students. In addition, she is very knowledgeable on computer - Windows, Word, Excel, powerpoint and Adobe photoshop.

One highlight of her experiences was her work as program director at Sheridan County YMCA, in Sheridan, Wyo. As program director she expanded programs for youth and adults. She taught, coached, created and coordinated programs. She was also a fitness instructor for aerobic and weight training.

Karen was also involved in marketing and fund-raising programs. Please come to the Teen Center and meet Karen.

For more information about the rummage sale or the Teen Center, call 264-4152.


Brain injury support group meets Tuesday

Have you suffered a brain injury or a stroke? Do you know someone who has?

Survivors, family members and healthcare providers are invited to attend the first meeting of the Pagosa Springs Brain Injury Support Group at 5 p.m. April 20 at WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company, 135 Country Center Drive in Suite A just west of City Market.

The group will continue to meet on the third Tuesday of each month.

For more information contact Richard Goebel at 731-1841.


Humane society to host SunDowner, chocolate auction

By Annette Foor

Special to The PREVIEW

Humane Society of Pagosa Springs will host the Chamber's SunDowner at the Humane Society Thrift Store April 28, which also means it's time for the annual chocolate auction.

Each year, the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs holds its chocolate auction along with Chamber's SunDowner. This year is sure to be a great evening with scrumptious appetizers as well as beer, wine and non-alcohol drinks.

Local restaurants and caterers prepare an array of decadent chocolate desserts such as chocolate torte, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate truffles and so much more that will put any chocoholic over the edge.

Auctioneer Bill Nobles and his Chocolate Spotters really make the room come alive as he starts the bidding process.

This year's theme is toga and costumes will be provided at the door. The cost is $5, which covers the Chamber's expense.

Mark your calendar and plan on attending this month's SunDowner and chocolate auction. The fun starts at 5 p.m. so we'll see you at the Humane Society Thrift Store downtown.

For more information, call 264-5549.


Anasazi archaeology expert speaks here Monday evening

Dr. Steven Lekson, an Anasazi/Chacoan scholar and curator of anthropology at the University of Colorado's Museum of Natural History will speak in Pagosa Springs Monday.

Appearing as guest of the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association at 7 p.m. in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street, his topic will be "The Place of Chimney Rock in the Greater Chacoan Culture Sphere."

Lekson has led 18 expeditions into ruins in the Four Corners area and is author of two dozen books on southwestern archaeology.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico and is author of over two dozen books on southwestern archaeology including, "The Chaco Meridian." He is a frequent contributor to Archaeology magazine and has written the introduction to a new hardback publication, "Chimney Rock: The Ultimate Outlier," with several contributing authors.

The interpretive association is a newly-formed organization of local area volunteers who will oversee and staff the many events conducted each summer at the archaeological site.

The volunteers conduct on-site tours of the Chimney Rock site between May 15 and Sept. 30 and will soon participate in moonrise tours celebrating the northern lunar standstill event and featuring the rising of the moon between Chimney Rock's twin stone pinnacles.

The lecture is sponsored by the nonprofit organization, The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, and the public is invited to attend at no charge.


Workshop slated on successful pet evacuation

One of the lessons learned from the Missionary Ridge Fire is that the key to successful evacuation of animals during disasters is advance preparation by their owners.

As part of Wildfire Prevention and Education Month, the La Plata County Humane Society will sponsor a free public workshop to help residents prepare for emergency evacuation of pets and livestock.

It is scheduled 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 22 in Durango Fire and Rescue Station No. 1, 142 Sheppard Drive (south end of Bodo Park).

The workshop will include a slide show, panel discussion by emergency responders and animal experts, and a question-and-answer session.

Presenters include Barbara Schwartz of the American Kennel Club, Laura Scarfiotti of Four Corners Backcountry Horsemen, and La Plata County Humane Society staff, including Animal Control Officer Mike Lively, Shelter Manager Julie Granito, and Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Larry Goldstein.

Animal rescue was a huge effort during the Missionary Ridge Fire. The Humane Society took in 86 rescued dogs and 80 cats, placing the majority in volunteer foster homes until they could be reunited with their owners. La Plata County Animal Control and Backcountry Horsemen evacuated 200 threatened horses to safe ranches.

With the help of volunteers, the shelter was able to remain open around the clock, taking calls from distressed owners. Animal control officers also visited local Red Cross shelters to ask evacuees about pets and livestock left behind, and upon request, checked on the welfare of the animals and provided food and water.

No advance reservation is needed for the free workshop, but space is limited to 150 people.

For more information, call the Humane Society at (970) 259-2847.


Welcome to 'Bears in Spring: Version 2004'

By Cameron Lewis

Special to The SUN

Late March, Evergreen, 2 a.m.: A woman awakens to a loud noise outside and looks out the window to see a black bear investigating her trash can. She is wildlife-wise and has secured the lid on her trash can with a bungee cord. She watches as the bear lifts the can and throws it, trying to get the lid off.

Welcome to "Bears in Spring," version 2004.

It ran through my yard! It knocked over my trash! It was on my deck! The stories usually end with a question, "What can I do about it?"

The "it" in question is the curious, strong and hungry black bear. Every year, the Division of Wildlife receives phone calls from residents who are concerned about bears visiting their property.

In communities in bear country, residents often have conflicting views about bears. Some want to "leave them alone," some want "problem bears" moved deep into the wilderness. However, as wildlife officials point out, there is no faraway "wilderness" to relocate habituated wildlife: bears live throughout Colorado's mountains and foothills. Learning to co-exist with bears, and other wildlife, is the best option.

Although bears can live in close proximity to humans, problems begin when they find easier food sources associated with homes and begin seeking human food and trash, rather than natural sources. To keep bears out of people's trash, garages and homes, and out of trouble, neighbors need to act together.

In all likelihood, the bear that was determined to get inside the Evergreen trash can had previous successful experience with a similar can. Once a bear has found food in a certain locations, it is wired to continue looking for food in similar places. One careless neighbor can create a problem bear for a whole community of careful residents.

"Every spring by the time you have switched your clock to daylight saving time, bears too have made an important switch. They will begin to come out of the state of inactivity that has kept them out of the spotlight for most of the winter months. As they make this transition they enter a stage that is often referred to as walking hibernation," said Dawson Swanson, district wildlife manager in Evergreen.

"Any lazy habits you've acquired over the winter, such as leaving your trash out the night before pickup, or failing to clean up a birdfeeder, need to be promptly addressed. If you haven't seen any signs of bear yet, it's the perfect time to clean up your property to prevent attracting bears in the future."

For the first few weeks after leaving hibernation, bears are most interested in drinking lots of water, but will slowly begin eating again. Once their digestive systems are operating at full speed (within two weeks), black bears will spend most of their waking hours looking for food and eating. Leaving garbage out overnight - even one time - usually proves to be the most tempting invitation to bears. Changing human behavior and removing common attractants will discourage bear visits that put both humans and bears at risk.

If a bear finds food even once, it will return repeatedly to the same place looking for more. Don't let your yard or garage become a bear's hangout by storing birdseed, pet food or garbage where a bear can smell it and reach it.

Many Colorado communities have "Bear Aware" programs in which trained volunteers work to actively identify bear attractants and educate residents in how to reduce conflicts on their property. This strategy often works to reduce bear problems because if a bear in the neighborhood doesn't find "easy food," it will continue moving to another area where food is more plentiful.

"We find that as more people are educated about how to live with bears, the problems in those areas are greatly reduced," Swanson said.

The DOW encourages residents to make property "bear-resistant" by cleaning or removing any attractions the bear might consider potential food sources:

- keep garbage in airtight containers inside a garage or storage area; clean trash cans with ammonia to reduce odors that attract bears

- place garbage for pickup outside just before collection and not the night before

- use a bear-proof Dumpster - if not available, ask a trash-removal company for options

- take down bird feeders, especially in spring through early autumn when bears are active; once a bear finds a birdfeeder in a yard, it will likely look around the neighborhood for other easy foods within reach

- do not place meat or sweet food scraps in a compost pile - the smell of spoiled food attracts bears

- do not leave pet food or dishes outdoors at night; store pet food inside in airtight containers

- clean outdoor grills after each use as the smell of barbecue sauce and grease can attract bears, even when no food is present

- never intentionally feed bears to attract them for viewing. It is illegal to feed bears in Colorado - in addition to being bad for the bear, violators can be ticketed and fined. After a warning, feeding bears or failing to remove attractants can result in escalating fines of $100, $500 and $1000 per incident.

Remember, "A fed bear is a dead bear." By making food available to a bear, even a single time, it is trained to associate humans with food. Once a bear learns this association, it can become a returning nuisance and often must be killed.

Colorado's black bears receive an ear tag and markings following the first serious nuisance encounter with people. According to state policy, a second serious encounter, or "second strike," means the bear must be killed. Help Colorado's black bears share our state by keeping your property clear of bear attractants. An ounce of prevention is truly worth 200 pounds of cure.


DOW drops plans for new deer, elk head incinerator

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) will not proceed with plans to build a new incinerator in Larimer County for the disposal of deer and elk heads that have been tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD), state wildlife officials said.

Increased public confidence, and the elimination of mandatory CWD testing have contributed to a lower demand for testing of deer and elk heads. Because of this, state wildlife officials decided to shelve plans to build the proposed incinerator.

Recently, the DOW received a certificate of designation from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that would have enabled it to seek final approval from the Larimer County Board of Commissioners. The CD verified that the DOW incinerator proposal complied with state and federal health regulations.

"This incinerator would have been part of a statewide disposal system for the testing, management and research that surrounds CWD," said John Smeltzer, public services administrator for the DOW.

In cooperation with Colorado State University, DOW manages two incinerators in Craig which are used to dispose of deer and elk heads that have been tested for CWD. Animal heads tested for the disease are also disposed at CSU facilities in Rocky Ford, Fort Collins and Grand Junction.

Deer and elk heads - the vast majority of them testing negative for CWD - are burned in the incinerators, buried in designated landfills, or destroyed at a "digester" under the watch of CSU diagnostic lab personnel in Fort Collins.

"All three methods have been sanctioned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as legitimate disposal methods for prions, the infectious proteins associated with CWD. The EPA says all of them are efficient and effective when applied according to standards, which, of course, is what we're doing," he said.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease afflicting some Colorado deer and elk herds. As part of ongoing efforts to track the occurrence and distribution of the disease, DOW and CSU diagnostic lab personnel last year tested more than 15,424 deer, elk and moose heads submitted by hunters. That was 37 percent fewer than the 24,652 animals submitted for testing by the same time in 2002.

Based on this and other evidence, state wildlife officials anticipate a decreased demand for CWD testing in the foreseeable future. While the Colorado Wildlife Commission recently eliminated mandatory CWD testing for deer and elk, hunters are still required to submit moose heads for testing. No moose has ever tested positive for the disease.


Navajo Reservoir environmental public comment urged

The Bureau of Reclamation is initiating preparation of an environmental assessment on 2004 summer operations at Navajo Reservoir.

The assessment will address flow regimes, in particular minimum release from Navajo Dam from June 1 through the irrigation season (October) or when a Record of Decision is signed associated with the completion of an environmental impact statement addressing long-term flow regimes.

Two public scoping meetings were held Tuesday in Farmington.

The EA will address three alternatives describing minimum releases throughout the summer, describing the effects of three different minimum flows - 250, 350 and 500 cubic feet per second.

Bureau of Reclamation invites any comments not presented in the Farmington meetings and will accept same through the end of April.

Written input regarding scope and content of the EA should be sent to either Pat Page or Kirk Lashmett, Bureau of Reclamation, Western Colorado Area Office, 835 E. 2nd Ave., Durango, CO 81301 or e-mailed to ppage@uc.usbr.gov or klashmett@uc.usbr.gov.

Issues of concern could be fish and wildlife resources, recreation and Indian Trust Asset issues, tailwater trout fishery, endangered species, downstream river and reservoir recreation, Navajo Reservoir water supply and downstream water diversions.



No surprise

Dear Editor:

Regarding the "$2.58 million airport crisis," I found the reactions of the commissioners to be interesting, it seems they are the only people who are surprised about the excessive expenditures involved in the airport upgrading.

The rest of the "airport community" was aware of the upcoming exorbitant expenses and attempted to make the commissioners aware of the facts. The commissioners chose to trust the choices being made by the former airport manager Tim Smith.

"... where (information) became lost in translation, at this point, remains somewhat unclear." Unclear? I don't think so.

I attended the commissioners' meeting at which the then-airport manager and two representatives from Washington infrastructure made a presentation to make the commissioners and community aware of the procedure involved in the airport upgrade. I am not sure how extensive the minutes are, but I recall several inputs from the general public indicating how very expensive the procedure would be.

One such comment was regarding the very costly installation of electricity out to the proposed terminal and hangar sites, another was the expense to be incurred by the county for removal and rebuilding of the hangars in the "no build" area.

Another gentleman briefly summed up the obvious expenses and asked, "where is the money going to come from? Is it going to drop down from the sky?"

I personally approached a commissioner at the close of the meeting and stated, "I can see this whole project being started and then abandoned, uncompleted, due to lack of funds."

I take offense to the statement by a county official, "... indicating the current predicament, in part, is a result 'of actions taken' by the former Airport Authority."

The only actions taken by the Airport Authority were requests that the airport manager keep them abreast of the plans, procedures and time frame of the airport upgrade. Let's put the blame for this whole mess where it is due... the former airport manager.

Pat Carey

Not consulted

Dear Editor:

On April 8, 2004, a political ad was placed in The Pagosa Springs SUN that appeared to be a blanket endorsement by "all" professional employees of the USJHSD supporting Dee Jackson, who is not even a candidate in the upcoming election.

For the record, we, as employees, were not consulted prior to release of the ad.

We believe that as professional employees of the district it is unprofessional to become involved in the heated political debate that surrounds the upcoming election. Our foremost concern, as always, is to provide exceptional emergency care to the citizens and visitors of this county. Of course, we are concerned about who will be governing us in the future, and each of us will vote for our candidates of choice on election day, just like everyone else.

As always, the citizens of Pagosa Country can rest assured that their calls for help will be responded to by a cooperative team of competent, qualified and dedicated professionals.

Kathy Conway, Tracy Dallison, Tommy Knepp, Beau Mattison, Alex Mossman, Ron Bamrick, Tom Bamrick, Kitty Benzar, Larry Escude, Norm Niesen, Charlie Wilson, Heather Bellings, Carl Curtis, Molly Dorr, Sky Ferguson, Joyce Little, Tammy Romain, Tony Stephens, Carrie Trumble, Trevor Wallace, Meegan Maddox, Debbie Calavan and Gary Liescheidt

Elephant story

Dear Editor:

In the summer of 1938, Lee Cox and Jack Kisslering were working for the State Highway Department on Wolf Creek. (Al Thompson was supervisor.)

Situated where the upper west side runaway truck ramp is located today, a highway maintenance camp existed, as testified by the name of the creek with waterfall at that same site - Camp Creek. The highway switched back twice there in '38 and a maintenance garage stood below the existing highway inside the second switchback.

Jack and Lee were working on a snowplow inside the garage - Lee with his back to the large open door and Jack facing it. Suddenly, Jack bolted upright, stared for a second, threw his sledgehammer in the air and charged out the back door.

Upon turning around, Lee stood face to face with Š an elephant, framed by the open door. Sensing nothing there to eat, the elephant slowly turned and ambled on down the pass toward the west.

As your April 7 front-page photo indicated, the circus did have transportation problems in the form of the elephant truck breaking down on the pass. We may need to check with the Division of Wildlife but, to my knowledge, elephants on the loose haven't been sighted on Wolf Creek since the good old days of '38. Endangered species?

A true to life adventure in the always amazing San Juan Mountains.

Dean Cox

Leap from fact

Dear Editor:

The monochromatic William Bennett is back (Letters, April 8), this time to swoon over the imagined prospect that John Kerry would compromise the security of the United States and Israel in the face of threats by unspecified Arab dictators.

He spends six full paragraphs appropriately condemning the despicable use by Palestinian extremists of children as agents of the intifada, and is inexplicably but inexorably led by this analysis to the conclusion that the "left" (personified of course by John Kerry) will, if it prevails, kowtow to the "brutal dictators of the Arab world in order to appease their threats of continued terror."

Bennett of course cites no authority for his leap from fact (exploitation of youth by terrorists) to conclusion (John Kerry will kowtow to Arab dictators and abandon Israel), because there is none.

I am curious initially as to which Arab dictators (as opposed to Islamist extremists) Bennett refers as having made threats of continued terror. Surely not Qadaffi of Libya, since we are told that because of the steely resolve of the Bush administration he is now fully domesticated. Surely not Mubarak of Egypt. The Iranians would be a possibility, except that they're not Arabs. Perhaps he refers to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, indulged by every American president from FDR to George W. Bush, which generously contributed to the majority of hijackers on 9/11. Perhaps he refers to Assad of Syria, who reportedly continues to succor terrorists not only on Syrian soil but also in Lebanon, without response from the Bush administration, which of course has its hands full rounding up WMD in Iraq.

Bennett does refer to a world view which rationalizes every issue into a clarifying dichotomy: Republics good, Democrats bad.

Personally, I don't think that either John Kerry or George Bush would abandon Israel or kowtow to threats from Arab or Persian dictators, or from Islamist extremists (Playing footsie with Saudi Arabia is a hydrocarbon of a different color: Clearly Bush has done so, and Kerry might well carry on the tradition). I think that most Americans would subscribe to the notion that people of good faith and intention, Republican or Democrat, can struggle with the issues and come to conclusions with which others, Republican or Democrat, may disagree without impugning the integrity or patriotism of those with whom they disagree.

Bennett, on the other hand, expresses ad nauseam his steadfast belief in the low morals and treasonous dispositions of those with whom he disagrees. To live with the constant knowledge that there is such perfidy abroad in his own country must surely, at a minimum, be hard on his digestive tract.

Ben Douglas

Sacrifice saluted

Dear Editor:

I compliment Pfc. Jerry Parker for his letter in last week's SUN. The majority of Americans appreciate the sacrifice our service men and women willingly make to protect our country.

The issue is not our service people but our elected leaders and our foreign policy that at present does not seem well conceived. As a critic of the war in Iraq I do not discount our service people but want to point out the reason for going to war was not clear; the follow up was not planned at all.

Over several years I've written letters about peace in the Middle East. Most of my comments related to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Recently I wrote about the generic need for social and economic justice throughout the Middle East.

We have a growing debacle in Iraq. Iraq is not President Bush's Vietnam - yet.

The United States is receiving its last wake-up call. The majority of those shooting at the coalition GI's on the ground in Iraq are young, unemployed and disillusioned with the war and its aftermath.

Unfortunately the president, vice president or cabinet members do not have children in Iraq or Afghanistan. Most young people I know currently in the service joined because they could not find a good job and wanted to get training or the Army College Fund to pay for higher education.

The administration's oil grab has gone seriously awry.

At the end of WW II we spent billions of dollars in Europe and Japan to put countries back on their economic feet. It was money well spent. A year after our victory over Saddam the lights still do not work and thousands of Iraqis are still unemployed. Part of the recovery from the Great Depression was President Roosevelt's New Deal that provided minimum wage jobs through the CCC and WPA.

A big part of any solution for the Middle East is an economic Marshall Plan that will give employment to the thousands of Iraqis, Afghanis and Palestinians who are at this point very angry and have had their dignity taken away by military force. These people need something to live for not something to die for. Violence from either side is not a solution.

It will be cheaper to share our wealth than defend our wealth. It is the young who fight and die when older leaders cannot come to peaceful agreements. Let's create a workable Marshal/Powell Plan for the Middle East. Involve the UN, our European allies and leadership in the countries involved.

We will have to raise taxes to pay for it, but money is far less valuable than the lives of our soldiers and the youth of the Middle East. Violence only breeds more violence. It is time to be proactive for peace, social and economic justice. In the long run the money saved will be available to meet domestic and global human needs; education, health care, jobs, etc.

May the Spirit of this Easter/Passover season bring us wisdom and grace.

Raymond P. Finney

Thank Heavens

Dear Editor:

Wow! What a wonderful letter was April 8's "You're Welcome."

This young serviceman, Jerry Parker - thank heavens he and 42 others from this community are in our armed forces and striving to protect my freedom.

I pray for their safety every day.

Cindy Gustafson

Forum April 20

Dear Editor:

With the upcoming election May 4, the League of Women Voters of Archuleta County has scheduled a candidates' forum for the Health Service District and the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation (PAWS) District candidates to speak directly to the voters prior to voting. The League forum will take place 7 p.m. April 20, at the Extension Building.

While the PAWS election is to take place May 4 at the Fire District building on North Pagosa Boulevard, the health district election will be a mail-in ballot election. Because voters have not yet received their mail-in ballots for that election, the League urges voters in the health service district to first attend the candidates' forum before casting their ballots.

From 6:30 p.m. until the forum begins at 7 p.m., there will be an opportunity to informally meet the candidates at the Extension Building. If any voters have any questions pertaining to the forum, they are invited to call 731-9548.

The League looks forward to hearing from the candidates, and hopes that many voters will take the same opportunity.

Nan Rowe

Direct links

Dear Editor:

Perhaps it would be correct to now challenge the widely held notion that there was no link between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Osama bin laden's al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.

It's not difficult to provide a somewhat blow-by-blow account of the Hussein-terror nexus which might serve as a ready indictment of Hussein's regime. By chance, it may alter the rationale of those who have been dismissing the possibility that secular Baathist Iraq, could have cooperated with fundamentalist Islamic terrorists. Claims about a lack of ties between Hussein and terrorists are acutely untrue.

There are dozens of direct connections and tangential links between Hussein and an all-star team of international terrorists.

Beginning in March 2002, Hussein made cash payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. At least 223 murders can be traced back to Hussein's terror scholarships; that death toll includes 12 Americans.

Prior to the fall of his regime, Hussein provided safe heaven to the Palestinian Liberation Front, Arab Liberation Front, Mujahedin and the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO). ANO supplied Libyan terrorists with bomb-making materials that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, killing 189 Americans.

Ramzi Yousef, the al-Qaida-backed mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, came to the United States on an Iraqi passport. Hussein provided a safe house to Yousef's co-conspirator Abul Rahman Yasin, who constructed the bomb used during the attack.

Hussein ran a terrorist training camp 15 miles south of Baghdad, where agents used a full-sized passenger jet to practice hijackings.

Phone records reveal that Iraqi diplomats in Manila were in close contact with an al-Qaida offshoot before and after it carried out a bombing that killed a U.S. soldier.

In late 2002, Hussein's son bragged about cooperation between Iraq's ambassador to Pakistan and al-Qaida. As far back as 1994, Hussein's ambassador to Turkey was meeting with al-Qaida operatives.

By far the most damning of all, in early 2000, an Iraqi emissary escorted two of the Sept. 11 hijackers to a meeting with some of-al Qaida's top planners in Malaysia.

The fact that Saddam was godless and bin Laden a religious fanatic is irrelevant. Like Hitler and Tojo, Churchill and Stalin, they worked together to fight a common enemy.

Needless to say, plenty of evidence clearly exists in the public record to confirm that Saddam Hussein's ouster, Iraq's liberation and its current rehabilitation were, and are, vital phases of the continuing battle against terrorism.

It's time power-hungry liberals wake up, support their country at war and refrain from consuming too much negative "Kerry Kool-Aid."

America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. Just ask a returning veteran of the Iraq war.

Our colors cannot and will not run from any terrorist - ever.

Jim Sawicki


Dear Editor:

As we are, most regretfully, leaving this wonderful community, we have requested absentee ballots for both the health services district and the water and sanitation district elections on May 6.

We have lived here a number of years and I have been truly distressed this winter to see the disintegration of the responsible oversight of health services for the USJHSD in this region. Both Dick and I have attended many meetings of the USJHSD Board and have been dismayed by the astonishing incivility we have seen operating there. A chairman who does not listen but loudly pronounces, a board which is so little in agreement that members spend more time interrupting and criticizing each other than in considering the interests of the public members in attendance, and a board election of new members which was not clear in its conditions even to other members of the board.

We have requested absentee ballots, and I hope they reach us in Vermont in time for us to vote, but I have little confidence in the process which has not stayed with a full panel of election judges chosen from an authorized list from the county recorder. Indeed, I truly hope that a wholly new board is able to overcome the damages I've observed in public confidence and trust. We shan't be here, but we hope against all difficulties to register our votes. We care deeply about this community which has given us so much.

Ann (and Dick) Van Fossen

Editor's note: According to the county clerk, technically, there is no official absentee ballot in a mail-ballot election. There is a change of address made, with the mail ballot sent on to the voter.


Community News

Kate's Calendar

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist


The Woman's Civic Club of Pagosa Springs will meet at 1:30 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church. Pierre Mion, artist and longtime illustrator for National Geographic, will talk. Guests are always welcome.


Bingo at the American Legion the first, third and fifth Thursdays of every month. Doors open at 6 p.m. and games start at 7. Free coffee and a smoke-free environment.


The Pagosa Photo Club meets at 6:30 p.m. in the community center. Bring five or fewer slides, digital on DVD, CD or memory card, or prints to show and critique. The next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. May 13 with Terry Aldahl of the Camera People of Bayfield, discussing the use of filters.

April 17

Pagosa Loose Knitters meets at 10 a.m. at Pagosa Baking Company. Open to any skill level. Contact Rita O'Connell at 264-0206.

April 24

Kid's Fair at Mary Fisher Medical Clinic parking lot 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free event for children to participate in a variety of activities and games. Lots of food, raffles and fun. Join them for a fun day.

April 24-29

Week of the Young Child. This week is designed to celebrate young children and their families as well as the people and organizations that support those children and families. This year's events promise top be a week full of fun and educational activities.

April 26

This will be Doll Day in Pagosa. Hundreds of adults and children will decorate cutout dolls and have them placed in business storefront windows. The dolls serve as a reminder of the importance of investing in children. Call Mardel Gallegos at Head Start, 264-2484, for more information.

April 27

Night of the Young Child at Pagosa Springs High School auditorium, 6:30-8 p.m. This year's program will feature Pagosa Springs Gymnastics, San Juan Dance Company, Melinda Baum's piano students and much, much more. Free.

April 29

Car seat safety check at Seeds of Learning parking lot 3:30-5:30 p.m. Bring your child's car seat in and have it checked free. This is a great opportunity to see if your child is in the appropriate car seat for their size and age.

April 29

General meeting of the Pagosa Piecemakers will be held at 10 a.m. at Mountain Heights Baptist Church. Shirley Brinckmann of Edleweiss Needlework will do the program and there will be a free class on flour basket design. Cost of kits is $12.50. Call Selena Hughes at 731-6009 if you are not already signed up and wish to participate.

May 2

PALS (Pagosa Area Singles) meets for dinner 6 p.m. at Back Country BBQ on North Pagosa Boulevard. All singles 35 and over welcome. Reservations required, Call 731-2445.


Senior News

Prom planned May 2 for all our seniors

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

We're having a Senior Prom for seniors May 2 at 3 p.m. at the high school.

Get ready for a wonderful time, with music brought to you by John Graves and company. Corsages or boutonnieres, sandwiches, snacks, a photo and more are included in the price of the ticket.

A date is not necessary, nor is it necessary to come all gussied up, just come and enjoy the dance. The Boy Scouts will be there to escort all you lovely ladies inside if you are without an escort. Tickets are $3 for Archuleta Seniors, Inc. members and go on sale April 19. Please buy your tickets early so we'll have a good idea how many to prepare for.

If you are in need of a ride or can provide a ride, we are encouraging carpooling; give us a call and we'll add you to the carpool list. A big "thank you" to Archuleta Seniors, Inc. for providing the funding.

Glen Raby's talk, "Bugs and the Drought," was well attended. He will be back to talk again in a couple of months and is always popular. Keep reading Senior News to find out what his next topic will be.

MicroSoft Word class is back on. Don Lundergan graciously agreed to take it over, so we will have this class again, Fridays at 10:30 a.m.

Mary Kay Taylor from Durango's Southwest Center for Independence will be here April 19 at 1 p.m. to answer questions about aids for the vision-impaired.

Speaking of Durango, we have monthly trips scheduled to shop in Durango. Next trip is Thursday, May 13. Suggested donation for seniors is $10. Be sure to sign up in the lounge to "shop till you drop."

Massage on April 20 has been canceled, see you April 27.

Don't forget the Sky Ute Casino trip April 20. Sign up in the dining room.

Be aware of PPA

Phenylpropanolamine was an active ingredient in cold medicines and diet products for decades before it's withdrawal from shelves in November 2000.

Belonging to a class of drugs related to amphetamine, PPA was used to suppress appetite and relieve stuffy noses. The same mechanism could, according to the Food and Drug Administration, produce transient spikes in blood pressure. An industry-sponsored study found an association with stroke in 1999. Under FDA pressure, drug makers removed PPA from their formulations a year later.

Some medicine cabinets may still have old containers of diet aids or cold medicines with PPA. To determine whether your medicine has PPA, check the active ingredients for phenylpropanolamine. Here are some of the brands, listed by company, that previously contained PPA:

Bayer - Alka-Seltzer Plus; Bristol-Myers Squibb - Comtrex; GlaxoSmithKline - Contac; Novartis - Triaminic Travist-D; Heritage - Acutrim; Chattem -Dexatrim; Wyeth -Dimetapp, Robitussin CF.

Source: Times Research

The free movie shown April 23 will be "Under the Tuscan Sun." This movie is about a woman who is given a 10-day trip to Tuscany and falls in love with the place. She buys a rundown house but finds friends, romance and surprises enough to make it worthwhile.

Join us in our new game on Fridays, "Who Am I?" We will have forms out with questions about your life that you can fill out and return to us. We will choose one every Friday and read the answers, and then you will try to figure out who filled out that form. Come in and find out more about your Senior Center friends.

Receive the monthly newsletter via e-mail. We have been offering our monthly newsletter online, but now we can e-mail it to you directly. Give us your e-mail address if you would like this service.

Old George remembers

"Do you remember picnics? The spring weather has reminded me of our home town picnics. This was in the days before radio and television were common. Every few weeks one of the local organizations such as Woodmen of the World, Foresters of America, The Neighbors of Woodcraft, Oddfellows and even the churches would have a picnic and the whole town would be invited. The organization sponsoring the picnic would sell cold drinks and everyone brought their own lunch. Occasionally a picnic would include a BBQ lunch that could be purchased.

"There were always many contests such as 'slipper-kicking' for women, fat man's 100 yard dash, tug of war where teams were made up of the biggest men attending, and the wheelbarrow race in which one man's feet were held up by another man and he had to walk on his hands for about 25 yards.

"Small loving cups were often awarded as prizes and in a few weeks another picnic would be planned. As young people, we eagerly looked forward to these events during the spring and summer months. Do you remember picnics?"

Donations accepted

We would like to thank Richard and Karen Feldt for donating old cell phones to the senior center. You can use old cell phones to make 911 calls, even if the phone isn't activated. The donated phones were gone quickly, as people wanted them in their car or by their bed, in case of emergency. If you have an old cell phone you would like to donate for such a good cause, they would be very welcome. Please try to include the charger as well.

We also need more birthday cards donated to the center. If you have any to spare, please consider dropping them off at the office. Thank you.

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

Volunteers needed

Are you looking for a way to volunteer some time to your community and make an immediate impact on someone's life?

The Archuleta County Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has an opportunity for you to make new friends while you donate one lunch hour per week to the home delivered meal program for our senior citizens.

Applications are currently being accepted from individuals as well as businesses, churches and other organizations that would like to make a difference. All applicants must provide their own vehicle and be available in one hour increments once a week. We are also are accepting applications for substitute drivers. A background check will be completed on all applicants.

Adopt a home delivered route today and brighten the lives of a few senior citizens.

For more information, please contact Musetta at 264-2167


Friday - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.;

April 19 - Tai Chi Chih, 10 a.m.; volunteer meeting - sign up for your shifts, 10:30 a.m.; Medicare Counseling - Patti Stewart, 11 a.m.; Southwest Center for Independence, Mary K. Taylor, 12:45 p.m.; Low vision aids, 1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun - all levels invited, 1 p.m.

April 20 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; Advanced computer, 10:30; No massage this week, next April 27; Sky Ute Casino trip, free transportation, 1 p.m.

April 21 - Beginning computer, 10:30 a.m.; Canasta - all levels (we need more players), 1 p.m.

April 23 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; blood pressure check, 11; Free Movie Day - "Under the Tuscan Sun," 1 p.m.


Friday - Beef stew/vegetables, cole slaw, biscuit, plums

April 19 - BBQ chicken breast, corn, broccoli, raisin salad, roll and seasonal fruit cup

April 20 - Ham/beans, spinach, cornbread, orange wedges

April 21 - Roast pork/gravy, baked potatoes, green beans, whole wheat roll, and baked apple

April 23 - White chili, tossed salad with tomato and cucumbers, bran muffin, and cottage cheese/fruit


Chamber News

Dull the pain of tax day with Ross tourney tonight

By Sally Hamiester

SUN Columnist

To take the sting out of tax day, plan to attend the Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament beginning today and continuing through Sunday here in Pagosa.

Proceeds from this event always go to a scholarship fund to benefit local youths of Pagosa and Ignacio, so please plan to support a great cause, pay tribute to the Ross brothers and enjoy some radical basketball.

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, call Troy Ross at 264-5265.

Spanish Fiesta

The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club will host a Cinco de Mayo celebration May 8 at the Vista Clubhouse 5-7 p.m. This is a family affair with games and prizes provided by nonprofits and hot dogs and refreshments served by the Spanish Fiesta Club.

Entertainment for the evening will be provided by Grupo Espinosa, a local family of talented young Folklorico Dancers.

The 2004 Fiesta Grand Marshal 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, Pagosa Springs CO, 81147.

At 7 p.m. the clubhouse will be cleared out and doors will reopen at 7:30 for a dance featuring local favorites Variety Express. The cost for the dance is $10 and will begin at 8 p.m. The Guadalupana Society will offer 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. Viva la Fiesta.

Choral Society

The Pagosa Springs Choral Society is proud to announce its spring concert "On with the Show," featuring the Pagosa Springs Community Choir and the Pagosa Springs Children's Choral.

You will have two opportunities to enjoy this concert, at 7 p.m. May 8 and 4 p.m. May 9, both in the high school auditorium. These are free concerts, but donations will be cheerfully accepted, and bake sales will be conducted with proceeds benefiting both groups. If you have questions, contact Sue Kehret at 731-3858. Please plan to attend what is sure to be an uplifting, entertaining evening dedicated to ushering the spring season into Pagosa.

Music in the Mountains

Once again, I will gently remind you that the tickets for this year's three Pagosa Springs Music in the Mountains performances have been available for over a week and are rapidly disappearing.

Tickets are still available for all three performances, but I can't guarantee how long this will last. Please plan to attend one, two or all three performances and purchase your tickets as soon as possible. Performances this year will be held at BootJack Ranch at 7 p.m. July 23, July 30 and Aug. 6.

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

Caramel queen

I just returned from a great Colorado Chamber Executives' Conference held in Eagle, and want to thank Bill and Connie at the Choke Cherry Tree for allowing me to be the "Caramel Queen" at this event for yet another year.

They always provide me with a gorgeous basket to be auctioned off at the conference for scholarships and have, the past couple of years, given me a huge basket of their famous caramels to be handed out to all the attending Chamber execs which has rightfully earned me the title of CQ.

When I arrive, I am now greeted with, "Did you bring the caramels?" It's a great gift that makes us all look good and gives all those folks something wonderful to look forward to each year.


Please join the "Three M's" Martha, Marla and Mike Saturday at 510 San Juan St. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for free hot dogs, chicken legs and drinks.

They're celebrating their first successful year in business, a new neighbor and their recently completed renovations and are anxious to share all this good stuff with you. Martha and Mike McMullin join forces with Marla Hubbard of Let 'er Rip fame for a parking lot party right outside their stores and inside tours for those who would like to see the new look. There will be food, fun and drawings for clothing and alterations, so don't miss the party or the chance to congratulate these good folks on their first anniversary.

Movin' members

We're always happy to make known any member changes, and today is no exception. Gary and Sue Smith are pleased to announce the new location of their business, Auto Detail Shop, at 163-D Goldmine Drive near Ace Hardware.

They are proud to be in their third year of business in Pagosa with a terrific clientele who bring them everything from Hummers to motorcycles. Stop in to say hello at their new site and enjoy coffee and cookies or give them a call at 264-9745.

Weather updates

Self-proclaimed weather geek Toby Karlquist, and wife Renae, are delighted to announce the recent launching of PagosaCam.com which allows all local geeks and non-geeks alike to access a live weather update every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This free service includes current temperature, humidity, wind speed and barometric pressure, along with statistical information for the current month, previous month and year. Also included with the weather information is a live camera that updates every three minutes. In addition to detailed weather information, PagosaCam.com offers links to 10-day forecasts for Pagosa Springs and two current radar views from Grand Junction and Albuquerque.

Within the first week of this Web site, the Karlquists received e-mails from weather fans in Germany, England and Australia expressing how much they were enjoying keeping tabs on the weather in Pagosa Springs so clearly we're enjoying international participation and recognition with PagosaCam.com.

5-Ring Circus

We offer another alternative to make tax day a bit more palatable, and that would be the Carson & Barnes 5-Ring Circus right here in Pagosa Springs today at the 4:30 or 7:30 p.m. performance featuring 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.

Box office prices will be $14 and $7 at the circus location Hot Springs Boulevard in the field between the Bank of the San Juans and the Community Center.


We have no new members to welcome this week but couldn't be more pleased to renew 13 loyal members. Renewals are especially near and dear to our hearts because they have "tried us on for size" and decided to come back for more. We do indeed appreciate each and every one of you and thank you for your continued support and confidence.

We are so happy to renew Kenneth D. Smith who renews with Smithco Enterprises, LLC, The Kraftin' Post and Shaw Electric; Isabel Webster with The Flying Burrito; Colleen Lavery with Colorado Jaynes Construction Company in Durango; Nancy Torrey with Wind Dancer Aviation Services; John Eustis, DVM, with Pagosa Veterinary Clinic; Dione Jackson with the Upper San Juan Health District; Bo Warren, President, Circle T/Ace Lumber and Hardware; Al Gardner, Manager, American Southwest Log Homes; Lavonne Johnson with Home Again ; April Bergman with Curves for Women and Susann I. Smith with the Auto Detail Shop. Jane F. Cook renews this week as an associate member and valued Chamber Diplomat.


Library News

Today's library must serve many needs

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

We are celebrating National Library Week.

The annual event allows libraries to tell their stories to the public.

This year we are all about raising money to build an addition. The library is only 15 years old, but many of your information needs have changed in that short time.

New information technology is forcing all librarians to rethink how space will be used to provide and manage information. Will there be more room for computers, CDs, DVDs, laptops, listening posts, wireless connections — a host of things that now must be considered along with our books?

Fifteen years ago, Karl Isberg and a number of Pagosa folks attended a statewide conference on future library services. Karl was part of the presentation and debated Nancy Bolt, the state librarian, on the subject of whether or not libraries would continue to provide books. Karl played the devil's advocate and prophesied that technology was going to overtake the printed word as our primary means of distributing information. To bibliophiles, this was and is, treason. (Karl is known to be a closet bibliophile).

But here we are 15 years later, and the debate is still fresh and growing, and Karl's point of view has to be considered as part of the building design.

How will we balance these two roles, print and multimedia? Where will we spend our money? Patrons want books on tape and CDs, more computers, the Internet and the latest best sellers. Patrons want more of everything.

Google caught on and the public wants instant answers, (especially students doing research). We did a number of surveys of different age groups to get a feel for what you want so we can be more responsive. We found there is quite a difference in what you want depending on your generation type.

Four or five distinct generations have now been identified and are used for marketing and other demographic studies. It would appear that many of the current social conflicts come about when the various generations collide over issues.

Organizations are feeling the pain of generational clashes as they struggle to manage productivity and morale in a challenging economy. Marketers are striving to get inside the minds of the generations to make them more competitive in tight economic times.

Even in churches, it is now possible for five different generations to be active in the ministry at the same time. We can look forward to even more serious conflicts over our music, media, methods and the messages.

There are 75 million traditionalists, veterans or the Silent Generation born prior to 1945. Baby Boomers are 80 million in number born from 1946 to 1964. The 46 million Generation Xers came along from 1965 to 1981. The 76 million Nexters or Millennials were born between 1982 and 2000.

The veterans were children of the Great Depression and World War II. They are recognized for their strong traditional views of God, family, and country. Core values include respect for authority, loyalty and hard work.

Baby Boomers did not experience the same difficulties as their parents. They grew up in a time of great economic growth and prosperity. They were influenced by the civil rights movement, women's liberation, the space program, the Cold War and the Vietnam War. They place a high value on health, personal gratification and material wealth.

Generation Xers are often referred to as the misunderstood generation. They are the products of self-centered, work-driven Baby Boomer parents. Watergate, MTV, single-parent homes and latchkey experiences were influential roles in their development. They were the first generation to embrace the personal computer and the Internet. They welcome diversity, are motivated by money, and value free time and having fun.

Nexters, also called Millennials, Generation Y, and Generation Next, are the most educated. The ultimate techno-geeks attracted to high energy experiences. They multi-task and abhor routine. One estimate claims that 3 to 5 percent are affected by attention deficit disorder. They have no recollection of the Reagan era, do not remember the Cold War, and have known only one Germany. Their world has always had AIDS, answering machines, microwave ovens and VCRs. They've never been without computers, cellular phones and e-mail. They make up 30 percent of the current population and will greatly influence changes in the work place and all phases of public life.

They are self-reliant, family oriented, brand-conscious and mobile. They are hopeful and optimistic. They believe that learning is a lifelong priority, and question the assumptions that have created the corporate culture. They are more global and communicate worldwide. They are tolerant of different cultures and are oblivious to gender, race, living arrangements, and socioeconomic status.

Nexters exceed all other generations in their knowledge of technology. Their style of thinking is influenced by computers. Instead of linear thinking, their thought process involve a mosaic mode of moving randomly among points before integrating them into a coherent pattern and drawing a conclusion. This allows faster processing and greater absorption of information.

Educators need to understand this new way of thinking and processing information. Alternative teaching styles are needed to accommodate this method. Nexters' pattern of thinking contributes to the skills they will bring, but also may be responsible for misunderstandings and tension between generations. They don't have workplace savvy and often seem to think business operating hours are optional. If Nexters are welcomed and nurtured in society, the world may witness a new age of commitment, idealism and growth. They may be an ideal workforce. They combine the work ethic of Baby Boomers with the can-do attitude of the veterans, and the technological savvy of Generation Xers.

As librarians, we have both the opportunity and the challenge to satisfy these many varied interests as we look to the future.

Technology has totally changed how learning happens. Technology will drive our building design in regard to space and staffing.

Our library is a learning center. We have to change spaces to reflect the variety of content inside.

As we celebrate National Library Week, the future of our library is in helping everyone learn to think like a librarian. The real skill in the information society is not getting online - it is the ability to think critically. That is now, and will continue to be, our challenge.


Library gets donation from Oddfellows Lodge

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

What may be the community's oldest continuously operated civic organization proved this week it is up to the minute with needs of the time.

Oddfellows of Pagosa Springs is celebrating its 104th anniversary this year.

While it is not the most known of organizations, its members are as much on the front lines as those of other civic groups.

And they wanted to make sure that desire was recognized in a meaningful way.

This week the organization's leader, Noble Grand Susan Felts, made a $500 donation to the building fund for Ruby Sisson Library.

"The library may be the only ongoing service in the community as old as our group is," said Felts. "We recognize its value to the community and want to be a part of the expansion program."

The local Oddfellows chapter was funded in 1900, 81 years after the original chapter in England.

The organization has meetings the second and fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the club hall on Lewis Street just south of 2nd Street.

Originally a group for men only, it was opened to women in 2000 after the Rebekkahs group gave up its charter as membership dwindled.

Oddfellows has two qualifications for membership:

1) Belief in a greater power with no religious discrimination and

2) Belief in the brotherhood of man.

The credo is to help those sick or in distress and to education the orphans; to help others when no other help is available.

A direct descendant of early Archuleta County pioneer Welch Nossaman, Mrs. Felts noted he was one of the original founders of the Pagosa chapter.

Her mother was Elaine Johnson, whose own grandmother was a founder of the Rebekkahs in Pagosa Springs.

Among other things, the organization maintains two sections of Hilltop Cemetery near the entrance and is having them resurveyed to get more specific boundaries set.

The group, through its national office, helps fund medical research, including a chair at Johns Hopkins University, support of the Arthritis Foundation, and extended visual research.


Veteran's Corner

Cooperation a key to effective veteran services

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

I want to borrow an idea from the Durango VA Medical Clinic and start a "Rogues Gallery" here at the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office.

I would like to obtain pictures of our local veterans and put them on display in the office.

I was thinking it would be especially nice if the pictures are service pictures from the military, but current pictures are good too. Pictures of "now and then" would be great. So, if you have a picture you would like to proudly display in our Rogues Gallery, please bring it by the office.

Spring training

A reminder: This office will be closed April 19-23 while I attend the annual Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs Spring Training Conference in Denver.

I will learn about all the latest information, policies and benefits concerning veterans, eligible families and survivors.

Durango Medical Clinic

Speaking of the Durango VA Clinic, I would like to remind all our veterans that when they make an appointment that may require a blood draw, they should discuss this with the clinic staff to be sure it is done at the same time as the examination.

There has been some confusion about this for quite some time, and the clinic had been requiring our veterans to make a second trip to Durango just for the blood draw. A blood draw often requires fasting for a period of time. Be sure you discuss your appointment needs thoroughly with the staff at the clinic and remind them you are traveling from out of town. With today's higher gas prices, we don't need to make any unnecessary trips if we don't have to.

The Durango VA Clinic is up and running in its new location. It is on U.S. 160 on the south side of town, in a strip mall next to Big Five Sports, on your right just before you cross the river into Durango. It is no longer on Main Street in north Durango.

LaPlata recognition

My good friend and fellow Veterans Service Officer John Hardardt, of La Plata County, surprised me the other day with a Certificate of Appreciation for our long-time work together in serving veterans in our Four Corners area.

Veterans from here on occasion end up at John's office and some of his veterans come over here sometimes, so we enjoy a close working relationship in assisting our veterans with whatever they need, wherever they need it.

We also often compare and share VA benefit and procedures information to assist each other. The Durango VA Clinic is another common bond we have with our veterans.

Southern Ute ties

I also enjoy a close working relationship with Rod Grove, Southern Ute Veterans Service Officer, in Ignacio. I will be attending a Southern Ute Nation Day and Korean War era veterans recognition Day May 28 in Ignacio. I will assist Rod with any help attending veterans may need with VA benefits and services.

Our friends, the Southern Utes, are proud of the role they have played in serving in America's armed forces.

Our remote mountainous location in southern Colorado and its distance from the more populous Front Range area sometimes present us with unique challenges in meeting the needs of our veterans. It is a good thing for veterans in this area that all of the veteran services work so well together.

Who to contact

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


Arts Line

Show and critique for photo club tonight

By Leanne Goebel

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Photo Club meets 6:30 p.m. today in the community center.  This will be a show and critique event. 

Bring five or fewer slides, prints or digital pictures of your choice.  A delivery system will be available to show digital pictures.

Teen acting workshop

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

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, Sun Valley, Idaho and directed "An Evening of Shorts - Revelations" for FoPA in Pagosa Springs last year.

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

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

The workshop will run 3-5:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday (June 7-25) in the community center.

Cost is $125 and class size is limited. For more information, contact Pagosa Springs Arts Council, 264-5020 or Felicia Lansbury Meyer, 264-6028.

Summer art camp

Summer Art Camp is 9 a.m.-noon, Monday through Friday, June 1-30 at Pagosa Springs Elementary school.

Once again Tessie Garcia, Lisa Brown and Susan Hogan bring this terrific opportunity for children who love art. This year, Lisa's husband Mark Brown will be teaching Crafts for Boys and Lisa will lead Multicultural Art, Just for Girls. Tessie Garcia will teach Clay'n Around and Susan Hogan will teach Drawing and Painting.

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

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.

A limited number of scholarships are available for art camp. If you would like to donate money to the scholarship program, please contact Doris Green at 264-6904 or 264-5020.

Volunteers needed

PSAC needs volunteers to hang out at the gallery in Town Park during the train art exhibit. We want to keep the gallery open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Earn $5 credit for every hour spent volunteering to apply toward workshops or classes sponsored by PSAC. Moms and dads, it's a great way to pay for part of Summer Art Camp.

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


Through April 29 - Jeff Ellingson, John Coker and Jay Wimer railroad art exhibit at the gallery in Town Park

Today - Photo club meets 6:30 p.m. in the community center

April 17 - Saturday Watercolor with Denny Rose at community center

April 17 - PSAC board meeting, 5:30 p.m. at community center

April 18 - Writers workshop with C.J. Hannah at noon

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

May 6-19 - High school art exhibit

May Saturdays - Watercolor with Denny Rose, special guest Randall Davis will teach figure drawing

May 20 - Bonnie Davies and Rita O'Connell opening reception for the artists 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, 9a.m.-noon

June 7-25 - Teen acting workshop with Felicia Lansbury Meyer

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

July 1- Joye Moon, reception for the artist at the gallery, 5-7 p.m.

July 1-28 - Joye Moon exhibit at 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


High school art students have chance at DC show

U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Grand Junction, has encouraged high school students in the Third Congressional District to take part in an exciting opportunity to display their artwork in Washington, D.C. by participating in the 2004 Congressional Art Contest, An Artistic Discovery.

"This a terrific chance for young Coloradans to display their creative talents and abilities to the nation, and I encourage them to take full advantage of this contest," McInnis said.

Students who participate in the districtwide contest will have the opportunity to gain recognition for their artwork at the local and national level, and they will be eligible to compete for an Artistic Merit Scholarship from the Savannah College of Art and Design, in the amount of $3,000 per year. The scholarship, which will be rewarded to the first-place winner, is renewable and is applicable to tuition at the college.

The first place winner will also have an opportunity to participate in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the contest in Washington, D.C. July 13, at which time their work will be put on display for one year in the nation's capitol.

All entries must be delivered to McInnis' district office in Durango, no later than 5 p.m. May 17. The first round of judging will be conducted on May 19, with the local winner advancing to the final districtwide competition at McInnis' Durango office May 21, where the official winner of the contest will be determined. That winning entry will then be forwarded to Washington, D.C. for display.

All high schools in the district have been sent information concerning the contest, and should students or schools require additional assistance, they should feel free to contact McInnis' Durango office, 160 Rock Point Drive, Suite A or call 259-2754.


Education News

School-Within-a-School orientation set April 29

By Addi Greer

Special to The SUN

In an effort to establish an alternative to textbook-driven, traditional experiences, a group of parents worked with the school board seven years ago and hired a young teacher, Suzette Youngs, to teach what they called School-Within-a-School.

Originally it was composed of a multi-age class with fourth- through sixth-graders.

Now it is made of three separate classrooms, each with two grade levels (1-2, 3-4 and 5-6, with two located in the elementary and one in the intermediate school respectively).

The basic element of the S.W.S. program involves parents signing a contract to agree to participate in the classroom for a minimum of eight hours a month (families with multiple students in the program meet a six-hour per month requirement). Time spent in class allows students to learn from multiple sources in multiple styles; as well as allowing parents to know what their child is currently studying and what the other students are like.

This learning community creates a support system for teacher and students alike; students learn they can get help from numerous sources and they have a chance to learn to be with others in a school setting besides their peer group.

The other mandatory requirements is monthly parent meetings where everyone gets to share their thoughts on all aspects of the class and the teacher will go over upcoming events and student work due dates.

The 5-6 class has a tradition of field trip educational experiences including Yellowstone, Washington, D.C., and this year, Keystone Science Center. These experiences allow for more hands-on learning as well as a bonding opportunity between students, teacher and families that can be a support for the rest of their school years.

An orientation is scheduled 6 p.m. April 29, in the elementary school multipurpose room. Child care will be provided. The S.W.S. teachers will speak briefly on their classes and they, along with parent and student alumni, will be available to answer questions.

The mandatory contract must be signed by those who sign up for the program for the coming 2004-05 school year.

For more information call the elementary school at 264-2229 or pick up a pamphlet at either the elementary or intermediate schools.


Cruising with Cruse

A weekend at Pinehurs golfdom's Valhalla

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

Once a month I spend some time visiting Hotshot, the guy I used to live with.

I've been meeting him in some exotic places: Maui, Dayton, Pinehurst.

Maui needs no explanation.

Okay, so Dayton's not exactly exotic, but it does offer a change of scenery. And it's got big malls, if you like that sort of thing.

And traffic; let's not forget the traffic. So at least it's different.

And then there was Pinehurst. A golf resort in North Carolina, in the middle of the state, sort of. In a region of gently rolling terrain called Sandhills. I don't know what they did there before golf came to the area. Farmed, I guess.

The Pinehurst resort began around 1895, about the time that golf was becoming popular in this country. Besides the hotels, the resort developers built a little commercial and cultural center, called, appropriately, The Village at Pinehurst. And they laid out curving residential streets, so that avid golfers could build vacation cottages.

And golf courses.

There are four courses currently owned by the Pinehurst Resort, and another four courses in the surrounding area. Do the math. That makes eight golf courses within a 25-mile radius.

That's a lot of golf.

Now I've got nothing against golf. I even played, when I was a teen-ager. And somewhere around the S Bar S place there's a set of clubs. True, the mice have probably chewed holes in the bag, but if I ever wanted to join the women's clinic here in Pagosa, I'd have something to start with.

So, if you're staying at a golf resort, and your spouse is in meetings all day, and the weather's not conducive to lying by the (empty) swimming pool, what do you do?

You take walks. A lot of walks. You walk to The Village at Pinehurst. That takes about six minutes. You go in and out of every shop and store, except for the real estate offices and the bank. You learn that there are shops with resort clothing, and jewelry stores, and junque shoppes and coffee mug shops. Almost everything has a golf motif. The antiques ran heavily to fly-spotted faded photographs of early golfers.

There was a round brick two-story building in the village, originally containing a theater. At one time little theater was a big activity among the residents. But no more. Now the building is home to more shoppes. Get your Pinehurst logo jackets there.

On my final morning in Pinehurst I walked to the golf clubhouse. Here is the driving range, divided into the members' side and the visitors' side. Here is the putting green. Here is the life-size bronze statue of Donald Ross, the transplanted Scot’ who was hired in 1900 to manage the Pinehurst resort. He controlled everything, from the kind of grass that was planted right down to hiring the caddies.

Ross eventually designed and built or rebuilt four golf courses at the Pinehurst resort. During the summers, when the resort was closed, he designed courses in other parts of the country, 413 in all. His name is still recognized among golf aficionados.

Ross kept certain standards in mind when he was designing golf courses. He said each golf hole had to present a different problem. He arranged the courses so that every stroke had to be made with full concentration and the "attention necessary to good golf." Finally, his courses were economical, taking advantage of every bit of the terrain he had to work with.

I got the impression that his Pinehurst No. 2 course is one of Ross' most famous designs. Strolling the halls of the Carolina Hotel, one of three at the resort, I read quotes from golfers that waxed almost ecstatic about No. 2. They talked about the beauty of the fairway, the grandeur of the trees, the scent of the pines. They sounded a bit like those hunters who say that they only go out there to commune with nature.

Today, and for as long as I can remember, putting greens have had that fine, close-mowed grass, smooth as a carpet. But that wasn't always so. Ross apparently revolutionized Southern greenskeeping practices when he had the putting surfaces at No. 2 changed from oiled sand to Bermuda grass, just in time for the 1935 PGA Championship. The result, according to the Donald Ross Society, was "devilishly quick domed greens and a sense of impending doom for any wayward shots."

As I reached the tee area for No. 2, a golf cart pulled up behind me, containing a middle-aged couple and their gangly teen-aged son, who was driving. A harried looking man strode up to meet them. This was Gary, the course manager. "Are you the 10:10 group?" he asked. "You're late." (It was just 10:10 by my watch.) "Get on over there," Gary told the little group.

"Over there" meant to the first tee. Actually there were three places to tee off. Short, medium and long, depending on how powerful your swing was. Dad and the son teed off first. Then Dad went with Mom to the short tee, while the son came back to fetch the cart and pick up his parents. He left the paved golf path and began driving over the grass to the tee area. "Hey," shouted Gary, running after him.

When he had explained to the young man that the carts had to stay on the path, Gary returned to his little hut, where the next group waited to check in. People were teeing off every 10 minutes that morning. All the golfers seemed happy to be there.

Gary and I exchanged grins about the young man. I said something about the kid not reading the signs.

Gary said, "He's just a little excited."

Just like the rest of the golfers who play Pinehurst No. 2 course.


Local Chatter

Growers warned: Don't plant before June 15

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

Don't plant tomatoes before June 15 and then cover them at night.

That's the rule of thumb of the old-timers, and as a matter of fact, don't plant anything before June 15. Now, of course, we're talking about planting outside. Some people start plants inside.

Anyway, waiting until June 15 to plant is what they say and they have the hard weather stories to back them up.

The culprits are late snow, a frost or freeze. It seems that Mother Nature intends to be boss - always keeping the population at her mercy.

Sunday was Easter, traditionally a time to spot new clothes. If you had new clothes for this Easter, you had to cover them with a coat. But a local resident tells me she can only remember two warm Easters and that if she could take a vacation every year, she'd choose April for the month is "a louse - all blow, snow or rain and there's mud everywhere!"

Snow in April is not a rare thing, and neither is it in May.

Paul Day's birthday is May 10 and he remembers two times it snowed on that day.

Another remembrance by local people is when the 1979 snow covered the fences. And a few years ago, 18 inches fell on May 15. And about 20 years or so ago there was a freeze here on June 15.

If you want to grow plants then you might like some hints.

Jud Thiele, who lived in Arboles was well known for the fruit trees he grew. Jud passed away in August a year ago, but his daughter, Carol, remembers all he had to say about growing things and has this advice:

First, walk your land and find the warmest spots. This can be done using a high-low thermometer, a digital thermometer with a sensor. A sensor is a wire that can go in the ground - the reading recorded on the thermometer. These can be purchased at most hardware stores. The warm spot has to be near water.

Carol says to not use commercial fertilizer because it will kill the earth worms. Instead, she says to use cow manure (commonly called "cow pies"). And she recommends fencing in what you plant to protect it from animals.

The temperature in Arboles is 10 degrees warmer than in Pagosa Springs and the area there is called "The Banana Belt."

Fruit trees are harder to grow in Pagosa Springs but the growing season is getting longer due to global warming.

Fun on the run:

The poor country pastor was livid when he confronted his wife with the receipt for a $250 dress she had bought. "How could you do this?" he exclaimed.

"I don't know," she wailed. "I was standing in the store looking at the dress on sale. Then I found myself trying it on.

"It was like the devil was whispering to me, 'Gee, you look great in that dress. You should buy it.'"

"Well," the pastor persisted, "you know how to deal with him! Just tell him, 'Get behind me, Satan!'"

"I did," replied his wife, "but then he said, 'It looks great from back here, too.'"


Extension Viewpoints

Rangeland conservation important for Americans

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

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

Friday - Cloverbuds, community Center, 1:30 p.m.; 4-H Rabbit, Extension office, 2 p.m.

April 17 - Fair Royalty Dress Rehearsal, Pagosa Springs High School, 9 a.m.

April 18 - Fair Royalty Pageant, high school, 5 p.m.

April 19 - 4-H Dog Obedience, Extension office, 4 p.m.; 4-H Sports Fishing, Extension office, 4 p.m.

April 20 - 4-H Vet Science, San Juan Vet Clinic, 5:30 p.m.; 4-H Swine, Extension office, 6 p.m. 4-H Lamb, Extension office, 7 p.m.

Rangeland conservation

What is rangeland conservation?

In southwest Colorado people are most familiar with the term "conservation" as it applies to water, especially during the last few years of drought. Some people are familiar with conservation of our soils, such as decreasing soil erosion from construction sites, stabilizing burned woodlands, or addressing gullies on steep hillsides.

But what is conservation on rangeland?

To address this question we must first ask "what is rangeland and why is it important?" Rangelands are a type of land on which the natural vegetation is dominated by grasses, forbs, and shrubs and the land is managed as a natural ecosystem.

In North America, rangelands include the grasslands of the Great Plains stretching from the Midwestern United States to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta in Canada as well as wetlands throughout North America.

Other examples of rangelands would include the savannas in Texas and Florida, shrublands throughout the western United States, the Alaska and Northern Canada tundra, Mexico's deserts and alpine meadows in mountain ranges throughout the continent. Nearly 80 percent of all land west of the Mississippi is classified as rangeland and these lands provide a true richness to the life and culture of all people living in the West.

The importance of rangeland can be seen and felt in a number of different areas. One such area of importance is wildlife habitat. Rangeland provides food, water and shelter for a wide array of game and non-game animal species. Important wildlife habitat starts with the smallest microbes within the soil, includes all vertebrates and non-vertebrates within our streams, lakes and rivers, and extends to our largest carnivores and ruminants.

Rangelands also provide a home to a vast number of plant species and ecological communities which provide a key role in the filtration and cleaning of high quality water and provide a sink for excess carbon within the atmosphere. Furthermore, rangelands provide the open space that we love and are used for numerous recreational activities including hiking, biking, camping, fishing, hunting, and nature experiences.

Rangelands are the foundation for low-input, fully renewable food and fiber production derived from grazing industries. A few important agricultural products produced on southwestern Colorado rangelands include: beef, dairy, lamb, wool, leather, goat, llama fiber and alpaca fleece.

The conservation of these native lands is a commitment by society to learn about nature and apply the latest science and understanding to manage natural ecosystems for the benefit of people, present and future. The conservation of rangeland focuses on the managed slow and steady process of healing the land where degradation has occurred. Symptoms of the degradation may show in the invasion of noxious weeds, the increase of bare ground, an increase in soil erosion shown in the establishment of gullies, the muddying of our streams, the decline of a keystone wildlife species, or the rancher selling out and moving to town.

There are many types of professionals who are committed to the conservation of rangelands. Some of these include rangeland scientists, ranchers, public land managers, biologists, soil scientists, botanists, ecologists, educators, economists and artists.

For those interested in exploring how they can become involved in rangeland conservation, there are many opportunities. The Society for Range Management has a Web site at www.srm.org. This is a professional society that exists for all people interested in learning about rangelands. There is also an opportunity to become an Earth Team Volunteer through the San Juan Conservation District and local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). A volunteer would learn from and assist the NRCS in the inventory and monitoring of rangelands throughout Archuleta County.

A wonderful opportunity exists for high school students who are interested in exploring the conservation of our nation's rangeland. It is called the Black Mesa Ecological Academy and is located at Kenton, Okla., June 20-25. The camp is taught by range professionals and gives students, from five different states, a taste of rangeland conservation. If a student is interested he or she can contact the San Juan Conservation District at 264-5516.

Landscapes workshop

A "Changing Landscapes" workshop will be held 1-5 p.m. April 27, at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.

The workshop is free of charge and open to the public, It 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.


Food for Thought

SOS: What's in a (nick)name?

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist


That's me.

Been Icy for a long time, since I was eight or nine years old.

That's when the nickname was first pasted on me by the members of the raggedy crew of urchins I ran with in South Denver. We all went to McKinley Elementary School, walked to and from school together through the alleys, strolled through the dairy on south Pearl Street, through the chicken processing plant on Logan where I-25 now sits, stopped at all the neighborhood groceries along the mile-long trek for candy, snowballs and fried fruit pies. We were in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts together; we played on the Washington Park Redskins football team together; our parents knew each other well.

We all had nicknames.

A good nickname was required of all of us. Our fathers returned from the Big One having served their time in the army, navy or marines, and they were infected with nickname fever. They passed the tradition to us, whether we wanted it or not; our fathers were obsessed with nicknames and each of us was compelled to take on a moniker.

Sometimes, the nickname was derived from our given name. Mine, for example, was a natural spinoff from my last name, Isberg: Swedish for, you guessed it, iceberg or mountain of ice. Add Karl to my last name and you have his imperial highness, the King of the Mountain of Ice. I was Icy.

Leonard Molberg was Mo, with the added, delicious reference to the nastiest of the Three Stooges. Larry Gross was Gross (it was too good to pass up). Bob Duncan was Dunk.

Some of the nicknames were derived from a physical or personality characteristic, or were a reference to nationality. Mike Fabrizio was Fickle; he came from a nickname-rich environment: His dad, a "liquor distributor" had the nickname "Ways," but then most of the Italian "liquor distributors" had colorful nicknames - like Checkers, Sally Beans, Fat Paulie, Big Ralph.

Jimmy Carlson was Yimmy and used the nickname years later when he formed one of the great, and perhaps only, trombone-based Swedish polka/punk rock bands of the era, Yimmy and the Yammers. Amos Kermish was The Midge. One look at Pancho McLister's hair and you knew the necessity of Brillo.

Some of the guys came by their nicknames relative to their habits. Charles Joiner was Chaz in polite company. Among his friends, his nickname reflected his chronic indulgence of an unseemly habit. I can't repeat the nickname here, but it was terribly appropriate. Probably still is.

Ronnie Palik was Pez, due a crippling addiction to one of the worst candy products ever produced. John Starkle was huge, maybe 300 pounds in junior high school; Goodyear was appropriate. There was a guy named Klaus whose nickname was Tooter. Take a guess.

Later in life, when I was shipped off to a private boys' school against my will, there was a private girl's school nearby. In our relentless pursuit of the plaid-skirted, knee-socked and blazer- clad cuties, we found many of the objects of our unrealistic adolescent dreams had nicknames. There was The Greyhound, a Junior League template. Jet played field hockey. Medora was Missy. Hillary was extraordinarily friendly. I can't print her nickname but it's mere mention was an inspiration to all of us.

Still later, in the music business, I discovered nicknames galore. The jazz musicians in New York City at the time had the corner on the market: Roots, Bugeye, Midnight, Diggy, Spaz. Among my rock and roller compatriots were The Nose, Jumpy, Durb, Gypsy, The Ghost. I knew some guys from the Hell's Angels with nicknames: Crazy and Doctor Sound were my favorites.

I remained Icy.

The only time my nickname changed was when I came to Pagosa and did a stint in the radio business, working a morning show gig at the old AM/FM station with George Silva. George was Geo, I was given the name The Iceman by the program director. The Iceman and Geo did field reports without leaving the station, weather reports without benefit of thermometer or rain gauge, helicopter traffic reports with no helicopter, interviews of nonexistent people. Geo and The Iceman had a lot of fun; the station owner had a near nervous breakdown. There are still denizens of the area who, 18 years after the fact, call me Iceman.

Plenty of the old-timers around here have nicknames, but once you leave their ranks, the nicknames seem to fade in number. Sure, a few younger people have nicknames, but nowhere near as many of them as a generation ago.

What has happened to the nickname? Rap artists and the like take on different, nickname-like tags, but its not the same. These are alternate identities, not nicknames.

This situation must be remedied and I intend to start a trend here in Pagosa. I've given nicknames to local, prominent public figures I know, people frequently in the news.

I've worked up a few, and it's up to you to guess to whom the names apply.

See if you can identify:








Homer and Jethro.

The Hummingbird.

If you think you've put a name with a person, use it on them; see how they react. Get your friends to use the name.

In salute to my revival of the art of the nickname, I sought out foods that bear a famous moniker.

One name came immediately to the front; there was no avoiding it. And, true to form, it was created by members of the great nickname generation. It reached its zenith in the years following WW II.


Those of you who don't know what these initials stand for are going to have to ask an older acquaintance; the law prevents me from printing it here. Let's edge up to it by saying it is Something On a Shingle, and leave the definition of "Something" to your imagination. A hint: It starts with the letter S.

Traditional SOS is a form of creamed chipped beef on toast - a dish that, depending on who prepares it, can range from the sublime to the obscene.

In its best known and most pedestrian form, SOS is a clotty mass of goo with chunks of reddish-brown bovine product embedded therein, applied like lukewarm spackle to a crumbly piece of toast. Millions of people in service to their country choked it down for a couple generations, as did millions of youngsters sent off to suffer at summer camps.

In its worst form, SOS is barely edible. In the interest of public safety, barrels of it are stored in underground caverns carved out of ancient salt deposits. It has a half life of 250,000 years.

How to bring SOS up from the basement, how to make it a worthy taste treat?

First, the cream sauce. Instead of producing cement, let's make a velvety béchamel. It's easy: start with equal parts of butter and flour. The butter is melted (not browned) preferably in the top pan of a double boiler. The flour is added, whisked into the butter, cooked and stirred for five minutes or so. Then hot milk is added a bit at a time and whisked in (I prefer half-and-half, if I don't suffer a complete breakdown and use cream). Salt, pepper, a little freshly grated nutmeg and, voila, you're ready to rock.

Here's how I jazz up the SOS. I finely mince a shallot and sweat it in butter with a bit of salt and pepper. In goes the dried beef, a lot of it, chipped into teensy pieces, along with a clove of garlic minced and mushed. Maybe a bit of thyme. When the mess has melded, it goes into the béchamel with a measure of freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyere, a teensy bit of chopped parsley. And, for the daring: a smidge of Dijon mustard. Ahhhh.

Options for the shingle component are many.

There are some great artisanal breads available at local stores and bakery. A fairly thick slab of any of these breads, toasted and buttered, provides a near-perfect vehicle for the creamy cargo.

Better yet, a freshly baked biscuit. And here, rather than go to all the work of making the biscuit from scratch, I am not averse to using one of the biscuit mixes available in the refrigerator case at the market. Preheat the oven, pop the tube and have at it.

But, why not go over the top, just like some nicknames are over the top? Why not amp up the SOS? If we are going to have a heart attack, let's make it a doozy.

Picture this, from the bottom up: 1) A thick piece of toasted, buttered sourdough bread or a huge biscuit just out of the oven, slathered in high-grade, extra-fat unsalted butter; 2) a veritable pyroclastic flow of cheesy, creamy beef-riddled goodness cascading across the leavened platform; 3) a poached egg, its molten, golden-orange yolk ready to flow down the sides of the stack in rivers of cholesterol-riddled goodness.

Let's call it Supercharged SOS.

Let's also call 9-1-1 and have them roll the advanced life support unit.

Tell them to fire up the defibrillator and ask for Icy. I'll try to crawl over and unlock the front door.


Pagosa Lakes News

Swim Club members training for regionals

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Pagosa Lakes Swim Club is looking for youngsters who enjoy swimming and who like to compete. Started in 1988, when swimming meant splashing around in Cotton Hole, the club has developed into one of the strongest competitive swim clubs on the Western Slope of Colorado.

The current roster shows 22 swimmers ranging in age from eight to 17.

Among the senior boys Matt Nobles, Chris Nobles, Aaron Miller and Michael Caves have taken their swimming further by competing on the Durango High School swim team. These boys are logging additional yardage to prepare for high school regionals at the end of this month and the state meet May 7. My best wishes go with them.

Most recently, five of 11 qualified swimmers from our swim club competed at Silver State in Denver. Of the 26 individual swims, 19 of those were personal best times. This is good for so early in the season when a number of the swimmers are just now getting back into the water after being involved in winter school sports.

In the first weekend of March, two boys, Teale Kitson and Aaron Miller, swam in Loveland at the 14-and-under Colorado state championships. Between the two they put in 13 individual swims with seven personal best times. Teale placed eighth in the 100 meter backstroke and 11th in the 200 meter backstroke. Way to go!

The team currently trains Monday through Friday. Practice begins at 4:15 p.m. and ends at 5:45 Monday through Thursday. On Friday practice is from 2:15 p.m. to 3:45. New swimmers will be expected to attend three practices a week. Once school is out, beginning June 1, practices will be held 7:30-9:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday.

Requirements for new swimmers will be the ability to swim 25 yards freestyle and 25 yards backstroke without stopping. There will be a two-week trial period for a new swimmer.

Swimmers on the Pagosa Lakes Swim Club are expected to compete in at least four meets each year. Every swimmer is required to have a current recreation center membership, U.S. Swimming Association registration, and to pay a monthly $20 team fee. USSA registration is $50 for the year and this is required for insurance purposes.

Swimmers are also required to purchase their own team suits. Mandatory participation in the annual fund-raising swim-a-thon is expected. While the recreation center pays most of the coaching costs, the money from the swim-a-thon covers travel expenses and a portion of the cost for the swim team coach. This year's swim-a-thon will be held May 18.

When competition gets going, registration fees at meets run about $2 to $3 per event entered. Parents should add to that the cost of travel and lodging. At most swim meets in the summer, camping areas are available and lodging costs can be kept to a minimum by camping.

The continued success of the swim program, as it begins its 17th year, will depend on the hard work of the swimmers, the support of the parents, and the quality of training provided by Coach Chris Corcoran.

Although this is clearly a major family commitment, the rewards justify the efforts. Competitive swimming is a marvelous sport; it encourages self-discipline and builds self-confidence.

Interested parents and swimmers can call the coach at the recreation center, 731-2051, or stop by after practice.

The recreation center is opening at 6 a.m. Mondays through Fridays for a trial period through Sept. 3.


Shepherd's Staff

There is no faith without belief

By Rev. Richard Boland

Our Savior Lutheran Church

"It can't be done!"

Once it was common knowledge that if any human being traveled faster than 35 miles per hour the stresses on the body would be such that bleeding from the ears, nose and mouth would result.

They said of speeds greater than 35 mph, that, "It can't be done!" Again, others a bit later insisted that powered flight by humans simply couldn't be accomplished.

They said, "It can't be done!"

Later many insisted the sound barrier couldn't be broken and again the refrain was heard, "It can't be done! Still later many insisted that the very notion that we earthlings could put a man on the moon was ridiculed with, "It can't be done!"

We still hear that refrain being claimed whenever we boldly and loudly proclaim, "He is risen!" The skeptics insist, "It can't be done!" But they have forgotten whom they are dealing with when they talk about what God can do and what - they claim - He can't do.

There is a notion among skeptics that not even God can do what they can't conceive of. Now the God of which we speak is the one who created the so-called "Laws of Physics" and all other natural "Laws." He is the same God who regularly chose to set aside those laws for special purposes. Recall His actions on behalf of the children of Israel when the sun was made to stop in the sky so that the army of Israel might prevail over their enemies?

Do you remember Moses and the exodus of God's people from bondage of Egypt enabling them to cross the Red Sea as though they were walking on dry ground with a wall of water both on the right and on the left?

Do you recall our Lord Jesus Christ healing a man who had been born blind and a man whose arm had been deformed from birth? Perhaps you'll remember the day, not long before His own resurrection, when Jesus called forth the four day dead Lazarus from his grave?

This is our Creator at whose Word the stars were hung in the heavens and the universe, in all of its unknowable vastness was called into being. Here we see the One who creates life so very small that electron microscopes are needed to observe it and whose mere thought carves out the Grand Canyon. How utterly absurd that we wholly inadequate created beings might decide what God is capable of doing and what He isn't capable of doing!

Not only did Christ rise from the dead, He absolutely had to rise from the dead. There was no option in the matter. Why? Because the wages of sin is death, and the One who died on the hill of the Skull had never sinned! No grave could possibly keep Him beyond His temporary willingness to stay! That the wages of sin is death is a far more universal law than any law of physics! There had not been any exceptions to the rule save that exception God had worked in the prophet Elijah! Indeed, even those raised by Christ from death, eventually had to endure the wages of sin again.

Not only that, but because Christ has risen from the dead, it is absolutely certain that all those trusting in Christ for redemption will also rise! No where in all of Holy Scripture is it more clearly stated than in the 15th chapter of I Corinthians, where St. Paul writes:

"If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him." (I Cor. 15:13-23)

Plainly put, there is no Christian faith without also the belief in the resurrection of the dead! The apostles did not go to their executioners willing to die for something they knew to be a lie! They went to their deaths with the full understanding that they had personally seen the risen Lord and knew that the grave would not be the end of them either!

So let skeptics continue to insist on a "god" they can shrink down to their own size if they wish. They are welcome to deny reality all they want with their cries of, "It can't be done!"

Finally, when all is said and done, they will know they have believed a lie and that it is a lie that will cost them eternal life with the Father in heaven. We Christians believe in a God of life who conquers the curse of death through His Son's life, suffering, death and Š yes Š His resurrection from the dead. It can be done, and it was!



Kendra Lee Martinez was born March 8, 2004, in Durango. The youngster weighed 8 pounds, 2.1 ounces, and was 19 3/4 inches long. She is the daughter of Daniel and Amber Martinez of Pagosa Springs and was welcomed home by her sister, Kaeley Dawn. Grandparents are Don Smith of Pagosa Springs, Zeva Jacobs of Durango and Barbara and Jody Martinez of Pagosa Springs.


Sue Gast

Sue Chesshire Harbison Gast, 68, of Pagosa Springs and formerly of Deport, Texas, died at her home Thursday, April 8, 2004.

Funeral services were held 3 p.m. Sunday, April 11, 2004, at Wood Funeral Homes Chapel in Deport with the Rev. C.G. Renfro officiating. Burial was in Highland Cemetery, Deport.

A memorial service was held 4 p.m. Tuesday in Community Bible Church of Pagosa Springs.

Sue was born in the Lamar County, Texas, community of Lone Oak, the daughter of Floyd (Babe) and Estelle Tidwell Chesshire. At the time of her death, she was executive vice president/cashier for Bank of the San Juans in Pagosa Springs and a member of the Deport Church of Christ. Her father preceded her in death on Feb. 7, 1996.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, David and Denise Harbison of Blossom, Texas; son Tommy Harbison of Jacksonville, Fla.; her mother, Estelle Chesshire of Deport; a sister, Jo Ann Haney, of Wake Village, Texas; grandson Jared Harbison of Dallas; niece Sherrie Meyers of Texarkana; nephew Nick Norwood of Columbus, Ga., and her dog, Allie.

Pallbearers were Charles Davidson, Kenneth Burks, Larry Crawford, Paul Jackson, Connie Mae Hobbs and Dan Barnard. Honorary pallbearers were Tommy Corbell, Dugan Foster, Tuffy Talley, Phillip Bolton and Donald Day.

June Mortensen

June H. Mortensen, 94, of Grand Island, Neb., died Tuesday April 13, 2004 at Bickford Cottage in Grand Island.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 16, 2004, at Apfel-Butler-Geddes Funeral Home, burial to follow in Grand Island City Cemetery. Visitation will be 3-9 p.m. today at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church Roberta Rice Group in Grand Island.

June H. Mortensen was born June 1, 1909, in Pagosa Springs, the daughter of John and Hilda (Anderson) Swanson. She grew up in Pagosa Springs and received her education in the community, graduating Pagosa Springs High School. She then attended Adams State Teachers College in Alamosa for three years. After graduating college she taught in the Pagosa Springs schools she had attended at a younger age.

She was united in marriage to Eldon Mortensen on Jan. 5, 1945, in Aztec, N.M. The couple made their home in Grand Island where she was employed by various fabric stores.

Mrs. Mortensen was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church and the Grand Island Woman's Club.

Survivors are her son, John Mortensen, of Grand Island and a daughter, Linda Foote, of Grand Island; three grandchildren, Spencer Mortensen, Vickie Martin and Jim Wilsey; three step-grandchildren, Lori Hostetler, Rick Lawver and Dennis Lawver; two great-grandchildren, Kyle Martin and Renee Wilsey; and a sister, Ebba Percell, of Durango.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Eldon; brothers John and Mitchell Swanson; and a granddaughter, Andrea Foote.

To send condolences to the family visit the Web at www.abgfh.com.

David Allan Snell

David Allan Snell, 36, of Pagosa Springs, formerly of Lyons, Colo., died April 6 in Pagosa Springs.

Mr. Snell was born June 29, 1967, in Boulder, and had been employed as a ranch hand.

A resident of the Lyons-Longmont area 1967-1996 he enjoyed sports, reading, chess, board games and was a youth sponsor at Pagosa Bible Church. He attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, Barnes Business College in Denver and Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Mo.

He is survived by his parents, Spencer A. and Marilyn D. (Travis) Snell, of Pagosa Springs; a sister, Julie Snell Davis, and her husband John of Idaho Falls, Idaho; an uncle and aunt, Jay and Mindy Snell, in Oregon; cousins Kevin Snell, Sarah McMahan and Gilaine Wright all of Oregon; Trevor Snell of New Mexico; Judy Tisher, Steve Cornish and Beverly McNeil all of Michigan; an aunt, Barbara Cornish, of Michigan and uncle Charles Cornish of Florida.

Funeral services will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Rocky Mountain Christian Church in Longmont with the Rev. Hal Stallings officiating. Entombment will be in Longmont Mountain View Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Pagosa Bible Church, 2017 W. U.S. 160, Pagosa Springs CO 81147. Arrangements were by Ahlberg Funeral Chapel, 326 Terry St., Longmont.


Crawford Wall

Crawford Lorenza Wall, age 90, passed away on April 12, 2004, in Aztec, New Mexico. He was born on October 5, 1913 in Statham, Ga., to Richard Hampton Wall and Edna Wills Wall.

He attended high school at the Martin Institute in Jefferson, Ga. He married Lucille Smallwood on May 8, 1932, in Hall County, Ga.

During World War II, Crawford served as a welder for two years at the Army Experimental Station at Pine Camp (Camp Drum, New York). He was also awarded the Sharpshooter's Medal.

He worked in the timber industry for 10 years. He was a maintenance supervisor for Southeastern Drilling Company in Calcutta, India, and Chittagong, East Pakistan, in 1960-1961. He owned a construction business in Pagosa Springs for 27 years. He moved to Dell City, Texas, and continued to work his construction equipment until he was 84 years old.

He was a most beloved husband, father and grandpa who will be greatly missed.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, David Olen Wall and Richard Harold Wall; a sister, Nettie Allgood; brother-in-law Frank Allgood; niece, Jean Merck and sister-in-law, Faye Warren Wall.

He is survived by his wife, Lucille Wall, of Aztec, N.M.;, one son, William Crawford (Arizona) Wall of Aztec; three grandchildren, Mary Ann (Troy) Olsen of Kaysville, Utah, Martha (Ruben) Romero of Aztec, and Calvin (Cherryl) Wall of Pagosa Springs; and six great-grandchildren: Brandon, Casey and Brittany Thames, Jesse Romero, and Celeste and Danielle Olsen.

Graveside services will be held at Bayfield Cemetary today at 11 a.m. with Byron Greco officiating.


Business News
Biz Beat

Summer Fun Horse Camp

Sue Liescheidt offers horse care and riding lessons for kids 8 years old and up.

Sue's Summer Fun Horse Camp is a summer-long program divided into six courses, each taking one day in each week of the six-week session.

During the first course, participants will learn proper horse care, grooming, the different types of horse equipment and how to saddle a horse and will continue for five more weeks until the last course where participants will review all that they have done and camp out for a night on the ranch.

During the course the young equestrians will watch several horse theme movies, including "Hidalgo" and "Sea Biscuit."

For additional information on the camp and to reserve a spot for your child or grandchild call 264-6902.



Preview Profile

Sally Capistrant

Faculty member, English Department,

Pagosa Springs High School


Where were you born?

"Raton, N.M."


Where did you go to school?

"I am a Pagosa high school graduate, I received my B.A. from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and I will receive my masters from University of Northern Colorado this summer.


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"Before I was walking."


What did you do before you took this job?

"Worked on getting my college degree and finding my husband."


What are your job responsibilities?

"To enhance the lives and English skills of Pagosa Springs High School students."


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

"I like working with the students but I don't like all of the grading."


What is your family background?

"My husband is a police officer here in town and our first baby is coming in June."


What do you like best about the community?

"I love the small town atmosphere and the outdoors."


What are your other interests?

"Spending time with the love of my life."



Michele Lee Herrera

Michele Lee Herrera, a member of the Pagosa Springs High School Class of 2000, has graduated from DeWolff College of Cosmetology in Albuquerque. Family and friends will celebrate her success at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Dorothy's Restaurant.


Cards of Thanks

Sisson Library

On behalf of all library patrons we want to thank the students at the elementary school for their "Cents for Sisson" campaign to raise $1,000 toward the new addition and renovation of the library.

They exceeded their goal and presented the staff with $1,504 for the new children's room. Their colorful presentation will remain on view for the next few weeks. All are invited to see it. We also thank Cathne Holt, teachers and parents who helped with this successful project. What an honor it is to work with such caring people.

Staff of the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library

Food for Friends

Curves of Pagosa Springs would like to thank everyone who donated food during this year's annual "Food for Friends" drive and to The Pagosa Springs SUN, KWUF and the Chamber of Commerce for helping get the word out.

We collected 1,059 pounds of food and it was distributed through Methodist Food Bank, St. Patrick's Church Food Bank, United People Help Ministry and Casa de los Arcos center. Thanks for helping to feed a friend.

April Bergman

Daffodil Days

The annual Daffodil Days celebration was a complete success. Thank you to the area media, especially The Pagosa Springs SUN and KWUF for their support. As always, the help from Sally and her crew at the Chamber of Commerce was invaluable.

Volunteers form the backbone of the American Cancer Society. Thank you Anne Booth, Peggy Carri, Sue Jackson, Elaine Lundergan and Lili Pearson. A very special thank you to Marguerite Jackson and Mountain Greenery; you are a key in making the event happen conveniently. The Archuleta County community and especially David and Carol Brown deserve a huge thank you for generous support.

Please know that every contribution aids in the fight against cancer and takes us closer to the goal of finding cures.

Suzan Gray

Daffodil Days chairman

Scout Troop 807

Boy Scout Troop 807 would like to thank the community for its support at our annual pancake and sausage breakfast.

Also, thanks to DSP Pizza, Victoria's Parlor, Bruce Boyd of Hog's Breath Restaurant, Chili Mountain Cafe, Bear Creek Saloon, JJ's Upstream Restaurant, Ramon's Mexican Restaurant, Back Country BBQ, Dorothy's Restaurant, The Junction Restaurant, Nancy and Joe Blodgett, Bill and Betti Gibbons for their donations and wonderful support. It was greatly appreciated.

Carmen Valdez

We are so fortunate to have so many people in our lives. Thank you to all of our family and friends who were all there while my mom, Carmen Valdez, was in the hospital with pneumonia. The cards, flowers, thoughts and prayers, visits and phone calls make the healing so much easier. We are blessed to have you in our lives. Thank you.

Renee Cordova


Sports Page

Pirates batters rap 23 hits in twin bill sweep of Centauri

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Tumbleweeds blowing up the base lines faster than the Pirate runners.

Cloud cover, wind, sun, snow, sleet, hail and plunging temperatures.

Must have been baseball weather in La Jara.

Yep, the Pagosa Springs Pirates met the Centauri Falcons in a twin bill in the San Luis Valley Saturday in what has become a traditional "bad weather scene" for the spring sport.

The only thing hot was the Pirate bats as the team pounded out 31 hits while scoring 23 runs to sweep the doubleheader, the last three innings in a driving blizzard which sometime obliterated the ball and its path.

For coach Tony Scarpa it was a welcome - if frigid - start to the Intermountain League season with a surfeit of surprises thrown in.

First, he got veteran outfielder Jeremy Caler back in the fold, after a fling at track; he got a pair of route-going mound performances - from senior Ben Marshall in the opener and junior transfer Randy Molnar in the second game; and the crack of ball on bat resounded almost every time the Pirates were at the plate.

First game

The Pirates waited just two pitches to get started

Junior catcher Marcus Rivas ripped a double to left field to open action for the visiting Pirates on the third pitch of the game. After shortstop Michael Bradford popped out to third, Marshall drew a walk.

And then freshman right fielder Karl Hujus delivered the first of what would be seven hits in nine at bats during the long afternoon, plating Rivas and sending Marshall to third.

With freshman Casey Hart at the plate, Hujus was awarded second, Marshall scoring on a balk by the Falcon hurler, a decision coming after Pirate coaches argued the pitcher did not step off the rubber for his attempted pickoff throw to second.

With the Pirates up 2-0, an identical play caught Hujus for the second out, then Hart fanned to end the top of the first.

Centauri got two quick outs in the bottom of the inning, Kenney Schell bouncing back to Marshall and Ernest Armenta flying to right.

The Falcon rightfielder drew a walk on a full count pitch and advanced to third on a double by Ruybal. Both runners were left on when first baseman Tyler Roberts bounced out to his Pirate counterpart Adam Trujillo.

Despite a leadoff double and stolen base by junior second baseman Levi Gill, who would be seven for eight on the day, the Pirates failed to score in the second.

Josh Hoffman popped to first. Caler drew a walk and stole second, Gill holding at third. Travis Marshall, making his first appearance of the season after being out with a broken leg, struck out as the designated hitter and Rivas popped to second to end the inning.

Marshall was in command in the Centauri second, getting the first hitter on a pop to first, fanning the second and teasing the third into a pop to Gill at second.

Bradford opened Pagosa's third drawing a walk and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Marshall was out on a fly to left and Bradford cut down at third attempting to move up after the catch.

But the big bats were coming up. Hujus doubled to deep right and then trotted home when Hart hammered one over the left field fence into the teeth of the wind for his first varsity home run.

Gill singled to keep the inning alive, but Hoffman bounced out to second to end the Pagosa half inning with the Pirates leading 4-0.

The third for Centauri was almost Marshall's downfall and mostly by his own doing as he seemed to temporarily lose concentration.

It started innocently enough when Abeyta fanned to open the inning. But then Schell was hit by a Marshall pitch and Armenta doubled to center, Schell going to third. Thomas drew a walk after both Schell and Armenta advanced on a wild pitch by Marshall. That moved Armenta to third and he scored on another wild pitch. Ruybal reached on a fielder's choice, Thomas scoring, but was out in a rundown at third. Rogers walked and advanced to second on a wild throw by Marshall, but Lucero flied to center to end the uprising, Pagosa's lead cut to 4-3.

The Pirates were quick to answer, responding with four runs in the fourth.

Caler drew his second walk and promptly stole second. Travis Marshall bounced to first, Caler moving to third where Rivas brought him in with a sacrifice fly to right.

Bradford beat out an infield hit and Marshall walked setting the stage, again, for Hujus. The lefty responded with a single plating Bradford. After Hart reached on an error by the Falcon third baseman, Gill delivered a line shot single driving in a pair before Hoffman bounced to short to end the Pirate inning, Pagosa leading 8-3.

Centauri's fourth was back to the real Ben Marshall. He fanned both Valdez and Atencio and got Abeyta on bouncer to first for a fast outing.

His teammates then padded the lead, scoring three in the fifth. It opened with Travis Richey, batting for Caler, bouncing out to third. Trujillo, replacing Travis Marshall in the batting order, coaxed a walk and Rivas moved him to third with a single to right. Trujillo scored on Bradford's single but Bradford was out at second when Ben Marshall grounded into a fielder's choice. Marshall stole second and Hujus came through again, ripping a single to center with both Rivas and Marshall scoring. Hart popped to second to end the Pirate half. Pagosa leading 11-3.

The Falcons got a single score in the fifth after Schell drew a walk, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Armenta singled to drive him in and Thomas followed with a single but was cut down at third on 9-6-5 rundown initiated by Hujus. Marshall then got Ruybal and Rogers on strikes to end the threat.

Gill opened Pagosa's sixth with his fourth consecutive hit, a single to center. Hoffman was hit by a pitch and the two executed a double steal on the next pitch. Richey flied to short center, both runners holding. Trujillo struck out and Rivas flied to right stranding the two runners.

Lucero fanned to open Centauri's half inning but Valdez, batting for Jaramillo, was hit by a Marshall fast ball. Atencio struck out but Abeyta walked. Schell drove in Valdez but was out in an ensuing 5-4-6-5 rundown.

Pagosa's final marker in the seventh came as Bradford led off with single to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch to Marshall. Marshall singled to drive him in bringing the hot-hitting Hujus to the plate. Marshall stole second and advanced on a wild pitch. Hujus streak was broken when he grounded out to first, Marshall holding at third. Hart flied to right for the second out and Marshall was out at the plate attempting to score on the throw from Thomas.

Armenta opened the Centauri seventh with a double to left and stayed there when Thomas was hit by a pitch. A Centauri pinchhitter singled for a run. Rogers fanned and the stage was set for the end of the game which came with Lucero hitting into a 6-4-3 double play.

For Pagosa the line score showed 12 runs on 16 hits and no Centauri errors. Centauri had six runs on six hits and two Pagosa errors.

Second game

The Pirates, once again, scored early and often, winning 11-5.

Rivas opened the game with a single to center and moved up on a wild pitch. Bradford bounced out to first but Marshall drew a walk before Hujus and Gill continued their torrid batting onslaught with consecutive singles to plate a pair. Hart fanned and pitcher Randy Molnar drew a walk but Josh Hoffman struck out to end the threat with two runs scoring on three hits.

Molnar made short work of Centauri in the bottom of the frame. Schell bounced to short. Armenta struck out, Thomas walked and Ruybal struck out.

Caler opened the Pirate second grounding back to the pitcher. Then Rivas singled and promptly stole second. Bradford doubled to left to drive him in, but Marshall struck out and Hujus flied to right to end the inning.

Centauri's second went even faster than the first. Rogers flied to center on the first pitch and both Jaramillo and Abeyta were out on strikes.

The Pirates, as the snows began, were scoreless in the third despite singles by Hart and Josh Hoffman.

The Falcons got a run in their half of the inning after Atencio led off with a double. A pinch hitter stuck out and Atencio was cut down at second on a throw from Marshall working behind the plate. Schell doubled to left and Armenta singled to rive him in. Thomas walked but was picked off first by Molnar.

Pagosa got three more in the fourth with Caler drawing a walk and stealing second to start it.

He scored when Rivas' grounder to short went right between the fielder's legs for an error. Rivas moved up as Bradford grounded out. Marshall drove him in with a single and Hujus drew a walk. Gill singled to drive in two before Hart hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning, Pagosa leading 6-1.

Ruybal grounded to short to open Centauri's fourth and Rogers reached on a throwing error by Bradford. But Jaramillo grounded to third and Abeyta fanned to end the fourth.

The Pirates scored one in the fifth. Molnar lined to second leading off and Hoffman fanned. Richey, batting for Caler, walked and stole second. Rivas, too, walked before Bradford singled to drive in Richey. Marshall drew another walk, but Hujus grounded to first to end the threat.

Centauri's half of the inning was another three up-three down despite an opening single to center by Atencio. He was quickly wiped out as King hit into a 6-4-3 double play and Schell ended it with a pop to second.

With the snow and wind increasing and the temperature plunging into the 20s, John Hoffman, batting for Gill, bounced to first. Hart singled but was thrown out at second and Molnar bounced back to the pitcher.

Centauri's sixth was a grounder to short by Armenta, a grounder to second by Thomas and Ruybal striking out as visibility dwindled.

Still, Pagosa had some attack left. Josh Hoffman was hit by a pitch and stole second. Richey struck out but Rivas drew a walk. Consecutive singles by Bradford, Marshall, Hujus and Gill drove in four runs and Hart walked before Molnar grounded out to end the inning.

Centauri wasn't going down without a fight.

Rogers opened with a strikeout to start the inning. But Jaramillo reached on Molnar's throwing error and scored on a double by Abeyta. Atencio fanned for the second out but Malouf singled and scored on a double by Schell. He, in turn scored on a double by Armenta before Thomas struck out to end the game, Pagosa winning 11-5.

Pagosa's 11 runs came on 15 hits, Centauri's five runs on eight hits.


Pirate defensive effort blanks Center; offense scores two

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

No one would have believed 24 hours earlier that soccer would be played Monday at Golden Peaks Stadium.

But Mother Nature worked her melt magic and the Pagosa Springs High School soccer squad supplied defensive gems and just enough offense to hike their league record to 2-1 with a 2-0 victory over visiting Center.

As late as Monday morning remnants of the Easter snowstorm were still on the field. But by game time all was gone.

The Pagosans maintained an early possession game with eyes on passing lanes and high percentage shots.

But it took nearly nine and a half minutes for the tactic to pay off.

Freshman Laurel Reinhardt had tried early to put Pagosa on the scoreboard, her shot going wide left at 1:06 off a crossing lead from Brittany Corcoran.

Just under three minutes later, Jennifer Hilsabeck had a fabulous opportunity for Pagosa, breaking into the open for a lead from Iris Frye. But her shot ricochetted off the right post and the game was still scoreless.

Finally, at 9:29, the Pirates hoisted the numeral 1 on the local side of the score board in a demonstration of offensive perfection.

It all originated at midfield where Caitlyn Jewell picked off Viking pass and lofted a lead to the middle of the attack zone. Right there was senior Melissa Diller who took it in stride and headed for the right wing.

Frye, cutting to the box from the left wing took a perfect drop from Diller and drilled it home beyond the reach of Viking keeper Leticia Bustillos.

Pirate keeper Sierra Fleenor was a lonely person most of the first half as her teammates kept the Vikings pinned back with takeaway after takeaway.

She touched the ball for the first time at 16:10, stopping a dribbler from Center's Mayra Villagomez that had been partially deflected by Jenna Finney.

It was exactly seven minutes later before either team had another scoring opportunity. It came on another perfect lead pass, this one from Brett Garman to a breaking Amy Tautges who drove right in on Bustillos but was stopped on dive to the lower right corner.

At 29:16 Pagosa had another opportunity when Jewell's corner kick lead to Frye was stopped. Two minutes and 29 seconds later, Tautges was stopped on a shot to Bustillos' right.

With just 26 seconds left in the first half, Pagosa changed the 1 on the score board to a 2.

Reinhardt stormed right up the middle on a loft from Roxanne Lattin and, after faking a shot, found Finney open on the right wing. Her crossing pass found the senior clear for a drive to the high right corner. It was tipped by Bustillos but she could not stop it and Pagosa had a 2-0 lead at the first break.

The statistics for the period show Emmy Smith with three block-takeaways, Lattin with two and the welcome return of Kyrie Beye from a broken bone was reflected in three attack stoppages.

Pagosa opened the second half with a new offensive desire, pressing the defense and looking for seams to advance.

But it was to be a half of unfulfilled opportunities and struggles against a defense for Center that improved as the game went on.

At 44:56 Diller was wide open from 12 yards and missed wide right. Five minutes later, Reinhardt followed suit and at 57:49, Alaina Garman's bid to enter the scoring column was stymied on a fine play by Bustillos.

Three minutes and six seconds later, Diller again was wide open, almost in the goal crease, but lifted her shot for the corner high over the net.

Two minutes later Brett Garman's drive from 18 yards was hauled in by the Center keeper and then it was Diller's turn again.

Taking a crossing lead from Frye, she broke to the right wing and on a turn-step move ripped a drive that looked like she'd finally gotten a break. But it sailed slightly and caromed off the crossbar and out of play.

Reinhardt garnered the rebound and ripped a drive from the opposite side but Bustillos was up to the challenge.

As the clock wound down, the Pirates were satisfied with working a control game at midfield, not attacking, but not allowing Center to make a run at them.

Thus, the game ended at 2-0.

Defense had been the key on a day when the shots were open but not on net.

For the game, Smith had six block-takeaways, Beye five, Jewell four, Finney two, and Corcoran two.

Fleenor had to make just one save, all the other shots being stopped by her defense before they got to her.

Pagosa had 17 shots on goal and Bustillos had eleven saves for Center.


Ross memorial basketball tourney opens at 6:30 p.m.

The ninth annual Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament tips off at 6:30 p.m. today with games on tap through Saturday in both the high school and junior high gymnasiums.

Proceeds from the tournament go to support scholarships offered at both Pagosa Springs and Ignacio high schools in memory of brothers who died in a plane crash near Vallecito Reservoir.

A record 34 teams have entered squads for the tournament with Wyoming, Arizona and New Mexico squads vying for honors against teams from at least 17 Colorado communities.

A number of collegiate players are expected to be in action with play continuing from 3 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday.

A slam dunk contest and 3-point shoot-out is scheduled 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the junior high gym with the championship games to follow.

Play will be in three divisions, open, 6-feet and under and 35 and over.

Door prizes galore will be offered but winners must be present to win.


Parks & Rec

CarQuest captures women's league championship

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The Women's League champions were decided April 8 with Car Quest taking home the "Champions" T-Shirts, defeating Jewell-Carroll Mortgage in a hard-fought game. Dawn Ross' team continued their great play in taking the championship.


 Tee-ball is continuing with seven teams and 68 participants in our 5-6 year-old division.

Incredibly, all seven teams are tied in the standings for first place. Games scheduled today have been cancelled due to the circus.

The weather continues to be beautiful in our enclosed indoor Pagosa Stadium (community center). As the fields dry out a bit, we will start to schedule games outdoors.

Baseball registration

 Baseball registration continues through 5 p.m. Friday. Applications were made available at all of the schools in Pagosa Springs but additional applications are available at Town Hall.

Call Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 232 for additional questions or information as needed. Tentative start dates should be in early May.

Girls' softball

 If you are interested in playing girls' softball please fill out an application available at Town Hall.

We are offering two divisions, 9-11 and 12-14. If you are interested in helping our girls' leagues in Pagosa Springs, contact Myles Gabel. We will have a meeting to discuss all options available for this exciting girls' youth league.

Women's volleyball

We will offer open gym women's volleyball Wednesday nights starting April 21. The sessions will be in the community center, 6-8 p.m. If there is enough participation we may split into an "official" women's volleyball league at a later date.

Girl's volleyball clinics

The greatly anticipated girls' volleyball clinics for junior high and high school girls will begin April 26. Times, dates and age groups will be announced next week, with flyers distributed at the high school and junior high school

Arbor Day

Friday is the date the state of Colorado has set to celebrate National Arbor Day. Each year every state celebrates Arbor Day, but dates differ state to state.

In conjunction with the Education Center the town parks crew will plant a ceremonial tree near the Gazebo in Town Park at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow.

After consulting with Jim Miller, parks superintendent, we decided to plant a willow-type shade tree. We are trying to replace the cottonwood trees presently in the park. Cottonwood trees supply a great deal of shade and are beautiful, however our cottonwood trees are in their last years, so we must start replacing them for the day that they must be cut down, we have planned and have shade trees for our grandchildren to enjoy.

Tree grant

For the past few years the town has sponsored a tree grant program. This project helps pay for a tree or trees put onto private property within the town limits of Pagosa Springs.

In the first phase of the program we will pay up to $100 per person, per lot, for a tree to be planted. In the fall if any money is left in this beautification program, we will open up the second phase of the program to all property owners within the town limits. People who planted in the spring are eligible for this second phase.

Take advantage of this great program by calling me at 264-4151, Ext. 231.

Clean-up Week

The Archuleta County Solid Waste Department has sent a tentative schedule for the annual clean-up. The final schedule will be printed in later issues of The SUN.

Dumpster locations, dates:

Town Park - May 26-30

South Pagosa Park - May 22-30

South 9th Street -May 22-25

South 6th Street - May 22-24

The landfill will be free of charge for all Archuleta County residents May 22-29. Call 264-0193, Ext. 45 for landfill and transfer station times and restrictions.


Please come enjoy this town-sponsored event, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. today only. The circus will be held in the vacant lots adjacent to the community center.



The show is over

Two elections are only weeks away. The first, the election of directors to the board of Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, is nearly free of controversy, unmarked by rancor. The second election will produce directors for the board of the Upper San Juan Health Services District and it follows on a battle that has gone on for some time. It will be easy to turn a clear eye to the first election and we will consider it in an upcoming editorial; but we must also turn that clear eye on the second election.

This will be a tall order: As the date for the arrival of mail ballots in the health services district election nears the din increases, attacks remain pointed and personal. Many on the sidelines, and some of the candidates, grow more shrill and, in some cases, remain obsessed with poorly founded or personal concerns.

For we voters, it is time to move in another direction, to identify critical topics, ask questions, assess our reactions.

We have to clearly define issues we consider important, and ask questions of candidates in light of these issues. Adequate answers will not take the form of ad hominem arguments, red herrings and appeals to the gallery, nor will they center on trivialities and childish offenses.

It is time we voters make up our minds about this situation. It is time to forget the personalities, the self-made stars of the drama, time to shut out the noise. We need to forge our opinions concerning the state of this tax-supported entity, then compare them with the opinions voiced by candidates.

Do we believe the district has been effectively managed and supervised by its administration and elected officials? Is there a record of continued personnel problems, administrative blunders, financial difficulties? If so, do we think the situation is the result of unforeseen changes in staff and nasty surprises left under the pillow by disaffected and incompetent employees, or do we believe problems could have been stopped short with better management and oversight before they grew to a size too difficult to handle?

We should ask ourselves if we think the district, as structured, provides the services we want and need, and does so in a professional and cost-effective manner. If it does, which candidates offer suggestions that could improve that service? If it doesn't, what are the alternatives and how will they be achieved, how will they be funded?

How should private and publicly-funded medical communities interact? How can public sector efforts be structured in order to make the most productive contribution to local health care? What should public money provide, what should it not provide, how should our tax dollars be used?

Who among the candidates seems to have the personality and experience needed should the situation not settle following the election, should questions continue to arise concerning the manner in which the district is run, concerning which goals are or are not achieved by the board?

This week's SUN contains our Election Tracker feature for both elections on A10, 11 and 12. In the tracker, candidates answer a set of simple questions. The answers give us preliminary insights into the way each candidate thinks. More important, the answers give voters a foundation on which to base more detailed inquiries, to be directed at candidates as they circulate in public and most especially at the April 20 League of Women Voters candidate forum - a meeting The SUN will report on, for those who cannot attend.

The show is over. We need to bear down hard on the issues and answers, block out the blather from all sides and make up our minds.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Deserted spires stir imagination

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

He stood framed between the two high spires of stone, the wind whipping across his face.

Where, he wondered, will we go? How will we live? What will happen to our ceremonial home here?

He saw the signal fire from far away in the Chaco and knew it was time to go, time to leave this promontory, the once fertile valley below, the annual hunts in the mountains to the north, the treks to the great spring in the east and its healing waters.

What will become of Dancing Deer and our infant girl child, Weather's Blessing, born on the eve of the moon's rise between these spires as a great storm approached?

Fragmented thoughts ran through his mind as he began to descend the secret trail, the one already used by the rest of the tribe to leave their outlook post.

He remembered the giant fish caught from the stream below, the hides which clothed his people after the successful hunts, the fires which burned brightly from the pitchy pine boughs gathered from the slopes below.

The departure was so sudden, the command from the great chief coming as a surprise to many despite the lost battles and bad weather of recent times.

From all directions the families were gathering downstream, their combined destination a mystery, their history to be left in these kivas and huts.

A few ponies were tethered below as three others awaited his announcement that the departure signal had been seen. They were the last, the ones who would remember the emptiness of the night as they left their history behind.

It could have happened that way.

No one knows for sure exactly when, or why, the tribes left Chimney Rock, Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde and other communities of the Anasazi.

Theories abound. Bad weather, poor crops, huge losses to enemy tribes, promise of better life elsewhere.

The mystery has long puzzled archaeologists and students of Native American lore.

Having the ruins of Chimney Rock in our immediate vicinity is a reminder of a great civilization which occupied the stony heights of the Southwest for hundreds of years and then suddenly disappeared.

A recent column in The Denver Post singled out Chimney Rock as indicative of the natural wonders in Colorado which should be X-rated because of their visual appearance. The Salida-based writer, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, suggested it is just one of many natural stone outcroppings in the state that look more like something other than what their name would imply.

He intimated he'd never heard anyone use the real name to describe the outcropping above Devil's Creek but had often heard it given sexual connotations.

More to the point, Chimney Rock has been determined to have been a religious site for the Anasazi. It was one of a group of sites from which signal fires could transmit vital data throughout the nation. And it is still a mystery.


90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of April 17, 1914

The annual municipal expenditures of Pagosa Springs are just about double that of any other town in the state of like population. And we have the worst sidewalks and less to show for the money spent.

Sojourners seeking health and recreation, are already arriving in Pagosa Springs. "The Greatest Spring on Earth" will furnish both.

Just so long as the town is used for a poultry farm ad libitum, there will now be effort on the part of residents to make lawns or improve their premises. The loose stock ordinance is a travesty - sarcasm compounded - when it's a matter of common knowledge that one old busy hen can, in an hour's time, do more damage in a seeded yard than a wild steer in a week.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 19, 1929

The town board completed the purchase of five town lots at the southwest corner of the town limits to be used as city dumping grounds. Arrangements are being made with the state highway department, on a fifty-fifty basis, for the erection of a cable railing on the east side of Pagosa Street, along the San Juan River, from the town hall north to the City Park entrance.

The county commissioners met with E.C. Groves and M.J. Wicklem, architect and contractor of the new court house, and completed arrangements for final acceptance of the new structure. A contract was also entered into with Jos. Pfeiffer of Denver for plumbing and radiation fixtures for the water heating system, the well for same to be drilled during the coming season.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 16, 1954

The bids for the new school were opened this week and the contract was let to H.C. Flaugh of Cortez in the amount of $175,292. His was the low base bid and the addition and subtraction of alternates left him low bidder. Mr. Flaugh is starting construction of the building this week and has October set as the completion date in the contract. He informed the School Board that if materials were readily available and if the weather stayed seasonal, the building would be ready for occupancy at the start of school this fall.

Speeding is starting to get bad again with dry roads and streets. It seems especially bad in the school zone. Parents should caution their children to be particularly careful at the street crossings on Main Street.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 19, 1979

High water is one of the main topics in this area at the present time. Most of the streams are running high, some are backing up behind culverts and bridges, but all are in the banks or floodways at the present time. More warm weather is ahead for the next several days and the streams should continue to rise until they peak. Most of the lower and medium streams should, unless it rains, hit the highest water soon.

The state highway department will be holding a public meeting in South Fork early in May to discuss preliminary plans for the widening and improving of the highway on Wolf Creek Pass. The stretch of highway involved is 19.5 miles long and is between the top of the Pass and South Fork.



Local League of Women Voters provides candidate forums

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Five days from now 18 candidates for two special district elections will gather for a public forum.

It will be a chance for voters to meet the candidates, hear them speak and pose questions.

It's made possible by the Archuleta County League of Women Voters, a group of 45 people bent on providing a nonpartisan venue for voters to educate themselves on candidates and issues.

"I really feel like they provide a service no one else does," said Nan Rowe, voter services committee chair for the local league. This may be especially true in Colorado where it's relatively easy to put something on the ballot.

"We try to structure the forums so that people can understand the issues and make an informed decision," Rowe said. They've been doing that for 10 years, starting when Jenny and John Schoenborn first brought up the idea and made an initial effort to bring people together.

The focus remains on local election forums.

Rowe said all candidates are invited via letter, and members of the group work hard to find both pro and con speakers for each issue.

Candidates who cannot attend in person are allowed to send literature for the public to pick up, but in most cases are not allowed to send someone to speak for them.

On the issues, Rowe said, she usually searches starts with a few phone calls to interest groups in Denver. Most of the time, they can provide local contacts who might speak at a forum. Other times, contact names will come via the newspaper, as in the last election when county voters were asked to decide on a use tax.

"Roy Boutwell wrote an articulate letter to the editor on the use tax last year," she said. "We needed someone so I called him up and he was game to do it." County Commissioner Alden Ecker took the other side of the issue and the forum was on.

If a speaker can be found on just one side of an issue, Rowe said, a public call is made during the forum to try to find a speaker on the other side.

"We try not to seem like we're biased at all," she said.

The forum April 20 may be the league's most challenging to date. It will be their largest. Six candidates for three seats on the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board and 12 candidates vying for six seats on the Upper San Juan Health Service District board will face the voters.

Each candidate will have three minutes for an opening statement. That will be followed by a question and answer session with questions provided by the audience.

Rowe said, as always, questions will be screened prior to being handed to the moderator.

"We try to have screeners be people who are publicly neutral," Rowe said.

No personal attacks will be allowed. Questions must be relevant and not redundant. Questions may be directed at one candidate or all of the candidates for a particular board. In this case, the candidate asked the question will have one minute to respond. Then, the other candidates for the same board will have a minute to respond. Each candidate will have two minutes for closing statements following the question and answer period.

Time, Rowe said, will be the greatest challenge. Her goal is to keep the whole thing to two hours. That, she said, is about the limit for people's attention. The key will be to keep strictly to the time limits.

"The other reason we will have to be strict on time is because these seats are contested," she said. The forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Archuleta County Extension Building. The public will have a half an hour to meet the candidates before the forum begins. For those unable to attend in person, the forum will be broadcast live on KWUF.

Besides informational and candidate forums, Archuleta County league members have gathered for social events and speaker presentations.

The president sets the frequency of league meetings, Rowe said. In the past, some have tried to encourage monthly meetings. Others have had fewer, focusing more on committees. They plan one annual meeting in May and encourage all members to attend.

Archuleta County's newest president, Katherine Cruse, was appointed just last month. She was first introduced to the league in the late-1960s in Pittsburgh. She held an officer position then. From 1970-80 she continued to keep up her membership, but was no longer active. Then, her membership lapsed. When she and husband, Tom, arrived in Pagosa Springs, he once again became active, and she followed.

"I think it's one of the truly democratic organizations in the country," she said. "They have the ability to present points of issues in an unbiased way so people can make informed choices."

According to the national League of Women Voters Web site, "Š Over time, the priorities of the league have changed in order to reflect the altering needs of society. The organization, however, has remained true to its basic purpose: to make democracy work for all citizens."

The league began as an outgrowth of the suffragist movement. It was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association held six months before the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote. The goal, at the time was to help the 20 million women emboldened with a new right prepare for a role in shaping public policy. It was then, and is today, nonpartisan.

On the league Web site the first president, Maud Wood Park, is quoted about the affects of a nonpartisan organization.

"Naturally, this course has failed to please extremists of either brand," she said in 1924. "The partisan radicals call the league conservative, the thoroughgoing reactionaries are sure that it is radical or worse." It is the same today. No league supports or opposes candidates at any level. Many do take action on issues.

Today, 1,000 local leagues and 50 state leagues continue that tradition boasting a total of 130,000 members.

In Arizona, members supported a drive to pass the Citizen's Clean Money, Clean Elections Act, collecting more than 190,000 signatures to put an initiative on a statewide ballot. In Maine, they mounted a similar successful campaign helping to educate voters about the Maine Clean Election Act.

A chapter in Pensacola, Fla., working as a member of a coalition, assisted in development of the Perdido River Walk Nature Trail.

In Pagosa, the role has remained focused on forums. Here, the league neither supports nor opposes candidates or issues. It is purely focused on providing fair and balanced election information on all ballot questions.

When the local league started, Rowe said, it seemed important to stay neutral on everything so as not to alienate anyone. Even today, it's a point of contention. Some group members oppose positions on issues approved at the national league level. Because of that, Rowe said, a year ago the Archuleta County group created the local member category. It costs $15 and every cent stays within the community. However, a member will not receive the educational information provided by state and national leagues. A regular single membership is $50 a year.

Cruse said in the coming months of her presidency she wants to focus on increasing membership, getting out the word that the group is no longer strictly a women's organization; it is open to all.

For more information on the league and its activities, ask a league member at the forum April 20.


Pagosa's Past

Hard times for early settlers in the San Juans

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Adventure was almost an every day, ho-hum event for many of Pagosa Country's pioneers.

Many of them lived through, even fought in, the war between the states. When the war ended, during the late 1860s and early 1870s, they headed west.

By then the West, including Pagosa Country was pretty well explored, but as yet untamed and unexploited.

The big cattle drives from Texas to Kansas railroads were underway. New goldfields were discovered almost yearly. Various Indian nations were fighting a desperate battle to retain the lifestyle they had always known. Custer was still alive. Lawlessness was the rule of the day and men packed guns to protect their families and property.

Just such an environment attracted George Ross and Cordelia Patton. Both had been born in Rockford, Illinois, he in 1837, she in 1842. Not long after their 1862 marriage, the young couple started west.

In Missouri, he served in the standing army of Missouri for a time. Her home was invaded by hungry members of the notorious James gang. She prepared a meal for them and gave them provisions for the road. She always said that, regardless of their bad reputation, they were certainly gentlemen once they were inside the house.

While on the prairies, the flapping of a wagon sheet spooked a team of spirited black horses Mrs. Patton was driving. She was unable to stop them and they ran for miles.

Because trail across the prairies was long and arduous, the Pattons looked fondly toward their next destination where they hoped to rest a few days, take baths, and catch up on their laundry.

Imagine their chagrin when, upon their arrival, they discovered only smoking ashes. They decided to stay anyway, only to reverse the decision when they discovered the body of a dead Indian floating in the well. The family always believed this had been a deliberate ploy by the Indians to foul the water.

In Colorado, the Pattons first settled near Fairplay, a gold camp in South Park. There they became close friends with H.A.W. Tabor, later famed for owning the Matchless Mine at Leadville.

The Pattons settled down to raise cattle in South Park, but were soon discouraged by fighting between sheepmen and cattlemen. His brother-in-law died and was buried in South Park. The departed man's dog refused to leave the gravesite. After the dog was discovered shot, one of the feuders bragged about the deed. Mr. Patton refused to seek revenge. Instead, the family moved again, this time to the San Juans.

They first settled near today's Bayfield, where they lived in a hastily constructed cabin. Pagosa Springs was also starting up about this time. In the spring of 1879, the Pattons took up land on the Florida River, built another cabin with tents providing living space, cleared some land, and looked happily forward to a rosy future. During the late summer, however, Ute Indians burned the home place while they were away.

Not discouraged, they moved yet again, this time taking up land just below the confluence of the Pine and Vallecito rivers. With the Indian threat diminished, Mr. Patton embarked on a 14-month trip to bring 150 cattle back from Texas. He wintered the cattle in New Mexico, then summered them on the lush grasses of the Pine River. That winter, the cattle were put out in the San Bretos Mountains (Sambritos?).

While Mr. Patton had been away, scarlet fever struck the family. Because the nearest doctor was across the mountains in Alamosa, Mrs. Patton dug roots and used herbs found in the nearby mountains to medicate her children. All survived.

Next week, more on the pioneering Patton family, including their account of the healing of an Indian in the Great Pagosa Hot Spring.



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