May 20, 2004 
Front Page

County mulls options for road upkeep

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

On the roads, again.

It's where the spotlight lingered at the end of a Tuesday afternoon workshop in which Archuleta County commissioners were presented a pair of road-maintenance scenarios by Bill Steele, county administrator.

The first proposal offered was a short-term plan aimed at providing a maintenance option for residents living along roads that are currently not maintained by the county.

A second set of options targeted long-range goals and included discussion of a countywide, comprehensive road-maintenance plan and how it might be funded - a notion that raised the question of placing a potential mill-levy increase before voters on this year's General Election ballot.

According to Steele, both initiatives were developed through collaboration with Dick McKee, county public works director.

Likewise, both came on the heels of a Monday evening meeting in Twincreek Village with residents of Sweetwater Drive in which Steele, Commissioner Alden Ecker and Kathy Holthus, assistant county administrator, were advised of "several issues and complaints" related to the county's current maintenance policies.

Sweetwater Drive, a badly-deteriorated road not maintained by the county due to what Steele described as "the infamous road moratorium of 1984," is exemplary of "the Catch 22" predicament faced by a number of county residents inhabiting similar thoroughfares.

"We are not in a position, financially, to maintain these roads," said Steele, "but at the same time we're telling people, 'You can't maintain them, either.'"

The ongoing saga beckons a solution, said Steele, one that gives residents ample maintenance options - provided they are willing to pay accordingly.

Thus the "short-term" alternative, which consists of three key components.

First, the county could establish a list from which residents could select "pre-qualified contractors," said Steele, those that will agree to perform road maintenance according to county-specified standards.

Second, the county could establish a list of criteria by which non-maintained roads could be judged, thereby qualifying (or not) for consideration as inclusions to the county maintenance system, with the board of commissioners having the final say in such cases.

Though Steele did not allude to the specifics of such criteria, he later indicated he envisions the inclusion of county road-building specifications and "the bar being set pretty high."

Third and finally, Steele said a list of related policies could be developed to address issues concerning the placement and maintenance of culverts, road signs, drainage ditches, etc.

In response to the short-term proposal, "Where would that put roads that are already in the system and also meet the criteria?" asked Commissioner Bill Downey.

Acknowledging the concern, "We'll have to maybe close one eye to that, just for now," said Steele. "Again, this is all short-term."

With respect to long-term planning, "We all recognize we have more roads than money," said Steele, before presenting four options for consideration.

The first option - continuing with current county policies - "doesn't seem to be working, I think we would all agree," said Steele.

A second option, "rolling back the miles of maintained roads" to match the funds available for road maintenance, was also presented.

A third initiative, researching additional, potential revenue sources, was deemed worthwhile though "there doesn't appear to be a big box of money available for that," said Steele.

The fourth option, one that seemed to garner the majority of blessings from those in attendance, entails a combination of option No. 2 and No. 3 - "rolling back" while investigating further revenues.

But it was mention of a fifth possibility that raised eyebrows highest.

"I still hear from a lot of people that they would be willing to pay an additional mill levy in return for better road maintenance," said Steele, suggesting the possibility of a ballot question to that effect in November.

However, said Steele, such a proposition - an increase of 10-12 mills, perhaps - would have to be spelled out in great detail, properly defined and presented clearly, thereby enabling adequate review by the public.

The methodology, which Steele described as "following the plan," would include descriptions and a corresponding list of road classifications, as well as what level of maintenance residents of each could expect should an increase in mill levies pass.

According to Steele, the plan would not include upgrades such as paving, but would at least provide routine maintenance and the assurance that residents "aren't buying a pig in a poke; you know what you're paying for, what you're going to get."

The plan would also include a "sunset" parameter - a notion likened to a five-year trial period, for example. "Let us prove ourselves, and if we can't, then it goes away," said Steele.

Finally, the plan would include a scenario of what might be considered if such measures didn't gain voter approval.

Based on the "criteria" concept included in the short-term option, "We could 'build a funnel,'" said Steele, "and all roads that fit through will be maintained; if they don't, they won't."

In conclusion, Steel requested administration be allowed to work on the short-term proposal and brief the board on a weekly basis, then asked the board to mull the long-term possibilities.

In response, "It's clear we can't continue to conduct business as we always have," said Commissioner Alden Ecker, before indicating he is in favor of accepting some roads into the county system on a temporary, "emergency basis."

However, regarding Steele's long-term proposal, Ecker said he "has some problems" with portions of the plan.

"Although I feel like we have to level the playing field for all taxpayers and residents of Archuleta County," he concluded.

Board Chairman Mamie Lynch indicated she needs more time and information in order to offer a steadfast opinion.

"I have been given an awful big dish to consume," said Lynch, "and I can't do it quite yet; I'm going to need to ask some more questions."

Acknowledging the figure was "grabbed from the air," Lynch said she feels a potential 10-mill increase "is an awful big whack ... especially since some people may get nothing out of it."

Stating support for the "criteria" concept, "This is what I've been trying to get us in line for since I've been on the board," said Downey, adding he feels it is a "reasonable approach."

Concerning the ballot question issue, "Setting my skepticism aside, I'm certainly always open to asking the folks for funding," said Downey.

"But only if we can do the research and then properly ask the question," concluded Downey.

Finally, "I can't see people favoring this, at this point," said Lynch, "without some assurance of, 'This is what will happen to my road."

"That's the point I'm trying to make," responded Steele.

"It's the difference between what has happened in the past and what we're proposing," he concluded.


New health board eyes financial status

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

New faces. New times. A slightly different location.

This marked the first two meetings of the six newly-elected members of the Upper San Juan Health Service Board of Directors.

Jim Pruitt, Neal Townsend, Dick Blide, Pam Hopkins, Bob Goodman and Bob Scott took their seats Friday in the Pagosa Springs Community Center gymnasium for their first official action. Scott attended via speaker phone.

They repeated the performance May 18, meeting for another two and a half hours.

At both meetings, the chairs in the audience were almost full. A public address system was used. Agendas were available to the crowd.

At the board's first meeting, which lasted 47 minutes, some of the first items of business rescinded action taken by the former board in meetings prior to the election May 4. The new board struck down a requirement to attend an orientation prior to taking office, a conflict of interest policy and changed regular monthly meeting times from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Board member Dick Blide said adding a requirement to attend an orientation went against state statute and needed to be abolished.

The board replaced the conflict of interest policy with a code of ethics published by the National Association of Counties. They also revised the district bylaws to include a chairman, vice chairman, secretary and treasurer, and elected Hopkins, Townsend, Blide and Goodman, respectively, to fill those slots.

Dick Babillis was appointed the "temporary interim business manager" for the district and Kathy Conway accepted the position of interim EMS operations manager.

The district's executive director, administrative assistant and training coordinator all submitted their resignations earlier in the month.

Babillis said, "I will be filling in the gap," over the next several weeks to keep the district going. He was not given authority to hire or fire employees.

"The board is going to stay in charge of the whole transition," he said. He began his duties May 15 and had an initial financial report for the board Tuesday.

After just a couple of days of digging, he said, it appeared the district had about $108,000 in the bank as of April 30. That's everything, he said, including what the district is supposed to have on hand for reserves, which is around $50,000. (The district is required to maintain a certain level of reserves under TABOR.) Accounts payable sit at about $79,000 Babillis said, with $50,000 over 60 days in arrears. Twenty thousand of that is apparently being disputed.

The mail ballot election cost the district about $12,500, $10,000 over budget, and, he said, severance payments were given to some of the employees who recently resigned. Babillis declined to go into detail on the severance payments, saying they are being reviewed by legal counsel.

According to his financial charts comparing actual expenses to the budget through April 30, EMS billing was down slightly for the year, but expenses were also holding below budget.

Administration costs, on the other hand, skyrocketed compared to budget through April. Babillis estimated the cost of wages and benefits for administration at $125,418. Amount budgeted equaled $49,829. Those figures included at least some of the severance payments.

At the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, Babillis said patient fees billed were down almost 31 percent from budget. On a good note, expenses were down about 24 percent.

Babillis said more detailed financial information will be presented as soon as possible.

After some discussion, the board directed Bob Scott to solicit bids from two companies in Colorado with expertise in auditing local governments and especially health care companies so that an in-depth audit could be performed.

Scott said such an audit could cost the district two or three times as much as their previous audits, but that it would be money well spent to find out exactly where the district stands.

Blide reminded the board that anyone hired would have to begin almost immediately to allow the district to meet state requirements for filing their audit.

Patty Tillerson, the only board member who did not face reelection in May, was absent from both meetings. Hopkins said Tuesday Tillerson's absences were excused.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is set for 7 p.m. June 22 in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Hopkins said the board is considering conducting work sessions every other week in the meantime to help the board get up to speed. Times and locations of those meetings will be announced later.


Record 133 will graduate PSHS in Sunday rite

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A record 133 Pagosa Springs High School graduates will march down the aisle to receive their diplomas in ceremonies beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Bill Esterbrook, high school principal, confirmed the graduate total Wednesday and that it is the largest group ever to matriculate here.

Four valedictorians will lead the class. They are Jenna Finney, Kevin Muirhead, Randi Pierce and Ryan Wienpahl, all with perfect 4.0 averages. Joining them will be David Kern, with a 3.9 GPA, the lone saluatorian.

Kern will also give the senior class welcome. The class history will be narrated by Melissa Diller, Chris Matzdorf, Clint McKnight, Kyle Sanders and Ashli Winter.

Casey Kiister will introduce the speaker for the day, veteran teacher Jack Ellis.

Members of the class will receive 99 scholarships totaling in excess of $330,000; 27 of those are renewable depending on collegiate grade point averages. The stipends range from $200 to $32,000.

The motto chosen by the class is by an anonymous author: "The best times you'll have are the ones you'll never remember with the people you'll never forget."

Their class flower is the Hocus Pocus Rose and class colors the traditional Pirate black and gold. Selected as class song is "In This Diary" by The Ataris.

Class officers are Amy Tautges, president; Brandon Samples, vice president; Melissa Diller, secretary; and Clayton Spencer, treasurer. Their sponsors are Jack Ellis, Nancy Esterbrook, Kathleen Isberg, Alicia O'Brien, Jim Shaffer and Ken Sarnowski.

Junior escorts for the graduates will be Kelli Ford, Esther Lloyd, Jesse Morris and Levi Gill. Members of the honor guard will be Carmen Cook, Otis Rand, Laura Tomforde and Marcus Rivas.

Esterbrook said there is a change for this year's program. Because of technical difficulties, there will be no overflow seating with video feed in the auditorium. "All seating will, of necessity, be in the gymnasium," he said.

The program will include "Seasons of Love" sung by the high school mixed choir; a special slide show with class song and other music; honorary addresses by the valedictorians; scholarship awards by Mark Thompson, school counselor; presentation of the class by Esterbrook; accepting of the class by Carol Feazel, president of the board of education; the benediction by senior Sierra Fleenor and the recessional by the high school band directed by Lisa Hartey.

The graduates, alphabetically, will include:

Lindsay Rachelle Abbott, Audrey Rose Andrews, Roberta Nicole Baca, Tara Melanie Baca, Casey Frances Belarde, Caleb John Bergon, Anna Catherine Bishop, Matthew David Bishop.

Also, Rory Leonard Bissell, Cassi-Anne Feirn Blundell, David Luke Brinton, Cayce Aaron Brown, Lily Emmalene Brown, Jeremy Duane Caler, Emily Nicole Campbell, Rachel Christine Cangialosi.

Also, Ryan Paul Carothers, Lauren Nicole Caves, Corey Zephyr Coughlin, Roxanna Louise Day, Ashley Christine Dikes, Melissa Ann Diller, Daniel Patrick Durfee.

Also, Daniel Chad Earley, Roman Antonio Espinosa, Somer Alexis Evans, Tyrel Shane Faber, Amber Nicholson Farnham, Monica Nicole Fehrenbach.

Also, Lauren Marie Felts, Jenna Adler Finney, Lee Andrew Fisher, Sierra Elizabeth Fleenor, Krystle LaNell Franklin, Jason Phillip Fuhler, Jeremy Kyle José Gallegos.

Also, Stephen James Gallegos, Angelica Marie Garcia, Ryan Daniel Goodenberger, Jordan Elizabeth Goodman, William Joshua Gowing, Aaron David Hamilton.

Also, Kory Don Hart, Alicia Chanelle Harwood, Steven Lawrence Henderson, Heather Nichole Hooper, Jonathan Wayne Howison, Gregory Wayne Hudnall Jr., Danielle Marie Jackson.

Also, Liesl Elaina Jackson, Danielle Lynn Jaramillo, Adam James Jelinek, Kelly Lynn Johnson, Patricia Lou Jones, William David Kern, Casey Ryan Kiister.

Also, Joanna Maria Kuros, Matthew Todd Lattin, Traci Jeanne Lattin, Matthew Rafe Lee, Angelica May Leslie, Hanna Elizabeth Lloyd, Alexis Gabriel Loewen.

Also, Ashley Faye Lord, Daniel Lynn Lowder, Abigail Megan Lucero, Craig Lucero, Jennifer Marie Lucero, Dominic David Maez, Benjamin Fitch Marshall.

Also, Jacob James Martin, Angelina Rose Martinez, Kristi Maria Martinez, Leslie Alexandra Martinez, Melissa Martinez, Michael Kelly Martinez.

Also, Ryan Paul Masanz, Jacob Christopher Matzdorf, Harriette Clair Kenyon Mayne, Daniel Patrick McGinnis, Clinton David McKnight, James Andrew Mitchell.

Also, Chelsea Louise Montroy, Kevin James Muirhead, Valerie Pauline Myers, Cynthia Carolyn Neder, Carlos Reymundo Padilla, Estreberto Palma.

Also, Shawn David Parker, Steven Ross Parker, Tyson Wallace Peterson, Danya Majken Peterzen, Randi Leigh Pierce, Natalie Anna Pryzbylski.

Also, Victoria Joan Quezada, Michael Arthur Quintana, Jesse Kenneth Rader, Bryan Christopher Ray, Lacie Angelamae Ream, David Lee Richter.

Also, Bertina Elyse Romero, Trinity Coy Ross, Brandon James Samples, Kyle Ashford Sanders, Courtney Marie Sell, Steven James Sellers, Leslie Michelle Shepard.

Also, Stephanie Ann Smith, Chrystal Marie Snow, Clayton Brooks Spencer, Jessica Marie Stevens, Shawn Michael Stipp, Trenten Tyler Sutherland.

Also, Amy Lee Tautges, Ashley Nicole Taylor, Kyle Robert Taylor, Travis Lee Taylor, David Tyrel Thornton, Malonie Marie Thull, Michael Joseph Valdez.

Also, Mia Christine Van Horn, Max Lee Vasquez, Ryan Alexander Versaw, Michael Roy Voorhis, Stephen Michael Wallace, Erin Ann Whitbred.

Also, Ieesha Whiteswan, Ryan Patrick Wienpahl, Ashli Anne Winter, Elisabeth Melisssa Renee Wollenweber, and Ryan Robert Zimmerman.


 Inside The Sun


Three options for attacking town's sewer inadequacies

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

In June, Pagosa Springs sanitation district board will be presented at least three options for upgrading the sewage treatment plant over the next several years.

Increased aeration must be completed by 2006, when tougher treatment limits go into effect. After that, the board will consider a more lengthy, and costly overhaul of the system to allow the plant to keep up with state regulations and town growth.

The town received a "notice of significant noncompliance," from the state March 6.

According to the notice, monthly testing from February 2003 to November 2003 revealed the district had reported ten results that exceeded permit conditions. These involved outflow limitations for ammonia, total residual chlorine, dissolved oxygen and fecal coliform.

In April, town manager Mark Garcia told the board the letter came as somewhat of a surprise as any noncompliance issues were reported and addressed with the state when they occurred.

In any case, Garcia said, changes will be necessary.

As a result, the board gave the OK to move forward with a rate study to address revenues needed and the hiring of engineer Patrick O'Brien to present options with cost estimates for improvements. All the information should be completed by June. In early May, the board received the estimated cost of the rate study, $4,000, and an outline of possible solutions.

According to the Pagosa Springs Sanitation Department's supervisor report for May, submitted by Phil Starks, O'Brien will suggest at least three options. All three will have a projected 20-year lifespan and boost the facilities capacity.

One option is the Biolac System. This would include fitting the lagoons with tube aerators to reach compliance until 2006 and then modifying one of the cells into a Biolac aeration basing and building a clarifier and UV chamber.

The other two options are to rent or rebuild floating aerators to meet compliance until 2006 and then construct a new treatment facility. Option one requires more upfront cost while options two and three would push the major expenditures off until 2006. The sanitation board will consider these options and the rate study results June 8 at Town Hall following the regularly scheduled council meeting.


Special blasting will close pass May 24

Wolf Creek Pass will close at 7 p.m., May 24, for rock blasting operations on the east side of the pass. It will reopen at 5 a.m.

This is necessary so crews can remove large sections of rock adjacent to the Fun Valley RV Park prior to the park's opening later this month.

Overnight closures are also in effect Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. No weekend closures will be in effect.

During the closures, overnight traffic traveling to the west side of Wolf Creek Pass can travel south on Highway 285 to Highway 17, then south on Highway 17 to Highway 84 (in New Mexico) and west on Highway 84 to Pagosa Springs. Eastbound through traffic should follow the same alternate route in reverse.

Travelers through this project, on the east side of the pass between mile markers 179 and 182, may experience daytime delays to exceed 40 minutes as material is moved and traffic is cleared in each direction. The project hotline is (719) 850-2553.


High school counselors warn against 'guaranteed' college funding letters

Counselors at Pagosa Springs High School are informing students and their families about misleading letters they may have recently received concerning college education funding.

There are several different companies that "guarantee" 100 percent college funding for high school students.

However, these companies often charge substantial fees for this unnecessary service. "If a family looks closely at these offers," said counselor Mark Thompson, "they will notice that part of the 'guarantee' of funding includes loans."

"Essentially," he said, "the services offered by these companies are replications of what the high school counsellors offer at no charge."

If you have questions regarding college funding, contact Thompson or Lisa Hudson at 264-2231, Ext. 226. For summer calls, the numbers are 264-6318 for Thompson and 731-0070 for Hudson.


Sobriety checkpoint scheduled

Local law enforcement will conduct a sobriety checkpoint Friday, May 28, in the 800 block of San Juan Street (U.S. 160).

National traffic studies confirm that roadside sobriety checkpoints increase the perception of "risk of apprehension," thereby reducing the number of alcohol-related traffic crashes.

Both the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and the Pagosa Springs Police Department will participate in the checkpoint.


Countywide cleanups will begin Saturday

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Ready for some spring cleaning?

The first of Archuleta County's annual spring cleanups is scheduled to begin Saturday, May 22 and run through Tuesday, May 25.

To facilitate this year's clean-up efforts, the county solid waste department is coordinating with the town of Pagosa Springs, and free Dumpsters will be provided for community use at the following locations:

- South Pagosa Park - May 22-25

- South 6th and South 9th streets - May 22-25

- Town Park - May 26-28

- Cemetery - May 22-June 3.

In addition, the county landfill will accept free dumping (noncommercial only) May 22-30.

However, residents are reminded that absolutely no paint, liquid or hazardous waste disposal will be permitted at the landfill or in Dumpsters.

Also, larger items should be discarded inside Dumpsters or taken to the landfill rather than placed beside Dumpsters, and care should be taken to remove Freon from refrigerators and freezers.

Due to the county's secure load ordinance, all loads en route to the landfill are required to be covered, tarped or secured. A fine may be imposed on any loads that are not properly secured.

Hazardous waste

The county solid waste department will hold its fourth annual household hazardous waste clean-up June 7-9 at the county road and bridge facility.

However, whereas a wide range of items has been accepted in the past, this year's hazardous waste cleanup will be specifically limited to paint, oil and battery products.

For more information on this year's cleanups, contact the county solid waste department at 264-0193.


Mid-July target for First Southwest Banks charter

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The acquisition of six Vectra Bank Colorado branches that will lead to the establishment of First Southwest Bank is moving through regulatory approvals, with completion expected in mid-July.

"Establishing a brand-new banking charter takes time - and it has taken a little more time than our early projections, but we understand we're on track for approvals in July," said David Broyles, part of the investor group that will own and operate First Southwest Bank.

Broyles currently is Regional President of Vectra Bank Colorado and will be President and CEO of First Southwest Bank.

Following regulatory approval, branches in Pagosa Springs, Alamosa, Center, Saguache, and Del Norte will convert to the new First Southwest Bank name and management. Until then, customers will experience "business as usual" at all of the six Vectra branches , according to Broyles.

"We look forward to introducing our new organization to everyone in this region. But until then, the Vectra organization remains ready to serve local banking needs," Broyles said.


Incumbents only candidates for PLPOA board

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The election of directors for Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association should be an easy affair.

On the ballot for the annual meeting in July will be four incumbents who have filed to retain their seats. No opposition candidates had filed by the Monday deadline.

Running for reelection to three year terms are directors Hugh Bundy, Gerald Smith and Pat Payne.

Running for the two-year balance of the term to which he was recently appointed is director Fred Uehling.

Bundy is board vice president, Payne the secretary and Uehling the treasurer.

Other nomination papers were taken out, according to Walt Lukasik, general manager, but were not filed by the deadline.


McInnis years recorded in 8-volume gift to college

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Scott McInnis era of public service to Colorado, the last 12 1/2 years as the U.S Congressman for the area, will not be pushed into a back corner and left to gather dust.

An eight-volume set of books he calls an "historical snapshot" of McInnis' years of service in Washington has been collected by Blair Jones, press secretary for the outgoing solon.

The collection featuring pictures, letters, editorials, both laudatory and angry reactions to House votes was delivered Thursday to Fort Lewis College which will archive the material as part of its McInnis collection.

Included already were items relating to his 10 years in the state legislature.

Jones' collection covers the full 12 years of the congressman's time in Washington, although he has been with the lawmaker for only the last two and a half years.

The famous names of politicians in the last 22 years appear frequently, both in messages from McInnis to them, and from them to him.

One is a note encouraging the past president and father of the incumbent president to run for the seat prior to his first campaign.

There are photos of McInnis with family, with Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford and George Bush.

There are records of tricks the public servant has played, and of some played on him in return.

It is a collection any person studying the political history of southwest Colorado should make it a must to see once it is ready for public display.

Not only does it deal with the major bills McInnis sponsored, with water and drought relief, forest preservation and others, it also contains records of the behind the scenes things which take place in a public service career.

Things like getting missing medals for an aging veteran; assisting a serviceman in getting home from a combat zone to be with an ailing father; helping a confused teen be recovered by family from a law enforcement boot camp; and sending flowers of condolence to a longtime resident of a Colorado community who had never met him but lost her husband of 75 years.

Other topics catalogued in the collection are McInnis' actions on environment, public lands issues, taxes and the economy, rural health care needs, transportation needs, veterans' health, access to education for all and enabling of emergency first responders.

"He's been a whirlwind of activity," said Jones. "He's hard to keep up with. But these books will keep the record alive in perpetuity."

He is not sure how or when Fort Lewis will put the records on display, but encourages people of the region to ask to see them.

It is the end of an representative era, but one that will endure in the college collection.


LPEA power extension plan hits a new dam

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

La Plata Electric's plan to extend power lines through South Shore and Hatcher Highlands hit a dam of legalistic barriers May 13.

Directors of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, after holding a 15-minute executive session in mid-meeting, voted to deny the power utility's request for an easement in association-owned green belt property.

But the action was reluctant and carried with it possible means of accomplishing the utility's purpose.

Walt Lukasik, association general manage, set background for the action at the request of director Gerald Smith.

La Plata, he said, wants to extend service so it can be looped in the area. To do so would require passing through, over or around the dam at South Shore.

Residents of that area have complained that they do not want anything interfering with their sight line for the mountains and beauty of the area.

La Plata's plan was to carry the line underground to the dam, take it part way encased in 18 inches of concrete in the spillway, and then come up to a pole at one end carrying it across the dam to a pole on the other side before going back underground.

It had said the sight line would be barely discernible because pole tops would be at the same level as the dam's current highest elevation.

Lukasik explained South Shore Estates has a restriction requiring all power lines to be underground but that the proposed line would be 150 feet outside the subdivision itself.

Approximately 20 home owners, he said, are adamant that the line will interfere with their lifestyle by creating a sight blight. They have a home owners association which is not active at the present.

Lukasik said La Plata "has promised to put the poles needed to breach the dam behind existing trees to mitigate their visible presence."

David Bohl, association president, noted "they already have power lines visible in the area along Piedra Road. I understand they have approached counsel and that person has been sent a copy of our rules and is considering possible action."

Smith said the South Shore residents "are completely off base. It is not their land and there is no obstruction of view intended. The site line will be against the earthen dam."

"On the other hand," he said, "we'd like to avoid litigation. Inasmuch as it was LPEA's challenge and problem to get power where they want it, we can give them a choice: Either go to condemnation and condemn the portion of our green belt perceived as needed, or properly indemnify the association against possible legal action.

His motion to deny the easement but to offer the dual choice recourse was seconded by director Bill Nobles.

In discussion before call for a vote, however, director Fred Ebeling called attention to the possibility LPEA might have to resort to blasting in order to encase the line in the spillway.

"That could be detrimental to the dam we own," he said. "We need to be sure if we are not going to grant the easement."

Nobles argued, "we need to put it in LPEA's court and let them make the decision."

Director Hugh Bundy agreed with Ebeling that the spillway ditching should be taken out of the motion on the floor.

Smith amended his motion to achieve that aim, Nobles amended his second accordingly, and the motion passed unanimously.


Voting rights, golf balls and insurance limits get special attention

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Voting rights, golf ball liability and building insurance limits got equal treatment from Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association May 13.

Walt Lukasik, general manager, had been asked to research the voting rights issue after a single citizen protested being limited to a single vote on association issues when a couple next door had two votes on the same issue.

Lukasik said he polled associations across the nation and got responses from 23 in nearly all geographical areas.

"The majority of those which answered," he told the board, "have a one vote per lot standard. One had a two-vote per lot rule and another provided for one vote per $1,000 of assessed valuation."

David Bohl, association president, noted the issue will be on the agenda for discussion at the annual meeting in July and director Gerald Smith said it appears "our bylaws need to be changed."

The issue of golf ball liability arose with reference to the possibility of voters on Village Lake being hit by golf balls driven from a tee on the east shore to a fairway on the other side.

The discussion arose when it was learned that a buoy line blocking off a portion of the lake had been stolen or sunk, leaving nothing to blockade boaters.

At the same time, new homes are springing up along the north shore and those residents are not currently allowed to use the lake for fishing because it is posted.

The final decision was that the golf course should float warning buoys specifying the danger in the area and that the association would agree to share in the cost, initially estimated at about $500 but later amended to "be determined by number and size of buoys needed."

Lukasik noted research by association counsel has disclosed there are no state statues defining liability in such situations.

And director Hugh Bundy warned that any buoy danger makers must be specific to the exact danger awaiting.

Others agreed, noting it can't just say "no fishing" because that would allow boaters and canoeists into the area.

The question of building insurance arose with a discussion of cost of replacement for existing structures should they be destroyed by fire or other calamity.

A number of homes in the 26 association subdivisions were initially constructed at 900 square feet. Current code requires insurance to cover total replacement but does not specify if at the size when the structure was built or if at the currently mandated 1,200-1,400 square feet.

Lukasik noted there have been two "total loss" fires in the last four years and "we need to address the issue as soon as possible."

A final decision was delayed to the June meeting when additional data will be available.

In other action the board:

- welcomed Gloria Petsch, the new administrative assistant to the PLPOA family and her first meeting. She is a seven-year resident with prior administrative experience and replaces Lauren Lee who took a new job in Arizona

- learned from Lukasik that the local postmaster has asked the regional director to review the ban on cluster box installation and maintenance and is awaiting an answer

- heard that fishing license sales have reached $10,600, well in excess of the $7,800 expected in the budget and probably attributable to increased time-share habitation for longer periods

- heard director Bill Nobles' recreation committee update indicating some concern that the forest service is charging the association $75 to use a trail portion in the annual triathlon - a portion it requires the association to maintain. He said the committee is looking for a way to amend the triathlon route next year to avoid the trail in question

- were told single family home building is increasing with 22 permits issued through April compared to 36 at the same point last year; and that the Department of Convenant Compliance had issued 54 violations for various infractions by builders in the same month.


Windows link old with new in new library

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Architect Dennis Humphries said when he first saw the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, he was struck by the views of the San Juan Mountains from the site.

And the lack of windows to enjoy it.

When designing a 2,700 square foot addition to the space he thought of that - and of how to make the new mesh with the old.

Humphries unveiled his answer to the challenge Sunday at a gathering of friends and supporters of the library at the Vista Clubhouse.

His final design includes matching materials used on the original structure and adding a circular reading room with floor to ceiling windows as part of the expansion to open up the views and give the library a distinctive flare.

The architecture will serve a dual purpose. Inside, patrons will have a comfortable place to sit, read and enjoy the beauty of the area. From the outside, the circular architecture will be a beacon to people coming up U.S. 160. Humphries even drew in a fireplace on one side of the room to make it more cozy in the winter.

According to handouts at the event, "The design of the addition to the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library is intended to serve the people and places of Pagosa Springs by functioning well, and by embodying the ideals of growth through learning, community and beauty. It is a great space for reading and research, and will allow the library to expand its holdings. Inside, it provides a place to gather, work and have sensational views of downtown Pagosa Springs and the natural scenery beyond. From the outside, it acts as an appealing town landmark on U.S. 160 "

Humphries, an architect with Humphries and Poli, of Denver, a company that specializes in public libraries and just finished one in Dolores, said addition to and remodel of the current space will end up doubling the area for the stacks and allow for increased storage to move the portable unit off the parking lot. That, he said, will open up a few more parking spaces.

Other changes will include widening the vestibule to allow for better traffic flow, increased space for computers, enlarging and shifting the circulation desk to allow for more points of service and creating areas specifically for children, teens and periodicals.

The new children's area will be located in the area where the periodicals are now and stretch back to the outside wall. It will have a glass partition and a sink for possible arts and crafts programs. The adjacent teen area will have comfortable chairs for reading and computer stations.

The periodical and reference materials will be moved into the space currently occupied by the children's section.

A small kitchen and a multipurpose room have also been added. Both are designed with one wall on a diagonal. Humphries said a sewer line on one side and a floodplain on the other limited the direction and distance of expansion. In fact, unless one or the other is shifted, he said, this addition will mean the library is landlocked.

However, additional windows and a door were added on the highway side of the library in case money was ever available to bring the creek out of its culvert back to a more natural state. Such a feature, Humphries said, could be the centerpiece of an outdoor reading room and provide opportunities for educational presentations.

Following his presentation, members of the audience asked questions about the lifetime of the expansion, parking, computers and the damage possible from ultraviolet light streaming through the increased windows.

Humphries said the windows designed for the reading room are not in the area of the stacks and special glass can be used to reduce fading on the furniture and other items located in the room.

Total number of public access computers in the space will be eight with probably two more added in the teen area, and another two in the children's area. Of course, adding these will depend on fund raising.

Humphries said the length of time this addition will continue to hold the library's collection depends on the community and its goals for the library, but he guessed it would probably be sufficient for about 10 years.

Colorado Jaynes has been hired as the contractor on the Sisson Library Project. Work is expected to begin in July and last about six months. Because of the remodel and addition, Humphries said, library hours may have to be adjusted during critical construction times for the safety of the public.

A model of the final plans, artists rendering and a floor plan is available for the public to view at the Ruby Sisson Library on 8th Street.


Teen Center use growing regularly

By Karen Carpenter

Special to The PREVIEW

I am happy to say we are growing in numbers at the Teen Center. Everyday we have a coed basketball game going with subs in the wings. The game room has competitions in pool and table tennis.

One of our teens has taken on the role of chef extraordinaire with his Friday night pizza combinations.

What I love to hear is the laughter and good sportsmanship that is delivered in surround sound at the teen center.

This week is the last of school so we are gearing up for a great summer of activities and opportunities.

Next Tuesday, May 25, we will have group challenges in art, music and physical skills. We will begin of the "Spades" card game May 26. We are trying to get a paintball game arranged.

Our dance this Friday night has been scaled down to a Bring Your Own CDs Night. The band we had hoped for is involved in out-of-town graduations. We have rescheduled for June 18. We'll have a great time making our own music and dance competitions.

"The Last Samurai" will be showing several evenings this week.

Enter the Teen Center logo contest. Come to the center where we cook up fun and food every day.

The Teen Center is in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard and is open weekdays from 1-8 p.m.

Call 264-4152.


Consumers urged to delay Medicare drug discount sign-up

With the beginning of marketing of Medicare-approved drug discount cards, consumers are calling for information to help them choose among the many card options.

The Colorado Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program is urging consumers to wait at least two weeks before enrolling in a discount card.

Consumer help sources such as 1-800-MEDICARE are being inundated with calls, and consumers may find it difficult to get through for help. Most importantly, much of the important drug cost comparison information for each card has not yet been made available on the official Medicare Web site, As of

Wednesday morning, information was available for 25 drug cards, but not available for another 16 drug card choices.

Another good reason to wait is the belief expressed by the Medicare administrator that many card sponsors may reduce their prices in response to cost competition among the options. An early analysis of drug card prices for 15 pharmaceuticals by the Colorado Division of Insurance found price differences as large as 65 percent among the various drug discount cards.

Medicare consumers may only enroll in one Medicare-endorsed drug discount card, and can't change this choice until January 2005. Therefore, it is very important for consumers to have good information on which to base their choice. A premature decision before the best information is available may cause a consumer to miss out on a card choice that could save them more money.

Card sponsors and participating pharmacies will urge consumers to sign up for their preferred card in May, but we recommend Medicare consumers wait until they receive quality comparisons of discounted drug prices and pharmacy networks where the discount card is honored before committing to a particular drug card for the remainder of 2004.

The Colorado Division of Insurance' SHIP program expects to have consumer materials available in two-three weeks. A statewide coalition of organizations will distribute the information and provide assistance to consumers throughout the state.

A toll-free number, 1-800-503-5190, should begin operation sometime next week. Through this number consumers anywhere in Colorado can be connected to a regional assistance program to help with Medicare drug card choices.

SHIP counselors are available at the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center in Pagosa Springs.


More Coloradans eligible for CHFA mortgage loans

In an effort to keep up with skyrocketing home prices, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority has raised its home purchase price and income limits statewide.

As a result, more low-and moderate-income homebuyers will be able to access affordable financing offered by the Authority.

The "safe harbor limits," under which the purchase price and income price limit must fall, haven't been increased by the U.S. Treasury Department since 1993. The Authority raised its purchase price limits in 2002 in an effort to keep up with rising costs, but even that increase left many unable to find a home they could afford.

A recent increase by Treasury in "safe harbor limits" has allowed the Authority to implement more realistic purchase price limits.

"Though interest rates are at historical lows, many lower-income Colorado families and individuals have been unable to access Authority financing because of unrealistic purchase price limits," said Milroy Alexander, executive director. "The increase will result in a more realistic reflection of the current housing market in Colorado, particularly in the rural areas of the state."

As an example, in Denver, the purchase price limit for an existing home was $183,500 and for a newly-constructed home, $220,000. The new purchase price limit is $275,000 for either a new or existing home. The price limit increase will be especially beneficial in rural areas where there is limited decent housing under the old limit of $119,500. The new limit in most rural areas of the state will be $189,600.

The Authority's MRB First Step program makes loans to qualifying homebuyers earning 80 percent or less of the area's median. In addition to below-market interest rates, the program offers an optional zero-interest second mortgage, payable only upon payoff of the original mortgage. The second mortgage can be applied to down payment and closing costs. If the buyer chooses to not use the second mortgage program, the interest rate is even lower.

"CHFA is committed to serving the lowest-income families in the state," said Alexander. "Raising the purchase price and income limits creates an opportunity for our customers to purchase a better quality home, allowing for an improved quality of life. Making Colorado families safer and communities healthier is a major goal of CHFA's mission."

To find out more about the Authority's mortgage program, call 303-297-7376 or toll free at 800-877-2432, Ext. 376. The information is also available on the Web at


County Democrats give most support to Spehar, Miles

Meeting in county assembly May 4, Archuleta County Democrats split their endorsements for both the 3rd Congressional District race and the U.S. Senate race.

After selecting Ben Douglas of Chromo as chair for the assembly and convention, the party elected delegates to district and state assemblies and conventions based on preferences for state and national candidates.

The state Democratic Party convention will be in Pueblo May 21 and 22.

Before selecting 3rd Congressional delegates, the party faithful listened to Ann Brown of Cortez endorsing the candidacy of John Salazar of Manassa and Jim Spehar of Grand Junction speak for his own candidacy.

The assembly gave Spehar six delegates and Salazar two.

In the senatorial delegate selection, Kent Davis spoke on behalf of Colorado Springs educator and West Point graduate Mike Miles and Ben Douglas endorsed Ken Salazar, the current Colorado attorney general as someone with positive name recognition and statewide support.

The vote, however, gave Salazar only one Archuleta County delegate while Miles picked up the other seven bound for the Pueblo convention.

Delegates selected to attend one or more state convention assemblies later this month were Kirsten Sheehan, Kathy Keyes, Charlie King, Ben Douglas, Lesli Allison, Dan Burgess, Hank, Norma and Jim Buslepp, Kent and Diane Davis and Dave Swindells.

The county assembly concluded with adoption of 26 grass-roots resolutions - from environmental issues to human rights protections - which will be carried to the state level for consideration in the state Democratic Platform.


State exports surge 16.2 % in first quarter

Colorado exports of manufactured, agricultural and mineral products grew 16.2 percent in the first quarter of 2004 over the same period last year.

With sales of $1.6 billion to foreign markets in the period, Colorado outpaced the strong 13.4 percent surge nationwide.

Growing international demand and strong foreign currencies were important factors contributing to the dramatic increase according to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International trade.

Sales of high tech products dominated the top export categories with integrated circuits/semiconductors up 59 percent from $205 million to $323 million, followed by computers and peripherals up 19 percent from $201 million to $240 million.

"Exports are an important part of Colorado's growing economy," said Brian Vogt, director of the state economic office. "The upward movement in first quarter exports builds upon a 10.6 percent increase in state exports during 2003."

Canada was the state's largest single market, at $350 million through the first quarter up 5.8 percent for first quarter 2003. Next in order were Mexico at $135 million, a 51 percent increase; China at $123 million, up 48 percent; followed by Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Germany, the Philippines, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.


Town, county get grants for bulletproof vests

Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs law enforcement agencies will receive over $5,000 in matching grants under the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Act.

Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Colo., announced 85 Colorado law enforcement jurisdictions will receive $436,000 in federal matching funds for the purchase of bulletproof vests.

Campbell, a former deputy sheriff sponsored the 1998 bill that became the original Bulletproof Vest Partnership Act.

"I sponsored that bill because I wanted those first responders who were sworn to protect and serve to have access to this vital piece of safety equipment. It had come to my attention that some law enforcement agencies needed some help in obtaining vests for their officers," Campbell said.

Campbell, who received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund recently , fought for assurances that the matching grants would be made available to departments of all sizes, especially smaller law enforcement agencies that sometimes struggle to acquire basic equipment for their officers.

The latest round of grants includes $2,450 for the Pagosa Springs Police Department and $3,075 for the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department.

The State of Colorado Department of Public Safety also received $24,961 in funding under the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Act.


'Click it or Ticket' seatbelt campaign coming to county

Colorado, including Archuleta County, is joining a nationwide effort to buckle up drivers and passengers and reduce highway traffic deaths and injuries, according to a Colorado Department of Transportation news release.

Starting Monday, May 24 through Sunday, June 6, the Colorado State Patrol and 101 local law enforcement agencies will step up strict enforcement of Colorado's seat belt and child passenger safety laws.

"Last year's Click It or Ticket campaign resulted in increased seat belt use in Colorado," said Tom Norton, CDOT executive director. "CDOT coordinates and supports this campaign because it saves lives and taxpayer dollars that help underwrite the costs of traffic crash victims."

In 2002, Colorado's seat belt use rate was 73.2 percent. After the Click It or Ticket campaign last year, seat belt use increased to 77.7 percent. The increase in seat belt use also contributed to a corresponding decrease in traffic deaths for drivers and passengers in 2003, compared to 2002. In 2002, 578 drivers and passengers died on Colorado highways, compared to 474 in 2003, an 18-percent reduction.

While the goal of the campaign is voluntary compliance, those who continue to violate seat belt laws will risk getting a ticket. If drivers are stopped for another offense and they are not buckled up, they will get a ticket The enforcement also targets drivers with unbuckled children in the vehicle. Those drivers can be stopped and ticketed without another violation.

"The CSP will be supporting Click It Ticket by putting every uniformed officer on the road. This commitment is part of the CSP's Colorado Target Zero effort to significantly reduce highway deaths," said Col. Mark Trostel, Chief of the CSP. "We know we can reduce serious injuries and fatalities if motorists would use their seat belts and make sure their passengers are buckled up."

Variable message signs across Colorado will carry the message, Click It or Ticket - Buckle Up, Please, to remind drivers about the enforcement campaign. The messages will run from May 17-June 6, including the heavily traveled Memorial Day weekend.

Colorado's child passenger safety law includes both secondary and primary enforcement. The booster seat portion of the law is secondary enforcement, meaning a driver must be stopped for another driving offense before they can be ticketed for a violation of the booster seat provision. Starting Aug. 1, officers will write tickets for booster seat violations. Until then, warnings will be issued to drivers.

The infant seat, child safety seat and seat belt provisions of the law are primary enforcement, meaning the driver can be stopped and ticketed if an officer sees an unrestrained or improperly restrained child in the vehicle. The child passenger safety law clearly defines child safety seat and seat belt use from birth through age 15 as follows:

- The law requires infants to ride in a rear-facing child safety seat until they are at least 1 year old and weigh at least 20 pounds.

- The law requires children ages one to four years old who weight between 20 and 40 pounds to be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat.

- The law requires children who weight over 40 pounds or who are at least 4 years old be properly restrained in a child booster seat or with a child safety belt-positioning device. Children must ride in booster seats until they are 6 years old or 55 inches tall.

- A child who is at least 6 years old or at least 55 inches tall must be properly restrained with a safety belt.

Drivers under age 17 are restricted to only one passenger in the front seat and may only have as many passengers in the back seat of the car as there are seat belts. The driver and all passengers must be buckled up and the driver can be stopped and ticketed for violating the law. The minimum fine is $40 and two points against the minor driver's record.

The seat belt law for adults requires the driver and front seat passengers to buckle up. The law is a secondary offense, meaning a driver must be stopped for another offense before receiving a ticket for a seat belt violation. The minimum fine is $18.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), if the state's usage rate was brought up from 77.7 percent to 82 percent, an estimated 22 lives, 270 serious injuries and $65 million could be saved annually in Colorado. The national Click It or Ticket mobilization is conducted by the Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign of the National Safety Council in conjunction with NHTSA, state highway safety offices, law enforcement agencies and the National Transportation Safety Board.


New canine event for Pet Pride Day

A new event promoting responsible dog ownership will be offered at Pet Pride Day, Saturday, June 26.

The Canine Good Citizen Program has a 10-item test of good manners for dogs. This event is part of a continuing campaign to promote the benefits of a well-behaved dog.

All dogs passing the test receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club. This test is a noncompetitive certification program open to both purebred and mixed breed dogs.

To prepare for the test, several practice sessions will be held in the weeks preceding Pet Pride Day. For details, please contact Julie Paige at 731-0231 or Jan Nanus at 264-2556.


House of Prayer summer camp for kids

Registration forms are available at Community Bible Church, 264 Village Drive, for the International House of Prayer children's camp scheduled June 1-3.

The forms also can be downloaded from the IHP Web site at

Virginia Humphreys, children's ministry director at Community Bible Church, said the camps and retreats are a training ground for children to experience God's healing compassion and power for the lost, the sick and broken hearted.

Cost is $135 (additional children in same family $100). With groups of 10 or more, the leader gets in free. Cost includes everything needed to have the best week of a lifetime with food, lodging, Signs and Wonders Teaching Syllabus for Children, recreation, T-shirt and more.

Checks should be made to CBC and note Children's Signs and Wonders Camp.

For more information, call Humphreys at 731-2937.


Test your knowledge of the egg

See if your egg knowledge is everything it's "cracked" up to be. Information courtesy of the American Egg Board.

1. Why do some hard-cooked eggs have a greenish ring around the yolk? The harmless ring comes from an iron and sulfur compound which forms when eggs are overcooked or not cooled quickly.

2. Is there a difference between brown and white shelled eggs? The two are the same - shell color is determined by the breed of hen. White-shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and ear lobes. Brown-shelled eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and red ear lobes.

3. What causes blood spots found in eggs? These small spots of blood are caused by a ruptured blood vessel on the yolk surface during formation of the egg. These eggs are okay to eat. You can remove the spot with the tip of a knife, if you prefer.

4. How long will eggs keep? Fresh shell eggs can be refrigerated in their carton for a least 4 to 5 weeks after the pack date. Hard cooked eggs should be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.

5. What is the best way to store eggs? Store eggs in their carton because eggs can absorb refrigerator odors.

6. What are the stringy white pieces in egg whites? These rope-like strands, called chalazae, keep the yolk center in the thick white and are edible.

7. Why are some hard-cooked eggs hard to peel? Fresh eggs may be difficult to peel. Those that have been stored for a week to 10 days before cooking will usually peel more easily.

8. Are fertile eggs more nutritious? No, fertile eggs are not more nutritious than nonfertile eggs. Fertile eggs do not keep as well and are more expensive to produce than nonfertile eggs.

9. Why is an egg white sometimes cloudy or have a yellow or greenish cast? It comes from carbon dioxide that has not had time to escape through the shell. These eggs are very fresh.

10. What is a tasty way to get eggs into my diet? Indulge in a scoop of this "Frozen Custard Ice Cream," from the American Egg Board.

Frozen custard ice cream

Makes 11/2 to 2 quarts

6 eggs

2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups whipping cream

1 tablespoon vanilla

crushed ice

rock salt

In a medium saucepan, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, honey and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film and reaches at least 160 F.

Cool quickly by setting pan in ice or cold water and stirring for a few minutes. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

When ready to freeze, pour chilled custard, whipping cream and vanilla into 1-gallon ice cream freezer can.

Freeze according to manufact-urer's directions, using 6 parts ice to 1 part rock salt. Transfer to freezer containers and freeze until firm.


Common questions about tinnitus

You had an incredible time at the concert last night. The band played all your favorite tunes. You had great seats, and you could hear perfectly. You couldn't help but smile as you left the arena.

But, as you walked toward the car, you noticed a subtle ringing in your ears that only becomes worse as your environment becomes quieter.

Ringing in the ear, known as tinnitus or head noise, has been experienced by almost everyone at some point in their lives. According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ear(s) or head when no external sound is present.

In addition to ringing, it's associated with noises like hissing, roaring, pulsing, whooshing, chirping, whistling and clicking. It can be intermittent or constant, with single or multiple tones, and the volume can range from subtle to shattering, according to the American Tinnitus Association.

If the ringing doesn't go away or it's an intolerable sound, it's time to visit an audiologist. He or she will ask you a series of questions about your tinnitus, such as:

- which ear is it?

- is the ringing constant or does it come at certain times of the day?

- can you describe the sound?

- does the sound have a pitch?

- how loud is it?

- does the sound change?

- does anything make it worse?

- does the sound impact your sleep or work or concentration

Your answers to these questions will help you and the audiologist understand what's causing your tinnitus. While the exact cause(s) of tinnitus are unknown, it's most often associated with exposure to loud noises, followed by wax build-up in the ear, certain medications, ear or sinus infections, jaw misalignment, cardiovascular disease, tumors, migraine, head or neck trauma or other medical conditions.

The best way to treat tinnitus is to eliminate its cause. It's usually a symptom of a treatable medical condition but often, when its cause cannot be found or medical treatment isn't the best course of action, it's managed with treatment such as drug therapy, vitamin therapy, biofeedback, hypnosis, electrical stimulation, relaxation therapy, counseling or other forms of management.

Another treatment is a tinnitus masker, which resembles a hearing aid and "masks," or covers up, the tinnitus with an external noise. The masking noise is determined by the pitch, loudness and other characteristics of the tinnitus. Since many people say their tinnitus is worse at night or in a quiet environment, your doctor may suggest trying a sound machine, fish tank, fan, indoor waterfall or low volume music to help alleviate your discomfort.


Blood drive set May 27

United Blood Services, the community blood center for southwest Colorado, has scheduled a Pagosa blood draw Thursday, May 27.

Hours will be 1-6 p.m. at Mountain Heights Baptist Church, 1044 Park Ave.

Keep in mind that identification is required of all potential donors.

Donors may sign up for drives at


Wilderness volunteers are needed

San Juan Mountains Association is looking for volunteers for the Wilderness Monitoring Program on the San Juan National Forest.

Duties will include measuring and recording conditions in campsites, evaluating impacts on vegetation from livestock grazing, noxious weed monitoring, light trail and campsite maintenance, and making visitor contacts.

Prospects must be in good physical condition with the ability to carry a heavy backpack, have some knowledge of plant identification-range analysis, and/or GPS knowledge. Backpacking, camping and hiking experience is preferred.

Training is provided and stipend and housing are available. Starting date is June 1 and a two-month minimum commitment is required. Call Kathe Hayes, 385-1310 for details.


Independence Day Parade will be July 3

The 2004 version of the Rotary Independence Day Parade, one of the largest in the southwest, will be on Saturday, July 3, rather than on Independence Day itself.

Rod Preston, parade coordinator for Rotary, said the theme for the parade this year is Pagosa Heritage.


Sports-related eye injuries signal need for proper eyewear

Youth sports are intended to be a source of fun for kids and parents alike. Sports like basketball, baseball or football, to name a few, offer ways for kids to learn about teamwork and sportsmanship in the company of friends and the cheers of family.

However, each year, hospital emergency rooms treat nearly 40,000 victims of sports eye injuries, according to Prevent Blindness America. And since most of these injuries are treated at outpatient clinics, two or three times that number of people have actually endured eye injuries.

Most sports-related eye injuries occur during baseball, basketball and racquet sports. A good majority of these injuries, like scratches on the cornea, inflamed irises, blood spilling into the eye's anterior chamber, traumatic cataracts, fractured eye sockets or swollen retinas can simply be prevented by wearing proper eye protection. Keep in mind that sunglasses, eyeglasses or contact lenses are not protection enough. Consult this list for proper eyewear for each sport:

Baseball: Faceguard attached to helmet made of polycarbonate material, or sports eyeguards.

Basketball: Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses and side shields.

Soccer: Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses and side shields.

Football: Polycarbonate shield attached to a faceguard, or sports eyeguards.

Hockey: Faceguard attached to helmet made of polycarbonate material or sports eyeguards.

Lacrosse: Faceguard attached to helmet made of polycarbonate material, or sports eyeguards.

Racquet sports: Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses and side shields.

Contact sports like boxing, wrestling and martial arts are extremely risky and can even produce blinding eye injuries. Specialized gloves may reduce eye injuries, but there is little eye protection available for these sports.

Purchase eyeguards only after you've obtained some education on the topic. Here are some tips on how to shop for the proper sports eyewear:

- buy eyeguards at sports specialty or optical stores. Deal only with someone familiar with eye protection

- make sure eyewear fits securely and comfortably. Adjust the strap to make sure it's not too tight or too loose

- only use protective lenses that stay in place or pop outward in an accident Lenses that pop in against your eyes can be dangerous

- get eyeguards with anti-fog coating or side vents to prevent fogging

- make sure the eyewear has been tested for sports use

- sports eyeguards should be padded or cushioned along the brow and bridge of the nose to prevent skin cuts.

Kids may not find protective eyewear to be the most comfortable or glamorous type of eyewear. Encourage them that safety is a priority over fashion.


You could be at risk for glaucoma

Did you know that you could be at risk for glaucoma, an eye disease that has virtually no early symptoms, but can cause vision loss or even blindness?

According to The American Academy of Ophthalmology, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, and the most common cause of blindness among African Americans.

It affects more than 3 million people in the United States alone. As many as half do not even know they have it because there are no symptoms in its early stages, when treatment is the most effective and vision loss can usually be prevented. So read on about this disease to educate yourself.

What is glaucoma? Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which is the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. It is made of many nerve fibers, like an electric cable containing numerous wires. When the natural fluid in the eye drains improperly, pressure within the eye usually increases, damaging the optic nerve.

As optic nerve fibers are damaged by glaucoma, small blind spots begin to develop which are not noticeable at first. Often called the "sneak thief of sight," glaucoma usually does not cause pain or other symptoms, but it will cause permanent vision loss - including blindness - if left unchecked.

Who gets it? People who are at the greatest risk for developing glaucoma include:

- immediate family members of people with glaucoma

- people of African ancestry

- people who are age 50 or over

Family history of glaucoma and race are major risk factors for glaucoma. The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that African Americans are four times more likely to have the disease than Caucasians, but only half as likely to be treated for it, and it often occurs earlier in life. Studies show that African Americans between ages 45 and 65 are 14 to 17 times more likely to go blind from glaucoma than Caucasians in the same age group who have the disease. Although glaucoma can occur in people of all ages, it primarily affects older adults.

How is it detected? Because glaucoma typically does not cause noticeable vision problems, one of the best ways to prevent vision loss is to have a regular glaucoma eye exam by an ophthalmologist, which may include:

- questions about your family's medical and eye history

- measurement of the pressure in your eye (however, a pressure test alone is not an adequate glaucoma test)

- examination of your optic nerve (which may require dilating your pupils)

- a test of your field of vision

How is it treated? Glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with proper medical treatment. Unfortunately, vision loss from glaucoma cannot be restored. However, glaucoma treatment helps slow or prevent further damage by reducing pressure in your eye. If you are found to have glaucoma, your ophthalmologist may treat it with eye drops, medication, laser surgery or incisional surgery.

How often should I have an eye exam? The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends you get an eye exam every two to four years if you are age 30 or over, and every one to two years if:

- a family member has glaucoma

- you are age 50 or over

- you are of African ancestry and are age 40 or over

Are you at risk for glaucoma? In addition to your family history, race and age, people who are diabetic, very nearsighted, use steroid medication or who have had past eye injuries may also be at higher risk for developing glaucoma. If you have any of these risk factors for glaucoma, if your vision is sometimes blurred, you see halos around lights or have eye pain, The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you schedule an eye exam with an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

For more information about glaucoma, visit The American Academy of Ophthalmology's Web site at Source: The American Academy of Ophthalmology's Eye Care America Glaucoma Project brochure.


More than 70 percent of Americans have no will

When there's a will, there's a way. Unfortunately, there won't be a way for the more than 70 percent of Americans who don't have a will, according to a 2003 report by NOLO, an online legal resource.

A will is a legal document that ensures that your assets are distributed properly. If you die and you have young children, a will also enables you to designate a guardian for them.

Without a will, the court will distribute your property according to the laws of your state or have your children placed in the custody of a court-appointed guardian. Generally, your property will go to your spouse and children. If you have neither, it will go to relatives. And if there are no relatives, it will be turned over to your state's treasury.

According to insurance experts, a will usually has:

- your name to indicate that it is your will

- where you live

- a description of your assets

- the names of your spouse, children and beneficiaries such as charities or friends (children under 18 can inherit property, but you should name an adult to manage it for them)

- a guardian to raise young children (parents should appoint the same guardian so they can stay together)

- specific gifts such as a car or home

- trusts

- cancellation of debts owed to you, if desired

- the name of your estate executor

- your signature and date

- witnesses' signature(s), number varies by state.

You can make a will with or without the help of a lawyer. If you are doing it yourself, there are books, software programs and online resources to help you out. Check with your state if it allows handwritten, unwitnessed wills. Avoid using them if you can - since no witnesses watch you sign, it's hard to prove their legitimacy. If this type of will is your only option, proceed since it's better than nothing.

Your will needs to be updated throughout your life. If a child is born, someone gets married or someone moves, be sure such changes are reflected in it. After signing the new document, destroy the old one.

You may have all your wishes in writing, but someone must know where to find them when the time arrives. Store a will in a safe and accessible place such as a safe deposit box. Tell a friend or relative where the will is located. Your attorney should also have a copy of your will as well as a note, detailing its whereabouts.


Relay for Life and American Cancer Society help locally

By Doug Trowbridge

Special to The PREVIEW

With the Relay For Life just around the corner, many people are asking how the people of this community benefit from the American Cancer Society.

"That's a good question," said Morna Trowbridge, Relay co-chair for Archuleta County. "Our mission is to eliminate cancer. Everything we do affects people in this community."

Your American Cancer Society is attacking cancer on four fronts: research, service, education and advocacy.

"The first is probably how the Society is best known, for its research to find a cure," Trowbridge says. "But we also provide what cancer patients ask for and need the most, and that's information."

For cancer information you can trust, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, call (800) ACS-2345 or visit the American Cancer Society online at

"This type of assistance helps patients cope with physical, psychological, and emotional challenges of a cancer diagnosis," Trowbridge said. "They responded to more than 1.2 million calls last year and provide multi-language and hearing/speech impaired services at the cancer information line." The American Cancer Society has also funded five Noble Peace Prize recipients.

"We also provide education - to prevent cancer and catch it early when the chance for a cure is greatest." said Trowbridge.

The American Cancer Society is the largest private, nonprofit funder of vital cancer research and has been involved in many of the research breakthroughs of the last 50 years.

"Whether it's through research, services, education or advocacy - everyone benefits from the American Cancer Society," said Trowbridge.

The programs available to this community include:

- Look Good Feel Better self help kits available by calling (800) 395-LOOK. These kits include cosmetics to help patients with their specific skin care needs

- wigs, Kathy Kapps, and turbans for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments

- bras and prostheses for breast cancer patients

- the Cancer Survivor's Network, a toll free number, (877) 333-4673 offering emotional support for cancer survivors and their caregivers

- community grants program where agencies/organizations are encouraged to develop plans for activities that address one or more of our cancer control objectives

- educational resources - print materials, videos, posters, etc.

- college scholarships for kids who have had cancer.

"Together with your Relay For Life and other involvement, you have helped bring us closer to our vision of a cancer-free society," Trowbridge said. "We thank you for that."

If you would like more information about any of these programs, contact the American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345 or visit


Great Date auction will benefit Rising Stars of Pagosa

The Rising Stars of Pagosa Springs will have the "Great Date Auction" fund-raiser 6-9 p.m. June 4 at Montezuma's Vineyard.

The evening will feature live music by Bob Heminger, an appetizer buffet and a live auction featuring date packages - some including babysitting - a singles auction, and local goods and services.

Included in the packages are Creede Repertory Theater tickets, jewelry from Summer Phillips, couples Yoga class with Felicia Meyer, Argentine Tango lesson with Les Linton, ballroom dancing lessons, massage, tree work by Chris Pierce, a basket of sushi, dinners from Isabel's and JJ's, a night at Hart's Retreat, an airplane ride, rafting trips, horseback rides and much more. Singles being auctioned for dates include Ian Vance, Tim Decker, Debbie Reynolds, Carol Baughman, Les Linton, Reid Kelly, and Peg Schwarzkopf.

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.

Tickets for the auction can be purchased at the Rising Stars building at 1860 Majestic Drive, Pacific Auction Exchange or from any Rising Stars board member. Board members include Susan Kuhns, Stephanie Jones, Tamra Allen, Aristotle Karas, Jim Amato, Kelly Goodin, Ann Lincoln and Chris Corcoran.

For additional information call the Rising Stars executive director Jennifer Martin, at 731-6983.



Pagosa youth shooters group captures half of Bayfield medals

Pagosa Pathfinders completed the Bayfield Regional Youth Hunter Education Challenge last weekend with flying colors.

Participants competed in eight different events which included four shooting events and four responsibility events: shotgun, muzzleloader, .22 rifle, archery, wildlife ID, Hunter Safety Trail, orienteering and a written test.

Pagosa had over 20 participants including Cole Kraetsch who claimed the Junior Overall Championship and Zane Kraetsch who won the senior division overall. Of 48 possible ribbons, Pagosans claimed 24.

Many of the Pagosa youths will advance to state competition June 11-13 outside of Salida.


DOW to host anglers' roundtable here May 27

The Colorado Division of Wildlife will host an anglers' roundtable Thursday, May 27 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center from 7-9 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The purpose of the meeting is to gather public comments and to provide information on issues affecting local fishing in the San Juan River and Dolores River basins.

Topics of discussion will include an update of fish stocking plans for this year, including high-lakes stocking with Colorado River cutthroat trout.

Pros and cons of special fishing regulations for the San Juan River will also be discussed, and copies of this year's fish stocking schedule will be available for public review.

Division biologists will be available to discuss other fishing issues of interest, and time will be provided for comments on the Division's fisheries management program.

For more information, contact Mike Japhet at the Division's Durango Service Center by calling (970) 375-6748.


Moonlight compels a need to escape

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

A meeting had kept us in town later than usual, and while leaving for home, the evening was quickly turning to night. The cloudless sky was that deep azure blue when no stars are yet apparent, but Venus is clear and bright, and certainly the most prominent feature overhead. The air was cool and still, and the birds, except for a few robins, with their soft and variable cheery-up caroling, had hushed in their retirement to nighttime roosts.

The long day had left us weary, and while traveling south on Hot Springs Boulevard, we were content with virtual silence, as only the soft whir of the Jeep's low heat was audible.

Suddenly, as our route turned sharply to the east, we were confronted with an overwhelming spectacle, dominated by the illusionary impression of a giant yellow-orange moon hovering over the frigid snowcapped peaks of the east range, seemingly just below.

As if in chorus, Jackie and I simultaneously exclaimed, "whoa, look at that!"

I quickly glanced around for other vehicular traffic before pulling to the side of the road. Once stopped, we sat spellbound and speechless, as the magnificent display cast its charm upon us.

As it has profoundly impressed mankind since the beginning of time, the full moon has similarly affected me, my entire life. I can still recall, while a young boy, running joyfully through the woods near my childhood home, as the soft white glow of the pallid sphere above, illuminated the trail for me to see. I remember the thrill of swimming Jacobs' private pond just after midnight, when the moon's sparkling reflection danced across a dark and riffled fluid surface. And recently, while returning from a stroll, I turned a corner and abruptly stopped to study a brilliant aura, which not only filled the eastern horizon, but mirrored its vibrant image on the silvery waves of the Rio Blanco.

When the earthly sky is clear and my view unobstructed, I can stare at the cratered surface for hours, pondering its various mountains, basins, and other geographic features, in an attempt to comprehend the forces and relative turmoil that went into its makeup.

If scattered clouds are present, and the moon is apparently drifting among them, I am wondrously enthralled with the boundless shapes and shades of light that such a scene imparts, which no camera lens or artist's brush can ever adequately replicate.

Whenever the moon is full, or nearly so, those same feelings of awe and excitement pervade me. Though beautiful and captivating, a crescent or quarter moon cannot invoke such emotion. If the sky is overcast, it is as if there is no moon at all. Only when the night sky is filled with that warm luminescence, am I bound to activities that might otherwise be left to the light of day.

On moonlit nights, as the primal urge to set forth swells within me, I am compelled to escape civilization, in favor of more natural environs away from artificial light, city sounds, and other man-made distractions. This is easy enough, for my humble home sits miles from town, and is largely surrounded by natural beauty and fairly minor human development. Aside from a few security lamps providing a nighttime sense of wellbeing to nearby residents, the surrounding landscape is utterly awash in a remarkable celestial blaze whenever a full moon hangs overhead.

On casual evenings, I may seek the tranquility of a moon-drenched mountain meadow, where I'll sit for awhile, gazing over the adjoining timber forests and their serrated tree-lined horizons. Often, I'll walk to the river and see if its glimmering surface will reveal any trout rising in the Bridge Pool. Or, with a little advanced planning, I might Jeep way up one of the forest roads, for a closer look at the west-facing snowfields of the east range.

Occasionally, I will pursue more ambitious undertakings, solely for the purpose of evading civilized society, and immersing myself in the untouched natural world of mountains, canyons, or mesas, in hope of witnessing the moon's rise, much the way primitive man must have seen it many centuries ago.

Once, while in my late 20s, I went to the Grand Canyon with my brother and a friend. A few days before the scheduled full moon, we drove down in a VW bus and camped the first night on the south rim. It was early November, back when the constant hordes of hikers and sightseers weren't there like they are today.

I still recall the excitement in camp that night, as we finished cleaning up after dinner, and someone suddenly said, "Wow, there it is." Instinctively, I glanced toward the eastern horizon and saw a nearly-full moon proudly gleaming through a thin stand of tall pines. We barely spoke for the better part of the evening, instead stopping with chores for several minutes at a time, to study the lunar rise as it slowly flooded into the campground and forests beyond.

The next morning, under a bright sun and the weight of full packs, we hiked seven spectacular miles, deep into the amazing abyss. While long, and at times somewhat arduous, the downhill trek really served as preparation for the longer, more challenging, walks to come.

Again, we camped in the glow of a bright and beautiful moon, and within earshot of the low and steady roar of Bright Angel Creek. I shall never forget the images of light and shadow on the steep canyon walls, and the feelings of smallness and insignificance as I lay in my bedroll, peering up and out of the mile-deep gorge at the luminous globe overhead.

The next day, the day of the full moon, we walked 11 miles roundtrip to Ribbon Falls. The trail led us along a portion of the canyon floor, where exposed Precambrian rock dates back to a time before life on earth. Once at the base of the towering cascade, we shared a light lunch, then played in the icy spill as it ceaselessly tumbled from the high cliffs above.

We arrived back in camp an hour before dark. Hungry and tired, we thought to make dinner, then rest, before heading another five miles to a different campground where, per prearranged reservations, we were required to spend our final night. I remember wanting to stay put after our meal, but park rules are strictly enforced, so we readied for the move on.

With sore shoulders and aching feet, we struggled into our gear when almost unexpectedly, a striking and magnificent moon began creeping over the far ridge beyond the Colorado River. The sky above appeared starless and saturated in light, while distant crags, temporarily hidden from the lunar glare, were blackened with shadow. Striated cliffs that were fully exposed reflected their true shades of tan, red, and bronze, as the leaves of massive cottonwoods near the creek shimmered in the slightest breeze, their silvery undersides outwardly reflecting every shred of light.

And so it was, as we sauntered over the trail to our next destination. With every twist of the path, we wandered in and out of the moon's dazzling exhibition and the almost indescribable beauty and diversity of the Grand Canyon. It was what we went for, and we did not leave disappointed.

There have been many other such outings, though none quite as dramatic. Nevertheless, with every outward excursion, glorious memories are forever etched in my mind, and with the rise of every full moon, I am still moved to basking in its glow.


Chimney Rock is closed two days for beetle spray

The Pagosa Ranger District, San Juan National Forest has closed the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area to all public interpretive programs for two days: today and tomorrow, May 21, in order to conduct preventative pesticide spraying of mature pinyon pine trees.

The Archaeological Area's guided tours will be suspended for the two days, to resume as scheduled on Saturday, May 22. Signs will be posted at the gate to alert the public to the spraying.

Spraying is a proven method of repelling bark beetles. Chimney Rock, like most forests, in the Southwest, is undergoing a significant bark beetle infestation. The area to be sprayed is along the Great Kiva Interpretive Trail Loop.

The project will help save the most aesthetically pleasing trees at the site and reduce future hazards to public safety that dying trees would pose. This is the first application of the pesticide spray for this year.

The project calls for spraying of the pesticide Carbaryl (commonly known as Sevin) on the trunks and branches of selected trees. Application of the chemical is via pressurized, directional and hand-held wand. Treatments are applied according to manufacturer's safety recommendations by certified applicators. Treatments will only take place in dry weather conditions to avoid water contamination, and only when wind speeds are low to reduce drift.

The Four Corners region is experiencing an escalating bark beetle outbreak that has already killed many pine trees. The presence of so many drought-weakened trees makes the outbreak worse by creating many more dead and dying trees that will provide potential brood sites.

The beetles produce several new generations throughout the summer, emerging to fly into nearby healthy pinyon trees. For that reason, it is imperative that the initial spraying be repeated.

For more information, contact Glenn Raby 264-1515 or the U.S. Forest Service at 264-2268.


Outdoor club awards four scholarships

The San Juan Outdoor Club presented four scholarships to Pagosa Springs seniors this week.

Melissa Diller, Amy Tautges, Jenna Finney and Melissa Wollenweber were all awarded $1,000 scholarships.

Finney plans to attend the University of Portland in the fall. Her goals include becoming a high school teacher and possibly a cross-country coach.

Diller's goals include attending Oklahoma Christian University and becoming a chiropractor for the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team.

Tautges plans to major in pre-journalism and mass communications or marketing at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Wollenweber has her eyes set on studying anthropology in Egypt. She plans to start at Western State University.

Money for the club's scholarship fund comes from donations from members and several fund raisers conducted throughout the year.

Members of the scholarship committee included: Windsor Chacey, a former college professor; Sara Scott, former elementary teacher and Patti Blide, a former high school teacher and principal for instruction.


Reward paid to local resident

The Colorado Mule Deer Association has paid a $500 reward to a Pagosa Springs resident who turned in a poacher.

The incident occurred last fall in Archuleta County. The resident investigated a suspicious shooting and was able to provide a description and other information to an officer of Colorado Division of Wildlife.

The resulting investigation led to the arrest of an Arkansas hunter who had killed a buck deer on private land without the appropriate license.

The Pagosa Springs resident also received $250 from Operation Game Thief for reporting the poaching incident.



Your vote counts

Dear Editor:

What an election year! At the local level, our votes will impact our quality of life for generations to come. Two, of three, county commissioners are up for re-election. We decide if they've demonstrated necessary leadership skills and individually initiated appropriate actions on our behalf.

Contenders are surfacing and petitions are circulating, reminding us that we must actually exert some effort to ensure we get a decent selection of qualified candidates on the ballot. For example, Republican contenders only have about another week to acquire a significant number of signatures to even become candidates. Unless any challengers come forward from other parties, the commissioner elections will be decided in the Aug. 10 primary.

Newcomers, take note - in Archuleta County it's common to have elections decided in the primary, not the fall general election. Those of us who want our precious votes to count, like to maximize our voting opportunities by occasionally switching parties. It's something to consider.

Unaffiliated voters should know they can vote in primary elections. Go to the primary polling place of the party where you'd like to influence the vote and register with that party on the spot. After the election, visit the county clerk's office and re-register as unaffiliated, if you choose to keep that status for the general elections.

The best bet is to contact the county clerk's office at 264-8350 for details on party switching as it pertains to you.

If you're not registered to vote, it's a simple process, and the staff at the county clerk's office can assist you in filling out the forms. Social security numbers need not be disclosed to register, should this be a concern.

As U.S. citizens, we have incredible freedoms, along with the rights to protect those freedoms by voting. Some may feel our voting system has failed us, but to respond by not voting only guarantees system failure. If you choose not to vote, you may as well direct your complaints to yourself, because you have given up one of your most precious rights and not expressed your opinion when offered the opportunity.

Whether you're Democrat, Republican or unaffiliated, get involved in your local areas to know the issues and candidates. The Democratic and Republican Party committees both have local monthly meetings. The League of Women Voters of Archuleta County has meetings and sponsors informative forums. The Archuleta Republican Women meet monthly. PACK, a nonpartisan citizen's group, thoroughly researches the issues and interviews candidates. Your local districts have regular public meetings, as do your property associations and other groups. The Pagosa Springs SUN publishes meeting information for many groups.

Each of us can make a difference, as we get involved in our local and national issues and express our opinions with a simple vote. If our government is to truly be "by the people, for the people and of the people," we must responsibly exercise our precious right to vote. Become a part of our community by being involved.


Karen Aspin

Farewell Pagosa

Dear Editor:

As we depart for our new home in Nova Scotia, Canada, I want to write a heart-felt letter of thanks to the residents of Archuleta County.

Our adventures in Pagosa began in August 1984, when I stopped at the scenic overlook on the west side of the pass to soak in the breath-taking view of Pagosa Valley. In an instant, I knew: this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. God blessed us with a home in the Meadows and a great business - Echo Mountain Alpacas.

I am astounded by all of the changes that have occurred since 1984. There were half the people, half the cars, only ONE traffic light, an old steel bridge across the San Juan River, and only one City Market. In fact, the site of today's west-end City Market was one big, open field. My, how that has all changed! And yet, despite the changes that have occurred in this community, two constants remain: incredible panoramic vistas and sweet, caring people. I pray that neither of these community assets will ever change.

I am humbled by those who have touched our lives, and would be remiss if I didn't mention a few. Namely: Sally, Doug, Morna, and the Chamber Diplomats - for enthusiastically promoting our alpaca operation. The merchants, service providers, postal workers, sales people, and business associates who made our lives so pleasant. Kevin Neal and Fred Sutton, guardian angels who were always there in times of need. Dear friends - most of whom we have not been able to say goodbye to in person, due to the haste with which we must depart.

Thanks to Bill Nobles and associates - not only for encouraging our children through 4-H activities, but also for promoting our Pagosa Fiber Festival. We extend our best wishes to the new PFF staff as this tradition continues each Memorial Day.

Special gratitude is in order for the staff of the Pagosa Springs SUN. You provide a community service that bonds many people-groups with diverse needs and viewpoints. Few people realize how tough your mission is, but I for one am grateful that you have a passion to provide fair and balanced journalism.

Finally, I want to express deep appreciation to Will and Christie Spears at KWUF for making my dreams come true - by letting me have my very own radio show. For your trust and flexibility, I am most grateful, and for the listeners of "The Mid-Day Café," I truly appreciate your tuning in to hear "The Greatest Music on Planet Earth."

And so with big lumps in our throats, we must now say farewell. We never imagined voluntarily leaving this community. But, alas, "life happens." Our grandmother needs daily care so off we go to new adventures along the coast of northern Nova Scotia.

On behalf of Suzy, Kiva, and Collin, I wish you much love and joy, dear friends.

Dave Belt

Unkind criticism

Dear Editor:

Students and staff who worked on the historical poster of the bath house for the San Juan Historical Society and the Town of Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board are saddened and disheartened by the negative tone and criticism in John Motter's letter of May 13, which labels the effort "bad history" and compares it to chicken pox which "often leaves marks you can never get rid of."

As librarian at the junior high school, I observed the seventh- graders and their teacher for several days as they enthusiastically and diligently researched the history of our town and created their beautiful posters.

The teacher was responding to a request by the above-mentioned organizations to encourage young people to research our town's history and to produce posters that could be used to promote and encourage historic preservation of local buildings and landmarks.

The teacher met this goal with great success as I observed during the week as the students examined the eight volumes of "Remembrances" which consist of old photos and stories about Pagosa Springs published by the San Juan Historical Society. (Several of the latest volumes, by the way, were acquired by the teacher in charge of the poster project).

Stressing the importance of careful documentation, the teacher encouraged students to include accurate information as it appeared in the "Remembrances" volumes. The information on the winning poster was taken from the caption printed beneath the photo that inspired the artwork, which states, "The Pagosa Springs bath house under construction, 1888. Alfred Black Collection, San Juan Historical Society." (Remembrances Volume 8 Then and Now, Page 98). As far as the teacher and the student could determine, the information printed on the poster was correct.

It should be noted that much of the information in these priceless books of early Pagosa Springs history is oral history and recollections contributed by those who lived and remember it, rather than historians and scholars with degrees and experience with publishing research. Mr. Motter has brought to our attention that there may be factual errors in this material. Does this mean the "Remembrances" volumes are "bad history?"

The wonderful volunteers of the San Juan Historical Society and the Town of Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board as well as the seventh-graders and their teacher should be applauded and celebrated for their contributions to preserving the history of Pagosa Springs. "Bad history" was not created here as Mr. Motter states; this project was undertaken with the highest standards of research and excellence. Who knows what it may have inspired in the minds of budding historians of the future, like the young man whose poster was selected to be placed with pride around town?

Criticism kindly and respectfully given can help us to learn and grow. But when delivered publicly, in a demeaning, unkindly manner, it creates shame, retreat and lingering bad feelings. Let us hope this sad incident does not extinguish a youngster's interest and enthusiasm in the history of our community, as well as the desire to publicly share his art.

Cindy V. Hamilton

Smoking ban

Dear Editor:

I abhor smoking. It killed both my parents prematurely. I consider it one of the worst decisions a person can make.

Nevertheless, I am unalterably opposed to the "Proposed Smoking Ban" (Pagosa SUN, May 13).

The proposed ban misidentifies restaurants, bars and other businesses as "Public Places". They are definitely private property (try not paying the property taxes) where the public is invited to do business. It should be entirely up to the business owner to decide who his clientele is and how to appeal to them. The smoking/non-smoking decision should be treated no differently that what is offered on the menu - let the market decide!

Obviously, individuals have the freedom of choice to patronize the businesses that provide the goods, services and atmosphere that they desire. Let's not get government involved in forcing business owners to provide that atmosphere. What would be next - government control of menu and prices.

In any case there is no constitutional authority to regulate a lawful activity on private property. (Smoking is still lawful). And I for one do not want my tax dollars going to support the smoking police.

So, come on Pagosa, let's stand up for the freedom that this country was founded to ensure. The freedom to make both good and bad decisions, and to live with the consequences. Let's reject political correctness and support individual rights.

Don B. MacNamee

Poor history

Dear Editor:

The health district has had a long history of poor management and poor quality of care. I wish to quote from the official minutes of June 2000 the concerns at that time:

"Dick Babillis expressed the fact that the board should go on credibility of the doctors recommendations and not by licensing. Bob Huff expressed concern and would like some sort of diploma or hard copy reflecting training from a reputable institution. Ken Morrison wanted to know why the board had decided it wanted licensing to be a factor. Mr. Morrison would like to stand on credibility of the doctors recommendations and not on licensing. Bob Huff restated that he feels the board needs some sort of credential standard. Bill Downey stated that the mission of the clinic and the hospital district are to provide the best medical care possible."

The year 2001 found us with a negative bank balance of $434,000 with enormous unpaid bills. There was an employee environment of illegal drug and alcohol abuse at the highest level of management. The board hired a professional health care executive with an impeccable record to "clean things up and save us financially."

Within months, this is what happened. At the end of 2002, the bank balance was over $200,000 with all bills paid. The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center became a state-licensed facility, the only one in the area, and headed by a medical director and an EMS physician advisor, both whose certifications are professionally current. The ancillary staff includes a highly certified X-ray technician and two registered nurses.

Wonderful plans have been "on the plate" to bring this community health care services never before provided for our citizens. Will this new board make good use of the strong foundations we now have in place? Will our important working folks be well-served?

Patty Tillerson


Community News
Senior News

Special ceremony to honor national photo winner

Congratulations to Phyllis Collier, the photographer who won the local Aging Well, Living Well Photography Contest and took third place nationally,

She was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Washington D.C. that Musetta attended, so we will be having an award ceremony of our own here at the Center 1 p.m. Friday, May 28 to honor Phyllis and her winning picture.

A big "Thank You" to Maryianne Calvanese for giving a presentation about Naturopathy May 11. Everyone enjoyed the information, and the talk was well attended.

We had our Open House on May 12. We had information about our various programs, mentioning that we serve lunch four days a week, provide delivered meals to the homebound and the various classes and presentations we give. You can also ride the senior bus to pick up mail, go grocery shopping or even get to Durango once a month. We also have a home chore program to help with minor home repairs, yard work or minor home modifications. To find out more about what the Senior Center has to offer, come in or give us a call.

Our free movie day is Friday, 21 and we are showing "Big Fish" at 1 p.m. in the lounge.

We will not have a MicroSoft Word class May 21, but will have one May 28.

Don't forget to get your tickets to the cello concert. Philip Hansen returns for his third almost annual benefit concert accompanied by pianist, Lisa Campi. No snoring music at this concert!

Philip includes the audience in his performances and the kids love it. Buy your tickets at the Senior Center or Chamber of Commerce. Seniors with membership cards and children under 12 $8, adults $10. See you Saturday, May 22 at 4 p.m. at Community Bible Church, 264 Village Dr.

Phyllis Decker will be here again at 1 p.m. May 26 to tell us what exciting things the Forest Service has going on this summer. I know they have a butterfly walk planned, as well as other fun stuff, so be sure to come in and find out what's happening at the Forest Service.

Old George reminisces

"Do you remember games? Most of my friends can remember the days before television and some of them can even remember the days before radio. The radio was an amazing thing. It was hard for us to believe that you could hear a voice without wires like the telephone used. However, before it became a household item for entertainment we had to make up our own games and our own toys to play with. I can remember well how we played Hide and Seek and Kick the Can. We also played Follow the Leader which could be very frightening if an older boy was the leader. He was inclined to climb over the top of the barn, through the hay loft and into other dangerous places. I sometimes wonder how we ever survived! Games of tag were a way to fill in our afternoons and have some fun. I remember in the winter we played a game called Fox and Geese with a circle drawn in the snow. I believe it was some form of a tag game but I can't quite remember how it was played - maybe some of you can. I do recall many happy, carefree times playing outside with my friends. Do you remember?"

Our monthly widow/widower support group "Living With the Loss," will meet again this month at 1 p.m. May 25. If you have lost a loved one, (even a pet) you might benefit from this group.

May 28 is our "Celebrate May Birthdays" Day. We will serve cake with our lunch, so if you had a birthday in May, come in and share lunch and cake with everyone.

Pagosa Springs Police Chief Donald Volger has issued a joint consumer alert 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. 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 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."

Anyone with information concerning suspected unlawful advance fee lending and credit repair schemes should be 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 program. Consumer remedies available under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act include treble damages and mandatory attorney fees and costs


Friday, May 21 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; no MicroSoft Word class; Free Movie Day, "Big Fish" 1 p.m.

Saturday, May 22 - Cello concert at Community Bible Church, 4 p.m.

Monday, May 24 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, May 25 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; advanced computer class, 10:30 a.m.; massage, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Widow/widower support group "Living With the Loss," 1 p.m.

Wednesday, May 26 - beginning computer, 10:30 a.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.; Upcoming Events from the Forest Service-Phyllis Decker, 1 p.m.

Friday, May 28 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; MicroSoft Word, 10:30; celebrate May birthdays, noon; photo contest awards ceremony, 1 p.m.


Friday, May 21 - Turkey tettrazini, tossed salad, broccoli blend, muffin and pears

Monday, May 24 - Spanish meatballs, mashed potatoes, broccoli, whole wheat roll and pineapple

Tuesday, May 25 - Cheese burger, vegetable platter, potato salad and strawberries /bananas

Wednesday, May 26 - Swiss hamburger steak, sweet potato, green beans, onion roll and apricots

Friday, May 28 - BBQ Chicken, baked beans, broccoli salad, roll and almond peaches


Library News

"Discovering New Trails at Your Library"

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

Barbara Draper announces that this year's summer reading program is entitled, "Discover New Trails at Your Library."

Registration will begin Tuesday, June 1. Families may come in and sign up anytime that week.

This year, because we will be starting construction on the new addition, the Summer Reading Program will only be four weeks long. The actual program will begin the week of June 8 and run until July 2.

There will be story hours Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. Barbara has lined up many interesting programs and presenters all following the trails theme.

Week one will be "Pioneers & Covered Wagons"; week two -"Trails in the Woods"; week three - "Cowboys and Cowgirls" and week four - "Railroads & Gold Mining." There will be many surprises and the usual fun activities and prizes.

There will also be a month-long scavenger hunt about Archuleta County - a fun challenge for kids and families. We will have more information about this contest in coming weeks.

The 2004 Discovery Hunt Contest will have 14 questions that must be answered. Many of the questions will require help. But we encourage parents to let the children do the majority of the searching. The object of the Summer Reading Program is to keep a child's reading and writing skills in use during the vacation period.

It is a proven fact that children who participate in the summer reading programs do much better in school.

There will be three age categories for the hunt. Age 6 and younger; 7-10, and 11 and over.

It's time to get your family busy discovering new trails at your library. Sharpen those detective skills and have some fun this summer.

New books

"The Luck Factor" by Dr. Richard Wiseman is a groundbreaking new scientific study of the phenomenon of luck, and the ways we can bring good luck into our lives. Wiseman puts luck under a scientific microscope and examines how lucky and unlucky people think and behave. After three years of intensive interviews and experiments, the author concludes that luck can be learned. The book is filled with interesting anecdotes and ideas. "Throw a lucky man in the sea and he will come up with a fish in his mouth." Read this book and who knows what may happen.

"Lonely Planets: the Natural Philosophy of Alien Life" by David Grinspoon brings together what has never before been synthesized: the history, science, culture, and politics of the search for life in the universe. It is a review of our chances for finding life on other worlds and what this may mean to us. Grinspoon is a professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado.

All media

Thanks to donations we now have the "DaVinci Code" on a CD, audio tape and in print. If you aren't on the hold list, call 264-2209.

May is the Colorado Historical Society's statewide celebration of our state's rich heritage. More than 94 cities across Colorado will hold events. A list of these can be copied.

The closest one to us is at Fort Lewis opening today in the Center of Southwest Studies. It will be an exhibition of photographs by Thomas Carr, featuring sites across Colorado and the West. Carr is the staff Archaeologist of the Colorado Historical Society. The exhibit may be seen 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 247-7456.


Thanks to Sarah Dayton for financial help in memory of Sue Gast. Bill and Carol Fulenwider and Gil and Lenore Bright in memory of Paul Cronkhite. John and Lynnis Steinert. Thanks for materials from Kent Schafer, John Mathis, Theresa Emmerich, and Andrea Stanton.


Chamber News

Let the Communiqué spread your story

By Sally Hamiester

SUN Columnist

Tomorrow is the deadline for you to bring us inserts for the quarterly Chamber newsletter, The Chamber Communiqué. This is the perfect time of year to get that message out to everyone to jump start a successful summer season.

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

Elk foundation banquet

The San Juan Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will hold its annual banquet Saturday, June 5, in the Extension building at the Fairgrounds beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets for this ever-popular event are available at $70 per couple or $50 for a single and include your meal and the annual Elk Foundation membership.

If you purchase your tickets on or before June 4, you will receive the opportunity to purchase a "buy one, get one free" on the raffle tickets. As always, you can count on good food and good fun for a good cause.

That good cause would be the $2,000 raised last year for a scholarship just awarded to Ashli Winter to help her with her pre-veterinary studies at Fort Lewis College. Please plan to attend this fun-filled evening, and if you need more information, you can call Fran Bohl at 731-5903.


We recently embarked on a cooperative advertising project with the Southwest Colorado Travel Region and are most pleased with the end product. We hope some of you saw our full-page ad in the Saturday Rocky Mountain News special edition magazine, Summer Escapes 2004. This four-color ad featured Pagosa Springs, Mesa Verde, Montrose and Delta County, plus all the contact info and a terrific ad for the SW Travel Region.

These collaborative efforts make it affordable for all of the investors and hopefully accomplish the goal of bringing travelers to the entire southwest region so that we all benefit. We have a copy of the ad at the Visitor Center if you missed it.

The other ad that seems to have been remarkably effective is one we placed in the April travel issue of True West Magazine. Ken Harms created a stunning ad with horses and a perfect sunset in magnificent colors. The magazine included a reader service card for those who wanted more information about Pagosa Springs, and the response has been very impressive. Marketing is a challenging endeavor at best, and when something works, it's especially gratifying.

Business counseling

Another outstanding Chamber benefit we are proud to offer is the opportunity to enjoy business counseling from Joe Keck, director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College. Joe is an exceptional man who offers counseling about all phases of business in the Four Corners area from his vast fund of knowledge.

The part you will just love about this service is that it is absolutely free of charge to Chamber members, and all you have to do is call us at 264-2360 to schedule an appointment on Tuesday, May 25, beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing throughout the day.

County Fair

We hope you have responded to the opportunities for upcoming 2004 Archuleta County Fair sponsorship and donation options available to you to guarantee that we have another county event reminiscent of those fabulous fairs we all experienced as children. I have only the fondest memories attached to the Indiana State Fair I always attended with my dad, and I'm sure that in years to come, the children here in Pagosa will remember this one in that same warm way.

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

If you are interested in donating, sponsoring, volunteering or displaying your business banner during the fair, contact Marti Gallo at 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 53 Archuleta County Fair to both residents and visitors.

Folk Routes

Saturday night, cellist Philip Hansen will perform with piano accompanist Lisa Campi at the Community Bible Church, 264 Village Drive at 4 p.m.

Don't miss this opportunity to experience these truly gifted performers with "Folk Routes-Music from Around the World for Cello and Piano." Tickets are available 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.

Music in the Mountains

If I don't miss my guess, there will be no tickets left for the three Music in the Mountains concerts by the end of this month, so I would strongly encourage you to visit us at the Chamber very soon to purchase said tickets.

The dates for these concerts are July 23, July 30 and Aug. 6, and all will be held 7 p.m. on Friday evenings at BootJack Ranch Please plan to join us for one, two or all of these magnificent concerts featuring world-renowned classical musicians at BootJack Ranch.

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.

Hanging flower baskets

We are delighted that we have heard from so many of you in response to our letter announcing our annual hanging basket project and hope those who are procrastinating will contact us before we have reached our limit.

These baskets are the collaborative product of input from Firma Lucas at Ponderosa Garden Center, the Chamber and the folks at Spring Mountain Growers. The 12-inch baskets are filled with soil containing Hydrosorb crystals and time-released fertilizer, and the flowers used are Proven Winners, Plant Select and especially drought resistant to endure our hot, windy Colorado summers. Just give us a call at 264-2360 with questions or fill out your order form and return it to us before the Wednesday, May 26, deadline. The real deal maker on this offer is that one of your very own Chamber Board Directors or staff members will deliver your basket(s) in person - that's right, in the flesh. Who could possibly resist an offer like that? We're hoping to deliver these babies sometime the first week in June, so get that order in today.

Karaoke contest

The fourth night of competition at Squirrel's Pub and Pantry drew a packed house and seven contestants performing songs from the '90s. Christopher Young, a.k.a., "Smiley," earned top honors with his hand-clapping crowd pleaser, "Friends in Low Places," and Jeannie Dold was way up there with her rendition of Shania Twain's hit song, "From This Moment On." Tomorrow night is the last night of competition in this great Karaoke competition, and six contestants will return to give it their all for the $100 grand prize. The audience vote can make or break a contestant's score, so be sure to be there to cast your vote for the big winner. For more information, please contact Squirrel's Pub and Pantry at 264-6763 or Best Western Oak Ridge at 264-4173.


We are so pleased to introduce two new members this week along with new owners of an existing business and 10 renewals. Just call us happy campers here at the Chamber.

Joyce Little brings us her new business this week, DVD Monster, with home offices. DVD Monster is an online DVD store selling DVD movies, old favorites and new releases. Joyce will soon offer rentals, X-Box and Play Station games as well as family-friendly movies. If you would like to learn more about DVD Monster, give Joyce a call at 731-4995 or check her out online at

Daniel and Linda Pruss are the new owners of member business, Riverbend Resort, in South Fork. We wish the Pruss family all the best in their new business venture.

We welcome Janis Dotson as both a new associate member and as a Chamber Diplomat. Janis is also a Red Hat Society member and was recruited by the Red Hat Queen and Chamber Recruiting Queen, Kathryn Heilhecker. We're delighted that Kathryn is back into her recruiting mode because we always gain many new members when she gets on a tear. We'll send Kathryn a free SunDowner pass with our thanks for all the good work she does for us.

Our renewals this week include Karen Wessels with Alpha Engineering; Ronnie Zaday with Personalized Mortgages, LLC; Camille E. Cazedessus with Rendezvous Books; Nancy King, Real Estate Associate with Jim Smith Realty; Gayle Allston with Allston Designworks; Dan McVeigh with Fire Ready of Pagosa Springs; David L. Maley with Davis Engineering Service, Inc.; Roger Horton with Fairfield Pagosa Realty; Debra Stowe with Great Divide Title and Chris Feely and Barry Cohen with in Durango. We thank you all for your support.

Veteran's Corner

Memorial Day observances planned

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

A while back a veteran came by my office concerned because he noticed in news photos of our troops in Iraq the flag on their shoulders was backward. He asked me if I knew why? His comment was that it seemed "unpatriotic."

Darned if I knew the reason, dumb me. His thinking seemed logical to me, but I was sure there was a reason for it. The U.S. military would not make a mistake like that.

Normally our flag is displayed with the blue field on the left, stripes on the right. The shoulder patch flags are exactly the opposite, stripes on the left and blue field on the right.

Well, I found out the answer recently. When our troops are in battle they are pressing "forward" in combat, thus the flag on their shoulders is "flowing" backward. Think of troops running with the flag, and the forward movement makes the flag flow backward. Makes sense doesn't it?

Now I will probably get a dozen messages saying, "dummy, any veteran should know that." But, I have to admit I didn't, and at least one other veteran didn't either. I was in the Navy during peacetime in the late '50s and that is probably why I wasn't aware of this information.

Memorial Day

Speaking of flags waving, plans are underway for Memorial Day observances in Pagosa Springs the weekend of May 29.

Breakfast for veterans

Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 will kick things off with a free pancake breakfast for all World War II veterans (and all other veterans for that matter). Although the breakfast is free, I'm sure the American Legion would accept donations to help their community and veteran programs. The breakfast will be from 8-9 a.m. Saturday, May 29, at the American Legion building next to Town Park in Pagosa Springs.

As I've written here recently our nonprofit veterans groups, namely American Legion and Veteran's of Foreign Wars, are hard pressed these days to meet even the most minimal costs in support of their programs. They can use all the support and help they can get.

Donations, new membership and membership renewals will go along way to support their very worth programs. Our community cannot afford to lose the work they do for us. Memorial Day observance is the perfect time to sign up for a new membership or renew your current membership.

Memorial Dedication

Following the breakfast will be the dedication ceremonies at 10 a.m. for the new Memorial to all veterans in the Town Park. The American Legion members have been busy erecting the monument for the past several weeks. It will be a very befitting monument to our Archuleta County veterans.

On Sunday, May 30, grave marker flags will be placed on some 300 veteran graves at Hilltop Cemetery at 4 p.m. They will be retrieved 24 hours later May 31 at 4 p.m. Local Boy Scouts will assist the American Legion in this effort.

Monday Memorial Day

Monday, May 31, Memorial Day will be observed at the Legion building starting at 9 a.m. with flag ceremony. Ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. at Hilltop Cemetery. A representative of the Daughters of American Revolution (DAR) will be in attendance dressed in period Civil War Widow costume.

All members of the community are welcome and invited to attend and participate in these ceremonies. Anyone interested in further information can contact Ernie Garcia at 264-6481 at 5 p.m.

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 the e-mail address is The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.


Arts Line

Photo club hosts Camera People today

By Leanne Goebel

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Photo Club is hosting Terry and Pat Aldahl of the Camera People 6:30 p.m. today. The Aldahls will present information on lens filters and new digital camera equipment. The club meets in the community center and visitors are welcome.

The club meets the third Thursday of every month and alternates a speaker one month with a show the next. For more information, contact Barbara Conkey at 731-6877.


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.

Davies' cartoons were published in several Pennsylvania newspapers.

Artists' opportunity

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

Call for Entries: The Durango Arts Center annual Member Artist Show, 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 artists, please contact Jules for submission guidelines.

Artists Alpine Holiday in Ouray, Aug. 7-14. Early registration deadline is July 15. Artwork must be delivered to Ouray Community Center, 340 6th Ave., Aug. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This year's judge is Ralph W. Lewis, retired professor emeritus of the University of New Mexico. Check out for more information. Or contact DeAnn McDaniel at (970) 325-4372 or Diane Larkin at (970) 325-9821.

Upcoming workshops

Acting Workshop for Teens with Felicia Lansbury Meyer instructing for three-weeks. She has taught previous acting workshops in Pagosa Springs, Sun Valley, Idaho and directed "An Evening of Shorts — Revelations for FoPA" in Pagosa Springs last year.

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

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

The workshop will run June 7-25, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 3-5:30 p.m., in the community center; cost is $125. Class size is limited. For more information, contact Pagosa Springs Arts Council, 264-5020 or Meyer at 264-6028.

Summer Art Camp for Kids is 9 a.m.-noon June 1-30 (Monday through Friday) at Pagosa Springs Elementary school. Tessie Garcia, Lisa Brown, Mark Brown and Susan Hogan bring this opportunity for children who love art. This year, the camp offers Crafts for Boys, Multicultural Art Just for Girls, Clay'n Around and Drawing and Painting.

Pick up a flyer at the elementary school and drop off your payment at the PSAC gallery in Town Park. The cost for this year's art camp is $300 per student. Leave a message at 264-5020 to reserve your space today.

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

Around the region

Enhance it with Watercolor with internationally known colored pencil artist Janie Gildow, at the Ouray County Arts Center. 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.

The Light As Color Foundation will present a Color Consciousness Workshop June 12-13. This is a hands-on experience for artists, healers, and those with no experience in either, that will include: visual energizers, chakra cleansing, painting, exploration of the seven rays and auric development. Moonwolf, a color master, color healer, and artist-educator will present this workshop. Registration is limited and the cost is $155 which includes all art materials and camping. For more information or to register, e-mail or call 264-6250.

The Ah Haa School for the Arts has a full list of workshops for summer.

Watercolor Workshop: Wet and Wild! July 9-11 with Frank Francese. Are you ready to pickup the watercolor brush? Forget the pencils, skip the masking, and let the colors mix naturally in this three-day workshop in the beautiful mountains of Telluride. Concentrate on painting the world around us as noted watercolor artist Frank Francese demonstrates new techniques using an overhead mirror, a method he teaches around the country. Francese welcomes beginners, intermediate or advanced level students.

"I paint what I see," he said. A professional artist since 1976, Francese has taught many students how to see; he is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, Watercolor USA Honor Society and Western Colorado Watercolor Society. Although he spends a great deal of time teaching workshops, he is also a high volume, high turnover artist and exhibits in galleries all over the West. He also has won awards in national and regional exhibitions and serves as judge and juror for watercolor society exhibits nationwide. Francese lives in Grand Junction, and although his subject matter is always varied, he is well-known for his Colorado scenes.

Metal Arts Workshop: "Embatado" Aug. 25-26 with Harold O'Connor. Participants will learn how to fabricate hollow forms through the popular Spanish technique of "embatado." This technique allows the jeweler to build forms directly upon metal sheets efficiently. Integration of stone and wood with these constructed forms will also be covered.

Metal Arts Workshop: Surface Embellishments Aug. 27-29 with Harold O'Connor. This course introduces the participant to various techniques employed to enhance the richness of metal surfaces. Topics include: fine gold over sterling lamination, embossing designs, granulation, reticulation, flexible shaft uses and efficient studio methods.

O'Connor was educated at goldsmith schools in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Austria, Mexico and the U.S. He is the author of a standard reference entitled The Jewelers' Bench Reference. His works are in many museums and private collections including The Goldsmith's Hall, London, England; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. He has conducted over 170 workshops in 15 countries including Peru, Estonia, Japan and Korea. O'Connor has been a metalsmith for 40 years.

The Color of Light Pastel Workshop Sept. 10-12 with Sally Strand. How to capture color and light will be the focus of this three-day pastel workshop, along with the essential elements of strong composition. This class was designed to give students tools to achieve intensely beautiful color through the inspiration of their immediate surroundings in the colorful mountains of Telluride. Students will explore color by working from costumed models and still life. Optical mixing of layered color, as well as the analysis of the effect of light and substructure of values and temperature will be stressed. Beginners to professionals are welcome.

Sally Strand has received the Master Pastelist designation by the Pastel Society of America. A superb colorist, she is accomplished in her technique of using a watercolor wash followed by layers of pastel strokes. Having received national recognition and many awards, Strand has been the subject of articles in The Pastel Journal, American Artist, The Artist's Magazine and Southwest Art. Her work can be seen in galleries in California, Arizona, and Colorado, including the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art. Sally makes her home in Capistrano Beach, Calif.

Photography Workshop: In the Field with Kathleen Norris Cook Sept. 23-25. You may have seen Cook's landscapes in galleries or were intrigued by the photos in one of her books such as "Spirit of the San Juans." If you are an experienced photographer this workshop will take your photography to a higher level. You will be working in various light conditions from early morning light to evening twilight among the beautiful and inspirational San Juan Mountains. Students are required to have their own camera, digitals are welcome.

Best known for her landscapes of the San Juans and Yosemite, Cook has garnered many major awards, acted as sole authoring photographer in four books, been featured in major publications such as Arizona Highways, shot the covers of many national park brochures, and appeared in the permanent corporate collections of Coca Cola, Gallo Wineries and Eastman Kodak. A successful commercial photographer for 27 years, she travels the American West shooting her landscape portraits but also handles challenging corporate assignments, such as the vineyard that had to be shot so it would match up with two other images taken in different locations. Kathleen calls Ouray home.

For more information, contact Denise Dugan at Ah Haa School for the Arts, (970) 728-3886, or at


Today - In Depth on the Basics of Watercolor with Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m at the community center.

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

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

Today - Photo club meets, 6:30 p.m. at community center

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 - all day

June 17 - Photo club meets, 6:30 p.m. at community center

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

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

June 26 - Bird house contest

June 27 - Writer's workshop with Jerry Hannah meets at noon.

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 from 5-7 p.m.

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

July 5-8 - Joye Moon Workshop, Unleashing the Power of Watercolor - all day

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

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

July 15 - Photo club meets, 6:30 p.m. at community center

July 15-31 - Batik and Screamers papier maché workshop

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

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.


Noted cellist in concert Saturday to benefit seniors

By Musetta Wollenweber

Special to The PREVIEW

Philip Hansen returns, accompanied by Lisa Campi, for the third almost annual benefit concert! The entire family will once again enjoy this year's theme, "Folk Routes - Music from Around the World."

Be sure you don't miss this wonderful performance, and for those of you who think classical music is for snoozing you will be reedu-cated by this 4 p.m. performance Saturday, May 22, at the Community Bible Church, 284 Village Drive.

Philip involves the audience in his performances and children enjoy participating.

Be sure to enter the contest to win one of Hansen's soon-to-be-released CDs. A dollar from each CD sold will be donated to our local seniors' organization. Ordering information will also be available.

Tickets are available at the Senior Center and Chamber of Commerce: $10 adults, $8 for children 12 and under and Archuleta Seniors, Inc. members. All proceeds benefit Archuleta Seniors, Inc. and the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center.

Cellist Philip Hansen has performed to acclaim in a variety of musical settings. The Oregonian has noted his playing as both "dazzling" and "indefatigable," and the Los Angeles Times praised him for his "admirable virtuosity." Composer David del Tredici says "Phil Hansen brings virtuosity and élan to all that he plays."

Hansen has performed as soloist with orchestras around the country, playing works such as Strauss' "Don Quixote," Tchaikovsky's "Rococo Variations," and concerti by Dvorak and Victor Herbert. In Oregon during 2003 he was a featured soloist with the Newport Symphony and Central Oregon Symphony. Formerly principal cellist of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Hansen also served as guest principal of the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. He has played in the Colorado Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, the Bloch Festival, and in the Oregon Festival of American Music, where he has also appeared as guest conductor.

Phil's solo repertoire includes rare masterpieces from Latin America and Asia. His CD of Latin American cello music is scheduled for release in late 2004.

In 2002, at the invitation of composer and MacArthur Fellow Bright Sheng, Phil performed and taught master classes at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2000 he was invited to perform in New York's famed Merkin Hall a work for cello and ensemble by acclaimed composer Kenji Bunch.

Mr. Hansen's education includes cello and composition studies at the Eastman School of Music and University of Southern California. He was twice selected to participate in the prestigious Piatigorsky Seminar for Cellists, where he received master class instruction from, among others, Yo-Yo Ma and William Pleeth. Phil performs on an English cello made in 1780 by Lockey Hill.

Lisa Campi is an assistant professor of piano at Fort Lewis College where she performs, accompanies, teaches private and class piano, theory and history. She was previously an assistant professor at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, Wash.

A native of Silver Spring, Md., Campi received her BM from Indiana University where she studied with Karen Shaw, James Tocco and Shigeo Neriki, her MM from the University of Maryland where she studied with Bradford Gowen, and her DMA from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Rebecca Penneys.

Lisa has performed and adjudicated throughout the country, and has given lecture recitals for such organizations as the National Music Teachers Association. She has played recitals for the Chautauqua Institute in New York, the Scotia Festival of Music in Nova Scotia, for CBC radio, for the National Public Radio on WBFO: for the Opus, Classics Live series at the University of Buffalo, and for the Piano Bench series on KPBX, Spokane Public Radio. Last year, she performed two, two-piano concertos with the Oregon East Symphony in a concert entitled, "American Rhythms."

As a member of the Taliesin Piano Trio, Lisa participated in the National Endowment for the Arts/Chamber Music America rural residency in Blytheville, Ark. The members of the Taliesin Trio were active throughout Arkansas as performers, clinicians and teachers, and began a concert series titled, "Composers in their Own Words."

Lisa is also a vigorous advocate for the music of our time, has performed a wide range of solo and chamber works by leading contemporary composers, and has been associated with several modern music ensembles, including Ossia in Rochester, N.Y., and Zephyr in Spokane, Wash. Lisa earned the prestigious Excellence in Teaching award at the Eastman School of Music, where she was the teaching assistant to Rebecca Penneys, and the supervisor and instructor for theory classes. In addition to her many years of private piano teaching, she has been a class piano instructor at the University of Maryland, and has taught at the Sonata Piano Studios in Rochester, N.Y.


Fiber Fest knitting bar will hold interest for all

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

Knitting is fast becoming a trendy and fun new pastime.

This handicraft renaissance is engaging the interest of celebrities from London to Hollywood. Nicole Kidman is reputed to do it between takes and Madonna takes time out of her hectic schedule - knitting!

This year the Fiber Fest will feature a knitting bar where everyone from beginner to advanced knitter will find something of interest. The knitting bar will provide free needles, yarn and a crash course for those who don't know their purl from their cable.

A wide variety of yarns will be available for experimentation, provided by the many vendors present. Everyone is invited to come sit down and knit at the Fiber Fest.

Knitting is not the only game going at this year's fest. Here is a preliminary schedule of the many other activities - something for everyone in the family.

Saturday, May 29

- 9 a.m. - open

- 9:30 a.m. - First shearing demonstration (Shearing will take place on the hour, both Saturday and Sunday)

- 10 a.m. - Jean Carson, dyeing demonstration using rainbow dyes

- 10:30 a.m. - weaving demonstration with Debbie Wycoff, weaving instructor from Durango. The weaving demo will be ongoing through 2 p.m.

- 11 a.m. - Dr. Kitzel Farrah speaking on Camelid Reproduction

- 11 a.m. - crocheting demonstration with Arlene Burkhard

- noon - enjoy your lunch

- 1 p.m. - Jim Burbach of Navajo Lakes Alpaca speaking on "Setting up your Fiber Ranch."

- 1 p.m. - drop spindle spinning demonstration by Pam Dyer

- 2 p.m. - spinning demonstration by Claire Walker, award-winning spinner at Taos Wool Festival

- 3 p.m. - Rita O'Connell, knitting demonstration: Knitting Designer/Patterns. She writes for Alpacas Magazine

- 4 p.m. - Jean Carson, dyeing demonstration (complete dyeing process started at 10 am)

- 4:30 p.m. - fashion show with fashions provided from fiber artists and vendors.

Sunday, May 30

- 9 a.m. - open for visitors

- 10 a.m.-2 p.m. - weaving demonstration with Debbie Wycoff

- lunch

- 12:30 p.m. - Frank Ratliff discussing weeds poisonous to livestock

- 1 p.m. - crochet demonstration by Arlene Burkhard

- 2 p.m. - Spinning demonstration by Claire Walker, award winning spinner

- 3 p.m. - knitting demonstration by Rita O'Connell

- 4 p.m. - silent auction.

Friday, May 28

The Fiber Fest will sponsor a series of classes at the Mountain Heights Baptist Church featuring top fiber artists of the Four Corners.

- Pam Dyer will teach a beginning locker hooking class where students will learn to hook rugs using strips of unspun wool to create beautiful rugs, pillows, saddle blankets, etc. Participants will be given a needle (hook), a small amount of canvas and wool to practice with. Supplies to make larger pieces will be available to purchase. (To do a 2' x 3' rug: cost is $65, including wool, book and, one yard of canvas 60 inches wide.) Class time is four hours and the cost is $40

- Rita O'Connell will teach a knitting class. Scarves and shawls are popular projects for beginner to advanced knitters. In this class students will start knitting a basic triangular or rectangular scarf/shawl using the several patterns provided in class. While knitting, instruction will concern different styles and ways to shape scarves and shawls (rectangles, squares, triangles, semicircles, and circles). Rita will also talk about how fancy yarn and simple stitches can be used to make a head-turning scarf, or basic yarns and fancy stitch work to create a lacy work of art. Class time is four hours (morning) and cost is $45 including several patterns

- Arlene Burkhard will teach a beginning or intermediate class in crochet. Students will learn basic stitches and then a number of variety stitches that can be used in a variety of patterns. Class time is four hours (afternoon)

- Lois Burbach will teach a felting class for beginners to intermediate students. Hats are becoming the "hot" fashion item. Learn to felt your own. Or, felt a special one-of-a-kind purse. In this class students will get their hands wet and have fun while learning to felt without seams. They will leave with their finished hat or purse, (ready to decorate after it dries). Hat blocks will be available in a choice of hat shapes. Students will learn how to finish the edge, as well as decorating and finishing tricks and hints. Class time is all day and the cost is $75

- Pam Ramsey will teach a beginner to intermediate class in creating painted rovings. Students will learn to develop and create those wonderful painted rovings that cost a fortune to buy. They will be asked to push their comfort level with color and see how some very unusual color combinations can be stunning. They can expect to get messy but will take home enough spinnable samples to create a small scarf or socks. Class time is three hours and cost is $40

- Pam Dyer will teach a beginning level class in spinning with the drop spindle. Students will learn an ancient art that has changed little over the centuries. Hand spinning, once the basic technique is mastered, is highly relaxing and quite portable. It is an ideal way to feel real kinship with our foremothers. If you then knit or crochet the finished thread into something you can wear or use, your pleasure and satisfaction in your skill will be doubled. Class time is four hours (morning) and cost is $40

- Rose A.B. Vigil will teach a class in Rio Grand Weaving for beginners and intermediate students. Students will learn to design and weave a Rio Grande/Chimayo weaving. They will be using a 4/13 tapestry weight or a single rug weight depending on ends per inch used by each individual. Class time is all day and cost is $75

- Debbie Wykoff will teach a beginning weaving class. Students will learn to plan a project, learn the components of a loom, and various weaving techniques sure to amaze everyone. They will weave a sampler of 10 to 12 weaving techniques. These include plain weave, twill weave, a little tapestry, rug weaves, and finer weaves. Looms and selection of yarns will be provided for use. Class time is all day and cost is $115

- Rita O'Connell will teach a class in knitting socks for advanced beginners through advanced knitters. Colorful hand-knit socks are a hot item today. In this class students will learn how to knit on double point needles and learn all the steps to make a sock. They will knit a small sock (suitable for an ornament) in class in order to practice all the steps, including the heel. They will take home a basic sock pattern sized for children to adults to work with the wonderful thin sock yarns available today. They will also learn about the variety of sock designs to be found among the many sock patterns, and the amazing variety of sock yarns. Class time is four hours (afternoon) and cost is $45, including two patterns.

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


Celtic guitarist featured Friday at Whistle Pig

Celtic guitarist Jerry Barlow will the be featured performer at this week's Whistle Pig House Concert, 7 p.m. Friday, May 21, at the Hudson House.

Barlow is noted for his outstanding finger-style guitar arrangements of classic Celtic tunes which were originally composed for fiddle, flute or harp.

The concert is one of this year's monthly musical performances sponsored by Artstream Cultural Resources, a local nonprofit which promotes educational and cultural arts events. Suggested donation is $10, which includes coffee, tea and homemade desserts at intermission.

For reservations or information about the Jerry Barlow Concert, call Clarissa Hudson at 264-2491.


New program offers dance, music classes for children all ages

Elation Center for the Arts, a new nonprofit arts organization based in Pagosa Springs, is offering dance and music classes for children of all ages, including toddlers, beginning June 14.

Elation's program directors, Carla and Paul Roberts, use international folk dance and music as a basis for new explorations in the performing arts.

The Roberts have devoted themselves to the cultural enrichment of children for over 20 years. Their school assemblies and performance residencies are popular throughout the Southwest.

The Roberts use innovative techniques in their work with children to help them develop creativity and teamwork skills. According to Carla Roberts, "Being able to improvise in music and dance is one of the greatest joys. Our focus is on combining tradition with new creation."

In the ensemble class children perform concerts and participate in video productions. This is a real performing arts immersion with songs and dances, colorful costumes, instruments from around the world, as well as stories and skits adapted from the world's great literary traditions.

The world dance class, ages 5 to 10, is an introduction to dance, rhythm and music from around the world.

The toddler class, ages 2 to 4, is a lively exploration of music and movement.

A hand drumming class offers an exciting exploration of a variety of percussion instruments.

A costume design class will focus on the creative design process from start to finish. This will be an opportunity for children to learn how to create their own costumes.

Classes will be held at the PLPOA Clubhouse and the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Class fees are reasonable. Thanks to the Supper Fellowship of the Community United Methodist Church, scholarships are available for families who qualify.

Call 731-3117 for class schedules and other information.


State arts council gets new leader

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

The Colorado Council on the Arts has announced that Elaine Mariner, of Boston, has been named executive director of the Council.

Mariner, who will assume her new post July 6, is currently director of programs at Massachusetts Cultural Council.

She is no stranger to Colorado, however, having served as deputy director of the Colorado Council prior to moving to Boston.

She was selected from 107 applicants in a nationwide search.

"I am looking forward to returning to Colorado," she said. "The state has a committed and creative arts community. Through the work of the state arts agency, I want to help build an environment across the state in which the arts can thrive."


Food for Thought

Take it slow, it's the way to go

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

I read it.

I couldn't believe it, so I read it again.

My friend Ming had jumped off the cliff, gone totally wacky, steered into oncoming traffic.

I was reading her column in the newspaper and she took on the topic of what to do when you're hungry, when you want a snack and it's not close to meal time.

Now, don't get me wrong. I've known Ming a long time and I am aware that she is at times - how to put this - a bit extreme. This is a woman who runs marathons, who competes in triathlons, who pushes herself to the maximum, physically and mentally.

She is also one of the tidiest persons I know. Fanatic about it, as a matter of fact. And her mental acuity and intensity is the equal of any.

She is detailed and precise. Formidable.

And, after I read her column, I'm inclined to say she's probably as nuts as I am.


Let me paraphrase what she wrote: If you're craving a snack, you must refuse to submit to temptation. The trick is to put something in your mouth that will, a) provide enough negative reinforcement that you don't want to put anything else in your mouth or, b) provide a substitute for food and attempt to trick yourself into responding as if you've eaten something.

For the first tactic, she suggested sucking on a wedge of lemon. You crave a snack - suck on a lemon wedge and sour yourself out of the hunger zone.

As a second ploy she suggests you brush your teeth. That's right: brush your teeth. The artificial sweetness of the toothpaste will help extinguish the craving. After all, toothpaste is almost food, isn't it?

Can you believe it? What kind of utter madness is this?

Can you imagine yourself doing these things? Sucking on a lemon to depress your hunger? Running to the bathroom a couple times each day to slather your tastebuds with flouride-saturated grit?

Then, to make matters worse, Ming went on to mention the concept that eating fewer calories will extend life. This idea, indisputably substantiated by science geeks who like to torture rodents, includes the claim that calorie deprivation is a key to longevity. Not just calorie limitation, folks - DEPRIVATION.

These tactics and ideas are easy for someone like Ming to absorb and practice. She has about .000008 percent body fat. I, on the other hand, have a leg bigger than her entire body and I respond differently. In fairness, Ming, despite her temporary plunge into darkness, is a studied cook and a gourmand of a high order. I prefer to see her commentary as a temporary aberration, perhaps caused by a dose of polluted high-performance energy drink or a brick of tainted tofu.

As a stellar representative of the 30-percent body fat crowd, I think all this talk about sucking on lemons, toothpaste as food substitute and depriving oneself of calories has to stop.

It's dangerous!

No food?


Of course, the opposite extreme is just as objectionable. By this I mean the addiction to crud - especially fast food and highly processed, pre-prepared crud.

This junk, made without care in huge factories and bustling fast food establishments, is cooked to death, deprived of both nourishment and deep flavor (chemicals are not deep flavor) and is nearly always eaten the same way it is produced and procured: fast. The crud is not food, it is fuel. The act of taking on fuel is not eating; it is mindless consumption devoid of pleasure, robbed of the substance and time it needs to become something precious.

That's why, with very few exceptions, the answer is slow food. And an Epicurean approach to that slow food, at that.

Epicurus has a bad name among those not acquainted with the rational Greek's thought. He was not, as the unstudied often assume, a proponent of shameless indulgence. That would be the Cyrenaics and they were a truly delirious crew. Epicurus proposed a lifestyle based on pleasure, yes, but it was not a crudely sensual kind of pleasure. Pleasure was identified with peace of mind, with repose. Food, indulged in Cyrenaic fast-food fashion, gulped, sought after with fever, consumed with attention to volume, devoured hastily, cannot lead to repose. In fact, it leads to dissatisfaction, to restlessness and a growing desire to have more, to have things more exotic than before. To supersize.

The trick is to go slow.

Slow food is an Epicurean concept.

There is actually a movement called "Slow Food," and while it has mutated in some parts of the world to involve a pointedly political, green agenda, it's roots are humble.

When the so-called "Slow Food" movement began to receive press four or five years ago, I took notice. The movement began in Italy, in response to the opening of a fast food restaurant, an American franchise restaurant of some note, famed for its ability to grease everything it offered, and to lube its clients as well. Slow food was a reaction to fast food.

The germ at the core of the slow food movement is that food - its preparation and consumption - should be unhurried. Moreover, goes the litany, the foods should be gathered whenever possible from producers nearby, cutting the cord with an agri-industry that has done incredible damage to fruits, vegetables and meats with its emphasis on mass production and the genetic manipulation of products to ensure longevity and shipability (at the expense of incidental things, like taste).

The idea is to cook from scratch as often as possible, avoiding processed ingredients. The notion, further, is to take one's time cooking, to indulge the process as a sort of meditation. A cook should be interested in the preparation of food, genuinely engaged, deep into the activity with all its twists and turns, eager to make the decisions that come when preparing dishes from raw beginnings, participating with ingredients, if you will, in a dialogue. Sometimes the dialogue produces a love poem, sometimes a brawl.

Cooking becomes a thing to be done as much for itself than it is as a means to an end.

Then, to the enjoyment of the finished product - an event that mirrors the meal's creation.

No gulping: this is not the front seat of Dodge Dart after a trip through the Flab Burger drive thru. No supersizing here, no conveyor belt from lap to mouth.

Slow food is enjoyed- surprise! - slowly. It is savored, actually chewed, and tasted. Unless it is a sparkling wine of some kind, no fizzy liquid accompanies the food. There is deep flavor here, not the disturbing, superficial tang of unpronounceable chemical additives.

Slow eating involves conversation, the appreciation of company and surroundings. Music helps.

As with cooking, the eating is a meditation. Taking one's time, tasting food, produces a sense of ease. Tensions melt. It is the comfort zone. There is repose.

Unfortunately, where we live here in this little town where people used to point with their lips, there is not a lot of raw product available that is produced locally. There is more all the time, mind you, with farmer's markets in season, with game available in season. But, most of the time, the search for ingredients is less than easy; produce needs to be inspected, products checked.

When all is said and done, though, there's always something out there to braise.

I love braises; I find they apply the brakes to the tendency to move too rapidly in the food production/consumption process. I like them also for the fact they provide leftovers that can then be used as components in another meal, cooked again after gaining flavor in the fridge. After resting, the flavors melding. Slowly.

For example, last weekend, I found some beef from a company that raises hormone- and antibiotic-free cattle over in the San Luis Valley. I took my time going through the flesh case at the market and snatched two packs of boneless beef short ribs - perfect material for a braise.

Here's where I ran into trouble with the "buy local" commandment. I needed tomato, onion, garlic, spices. Not many of these growing locally right now, eh? I settled for canned tomato, the label inspected with fierce attention. A white onion, garlic and fresh oregano from the produce section at the market put me in line.

Once home, I seasoned the ribs with salt and pepper and browned them off in extra virgin olive oil, I added sliced white onion, some of my beef stock, the tomatoes crushed with their juices, minced oregano and six cloves of garlic crushed and mushed. To top it off, I whisked in some Espanola red and into a 325 oven it all went.

For a long time.

Five hours more or less, checked periodically in case a bit more stock was needed. The meat, all flaky good, came out of the broth that was degreased and reseasoned, then reduced a bit over high heat. The meat was shredded then added to the sauce.

This was great as the key ingredient in a simple, shredded beef taco with warm corn tortillas, cheese, chopped cilantro, avocado. It would have done every bit as well atop some garlic mashed potatoes (we can get spuds from the San Luis Valley).

The leftover meat and sauce was saved to be used two days later as prime ingredients in a shredded beef burrito or enchilada or on pasta, with the sauce amped up with more tomato, a bit of red wine, perhaps some sauteed mushrooms and fresh herbs and spices. The meat is great on a sandwich, with a locally baked artisanal bread.

With goods like this at hand, I'm not sucking a lemon slice or brushing my teeth the next time I need a snack (though dental health is a worthy concern). Neither will I wheel through a drive thru where I yell into the belly of a garishly decorated statue of a Pirate to order a characterless blob of shiny industrial sludge.

Nope. I'm taking it slow, the Epicurean way, noshing leisurely on something made with care.

Since I'm not depriving myself and reducing my calorie count to sub Saharan drought level, it's probably true I'm losing five or six years on the outside edge of life. But I figure I'm moving to that edge a lot slower than others, with more attention to detail.

Don't like it?

Go brush your teeth.


Cruising with Cruse

Martinez Canyon provides close-in walking opportunity

When I first started coming to Pagosa Country to hike, 20 years ago, it never occurred to me that there was any place worth hiking except the Continental Divide Trail. All other trails were just access to the Divide.

Any trail that didn't lead to the Divide wasn't worth time or energy.

The South San Juans? What were those? For me the Weminuche north of U.S. 160 was the only place worth going.

Turkey Creek Trail? Too many miles before you reached the Divide. Forget about it.

Since taking up permanent residence here, I've gradually come to learn that there are other trails with their own beauty. You don't have to be hitting the high ridges all the time. Granted, the view from Mt. Hope, or South River Peak, or Chief Mountain, when the tops of the peaks and ridges stretches on seemingly forever, can be breathtaking. So can getting up to that point.

As knees get crankier, or if time is limited, there are other trails to discover. Some are really close to home. For instance, there's the whole network of trails in Martinez Canyon.

Now, I've heard people talk about Martinez Canyon for some time. I just didn't pay attention. The first time I had a clue about where it even was came during a balloon fest, when the balloonists were warned not to go too far west and end up maybe having to descend and land in the canyon. The terrain was too rough; chase vehicles couldn't get there; no safe landing site. Etc.

I was riding in a balloon and the visiting pilot and I probably made each other way more nervous than was necessary, as we drifted farther and farther west.

"Is that the canyon?" she kept asking. And I'd have to say, "I don't know exactly."

"You live here, don't you?" Well, yes I did, but that counted for little. By the time we came to earth, in someone's front yard, I felt like ancient sailors afraid of falling off the rim of the world. As the old maps indicated for the unknown deeps, "Here be dragons."

The Martinez Canyon name surfaced again at a presentation by Larry Lynch from PLPOA, as he explained the future Pagosa area trail network. The canyon sounded difficult, rugged, plus there seemed to be little or no access and no place to leave your car. Martinez Canyon was apparently a well-guarded secret and destined to remain accessible to only those lucky few who lived close by.

Well, last week I hiked in Martinez Canyon. Guess what, people? It's not that hard. Not that hard to hike and not that hard to find. Once someone reveals the secret and shows you the way. You just go through one of those gates marking the boundary of the National Forest, and follow where the trail leads you. If you come to a fork in the trail, take it.

You might end up on the so-called rim trail, which is very narrow and eventually takes you past an outcropping of sandstone overlooking the canyon below. A tenacious pine seems to be growing out of the very rock itself.

This is a natural photo op.

Continue on the rim trail and you run out of rim. You might meet the main trail, which leads you down a slope and into the canyon bottom. When I went there a couple of weeks ago the main trail was easy to spot by the hoofprints made in the mud a few days early. Now the mud was dry and the prints were cast in the hardpan.

The main trail takes you on across Martinez Creek. At this time of year the creek is still flowing, but it's not so high that you can't cross it. My guide and I cast up and down along the creek until we found a pair of boards spanning the water.

Our doggie companion splashed happily back and forth. She didn't care if her feet got wet.

Spring wildflowers were everywhere, although I can't say the ground was blanketed with them. We saw phlox, and larkspur, and prairie smoke, and something that we couldn't identify. Back home I found a picture in the Audubon book that I thought was perfect, 8-10 petals with pale white-and-pink stripes, the flowers rising in small clusters from and basal rosette of leaves. Only problem with that identification, Siskiyou Lewisiana, is that according to Audubon, the flowers should only be growing in northern California and Oregon. Maybe Siskiyou has a Colorado cousin?

My friend and I, and her dog, and the singing birds, seemed to be the only creatures inhabiting the canyon.

The white-flowered western serviceberry shrub was all around. Yellow pea is also flowering. That's supposed to be a dietary mainstay for bears newly emerged from their dens. I guess the bear that came up out of the canyon on Mother's Day to plunder someone's bluebird box and eat momma and the eggs was just looking for a little variety.

A couple of days after my first-ever hike in Martinez Canyon I went back with Blondie to approach it from the Turkey Springs area. Again, we seemed to be alone except for the wild things.

We followed a marked bike trail down to the power lines and another trail, this one a two-track road. Part of the way we paralleled a little creek. I guess that eventually it flows into Martinez Creek.

Along the way, we passed boggy areas rife with iris in bloom. We saw fairly fresh bear sign. We emerged from widely spaced pine forest into an open meadow. The wind was singing in the power wires. They were the only sign that we were near "civilization."

There's a dilemma in writing this. Should I generously share this treasure that lies so close to our homes? Or should I be selfish and keep it a secret, so that I and a few others can hike in solitude?

It doesn't really matter. Eventually the area will be more accessible. PLPOA has satisfied the Forest Service requirements regarding environmental impacts and will be constructing a trail in the next year. The entry point will be clearer. Off street parking will be created.

When that happens, Martinez Canyon will be less of a mystery. I'll bet it will become one of your favorite hikes.


Local Chatter

Pagosans fill ranks of Durango DAR

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

The Ruby Sisson Library is going to be enlarged thanks to the many friends who have contributed to raising the money for this project.

And Sunday friends and patrons gathered at Vista Clubhouse to hear the architect, Dennis Humphries, lay out these plans.

Humphries is with the firm of Humphries, Poli Architects in Denver. He is well known for the libraries he has designed.

The extension will add 2,700 square feet to the present building. It will face toward U.S. 160, and will include, among other things, an enlarged children's room and a teen-agers' area. And on the corner of the building, facing U.S. 160 and 8th Street, there will be a reading room with lots of windows affording a wonderful view of the mountains.

The plan is to break ground in July. In the meantime, more money needs to be raised. So the project goes on.

Back to Sunday at the party, Humphries was an articulate speaker, fitting in with the crowd and the food was Mary Jo Coulehan's delicious fare. It was a great time!

Around town

At the Pagosa Springs High School Awards Day last week, Jenna Finney was awarded the Daughters of the American Revolution's Good Citizen's Award by the Sarah Platt Decker Chapter DAR located in Durango.

Pagosa Springs has never had a DAR chapter but members are always invited to join the Durango chapter. The number of members from Pagosa has increased. They are: Georganna Curtis, Della Owensby, LaVerne Scott, Kate Terry, Dorothy Toner and Margaret Wilson. Celeste Nolen's papers are pending. The Durango chapter is very active. For information about it or DAR one can contact any of the local members.

To become a member, one has to prove direct lineage back to one who served in some capacity on behalf of the Colonists in the Revolutionary War for Independence. The ancestor does not have to have been important and an ancestor could have been a woman. If one has a relative who is a member, her papers can be used as a base for membership.

The purpose of DAR is: To cherish, maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all blessings of liberty.

Headquarters for DAR is Washington, D.C. Their Constitutional Hall was the site of the recent Jeopardy TV program featuring school children.

The Sarah Platt Decker Chapter DAR does not meet during summer months. They will resume the first Wednesday in September.

Fun on the run

A middle-aged woman convinced her husband to attend a couples retreat. At the first session, the facilitator said, "The fact is, no matter how long we've been married, there are many things we don't know about each other. For example, how many of your husbands can name your wife's favorite flower?"

The husband smiled knowingly, put his hand on his wife's knee, and said, "It's Pillsbury All-Purpose, right?"


Extension Viewpoints

Tips on tick: How to avoid and how to remove them

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Today, May 20 - 4-H Oil Painting, Minor residence, 4:30 p.m.

Friday, May 21 - 4-H Rabbit, Extension office, 2 p.m.

Saturday, May 22 - 4-H Cooking Unit 1, Bomkamp residence, 9 a.m.

Monday, May 24 - 4-H Dog Obedience, Extension office, 4 p.m.; 4-H Sports Fishing, Extension office, 4; 4-H Shooting Sports, Ski & Bow Rack, 4

Tuesday, May 25 - 4-H Council meeting, Extension office, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, May 26 - 4-H Entomology, Extension office, 12:30 p.m.

Quick facts

In Colorado, Rocky Mountain wood tick and American dog tick are the most common ticks associated with people.

Colorado tick fever is by far the most common tick-transmitted disease of the region. Despite its name, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is quite rare here.

No human cases of Lyme disease have originated in Colorado.

DEET is the most effective tick repellent. Apply it to pants or other areas of the lower body.

To remove a tick, grasp it with blunt tweezers, as close to the skin as possible.

Ticks are blood-feeding parasites of animals found throughout Colorado. They are particularly common at higher elevations. Problems related to blood loss do occur among wildlife and livestock, but they are rare.

Ticks are most important because they can transmit diseases such as Colorado tick fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and relapsing fever. Lyme disease is an important tick-borne disease in much of the eastern United States. Fortunately, ticks known to transmit it are not known to occur in Colorado, and no confirmed cases have originated in the state.

Some 30 species of ticks occur in Colorado. Hard-shelled ticks (Ixodidae family) predominate and are represented by such familiar species as the Rocky Mountain wood tick, American dog tick and brown dog tick. Hard-shelled ticks have a distinctive plate on the back just behind the head. At each stage of development, the tick attaches itself to a host, feeds for several days, becomes extremely bloated, then drops off the host.

Soft ticks (Argasidae family) are much less commonly encountered. They usually are found in the nests of their animal hosts. They tend to feed intermittently but repeatedly, for only a few hours at a time. One exception is the spinose ear tick, rare in Colorado, that feeds for several months while attached to a large mammal.

Life cycle of ticks

Almost all human encounters with ticks involve either the Rocky Mountain wood tick or the closely related American dog tick. They have a typical life cycle that involves four distinct stages: egg, tiny six-legged larva or seed tick, nymph and adult.

Rocky Mountain wood ticks and American dog ticks are typical of a three-host tick. During each feeding stage (larva, nymph and adult), the tick must find and feed on a different animal, because the tick drops from the host after the blood meal. Females lay their eggs on the ground. The newly hatched larvae seek a small mammal, such as a rodent, as the first host. After feeding, they drop to the ground and molt to the nymph stage. The nymph then seeks its own small mammal host. After feeding this second time, the nymph drops from the animal and molts to the adult stage.

Adult Rocky Mountain wood ticks and American dog ticks then feed on a large mammal host, such as a dog or deer. After this feeding, the adults drop off the host and mate, and the females lay eggs. It is the adults that occasionally feed on people.

Ticks are highly sensitive to carbon dioxide, which is exhaled by animals as they breathe, and seek it out. They often are poised at the top of vegetation so they can readily cling to passing animals.

A complete life cycle for these and other multi host ticks may take from a few months to several years to complete. Its length is mostly determined by how successful they are in locating new hosts. They are highly resistant to starvation and, if necessary, can survive several years without feeding. The common species are most active in late spring and early summer. If the tick has not found a host by the time that hot summer temperatures arrive, it seeks cover under leaves and remains dormant until the next year. Peak periods of tick activity can begin as early as March during warm seasons. They usually subside by mid-July.

A multi host tick with a somewhat different life history is the brown dog tick. This tick can breed continuously indoors and may feed repeatedly on a single (dog) host during each of the three development stages.

Avoiding ticks

Avoid tick habitat. Avoid traveling through areas where ticks are abundant. Ticks are most active in spring and early summer and concentrate where their animal hosts most commonly travel. This includes brushy areas along the edges of fields and woodlands or commonly traveled paths through grassy areas and shrublands.

Use tick repellents

There are a few effective tick repellents. By far the most common is DEET (N,N-diethyl-metatoluamide), the active ingredient in most common insect repellents, such as Cutters and Off! Apply DEET directly to the skin or to clothing. Repellents are most effective if applied to pants and other areas of the lower body likely to come into contact with ticks. DEET can be an effective repellent for ticks as well as other biting arthropods, such as chiggers and mosquitoes. However, the following precautions are encouraged:

- on children, do not use high concentration formulations (above 30 percent)

- apply the repellent to clothing, rather than to skin

- do not apply DEET to hands or other areas that may come into contact with the mouth

- do not apply to wounds or irritated skin

- after use, wash or bathe treated areas, particularly on children.

Permethrin (Permanone) is a new tick product. Apply it only to clothing, not to skin. It can kill ticks rapidly. Permanone also may have some repellent activity against ticks.

Protective clothing

Long pants, long-sleeved shirts and other clothing can help exclude ticks or keep them from attaching to the skin. Ticks are usually acquired while brushing against low vegetation, so pulling socks over the bottom of the pants leg also is useful. Light-colored clothing can make it easier to find ticks that have been picked up.

Conduct tick checks

Ticks take several hours to settle and begin feeding. This gives you ample time to detect and remove them. The Rocky Mountain wood tick typically takes 12 to 24 hours to start feeding. Therefore, a thorough "tick check" can be an effective alternative to repellents. After walking through areas where ticks might be present, carefully look for and remove any ticks you may have picked up.

Brown dog ticks

Unlike the more common ticks (American dog tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick), the brown dog tick spends most of its life around the dog host. It is a subtropical species that cannot survive outdoors year-round in Colorado. Infestations most often develop in protected areas, such as kennels. After they have taken a blood meal, adult ticks may crawl up walls and lay eggs in cracks and corners of the room.

Treatment of the dog is essential, using one of the many flea and tick powders, dips or collars. However, areas that the dog frequents, such as bedding and resting areas, also need to be treated to kill residual ticks. Vacuum cracks along baseboards where ticks may hide and spot treat these areas with insecticide. Discard the vacuum bag and contents after treatment.

If possible, wash bedding and all other materials. Because these ticks are sensitive to cold, storing infested items outdoors during very cold temperatures also can kill these ticks. It may take several weeks and multiple treatments to eliminate brown dog ticks.

Removing a tick

Once a tick has become firmly attached to the skin, removal can be difficult and should be done with care. The mouthparts are barbed, so they may remain after removal and allow infection. Fortunately, the Rocky Mountain wood tick, the most common species found in Colorado, is relatively easy to remove because it has fairly short mouthparts. The recommended procedure for removal of ticks is:

- grasp the tick with blunt tweezers, as close to the skin as possible. If tweezers are not available and you must use your fingers, cover them with tissue or thin plastic to avoid the possible transmission of any disease organisms, such as tularemia, that the tick may harbor

- pull the tick slowly and steadily, straight away from the skin. Try not to crush the tick as you remove it

- after the tick is removed, treat the feeding site with a disinfectant. Wash your hands when done.

Many other methods have been popularized to remove ticks, such as covering them with petroleum jelly or touching them with a hot match. These methods are not effective.

A rare but potentially serious condition from tick feeding is tick paralysis. This occurs when certain ticks (in Colorado, particularly the Rocky Mountain wood tick) remain attached for a long period and produce an ascending paralysis. Early symptoms, such as difficulty walking, progress to more generalized symptoms, such as limb numbness and difficulty breathing. This condition is completely reversible when the tick is removed.


Pagosa Lakes News

Get ready: The High-Tri is less than three months away

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Able-bodied citizens of Pagosa Springs: Did you know the recreation center hosts an annual triathlon?

This is no ordinary triathlon, either. It is the Pagosa Lakes High-Tri and now in its twelfth year.

It begins 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14.

Where will it be? Right here in Pagosa Springs.

Who participates? You and others like you.

Why would I want to do the triathlon?

The event will help you discipline yourself to train in order to increase your endurance, stamina and overall conditioning. Besides, Cousin Sid will be sooo impressed when he reads about your accomplishment in this year's Christmas letter. Who says there's no hope for couch potatoes?

The triathlon follows a unique format of run, bike, swim (breaking away from the traditional swim, bike and run format). Because none of the open water in Pagosa Lakes is available to swimmers, we chose to use the indoor pool at the recreation center instead.

With an annual average of 80 participants and a four-lane, 25-yard pool, it made sense to put the swim last so the athletes have a chance to spread themselves out over the run and bike portions. It has worked out very well because the spectators are able to watch, encourage and cajole the triathlon participants through the whole last leg of the event from the pool deck.

The triathlon starts out from the recreation center with a 7.2 mile run on residential roads and forest trails. Then you transfer to a mountain bike for two loops of the same course - ending up at the recreation center where the final leg, a half-mile swim, takes place.

This is a challenge that many can participate in. You can compete as a single and do all three legs by yourself, or split it up two or three ways by getting a team together. Do this for yourself, and start your training now.

For information and help getting started, contact the center at 731-2051. If you are interested in competing as a team but do not have one, the center can help you put a team together. You can pick up a course map and check out the route. The single-track portion on the rim of Martinez Canyon is currently very rough but over the course of the summer will get pounded out smoother from use.

Summer pool hours at the recreation center will be in effect starting Monday, May 31. On Monday through Friday, open swim will begin at noon as the morning hours have been filled with water exercises, swim team, swim lessons and lap swim.

Lap swim is also available in the afternoon and evening - all with reservations. The next three months will be extremely busy at the recreation center and it will help if you use the facility with a mind-set of enjoying the energy and the noise.




Michael joined her heavenly family on May 7, 2004, with her children at her side. Michael was born on Sept. 11, 1929, the youngest of four daughters, to Dr. and Mrs. John O'Shea, in Spokane, Wash.

She grew up in a large Irish family that settled in Spokane in the 1860's where her grandfather was a railroad contractor. Her grandmother's family were pioneer cattle ranchers in Boulder Valley Montana, and that's where she spent her summers.

Michael was a loving and generous wife, mother, grandmother and a dear friend to many.

She graduated from Holy Names Academy and attended the University of Montana, where she pledged Kappa Kappa Gamma. After two years, she returned to Spokane where she attended Gonzaga University, and went to work as a dental assistant. She later had a grand adventure as she moved to Honolulu with a girlfriend, bought an old woody wagon, and worked as a dental assistant.

Michael met her husband, Chuck Regester while he was stationed at Fairchild AFB in Spokane. They were married in 1956. Michael was a great sport. Chuck brought his new bride back to Phoenix in his Triumph sports car. He had his skis tied to the passenger door mirror so she couldn't open the door all the way home.

Once settled in Phoenix, Michael set up their first home while Chuck worked in the family business, Lou Regester Furniture Co. with his parents. Michael was very active in the Junior League of Spokane so she transferred her membership to Phoenix where she worked hard, especially on the annual rummage sale. She met many of her first and best Phoenix friends through the Junior League.

Then came the kids, three in four years, Tiger in 1957, Poco (John) in 1958, and Sara in 1960. Her life revolved around family and activities in the communities of St. Francis Parish and school, Brophy and Xavier. Michael was very active at the grade school where many days started and ended with eleven kids in a station wagon headed down Central Avenue, (with no seatbelts). Then came Brophy. Michael was involved with the Brophy Senate, Mother's Guild, & the Brophy Bridge Club. Then came Xavier where she started all over again.

In 1961, Michael and Chuck bought the "Red Ryder Ranch" in Pagosa Springs, Colo. With the help of many of their Phoenix friends, and several long days of happy laboring, it was transformed into the "Ponderosa Guest Ranch."

Michael operated the guest ranch each summer, with the help of the incredible Roth family. Chuck flew up from Phoenix on weekends to join the family and lend a hand. There were endless horseback rides, rodeos, fishing trips, weenie roasts with s'mores and snipe hunts for the kids while the adults socialized and played bridge throughout the night in the main cabin. Today, Tiger lives on the ranch with his boys.

Michael was preceded in death by her parents, John and June O'Shea; two sisters; her husband Chuck, and Tiger's wife, Sara Lee. She is survived by her sister, Eleanor O'Shea Carstens; sons: Tiger and John (Katy); daughter: Sara Brady Regester, and five grandchildren: Twyne, Chase, Laura, Emily, and Charlie.

Services were held in Phoenix. Contributions in her memory may be made to Immaculate Heart Of Mary Church, Attn: Michael Regester-Building Fund, PO Box 451, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.



Melinda "Mindy" Sue Suder-Kerwick died Wednesday, May 12, 2004.

She was born Dec. 30, 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio to Thomas Leonard Suder and Martha Virginia Fansler Suder. Mindy was 49 years old.

She was married to Bill Kerwick in Scottsdale, Ariz., on March 25, 1995. She and her husband moved to Pagosa Springs from Phoenix in 2001.

She had an associate degree and was semi-retired. She worked with the Christmas wreath project at the Methodist Church which funds many community needs. Mindy loved nature, hiking, camping and fishing. She also had a great love for all animals.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her twin sister, Melissa Jane Suder. Mindy is survived by her husband Bill of Pagosa Springs; her sister and brother-in-law, Beverly and J.L. Olsen of Boise, Idaho; and a niece, Sabra and husband Mike Parker and their children Benjamin and Clarissa of Hailey, Idaho.

A memorial service was held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs. The service was officiated by the Rev. Don Ford and Father John Bowe.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Pagosa Springs Humane Society, The Community Care Fund, c/o Community Methodist Church or Alcoholics Anonymous.

Business News
Biz Beat
Pedal Power

Eric Matzdorf, owner of Pedal Power, invites everyone to attend the grand opening of his family-friendly bike shop Saturday, May 22.

Free hot dogs and soda will be served and special deals will be available. Through the grand opening, any of Eric's six brands of mountain, cruiser, comfort or road and BMX bikes are available at 10 percent off and accessories are 15 percent off.

Also, register to win a free kid's bike and test ride any of the in-stock bikes to see if it's the bike for you.

Along with Pedal Power's inventory of quality bikes and accessories, Eric also offers bike repairs and tune-ups.

Pedal Power is located at 117 Navajo Trail, suite G, near the Hog's Breath. The shop can be reached by calling 731-0338.

Sports Page


Regional championship in hand, 15 Pirates tracking state titles

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The early-season goals for the Pagosa Springs boys track team were fairly modest: Win two relays at regionals and qualify for state.

They did that.

How about qualifying for state in two more relays and let's say qualifying 10 in individual events?

They did that.

How about becoming regional champions with 155 points, edging out the second place team, Buena Vista, by just three points?

Oh yeah, they did that too.

All together, the Pagosa Pirates qualified 11 team members for state with four alternates at regional races in Bayfield May 15.

"I'm really excited for the individuals, but even more excited for our prospects as a team," Coach Connie O'Donnell said. "We have a chance to bring home quite a few medals this year."

The boys entered four relays at regionals and qualified all four for state, finishing in the top two across the board. In fact, the boys 1600-meter relay team of junior Otis Rand, senior Aaron Hamilton, senior Dan Lowder and Junior Turner won in 3 minutes 32.09 seconds with the second place team still behind the final turn.

The other first-place relay prize came in the 400, where sophomore Daniel Aupperle, junior Paul Armijo, senior Clayton Spencer and sophomore Paul Pryzbylski, combined for a 44.98 finish.

Sprinters Aupperle, Armijo and senior David Kern gave the crowd perhaps the biggest thrill of the day with a neck-and-neck-and-neck finish in the 100-meter dash.

"Our boys placed two, three and four in the 100, and I saw the photo finish," O'Donnell said. "It was such a close race that it looked like one big line of people coming across at the same time. It's an awesome picture."

Their times were one-hundredth of a second apart with Aupperle finishing second in 11.95. Both Armijo and Kern were recorded at 11.96, but Armijo edged out the senior in the photo to claim third and the spot at state.

Aupperle is the only Pirate to qualify in four events at state, the most an individual can enter. Besides the sprints, he joined Armijo, Pryzbylski and junior Manuel Madrid in the 800 relay. They finished second in 1:35.07. He rounded out the day with a third-place finish in the long jump, squeaking out a bid to state with a 19-6 jump - one quarter of an inch farther than the fourth-place finisher.

"How great is it that in every event he entered in, he placed in the top three?" O'Donnell said. "He is a really important part of both of the sprint relays because he is so good out of the blocks. In the 4-by-200, he was passing people on the first corner which is incredible because of the huge four-turn stagger at the beginning."

Armijo, O'Donnell said, has also been impressive in the sprints, battling back from a broken leg to earn his trip to state in three events.

"I'm really proud of his work ethic and leadership this season," O'Donnell said. She also applauded the leadership of the team's seniors who had to step up after the team lost several good athletes last year.

Hamilton and Spencer finish off their senior year with three entries at state apiece. Lowder will make his first trip to state.

Over the two-mile relay, Hamilton joined Rand, Lowder and sophomore A.J. Abeyta for a second place finish in 8:36.36, about three seconds behind Lake City. Besides the relays, Hamilton will compete in the 800, which he won at regionals in 2:06.42. Spencer added the 110 hurdles and the high jump to his relay running. He won the high jump in Bayfield with a 6-0 leap, and finished second in the hurdles in 16.38.

Other individual winners included Rand, who finished second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.78, and Madrid who claimed third in the 300-meter hurdles in 43.44.

Both Turner, a junior, and Casey Schutz, a sophomore, earned trips to state in the triple jump. Schutz finished second with a leap of 39-9 3/4. Turner was third with a jump of 39-1 1/2.

O'Donnell said with all they've done so far, the boys have set a new goal for this weekend, "place in every event we can and maybe come in the top 5 as a team."

Why not?

State track and field events for 2A and 3A schools kick off at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo. Saturday's finals begin at 10 a.m.


100: 2. Daniel Aupperle, 11.95; 3. P. Armijo, 11.96; 4. D. Kern, 11.96. 400: 2. O. Rand, 52.78; 4. D. Lowder, 53.56; 6. G. Gill 55.03. 800: 1. A. Hamilton, 2:06.42; 5. D. Hockett, 2:11.03; 8. B. Samples, 2:16.57. 1600: 6. O. Sandoval, 5:06.14. 3200: 8. O. Sandoval, 11:57.64. 110-hurdles: 2. C. Spencer, 16.38; 8. M. Madrid, 19.21. 300-hurdles: 3. M. Madrid, 43.44; 5. C. Ormonde, 46.47. 400 relay: 1. 44.98. 800 relay: 2. 1:35.07. 1600 relay: 1. 3:32.09. 3200 relay: 2. 8:36.36. High jump: 1. C. Spencer, 6-0; 4. C. Ormonde, 5-6. Long jump: 3. D. Aupperle, 19-06; 5. D. Kern, 18-9 1/2; 6. J. Turner, 18-08 1/4. Triple jump: 2. C. Schutz, 39-9 3/4; 3. J. Turner, 39-1 1/2. Shot put: 6. D. Kern, 39-8. Discus: 8. C. Schutz, 120-8 1/2.


Nine PSHS girls qualify for state track competition

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Pack the bus. Pagosa is going to state. And yes, the word is bus.

For the second year in a row, the Pirate track team qualified enough people at regionals in Bayfield to take a bus to state after years stuck in the Suburbans. A total of 29 tracksters, including alternates, are headed to Pueblo for a chance at state medals tomorrow and Saturday.

On that list of qualifiers are nine girls' team members- a force of more female Pirates than have ever graced Dutch Clark stadium before. These girls either qualified by time, or earned a top three spot in regional competition May 15. Most are qualified in more than one event and three, sophomore Mia Caprioli, sophomore Emilie Schur and junior Janna Henry, qualified in three events.

Caprioli finished second in the 100-meter dash at regionals with a time of 13.63 seconds. She joined Henry, Lyndsey Mackey and Kim Fulmer for another quick sprint in the 400-meter relay. The foursome put a nose in front in that race, beating the Wolverines for first place with a time of 53.28.

Caprioli's third qualifying event came in the 800 sprint medley, where the Pirates finished second in a near photo finish with a time of 1:56.36.

"Kim Fulmer ran the 400 leg and almost caught Lake County at the line," Coach Connie O'Donnell said. "I think we will do really well at state in this event." Lyndsey Mackey and Liza Kelley round out that team.

Schur prequalified for state in the 800 and 1600-meter runs, and added the 3200-meter relay at regionals. Schur, plus Jen Shearston, Jessica Lynch and Bri Scott cruised to a win in the 3200, finishing 18 seconds in front of second-place Centauri with a time of 10:02.71.

Both Lynch and Shearston will also be joining Schur in the individual 800 at state after a tough two-three performance at regionals.

"Jessica Lynch really stood out at regionals," O'Donnell said. "She competed in the 4-by-800, 800 and the 4-by-400. She ran her best times in everything and ran and awesome 800 race where she placed second an qualified for state."

Shearston faced the same tough schedule.

"Those two girls ran with so much heart in the 4-by-400," O'Donnell said. "They were the last two legs and did everything they could to try to get the team qualified for state. Jessica was the last leg and almost caught the girl in front of her. I think she might be an open 400 runner next year because her split in the relay was 62 seconds. That's what I call putting it on the line to reach a goal. In the next few years our girls are going to have to learn how to do that if they want to win a team title."

Both Shearston and Lynch are freshman. Lynch qualified for state in the 800 with a time of 2:33.35. Shearston's time was 2:33.57.

Besides securing her spot on the 100-meter relay team, Henry will travel to Pueblo for the hurdles, qualifying in both the 100 and 300 events at regionals - winning the 100 with a time of 17.23. In the 300, she finished second in 48.79, shaving two seconds off her personal best.

"Most people would say Janna is too short to be a hurdler, but for what she lacks in height she makes up for with heart and discipline," O'Donnell said. "She has to work harder than the girls she races and she puts in a lot of time at practice. She really earned her way to the state track meet."

The relay alternates are Elise McDonald, Danielle Spencer and Kim Canty.

Pagosa finished third as a team at regionals with 103 points, slipping behind Lake County with 129 points and Centauri, who finished with 113. O'Donnell said injuries cropping up at the end of the season hurt the girls in some events.

Still, today, they headed for Pueblo, 12 strong and ready for the competition. State events at Dutch Clark Stadium for 2A and 3A teams begin at 9:30 a.m. Friday. Finals are set to start at 10 a.m. Saturday.


100: 2. M. Caprioli, 13.63; 7. D. Spencer, 14.84. 200: 8. D. Spencer, 30.72. 400: 5. K. Fulmer, 65.17. 800: 2. J. Lynch, 2:33.35; 3. J. Shearston, 2:33.57. 1600: 7. E. McDonald, 6:12.03. 100-hurdles: 1. J. Henry, 17.23; 4. L. Mackey, 18.93; 7. K. Canty, 19.29. 300-hurdles: J. Henry, 48.79. 400 relay: 1. 53.28. 800 relay: 4. 1:52.69. 1600 relay: 4. 4:23.52. 3200 relay: 1. 10:02.71. 800 medley relay: 2. 1:56.36. High jump: 4. D. Spencer, 4-6. Long jump: 7. L. Mackey 14-6. Triple jump: 8. E. Kelley, 30-8.


Baker fires 71 to pace first Men's Golf League session

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Rick Baker shot a 71 to become the low gross winner in the Men's Golf League competition May 12.

Dennis Yerton shot a 77 for second low gross, Fred Campuzano was third with an 83 and Bob Chitwood fourth with an 84.

Low net victory went to Don Ford with a score of 64. Dave Prokop shot 66 for second low net; Ray Hennslee was third with a 68; and Rick Taylor was fourth with a net 70.

The Men's League is open to golfers of all levels. Lou Boilini, newly elected president of the group, pointed out the league has golfers with handicaps ranging from 2 to 36. "We vary the format from week to week, with the emphasis on playing well versus your handicap," he said.

League dues are $25 for the season, payable in the pro shop. Competition begins every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Sign up in the men's locker room before 5 p.m. the Tuesday before each play date.

"The course is in the best early-season condition in many years," said course professional Allan Schutz. "So this is a great chance for men to come out and enjoy a great round of golf with some fun competition."


Cinco de Mayo, low putt events open golf season

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Women's Golf Association celebrated the opening day May 4 by playing 18 holes in the Cinco de Mayo format.

All participants kept their gross scores and subtracted the total from the three par five holes, for adjusted gross scores.

Handicaps were deducted from the adjusted gross scores to determine net scores.

Winners in the gross division were Jane Stewart, first at 70; Sho-Jen Lee, second at 71 and tied for third with 72s were Barbara Sanborn and Lynne Allison.

In the net score division, Rosie Hatchett was first with a 52. Tied for second with 53s were Cherry O'Donnell and Genie Roberts.

On a sunny, yet blustery day, the association ladies played low putt format May 11. The golfers with the fewest putts won.

Marilyn Copley was first with 34 and those tied for second with 35 were Jan Kilgore, Genie Roberts and Sheila Rogers.


Develop skills at boys' basketball camp

This year's Pirate Basketball Camp for boys entering grades 3-8 will be held May 24-27 at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

The camp will be conducted by Pagosa Springs High School coaches and players and is designed to provide a fun and exciting atmosphere where student athletes can fully develop and excel in learning basketball skills.

Cost of the camp is $50 per player and includes a camp basketball and camp T-shirt.

Instruction in all phases of the game, especially shooting, will be offered and there will also be a camp contest at the end of each day.

Students who will be in grades 3-5 next year will attend from 8:30-10:15 a.m., while students who will be in grades 6-8 will attend from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Participants should register at the junior high the first day of camp.

For more information about the camp or registering, contact Jim Shaffer at 264-5070.


Pirates bow 10-0 to state's top 3-A soccer team

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

When your keeper makes 26 saves in a state quarterfinal contest, you might expect your soccer team to be vying for a victory.

In most cases that might be true but for Pagosa Springs those 26 saves came on 36 shots by Colorado Academy Saturday in Denver.

And when your team gets only four shots on goal in the game, you know you're in trouble.

The result of those factors was a 10-0 defeat for Pagosa in a game stopped with nine minutes left by the 10-goal lead mercy rule.

Pirate keeper Sierra Fleenor was under siege all day, as the shot and save totals indicate. And despite the score, her play was outstanding. At least twice she made double saves on goal mouth attacks, only to be beaten by third shots as her support failed to materialize.

Also having standout days for Pagosa were sophomore defender Emmy Smith and senior wing Amy Tautges.

Pirate attackers Melissa Diller and Laurel Reinhardt were bottled up most of the day by the Academy's midfield defense.

Fleenor got an early indication of what was to come with Academy senior attacker Tara Jackson firing wide left just 40 seconds into the game on a breakaway with a missed Pirate outlet kick.

The game then became a midfield standoff for several minutes, neither team able to mount a deep threat as they worked for ball control and offensive position.

At 5:36, Jackson was stopped by Fleenor on a drive from the near right wing.

Pagosa's best scoring opportunity came 2 minutes, 12 seconds later, when Tautges dug out a loose ball at midfield and led a cross to Reinhardt on the left wing. Her shot was stopped by Academy keeper Jessica Thalman, as was the rebound effort by Pirate Bret Garman.

The first goal came at 9:12 by Jackson on the third shot in a great stand by Fleenor who rejected the first two shots on goal but could not get to the rebound effort.

There followed a series of outstanding saves by Fleenor, first on the Academy's leading scorer, Caroline Lea, then on senior Ann Richman and again on Lea on a 30-yarder from the right wing.

Jackson made it a 2-0 Academy lead at 14:08 drilling a drop pass from Hillary Harrington high to Fleenor's right.

After six more saves by Fleenor on a variety of Academy attackers, Pagosa was down 3-0 when Academy freshman Lee Burkett scored wide open from just to the left of the box.

At 32:14 the lead went to 4-0 for Colorado Academy when Lea scored unassisted, again on a breakaway on a muffed Pirate outlet, drilled low left past Fleenor.

Fleenor's great play just three minutes later foiled another Academy effort. With an attacker bearing down on her, she came out of net to challenge, and leaped high for the drive by Lea, tipping it over the net to applause by even the Academy fans.

Fleenor had two more saves as the clock wound down to halftime, the 4-0 lead holding.

In the first three minutes of the second half, Fleenor stopped the Academy's Lindsey Cardwell, then Lea and Jackson with sparkling efforts.

But, at the 43-minute mark, with Pagosa on the attack, the ball was stolen at midfield by Richman who took it all the way unimpeded to score unassisted and for all practical purposes the game was over because Pagosa could not mount a consistent offense.

The sixth Academy goal came at 49:01 with Hillary Harrington converting a header lead from Burkett. Then Harrington hit the crossbar and Jackson was over the net as Colorado Academy kept up offensive zone pressure.

Darcy White got Academy's seventh goal. She was stopped by Fleenor on her initial shot but the rebound came right back to her and she beat Fleenor to the right with her second shot.

The eighth Academy goal was credited to Megan Slater, the ninth to Kellie Slater, again on the rebound of an initial stop by Fleenor.

The 10th goal, stopping the game, was an unassisted effort by freshman Anne Quinn, with no defender rotating back and Fleenor at her mercy.

"We played the top-ranked team in the state," said coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason after the game. "Our game plan, to rotate back defensively as a team unit worked early," he said.

"But when our players started to zone and not individually defend, we lost concentration," he said.

Kurt-Mason noted the team improved "so much over the year that it is hard to believe they are the same ones who started the season."

"It's hard to have this kind of performance in the last game of the season," he said, "but I'm confident the playoff experience will help us next year. There are a tremendous number of now-experienced underclassmen on this squad who will stand us in good stead in the future. Graduating are four seniors, Fleenor, Diller, Tautges and Jenna Finney.

"We'll be back," the coach said.

Telluride, the other league team in state quarterfinal action, was defeated 5-0 by Denver Christian Saturday.


Marshall IML baseball player of the year; 3 other Pirates cited

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

With selection of Ben Marshall as the player of the year and two other starters named to first team all-conference positions, the Pagosa Springs Pirate baseball team has completed action for 2004.

The all-conference team was released Monday after league representatives - champion Bayfield and second place Pagosa Springs were eliminated in the state quarterfinals Saturday.

Marshall, a senior pitcher-catcher and one of the leading hitters in the league, was a surprise choice as the most valuable player, with most observers expecting a Bayfield winner.

Also named to the first team were junior second baseman Levi Gill. Gill also played shortstop and appeared as a relief pitcher during the season.

The final Pagosa first team all-conference choice was slick-fielding freshman shortstop-pitcher Michael Bradford.

Joining the select team as the only honorable mention selected was sophomore left fielder Josh Hoffman.

Pagosa had only two seniors on the roster, Marshall and center fielder Jeremy Caler.

Coach Tony Scarpa has a huge corps of now veterans returning next year including Gill, Marcus Rivas and Randy Molnar, Hoffman and his freshman brother, John, and a huge crew of freshmen joining Bradford.

Bayfield was represented on the all-league team by pitchers Will Latimer and Jeremy Sirios, infielder Sam McDonald, outfielder-relief pitcher Cody Moore and J.T. Cathcart.

Kenny Schell and Estavan Armenta were the Centauri all-conference representatives. Adrian Abeyta of Ignacio was the only Bobcat selected, and the Monte Vista Pirates were represented by Sigi Rodriguez, Scott Myers and Jacob Jiron.

Bayfield coach Ken Hibbard was the IML coach of the year.


Pirates lose quarterfinal and coach; Scarpa resigns

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The pundits said it would be a rebuilding year for coach Tony Scarpa's Pagosa Springs Pirates baseball team.

They were right. He rebuilt them into the state's sweet 16 - again.

And now, another rebuilding in will be necessary.

After his team lost 11-1 in the state quarterfinals Saturday to top-ranked Denver Christian, Scarpa submitted his resignation from the coaching ranks Tuesday.

"I've lost the passion for it," said the veteran team leader. "I don't have the drive for it any more."

He said the decision also has to do with business and family considerations. "I hardly ever get to see my son, and he's soon going to be old enough to play."

Scarpa said the team had a chance against Denver Christian in a game which was much closer than the 11-1 final score would seem to indicate.

"We took the lead early," he said, "but a lot of miscues did us in, in the end."

Denver Christian, he said, was an excellent team, most of the players much bigger than Pagosa's but that is no excuse.

The Pirate lead run came after freshman shortstop Michael Bradford doubled and moved to third on a single by pitcher Ben Marshall. Casey Hart's long fly to center scored Bradford and Pagosa had jumped in front 1-0. They would get no more.

Still, the game was closer than statistics indicate.

"Twice we had the bases loaded and were unable to get the key hit," Scarpa said, noting each team had only five hits in the game.

"We had four errors to Denver Christian's two," Scarpa said, "but two of ours were in key moments and led to big innings."

But the key to the loss, he said, was probably the walks. "I don't have the figures in front of me, but I know we put an awful lot of men on base."

There were no home runs by either team in the huge Runyon Field layout in Pueblo. "There's a 12-foot wall all the way around and center field is 385 feet," he said.

"Several times we hit the ball really hard," he said, "but most of them were right at a fielder."

Still, he said, the score could have been much closer, despite the fact "we had a heavily freshman laden team."

"The talent is there for this team to go to the same heights as Denver Christian," he said, "and I think they will."

The Denver Christian pitching did not intimidate Pagosa's players, he said. "In fact, I thought it might have been their weakest element. They threw a lot of off-speed stuff but had good control of the pitches."

Marshall and his sophomore brother, Travis, handled the pitching chores for Pagosa.


Pagosa gymnasts capture second place

Facing a change in start time that was not relayed to Pagosa coaches, local Level 5 gymnasts arrived three hours late for competition in Grand Junction last weekend but still came home with second place.

The start time, originally 3 p.m. was moved to 12:15 p.m.

Coach Jennifer Martin said the girls barely got time to warm up and compete in the 45 minutes of competition remaining while the other 66 gymnasts present had been going for four hours.

The second place finish among seven teams "was a credit to their conditioning, stamina and combined desire," the coach said.

Toni Stoll placed third in all around in the 8-9 age division with a 32.2 performance. She was second on bars and beam with 8.0 in each event.

Re'ahna Ray was second in the all around in the 10-year-old group with a 33.4. Sienna Stretton was fifth in the division with a 30.35 and also placed third in vault with an 8.5 and third in floor exercise with 8.3. Casey Crow faced a tough field in the 12-year-old division, but scored her season high on vault of 8.4.

Because of the delay, Raesha Ray was unable to compete with her age group, but received a 33.3 in the all round and did her personal best vault of the year scoring an 8.5.

The last competition before the state meet will be held at Rock Solid Gymnastics in Castle Rock June 5.


Pagosa women golfers open with 36-point effort

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association sent eight low handicap players to Aztec's Hidden Valley golf club May 6 and garnered 36 team points against Hillcrest of Durango in league competition.

Eight teams compete in the league representing Cortez Conquistador, Dalton Ranch, Hillcrest, Aztec Hidden Valley, Pagosa Springs Golf Club, Piñon Hills, San Juan Country Club and Kirtland Riverview.

These teams play twice a month in May and September once a month in June, July, August, and October. Each team has eight members and plays as four twosomes; all are paired according to handicaps.

Each hole of the 18 is played in match play format, one point awarded per hole so that the total number of points any twosome can win is 18 per round.

Representing Pagosa in the opener were Jane Stewart, Barbara Sanborn, Lynne Allison, Sho-Jen Lee, Josie Hummel, Cherry O'Donnell, Sue Martin and Kathy Giordano.

Sanborn, team captain, was pleased with the team's opening success and looked forward to today's match at Kirtland.


Parks & Rec


Bike to Work Week activities planned

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

June is the month for acknowledging the importance of riding your bike to work, on short errands, or just to enjoy the great outdoors.

As part of the nationwide celebration of bicycling, communities throughout the state are gearing up for the month with local festivities, leading up to the nationally recognized Bike to Work Day on Wednesday, June 2.

Bicyclists are encouraged to ride for fun, transportation and to increase safety awareness.

Besides the personal health benefits of bicycling, there are environmental benefits as well.

In fact, using a bicycle for one 10-mile trip results in the following savings:

- 1/2 gallon of very expensive gasoline

- $1.02 saved on gasoline costing $2.04 per gallon

- .044 pounds of carbon monoxide are not produced

- 0.39 pounds of hydrocarbons are not produced.

While numbers are small when broken down into a 10-mile trip, they are quite significant if you multiply this by Colorado's current population of 4.4 million, and if only 1/4 this number participate the following savings would occur:

- 500,000 gallons of gasoline selling for $1,020,000 would be saved

- 43,000 pounds of nitrous oxides would not be produced

- 328,000 pounds of carbon monoxide would not be produced

- 39,000 pounds of hydrocarbons would not be produced.

If you choose to bike or walk the benefits are far-reaching when you look at the big picture.

Town Bike Week

In observance of "National Ride your Bike to Work Week", we are starting off the month with a series of events and activities.

Starting June 1 we will offer a discount card/raffle ticket for great values and prizes. You can purchase a voucher for only $5 from the Parks and Recreation Department. The voucher will be good at locations mentioned:

- Harmony Works, 10 percent off any food/drink item for the week of June 1

- Juans Bike Shop, (1) tube for your bike for only $1, one per customer.

- Juans Bike Shop, 10 percent off bike tune-up for the month of June

- Wolf Tracks, 10 percent off coffee or beverage with voucher, month of June.

Along with the voucher purchase of $5 you get an entry into a raffle for a youth Trek MT 200 (retail value of $199), and a second drawing for an adult Trek 4300 (retail value of $319). Prizes are to be awarded at a June 4 luncheon at JJ's.

Come join in the fun by riding your bike to Town Hall, at 11:30 a.m. June 4.

At Town hall we will meet Ruthie Matthies (former world champion, and mountain bike Olympian) and we will ride from town hall, across Apache Street Bridge, to the River Walk, and on to JJ's for a buffet luncheon, with Ruthie as the quest speaker.

Lunch is $7.50 for buffet, which includes fountain drink.

Please RSVP to Joe Lister Jr. by June 2 at 264-4151, Ext. 231.

Summer fun

"Park Fun" a program sponsored by the town for over 15 years will begin June 1. Registration can be done 1-5 p.m. May 27-28 at Town Hall.

This year we are returning all but one instructor to run the program which is 7:45 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; walk ins are welcome. This year, as in the past three, the program will be in the junior high art room. Come to the quad-area of the main office in the junior high school after June 1 to register your child. Children from 5-12 are welcome with activities planned for them throughout the week.

Art projects will be headed by the much loved, "Ms. Tessie" co-directing again this year, with art projects tentatively scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Summer fun activities scheduled are swimming, skating, outdoor games and day hikes.

This program is scheduled to last until the last week in July.

Programming will be done the week of May 25, with calls welcome about programming after May 27.

Recreation news

There is a great article in Sports Illustrated by Rick Reilly, who's "The Life of Reilly" is always found on the last page of the magazine - sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, but always with a great message.

The article that caught my attention is "Let Us Pray/ Play." It talks about the marketing of sports on Sundays, and the fact that our society revolves around competition of all sorts. The following is taken directly out of Reilly's article dealing with a problem we have right here in Pagosa Springs.

"I'll tell you exactly what's going on here: the upping of American youth sports.

"For some reason over caffienated parents feel they have to "keep up with the Joneses." They used to do it with their cars. Now it is with their kids. Upping means putting little Justin into not one soccer league, but three, not one soccer camp but four.

"Upping also means "playing up," forcing a kid to play one or even two levels above his age group, so little Benjamin, age 8, can sit on a ten year olds' bench, play three minutes a game and whiff in his only at bat. But, hey he is playing up!"

The Parks and Recreation Department believes in playing within your age group, and having fun. Our goal is to supply sports and recreation at an affordable rate. We are always trying to split up teams fairly with the best coaching and officiating available.

Thank you, volunteer coaches, sponsors and parents for understanding the benefits of a recreation type program.

Check out the rest of Rick's article at, or check your local library for the late April, early May article.


The first of many clinics were held this week. Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, offered a very reasonable clinic this week for over 60 young athletes from 5th grade to high school.

Penné Hamilton, Jenifer Pitcher, Ashley Gronewoller, Katie Lancing, Sara Fredrickson and other alumni participated in the clinics. By the looks on the faces of the athletes, and the instructors everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Yes, Pagosa is quite the volleyball town; we plan a camp in late July, which will be announced later on this summer.

Adult softball

The Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department will hold a manager's meeting for all teams interested in participating in our adult leagues for the 2004 season at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 26 in the community center. All teams must have a representative at this meeting. Team registration forms are available at the Pagosa Springs Town Hall. Begin putting your teams together for this summer's league competition.

Youth baseball

Play Ball!

Our 2004 Youth Baseball season is under way. With 11 teams and 140 participants, we are looking forward to an exciting season of play. We are excited this year to add competition from Durango, Bayfield and Ignacio to our Youth Baseball League. Come out and root for your teams at the sports complex on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Girl's volleyball clinics 

The greatly anticipated volleyball clinics for junior high and high school girls have started. We are very excited to have over 70 participants in the four-day clinic. We will continue to add volleyball clinics and camps throughout the summer so stay tuned for upcoming dates.

Girl's Softball

A second meeting for parents of all girls signed up for softball was held on May 17. We are moving ahead with a season of girl's softball and hope to compete against teams from the surrounding cities in efforts to build this great girl's sports program. If you are 9-14 and interested in playing softball this season, contact Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

They deserve respect

Local high school seniors wrap up their school year and pre-pare for graduation this week, with members of the school's largest class ever receiving diplomas Sunday. At the local ceremony, and at ceremonies nationwide, speakers will address graduates and select students will make speeches as well.

The traditional speech is shaped with a common template: well-meant remarks, occasionally sprinkled with humor, at times graced by a spray of wisdom. The younger speakers wax poetic about their high school years, cast eyes on an exciting future. Adult speakers generally veer into a more serious mode, reminding the youngsters of their responsibilities, of the possibilities that wait ahead, verbally patting the grads on the back, sending them on the way with genuine appreciation and concern.

Due to the nature of the occasion, the speeches most often avoid the other side of the coin.

That is: The world the grads step into is not particularly warm and welcoming. Compared to the world experienced by their parents at a similar age, theirs will be more complex, ambiguous and, in some respects, foreboding. Some youngsters enter this difficult world ill-equipped to deal with it, having gone through their school careers shepherded by defensive parents, enabled rather than disciplined, the video game replacing the textbook. Some have been excused by parents, their education minimized. They walk down the aisle at the ceremony the most precious little thing in the world; they walk out of the ceremony anything but. The world, in general, does not care, and they will have to learn this, sooner or later.

As neophyte adults our graduates will need to cope in a world characterized by a growing gulf between rich and poor, with the latter gaining in numbers. Our cultural life has degraded and the great mass of people is regularly exposed to mindless and maudlin entertainment. The nation is politically polarized as it has rarely been, with yahoos charging from both sides of the spectrum. Health care and social systems teeter on the brink of collapse. The economy is instant prey to global vagaries. The average young American will work as many as five jobs in a lifetime and is likely to be divorced. An increasing number of humans will compete for a decreasing amount of resources. Youngsters can no longer be comforted by the illusions that warmed their ancestors: Not everyone loves us. Many in the world envy us and want a share of what we've got; those who do not wish to live as we do often actively seek our destruction.

Little will be easy once the cap and gown are doffed.

However, all is not bleak, by any means. Not all young people are spoiled and poorly disciplined. There are sturdy souls among our grads - many of them - and they have learned their lessons well. They are confident and capable; they will be not be intimidated by uncertainty. Most will be courageous and inventive, able to resist easy answers, able to adapt and meet challenges. They will see this world for what it is, and what it can become. They will face its hazards responsibly, prepared, secured by faith. They should be sent off right.

Sadly, Sunday's ceremony is likely to mirror those of recent years, namely in the utter lack of respect shown by some in the audience. Instead of an honorable response, many of the young people are met with the racket associated with a mob at a pro wrestling match. The culmination of their high school experience is not held in high regard by some in attendance.

When they ascend the stage to receive their diplomas Sunday, our grads deserve better. Given what they've done, and what they face, they should receive our encouragement, and respectful applause.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa


Kiting is anything but boring

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Many's the time I've been told to "go fly a kite" or something equivalent.

It might be considered a waste of time, a leisure time folly, as one wag put it.

But youngsters at Pagosa Springs Elementary School thought it an worthwhile activity and did their best Thursday to fill the skies with dozens of the wind-borne contraptions.

One lad had his so high it could barely be seen, but the decoration - the American flag - was easily visible. Most of the others were not so lucky.

One pair had their lines tangled and gusts of wind were twisting the two kites together just above ground level. Another got his up to about 15 feet but the line broke. One frustrated young lady threw her kite to the ground and stomped on it.

Kites, of course, have their place in history.

John Milton, in his Book IV of "The History of England" wrote:

"Such bickerings to recount, met often in these our writers, what more worth is it than to chronicle the wars of kites or crows flocking and fighting in the air?"

There is great disagreement over when the kite was developed.

Early historians attributed its beginning to an invention between 300 and 400 BC by Archytas of the Greek city of Tarentum. The Chinese, however, claim one of their generals, Han Sin, invented the kite in 206 BC as an instrument of war.

Kites come in many sizes and shapes and, according to World Book Encyclopedia, were involved in scientific research even before Benjamin Franklin's 1751 experiment which brought electricity out of the sky with a kite, a string and a key.

In 1749 Alexander Wilson and Thomas Melvill of Glasgow, Scotland, fastened thermometers to kites to record the temperatures in the clouds, linking kite after kite together until their string was run out. Similar kite "trains" were used in World War II to send up radar reflectors.

Over a century later, in 1883, Douglas Archibald of England attached an anemometer to the line of a kite and measured wind velocity 1,200 feet in the air

The people of Siam and other Far Eastern countries developed and flew tailless kites long ago and even today, experts say, tailless kites can go higher and at steeper angles than others.

I recall the thrill, as a child, of making my own kite from wrapping paper and balsa wood. My mother would, each year, save and provide snippets of material to be tied together for a tail and heavy thread as the kite line.

They are fun, educational and have been hard-working. A kite line, for example, was used for starting the building of the suspension bridge at Niagra Falls. Alexander Graham Bell, better known for the telephone, was one of several inventors who used kites in efforts to design a successful airplane. Marconi's first radio signal across the Atlantic involved use of a kite to raise an antenna in Newfoundland.

The venerable Chinese even celebrate Kite Day - the ninth day of the ninth month. So, if anyone tells you to go fly a kite - DO IT!


90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of May 22, 1914

If some of those suburban bootlegger dumps don't know that the dry territory extends one mile beyond the town limits, they are liable to a sudden awakening to the knowledge. They had better not lull themselves with the idea that the town can't convict a bootlegger. "Good Government," under the law as it is written, must and shall prevail.

D. Lowenstein is now sporting a large plate glass in the front of his store and with the new electric sign soon to be installed, his place of business will have achieved a strictly metropolitan appearance.

The ranchmen are almost through farming, that is, the grain sowing, but after that the ditches are all to be cleaned.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 24, 1929

Dr. B.D. Ellsworth is the owner of a fine new Nash sedan, purchased from the Durango agency.

Chas. F. Rumbaugh has already commenced the replacement of the roof on his building, which was badly damaged by fire last week.

A large crowd gathered at Hilltop Cemetery Wednesday for the annual clean-up day, sponsored by the Women's Civic Club, with which the town of Pagosa Springs and the Archuleta Boosters' Club cooperated. A great deal of work was done towards improving our cemetery.

The Baptist Ladies Aid Society will serve ice cream and cake at the town hall on the afternoon of next Saturday. The public is invited to participate.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 21, 1954

Work is progressing rapidly on the new waterworks improvement project with the storage tank now completed and the work is going ahead on the pump house change over and improvements. The old water wheel that has served the town for so many years as the source of power for pumps has been shut down for the last time and now stands idle in the water plant.

According to an announcement this week by J.F. Thiele, owner of the local telephone company, an application has been made to the PUC for an increase in rates for residential telephone service. The proposed increase would be $1 per month for residences on a one party line; 75¢ for those on a two party line and 50¢ for those on a four party line.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 24, 1979

High water is here on the larger streams and the San Juan River may reach flood stage by Saturday night or Sunday. It is almost bank full at the present time and the warmer weather is speeding the snowmelt that feeds the stream.

The record snowfall on Wolf Creek Pass has not only been broken, but it has almost been shattered. Total snowfall there as of May 11 for the winter was 831 inches, a foot and a half more than the previous record of 801 inches. Records were first kept on an official basis on Wolf Creek the winter of 1959-60. Unofficial records for the winter of 1951-52 show a 900-inch snowfall and oldtimers in the area say that back in the '30's there were some winters when the snowfall was much heavier than this year.



Town seeks funding, comments on second phase of river restoration project

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Take a walk on Pagosa's Riverwalk and the scene is never the same.

Sometimes it's dogs shaking themselves with glee after a swim for a stick.

Sometimes it's kids with fishing poles standing on the rocks.

Sometimes it's teen-agers floating down the San Juan River on innertubes - or earlier in the year on rafts.

Kayakers. Swimmers. And those just looking, enjoying the sight and sound of the water. With the river right outside the front door for many downtown, it's hard to find a moment, especially in the milder months of the year, when someone isn't enjoying it.

And it could get even better. The second phase of the San Juan River Restoration Project is back on the burner with plans to begin work in about a year. Right now, Julie Jessen, special projects director for the town, is on the hunt for community input on the project - and funding. Toward those ends, she organized a public meeting May 12 and outlined the project for an audience of about 30.

The project

Restoration of the San Juan through Pagosa Springs is a project that has been broken into three phases, she said. Phase one, restoration from JJ's Upstream Restaurant to the pedestrian bridge, a distance of about 1.5 miles, was completed in 1994. Phase two, a distance of about a half mile from the pedestrian bridge to Apache Street is being considered for 2005. Phase three, which will include the river from Apache Street to the outskirts of town is still in the conceptual stage, but could begin as early as 2006.

Jessen said design on phase one, and the preliminary drawings for phase two, were done by Dave Rosgen, of Wildland Hydrology, Inc. Rosgen is a retired U.S. Forest Service hydrologist. In phase one, his design emphasis was on, "quality of river habitat, river access and availability of river recreational experiences to handicap person," according to handouts at the meeting. The town received a $157,400 Fishing is Fun grant through the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration program, to assist with fish habitat development, increasing a self-staining fish population, soil stabilization, erosion control and increased angler days.

According to an article in "Sport Fish Restoration," by Robin F. Know and Ed Dumph, 42 large rock habitat structure and numerous tree root wads were placed in that stretch of the San Juan to try to accomplish those goals. A total of 1,790 cubic yards of bed material was removed to create depth, and over 400 cottonwood, aspen and willow seedlings were planted. Trails and a disabled angler fishing pier were constructed. Total cost was $401,354. Jessen said results of the project were good with both increases in the fish population and the number of river users.

Phase two

For phase two, Jessen said, she looked again to the Fishing is Fun grants. Earlier this month, she presented a request for $239,000 to the Division of Wildlife to help get the ball rolling.

Her request was denied.

"I was told that I should go back next year with a tighter budget," she said. "They liked the project but it was the second most expensive in the state." A total of $900,000 was available for Fishing is Fun grants. Requests came in at $1.3 million.

Jessen said the total cost for phase two sits at an estimated $691,000. The town will consider budgeting $140,000 for the project in 2005. In kind donations sit at $69,500. Other funding sources she has contacted include: the Fish American Foundation, Southwestern Water Conservation District, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, National Forest Service and Trout Unlimited.

Phase two encompasses a stretch of the river realigned by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s. A natural meander was shifted to become the C-curve that runs along 6th Street. The result is a wide, shallow channel with limited access and limited fish habitat. Jessen said initially, Rosgen proposed routing the river back to its original channel. That plan was dropped. Instead, they will work to improve the existing channel.

According to Jessen's handouts, the objectives for phase two are: increased in-stream cover, increased overhead cover, improved holding water in high flows, improved insect and food supply for fish, developed spawning and rearing habitat and increased biomass of trout per unit of channel.

Access, additional educational opportunities, enriched habitat diversity, increased angler days and increased general river use, are other goals.

Public perception

Several in the audience asked about adding objectives for improving boating on the river. One person pointed to Salida, where, they said, information for anglers was posted near the kayaker's play wave.

"Almost everyone here is a boater," Jerry Rowher said from the audience, pointing out that rocks placed in the river for fishing habitat could also be used to created standing waves for kayakers if placed correctly.

"Does he (Rosgen) have the expertise to do this or do we need to bring someone else in?" asked another audience member.

Jessen said all comments from the audience would be presented to Rosgen before the final design was completed. As far adding another engineer, Jessen said, it would depend on funding. Rosgen has been willing to do much of the restoration design on a pro bono basis, a big boost in a project like this. Phase three, she added, is focused more on the boating features, at least in the conceptual design.

"The funding sought for phase two so far has been fishing, so if boating could match that it would be great," she said.

Tony Simmons, a town council member, encouraged those in attendance to put their comments in writing and consider some fund-raising efforts to help achieve their goals.

Fred Schmidt added that something as simple as a "buy-a-rock" project done during the first phase of restoration brought in $33,000.

Clare Burns, another audience member, suggested a study might be needed to determine the level of impact boaters and anglers had on the river and the community.

"My interest doesn't necessary go toward fishing or boating," she said. "My interest is in the total prosperity of the community. I would like to see what brings the money into town."

Or, what could bring the money to town. Rowher said he would provide direction to a Web site containing studies on the impact of boating dollars on an economy.

Jessen encouraged Rowher and anyone else in the audience to write their comments down and provide her with information on other grants or possible funding sources to address boating and fishing objectives.

Those who were not able to attend the meeting are also welcome to send in their comments. A comment form is available online at, or a letter can be sent to Town Hall P.O Box 1859, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, c/o Julie Jessen. Comments may also be dropped off at Town Hall during business hours. All comments on the proposed river restoration project must be received by June 6.


Pagosa's Past


A Ute, 'Old Jim,' and his threats of death

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Confrontation, or how to avoid confrontation, was one of the great issues during settlement of the San Juan Country, including Pagosa Country.

Settlement of this region occurred during the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s, fairly late when compared with settlement of most of the West.

Confrontation took place because of the race to be first to claim the best land. Often, Navajo Jicarilla Apache or Ute Indians already claimed the land. Then there were the Hispanic New Mexicans, also claiming this border region between New Mexico and Colorado. Little law enforcement existed. It never ceases to amaze me that murder and mayhem were not more widespread.

We continue where we left off last week, quoting from memories of the Edward Thomas family as recorded in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country," Volume IV. The Thomases settled in the Farmington-Aztec area near the confluence of the San Juan, La Plata, and Animas rivers. Before white men arrived, Utes and Navajo were already fighting to hold this area. Generally, Utes controlled the north side of the San Juan, Navajos the south side.

According to the narrative, family members built a log cabin some distance from the Thomas home and across a deep arroyo. The husband was a scout and considered brave - that could mean adventuresome - by the family. He was gone a good deal of the time, leaving the family without the protection of a man.

A Ute with the name of Jim Harding, "Old Jim," was considered mean by whites in the area. Old Jim made a habit of visiting the home when the man was away. His habit was to walk in without knocking and make himself at home. He always sat on the bed no matter how dirty his clothes. The mother didn't like this behavior, naturally, but was afraid to tell him not to sit on the bed.

Old Jim used his smattering of English to tell the women that when spring appeared and the horses had plenty of grass, the Utes would go on the warpath. They would burn the cabin of every white man living on the La Plata. The white squaws would be screaming, the white papooses crying, and they would all burn up. Finally the man of the house found out what Old Jim was saying.

He stayed home one day and was sitting on the bed cleaning his gun when "Old Jim" arrived. As genial as he could be, Old Jim came in and sat on the bed beside the scout. When told to get off of the bed, he laughed. After repeating the order and receiving the same response, the scout pointed his rifle at Old Jim and threatened to kill him. Impressed, Old Jim quickly remembered that he had things to do elsewhere and left the cabin, hurried on by the admonition to never come back.

The lady of the house lived in constant fear after that, thinking Old Jim would try to get her husband. Her fears seemed justified some time later when they spotted Old Jim astride his horse some distance away. It turns out he was only waiting to join a band of Indians headed for the mountains and had no intention of endangering her husband.

According to the story teller, the Utes moved to the mountains during summer and back down on the river during winter. All of their belongings were loaded on horses. The horses also dragged tipi poles behind them.

As the Utes moved back and forth between the mountains and the river, they often passed near settler cabins, often in the Pagosa Springs area. Opportunities for violence seemed ever present, but relatively little violence occurred between whites and the Utes in the San Juan Basin.

More next week on pioneering in Pagosa Country.




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Windy, dry spell forecast for Pagosa Country

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Wind and more wind are the highlights of Pagosa Country's weather picture for the coming week.

The trend toward drier conditions is also expected to continue, furthering a scenario that has greatly reduced regional snowpack while propelling the area's wildfire danger into the red zone.

According to the latest forecasts provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, mostly-sunny conditions this morning will give way to partly-cloudy skies by this afternoon.

Southwest winds in the 10-15 mile per hour range are expected to increase to 15-25 miles per hour as the day progresses, with some gusts approaching 40 miles per hour.

Highs today should hit the mid-70s; lows are predicted in the 30s.

The forecasts for Friday through Monday call for partly-cloudy skies, continuing afternoon wind gusts ranging from 15 to 25 miles per hour, highs in the mid-60s to mid-70s and lows around 30.

Mostly-sunny skies are in the forecasts for Tuesday and Wednesday, along with highs anticipated in the upper 60s to mid-70s and lows in the 30s.

The average high temperature recorded last week at the Fred Harman Art Museum was 66 degrees. The average low was 29. Moisture totals for the week amounted to zero.

The Pagosa Ranger District rates the current area fire danger as "high." 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 fallen to 58 percent of average.

San Juan River flow through town ranged from approximately 1,400 cubic feet per second to 1,800 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of May 20 equals roughly 1,300 cubic feet per second