May 6, 2004 
Front Page
State tests show 3rd grade dip in reading

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Like their counterparts around the state, Pagosa Springs third-graders appear to be on a level course in reading.

But to local school officials, the newest Colorado Student Achievement Profile tests were a little discouraging.

Overall, 74 percent of Pagosa students tested earlier this year were proficient or advanced over grade level, a figure exactly at the statewide average.

That figure, however, is a marked drop from last year's 87 percent, and is down from the 82 percent in 2001 and the 78 percent final in 2002.

Superintendent Duane Noggle said the administration was "not really happy" with the result, but noted "we're looking for a baseline with which to compare cohort groups as they advance in grade level."

Noggle said one major surprise in this year's test results was the performance of female students.

Normally, he said, "they read at a much higher level than the boys in their class. This year it was a 69 percent proficiency for girls as compared to 79 percent for boys," he said.

"We expect the trend to vary up and down each year," he said, "but were not expecting this great a drop in one year."

With 109 students tested locally, 7 percent were rated unsatisfactory, and 18 percent partly proficient.

Comparing Pagosa results to those in other regional communities showed the percentage proficient and advanced to be lower than in five of the six compared.

Bayfield and Durango both reported 89 percent in the category, Ignacio 79 percent, Mancos 76 percent and Telluride at 91 percent. Only Del Norte in the districts compared was lower, at 62 percent.

Del Norte and Mancos, with much smaller numbers of students tested (48 and 33 respectively) had 8 and 9 percent respectively graded as unsatisfactory. Bayfield, Durango and Telluride each had 2, Ignacio none.

The percentage of students reading at an advanced level ranged from 25 in Telluride to 0 in Del Norte and 1 in Bayfield. Durango was at 11 percent, Ignacio at 12, Mancos at 9.

With 74 percent of the state's third-grade students reading at grade level or better, the scores matched the percentage recorded in 2003, according to William Moloney, Colorado commissioner of education.

Statewide, 53,306 third-graders took the reading test in February, according to the Colorado Department of Education.

In the schools used for comparison above, 93 were tested in Bayfield, 317 in Durango, 43 in Ignacio, 48 in Del Norte, 33 in Mancos and 53 in Telluride.

Jared Polis, chairman of the State Board of Education, said he is encouraged by improvements, but the achievement gap between white and minority students is unacceptable.

Progress among minority students remained level. Black third-graders improved from 59 percent scoring proficient or advanced in 2003 to 60 percent at proficient or better this year. For a second year, Asians remained at 75 percent, and Native Americans at 63 percent.

Only Hispanics showed a decrease - going from 56 percent reading at grade level in 2003 to only 54 percent this year.

By comparison, 83 percent of white students scored proficient or above on the test, the same percentage as last year.

Randy DeHoff, vice chairman of the state education board, said the downside of the results is there are 14,000 students who are not reading at grade level.

"While other children are taking art or social studies," he said, "these students have to take extra time to read."

State education board member Evie Hudak said the decline in the performance of Title 1 students - who receive additional funding because they are from disadvantaged backgrounds - shows the "vital importance of the Colorado Preschool Program," which serves poor children. Statewide, Title 1 students dropped from 58 percent performing at grade level or higher to 57 percent meeting that goal.

"Expectations were set pretty high, and we worked them pretty hard," she said.

Third-grade reading scores are released earlier than other scores and grade levels because it provides an opportunity for schools to see whether students are meeting the basic requirements of the Colorado Basic Literacy Act of 1996, Moloney said.

Under the act, school districts cannot pass a child from third to fourth grade for reading classes unless certain tests - including CSAP - show the child progressing.


Challengers sweep health board election

By Tom Carosello and Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writers

After months of contention, dozens of advertisements and weeks of waiting, the Upper San Juan Health Service District election for six board of director seats is over.

Over 45 percent of eligible district voters cast a ballot in the election - approving the five challengers and one incumbent who ran as a group.

Archuleta County Clerk June Madrid said winners for three four-year seats were Bob Goodman, Pam Hopkins and Jim Pruitt. The three two-year seats went to Bob Scott, Neal Townsend and Dick Blide, the lone incumbent to win.

Madrid said 6,951 ballots were mailed. The number of ballots cast was 3,178 with none of the winners receiving fewer than 2,400 votes. Twelve provisional ballots were received that could not be counted because voters failed to include identification. Thirty-eight ballots were rejected, most for lack of a signature on the ballot envelope, Madrid said.

In the four-year term race, with six candidates on the ballot, Pruitt was the top vote-getter at 2,729 votes. He was followed by Goodman with 2,589 votes and Hopkins with 2,443. The losers included Debra Brown, garnering 640 votes, Edward Norman with 397 and Henry Silver with 365.

Directors sitting for two years will include Bob Scott who received 2,635 votes, Neal Townsend who garnered 2,478 votes and Dick Blide who received 2,404 votes. The remaining candidates in the race were Patricia Rydz who earned 563 votes, Dean Sanna with 448 and Jeffrey Schmidt with 362.

The six successful candidates will join Patty Tillerson on the board of directors. Tillerson was the only board member not facing an election this spring.

Madrid, who does not normally oversee special district elections, took over for Dee Jackson, the district's executive director, through an amended intergovernmental agreement signed April 28.

"I feel very confident in the way this election turned out," Madrid said, complimenting the election judges on their hard work Tuesday. The ballots have been sealed and await canvassing.

All results are unofficial until canvassing is finished. Canvassing in this case will be done by Jackson.


On a related note, polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District election.

Unofficial results provided by Carrie Campbell, general manager and election official for the district, indicate Windsor Chacey, Steve Hartvigsen and Bob Huff were the top vote-getters in the race, which also featured candidates Darrel Cotton, Bob Hart and Allan Bunch.

As a result, Chacey, Hartvigsen and Huff are expected to begin their four-year terms by joining incumbents Karen Wessels and Don Brinks at the district board meeting Tuesday night.

Voter turnout in the election, said Campbell, was solid, exceeding tallies of past election years with 474 regular and 93 absentee ballots cast.

"I am surprised, frankly, that we had as many votes as we did," said Campbell. "We are pleased with the turnout."

According to Campbell, among the three candidates winning seats on the board, Chacey garnered the most votes with 365; Hartvigsen received 313 and Huff tallied 294.

Finally, Cotton received 279 votes, while Hart and Bunch received 202 and 116, respectively.


State, local officials warning of possible mortgage scam

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Several state and local officials are warning homeowners to beware of mortgage payoff schemes possibly operating in the area.

Attorney General Ken Salazar, District Attorney Sarah Law, Archuleta County Sheriff W.T. (Tom) Richards and Pagosa Springs Police Chief Donald Volger issued a joint consumer alert Wednesday advising consumers "to be careful in assessing certain homeowner membership clubs being promoted in the Pagosa Springs area.

Of specific concern are out-of-state programs advertised under a variety of different organizations, all of which appear to promote costly buyers' club programs which advertise mortgage loan payoffs for homeowners.

According to the release made by the officials, "this alert is being issued because of inquiries in the Pagosa Springs and Grand Junction areas about certain mortgage loan payoff programs advertised as part of these homeowner membership clubs. Under such advertised programs, consumers are required to pay up to $3,000 for application and membership fees to join the club and to obtain membership benefits such as mortgage loan settlements or payoffs. Some programs advertise that members can pay their monthly mortgage payments directly to the promoters of the program for short periods of time and then receive sufficient funds from affiliated charitable trusts to pay off their entire mortgage loan.

"Another version of the program suggests that upon paying the up front fees, the member's mortgage notes will be paid off in cash by an unnamed private interest foundation. The club claims that the private interest foundation will utilize a 'friendly bank' which will facilitate trading the notes as negotiable instruments using fractional banking, reaping profits of up to 100 percent per month.

"According to the U.S. Treasury Department, these types of claims are hallmarks of 'prime bank' or 'high yield investment' schemes, which have cost victims billions of dollars in recent years.

"These advertised programs claim that their membership services will allow club members to own their homes free and clear and without any further mortgage loan obligations. Similar schemes have appeared in several states in the past, falsely claiming to legally eliminate mortgages for an up-front fee. Homeowners around the country have lost millions of dollars to these schemes.

"Based on the information received by the Pagosa Springs Police Department, these homeowners club programs typically advertise a variety of other membership benefits, including credit repair services, insurance products, and consumer loan services. One homeowners club advertises and offers an 'On-line University,' complete with access to an on-line library and classes teaching members about 'financial independence, investing, and staying debt-free.'

"Contrary to the claims in promotional materials, law enforcement authorities have reason to believe these types of homeowners clubs do not comply with Colorado consumer protection laws prohibiting advance fees for mortgage loans and credit repair services, that these program materials do not comply with the disclosure requirements for buyers' club contracts, and that insurance products and consumer loans are being sold by unlicensed insurance agents and unlicensed supervised lenders.

"'These types of advance fee schemes are illegal in Colorado,' warns Attorney General Salazar. 'The advertised mortgage loan services are either nonexistent or impossible to deliver. The huge sums of money that would be necessary to pay off the mortgage loans for all members will not magically appear. The only apparent purpose of programs like this is to bilk people out of their money,' said Salazar. 'While there may be legitimate programs to pay off mortgage loans quickly, consumers should be wary of something that sounds too good to be true.'

"'The obvious danger of these advance fee schemes is that once all the up-front money is collected, there is no incentive for the promoters to deliver the promised services,' said District Attorney Law. 'Consumers should be very careful about being lured into these illegal schemes because of the near certainty that the local participants in these advertised programs will lose their money, with little chance of ever recovering it.'

"Pagosa Springs Police Chief Volger expressed concerns about the effort to disguise these scam promotions. 'What is disturbing about these membership programs are the attempts by the promoters to make participants believe that the program is perfectly legal and that the promotions fully comply with all federal and state laws. These claims of legality are completely untrue. While the promoters of the program make many claims of spectacular membership benefits, there doesn't appear to be anything in place to back up these claims.'

"The following are tips for consumers to avoid being victims of fraudulent advance fee schemes:

- Be skeptical of advertisements and hype that promise unusually attractive financial benefits, profits, or monetary windfalls. These promoters are not in the business of giving away a lot of money. They are in the business of making money

- Check out the company's track record. Are they registered with government authorities? Have they ever delivered the promised benefits? Are financial statements available from the companies?

- Be careful of financial programs or investment opportunities which hide the promoter's true identity, and which fail to adequately describe the individuals, organizations, and businesses behind the program

- Avoid investments in programs that try to create an air of legitimacy by constant references to complex banking rules and regulations, and which refer to complicated financial documents and transactions. Also, legitimate promotions do not need to advertise that they are in compliance with all federal and state laws

- Avoid programs requiring payments of cash or cash equivalents, especially to organizations located outside of Colorado. If something goes wrong, it will be difficult to locate your money

- Do not fall for advance fee schemes. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

"Anyone with information concerning suspected unlawful advance fee lending and credit repair schemes should contact their local police, sheriff, and district attorney offices. In addition, individuals who have lost money through such fraudulent promotional schemes may file small claims or county court actions against the local promoters or independent contractors advertising these programs. Consumer remedies available under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act include treble damages and mandatory attorney fees and costs."


Eighth arrest made in series of burglaries

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

And then there were eight.

Eight arrests made in a string of burglaries around Archuleta County this fall and winter.

Archuleta County Detective George Daniels said Shawn Wester, 25, of Pagosa Springs has been charged with four counts of burglary and aggravated vehicle theft in connection with the burglaries.

Law enforcement officers in Lakewood recovered a vehicle stolen as part of these burglaries in March during a traffic stop. Daniels said information from suspects arrested with the vehicle and other collaborating statements from offenders led to the most recent arrest. Daniels said other arrests are pending.

Archuleta County Lieutenant T.J. Fitzwater said the suspects do not appear to have been operating as an organized group. Apparently, separate pods of people were out committing the same crimes at the same time, "but not in unison with each other," he said. The cases are being treated separately.

The one connection is drugs, Fitzwater said. The motivation for the crimes seems to have been to sell or trade the stolen items for a variety of illegal drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.

The first report in this string of burglaries was filed in November. More followed in December, January and February.

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

 Inside The Sun
Mayor's Council discusses strategic plan and goals

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs: A real town with an unreal lifestyle.

That is the positioning statement recently presented to a group of about 30 invited together by members of the Mayor's Council for the Future of Pagosa Springs.

The statement was created by a consulting firm out of California, hired by members of the mayor's council, to consider a plan for addressing growth, planning and marketing for Pagosa Springs.

The question, Philip Dubrow, of Marshall Strategy, said, is not whether Pagosa Springs will grow. It will. The question is whether or not that growth can be directed in a way that maintains the things Pagosans enjoy about the community.

After conducting several interviews, considering current planning documents and reviewing other towns in the region, Dubrow said, it became clear that Pagosa's real draw is its relative normalcy set down in the midst of some incredible natural resources.

Some of the things that make Pagosa a "normal" town are its economic diversity, multicultural population, varied life-styles, community spirit, walkable downtown, local merchants, support for schools, multiple generations and range of housing.

What makes it unreal is its amazing natural resources right in the heart of downtown.

Still, he said, some of this lifestyle could be threatened in coming years through uncontrolled growth, urban blight and a struggling economy. Addressing these issues takes foresight, planning and unity.

Dubrow and consultant Marianna Leuschel said implementation of a positioning strategy - to help Pagosa Springs achieve its goals - would include imaging, outreach to key audiences, planning, programming and events.

The consultants presented ideas for tools to put the visioning statement out for others to see, including a poster series and a logo of sorts for merchandising, what key audiences to market to, the sequencing of reaching those audiences and how to draw crowds on the "shoulder seasons" when tourist numbers are lower to help local businesses stay afloat.

As far as planning, they suggested starting with a focus on the downtown area in the short term and working to define that center of the community. They suggested combining Lewis and Pagosa streets and Hot Springs Boulevard into one planning area and creating a master plan. They also outlined opportunities for using public relations tools to market the community in travel or lifestyle publications. Priorities listed in the presentation for year one included: developing and piloting the image, or poster campaign featuring real people from Pagosa enjoying the unreal recreational opportunities, developing a long-range fiscal plan, defining the scope of the "Real Town" planning, or downtown area, fostering government cooperation, launching a lodging tax initiative to help fund a strategic positioning plan and develop marketing plans.

Since then, the Mayor's Council, which consists of representatives from the town, county, school board, local business-people and property owners, has been working to put together a presentation to a larger group for greater feedback and organization.

At a meeting May 3, Town Manager Mark Garcia said it would be important to solidify a mission statement the group could keep coming back to for focus. Possible organizational concepts and flow charts were also briefly discussed.

Discussion regarding the positioning statement, the future organization of the mayor's council and possible alternatives for taking the first steps in the proposal will continue May 13 during another meeting with the consultants.


Chess-checkers tourney and gourmet breakfast support youth ambassador trips

The Archuleta County Education Center's Youth-to-Work program participants will sponsor two fund-raising events as their service learning activity.

The first, a chess and checkers tournament will be 5-8 p.m. Friday, May 7, and the second, a gourmet pancake breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 8.

Both events will be in the center at 4th and Lewis streets.

Money collected during the events will be used to support Becca Stephens as she represents the U.S. and Pagosa Springs by traveling to England and Holland as a member of the People to People Sports Ambassadors Program, and will provide an opportunity for two teens from Norther Ireland to visit Pagosa Springs through the Children's Friendship Project of Northern Ireland.

For information, call Jenine Marnocha at 731-3167.


Land use decisions, properly studied, can make great communities happen

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Do you sometimes have trouble keeping everyone in order at public get-togethers?

Goldman, Robbins and Rogers, LLP offers a bit of advice.

If all else fails, says the three-member law firm currently serving as Archuleta County's legal counsel, try the blood sugar approach.

"Bring candy."

The lighthearted suggestion was one measure deemed worthwhile "for running an effective public meeting" - one of several notions outlined by attorney Jeff Robbins at an April 28 round-table discussion in the county courthouse.

"You throw a bunch of Jolly Ranchers on the table ... people are going to calm down," mused Robbins.

Numerous county employees, the board of commissioners and the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission attended the informal session, which served to enlighten and refresh attendees' understandings of appropriate, legal "rules, roles and responsibilities" when land-use decisions are concerned.

Consistently employing sound practices in land-use decisions, said Robbins, can help to ensure that while everyone who participates "might not be happy with the result ... all thought it was fair."

Robbins began the presentation with a summary of basic, due-process considerations as they relate to public hearings, with fellow attorneys Michael Goldman and Sheryl Rogers occasionally supplying insight on subsequent topics.

Fairness, impartiality, honesty and integrity are requirements of any public hearing, said Robbins, as are timely, correct meeting notices and the provision of "meaningful opportunity to be heard."

Next came an explanation of the difference between "quasi judicial" and "quasi legislative" decisions.

In short, quasi judicial decisions "could adversely affect interest of a limited number of people, rather than the general public."

They are decisions reached by applying legal standards or policies to a specific proposal (applying the county land-use regulations to a limited-impact use permit, etc.).

Key to such decisions, said Goldman, are fairness and the notion of "thinking like a judge."

Quasi legislative decisions are those that affect the general public - adoption of an ordinance, regulation, etc. or amendments to existing regulations.

A grasp of the difference between the two types of decisions, said Goldman, is essential to a board or commission's subsequent understanding and avoidance of "ex parte" contacts.

Applicable only to quasi judicial decisions, the ex parte rule forbids communication between board members and applicants or opponents that occurs outside the public hearing in which approval or denial of a proposal will be determined.

Forbidden communication includes not only verbal exchanges, but written material and e-mail as well.

Violations are often incidental and difficult to avoid, said Robbins - perhaps the unintentional result of a chance meeting with "Joe Smith" in the grocery store, for example.

"All of a sudden you're in the middle of an ex parte contact and you didn't realize it," said Robbins.

When such cases arise, board members should immediately end the discussion and encourage the individual to address his or her concerns at the hearing, said Robbins, either in person or in writing.

If the violation is minor, board members should disclose the information at the onset of a public hearing and "answer the question (whether) you can render an impartial decision."

In severe cases, it may be necessary to disclose, step down and not vote, leaving the hearing room without further participation.

Furthermore, extreme ex parte contact can result in invalidation of a board's decision, said Robbins.

Related commentary centered on identifying and avoiding conflicts of interest.

According to Robbins, "family relationships" and "financial connections" are the qualifying "yes" factors when trying to determine if a potential conflict of interest exists.

If one or both exist, board members have three rules to consider when dealing with an apparent conflict: disclosing the information in question and abstaining from a vote; voting anyway, but disclosing the information to the secretary of state's office; and participating in a question-and-answer session to establish a "lack of bias" and capability of impartiality.

In summary, "The harder it is to make the call, the more likely it is you should recuse yourself," explained Robbins.

A subsequent briefing involved discussion of preferred procedures for conducting fair public hearings and maintaining order throughout.

Suggestions included ensuring public comment be limited to relevant testimony on land-use application (one speaker at a time), that all comments be directed to the board/commission only (no cross examination among participants) and that a simple list of such rules be read aloud at the onset of each hearing.

Also covered were outlines of acceptable criteria for variance considerations, effective methods of applying "the comprehensive plan" and the extreme importance of timely and defensible land-use decisions based on solid application of current county codes.

One of the last topics addressed was a summary list of what the board of commissioners/planning commission "is and isn't" with reference to land-use decisions and applications.

Among descriptions listed under "isn't" - "committees of compassion," "applause-o-meters" and "applicant's unpaid staff."

In addition, the attorneys indicated a board or commission should never act as the "mechanic who has to 'fix' the application."

According to Rogers, giving indications of what might be acceptable in a certain instance rather than rendering a decision based on the information present at a hearing is unacceptable.

"In fact, it's dangerous," she said, before explaining that "conditional approvals" are fine so long as any conditions added to an application are based on "concrete evidence," apply the code and are not purely hypothetical.

Finally, last week's meeting was aimed at encouraging decision makers to establish "a good record," concluded Robbins - whether applying current regulations, or developing new codes that "should move and ebb with the county as it develops."


Town sets clean-up week May 23-30

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Get out those buckets and brooms. Roll up those sleeves. Take stock of the junk.

Spring clean-up week, May 23-30, for the Town of Pagosa Springs is just around the corner.

During the designated week, Dumpsters will be placed at several different locations for trash dropoff, junk cars can be towed away and junk will be picked up along the street rows.

Chapter 11 of the town's municipal code outlines the definition of junk and the procedures for addressing problems.

According to the ordinance, "Junk means old motor vehicles, auto bodies or parts, old rubber tires, old farm machinery, refrigerators and all other abandoned personal property or other appliances stored out in the open on public or private property."

When defining "junk," the municipal court is asked to consider whether a vehicle has been licensed in the past two years, whether the vehicle is in good operating condition, whether property is aesthetically pleasing or an eyesore, the state of weeds growing in or around the vehicle or property, whether the property is stored in an enclosed building and whether the property was being used for its original purpose.

According to a letter going out to town residents this week, the Dumpsters for trash will be placed in Town Park and South Pagosa Park May 22. The town, in cooperation with several other agencies, will also provide Dumpsters on South 6th Street, South 9th Street and North 6th Street throughout the week.

Anyone with junk vehicles may call Town Hall, 264-4151, to request that they be removed during clean-up week. The number of cars that can be removed by the town is limited, so call early.

Town employees will remove larger items, such as old lumber or appliances, from along the street rows as scheduled:

- Monday, May 24 - North Pagosa, Western addition to Third Street. (This includes the downtown alley and the portion of Pagosa Hills inside town limits.)

- Tuesday, May 25 - North Pagosa, Third Street to River Center and Hermosa Street

- Wednesday, May 26 - East of the river, San Juan Street to South Town Border

- Thursday, May 27 - South Pagosa, West of the river to Eighth Street and Piedra Estates

- Friday, May 28 - South Pagosa, Eighth Street to Garvin Addition.

Household trash will not be picked up from the street rows. This must be placed in the free Dumpsters. Larger items must be placed along the road right-of-way. Employees will go onto personal property to remove junk only in cases where a hardship of some kind exists and only when the landowner is present. If a hardship exists, please call 264-4151, Ext. 238 as soon as possible to make special arrangements.

The town cannot pick up or removed hazardous material or motors. Freon must be removed from all refrigerators prior to pickup.

The town will also continue its residential tree program. Under this program, the town agrees to pay half the price of a tree planted between the front of a residence and a town street. For more information and restrictions, please call the parks and recreation office at 254-4151, Ext. 231.


Ken Salazar coming here next week

Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Ben Nighthorse Campbell, will bring his campaign to Pagosa Springs Wednesday, May 12.

Salazar will greet voters in the Pagosa Springs Community Center conference room at a coffee and questions session scheduled to begin 7:30 a.m.

Mayor Ross Aragon said the early hour is necessitated by a tight flight schedule for the candidate.

Salazar was raised in the nearby San Luis Valley. The retiring Campbell lives in Ignacio, and many believe this region needs to keep a voice in the U.S. Congress.

Salazar's key opponent for the Democratic nomination appears to be Colorado Springs educator Mike Miles who already has made two campaign appearances in Pagosa Springs.

The winner will face off against either brewery giant Pete Coors - with the backing of Gov. Bill Owens - or former District 4 U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer, who are vying for the Republican nomination.


San Juan restoration forum open to public

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Anyone interested in the next stage of river restoration on the San Juan through Pagosa Springs is invited to attend a public forum May 12, 6 p.m., at Town Hall. Refreshments will be served.

Julie Jessen, special projects director for the Town of Pagosa Springs, will present a conceptual plan for phase II of the San Juan Restoration Project. This project will focus on the river from the pedestrian footbridge behind the courthouse south to the Apache Street bridge.

Jessen said the purpose of the meeting is to receive input from people who use the river to determine which direction to take the restoration. Objectives and goals for the project could focus on natural aesthetics, fishing, boating or rafting, or some combination of these and other uses.

For more information on the project or the meeting, call Jessen at Town Hall, 264-4151, Ext. 226.


Baby Bottle Boomerang Day at Pregnancy Center

Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center will have its third annual Baby Bottle Boomerang fund drive this Sunday in area churches.

Each church has a baby bottle in which donations to support the center can be made.

All the bottles will be delivered to the center on South Eighth Street Sunday.

Private citizens who would like to participate may pick up a bottle at the center and return it on Mothers Day.

It is a way for everyone to help defray costs of operating the center for young families in the area.

The center will start a building program this year.

The center provides care and compassion to those in need along with relevant information and resources, all free of charge. In the past five-plus years more than 400 have been served.

For more information call the center at 264-5963.


Parent-Child Family Night is tonight

The last Parent and Child Together - Family Night for this school year is scheduled 5:30-7 p.m. today at Archuleta County Education Center, 4th and Lewis streets.

Activities for the evening include art projects for the home and Mothers Day. A dinner of Spanish rice and chili beans will be served. While there is no cost, call 264-2835 to preregister your family.


McInnis aide will visit May 25

Jane Zimmerman, Durango office manager for U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Grand Junction, will be in Pagosa Springs Tuesday, May 25, 3-4 p.m. in the county commissioners' meeting room.

Citizens having problems with a federal agency or those who would like to relay their position on a given issue to McInnis are encouraged to visit with Zimmerman.


When you're moving, remember it can be stressful for your pets

Moving to a new home is arguably and understandably stressful for humans. You are packing, switching utilities and writing a to-do list a mile long.

But amid the pile of boxes, pet owners shouldn't forget about moving's impact on their furry little friends. There are steps you can take to ensure pets are comfortable during the move and in their new surroundings.

While you may be living out of a suitcase and eating off paper plates, be sure to maintain your pet's routine. Take him on his regular walk. Serve up his favorite food but don't give him something new. Treats sound good in theory, but a disruption in diet can make your pet sick.

When planning to relocate your pet, decide how you'll transport him - by car, plane or another mode of transportation. A car ride is least likely to upset him, but you must prepare your pet for the ride.

Consider purchasing a restraining harness or pet carrier and get him accustomed to it. Plan to stop often to let your pet exercise and relieve himself (about every two hours). And never leave your pet in a parked car, especially in the summer when it can overheat.

Consult your veterinarian if your pet doesn't like car rides. He may be able to provide medication or behavior training. (He can also make sure your pet has the right vaccines, medicine and health certificates for where you'll be moving.)

If you are flying to your new home, see if you can take your pet on the flight with you. Just be sure to check with your airline carrier on its rules and restrictions. In addition, plan to visit your veterinarian prior to your flight. You'll likely need to present the airline with your pet's current health certificate.

On moving day, you'll want to keep your pet comfortable and out of the way. Hire a pet sitter, or put him in an empty and quiet room with a sign that says "Do Not Enter." Another option is to board the pet at a kennel for the day.

Just as familiar objects comfort humans in a new and scary situation, the same goes for pets. Pack food, water, medicine, bed, litter box, water bowls and favorite toys in a box that is easily accessible in the car or when you arrive at your new home.

Don't wash toys or blankets before the move - the familiar smell will provide a sense of comfort to the pet. Don't forget to order some new identification tags for your pet with your contact information. Until it arrives, construct a temporary tag in case your pet gets lost.


Fiscal reform too important for the unappealing options

Sen. Isgar's Report

I'm sitting at my desk on the Senate floor, listening to debates on bills, and starting to write. It is Friday morning - the last before the final hectic days of the session and I am looking out the window at the snow.

The moisture is needed up here and, luckily, we've been more fortunate back home. My son Matt called Thursday afternoon to tell me he had just planted some alfalfa and grass and that it was starting to rain. It's the kind of event you always want but seldom get.

Just yesterday, we passed House Bill 1256, regarding water and drought relief plans. Last year I worked hard to make sure that the slew of bills being pushed as short-term drought relief measures lived up to their name. We wanted their scope defined, their time limited, and their use only as frequent as necessary.

For example, one bill allowed for interruptible water supplies, but only until the end of the calendar year following a governor designated drought. The bill coming over from the House this year removed the drought requirement and would limit the interruptible supply plans to three years out of ten.

Although nearly everyone in the Senate was in support of the added flexibility in these plans, my position was that I wanted to take another look at the bill's provisions that were intended to prevent injury to other water rights.

In last year's bill, a potentially injured party could make comments to the Division Water Engineer and then appeal to the Division Water Court if the party's concerns were not addressed. These provisions are still in the bill, but they are now contingent upon anticipating future injury, possibly several years in advance.

In short, I didn't think this was adequate. Without the drought requirement, there could be a delay in implementing interruptible supply plans. I can think of situations where these plans could be placed on ditches that have been existence for over a hundred years; the impact would be difficult to know with certainty until after the plan was in effect.

Therefore, I amended the bill to allow an injured party the opportunity to make additional comments to the division engineer, and potentially to the Water Court until Jan. 1 of the year following the implementation of the plan. With the sponsor of the bill's support, the amendment passed unanimously.

Follow up

Just to follow up from last week: Efforts to reform TABOR and Amendment 23 hit a snag when the Senate pulled the rug out from several proposals. The most promising constitutional amendment, HCR 1010, was drafted by the Joint Budget Committee, but failed on a party-line vote in the tough State Affairs Committee.

Many of us hoped that the JBC proposal held enough middle ground to pass the Legislature, and could be adjusted to garner the support of the citizens group, the Coalition for Colorado. However, there were enough TABOR purists on the State Affairs Committee to reject the amendment's compromised language.

After the JBC proposal was off the table, we tried to incorporate its provisions into other proposals, but ran into further difficulties, either because their titles were too specific for broad amendments or because we were short on votes. Eventually we might reconsider an amendment by Sen. Mark Hillman, integrated with the JBC's language, along with other plans that still might come from the House.

The bottom line is that fiscal reform is too important for us to pick from a short list of unappealing options. In these last few days, we're working under the possibility that the governor will call us into special session if we don't pass something on to the voters. But we shouldn't cave in to voting for something we don't like.


Citizen ballot initiative targets tobacco products

Rep. Larson's Report

Much of the discussion in the Legislature this year has centered around constitutional amendments and how citizen initiated ballot measures passed over the last decade have created imbalances within the state budget.

Citizens have dictated Colorado's tax policy at the polls regarding taxation, revenue retention, spending limits and spending prioritization. Consequently the role of the Legislature has been severely hampered.

As the General Assembly wrestles with concurrent resolutions to refer to the voters in an attempt to reconcile these incongruencies, yet another proposal to change the constitution and mandate how revenue is to be spent looms on the horizon. This week the House said, "Enough!"

A coalition of nonprofit organizations has banded together and crafted an initiative (which has already received approval to begin obtaining signatures) to be placed on the ballot next November. This constitutional amendment would raise the tax on tobacco products ($.64 per pack of cigarettes and 20 percent on tobacco products) and spend the proceeds on health care programs. This tax increase would raise a steady stream of funding for various programs, including tobacco education programs, Children's Health care Plan Plus (CHP+), comprehensive primary care assistance, etc. ... all worthy programs the Legislature is currently funding. The reason the initiative is being brought appears to be driven by a fear that the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement will be securitized, or if it isn't, the funding available from the agreement will not be utilized for tobacco health related programs. Given that a securitization bill passed the Senate last week, these fears are very legitimate.

HB04-1455, "Elimination of State Appropriations on January 1, 2005," is a bill that will, for all intents and purposes, defeat the purpose of the tobacco resolution before it is even voted on. The language in the initiative states that revenues raised by the initiative "shall be used to supplement revenues that are appropriated by the General Assembly for health related purposes on (January 1, 2005) and shall not be used to supplant those appropriated revenues." Clearly the intent of the initiative is to lock in existing appropriations to tobacco related and low income children's health care issues and assure that the new revenue does not become the only source for these programs. Therein lies the rub.

Over the past three budgets the Legislature has had to go to extraordinary lengths to preserve many programs and services. Due to constitutional amendments, federal mandates and caseload increases, 65 percent of the budget is already allocated before we even get it. Legislators bristle at the thought that yet another constitutional initiative could further handcuff their ability to appropriate funds. And, having just won a battle against the governor wanting to do the very same thing, it seems that we are constantly fighting to preserve our constitutional power of appropriation.

Having said all that, I am also very sensitive to the citizen groups who have seen other states waste the Tobacco Settlement funds through securitization schemes or completely unrelated expenditures. Their proposal at least allows a two-thirds override by the Legislature in recessions or emergencies. Many legislators say that is not enough and HB04-1455 passed the house on a 42 "yes," 23 "no" vote ( I was the only Republican "no" vote.)

Being very torn by this issue I voted "no" in the realization that the coalition brought this initiative while meeting every legal requirement under current law. For the Legislature to pass preemptive measures,  for whatever reason, without the voters first having a chance to vote on it, just does not sit well with me.

Plenary powers should be applied fairly and evenly, not to change the rules in the middle of the game.


Routine maintenance can keep your vehicle in top, safe shape

Preventive and routine maintenance of your vehicle is essential to keep it running in tip-top shape, not to mention keeping you and your passengers as safe as possible while driving.

Here are a few tips you can follow, as recommended by Shell, from its "Smart Car Care" booklet written with assistance from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Federal Highway Administration and the National Safety Council.

- Keep your vehicle well oiled. A regular oil change is the service most likely to prolong the life of your vehicle. Infrequent changes will cause additives in the oil to break down, leading to increased wear and tear on your engine.

To keep your vehicle running smoothly:

- Check the oil level regularly. For an accurate reading of your oil level, shut off the engine, remove the dipstick, wipe it with a clean cloth or paper towel and then reinsert it. Remove the dipstick again to "read" the oil level

- Change the oil every 3,000 miles or every three months, whichever comes first, unless your manufacturer recommends otherwise. Some newer vehicles need less frequent oil changes

- Replace the oil filter with every change.

Check fluids regularly.

Engine oil is not the only fluid your vehicle needs to run properly. Other vital fluids include brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid and coolant. Checking them regularly can prevent breakdowns and costly repairs. Your owner's manual can show you where fluids are, how to check them, the type your vehicle uses and how much should be in each "reservoir."

Make sure your battery is working properly.

Many people never think of vehicles as being "electronic," but they are complex machines with many electronic components, ranging from the radio to onboard computers. The battery provides the primary source of power for these electronic components, so it is important to make sure it is working properly.

Batteries fail for various reasons, including insecure mounting, frequent "deep cycling" (the recharging of a dead battery) and dirty or poor connections. Have the battery checked with every oil change, but don't wait until your battery fails before you replace it. Vehicles that are three years old or older are most likely to experience battery failure.

Check wipers and washer fluid periodically.

Ninety percent of all driving decisions are based solely on visual cues. That's why car-care experts recommend wipers be changed once a year for cars that are parked inside and two to three times a year for cars that are parked outside. Inspect the wiper blades whenever you clean your windshield.

But, do not wait until the rubber is worn or brittle to replace them. A blade is wearing out if it streaks and smears the water rather than wiping it away. Most of the time, only the rubber squeegee, usually called the "refill," needs to be replaced. Take the old rubber squeegee with you to the store if you are buying a blade so you can compare sizes.

Make sure all lights are in working order.

Lights are one of your vehicle's most important safety features. They help you and other drivers make decisions based on visual cues. However, recent statistics indicate that 20 percent of vehicles tested are operating with at least one external light not functioning. Therefore, it is important to check your lights often to ensure they are clean and in good working order. Inspect headlights (both low and high beams), parking lights, blinkers, taillights and brake lights.

Pay attention to your tires.

Many factors affect the life of your tires: weather, inflation, vehicle alignment and wheel balance. Perhaps the easiest factor to control is your driving behavior. Practice good driving habits like these to help extend the life of your tires:

- obey posted speed limits

- avoid fast starts, stops and turns

- avoid potholes and other objects on the road

- do not run over curbs or hit your tires against the curb when parking

- do not overload your vehicle. Refer to your vehicle's tire information owner's manual for the maximum recommended load.

You also should check your tires - including the spare - at least once a month for proper inflation and tread wear. A tire can deflate about one pound per square inch (psi) for every 10 F drop in temperature. When the temperature rises, pressure may increase. Check your tires when they are cold - that is, when your vehicle has not been used for at least three hours.

For proper tire inflation, refer to your owner's manual or the label on the driver's side door edge or in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Don't be confused by the number molded into the sidewall of your tire; it is the tire's maximum - not recommended - inflation.

While these tips will help lengthen the life of your vehicle and enhance the safety of its occupants, they are not a substitute for the recommendations of a qualified auto technician or your vehicle's owner's manual.

Preventive maintenance will minimize the chance for breakdowns, it is important to be prepared by traveling with an emergency kit that includes water, jumper cables, flashlight, flares and basic tools - and a cell phone.


Chaparral Council Girl Scouts to mark camp anniversary

By Jennifer Kemp

Special to The PREVIEW

Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council's resident camp, Rancho del Chaparral, is celebrating 35 years of providing girls and adults outdoor experiences and memories.

Past Girl Scout members, current Girl Scout members, and the community are invited to attend the 35th anniversary celebration 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 17 at the camp.

Activities will include a memorial dedication to Captain Tamara Long-Archuleta, a former Chaparral Girl Scout, who was tragically killed in 2003 while flying her Air Force helicopter in Afghanistan; viewing an Air Force helicopter display; the Wengerd Craft Center dedication; and visiting with special Girl Scout alumnae during the day.

The event costs $15 per person; children under 5 years old are free. The fee covers the activities for the day, lunch, and a commemorative patch. To register for the event, contact Melissa R. Bruney, Director of Fund Development, at (505) 343-1040, Ext. 3402 or e-mail

To volunteer, join, or contribute, call (505)343-1040, (800) 658-6768, or visit our Web site at


Rising Stars fund-raisers scheduled

By Stephanie Jones

Special to The PREVIEW

The Rising Stars of Pagosa Springs has scheduled several fund-raisers this summer to support its many programs.

The Rising Stars is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the lifestyles of individuals, families and youth through cultural awareness, physical activity, creativity, education and the arts.

June 4 the group will have a "Great Date Auction" at Monte-zuma's from 6-9 p.m. The evening will include live music, an appetizer buffet and your chance to bid on several date packages, some including babysitting. There will also be a singles auction. Tickets can be purchased at the Rising Stars building at 1860 Majestic Drive or from any Rising Stars board of directors member.

For additional information call Jennifer at 731-6983.

The organization will also have three large "More than a yard sale" days June 12, July 10 and Aug. 14 at 1860 Majestic Drive from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Booth spaces can be rented to sell your items or you can clean out your closet and donate to a worthy cause.

There will be activities for children including a jump-o-line and face painting.

The upcoming rising Stars Summer Camp combines art, drama, dance, music, gymnastics and swimming in its program. For information on the Rising Stars and the fund-raisers, call 731-6983.


Post prom party a success

By Joanne Irons

Special to the PREVIEW

Parents and volunteers hosted a successful inaugural post-prom party at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Students filled the rooms ready to play casino games, human bowling, laser tag and bouncy boxing. Temporary tattoos were a big hit and students lined up all night for Cindy Carothers and her volunteers to apply them. The movie room, game room and DJ Michael Murphy offered other things for the students to do.

The Bistro served pizza, subs and coffees from WolfTracks all night long. The Pagosa Idol contest was won by Danae Holloman. Hypnotist Jim Emanuel captivated the audience with his amazing ability to get participants to quack like ducks, act like beauty queens and sing Justin Timberlake songs.

The drawing for a laptop computer donated by Pagosa Springs Board of Realtors took place near 5 a.m. and winner Danielle Jaramillo went home tired and smiling. Other prizes included a mountain bike from Pedal Power, a MP3 player from Radio Shack, and a DVD player from Vectra Bank.

Rumor has it the students would love to see this again next year. Parents and volunteers agree - they'll be back.


Adventure race logo winner selected

The senior art class at Pagosa Springs High School recently participated in a competition to create a logo for Pagosa Springs "newest outdoor event" - LungBuster 2004.

The event, planned Sept. 11, is a one-day adventure race and will attract participants from the Four-Corners region.

Adventure racing is one of the fastest growing sports and attracts men and women who have expendable income and they are "into" the outdoors.

Pagosa Springs not only provides the perfect venue for a race like this, but it is hoped it will become a destination to which many people will return because they have discovered what a great place this is.

Students of Charla Ellis' art class participated in a mock graphic design assignment where they received input from Carole Walters, the race director. They then had one week to prepare their first round of designs, which Walters critiqued. Several students then refined their designs for another round of review, from which the final selection was made.

The selected logo was designed by Victoria Stanton and will be used on the event Web site, on racers' and volunteers' T-shirts and posters.

If you are interested in more information about this event, contact Walters at 731-2829 or visit the Web site.


Audition dates set for Boosters show

Open auditions for singers, dancers, and solo instrumentalists wishing to perform in the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters' July production "The Hills Are Alive" will be held in the high school band room Friday, May 14, from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.

This original musical revue is fashioned around the music of Richard Rodgers and the words of Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammer-stein II. It will be presented at Pagosa Springs High School on the evenings of July 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Those auditioning should be prepared to present a short showcase number once through. They will also be asked to follow a simple dance step demonstration. Everyone should bring his or her own music, as an accompanist will be provided. (Singing to a tape or CD is not acceptable.)

If possible, the audition song should be one written by Richard Rodgers (many of which are available at the Ruby Sisson Library).

Given the format and nature of this production, cast members will be responsible for setting their own individual rehearsal schedules. Full ensemble rehearsals will be held only on the week of the show.

For music or audition information, call John Graves at 731-9863, or Lisa Hartley at the High School, 264-2231 Ext. 329.


Chimney Rock site opening soon, daily tours offered

By Dahrl Henley

Special to The PREVIEW

The Chimney Rock Archeological Area will open to the public Saturday, May 15.

Daily guided walking tours take you past stone structures built 1,000 years ago while tour guides present current archaeological theory about the Ancient Puebloan culture at Chimney Rock and its relationship to Chacoan culture.

"Each tour is unique," said Dick Moseley, an 11-year volunteer at the site. "The archaeological information forms the basis for each tour, but tour guides emphasize different aspects of life at Chimney Rock based on their expertise and interests." Moseley adds, "I like my guests to think about how the people who lived here over a thousand years ago - lived their day-to-day lives."

In addition to the daily tours, the association is offering geology and pottery workshops, Full Moon programs, solstice and equinox programs and cultural events including Puebloan Indian Dancers, and a special program depicting everyday life at Chimney Rock. These programs are open to the public.

Of special interest in 2004 is the beginning of an 18-year Northern Lunar Standstill cycle.

From 2004 through 2008 the moon will rise farther north along the horizon than normally happens. During a portion of the Northern Lunar Standstill cycle the moonrise will appear between Chimney Rock and Companion Rock. Archaeologists theorize that the Chacoan structures built near the top of Chimney Rock were constructed to coincide with the cycles of the Northern Lunar Standstill. "We are pleased that we can share this natural phenomena with our guests," Glen Raby, U.S. Forest Service Chimney Rock site manager, said.

Volunteers with the newly formed Chimney Rock Interpretive Association staff the archeological site and work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to provide information, programs and workshops that reflect the history and culture at Chimney Rock.

The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association welcomes anyone who shares an interest in the archeology of the area to join the association.

Regular tours are given at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., as well as 1 and 2 p.m. every day May 15-Sept.30. For more information, call (970) 264-2287, or access the Web site at

New pact designed to manage water uses in national forest

The United States Forest Service, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and the Colorado Water Conservation Board have signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to work together toward managing the water resources on National Forest System lands in Colorado.

The memorandum establishes a framework for the U.S. Forest Service, the DNR, private permit holders, and owners of water rights and facilities to collaborate on issues regarding the management of water and water uses on the National Forest lands in Colorado.

Rick Cables, U.S. Forest Service regional forester called the agreement historic. "Colorado is the headwaters of the nation and I see this as a first step to getting out of the courtroom and focusing more on the management of water, our most precious resource."

Russell George, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources said, "This document will foster a cooperative relationship utilizing decisions made at the local and state level, guided by Colorado's unique hydrology and climate. A primary responsibility of the DNR is to protect and manage Colorado's water, and this agreement is a new way of doing just that, while at the same time recognizing federal and state authorities, laws and regulations."

The agreement states that both agencies will explore creative ways to assure the continual operation of water use facilities on Forest Service land while conserving the aquatic resources. Both agencies agree to work quickly on projects to demonstrate cooperative efforts.

"We're going to try to spend less money on litigating water battles and more money working together to protect and manage our water resource," added Cables.

"It's in the public interest to find reasonable solutions to this challenging natural resource issue by using tools like this cooperative agreement," said George. "The people of Colorado, the wildlife and fish and ultimately the water resources of the state will be the winners because of this historic accord."


Voluntary conservation measures to benefit endangered species

Assistant Secretary of the Interior Craig Manson announced revised regulations last week that will encourage private landowners to undertake voluntary conservation measures on their property to benefit threatened, endangered and at-risk species.

The new regulations will improve the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Safe Harbor and Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances policies by providing clearer definitions and more certainty to property owners, Manson said.

"Both Safe Harbors and CCAAs have proven to be powerful tools to promote conservation and recovery of imperiled species," Manson said. "The revised regulations we are issuing today will encourage more landowners to participate in this voluntary conservation by spelling out more clearly the terms and conditions of the agreements."

"Safe Harbor agreements have been a very effective way of enlisting the cooperation of private landowners in conserving endangered species," said Michael J. Bean of Environmental Defense, an organization that helped develop the first such agreements nearly a decade ago. "These changes should facilitate the even broader use of this creative new conservation approach by farmers, ranchers and forest landowners."

Under a Safe Harbor agreement, private landowners agree to take actions on their property to benefit species that are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. In return, they receive assurances that their conservation measures will not lead to further restrictions on the use of the land if they lead to an increase in the population of the species on the property.

CCAAs are similar agreements except that they apply to species that are either proposed for listing under the Act or are on the candidate list.

In these cases, the landowners get assurances that their conservation actions, if successful, will not lead to further restrictions under the Act if the species is listed in the future.

There are now 23 Safe Harbor permits covering 29 listed species and involving more than 130 landowners. More than 50 additional Safe Harbor Agreements are under development. Seven CCAAs are in effect, covering 21 species. More than 25 additional CCAAs are under development.

The revised regulations will make such agreements easier to understand and implement by eliminating inconsistencies between the policies and the regulations used to implement them. In addition, experience gained since the policies and regulations were adopted in 1999 has shown the need to clarify ambiguities in the regulations that have been causing confusion for landowners.

For example, the rule also clarifies the process for obtaining authorization to transfer a permit issued in association with the agreements. In addition, the rule clarifies the efforts the Service will make to avoid the need to revoke a permit.

The rule more explicitly provides landowners with greater certainty that such agreements will be altered only if continuing an authorized activity may jeopardize the existence of the protected species. The rule also ensures that traditional agricultural uses can continue alongside habitat improvements.

"More than half of threatened and endangered species depend on private lands for habitat, and if we are going to recover many of these species, we must work hand in hand with landowners to restore their habitat," Manson said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations.

The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


Coal and gas management workshop set

The Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado School of Law announces a free two-day workshop on Best Management Practices and Adaptive Management in Oil and Gas Development.

Government agencies, industry and others are beginning to apply the concepts of best management practices and adaptive management to oil and gas development.

This free workshop will examine what is going on in the Rocky Mountain Region with these innovative management approaches. The workshop will be kicked off with a presentation on the Western Governor's Association Coalbed Methane Best Practices Handbook that came out in April 2004.

The workshop is designed for government agency employees, the oil and gas industry, conservation organizations, interested citizens, and attorneys working in the field and 10 CLE credits will be awarded.

It will be held May 12-13 at the University of Colorado, Boulder in the Fleming Law Building.

To review the agenda or to register online, visit


The 'noise' of birds is music to the ears

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

I was visiting a friend in the city one morning, and we were sitting on his back patio overlooking a wide, fresh-mowed greenbelt, highlighted with several neatly-arranged and brightly-colored flowering shrubs and dozens of towering deciduous trees. The sun had just cleared the eastern horizon, and a mix of grackles, Cactus Wrens, and assorted desert song birds were in full chorus.

It was obviously early, and we were sipping the day's first cup of coffee, when my host suddenly professed, "I don't care much for birds. They're noisy, and they make a mess of things."

Can you imagine?

At nearly that same instant, a neighboring garage door rumbled open, and a short stocky figure, dressed in black and sporting a long ponytail, abruptly shattered the relative calm with a thunderous kick-start of his Harley. As the machine belched a thick cloud of blue smoke, he gave it a few deafening revs, then roared out of his driveway and down the street toward the center of town.

After a moment, as comparative peace slowly returned, I asked my companion if he cared much for people, and he said, "Why sure, I guess. Whadda ya' mean?"

"Oh, I don't know," I said. "It's just that sometimes they're awfully noisy, and they can make a real mess of things."

He got the connection, and appeared mildly amused, but I'm sure he missed my point. What I should've said was, with the exception of man, most living creatures, including birds, only make sounds to serve some vital purpose. It is we humans who, in our busy and often attention-starved lives, habitually generate considerable clamor without merit, and to the detriment of others.

Birds do make a lot of "noise," but as I said, they generally have good reason. For instance, contact or alarm calls, while not always melodious, are typically offered by either sex of most species, year-round. The more musical notes, vocalized by males in the spring and early summer, define territory and attract mates. However, as the season's young are born (or hatched), many birds stop singing, with the forests, glens, and meadows falling noticeably quiet by August.

My wife and I were fortunate to act as caretakers of a 100-year-old country home this past winter, and among the many highlights were the huge picture windows on three sides of the living room. Several gigantic spruce trees encircle the house, and from a lower branch just outside the front window frame, two large bird feeders hang, filled with wild bird seed.

Virtually every morning, by first light, a small band of Gray-headed Juncos were already engaged in fierce competition for the three or four seed drops of each feeder. Petite and somewhat sparrowlike, each assumed a perch on one of the smaller limbs in the lowest spruce boughs, and with amazing speed and agility, took turns chasing each other from the precarious offerings below.

All the while, individuals perched in the canopy were incessantly singing a series of loose musical trills, as those in flight warned others of their impending approach with a sharp tic or chip.

Within minutes of establishing a systematic routine, the juncos were often joined by a flock of Mountain Chickadees. Even before seeing them out the window, we always knew when they'd arrived, by the high-pitched and clearly-enunciated chick-a-dee-dee-dee that is their trademark call.

Slightly smaller and brilliantly-marked, these acrobatic little flyers would also take up positions in the canopy, only to immediately dive to the feeders. As competition for the limited feeding stations mounted, the juncos smartly switched tactics and dropped to the ground below. There, seeds rapidly accumulated from the haphazard frenzy above.

Of course, juncos and chickadees were not the only birds regularly patronizing the feeders. White-breasted Nuthatches were always crawling (headfirst) down the nearby tree trunk in search of sunflower seeds dropped by the smaller birds. Steller's Jays, magpies, and even the odd raven paid recurrent visits, and as fairly social birds, were certainly the most vocal of the lot.

One of the more interesting and recognizable bird sounds heard echoing through our forests isn't vocalized at all. It too, sometimes establishes territory or attracts a mate, but more often than not, the drum of a woodpecker is the product of intense feeding or nesting activity.

As anyone who's seen them knows, woodpeckers (and sapsuckers) are wood-boring birds with chisel bills, strong feet, and stiff spiny tails for clinging to trees. They drill holes in living or dead wood, and extract tree-boring insects or sap with their remarkably long tongue. They'll even bore a hole deep enough to call home during the nesting season.

Lately, I've been watching a pair of Red-naped Sapsuckers apparently engrossed in springtime courtship. The male commonly clings to the upper reaches of an old dried power pole, and drums countless rapid thumps, followed by several slow, rhythmic ones. Eventually, the female joins him for a few seconds, then flies off to a tall cottonwood stump nearby. He quickly follows, but soon returns to the pole for more drumming.

I can't say how long this will continue, nor have I discovered their exact nesting site yet, but an orderly row of fresh drill holes is visible near the top of the pole.

Countless other birds, like the captivating Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Ruffed Grouse, and Common Nighthawk generate all sorts of unique nonverbal sounds, usually with their wings. Again, most often as courtship behavior, these whirrs, drums, and bumps resonate all through the forests and over the open meadows from sunrise to well after sunset.

When I think of my city friend and his negative attitude toward birds, I struggle with understanding how anyone could genuinely dislike them. It's true, they're sometimes "noisy," and a few introduced species like the Starling, House Finch, and Band-tailed Pigeon, compete with domestic varieties for critical nesting sites, while habitually causing serious damage to crops and livestock feed. But in the city, birds are often the only wildlife readily observable.

I can't imagine a world without birds, and besides, I've never known one to roar overhead at six o'clock in the morning, while belching a thick cloud of blue smoke as it passes by.


Prescribed burns occurring in region this week

With a schedule of prescribed burns now in full swing across Pagosa Country, area residents should expect hazy conditions for at least the next few days.

Residents will notice even more smoke across southwest Colorado as fire managers continue with prescribed burning efforts that began early this week.

Aircraft will also be evident as two aerial ignitions are planned.

The Pagosa Ranger District began hand igniting the Fawn Gulch burn, five miles northeast of Pagosa Springs Tuesday.

The district planned to burn a little over 100 acres each day for three days. For public safety, side roads off the upper part of Fawn Gulch Road (No. 666) may be closed for brief periods during active burning.

The Columbine Ranger District was successful in completing a control line around the 2,000-acre Bull Canyon burn area Monday and was to begin aerial ignitions today.

Portions of the Fossett Gulch road (No. 613) may be closed for a short period of time when burning is occurring adjacent to the road.

In addition, the Ute Mountain Tribe began aerially igniting the North Thomas burn which is located south of Mesa Verde National Park. Completion of this 1,200 acre burn was expected today.

The Dolores Ranger District completed 255 acres of burning at Beaver Railroad earlier this week and will continue with some perimeter line work in that area.

"We realize that after some of the big fires in the last couple years that it is very frightening to people to see smoke in the air, but we hope it will reduce the chances of having to endure three to four weeks of continuous smoke from a wildfire," said Pam Wilson, fire information officer for the San Juan Public Lands.

Adequate resources in terms of firefighters, aircraft, engines, and water tenders are on hand to make sure the fires stay within natural and man-made fire breaks.

Additional information about the burns is available at local Forest Service/BLM offices in Pagosa Springs at 264-2268, Columbine at 884-2512, or Dolores at (970) 882-7296.


Elk Foundation chapter schedules annual banquet

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

The local San Juan Chapter of the foundation would like to share some facts to explain where contributions are working for the benefit of all wildlife, in addition to a healthy elk populations throughout the region.

The foundation is a nonprofit habitat conservation organization whose mission is to "ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat." It puts nearly 90 percent of the funds raised toward the mission statement.  While it is true that all funds raised go directly to the national office, these funds are returned to Colorado and Archuleta County through a grant process. 

Over the past three years more funds have been returned than raised by the local chapter.

Altogether, the foundation has conserved 95,160 acres in Colorado. In Archuleta County, it holds two conservation easements east of Chromo along the Navajo River.  These are a 7,192-acre easement on the Diamond S  Ranch and a 1,500- acre easement on the North Chromo Mountain ranch. 

These permanent easements will keep that portion of the river from being developed.  Controlled burn grants have been funded with the U.S. Forest Service to improve elk habitat and feeding area.  

Grants have been provided to the Crazy Horse Educational Expedition to assist youths at risk in the Pagosa Springs area to gain hands-on experience in wildlife, habitat and environmental issues.  Additional funding has been provided for participation in the Pagosa Youth for Wildlife Day, held in conjunction with the National Rifle Association, Trout Unlimited, the Division of Wildlife and Forest Service. 

Another grant has been awarded in the upper Piedra area for the erection of game gates in strategic areas based on winter observations to create less stressful and safer travel for wildlife fenced areas during migration and winter grazing. 

The chapter is offering a $2,000 scholarship for students graduating from Pagosa Springs High School, to be awarded annually. Funds for this scholarship will be raised through the sale of raffle tickets and 100 percent of the net raised will be used for local scholarships.

The public is invited to the chapter banquet Saturday, June 5, in the Extension building at the county fairgrounds. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a catered dinner at 6:30. Live and silent auctions, raffles and other fun events will continue into evening .

To purchase tickets to the banquet or to make a tax-deductible donation of an item to be sold the evening of the banquet, call 731-5903. 


Women's outdoor workshop next week

May 14-16, the Colorado Division of Wildlife will present "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman," an outdoor-skills training workshop for women, at the Pagosa Lodge.

Beginning at noon Friday and ending at noon Sunday, participants will have a choice of 20 different outdoor skills offered in four, four-hour sessions each taught by a highly-qualified volunteer instructor.

Local women who do not require lodging may attend the workshop for $100 and expand their horizons in a totally supportive, nonthreatening event.

For more information, contact Lenora Lovett, coordinator, by phone at (303) 291-7303 or by e-mailing


Contempt shows

Dear Editor:

The contempt that the Clintons and Kerry have for the military is a matter of a 30-plus years public record. The names Fonda, Kerry and Clinton are synonymous with conspiring with and giving aid and comfort to America's enemies. Their hatred for America's strength and world prominence has always been evident in their protest, voting records, and administration.

Clinton sold valuable ballistic missile technology to the Chinese, bringing their nuclear weapons capability into the 21st century. That's because the liberal mind says there cannot and should not be a single super power. The Chinese now have the ability to hit any of our major U.S. cities, killing millions.

Fonda, thankfully, has stayed out of the limelight, with the exception of a few exercise videos. Kerry, pretending to ride some moral high ground having protested the Viet Nam war, has waged his own war against America and helped to be responsible for the deaths of millions of innocents in this country alone, not to mention that his unwavering loyalty and support for the United Nations has led to the deaths of many hundreds of millions around the globe.

It never ceases to amaze me how the liberals would rather blame the U.S. for world problems, particularly those which lead to war, crying all the while of the shedding of innocent blood, while at the same time with the same ferocity demanding the "right" for the murder of one and a half million babies every year in the womb. It would seem that the Communists of Russia, China, and Viet Nam, the fascist Nazis of Germany and the liberals of America, have all had the same agenda. Making the world into their image by murdering millions of those they believe are inferior or a threat.

Last week Kerry defied a Pontiff's degree ordering that Holy Communion should not be given to politicians who support abortion. Later in the week he's found speaking at a pro-death rally in Washington, D.C. I personally don't believe that a single man has the right to direct the course of a religious body or denomination. Nevertheless if I were a Catholic, morally speaking I would either have to obey the tenets of the church or leave it.

In all great civilizations, it is not the wars they wage which bring their downfall or destruction but rather the murder and destruction of their most innocent citizens. Faithful Roman Catholics, Protestant Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Mormons and all other people or groups which believe in the sanctity of human life and fear the Creator of the Universe, should remember which presidential candidate is for life and which one is truly for death. Something to remember come November.

William Bennett

Director's wrong

Dear Editor:

For over a year I have resisted the urge to respond to the many letters by Patty Tillerson but the time has come for me to cave in. The majority of her letters have been filled with inaccuracies and last week's was no exception.

I was pleased, however, to read that she has asked herself why she has remained on the board. She may be happy to know that many other people have wondered the same thing.

Her statement regarding the new directors having to attend an all day orientation and a tour of the facilities is simply not true. I agree that the bylaws were amended to include this requirement but had she asked Jim Collins, the district's attorney if it was legal she would have been informed that it was not. This type of action is typical of the board whose terms expired on Tuesday. I'm sure that the new directors, whoever they are, would like to tour the facilities but they are not required to do so.

Ms. Tillerson makes reference to the new directors being sworn in at the May board meeting. She should recognize that, as of the election day, there is no board that can take the action to schedule a May meeting. She being the only remaining director and not having a quorum of four, no action can be taken. The solution is that the new directors become seated the instant they take their oath. This will probably happen within a few days of the certification of the election and they will call the next meeting.

Hopefully her final comment regarding the new board "joining together and working for the good of our community health services" will come true so she has no reason to make further contributions to Letters to the Editor.

I almost forgot, you know that 24/7 coverage she is always writing and talking about? I wonder where it was when the car and school bus collided last Friday in the snow, it sure wasn't at Mary Fisher Clinic. It was our long time doctors and PAs who were there to care.


Pat Curtis

Fair share

Dear Editor:

Your editorial of last week suggested that "the county take roads out of the system, reducing its burden to the maintenance of arterial roads only - that it leave residential roads to property owners who then organize districts to fix roads and maintain them, taxing themselves ... controlling their own situation."

A little investigation would have shown some real problems with that proposal.

Firstly, it would have to apply to all residential roads throughout the county. But not all residential roads are in subdivisions or areas where there are enough property owners to adequately support or administer and operate a district.

Secondly, if such districts were to be formed by vote of property owners, the county should pass through to them a fair and equitable share of all road revenues. Currently, the county is not doing that. The existing districts get only a portion of one revenue source, the Highway Users Tax received from the state by the county.

The existing districts get not one penny of the other nine or more revenue sources for roads received by the county, including none of the 3.5 mills everyone (including property owners in existing districts) is taxed for roads and bridges.

Thirdly, according to Colorado Statute 43-2-201 Public Highways, (1) (b) "The following are declared to be public highways: All roads over private or other lands dedicated to public uses by due process of law and not heretofore vacated by an order of the board of county commissioners duly entered of record in the proceedings of said board"; and (c) "All roads over private lands that have been used adversely without interruption or objection on the part of owners of such lands for twenty consecutive years." Accordingly most, if not all, existing residential roads are "public highways" and as such belong to the county which should be responsible for them.

Fourthly, the funds available to the county for road maintenance should be equitably divided and used among all roads to maintain them as much as such equitably divided funds will allow. If this maintenance is not satisfactory to property owners, an increase in the mill levy would seem to be agreeable as long as every owner is satisfied that his road is getting its fair share of available funds. This is not currently the case.

A concerned property owner,

Fred A. Ebeling

Recycling hints

Dear Editor:

I would have liked to share the following on "Earth Day" last month but I just tracked down some of the information today.

As we overpopulate the planet and overuse its resources, there are some actions we can take as responsible stewards. Reduce, reuse and recycle are buzz words’ of these actions but here are some details’ to make it easier to do.

Here in Archuleta County you need only drive down Trujillo Road to the transfer station to deposit glass, some plastic, steel cans, newspaper and some cardboard for recycling. You can also drop aluminum cans there or drop them at the Extension office at the fairgrounds where 4-H clubs are organizing a can recycling deposit to raise money for camps and various projects.

At our school district offices next to the intermediate school off Lewis Street you can drop off printer ink jet cartridges for recycling.

And for those of us with young family members who use lots of batteries in their personal CD players, RC cars and even flashlights, you can recycle these used-up batteries at Fort Lewis Environmental Center in the College Union Building (second floor, next to KDUR). You can drop them off whenever the Union building is open.

Finally, all of Pagosa Country's car repair shops can recycle car batteries; so when you need a new battery purchase it locally and leave the old one knowing it won't be lying around polluting the environment.

These are just some of the things we can do to make the world a better place for the future.

Thanks for caring.


Addi Greer

Live what you say

Dear Editor:

I have been listening to the environmentalists talk about the construction of a development near the Wolf Creek Ski Area. I find such a development to be a tragedy. Wolf Creek is a gorgeous, awe-inspiring place that I love.

However, I would like to ask the environmentalists involved in protesting against the development near Wolf Creek Ski Area an elementary question.

What makes the environmentalists think they have the right to stop the development from being built? I do not wish to see the development built, but I would never protest it.

Simply because it is theirs, the owners hold the right to do whatever they please with their land. Does anyone ever tell the environmentalists what to do with their private land? I think not.

I find it exceedingly controversial that environmentalists are going to protest the development. One reason is that they claim such a development would "threaten our wildlife and our way of life and our choice of leisure time activities," as Mr. Bryant W. Lemon Sr. declared.

I am sick and tired of these types of remarks.

Why? I was born in Pagosa Springs and my father was also born in Pagosa Springs after my great-grandfather moved to Pagosa Springs in 1943. What we now know as Pagosa Springs was once a quiet, personal, simple and nice small town.

Pagosa has undergone enormous growth in the last 10 years. There used to be a time in Fairfield when there would be enormous herds of elk grazing - now replaced by homes and condos forcing the elk to move up into the high country.

There is substantially no difference between environmentalists' houses that they build and live in compared to the future development on Wolf Creek because both of them affect the natural landscape and wildlife.

It reminds me of how environmentalists are against the drilling for oil in national parks, but complain about the rising price of gas. How can anyone please them when they are just as equally guilty of harming the environment?

If environmentalists are really as passionate about the environment and nature as they say they are, then the best thing they could do would be to buy a piece of land and donate it to a conservation group.

I am simply questioning the innumerable amount of contradictions that motivate environmentalists. I am not saying I am innocent about the destruction of the environment, but I believe that if you are going to protest against the development at Wolf Creek and the drilling for oil in national parks, you should live in the way in which you speak.

Elizabeth Smith

Big relief

Dear Editor:

Whew!   What a relief to see on the front page of last week's edition of "The Sun" that June Madrid had taken over for the USJHD election May 4.  

I know I was, as I understand were many others, extremely uncomfortable with the  involvement of certain persons who are definitely not impartial.

 I do not know June Madrid personally but I would like to thank her for stepping up, without pay.  

Now we can be assured of a fair election.

Yours sincerely,

Patricia Waters

Community News
Senior News

Seniors' Prom was a fabulous event

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

We had a fabulous Seniors' Prom May 2. Cindy Gustafson declared it "The First Annual Seniors Prom," and we had over 60 in attendance. Cindy Gowing of

A Beautiful Memory took free photos and our local Cub Scout Pack 807 escorted our ladies and helped in many ways.

Prom Queen was Dorothy Million with Kurt Killion selected prom King. John Graves and company played wonderful music and we had door prizes, lots of food and many people who said they couldn't ... danced.

We were also pleased that Glenda and Bill Clark came as they weren't able to attend their high school prom because of World War II. Glenda wore her earrings from high school and her first engagement/class ring. What a story.

Elaine Lundergan dressed up in her wedding dress from 35 years ago, and she looked great in it.

Still a secret

Last week I mentioned Musetta would be traveling to Washington, D.C. May 5. It's still a surprise until she comes back. Next week we'll definitely tell you what the secret is.

Mothers Day

On Friday, May 7, we will be honoring all of the mothers here at the center. Every one of our ladies will receive a small gift at lunchtime. Please join us Friday for our Mother's Day celebration.

Drug care program

The Medicare drug care program is under way. Are you confused by your choices? You are not alone.

Musetta, Patti Stewart, Harold Morrison and Kathy Kulyk recently attended a drug card training program and are ready to help you make your decisions.

You may call the senior center for more information on when counselors will be available to assist you in signing up.

Musetta spoke to representatives of both Jackisch Drug and City Market pharmacies and they will also assist you in signing.

Odds and ends

Our Tai Chi Chih classes are over but Jerry is considering starting another class. Keep reading the Senior News to see when and where he will teach again.

We are going to have massages again Tuesday, May 11. Bev has been out of town for a couple of weeks so everyone is anxious to see her again. She will be in the lounge 11 a.m.-noon.

We weren't able to fly our kites April 30 due to snow, but we will try again May 17 at 1 p.m. If we have no wind that day we'll try May 19. We are undaunted and want to fly.

Come have lunch with us. If there are four or more of you coming to lunch on a special day, please call 24 hours in advance so we will be sure to have enough food. Remember, we don't serve lunch on Thursdays.

In the past we have asked our seniors to bring in old ink cartridges to trade in for paper, but that trade isn't available any more. Thank you, but no more old ink cartridges.

It's time to learn about naturopathy. It is a system of therapy and treatment which relies exclusively on natural remedies, and is based on the belief that the body can repair itself if it is in a healthy environment.

Marianne Calvanese is a licensed naturopath and will be here 1 p.m. May 11 to introduce you to the unique approach to health. It can work with traditional medicine, so you will want to come and find out how you might feel even better than you do now.

The Silver Foxes Den will have an open house May 12 to celebrate Senior Centers Older American's Month, Aging Well, Living Well.

This is a national movement designed to encourage people to take advantage of their local senior centers and to participate in their many activities and services.

We will have a table out with lots of pictures and information on what we offer here. This will all happen 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and we will serve cake and punch throughout.

Come see what we have to offer Archuleta County seniors.

We have a "shop till you drop" bus trip to Durango scheduled May 13, so if you want to shop in Durango, please sign up in the lounge; suggested donation is $10.

There will be no MicroSoft Word class Friday or on May 14 and 21. Class will resume May 28.

I had the pleasure of meeting Pat and Don Schultz from Michigan a couple of weeks ago. I met them in Las Vegas, but they visit Pagosa regularly to see their kids, Dean and Lisa. Don and Pat are great, fun people and we are pleased to see them when they come to visit Pagosa. We encourage all seniors to come visit us at the center for lunch.

Old George reminisces ...

"Do you remember Casey Jones? I've been trying to reconstruct some of the old songs my dad sang when I was a youngster. One of those songs was 'Casey Jones.'

"Casey Jones was an engineer, a mighty man was he. Casey Jones of the Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe.

"Casey Jones mounted to his cabin, Casey Jones with his orders in his hand. Casey Jones gonna take a trip to the promised land.

"Going down the grade doing 90 miles a hour when his whistle broke into a scream. He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle all scalded to death by the steam."

I have some of the words, but I'm not sure I have them all. Maybe you can help me out. Do you remember?


Friday, May 7 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; MicroSoft Word, 10:30; celebrate Mothers Day, noon

Monday, May 10 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, May 11 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; advanced computer class, 10:30; massage in lounge, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; How Naturopathy can Help You, with Marianne Calvanese, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, May 12 - beginning computer class, 10:30 a.m.; Senior Center open house, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, May 13 - Durango trip

Friday, May 14 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; no MicroSoft Word class today; blood pressure checks, 11 a.m.


Friday, May 7 - Beef stroganoff, rice or noodles, green beans, whole wheat roll and apricots

Monday, May 10 - Meat loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, sunshine carrots, cole slaw with apples, roll and peaches

Tuesday, May 11 - Sloppy Joe, baked beans, zucchini olé, orange wedges and banana pudding

Wednesday, May 12 - Beefy Spanish rice, tossed salad, onion whole wheat roll and fruit medley

Friday, May 14 - BBQ chicken, marinated vegetable salad, Scandinavian vegetables, whole wheat roll and citrus cup


Chamber News

Plans forming for 53rd Archuleta County Fair

By Sally Hamiester

SUN Columnist

I know that it seems a bit early, but our fair board is well on its way to putting together our Aug. 5-8 county fair and will be distributing letters requesting sponsorships and donations.

A variety of sponsorship options are available as well as general donation opportunities.

Sponsorship levels are Platinum ($1,500), Gold ($1,000), Silver ($500) and Bronze ($250.) The Patron of the Fair donation is $100, and you are welcome to donate any amount of money.

All sponsors will receive public recognition of their sponsorship in The SUN, on KWUF radio and at sponsored events and activities with a "sponsored by" sign posted in a conspicuous on-site location.

Additionally, all sponsors and donors will be acknowledged on the new Archuleta County Fair Web site, and all major sponsors will have their logos displayed on the site, if they wish.

If you are interested in donating, sponsoring, volunteering or displaying your business banner during the fair, contact Marti Gallo, 264-3890.

Those interested in sponsoring the Demolition Derby can contact Shellie Larkin at 731-9444.

We encourage everyone in our community to get behind this wonderful tradition that will soon bring the 53rd Archuleta County Fair to both residents and visitors.

Time for inserts

Yikes, it's that time again - time to bring us not your tired and hungry but your inserts for our next quarterly newsletter, The Chamber Communiqué.

This is one of those dandy Chamber benefits that costs very little for a lot of advertising.

You bring us 750 inserts with whatever it is that you want to share with the membership - new hours, new products, new location, special sales, whatever - and a check for $40 and we will take it from there.

We ask that you not fold the 8 1/2-by-11 sheets and encourage you to use both sides and a snappy color to grab the readers' attention.

Give Doug a call at 264-2360 for more information, and please have your inserts to the Chamber office by May 21.

Karaoke contest

The second karaoke contest competition at Squirrel's Pub was another great success with nine contestants wowing the crowd with their performances.

Christopher Young charmed both the judges and the audience with his smooth moves while singing Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," and Shana Young got into the groove with her Captain and Tenille rendition of "Love Will Keep Us Together."

The evening's show stopper was performed by Melanie Miser when she both signed and sang John Lennon's classic, "Imagine." This Friday beginning at 9:30 p.m., the music of the '80s will be featured, so you might very well see "Stray Cat Strut" or Madonna's "Material Girl."

After the fifth and final competition, cash prizes will be awarded to the winner along with a CD song compilation created from the contest. Second- and third-place winners will be recognized and elimination prizes will be awarded to those contestants who do not advance to the next rounds.

Please join the gang at Squirrel's for this fun competition as a contestant or as an interested observer. One way or the other, it promises to be tons of fun. Please call 264-6763 or 264-4173 for more information about the Karaoke Contest.

European Café open

We are delighted to announce that members Harold and Retha Kornhaber have recently purchased, renovated and opened the perfectly charming European Café and Coffee House at 121 Pagosa Street (formerly Amore's). Foods from northern and southern Italy and France are featured as well as salads from the Mediterranean and other regions of Europe. Dessert offerings include French Quarter bread pudding in a bourbon sauce, carrot cake, tiramisu and cheesecakes made fresh daily their kitchen.

You can also sample their Espresso bar and bubble teas on a deck nestled under age-old pine trees right next to the San Juan River walk. The hours for the European Café are Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and a seasonal Sunday Buffet served on the deck 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Watch for opening date on the buffet. Congratulations to Retha and Harold.

Cinco de Mayo

This Saturday, members of the Spanish Fiesta Club invites you to join them for their Cinco de Mayo celebration 5-7 p.m. at the Vista Clubhouse, and enjoy games, prizes and refreshments served by the Spanish Fiesta Club.

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

The 2004 Fiesta Grand Marshal will be announced and the coronation of Spanish Fiesta royalty will take place at 6 p.m. Applications are currently available at the Chamber of Commerce or you can call Natalie Ortega at 264-4604. Nominations for Grand Marshal are welcome at P.O. Box 71 in Pagosa, 81147.

At 7 p.m. the clubhouse will be cleared out and doors will reopen at 7:30 for the dance featuring local Spanish band, Variety Express. The cost for the dance is $10 and it will begin at 8.

The Guadalupana Society will offer delicious posole and tortillas, and the fiesta club will serve other refreshments. You can purchase a slice of Cinco de Mayo cake from the Grupo Espinosa dancers with proceeds benefiting each organization.

Door prizes have been donated by several Pagosa individuals and businesses, and the best dancers of the evening will be rewarded with prizes.

If you would like to volunteer for this event or are interested in being a part of the Spanish Fiesta taking place on Saturday, June 19, give a call to Jeff Laydon, 264-3686, or Lucy Gonzales at 264-4791.

Folk Routes

Tickets will go on sale Monday, May 10, for the upcoming performance of "Folk Routes-Music from Around the World for Cello and Piano" featuring Phillip Hansen and accompanist, Lisa Camp.

This will be Phillip's third visit to Pagosa Springs, and we are delighted he has chosen to return.

The performance will be held Saturday, May 22, at 4 p.m. at the Community Bible Church, 264 Village Drive. Tickets will be available at the community center and Chamber of Commerce May 10 at $10 for adults and $8 for children and seniors with a membership card.

As always, proceeds from the concert will benefit the senior citizens of Archuleta County.

Call Musetta or Laura at 264-2167 for more information.

Retail giants

Our good friend Joe Keck, director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College, will present a seminar entitled, "Competing with Retail Giants" 8-10 a.m. Thursday, May 13, at the Durango Arts Center, 802 East Second Avenue.

Joe and his wife, Susan, have owned small businesses in the past and will share their first-hand experience on co-existing in a discount mass merchandising environment.

They will offer tips on merchandising customer service, customer relations, marketing and much, much more.

Cost for this seminar is $20 and includes a continental breakfast. Space is limited, so call the Durango Chamber of Commerce at 247-0312 to reserve your seat before the May 10 deadline.

Music in the Mountains

Remember to pick up your tickets for one, two or all three of the much-anticipated Music in the Mountains concerts to be held at BootJack Ranch this summer.

Tickets are disappearing at a frighteningly rapid pace, so I would suggest that sooner is better than later.

Dates for these concerts are July 23, July 30 and Aug. 6, and all will be held on Friday evenings at BootJack Ranch beginning at 7 p.m.

Please plan to join us at these magnificent concerts featuring world-renowned classical musicians.

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.

SJCD program

The San Juan Conservation District will hold its annual program Saturday, May 8, at the Archuleta County Extension building 9 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Lunch will be served.

This program will include a presentation by Scott Woodall from the Natural Resources Conservation Service on "The Usefulness of Native Plants." Jerry Archuleta will speak about the "Stollsteimer Creek Watershed Project" and Doug Purcell from the Colorado Division of Wildlife will present "The Lynx Recovery."

Additional information will be available on PAM (polyacrylamide for sealing ditches/ponds), anti-seep collars and cloud seeding.

A catered lunch will include roast beef, mashed potatoes w/gravy, green beans, salad, rolls and fruit cobbler.

The cost for the presentation, materials and lunch is $10 and will be collected at the door when you register. You can call 264-5516 for more information.

Choral concert

"On With the Show" is the title of the spring choral concert featuring the Pagosa Springs Community Chorale and the Pagosa Springs Children's Choir concert. The Pagosa Springs Choral Society is proud to bring you two performances, one Saturday, May 8, at 7 p.m. and another Sunday, May 9, at 4 p.m., 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.


Well, I'm practically beside myself with joy for this opportunity to introduce five new members this week and five renewals just to keep the perfect balance.

I'll confess that I did a little whining last week about the fact that we have been so spoiled with high numbers for new members and renewals, I just wasn't handling it real well when we didn't have those numbers.

Perhaps just a little whining every now and then isn't such a bad idea, huh? At any rate, thanks to the following folks for joining our merry band of Chamber members and to those renewal for their continued support.

Eric Matzdorf joins us with not one but two businesses this week. Pedal Power is his first business and is located at 117 Navajo Trail Drive, Suite A. Right behind that space is his wife Teri's business: Upscale Retail. I believe the Matzdorfs are what are commonly referred to as "go getters." Pedal Power is a full-service bicycle shop offering sales, service and rentals. Eric will also handle consignments. You can call him at 731-0338 with questions.

Eric also brings us Top of the World Toppers at the same location. As you might expect, this business offers a full line of Jason Camper Shells and Toppers, as well as Swiss contractor caps. For more information about Top of the World Toppers, give Eric a call at 731-0338.

Denver McCabe joins us next with McCabe's Repair Service, 110 Great West Ave., Building No.1. Denver will be happy to help you with heavy equipment repairs and maintenance service, to include busses, RVs, and diesel trucks. He also offers some automobile repair and welding service. You can give him a call at 264-9043 for more information about McCabe's Repair Service.

We next welcome Steve Graham who brings us The Electric Company with offices in his home. Steve offers full-service electrical contracting for residential, commercial, retrofit/remodel, A/C, D/C, automation, lighting control, multi-zone A/V and central vac systems. To learn more about The Electric Company, call Steve at 264-3671.

Pamela Smith is our fifth new member this week and brings us Acorn Lodging at 383 Swiss Village Drive in the San Juan River Resort. This log cabin in the woods offers two loft bedrooms with balconies and two bathrooms. Located just five minutes from town and 20 minutes from Wolf Creek Ski Area, this attractive cabin sleeps up to six in two queens and one futon sofa. There is a wood stove, a fully stocked kitchen, washer and dryer, Satellite TV, VCR and no smoking, please. Call for rates and information at (625) 570-6077.

Renewals this week include Alex Mickel with Mild to Wild Rafting in Durango; David Petit with Tara Mandala; Isabel Garcia with Tequila's Family Mexican Restaurant and J. R. Ford with Pagosa Land Company. Our Associate Member renewal is Kenneth Ceradsky. Thanks to one and all.


Veteran's Corner

Work continues to provide prescription drug help

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

One of the reasons so many of our veterans, especially senior veterans, were encouraged to sign up for VA health care is for access to low-cost prescription drugs.

With the new priority rules in VA health care that exclude many veterans from enrolling and obtaining health care through the VA system, that avenue to the VA Pharmacy prescription program is cut off.

Under the current guidelines, if the veteran cannot get VA primary health care because of income level or no service-connected disabilities, they cannot get VA prescription drugs. The VA primary physician must prescribe the drugs. This really hurts our veterans with limited income resources.


We have many World War II veterans who could fall into this category. They are over 65, on Medicare, and they and their spouses are drawing Social Security. If their combined income were over about $30,000 a year, which it could well be on full Social Security for the veteran and their spouse, they might not qualify for VA health care under the current income guidelines. That is shameful. Their age and WW II veteran status wouldn't matter.

Policies can change

However, as I have mentioned here frequently, I think these policies could change. There has been more and more mention in VA news lately about proposals to allow the VA to work with Medicare to provide some sort of alliance that could include prescription drugs.

Legislators are continuing to review bills that would provide an outpatient drug benefit for veterans who are eligible for Medicare.

VA-Medicare alliance

These bills would require the VA to establish a program for providing prescription medications ordered by veterans' private physicians. Medicare would fund this new benefit. While VA provides a prescription drug benefit to its patients, there are only limited situations today in which VA fills prescriptions ordered by non-VA physicians.

Under the legislation, veterans would be the first among American seniors and disabled people to have a Medicare outpatient drug benefit. The bill has the support of several major veterans' service organizations.

Enrollment restricted

As we all know, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs restricted enrollment of higher income veterans to those who were enrolled prior to Jan. 17, 2003. If such a bill were enacted, it would allow veterans who no longer have the option of receiving a full continuum of health care services to receive subsidized prescription drug coverage from VA.

It is felt the new drug benefit for Medicare eligible veterans could also have the effect of eliminating the waiting times and high demand for VA health care that has developed as higher income veterans have flooded the system to seek inexpensive VA prescription drugs.

Write congressmen

Governmental sources have indicated VA could save money by avoiding duplicating services veterans have already received to obtain a prescription drug order in the private sector. These reports state the VA could save more than a billion dollars a year by providing a drug benefit to lower priority veterans who are mostly using the system to obtain inexpensive drugs.

It sure makes sense to me. But, remember it is only being considered in Congress, and would need to win broad support to become law. I would urge you to write your congressmen and urge their support of any bills that would provide for veterans to obtain their VA prescription drugs through private care physicians.

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

First-graders wow 'em with 'The Riddle Red Hen' shows

By Leanne Goebel

PREVIEW Columnist

First-grade students presented "The Riddle Red Hen" in two group performances in the high school auditorium last Thursday.

Wearing animal costumes created by Lisa Scott, Stephanie Jones and Becky Riedberger, in front of backdrops painted by Lisa Chastain, on a stage set with bales of hay on loan from the Bennett and Talamante families these six -and seven-year-olds sang to the accompaniment of Mr. Krueger and recited lines of rhyme.

It was the first time this first-grade performance was staged at the auditorium, thanks to Lisa Hartley. What an opportunity for the kids to be up on stage and look out at an audience of well over a hundred supportive parents and siblings, to feel a little stage fright and have the lights shining in their eyes and then hear the roar of applause.

These kids handled it like pros. They were well rehearsed and no one missed a beat or a rhyme, except the audience when we were supposed to participate.

Bravo to Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Ketchum, Mrs. Riedberger and Mr. Rizzo and their teacher's aides and high school helpers, for a great performance. Music Boosters and Pagosa Pretenders may want to scope out these future stars of the stage. Need a cool cat or a wise old owl? How about a Duck or a Mouse or even a Pig? Maybe you're looking for a farmer or a Red Hen? I know where you can find just the actor for the role.

Board roles workshop

The board of directors of a nonprofit organization, their commitment, involvement and strength is probably the most important factor in determining whether the organization thrives or barely stays alive.

On June 3, the Chamber Nonprofit Partnership in Colorado Springs is sponsoring a workshop: Board Roles and Responsibilities.

The focus of this two-hour workshop will be the governance, financial and legal roles and responsibilities of board members, and how effective boards operate in the following areas: planning, programs, financial management, fund development, human resources, marketing/public relations, board affairs/governance, information ... and creating a strong board/staff partnership.

There is limited seating and the cost is only $30. Contact Wendy Courkamp, Chamber Nonprofit Partnership at (719) 575-4341 or e-mail Download applications from

Upcoming exhibits

May 7-19 - Advanced art students from Pagosa Springs High School will exhibit their art work at the gallery in Town Park. This popular show is an opportunity to showcase the talent of young artists and to create dialogue about our society and the issues and ideas that impact young people today. Support our local high school students at a reception Friday, May 7, 5-7 p.m.

May 20-June 16 - Rita O'Connell will exhibit fiber art, baskets and polymer clay along with Bonnie Davies cartoon art. This will be a fun, whimsical show by local artists. O'Connell learned a variety of textile arts as a child, but knitting is still her favorite. She has explored the far edges of the technical skills of knitting to create items of beauty and intricate color and texture. Bonnie Davies' cartoons were published in several Pennsylvania newspapers.

Artist opportunities

Call for entries: Contemporary Art Exhibition at the New Evergreen Arts Center, June 26-Aug. 1. Juror for this event is Patty Ortiz, director of programming for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Entry deadline is June 1. Mail entry to: Contemporary Art Exhibition, Evergreen Arts Center, 23003B Ellingwood Trail, Evergreen, Colorado 80439. Visit their Web site at or call (303) 674-0056

The Durango Arts Center annual Member Artist Show is Sept. 3-Oct. 2. For the first time they are including writing in this event. Writers need to submit poetry or short stories by Aug. 2. For more information, contact Jules at 259-2606 or Member visual artist's please contact Jules for submission guidelines.

Upcoming workshops

Third Saturday workshop in May: Randall Davis will discuss and instruct figure drawing, with considerable focus on the human eye, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. You're gonna love the class, so mark your calendars. Don't forget your lunch. $35 to PSAC.

An in-depth workshop on the basics of watercolor with Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett will be repeated May 19-21 (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Classes start promptly each day at 9 a.m. and continue until 3:30 p.m. or so. Each day you'll need to either bring your lunch or plan to eat (Wednesday and Friday) at the senior center. Cost is $130 or $123.50 for PSAC members. Contact PSAC at 264-5020 to register or stop by the gallery in Town Park.

Acting workshop for teens. Felicia Lansbury Meyer will instruct a three-week acting workshop for teens. Felicia 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. June 7-25, in the community center. The cost is $125. Class size is limited. For more information, contact Pagosa Springs Arts Council, 264-5020 or Meyer, 264-6028.

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

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

Pick up a flyer at the elementary school and drop off your payment at the gallery in Town Park. The cost for this year's art camp is $300 per student. A 10-percent discount is available for those who register by Friday, 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, contact Doris Green at 264-6904 or 264-5020.

Regional workshops

Enhance it with Watercolor with internationally known colored pencil artist Janie Gildow, CPSA takes place at the Ouray County Arts Center in Ouray, Colo.

The workshop is Sept. 25-26. Deadline to register is June 30. Cost is $170 or $150 for OCAC members. Special lodging rates are available. E-mail for application or send your name, address, phone, e-mail and check to: Ouray County Arts Center, PO Box 1497, Ouray, CO 81427.


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

May 6-19 -High school art exhibit

May 12 - Watercolor club, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at community center

May 13 - Photo club, 5:30 p.m. at community center

May 15 - Third Saturday workshop with Randall Davis, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at community center

May 16 - Writers workshop with C.J. Hannah

May 19-21 - Watercolor with Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the community center

May 20 - The Photo club will host Terry and Pat Aldahl, owners of Camera People in Bayfield, at 6:30 p.m. in the community center. In addition to sharing their knowledge of filters, Terry and Pat will display and discuss new equipment for photographers, including digital cameras and accessories. Visitors and members are welcome.

May 20 - Bonnie Davies and Rita O'Connell opening reception for the artists at the gallery in Town Park, 5-7 p.m.

May 20-June 16 - Bonnie Davies and Rita O'Connell art exhibit

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

May 25 - PSAC board meeting, 5 p.m. at the community center

June 7-25 - Teen acting class with Felicia Meyers

June 22 - PSAC board meeting, 5 p.m. at the community center

June 19 - Third Saturday workshop, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at community center

June 26 - Bird house contest

June 28-30 - Amy Rosner, Expressing yourself in Mixed Media Workshop; all day

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

July 1-28 - Joye Moon exhibit

July 5-8 - Joye Moon workshop, Unleashing the Power of Watercolor

July 8 - Photo club, 5:30 p.m.

July 14 - Watercolor club, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

July 15-31 - Batik and Screamers papier maché workshop

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

July 27 - PSAC board meeting, 5 p.m.

Aug. 11 - Watercolor Club, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Aug. 12 - Photo Club, 5:30 p.m.

Aug. 11-13 - Basics II, Denny and Ginnie watercolor workshop

Aug. 15 - Home and Garden Tour, noon-5 p.m.

Aug. 16-21 - Cynthia Padilla botanical art workshop

Aug. 21 - Third Saturday workshop, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sept. 11-12 - Colorado Arts Consortium The Business of Art: an Art PARTY

Sept. 17-19 - Juried Art Exhibit for PSAC members


IML art, choir and jazz fest here today

By Lisa Hartley

Special to the PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs High School is hosting the Intermountain League art, choir and jazz festival today. Art created by the students will be displayed in the commons area.

Students from choirs in the league will be in attendance. They will rehearse several selections all day and perform as a massed choir in the concert. Each choir will also perform separately.

Guest choir clinician is Larry Elginer, an excellent trumpet/flugelhorn player from Pagosa Springs, a retired band director from California who will also be directing the Pagosa Springs Community Choir. He recently played in the pit group for the high school production of "Fame."

A new addition to the festival this year is jazz. Two league band directors will be directing the jazz band, Larry Trujillo and John Patton.

Students from all schools will combine to rehearse for the day and perform in the concert.

The concert is at 5 p.m. in the auditorium. All are invited to attend the free performance.


Hamilton quilt wins national contest honors

"Margo's Medallion of 1840," a quilt created by Cindy Vermillion Hamilton, won first place in the Traditional Pieced Professional category at the 20th annual American Quilter's Society Quilt Show and Contest.

Hamilton was among 425 semifinalists and 52 winners at the Quilt Show and Contest in Paducah, Ken. Measuring 94-inches wide and 94-inches long, "Margo's Medallion of 1840" netted a $1,500 prize reward.

"The AQS Quilt Show and Contest has once again attracted the world's finest quilts and their quilters," Meredith Schroeder, president of the American Quilter's Society, said. "The 'Margo's Medallion of 1840' quilt is a true and magnificent example of the treasured art form."

Hamilton's quilt will join approximately 150 priceless works of art at the Museum of the American Quilter's Society.


Fiber Festival in fourth year

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

This will be the fourth year of the Pagosa Fiber Festival and everyone associated with it is quite proud of that record.

The event was conceived of and sponsored by the Belt family of Echo Mountain Alpaca and has now moved into the nonprofit world with a board of directors. The event has moved back to its original date - Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

For the past two years San Juan Resources Conservation and Development Agency has confirmed the viability of the event by selecting the Fiber Fest as the annual grant recipient. This year Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado and Operation Healthy Communities have provided grant funds in support of the event.

Why? The Region 9 Report - 2003 tells us that "Economic diversification is a high priority for the Region." The diversity is needed to "improve the number, quality and variety of jobs that are available to local residents." The Fiber Fest meets that need by supporting the efforts of a growing cottage industry involved in fiber-related businesses.

Whether raising animals for breeding, sale and fiber production (alpacas, llamas, goats, sheep and rabbits) or working their fibers (spinning, weaving, knitting, felting and crocheting) to make products for sale, these people are helping to diversify economic activity in the areas. Additionally, they are enhancing the attractiveness of the area to tourists.

In July another economic activity can be added to the list. Attracted by the Fiber Fest, Mountain High Fiber Ladies, LLC, will open the doors to a mini-fiber processing mill complete with retail and online store and classes in the fiber arts. The mill will promote the fiber industry in the Four Corners by providing fiber animal farmers with a local alternative to shipping their fiber to New Mexico or California or Maine or Canada. Look for the Mountain High Fiber Ladies at the Fiber Fest.

Here is a flavor of what goes on during the Pagosa Fiber Festival:

- lectures on the care and maintenance of small livestock

- livestock farmers demonstrating and selling alpacas, llamas, sheep and goats

- shearing of sheep and goats throughout the day

- fiber artists selling a variety of outstanding handmade textiles and articles of clothing

- spinners demonstrating how to card, sort and spin fiber

- knitters, crocheters, weavers, and felters demonstrating how to utilize the finished yarn

- a fashion show at the end of each day illustrating the theme "From Fleece to Fashion"

- a silent auction featuring fiber articles and donations from local businesses

- families with young children viewing and touching the animals, a unique and educational experience to be found nowhere else.

For those interested in learning how to work fiber, there will be classes in knitting (scarves/shawls for beginners and advanced); spinning (drop spindle for beginners); hand painting roving and yarns; felting (hat or purse for beginners); weaving (Rio Grande style for beginners); knitting (socks for beginners and advanced); crocheting (for beginners to intermediate); and locker hooking (for beginners). Classes are Friday, May 28.

For more information on classes and registration, contact Susan Halabrin at 264-5447 or For further information about the Fiber Fest or to reserve a vendor or exhibitor space, contact Jane McKain at 264-4458 or


Relay for Life Chair Event entries are now on display

By Paula Bain

Special to The PREVIEW

The third annual Chair Event, in conjunction with The Relay for Life cancer fund-raiser, is currently taking place at several area banks.

Area artists have hand-painted chairs, stools and small tables which are displayed at area banks as well a few smaller items in the display case at the Sisson Library.

Artists involved in this year's event include Vicky Ward, Donna Wagle, Nancy Van Matre, Danny Smith, Judy Scofield, Jo Anne Long, Syl Lobato, Ingrid Knoll, Heidi Keshet, Marilyn Harris, Jan Karns, Susan Joy, Michael Heraty, Cynthia Harrison, Monica Green, Jody Cromwell, The Colorado Kids 4-H Club, The Cloverbuds 4-H Club, Linda Bennett and Paula Bain.

Danny Smith likes to make his "Circle of Life" design by a using wood burning tool. The pair of bar stools he has decorated are very eye catching.

Donna Wagle's black and white abstract painted and mosaic chair would make a great patio chair.

Do you like flowers? A chair and matching stool painted by Judy Schofield has beautiful tulips on them. And there are other floral painted items besides those. You'll also find chairs with wildlife and scenery.

Need a fancy tray? Nancy Van Matre's painting of pottery on a wooden tray may be exactly what you are looking for. Look in the Sisson Library display case for that one.

For that down-home feeling, Joanne Long's chair with painted pine cones and a deer was recently upholstered by Pagosa's own Jamie Miller as her donation for the event.

This event couldn't have taken place, however, without donations of items by area businesses as well as private parties and the cooperation of area banks for display space.

If you are looking for a chair or small table as an accent piece, then you won't want to miss out on this event. The final bidding will take place under a tent at Town Park during the Relay for Life walkathon 6-8:30 p.m. June 11.


Early bird ticket deadline extended for folk fest

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

Four Corners Folk Festival fans will be happy to know that early bird ticket prices for the ninth annual festival have been extended through May 15.

The festival will take place over Labor Day weekend on Reservoir Hill.

The festival daily lineup is complete and the event kicks off Friday, Sept. 3, with the Pagosa Hot Strings followed by the Matt Flinner Quartet, the Bills (formerly the Bill Hilly Band) and finishes that night with the subdudes.

Saturday, Sept. 4, features a full day of music with the Marc Atkinson Trio, Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand, the Barra MacNeils, the Eileen Ivers Band, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings and Eddie From Ohio on the main stage.

Closing out the festivities on Sunday, Sept. 5 are the Barra MacNeils, Mark Erelli, the Waybacks, the John Cowan Band with Pat Flynn, the Bills, Drew Emmitt and Freedom Ride and the Tim O'Brien Band.

The Four Corners Folk Festival is a family-friendly event, with free admission for children 12 and under, and ongoing free activities throughout the weekend in the Four Corners Kids area including arts and crafts, musical performances, magic shows and storytelling.

More than 2,000 people from all over the country venture to Pagosa Springs for the festival each year to enjoy stellar live performances, dozens of musical workshops and round-the-clock jam sessions in the campground.

Festival tickets are available locally at Moonlight Books downtown.

To order tickets with a credit card, or for additional information, call 731-5582, toll free at (877) 472-4672) or log on to


Choirs present concerts this weekend

By Bob Nordmann

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Community Choir will present two performances of its spring concert "On With the Show!" at the high school auditorium this weekend.

Performance times will be 7 p.m. Saturday, May 8, and 4 p.m. on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9.

"On With the Show!" is a one-hour upbeat program with a wide variety of music, ranging from Broadway to love songs, from gospel to baseball.

In addition to the 50-plus voices of the Community Choir, the concerts will also feature the newly formed Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale as well as the choir's new vocal jazz group.

The Children's Chorale is a 27-member group of singers 7-12 years old that started up in February of this year.

Be sure to bring Mom and the whole family - what a great treat for Mother's Day. And speaking of treats, there will be fresh baked goodies of all descriptions for sale in the lobby after each concert.

The choir is pleased to provide free admission for this program as a gift to the community. Donations are gratefully accepted and are tax deductible.

Come to the auditorium this weekend and hear the Community Choir welcome spring with song.


Pagosan Phyllis Collier winner in national photo contest

May is designated as Older Americans Month.

In celebration of Older Americans Month this year, the Administration on Aging (AoA) introduced a national photography contest.

The Older Americans Month 2004 Photography Contest was developed to enhance the image of older Americans through pictures. Senior centers from across the country submitted photographs - all taken by seniors, that reflect the 2004 Older American's Month theme: Aging Well, Living Well.

In addition to the pictures, each photographer was asked to write a brief essay describing how their photograph embodies the Older Americans Month theme.

The winners of the 2004 Older Americans Month National Photography Contest include Phyllis Collier, 65, of Pagosa Springs who submitted a photo titled, "Aging Well, Living Well in Beautiful Colorado." Collier is a member of the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center

"We had an enthusiastic response to our contest, receiving 108 photographs from senior centers in 38 states," said Josefina G. Carbonell, assistant secretary for AoA. "The photographs submitted reflected the diversity and richness of our country and highlighted a variety of ways older people are aging and living well in America," she added.

"This contest was a wonderful way to honor the many contributions older persons have made and continue to make to society. We are pleased to support an activity that acknowledges their contributions and makes such a strong, positive impact in their lives," said Sanford Koeppel, Vice President, Prudential Retirement.

A ceremony to honor photography contest winners is being hosted by Sen. Larry Craig today, May 6. Prudential Financial, the American Savings Education Council, and the National Institute of Senior Centers are cosponsoring this event


Education News

School Menus

The following menus will be used for the breakfasts and lunches served in the Pagosa Springs public schools May 7 through May 13.

Friday, May 7 - Breakfast: Sausage on a stick, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Cheeseburger, bun, lettuce, tomato, French fries, green beans and yogurt.

Monday, May 10 - Breakfast: Breakfast pizza, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Stuffed crust pizza, tossed salad, corn and chocolate pudding.

Tuesday, May 11 - Breakfast: Waffle stix, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Corn dog, French fries, mixed vegetables and granola bar.

Wednesday, May 12 - Breakfast: Cinnamon rolls, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Frito pie, lettuce, cheese, veggie sticks and peaches.

Thursday, May 13 - Breakfast: Biscuit and gravy, cereal, toast, milk and juice. Lunch: Nachos with cheese, baked beans, tossed salad and brownie.


Cruising with Cruse

A little bit of mouse heaven at the S bar S

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

We can all agree that this spring has brought us some strange weather. March was warm and sunny and all the snow melted. Here at the S Bar S I reprogrammed the thermostat for summer.

And then came April. Cold. I felt like Nanook of the North. When the shivering started, I'd check the thermostat. No wonder I was cold; it was only 62 degrees in the house. I bumped the register up a notch or two. And up. And up again.

And the rain. Yes, we need the moisture. But enough already. The words from a song in the old musical "Carousel" kept recurring in my head. "April cried, and stepped aside, and along came pretty little May." Please, May, I thought, come soon.

The first weekend in May was like a bit of heaven. Finally, we could stand outside after dark without wearing a parka. We could open windows. We listened to the throaty rumble of a motorcycle going down Meadows Road. During our morning walk the neighbor's dogs barked us along from one house to the next, from one territory to the next. In the garage up the hill a table saw whined.

Hotshot was home for the weekend. Forty-eight hours. We had a list. First priority, get the trailer out of the side yard and back onto the driveway.

Hotshot began working on the trailer, strengthening the wooden inset he made last summer to support the raft. I was searching for something. By now I don't remember what. There's an old, very large wooden chest in our garage, perfect for storing all those things you need to store. It has nine drawers and cupboard doors underneath. The top is a workbench. It's been with the house forever.

Hotshot pretty much knows what he's put in which drawer, but I always start looking at one end and work my way across. I pull out the bottom drawer in each column first, then the middle one, then the top one. I read somewhere this is the way burglars go through your bedroom chests. It's more efficient. They don't have to close anything.

I began pulling open the drawers, one after another. And leaped back with an "Eek" when something moved in the middle drawer. At the sight of me, the mouse also leaped, and hightailed it to the back of the drawer just before I pushed it shut.

"What's wrong?" asked Hotshot. "A mouse," I said. I pulled the drawer open again, slowly. There was a nest, all fuzzy and gray, with another mouse head poking out of it.

This drawer was the one with all the collections of nails and screws, many of them in the paper bags they came in, straight from the hardware store. Hotshot had rolled down the top of the bags to hold them open and make it easy to find what he might be looking for. The mice had picked one of the larger bags and filled it to the top with soft nesting material.

We made sure no more mice would jump out of the nest. Then Hotshot removed the fluffy wad and dumped the remaining contents, long brass screws, on the walk. And I began that truly nasty job of going through the drawer, discarding what the mice had destroyed or messed beyond redemption, and cleaning the rest with bleach.

There was a leather and fabric work glove. The leather part was fine; the fabric was missing. There were a couple of cotton rags, the edges well chewed. All the paper bags had lacy rims. There were also downy bird feathers, feathering the nest, so to speak.

Oh, those little guys were plenty busy all winter. They probably thought they were in mouse heaven.

Of course they hadn't confined their activities to just one drawer. Now that we were paying attention, we found mouse tracks in every drawer. We found tracks along the base of the walls, all around the garage and on all the shelves.

The second major chore was to bring the raft down from the garage attic, where it had reposed, inflated, over the winter, definitely a fish out of water. The mice had been there too, making a nest underneath the raft. We think they started this one first, before moving downstairs to the cozier quarters in the chest drawer.

This is the first year that the mice have wintered in our garage. I suppose I should be glad they didn't come into the house.

Being raised in the city, I never thought about mice, until we lived in a lovely wooded suburb of Hartford, Connecticut. At that time we had a dog, which ate only dried kibble. We stored her food under the kitchen sink. Over the second winter I vaguely registered, the way you do, that the dog seemed to be eating a lot. At least, the kibble in the bag was going at a faster rate than usual.

Several months went by before I had occasion to open the sofa-bed in the neighboring family room. This was the same sofa where we sat to watch television or read bedtime stories to the kids. As I unfolded the mattress, handfuls of dog food began falling from inside the backrest, where the mice had stored them. Fortunately there was no nest. This was just an alternate storage place.

Those little critters had transferred something like ten pounds of kibble from under the sink into the back of the sofa-bed. The two locations were about 15 feet apart. You have to wonder why they couldn't just take what they needed from under the sink.

Since then I've become pretty good at setting mousetraps. You might say I'm an expert. And that was my final chore for last weekend's spring cleaning.


Local Chatter

Symphonic fairy tale matches characters and musical notes

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

This will be the third summer that Pagosa Springs will be treated to Music in the Mountains. Carole Howard has been writing about the three concerts to be performed at BootJack Ranch. And she has written about the free children's concert set for July 29 in Town Park.

The children's concert will feature Serge Prokofieff's "Peter and the Wolf," a symphonic fairy tale he wrote for his children. Prokofieff's purpose was to introduce children to the instruments in an orchestra. He does this by assigning leitmotifs to specific instruments.

"Leitmotifs" is a German word. It refers to a certain melody representing a specific character. And so, when the melody is played, we know what character it refers to. Peter and the Wolf is standard repertoire just as Peter Ilich Tchaikowsky's "Nutcracker Suite" is. This is a concert for the whole family.

Around town

The Sisson Library volunteers met for lunch last Thursday at the Downside Moose. Although the business is new, the proprietors aren't, for Sally and Mark Leavitt owned and operated the popular Moose River Pub that was located at the corner of Park Avenue and North Pagosa Boulevard. They went back east to take care of family and now they are back.

The Seniors' Prom held Sunday evening at the high school was a big, fun evening. The seniors are raving about it. One thing in particular was the Argentine Tango performed by Les Linton and Linda Carter. Les will teach the Argentine Tango at the May 20 and 27 sessions of the Instep Dance Club.

Deb Aspen, the Instep Dance Club's instructor is getting married this Saturday, May 8, to Charles Jackson, her dance partner. The wedding is in Albuquerque.


Extension Viewpoints

New graduates can achieve financial dreams

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Today, May 6 - 4-H Oil Painting, Minor residence, 4:30 p.m.; 4-H Entomology, Extension office, 4:30 p.m.; 4-H Outdoor Cooking, Bomkamp residence, 6 p.m.; Shady Pine, Extension office, 7 p.m.

Friday, May 7 - Cloverbuds, community center, 1:30 p.m.; 4-H Clothing, Edelweiss, 2 p.m.; Colorado Mountaineers, Extension office, 2:15; 4-H Goat, Extension office, 3 p.m.

Saturday, May 8 - 4-H Cooking, Unit 1, Bomkamp residence, 9 p.m.

Monday, May 10 - 4-H Shooting Sports, Ski & Bow Rack, 4 p.m.; 4-H Dog Obedience, Extension office, 4; 4-H Sports Fishing, Extension office, 4; Pagosa Peaks, Extension office, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 11 - Rocky Mountain Riders, Extension office, 6 p.m.; 4-H Swine, Extension office - Exhibit hall, 6; 4-H Lamb, exhibit hall, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, May 12 - Junior Stockman, Chromo, 7 p.m.

Freedom, flexibility, independence - new graduates have it all. They can keep all of this new-found freedom by using a few time-proven principles to apply their financial resources toward achieving life dreams.

Start by making a habit of setting and reaching goals. People who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to accomplish their goals than people who don't. As you become accustomed to setting aside money for smaller goals, you'll learn that you don't miss the money. Larger goals will be within your reach.

Shortly after you draw your first paycheck, start thinking about investing. Your employer may offer a retirement plan in which they match your contributions up to a certain amount. Take advantage of the employer match and contribute the maximum you can.

From the beginning, avoid high credit card interest charges, save for a 20 percent down payment on a home so you can avoid mortgage insurance payments, buy used cars rather than leasing new ones and use your money for investing. You deserve your hard-earned money - don't let it slip away.

For people who want to learn on their own about investing, a number of Web sites with educational offerings are available. The National Endowment for Financial Education offers a free, Web-based educational training at Another online Web-based course is offered by the Investment Company Institute Education Foundation at The Morningstar organization provides in-depth stock and mutual fund information to investors and financial advisers in addition to numerous online educational courses for a minimal charge. The Morningside site is

Focus on investing for the long run and ignore stories in the press and on television that would make you frequently buy and sell investments. Ignore hot tips from friends and at the office. Know why you make an investment decision and reevaluate your decision every couple of years. Don't fret (or brag) about your investments. Make educated investment decisions and enjoy your life.

If you know learning about money is not your thing, establish an investing program with automatic contributions from your checking account to a no-load index mutual fund. Check several mutual fund companies and compare yields and annual expenses. A few examples include, and

Learn to do a net-worth statement. Once a year, add up all of your assets which include cash, savings, investments and an estimate of your personal possessions. Deduct all of your liabilities (anything that you owe). The result is your personal net worth. Keep your debt low and stay steady with your investment plan. Your increasing net worth will be your reward.


Pagosa Lakes News

It will be the mother of all garage sales

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

"How to Turn Your Trash Into Cash," "Your Hidden Money," "Backyard Money Machine" ... these are all titles of books to teach people how to conduct their own garage sales.

Who would have thought (and certainly not I) that my trash is another's gold mine?

Over 60 million people conduct their own, or go to garage sales every year. Most of these how-to-do-it publications written by America's garage sale experts lay out easy step-by-step approaches used scores of times over the past many years. Some of these books are even on a video format, for those visual learners.

I'm so impressed. I've always been awkward about publicly displaying some of the bad purchases I've made in my lifetime and have avoided going to or putting on a garage sale. Who would want my unwanted items? Why would I want to embarrass my neighbors by examining the detritus of their consumerism?

Wow, there are people out there who really enjoy the inspiration and function of these sales.

Why am I writing about garage sales? First, I wanted to expand my cultural horizon by reading up on garage sales and second, I need to inform my readers of the upcoming communitywide mother of all garage sales being organized by Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

PLPOA will hold an association-approved garage sale for members Saturday, June 12. The garage sale will start at 9 a.m. and continue to 1 p.m., weather permitting. Location will be announced at a later date in this column.

PLPOA will supply tables for your sale items but since the inventory is not limitless, you may wish to bring a couple of your own card tables for additional display surfaces. Free hot dogs and soda will be served. What a deal.

If you're interested in joining this community garage sale, call the PLPOA administration office at 731-5635 to reserve space. There is no charge involved as this is a service provided by PLPOA for its members.

Allow me to share what I've learned about the art of garage sales. First, set a date and time when you can devote your full attention to this sale, for gathering up various articles as well as being able to attend the sale full time. Second, plan just what you're going to put in this sale, if you are going to have the sale alone, or with two or more families. Third, have plenty of change on hand - both coin and paper money.

Well, that was easy since some of the components are already being addressed by PLPOA. Now, get down to business. Clean out your closets and anything that is useless to you or you don't want - put it in the sale. Don't throw anything away. People will buy just about anything. You'd be surprised. You can also throw together a box of freebies.

Antiques go over big regardless of state of repair or condition. Give good descriptive details to fire a buyers' interest.

Capitalize on the season. For a June garage sale bicycles, fishing gear, swim wear and outdoor toys go over well.

Doll clothing and accessories are always in demand. Toys go over big at any time with the kiddies and they, in turn, will finally persuade their parents to buy something. Children are very persuasive.

Have a large quantity of items to sell. Don't be afraid to drag out things and generally "clean house." You'll find the money in your pocket is better than all the clutter in the house.

String up clothesline to display clothing - indicate price and size. Set up card tables to display small merchandise in an attractive fashion. Be sure they are clean, usable, and priced temptingly. People are looking for bargains. Don't disappoint them. Remember that what you sell is something you don't want anyway, so whatever you get is gravy.

If you have any fragile items, be sure to display on a table and up out of reach of kiddies. Drinking glasses, dishes, cups will sell faster if you price them in sets of six for $1 instead of 15 cents each. Books, magazines, CDs and items that have titles will sell more readily if they are marked separately. If they want it collectively, they'll ask you. Then bundle it up and sell them. Sell everything.

Advertise. Run ads in our local newspaper and place signs at points where people will see them. Work word-of-mouth all you can. However, be responsible for taking down the signs you've put up after your sale.

Whatever you decide to advertise, be ready. Be ready early because some will come before the sale begins. At the end of your sale you will have met a lot of nice, friendly people and hopefully, go home to a less cluttered place.




Trista Marie Tully made her debut March 12, 2004, in Durango. The new daughter of Ash and Trish Tully of Pagosa Springs weighed 8 1/2 pounds and was 19 inches long. Grandparents are Pete and Marilyn Dach of Pagosa Springs and Mark and the late Janice Tully, also of Pagosa Springs.


Paul W. Cronkhite

Paul W. Cronkhite, 79, died Tuesday, April 27, 2004, at his home in Pagosa Springs, of natural causes.

Mr. Cronkhite was born Dec. 21, 1924, in Denver, the son of Paul and Helen Cronkhite.

Mr. Cronkhite attended South High School in Denver and earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering at the University of Colorado School of Engineering.

He married Muriel D. Cronkhite on Sept. 15, 1951, in Flushing, N.Y.

Mr. Cronkhite enlisted in the Navy in 1942 during WWII and attained the rank of lieutenant, junior grade. He served on the USS St. Paul and was honorably discharged in 1946.

He earned a master's in physics at the University of Minnesota. Mr. Cronkhite worked at Monsanto and Motorola as a key designer and developer of the silicon wafer. He owns many patents for the chips and the processes involved in their creation.

Mr. Cronkhite had lived in Pagosa Springs for 15 years.

He enjoyed woodturning and woodworking, and he was a passionate student of science and history throughout his life.

"He would say, 'Don't ever question the judgment of an engineer,'" said Mrs. Cronkhite.

He is survived by his wife, of Pagosa Springs; two sons, Larry Cronkhite, of Atlanta, and Dennis Cronkhite of Dallas; a daughter, Barbara Valenteen, of Pagosa Springs; grandchildren Alison and Jason Brainard of St. Louis, Mo., Greg and Brian Cronkhite of Atlanta, Nicole Cronkhite of Dallas, Jared Lincoln of Boulder, Kyle Lincoln of Albuquerque, and John and Kelly Garrett of Arlington, Texas; a sister, Joan Carter; an adopted son Tim Olson, of Pagosa Springs; a niece; a great-niece; a nephew; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Saturday, May 1, at 4 p.m. at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Pagosa Springs, the Rev. Robert Pope officiating. Cremation occurred at Hood Mortuary Crematory in Durango.

Memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Cronkhite's name to the CU Foundation and will be used for scholarships in the Chemical Engineering Dept.: Colorado University Foundation, Paul W. Cronkhite '45 Scholarship, College of Engineering and Applied Science, Development Office, 422 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0422.


Cass Matyniak

Cass R. Matyniak, 87, died April 24, 2004. He left his wife of 57 years, Dorothy; three children, Mike, Teresa and Kevin Matyniak; four grandsons, Daniel, Christopher, Timothy and Joseph, and a daughter-in-law, Cheryl.

Cass served in the U.S. Army from July 1943 to April, 1946 and was with the 395th Armored Field Artillery in the European Theater for 17 months.

He was born in Detroit, Mich. He worked as a dental lab technician for 38 years in Kansas City, Mo., Albuquerque, N.M., and Tulsa, Okla., before retiring in 1983.

Cass was a loving, gentle and caring man who will be missed by his family and friends.

A private family viewing was held Sunday, April 25, at Pagosa Springs Funeral Options. Interment was in Calvary Cemetery in Tulsa.


Billy J. Taylor

Billy J. Taylor, 80, of Arboles, Colo., passed away April 29, 2004. He was born Feb. 10, 1924, in Swink, Colo., to William Walter and Maude (DeFrese) Taylor.

Bill started work in the mines in Creede at the age of 14. He had numerous cowboy jobs, raised registered quarter horses in the San Luis Valley, and retired from the State of Colorado and Federal Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Service after 17 years. He was a member of the Creede Elks Lodge for 59 years and a member of the Monte Vista Fire Department for 23 years.

On Sept. 21, 1979, Bill married Marjie Jean (Streeter-Hanson) in Monte Vista at the home of J.

C. (Cord) and Blanche Streeter (her parents). They lived in the Monte Vista area until 1990 when they moved to Arboles. His favorite hobbies were sports - hunting, fishing, boating - and enjoying his grandchidren.

Bill is survived by his wife, Marjie at home; three sons, Abe Jay (Lori) Taylor of Monte Vista, Steven (Sylvia) Hanson of Colorado Springs, and Chuck Hanson of Monte Vista; 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, two sisters and a son, William Dudley Taylor.

Funeral services were held Monday, May 3, 2004, at the Rogers Family Funeral Home in Monte Vista. Burial was in Monte Vista Cemetery. Memorials may be made in his memory to Monte Vista Fire Department.


Business News
Biz Beat


Lobo Financial Group

Dan Johnston at Lobo Financial Group is the manager of the Pagosa branch - a satellite of the main office located in Denver. Dan has been a Pagosa resident for four years and has been in business locally for two years.

Lobo Financial Group has been in business since August 2000 with the Pagosa branch open for one year. Specializing in residential and commercial mortgages, Dan and the rest of the mortgage crew work to provide the best financing program possible, based on the needs and capability of their clients.

With 18 years of mortgage loan experience behind her, the owner of Lobo Financial Group, Sheri A. O'Herron, started the business with the goal of providing quality customer service and taking pride in every loan closed. Agents attend all closings.

Lobo Financial Group is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m Monday through Friday. The office is at 1065 U.S. 160 West and can be reached by calling 264-0460.


Preview Profile

Heidi Keshet

Technology teacher

Pagosa Springs Intermediate School


Where were you born?

"Lakewood, Ohio."


Where did you go to school?

"I went to Coronado High School in El Paso. After high school, I attended Texas A&M and NMSU, were I studied horticulture and then transferred to Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee were I obtained my B.E.A., B.A. and M.E."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"August 2003."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I taught in inner-city Milwaukee."


What are your job responsibilities?

"I teach computer science to the sixth-graders but I also try to work the fifth-graders in as much as I can."


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

"I enjoy working with the kids. The least enjoyable part of my job is having to deviate from my content area to teach to the test because I think it stifles creative thinking."


What is your family background?

"Not married, with two grown kids in Milwaukee."


What do you like best about the community?

"I like the way everybody pulls together to help each other. The mountains."


What are your other interests?

"I enjoy camping, skiing, running and designing Web sites."



GOP post

Charles Hawkins of Pagosa Springs has been selected to represent the state on the new Presidential Business Commission.

The announcement was made by Tom Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The commission is an elite group of leading business and professional people who will be advising the party leadership on how to protect the president's majority in the House in upcoming elections.

Hawkins was selected based on his contribution as honorary chairman of the party's Business Advisory Council, a position he still holds.

On the commission he will receive invitations to VIP events in Washington, like the upcoming president's dinner and the NRCC's annual gala.

Reynolds, commenting on Hawkins' selection, said, "The 2004 election will be critical in determining the course of our nation, particularly in terms of tax relief and national defense. I am grateful to have Mr. Hawkins' support and personal input as a resource."



Freddie and Elizabeth Martinez are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Ashley Elizabeth, to Chris Torres, son of Joe and Kathy Torres of Thoreau, N.M. A June wedding is being planned in Pagosa Springs.


Cards of Thanks

Teen breakfast

I would like to express my gratitude to a few outstanding people for helping with the Life Teen pancake breakfast. This event is typically worked by the youth. Because of prom falling the night before this month's breakfast, I knew I would need help from adults.

I would like to express my appreciation to Maurice and Joy Allen for coming to our rescue. This dynamic team was there from beginning to end with great advice and cooking prowess. They, along with my mother - Enza Bomkamp - kept the kitchen clean and running smoothly. Sandy and Paul Hanson, as well as Michol Brammer, came in midway and were a great cleanup crew. These adults have no children in the program, yet they took the time out of their busy day to help us. Thank you.

Most especially I would like to thank a teen that I cannot say enough good things about - Darran Garcia. This young man is always there for us. He comes to every meeting, service project and fund-raiser with a good attitude and a smile. Darran, I have the greatest respect for you. Thank you to his parents, Jim and Bernadette, for raising such a conscientious young adult.


Pamela Bomkamp

Trash cleanup

Thanks so much to the following for coming out early on April 17 to pick up trash at the Aspen Springs site:

Vicky Thompson, Steve Simpson, Joy Madden, Caroline and Pat Ullrich, Melissa Maley, W.C. and two friends, Vicki Justice and daughter Anita Kizer, Mary Hannah, Carolee Blivens, LeaAnne Skoaglund and son and Ronnie Zaday.

Ronnie brought doughnuts. Ron and I were out of town but they did a great job. My thanks to everyone.

Cindy Gustafson


Thank you Darrell Scott and Suzi Ragsdale and everyone who attended, sent money and sent good wishes for this past weekend's fund-raiser. Nearly $4,500 was raised for Dan Appenzeller and Bear Bolhouse through ticket sales, donations and Darrell and Suzi's generosity in splitting their CD sales. The concert was amazing, and what an unexpected treat to get to hear Suzi on vocals and accordion.

Even more important than the money raised was the outpouring of love and support shown to these two individuals, who have worked so hard to bring music to so many people over the past nine years. It was a night we will not soon forget.

FolkWest would also like to thank Beth Warren, who organized the entire night, the Abbey Theater in Durango, KSUT for tireless promotion of the event, and Moonlight Books, Southwest Sound, Brian Smith and Katherine Frye for selling tickets.

And finally, as Beth said on Saturday, she wouldn't have dreamed of doing a fund-raiser until both men were physically able to be present, and hallelujah! They were. Thanks Dan and Bear for keeping the music coming to Four Corners.

Crista Munro

Chocolate galore

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs' Annual Sundowner and Chocolate Auction was held April 28. In traditional toga style, vast amounts of Greek fare were quickly consumed. Under the direction of our fearless auctioneer, Bill Nobles and his noble spotters, over 27 decadent and gourmet desserts donated by local restaurants and caters were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The event would not have been the social event of the month without the Red Hat Society Ladies in attendance. The evening was a success with over $3,000 being raised for the animal shelter. Thank you to everyone who volunteered, donated, or participated.

Post prom party

Fun was had by all 168 students who attended the after-prom party.

It takes a town like Pagosa Springs with businesses, parents and people willing to give of their time, money and sleep to host such a big bash for the teens. Each one of the following people contributed to the success of the party:

Bruce and Terri Andersen, Joe Bergman, Tracy and Karen Bunning, Bobbie Calhoun, Justin Caler, Clay and Carrie Campbell, Marianne Caprioli, Karen Carpenter, Cindy Carothers, Betsy Carpino, Kathy Conway, Mark Dahm, Mark DeVoti, John, Tom and Jim Emanuel, Carol Feazel, Ray Finney, Kelly Fisher, Todd Henry, Deanna Hockett, Lisa Hudson, Curt Johnson, Mercy Korsgren, G and Maureen Margiotta, Pam Martin, Eric Mesker, Buck and Shari Pierce, Eric Spors, Gene and Debbie Tautges, Steve and Belinda Thull, and Robin Willett.

We can't thank you enough and know all of the parents of teens who attended the party are most appreciative. Thanks also goes to the High School, especially Bill Esterbrook for your cooperation and support and the Pagosa Springs Community Center for sponsoring this event.

The committee of Moms who just want to have fun,

Sandy Caves, Angie Dahm, Heidi Emanuel, Teddy Finney, Joanne Irons, Lynn Johnson

Brain tumor

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, food, flowers, and hats! I had no idea anybody even knew what was going on in my life. I sure didn't.

I guess that's what happens when you have a brain tumor the size of an orange growing in your head. By the time I thought to call and get an appointment, I didn't even remember my own grandson's name. That scared everybody enough that they got me over to Durango.

From there a CT scan was performed and they whisked me away to Farmington. I don't even remember being in Durango. My hair is shaved on the left side and about an inch on the right. The hats are a wonderful addition to my wardrobe.

I would love to thank each one of you personally, however, this will have to suffice for now.

It is a low grade, slow growing cancer that I will probably have to have some kind of follow-up care for in the not too distant future. But I'm not going to spend one moment worrying about it. I have my grandson, Dorian, and my granddaughter, Janiah to play with. God just keeps smiling on me. The other good news, I no longer have lymphoma. This is an altogether new cancer.

I have no insurance and don't seem to qualify for any of the programs suggested to me, so on the advice of a few friends, I've had an account opened at the Bank of the San Juans named "Dawn Walker's Medical Fund." If any of you are in a position where you can help, the hospitals, ambulances, anesthesiologists, and others will be most thankful. I will be grateful forever.

With all my heart, I thank you for all you've done for me and my family.

Dawn Walker

Seniors' prom

"Senior" Prom was a blast for our senior citizens and thanks to many including Scout Pack 807, who escorted our ladies and lent a helping hand.  Carrie Toth, for the idea of a "senior" prom, what a fantastic idea and thank you for helping out too;  John Graves and Company, what wonderful music you provided;  The Red Hats helped us out once again;   Cindy Gowing from A Beautiful Memory, made the afternoon a special memory by donating a photo of anyone that posed for the camera; Plaid Pony made beautiful corsages and boutonnieres; A scrumptious cheesecake was donated by the Gustafsons;  Susi Cochran pitched in before, during and after the prom; my husband, Dan helped out tons as usual.  

Several folks made up our clean up crew! Laura, thanks for working on a Sunday. Thanks to Archuleta Seniors Inc. for sponsoring the event.  Jody Martinez was our maintenance savior for the event.  A very special thank you to the junior class of Pagosa Springs High School for allowing us to use their decorations from their prom the night before.  We were all so impressed with the creativity of the event.  Thanks again everyone.

Musetta Wollenweber

More seniors

The prom for senior citizens held May 2 at the high school was wonderful. The decorations from the high school prom with the theme "Shang Hai" from the night before were creative and beautiful. What a great idea.

John Graves and company played dance and listening music ... a pleasant experience.

Thank you Musetta Wollenweber, Laura Bedard and the nonprofit Archuleta Seniors Inc.

Steve Butler, Dee Butler and Linda Carter

Book Swap

The elementary school's second annual Book Swap was a grand success as a result of generosity of many Pagosans. Special thanks go to the Methodist Thrift Store, the Humane Society Thrift Store, Upscale Resale and the students of the intermediate school.

The students and their parents at Pagosa elementary, the staff and the "Hop on Reading" team led by Monica Archuleta, are to be commended for their dedication to reading.

Cathne Holt


Sports Page
Pirate girls team places in all events on new track

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

On a new track, under a blue sky the Pagosa Pirates girls' track team came to play.

At Saturday's inaugural varsity track meet in Golden Peaks Stadium, the girls not only won the team trophy, they placed in every single event - probably a first according to Coach Connie O'Donnell.

"Our girls seemed to really step up after the Bloomfield meet," O'Donnell said. "I hope they carry their ambition into the few weeks that remain."

Sophomore Emilie Schur is the only team member so far with a ticket to state three weeks from now. She qualified by time to run in the 1600 there, winning Saturday's race in 5 minutes, 28.44 seconds. Schur also won the 800, finishing in 2:27.92 and finished second in the 3200 with a time of 12:40.76. She joined up with junior Bri Scott, freshman Jen Shearston and freshman Jessica Lynch for a winning run in the 3200-meter relay with a time of 10:15.19.

The 1600 relay team of freshman Kim Fulmer, sophomore Liza Kelley, Shearston and Lynch added another first to Pagosa's tally with a time of 4:34.56.

Not to be left out, the 400 relay team of sophomore Mia Caprioli, freshman Lyndsey Mackey, junior Janna Henry and Fulmer passed the competition for their own first-place award in 54.54. Scott, Henry, Caprioli and Kelley combined for second place in the 800 relay, taking the baton past the finish line in 1:55.46.

When it came to individual efforts, Pagosa came away with another load of medals.

Caprioli made haste to the finish for first in the 100-meter dash. She crossed the line in 13.78. Mackey made a 15-foot, 1 inch leap in the long jump to claim the top spot, and Roxanna Day made 7-0 in the pole vault - an event held in Bayfield - to win that event. Unfortunately, she was also injured in the competition.

"She suffered a severe sprain to her ankle," O'Donnell said.

Adding to the points, Henry swept through the competition in the 100 hurdles to steal second, running in 17.74. She claimed another second in the 300 hurdles, this time finishing in 50.87. Fulmer took up the torch in the 200, taking second with a time of 29.19.

Freshman Danielle Spencer cleared 4-2 on the high jump for a third-place award, and Kelley staked her claim on a top-three triple jump award with a third-place 31-8.5 leap.

The girls will travel to Bayfield Saturday for the IML meet.


Medley relay: 4. E. Buikema, K. DuCharme, K. Canty, E. McDonald, 2:05.71. 3200 relay: 1. B. Scott, J. Shearston, J. Lynch, E. Schur, 10:15.19. 100 hurdles: 2. J. Henry, 17.74; 4. L. Mackey, 19.17; 6. K. Canty. 20.73. 100: 1. M. Caprioli, 13.78. 800 relay: 2. B. Scott, J. Henry, M. Caprioli, L. Kelley, 1:55.46. 1600: 1. E. Schur, 5:28.44, state qualifier. 400 relay: 1. M. Caprioli, L. Mackey, J. Henry, K. Fulmer, 54.54. 400: 5. K. Fulmer, 65.46. 300 hurdles: 2. J. Henry, 50.87; 6. L. Mackey, 53.90. 800: 1. E. Schur, 2:27.92; 4. J. Lynch, 2:41.54; 5. J. Shearston, 2:42.09. 200: 2. K. Fulmer, 29.19. 3200: 2. E. Schur 12:40.76; 6. J. Whipple, 15:33.03. 1600 relay: 1. K. Fulmer, L. Kelley, J. Shearston, J. Lynch, 4:34.56. Discus: 4. E. Buikema, 85-10. High jump: 3. D. Spencer, 4-2; 4. K. Canty, 4-0. Long jump: 1. L. Mackey, 15-1. Triple jump: 3. L. Kelley, 31-8.5. Shot put: 6. K. DuCharme, 26-10.75. Pole vault: R. Day, 7-0.


Pirates qualify for state at first-ever home meet

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Pirates will be represented at the 3A state track meet in Pueblo this year.

That was decided Saturday, at Golden Peaks Stadium, when senior Clayton Spencer cleared 6-feet 2.5 inches in the high jump - automatically qualifying for state.

Coach Connie O'Donnell said the leap tied Spencer for first with a jumper from Telluride, "but Clayton took second in the event because he had missed a few previous attempts." Spencer also put in a 17.31 second effort in the 100-meter hurdles to earn third.

And that wasn't all the good news for Pagosa Saturday. The Pirates captured the team title at their first varsity meet on home turf and walked away with five first place medals - all stadium records of course.

Because of the efforts of so many volunteers on the sidelines and the team on the track, O'Donnell said the meet was an all-around success.

Three of Pagosa's five first-place runs came in the relays. In the 400-meter relay, sophomore Daniel Aupperle, senior David Kern, junior Manual Madrid and junior Paul Armijo pulled away from the competition with a 46.46 winning effort. The same foursome combined again in the 800 relay for a second win, this time in 1:38.14.

In the 1600 relay, Dan Lowder, Aaron Hamilton, Gunner Gill and Junior Turner put their skills together to cross the finish ahead of the pack with a time of 3:37.10.

Hamilton matched up with Daren Hockett, A.J. Abeyta and Dan Lowder in the 3200 relay for a win in 8:46.43. The senior also crushed the competition in the 1600-meter run, winning that race in 4:52.21. He finished second in the 800 with a time of 2:10.95.

"Aaron Hamilton had a great day," O'Donnell said. "He ran another season's best in the 1600-meter. I am excited about the way he is improving at every meet."

Lowder, a senior, added to the Pirate's top-three finishes with a third-place medal in the 400. He finished the race in 53.60.

In the two-mile run, Abeyta, a sophomore, grabbed his own third-place award with a 11:25.9 effort. Over on the field events, Aupperle added a second-place award in the long jump with a leap of 19-9.5, despite having to squeeze jumps in between his running events.

The team will travel to Bayfield Saturday for the Intermountain League meet.

"I still like our chances for both boys and girls at this weekend's competition," O'Donnell said. "The boys have really surprised me this year and have become contenders in the league through hard work."


3200-relay: 1. A. Hamilton, D. Hockett, A.J. Abeyta, D. Lowder, 8:46.43. Hurdles: 3. C. Spencer, 17.31; 5. M. Madrid, 19.28; 6. C. Ormonde, 20.56. 100: 5. D. Kern, 12.22; 6. D. Aupperle, 12.29. 800-relay: 1. P. Armijo, D. Aupperle, D. Kern, M. Madrid, 1:38.14. 1600: 1. A. Hamilton, 4:52.21; 4. A.J. Abeyta, 5:06.72; 5. O. Sandoval, 5:07.93. 400-relay: 1. D. Aupperle, D. Kern, M. Madrid, P. Armijo, 46.46. 400: 3. D. Lowder, 53.60; 4. O. Rand, 53.70; 6. Gunner Gill, 54.80. 300 hurdles: 4. M. Madrid, 44.74; 6. C. Ormonde, 48.99. 800: 2. A. Hamilton, 2:10.95; 5. K. Smith, 2:16.14; 6. D. Hockett, 2:17.83. 3200: 3. A.J. Abeyta, 11:25.90; 4. O. Sandoval, 11:26.41. 1600-relay: 1. D. Lowder, A. Hamilton, G. Gill, J. Turner, 3:37.10. High jump: 2. C. Spencer, 6-2.5, state qualifier; 4. C. Ormonde, 5-6.5. Long jump: 2. D. Aupperle, 19-9.5; 4. J. Turner, 19-5; 6. B. Ford, 18-1. Triple jump: 4. J. Turner, 39-5; 5. C. Schutz, 37-6.25.


Pirate kickers fall 6-0 to unbeaten Telluride

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Take away the first 10 minutes. Please!

In that time frame Telluride's Lady Miners, undefeated and unscored upon this season, built an insurmountable 4-0 lead against the Pagosa Springs soccer team Friday on a neutral field in Cortez.

Two of goals went to right wing Shelly Hale, the first at 2 minutes, 35 seconds on a crossing lead from Joanie Dix and again less than two minutes later at 4:23 from Tracy Randa.

Then it was Riley McIntyre's turn, scoring unassisted on a breakaway at 4:58. Caitlin Kirst got the fourth Miner goal at 16:19.

In addition to the four goals finding net, Pirate keeper Sierra Fleenor had saves on four more shots before her defense finally settled down and began to help her.

By then, however, it was too late.

Pagosa's first scoring chance came at 17:31 when Kailey Smith's header off a corner kick was over the net.

Fleenor made three more stops in the next several minutes before Pagosa got another opportunity.

At the 28-minute mark freshman striker Laurel Reinhardt took a lead from senior Melissa Diller from the middle but her drive was hauled in by Miner keeper Genna Kirsch.

The score held at 4-0 at the half with the Pirates throwing up a stout if tardy defense against the high-flying league leaders.

At 44:22, however, Telluride kicked the lead up to 5-0 with Lily Colter scoring unassisted on a drive off a botched Pirate outlet kick off a save by Fleenor on a shot by Kirst.

Hale was wide right four minutes later and then showed her frustration when Fleenor made the save of the game on her shot at 49:57. She was celebrating when Fleenor leaped as high as she could go and tipped Hale's drive up and over the cross bar.

After three more Fleenor stops, Telluride got the game's final goal, a looper off the top from 26 yards by Tracy Ranta.

Fleenor had two more saves on Miner efforts before the Pagosa offense seemed to awaken. Melissa Diller was stopped by Kirsch on a corner kick reversal from Brett Garman. Then Reinhardt was frustrated when her drive off a feed by Emmy Smith hit the right post.

Fleenor was tested again but made saves on Dix and Kirst before another Pagosa scoring chance.

Diller's penalty kick from 16 yards on the right side was stopped by Kirsch at 66:32. Less than three minutes later, the senior team scoring leader was stopped again by Kirsch, this time on a high looper.

Fleenor's efforts continued to come in pairs. She made two excellent moves as Telluride pressed the attack in a 30-second swarm starting at 69:57. She stopped Dix on a ground-hugger low to her right and, as Telluride maintained possession, stopped Ranta's bid to the opposite side.

Diller again was stopped by Kirsch at 74:46, this time from right in front of the net off a cross from fellow senior Amy Tautges.

As time wore down Pagosa made drive after drive into the Miner zone but was unable to get a shot on net.

Until 78:47.

That provided the finest opportunity the Pirates had all day.

It was started by Emmy Smith who stole an outlet pass at midfield and beat two defenders down the left wing.

Her crossing lead to Reinhardt was blocked by a Telluride defender but freshman Mariah Howell kept the ball in front of the net where Kirsch stopped her scoring effort.

Still, Pagosa retained possession and Brittany Corcoran was thwarted attempting to make Pagosa the first to score against Telluride. Her shot, too, was stopped and when Howell blasted another off the rebound, Kirsch dived to the ground to cover the ball and the last effort had gone for naught.

Fleenor was credited with 22 saves in the contest while Kirsch had 13.

The loss dropped Pagosa's league mark to 5-3-1 with one game to play the following day against Center, in Center.


Hot goalie cools Pirate kickers in 3-1 Ridgway win

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

For 15 minutes Thursday the names of note were Sierra Fleenor and Eva Duce.

They are the goaltenders, respectively, for Pagosa Springs and Ridgway high school soccer teams and each was up to early challenges on the windblown Ridgway field.

The key names had changed by the end of the 3-1 Ridgway victory to Megan Gardner and Porsha Hunger.

The first serious scoring chance came at 3:59 when Fleenor stopped a point-blank attack by Ridgway's sophomore striker Natalie Redmond on a breakaway with a missed Pagosa outlet pass.

Just 65 seconds later, Fleenor again was on the spot, stopping Gardner with fine recognition of shot angle from a 2-on-1 attack.

Then Duce got into the act, attacked by Pirate senior striker Melissa Diller.

At 7:38, Diller looped a knee ball over a defender and outraced her to it driving on Duce. She faked right and went left but Duce recognized the deception and dived to stop the ball.

Exactly five minutes later, Diller was again on the prowl in the Demon zone, taking a cross from fellow senior captain Jenna Finney right up the middle. She got a little too much of the kick, however, and lifted it over the crossbar.

After a missed Pirate kick just outside the offensive zone, Ridgway attacked with the wind at their backs and a lead from Demon sophomore Crystal Hibbard sailed over the defenders with Gardner flying down the right wing.

She caught up with the pass in stride and Fleenor's dive to her right to stop it was a fraction too late.

Ridgway had a 1-0 lead it would not surrender.

Duce and Fleenor took over the game again as a number of efforts by both offenses were turned aside.

At 15:37 Pagosa freshman Laurel Reinhardt was wide right and Natalie Redmond's drive from 12 yards was stopped by Fleenor at 29:43.

Pagosa went on an offensive surge five minutes later with first Brittany Corcoran stopped by Duce on a 20-yarder up the middle. Then freshman Mariah Howell beat a defender around the left wing and ripped a drive to Duce's left that she went high to grab.

Three minutes later, on a crossing lead from Diller in mid-field, Howell again was free and again was stopped by Duce as the half ended with Ridgway still nursing the 1-0 lead.

At 43:02, however, Ridgway's lead grew to 2-0 when a Pirate defensive gaffe led to a penalty kick by Hunger. She drilled it low to Fleenor's right and her dive was a second too late.

At 46:13 Fleenor faced another 2-on-1 break and was up to the challenge, flagging down a looper by Redmond.

Pagosa got a chance to get back in the game when awarded a penalty kick of their own for a hand ball in the box at 49:07. Caitlyn Jewell's kick was wide right.

Pagosa stole the inbound pass and went right back to the attack with Duce stopping Diller from 12 yards and then watching as Diller's reverse off a Corcoran lead hit high on the corner of the net but just outside the post.

Then Corcoran was stopped again by Duce, this time on a ground-hugger from 20 yards.

Fleenor stopped Hibbard at 65:32 and made perhaps her best play of the game 14 seconds later when she leaped high to her left for Hunger's rebound header.

Then Pagosa began another surge, first with Howell hitting the left post at 67:34 and then being thwarted by Duce with a drive on net at the 70-minute mark.

Just 45 seconds later, Pagosa broke the scoring drought.

Diller took a cross from Amy Tautges, forced her way between two defenders with a stop-and-go move, then drove straight at Duce, going inside the box before shooting and catching Duce leaning the opposite way.

That made the score 2-1 and momentum seemed to be Pagosa's ally.

To back up that theory, Reinhardt and Howell worked a great give-and-go play at 71:38. Reinhardt's shot was stopped by Duce but Howell got the rebound. Her shot, however, again hit the left post.

Keeping with the two-person attack, Pagosa was stopped twice - again, on the next possession.

This time is was Corcoran and Alaina Garman working the two-person attack on a give-and-go started by Corcoran who drilled the return off the right post. Garman, racing to back her up, was stopped by Duce.

Corcoran was inadvertently kicked in the head breaking to back up Garman on the play and was assisted from the field with an ice-pack applied. Jennifer Hilsabek also was injured in the contest, reaggravating a chest muscle pull.

At 77:28, Gardner stole a Pirate outlet at mid-field, chipped over a defender and then outraced the pack to drill the ball past Fleenor for a 3-1 Ridgway lead.

Diller was stopped twice by Duce in the last two minutes as Pagosa went to an all-out swarm offense to try to get back into the contest.

The loss dropped the Pirate league record to 5-2-1 with two games left to play, weather permitting.

For the game, Duce had 15 saves, Fleenor 12.


Pirates in soccer regional Friday hosting Salida

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Pirates, on the basis of a 6-3-1 league season, will host a regional soccer playoff game at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Golden Peaks Stadium.

The foe will be the Salida Lady Spartans. Pagosa is the No. 3 seed, Salida the No. 4.

The two squads met early in the season with Salida a 2-0 winner as Pagosa played on an outdoor field for the first time this year.

Salida was to have played a game Tuesday against Evangelical Christian but the latter forfeited.

The winner of the Pagosa-Salida contest will advance to state quarterfinals.


Pagosa sweeps Monte Vista twin bill with 17-4, 12-1 wins

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It was a clean sweep for the Pirates Saturday - the Pagosa Springs version.

The visitors from the banks of the San Juan took both ends of a doubleheader from Monte Vista on the latter's home field, both contests stopped by the 10-run mercy rule after five innings.

Baseball may have been the easiest part of the day for Pagosans.

After Monte Vista had two inches of hail the preceding evening, game time was set back from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the first contest.

Those aware of the change started later but got caught in another apparent blasting miscalculation in the construction zone east of Wolf Creek Pass.

Many were delayed more than an hour and a half and didn't arrive in the home of the Monte Vista Pirates until the fourth inning was nearly over.

The twin-bill Pagosa sweep - 17-4 and 12-1 - featured route-going pitching performances by Ben Marshall, then Randy Molnar; consistent hitting and a 5-for-8 hitting performance on the day by Casey Hart, including a two-run homer and eight total runs batted in.

Monte Vista contributed to its own downfall with 10 errors in the two games plus five wild pitches and a pair of passed balls.

First game detail

Junior Marcus Rivas opened the game with the first of his three singles in the contest, promptly stole second and went to third on a wild pitch by Monte hurler Sigi Rodriquez.

He held there as Michael Bradford fanned and Marshall and Levi Gill drew back-to-back walks to load the sacks. Rivas and Marshall scored when Hart's fly to center was dropped. Gill advanced to third but Hart was out at second on a double steal attempt. Karl Hujus reached on an error by the second baseman, Gill holding. Josh Hoffman drew a walk to load the bases again, but Jeremy Caler grounded to short and Pagosa had two first inning runs.

The Pirate defense looked shaky to open the bottom of the frame, the first two batters, Scott Myers and Rodriquez reaching on Pagosa errors by Hart and Hoffman. After Matt Gonzales flied to center, James Pacheco singled to center to drive in a run but Jacob Jiron grounded into a double play to end the uprising. Monte had one run on one hit.

Pagosa began a string of three three-run innings in the second. It started with Travis Marshall drawing a walk and advancing to second on a wild pitch.

Back at the top of the order, Rivas drew a walk but Bradford popped to second, the runners holding. Ben Marshall drew his second consecutive walk and the bases were loaded for Pagosa again.

Gill struck out on a series of slow curve balls but Hart worked Rodriquez for another walk, one run scoring. Hujus delivered a single to plate two more before Hoffman hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

Monte went quickly in its half. Brandon Anderson flied to left, designated hitter Kylen Cooper struck out and Phillip Vigil flied to right.

Pagosa struck for three more runs in the third. Caler reached on an error by the shortstop but was out stealing. Travis Marshall struck out and it looked like quick inning in the making.

But Rivas singled to center and again stole second. He went to third on a wild pitch and Bradford singled to center to drive him in, moving on to second on the throw-in. Ben Marshall singled to center, Bradford advancing to third without a play. He then scored on another wild pitch. Gill walked and Bradford then scored on a wild pitch before Hart hit into a fielder's choice to end the half inning with Pagosa leading 8-1.

Monte Vista had a dying gasp effort in its half, cutting the Pagosa lead to 8-4.

Nico Gonzales centered to single to open the assault and Myers followed suit. Rodriquez then homered to left and the Pirate lead was slashed.

But that was the end. Gonzales flied to right and Pacheco bounced back to Marshall. Jiron reached on an error but was out stealing.

Pagosa immediately answered with another three-run frame. It started with Hujus striking out but reaching base on a passed ball on the third strike. Hoffman doubled to center and advanced on another wild pitch. Caler walked and Travis Marshall laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt for one run. Rivas singled to left plating a pair. Bradford flied to right for the second out and Rivas was caught off base at second for the third.

Ben Marshall, riding an 11-4 lead, was in command. Anderson bounced to short, Cooper struck out and Vigil was out on a comebacker to the mound and Monte was quickly gone in the fourth.

Pagosa, however, wasn't done. Ben Marshall led off the inning with a booming triple off the fence in straightaway center, the deepest part of the park. Gill struck out, but Hart picked him up with a gigantic blast to left center for his fourth homer of the season. Hujus struck out and Hoffman grounded out to end the inning.

Monte's fifth opened with Gonzales fanning and Myers grounding out to short. Rodriquez singled to left but Gonzales hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

Tired of hanging up treys, Pagosa struck for four runs in the top of the sixth.

It opened with Caler grounding to second and Travis Marshall striking out - but like Hujus earlier, reaching on a passed ball. Rivas was safe on an error in left and Bradford delivered one run with a double to right. Marshall was hit by a pitch and Gill walked to force in a run. Consecutive singles by Hart, Hujus and Hoffman drove in the final two runs.

Bradford's throwing error gave Monte hope in the bottom of the frame but Jiron hit into a fielder's choice. Anderson drew Marshall's lone walk of the game, but was out on a force play at second. Cooper singled to center but Vigil hit into a fielder's choice and the game was over, Pagosa a 17-4 winner.

Monte's four runs came on six hits; Pagosa 17 runs on 14 hits. Ben Marshall was the winning pitcher, Rodriquez the loser.

Second game detail

The Pagosans struck early in this one, opening with their biggest single inning of the year, sending 12 men to the plate to take a 6-0 lead in the first.

Rivas, Bradford and Marshall all singled off Vigil, Marshall getting the first RBI. Gill drew a walk and Hart singled for two runs, Gill rubbed out at third for the first out. Hujus reached on a fielder's choice gone awry, another run scoring. Josh Hoffman was on an error by the third baseman and Caler singled for another run. Freshman John Hoffman, designated hitter for Pagosa, flied to left. Rivas was aboard on an error by the catcher and Bradford delivered a single to center for the final two runs of the inning, Pagosa leading 6-0.

Junior hurler Molnar had Monte hitters completely off stride in the hosts' first. Myers bounded to short and both Rodriquez and Gonzales were strike out victims.

Pagosa, however, liked Vigil's pitching so well they scored three more in the top of the second.

Gill fanned to open the frame But Hart singled up the middle and advanced on yet another wild pitch. Hujus bounced to second, Hart moving to third. Josh Hoffman doubled for a run and Caler reached on a shortstop error. John Hoffman singled for two runs. Rivas popped to third but was safe when the ball was dropped. Bradford flied to left and the inning ended with Pagosa leading 9-0 after two.

Pacheco led off with a double for the San Luis Valley Pirates but Jiron flied to right and Anderson and Cooper became the third and fourth strikeout victims for Molnar.

Pagosa got two more in the third after Ben Marshall opened with a single and Gill doubled to center to be driven in by a Hart liner up the middle. Hujus hit a line shot snared by the second baseman who doubled Hart off first and Josh Hoffman fanned to end the inning.

Monte's third opened with Vigil lining to Gill at second, and Robert Montoya bouncing back to Molnar before Myers singled to right. Rodriquez bounced to short to end the mild threat.

Pagosa continued the scoring in the fourth with Travis Richey, pinch-hitting for Caler, driving a single to right center. John Hoffman singled to left, moving his brother to third from where he scored on Rivas' sacrifice fly to left. John Hoffman was caught in a rundown for the second out and Bradford bounced to third.

Monte Vista got on the score board in the bottom of the inning after Gonzales led off with a double to center and scored on a single by Pacheco. Jiron popped to Molnar, Anderson lined to Molnar and Cooper flied to center.

Pagosa got two runners board in the fifth but did not score for the first time in the game.

Marshall popped to second but Gill drilled a single to left. Hart struck out but Hujus drew a pass and Pagosa had two runners of for Josh Hoffman. He popped to short to end the scoring with Pagosa leading 12-1 and Monte facing a Molnar in control.

He quickly reestablished that fact getting both Vigil and Montoya on strikes and then retiring Myers on an easy ground ball to Rivas at third.

The second mercy ruling was enacted and Pagosa had the sweep.

Pagosa's 12 runs came on 15 hits, Monte's single run on four hits, two by Pacheco, who had the only RBI.


Pirates, Bobcats split mercy rule victories

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

High school baseball creates some weird circumstances and the Pagosa Springs Pirates contributed to the mysterious legend Tuesday.

Hosting the Ignacio Bobcats for a doubleheader - coming on the heels of impressive sweep of Monte Vista Saturday, Pagosa seemed totally flat and Ignacio quickly made that flatness wafer thin.

Actually, Pagosa opened strong with Ben Marshall on the mound fanning the first two Ignacio batters, Lorenzo Rodriguez and Adrian Abeyta. Derek Rodriguez beat out an infield single but was picked off first by Marshall.

Pagosa got a one-out single from freshman shortstop Michael Bradford in the bottom of the first but he got only as far as second as the next two hitters grounded out.

Marshall got the first two Bobcat hitters in the second with ground outs and struck out the third, only to see him reach on a passed ball. Scott Hill singled for Ignacio but Marshall got Michael Justesen on strikes to end the threat.

Pagosa's second opened with Casey Hart striking out but having to be thrown out by the catcher. Karl Hujus singled to right and stole second, scoring on a single by Josh Hoffman. Hoffman was out stealing before Jeremy Caler singled and Travis Marshall struck out.

Then the roof caved in on the Pirates.

Ignacio sent 16 hitters to the plate in the top of the third, scoring 11 runs off Marshall and Randy Molnar in relief.

Featured in the attack were home runs by Brandon Cundiff and Derek Rodriguez, six singles, a double and four Pagosa errors. The one-run Pagosa lead had become an 11-1 deficit.

They got one run back in the bottom of the inning, combining two walks, a throwing error by the catcher and a sacrifice fly to score.

But Ignacio was still on a hitting streak. They got three more runs in the fourth on three walks, a single and a long home run by Adrian Abeyta before Bradford came to the mound to quell the visitors' bats.

Pagosa got five hits, all singles, in the fourth, but could manage only one run, by John Hoffman batting in place of Hujus who suffered back spasms and had to be removed from the game.

Bradford retired Ignacio in order in the fifth, including two strikeouts, an indicator of things to come.

Pagosa got one more run when Gill opened Pagosa's fifth with a single, was wild-pitched to second, when to third on a throwing error, and scored on an error by the shortstop. Hoffman singled again, but his older brother, Josh, lined to short and the 10-run mercy rule was invoked, Pagosa losing 14-4 in the first game.

Coach Tony Scarpa opted to leave Bradford on the mound in the second game and the freshman responded with a routegoing performance giving up one run only four hits while striking out four.

Ignacio was three up, three down in the first though they had a base runner, Derek Rodriguez who was hit by a pitch. Bradford then picked him off first.

Pagosa answered with a pair in the bottom of the frame on only one hit, a single by Marshall driving in Rivas who had been hit by a pitch and stole second. Marshall scored after stealing second, advancing on a wild pitch and coming in on a fielder's choice.

Abel Romero opened the second with a single but Bradford got a popup and flyout before Bartley hit into a fielder's choice.

Caler grounded out and John Hoffman and Molnar struck out in Pagosa's half.

Price worked Bradford for a walk to open the third, but the youngster retired the next three in order, including strikeouts of Michael Davis and Abeyta.

Pagosa struck for three in the bottom of the inning, featuring singles by Bradford, Marshall and John Hoffman and four Ignacio errors.

Derek Rodriguez opened the Ignacio fourth with a home run but Bradford got the next three batters in order and Pagosa answered with a four-run frame.

It started with a perfect bunt for a single by John Hoffman and included two hit batsmen and singles by Bradford and Marshall.

Ignacio got an infield hit by Cundiff, pinch hitting for Price in the fifth, but that was all.

Pagosa closed out the game with two more runs in the fifth featuring a double by Travis Richey, a walk to Matt Gallegos and a perfect sacrifice bunt by Adam Trujillo along with another single by Bradford.

That brought the mercy ruling and an 11-1 Pagosa win, good enough to secure second place in the Intermountain League going into the league tournament Saturday in Monte Vista.

Bayfield is the outright league champion at 8-0. Pagosa's final league mark is 5-3 meaning they will play the second game in the tournament at approximately 1 p.m. Saturday.


Ray sisters steal show at Montrose gymnastics opener

Re'ahna Ray, competing for the first time as a Level 5 gymnast, brought home the gold medal from the season's opening gymnastics meet in Montrose.

Ray, competing with eight others from the region, placed first in the all-around with a 35.00; first in floor exercise with an 8.8, first on beam with a 9.4, first on vault with an 8.2 and second on bars with an 8.6.

Other Pagosa athletes competing were Toni Stoll, Sienna Stretton and Casey Crow.

Stoll placed fourth in the all-around with 32.10, third on bars with 7.8 and third in floor with 8.4.

Stretton was fifth in all around with 31.8, second on bars with an 8.0, second on beam with 9.3 and second in floor with 8.2.

Crow was sixth in all around with 30.675, and fourth on beam with 8.65.

All four qualified for state competition scheduled June 16.

The Level 5 team from Pagosa won the first place medal, too.

Raesha Ray, competing in Optional B Division at Montrose, brought home silver in all around with a 35.15 against eight other gymnasts.

She was first on bars at 9.2, first on beam with 9.05, fifth on vault with 8.4 and seventh in floor exercise with 8.5. She also qualified for state in this, her first meet.

Shelby Stretton, Raesha's teammate for the past six years, broke her finger playing basketball the week of the meet and will be unable to compete in gymnastics this season.

In a meet in Evergreen April 24, Stoll, Stretton and Crow had scored well as they started the season in preparation for Montrose.

Stoll was fourth in all around with 31.0 and third on vault with 8.3. Stretton scored a 30.0 in the all around and Crow a 29.10.


Parks & Rec
Historic PSHS track meet had local donor support

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The first-ever Colorado High School Activities Association sanctioned track meet in Pagosa Springs was held May 1.

The weather on Thursday and Friday was scary with overcast skies, wind and Wolf Creek receiving 18 inches of new snow.

 You could not have asked for a better day Saturday. The sun was out, there was no wind and an estimated 700 people attended the inaugural meet.

With the cooperation of Bayfield School District, Pagosa Springs area volunteers, and Pagosa Springs High School staff ran the meet as if they had hosted thousands of meets prior to this one.

 Many thanks to Terese T. Hershey of Houston, Texas (and local ranch owner). Terry came to the Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department telling us to apply for a grant through the Nation Recreation Foundation; she sits on the board for this national organization. She indicated she could sponsor one grant application per year and that we should apply for $15,000.

One stipulation on her behalf was that we could not apply for a grant that would benefit only one group. She also indicated her husband's love for track and field, and noted he was a track star in college.

 She loved the idea of helping get equipment for the new track facility, and sponsoring a sport where a pair of tennis shoes and a big heart is all that is needed to compete. That and the fact that running is a lifetime sport. She presented our grant, which we received in January.

David Hamilton, high school athletics director, used the funds to buy everything from a starting gun to hurdles.

 Seeing Pagosa Springs shine like the jewel it is, with so many people enjoying a beautiful Saturday, is part of the quality of life we all enjoy.

Thank you Mrs. Hershey and David Hamilton for making Pagosa Springs such a great place to be and for being a part of a great program for all ages to enjoy.


 In Jake Hershey's honor we named the 1600-meter event at the meet "The Jake Hershey Mile." In the first-ever 1600 run the winners were Emilie Schur with the time of 5:28.5, and Aaron Hamilton with the time of 4:52.21. We're excited to have two fine Pagosa Springs Pirates win the race named in Mr. Hershey's name.

Pagosa Springs parks and recreation will purchase a trophy that will be displayed at the high school on which we will put the names of each year's winner in the 1600-meter event. Individual awards will also be sponsored by the department for the winners.


Our seven teams of wonderful Tee-ball athletes have enjoyed a great season and finish up play this week.

Tee-ball coaches have done a tremendous job laying the foundation of baseball skills while combining fun and sportsmanship.

We hope the children's happy faces are a reflection of the great time had by all.


Our 7-8 coach-pitch division is off and running with practice beginning this week.

This division builds on the framework started in Tee-ball and bridges the gap between Tee-ball and regular baseball.

With more than 60 athletes in this division, we are anxious to see how their baseball skills have developed as they begin to play some "real" baseball.

The 9-10 and 11-12 divisions held tryouts this week and will begin practice by May 7. With the cooperation of David Hamilton and Pagosa Springs High School we have been able share some baseball field space and begin our season three weeks earlier than in previous years.

This has allowed our young athletes the enjoyment of a longer season in order to gather as much experience playing as possible. We are also excited to begin "interleague" play with the recreation departments in Durango, Ignacio and Bayfield.

We look forward to a great summer of baseball.


The recreation department will continue to accept applications for our 9-14 girls softball division. We would like to add at least 20 young athletes to the 20 who previously signed up for this division.

We will begin practicing with the team assembled while we add new players to the roster as they sign up. Call Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 232 to sign up.

Girl's volleyball clinic

We will conduct a girl's volleyball clinic at Pagosa Springs Junior High School May 17-20.

The clinic for girls in grades 5-8 will be 3:45-5:15 p.m. with grades 9-12 following at 5:30-7:30 p.m.

This clinic will be conducted by Myles Gabel, district recreation supervisor, who spent over 18 years as a collegiate volleyball coach at the University of Southern California, New Mexico State University and San Diego State University. The cost for this clinic is $10. Please contact Gabel to reserve a spot. Forms and payment can be made the first day of camp.

Open volleyball

All women interested in playing volleyball may come to open volleyball nights Wednesdays at the community center. This free activity will take place 6-8 p.m. Come enjoy the company of other volleyball players in Pagosa Springs.

Adult softball

Adult Softball is right around the corner. Start setting up your teams for the upcoming season.

Team forms can be picked up at Town Hall or online at

We will be contacting managers for a meeting by the end of May, so get your teams together as soon as possible.


Keep the lid on

At long last, the special district election process is over. One election, to pick board members for the Upper San Juan Health Service District, was rife with controversy, bad feelings and, often, absolutely uncivil behavior. The other, to select directors for Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District was not.

We congratulate Jim Pruitt, Bob Goodman and Pam Hopkins, picked to serve four-year terms on the health service district board, as well as Bob Scott, Neal Townsend and Dick Blide who will serve two-year terms. Likewise, congratulations go out to Windsor Chacey, Steve Hartvigsen and Bob Huff, about to begin service on the water and sanitation district board.

Remembering some of the events of the last two years produces a few unsolicited suggestions for the new boards; take them for what they're worth

Conduct your business in a formal, legal and, whenever possible, public way. Labor to render your discourse and the tenor of your public meetings worthy of the community you represent.

Pay heed to points made by the county's attorneys when they spoke to commissioners and participants in the planning process last week - points disclosed in an article printed in this week's SUN. The key is to act honestly, with integrity, and to allow a fair, controlled hearing of public opinion. If there is a way to avoid unnecessary controversy and conflict, this is where it begins.

Private communication concerning policy and upcoming decisions, informal discussions held behind closed doors, lead to doubt and distrust - to conditions similar to those that plagued the health service district for more than a year. All such communications among officials, and all contacts with members of the public outside a formal meeting, when it deals with any decision to be made by a board, should be immediately disclosed when the body convenes to deal with the matter. Better yet that few if any informal discussions take place at all. Do not fear the clear light of day, do not hide behind the privilege of executive session - go into and exit those sessions understanding Colorado's Sunshine Law and make your decisions in public.

Give a reasonable number of speakers a chance to express their opinions at meetings, one at a time, at a predetermined point in the meeting. Ask each speaker to step forward to make remarks - remarks relevant to the issue at hand, with no deviation allowed. Limit time for a single speaker and note that one opportunity is all any one speaker gets during a meeting. Allow no dialogue between members of the audience. All comments should be directed to the board. If someone shouts out from the audience, if someone persists in interrupting the course of the meeting or acts abusively, have them ejected.

Conduct your formal business with attention to Roberts Rules of Order. Stay with your agenda; make sure meetings are noticed properly and the agendas posted in the right places in a timely manner.

Sound harsh? It is. And necessary. Such an approach can help defuse situations before they mutate out of control, while still allowing for necessary input of public opinion.

In fairness, a call should also be made here to those members of the public who have seen fit to abuse elected officials at meetings and to disrupt formal gatherings. Adhere to the rules that are established for meetings. Give people a chance. Temper the tone of your criticism. Our officials should be watched and, when warranted, they must be criticized. But, let's take advantage of a new start, and resolve to conduct our public business in a civilized manner.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa
Mothers Day can be a simple hit

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

May poles and wild flowers were staples of Mothers Day when I was a child.

I never see or even hear anything about May poles these days, but back in the 1930s and 40s every school had one, a flower-wreathed pole serving as a center for May Day (May 1) dances and sports. It was sort of a coming out day for spring and the proverbial flowers that bloom therein.

And wild flowers were key to the whole thing. Prominent in the Ignacio area was a red wild bloom we called Indian Paint Brush. It was my mother's favorite and I recall every year we took rides in the country so she could see if the paint brush was in bloom.

But it wasn't the only petal one could collect from the wilds and put into the construction paper flower basket made in class. Thistle made a great color contrast and what kid knew thistle was a rampant weed that would one day overrun the territory?

If mom was aware of that fact she never let on. But she always had a pat on the back, a big hug and a thank you when the little basket was presented.

As the years went by, Mothers Day gifts became more personal if not nearly as beautiful.

I recall making a plastic jewelry tray in Mr. Autry's shop class for one maternal parent celebration. It had her initials carved in the lid and colored with a special dye.

But as was usually the way with my shop projects, there was one small problem. The initials faced the back of the lid so that when it was opened they read backward.

That little plastic jewelry box took a place on her dresser and stayed there for the ensuing 50 years. It still exists, stored now in a drawer with other memories of the woman I called Mother.

Celebrating Mothers Day is not the thrill it was for the child who wanted nothing more than to have the mother who provided his every need think he had achieved something special just for her.

As time passed and we were thousands of miles apart, the making of gifts took a back seat to greeting cards and purchased gifts. She always appreciated them, but deep down, I think she was hoping every year for another simple basket of flowers, one filled especially with the asters which grew in profusion along area brooks and with the columbines and tulips which were major players in her flower gardens.

This will be our seventh Mothers Day without her and it will be just like the others since she passed. We'll think of something funny she said or did, some prophetic comment she made, and we'll look at the flowers in the yard.

Simpler times brought smiles of satisfaction. Maybe you can achieve the same for your mother this year.

Geography answer

Two weeks ago I outlined some geographic aspects of Archuleta County and asked any reader to tell us where Death Valley Creek can be found. No one answered. So, I'll tell you. The headwaters are about 2.5 miles south-southwest of Sheep Mountain. It lies south of Forest Trail 599 and is tributary to Piedra River.


90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of May 8, 1914

Pagosa kids are making preparations to organize a "Boy Scout" battalion. Well, we have a bunch of be-schapped, be-spurred juvenile heroes who have the moving picture brand skinned a Mexican mile.

The Pagosa Lumber Co. will have their big band re-saw, the largest in the state, soon in operation. The installing of this monster piece of machinery will increase the mill output fully 10 percent, a saving of what formerly went to waste - another mark of efficiency to the credit of Manager Galbreath. Nobody sleeps in South Pagosa - the big mill hums all the time.

Buck O'Neal's two fifteen-foot row-boats and one big motor-boat have arrived and will be placed on the Sullenberger Lake, on which he has a lease.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 10, 1929

The new street cable guard line on the east side of Pagosa Street along the San Juan River bank from the town hall to the City Park entrance, was put in place this week.

At the school election Monday John Galbreath, president of the board of education, was re-elected for a term of three years without a dissenting voter, there being 62 votes cast. This will make over 12 years of continuous service as a director of the board in District No. 1, when his term is completed. The Pagosa school system is in a way a monument to the far-sighted policy of Mr. Galbreath and those who served with him. For the last three school elections there has been no active opposition, which expresses the approval of patrons.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 7, 1954

The Pagosa Springs SUN this past week installed a typecasting machine to replace the old Linotypes that had been in service for many years. The machine is one of the largest available for typecasting machines and will be used to set all the smaller type used in the SUN.

The school election on Monday of this week drew a total of 94 voters to the polls to vote for three write-in candidates. Wayne Farrow was elected by nearly three-to-one majority over his nearest opponent.

Work on the waterworks improvement project and the new high school building is going ahead at a rapid pace and the waterworks contractor estimates that nearly all construction will be completed by the end of the month.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 10, 1979

Snowfall on Wolf Creek Pass, up until the storm this week totaled 782 inches for the winter, 801 inches is the record since official records, starting in 1958 have been kept. With anywhere near normal snowfall in May and June that record should be bettered this year.

This issue of the SUN has 32 pages, a record for the paper. It is being mailed to almost 10,000 readers throughout the United states. Extra copies will be available at the SUN office for the next couple of weeks.

Art Allen and Fitzhugh Havens were elected to the school board Tuesday in a record turnout of voters. 902 voters went to the polls, the largest number ever in a school board election.


Heritage Matters

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"A people without history is like wind on the buffalo grass."- Sioux saying

History, this seems to say, defines us, gives us an identity and holds us to a place.

Some say people must learn from history. Others suggest history repeats itself.

Because of all this, people continued to search for history - the pieces of the puzzle created by time and distance. And they try to save the clues that remain for others to question, to relate to, to understand. The drive to save history is being celebrated this week, Historic Preservation Week, May 2-8.

To acknowledge the importance of the week, the Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board has planned several events - a walking tour, presentation of plaques, gallery exhibit, a sneak-peak of local museum offerings, and the recommendation of three additional local historic designations.

"The goals this year, as they have been in the past, are to increase awareness of local history and the need to preserve it," board president Shari Pierce said.

Poster contest

Preparation for the week's events truly began with a preservation board-sponsored poster contest themed "History Matters," for seventh-grade students in Sally High's geography class. High said studying the history of the area is part of the curriculum. Students read the eight "Remembrances," books published by the San Juan Historical Society and researched Web sites to find ideas for their poster project.

"They worked on the posters for about a week and the results are so exciting," High said.

The winner was Anthony Spinelli, who drew a picture of a bathhouse at the Hot Springs under construction in 1888.

"Anthony had a broken leg while we were working on this," High said. "I called him and asked if I could send the work home with him, and he actually came back for a half day just to get it started." Spinelli started drawing when he was 6.

Rachel Jensen won the second-place prize with her drawing of modern Main Street with a river in front of it instead of a road. The old downtown buildings were reflected in the river. Her idea came from a mural reproduced on the cover of a history textbook her mother had at home.

"I really, really like to draw," she said. "Anything to do with art in school outside art class, I appreciate."

Zane Gholson claimed third-place prize money with his depiction of a series of historical places - Chimney Rock, the river, the Star Theater, the Metropolitan Hotel, Native Americans and Fort Lewis.

"I picked a bunch of pictures and made a bet to a friend I could draw them all before the time was up," he said. He plans to use his winnings to help purchase a telescope. The other two didn't know how they would use their money. All three said they wished they'd had more time to work on the project.

A selection of the students' drawings for the contest will be exhibited at Taminah Gallery on Pagosa Street through the month of May.

Walking tour

Besides drawing attention to local history, the group's poster advertises a historic walking tour set for 10 a.m. Saturday. The tour, led by Glen Raby, a historic preservation board member, local archaeologist and historian, will begin in front of Goodman's Department Store at the corner of 4th and Pagosa streets. The tour will last about an hour and end at the San Juan Historical Museum on 1st and Pagosa streets.

For those interested in continuing their walk through history, the museum will be open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday only. Admission is free. The museum opens for the summer season May 17.

Local landmarks

Those gathering for the walk will have the opportunity to see a series a plaques created to outline the significance of historic local landmark buildings in Pagosa Springs.

Since the local landmark ordinance was passed in 2000, nine structures have been nominated for landmark status by the preservation board.

Six have received final approval from the town council. These include: Goodman's, the Pagosa Hotel, the Liberty Theater and the Taminah Gallery (once the site of the Archuleta County Courthouse) in the business district and the Phillips house, 138 Pagosa St., and the Warr House, 121 Lewis St. The other three proposed designations - the Hatcher-Nossman house, (Victoria's Parlor) 274 Pagosa St., Hatcher Hardware, (the Heritage Building) 468 Pagosa St. and the Citizens Bank building, 474 Pagosa St. - received approval on first reading Tuesday.

The Hatcher-Nossman house, constructed in 1902, according to the historical survey, is now home to a restaurant. Its history is much more storied. Members of both the Hatcher and Nossman families lived in the home. The Hatchers owned large sheep ranches in the area and were prominent in local business. Alan Judd Nossaman, who purchased the home in 1912, was a doctor and the son of some of the areas earliest pioneers. The home may have also been the site of an early mortuary and post office.

The Heritage Building, once the site of Hatcher Hardware, anchors one end of the downtown strip on Pagosa Street. It is a two-story red brick building. The original structure was almost completely destroyed in a devastating fire May 26, 1943, which started in the building next door - the Citizens Bank building which is the third of the structures currently being considered for local historic designation.

Today, the building at 474 Pagosa St. is an odd-shaped, single-story brick structure. It was once two stories, but lost the second story in the fire. The building was subsequently remodeled and for many years reflected little of its history with dark blue metal awnings completely covering the facade.

When Susan Winter Ward purchased the property, she had the metal removed and the facade rebricked, adding touches with historical flare.

"We didn't realize when we did that how cow close it was to the original," she said. Old photos uncovered show the redesign held fairly true to the original. And the Citizens Bank vault and safe inside are original - probably never to be moved.

In fact, Winter Ward, a former Santa Barbara county planner with an eye toward history, owns all three of the structures currently up for designation.

"Pagosa is going to grow and develop - and it has a personality and a history and a character that's worth protecting for future generations," she said. "It's not a question of whether or not we're going to grow, but how we're going to grow - the growth can be managed and channeled to create a beautiful community, but it as to be managed intelligently and planned for the future."

Winter Ward encouraged all property owners in the downtown area to consider landmarking properties that meet the town's criteria.

Historic districts

The historic preservation board is moving forward with plans to create an historic district in the downtown core area of Lewis and Pagosa streets. To create such a district, the board must have the approval of at least 51 percent of the property owners in the district.

Two years ago, a historic property survey of 100 buildings in the community gave the preservation board an idea of where the highest concentration of historic properties were located. These will help create the outline for the first district. Since then, the board has informally encouraged property owners to apply for local historic designation. Now, they're preparing to get a bit bolder. They are working to create an information brochure, or kit, to take to the property owners downtown. That effort will be led by board member Gary Fairchild, an archaeologist with the Pagosa Ranger District.

Pierce said creating a downtown district is simply a first step - the realization of a goal the group has worked toward since its inception. Other districts are possible.

"We would definitely look at a district in another area if a group of property owners wanted it," board member Glen Raby said.

The group applied for and received a State Historic Fund Grant for $13,048 to survey another 50 buildings in the community this summer. This time, the survey will focus on properties in South Pagosa. A list of the properties to be surveyed is available at Town Hall from Town Planner Tamra Allen.

A historic survey of a property includes photographs, as much history of the property that can be gathered and a determination of the property's eligibility for the national historic register. Once complete, the historic survey can save property owners some time in research, or at least give them a place to start when attempting to come up with the information needed to make their property a local historic landmark and provides the board with a better idea of the town's historic assets.

As an incentive to those considering local designation or a local historic district, Pagosa's historic preservation ordinance offers an avenue for property owners to apply for state and federal tax credits for any renovations or remodeling.

Three investment tax credit programs related to historic structures are available in Colorado: a 20 percent federal tax credit, a 10 percent federal tax credit and the 20 percent state tax credit. Unlike a deduction, which reduces taxable income, these tax credits actually reduce the amount of tax owed and can be spread over several years - 20 in federally-qualified projects and 10 in state-qualified projects.

Allen said most local projects will qualify for a 10 percent federal credit if the building is used commercially and a 20 percent state tax credit if 50 years old and designated a local landmark.

To qualify, buildings must be considered "historic." That is, they must have been designated a local landmark, or qualify for the state historic register or the national register.

However, Allen said, the 10 percent federal tax credit can be obtained for any commercial building constructed before 1936 that undergoes at least $5,000 in improvements.

Rehabilitation must be substantial. For the state tax credit, that means spending at least $5,000. Projects must be completed in 24 months, or broken into smaller projects over several years and the property cannot be sold for at least five years after completing the work. Applications have anywhere from one to three parts and require a fee paid prior to consideration of the plans.

According to information from the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, work that qualifies can include: demolition, carpentry, plaster, and/or sheetrock, painting, ceiling or floor repair, doors and windows, roofing and flashing, cleaning, brick and mortar repair, wiring, light fixtures, stairs, elevators, heating systems and so on.

Architect, engineer and development costs are not covered. In the case of the state tax credit and the 20 percent federal tax credit, projects must also fit within the Secretary of the Interior's Standards of Rehabilitation. For instance, the work must help retain the historic character of the building. New additions must be in keeping with the historical character of the property and deteriorating historical features should be repaired rather than replaced whenever possible.

For more information on the tax credit incentive program, designating a property a local landmark or the concept of a local historic district, contact Allen at Town Hall, 264-4151, Ext 235.


Pagosa's Past
Sermons in saloons brought God to San Juan country

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Scattered among the first settlers of Pagosa Country and the San Juan Basin were a handful of ministers, a distinct minority in a land full of brawling miners, cowboys and lumberjacks.

Among the first to enter the San Juans with a Bible in his saddlebags and a burden on his heart was George Darley, the first Protestant minister in the area according to Mary C. Ayers, writing in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country."

When Colorado became a state in 1876, there was not a Protestant church west of the Continental Divide, according to Ayers.

The first church was erected in Lake City by the Presbyterians with materials hauled from La Veta. The new building was dedicated Nov. 19, 1876.

In those years, traveling beyond Lake City into the San Juans meant going where no bridges, sometimes no wagon roads, had been built. Trails were rough with great distances between settlements. Consequently, travelers often slept outside.

Darley tells of being carried down mountains by snowslides, or being lost during snowstorms.

He walked from Lake City to Ouray across deep snow in five days. All of the streams had to be waded.

On his first Sunday in Ouray, he could not preach because his legs were still swollen. On the following Thursday, he preached the first sermon ever preached in Ouray.

He said he preached on "Grace," but afterward believed he should have called it "Grace and Grit." The sermon was preached in a saloon, as were many of the early sermons. Roulette, keno, faro, poker and other saloon activities only paused long enough for completion of the service. The Ouray Church was dedicated Oct. 14, 1877.

Rev. Darley rode across the mountains to Animas City during the summer of 1877. His efforts resulted in formation of the first Presbyterian Church in that pioneer community.

During the spring of 1878, the Rev. W.C. Beebe arrived to be the first pastor. Parson Hogue, the first pastor of Durango's first church, the Episcopal Church, assisted with the dedication.

Incidentally, the oldest church in Colorado was a Catholic Church called Our Lady of Guadalupe, built in 1858 in Conejos, just across the mountains from Pagosa Springs in the San Luis Valley.

Sure there were parsons in the early west and they were needed. In addition to ordinary outlaws who brandished six-guns and robbed stagecoaches for a living, there were unscrupulous land promoters.

A cadre of such started the community of Parkview near the older Hispanic community of Los Ojos. Anyone who drives south on U.S. 84 from Pagosa Springs to Espanola passes through Parkview/Los Ojos at its location between Chama and Tierra Amarilla.

Among the victims of this early land scam were the family of Edward and Hannah Thomas, a Welsh family who landed in New York in 1871.

After living several years in the east, Mr. Thomas met a slick land promoter in Chicago who sold him property in a so-called English community of Parkview located near Tierra Amarilla in northern New Mexico.

The family traveled by train as far as Pueblo, Colorado, where the rails ended. Mr. Thomas left his family at Pueblo and joined a family bound for Parkview in a covered wagon.

Once in Parkview, he built a small cabin and hired a Mexican woman to build him a good fireplace.

When Mr. Thomas tried to get a deed for his place, he learned he had been gypped: The land was on an old Spanish land grant and no deed was available. (Motter's note - The property may have been on the Tierra Amarilla land grant.).

Mr. Thomas was quite philosophical about the setback and said there was a curse on his money because he had worked on the Sabbath.

Disappointed but not discouraged, he left his family practically penniless in Parkview. With teenage son Ed, he headed for the San Juan Country. They were afoot with their skimpy supplies packed on a borrowed burro. An axe, a sack of wheat, and a coffee mill to grind the wheat for mush or bread made up the load. While short of cash, the family was provided for with a year's crop and a newly butchered beef.

More next week on the San Juan country adventures of the pioneering Thomas family.




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Clear skies, higher temps forecast through weekend

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Last weekend's bout of wet weather in Pagosa Country may have been the last - for the time being, anyway.

Calm winds, sunshine, rising temperatures and hazy skies resulting from ongoing prescribed burns in the area have been the recent trend - conditions that are expected to continue as the latest forecasts predict little in the way of precipitation.

"It doesn't look like there will be any huge systems coming through that could bring significant rain," said Chris Cuoco, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"There's always the chance for a stray, afternoon thunderstorm in the mountains, but otherwise I'd say we're going to be dry and slightly warmer than normal," he added.

"Things should be fairly consistent through the weekend," he concluded. "That means we should expect highs in the mid-70s to low 80s, clear nights, and no strong wind regimes."

According to Cuoco, today's forecast includes mostly-sunny skies and highs around 80. Nighttime lows should bottom out in the 30s.

Friday and Saturday call for partly-cloudy skies, light afternoon breezes, highs in the 70s and lows in the 30s.

Similar forecasts for Sunday through Tuesday predict occasional clouds, highs in the mid-70s and lows in the 25-35 range.

Wednesday's forecast indicates slightly cooler conditions, with highs in the upper 60s, mostly-clear skies and lows in the upper 20s.

The average high temperature recorded last week at the Fred Harman Art Museum was 62 degrees. The average low was 29. Moisture totals for the week amounted to just under one-third of an inch.

The all-time high for the month of May in Pagosa Springs, 89 degrees, was recorded in 1910. The record low, 8, made the books in 1967.

The Pagosa Ranger District rates the current area fire danger as "low." Conditions are subject to change rapidly this time of year; for updates, call the district office at 264-2268.

According to the latest SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan River Basin has improved to 103 percent of average.

San Juan River flow through town ranged from approximately 550 cubic feet per second to 1,200 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of May 6 equals roughly 1,000 cubic feet per second.