Reagan rites to close area federal sites
By Richard Walter
As the nation continues its 30-day tribute to the 40th president, Ronald Reagan, all federal offices will be closed Friday, observing a national day of mourning ordered by President George Bush.
That means there will be no mail delivery by the U.S. Postal Service.
U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management offices in the Four Corners area will be closed, but the Anasazi Heritage Center near Dolores will remain open, a spokeswoman said.
Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County offices will be open for all regular services.
The body of the 93-year-old president, who died June 5 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, was flown Wednesday from California to Washington, D.C. where it was to lie in state all day today in the Rotunda of the Capitol.
On Friday morning, Reagan's body will be taken through Washington to the National Cathedral for funeral services expected to be attended by numerous heads of state.
President Bush will deliver the principal eulogy but it was unknown before this week's SUN deadline who other speakers will be.
On Friday afternoon the body will be returned to California for private funeral and burial planned at sunset.
By order of the president, the nation's flags are to fly at half-staff through July 5.
Reagan will be buried in a crypt beneath a memorial site at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, some 45 miles north of Los Angeles.
A curved wall adorned with shrubbery and ivy lines the memorial and has a three-line inscription from Reagan: "I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life."
Municipal sewer plant fix carries $1.6 million tab
By Tess Noel Baker
The answer to sewer plant problems within the Town of Pagosa Springs is still to be determined.
The fact that change is necessary is a given.
Town Manager Mark Garcia said when the current sewage treatment facility came online in 1997 it was projected to last 6-10 years.
Issues of noncompliance have forced the sanitation district board to moved forward with plans to fix current problems - an effort projected to cost the town about $1.6 million over the next few years.
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 10 results that exceeded permit conditions. These involved outflow limitations for ammonia, total residual chlorine, dissolved oxygen and fecal coliform.
In April, 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 response, the town hired engineer Patrick O'Brien to present options with cost estimates for improvements and sent a letter to the state outlining the town's actions to resolve the issue. Garcia said formal approval from the state will have to wait until final decisions on improvements have been made.
To address immediate issues, Garcia said, work is underway to install surface aerators in the lagoons. These aerators will increase the amount of oxygen available and allow the biological "bugs" to stay alive longer and consume more of the wastes. Surface aerators used in the previous plant have been sent to Farmington to be rebuilt. They should be installed by September.
The second stage of the process will involve construction of a new plant. Garcia said staff is currently looking over two options. Both would include a mechanical component which would reduce the amount of space necessary for the plant and double capacity. A new plant would also be designed to address federal standards for waste effluent and influent set to take effect in 2006.
Garcia said plant construction would be funded through grants and loans. A rate study is also in the works. The loan portion would most likely require voter approval.
In May, tests of Pagosa's sanitation plant again showed a level of biological oxygen demand much higher than permit conditions. Biological oxygen demand tests the amount of food or wastes to be digested by biological agents in the lagoons.
Retesting reduced the level of noncompliance, but still did not put the town in compliance with permit levels.
Phil Starks, sanitations supervisor, said it is unclear what is causing the overage at this time. It does not appear to be a health concern.
However, he said, he is aware of at least one violator of influent - someone dumping illegal items into the system, which can cause an increase in amount of waste to be digested. Whatever is being dumped causes a white cloud to form over the first cell in the lagoon system.
"I haven't been able to trace the person down, or determine what they're dumping, but if we do find them, they will be prosecuted," he said. Anyone observing illegal dumping - dumping of anything other than household waste - into town sewer lines, should call Archuleta County Dispatch immediately, 264-2131.
Starks is required by the state to file a discharge monitoring report with the Colorado Department of Health monthly. The report tracks a series of 10 tests results covering: biological oxygen demand both inflow and outflow, acidity, total suspended solids inflow and outflow, ammonia levels, oil and grease, residual chlorine, fecal coliform and total flows.
PAWS plans for Stevens, Dutton projects advance
By Tom Carosello
The board of directors of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District took actions this week aimed at furthering progress on the overhaul of Stevens Reservoir.
After review of a service proposal presented by Carrie Campbell, district general manager, the board moved Tuesday to hire Steve Harris of Durango-based Harris Engineering to act as project coordinator for the enlargement of Stevens.
Estimates in Harris' proposal to the district indicate a maximum cost of $15,000 for services rendered this year and $25,000 per year for the next two years.
However, it is unlikely the district will have to pay the full amounts, said Campbell, "because some of the items covered in the proposal have already been completed and staff will be able to perform a lot of the work, also."
Both staff and the board agreed hiring an experienced specialist from outside the district is necessary because of the large scope of the Stevens initiative, which was described this week as "new territory."
In addition, numerous entities are simultaneously involved in the project, adding to the need for a high level of coordination.
According to Mike Davis of Davis Engineering Service Inc., the firm hired to oversee preliminary engineering of the new reservoir dam, Harris "is going to be the guy to keep everybody on task and make sure we aren't conflicting with one another."
Evaluating dam location, volume calculations and preliminary cost estimates, said Davis, will be just a few of the project aspects coordinated by Harris as the reconstruction process moves forward.
"Steve knows all the pieces of the puzzle and knows how to put them together," concluded Davis. "He's our shepherd, so to speak."
Engineering studies of the new reservoir dam began in early March after the district received an opinion from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicating a favorable assessment of the district's plans to enlarge Stevens.
According to Campbell, the U.S. Forest Service has completed an environmental analysis of the Dutton Ditch encasement project.
A public notice officially announcing the release of the analysis is scheduled to be published in the June 17 issue of The SUN, and public comments concerning the findings will be accepted by the Forest Service until July 19.
To view the pre-decisional environmental assessment, visit the Web at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan/projects/projects.shtml or request a printed copy by calling the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-1509.
Written comments must be submitted to: District Ranger, PO Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
The Pagosa District Office is at 180 Pagosa Street. Comments may also be faxed to Attn: Rick Jewell, fax number 264-1538.
Oral comments must be provided at the Pagosa District office during normal business hours via telephone (970) 264-1509 or in person, or at an official agency function (i.e., public meeting) that is designed to elicit public comments.
Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an e-mail message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word (.doc) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest readings provided by Gene Tautges, assistant general manager, indicate current reservoir storage is approximately 142 percent over the district's minimum-reserve goal of 1,800 acre feet.
District reservoirs, said Tautges, were at the following levels early this week:
- Lake Hatcher - eight inches below spillway
- Stevens Reservoir - 100 percent full
- Lake Pagosa - 100 percent full and spilling
- Lake Forest - four inches below spillway
- Village Lake - 15 inches below spillway.
Town will poll citizens on eatery, bar smoking
By Tess Noel Baker
The town will take the question of tobacco use in restaurants and bars to its citizens.
At a Pagosa Springs Town Council workshop June 8, Char Day, tobacco prevention program manager for San Juan Basin Health, offered to conduct a random survey of the community on smoking and tobacco use issues to give the Pagosa town council more information.
The council has been considering a draft ordinance to ban tobacco smoking in bars and restaurants for the last few months.
"I think it would be helpful to get a survey for our own piece of mind," Mayor Ross Aragon said following 40 minutes of discussion among four council members evenly divided on the issue.
Tony Simmons and Jerry Jackson voiced support of some type of smoking ban based on public health concerns.
"It's the nonsmoker's personal rights that are being infringed," Jackson said, pointing out the deadly nature of tobacco smoke, not only for the person smoking, but for those breathing the smoke secondhand. The Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand smoke, or environmental tobacco smoke, as a Group A carcinogen. No safe level of exposure to Group A carcinogens has been established.
He compared the dangers of secondhand smoke to those relating to asbestos in buildings several years ago. When people learned about asbestos dangers, people immediately moved to have it removed. Smoking, he said, may be equally as dangerous, but because it is an individual habit, an addiction, the personal choice and freedom arguments come into play.
"If this wasn't about smoking, if this was about some other issue, we wouldn't blink an eye before passing something like this," he said.
Jackson said he would support a change to the proposed ordinance to allow smoking in freestanding bars only.
"I'd like to see it out of restaurants," he said.
A couple audience members also commented in favor of the proposed ordinance.
Day, representing Upper San Juan Basin Health, applauded the proposed ordinance for approaching the issue from a workplace standpoint.
"It should never have to be a condition of employment to be exposed to this, especially as a group A carcinogen," she said.
Carol Pierce, a Pagosa resident and health care professional, said this type of ordinance, backed by the knowledge and available research on smoking dangers, would send the right message to the community.
"Let's choose where we do it (allow smoking) and how we expose people to it," she said.
Council members Stan Holt and Darrell Cotton landed squarely against the smoking ban as written, and said smoking policies should be market driven, not government mandated.
"I'm opposed to it (the no smoking ordinance) in any form," Cotton said. "I think it's almost impossible to enforce and unnecessary." He added that fast food restaurants, "are killing people faster than Philip Morris," but no one is suggesting local governments begin mandating healthy eating.
As it is, Cotton said, only three or four businesses within town boundaries allow smoking. The rest have opted to become smoke-free on their own.
"I just think it's better for people to do things because they want to, not because government tells them to," he said.
Holt suggested all businesses should post clearly visible signs somewhere near the entrance to let people know whether the establishment allows smoking or not. Nonsmoking signs are generally fairly visible. Smoking signs are sometimes not.
"I think a lot of people are caught unawares that smoking is allowed in there until they get in," he said.
In the survey, Day said, about 100 people would be interviewed to allow a greater number of the general public to weigh in on the topic.
Town Manager Mark Garcia said results of the survey should be available by the council's next regular monthly meeting, July 6.
County sets magnesium chloride schedule, fee policies
By Tom Carosello
Road dust should continue to settle across Pagosa Country in the coming weeks as Archuleta County furthers its magnesium-chloride application program.
According to Dick McKee, county public works director, this year's program began this week and closely resembles past initiatives.
However, certain aspects, said McKee, differ slightly from dust-abatement procedures in prior years.
For example, the cost of preparatory work for applications involving private citizens' requests has been covered by the county in the past, and residents living along non-maintained roads who requested dust abatement paid only for material expenses.
But the ongoing county budget crunch resulted in a decision to change procedures during a May 18 work session; as a result, new county policies this year will require citizens who make "private requests" to pay for preparatory expenses as well.
On the bright side, a conditional contract approved by the commissioners last week indicates the county will pay 27.2 cents per gallon for magnesium chloride over the next two years - a lesser per-gallon cost than in previous years.
Finally, though subject to periodic changes, the following is a tentative magnesium chloride application schedule provided by the county public works department.
- week of June 14 - County Road 400 (Fourmile Road), County Road 302 Mill Creek Road), Continental Estates, Stagecoach, Mayflower, Clearwater, Terry Robinson, Echo Creek Drive, Eight Mile Loop/Loma Linda Metro and Eight Mile Mesa
- week of June 21 - County Road 326 (Upper Blanco), County Road 335 (Lower Blanco), County Road 359 (Coyote Park) and County Road 542 (Montezuma)
- week of June 28 - County Road 411 (Cemetery), County Road 200 (Snowball), Log Park, County Road 113 (Fawn Gulch), County Road 391 (Lower Navajo) and County Road 382 (Upper Navajo)
- week of July 5 - Monte Vista, Hill Circle, Hidden, Morro Circle, Cimarrona, Falcon, Arbor, Rainbow, Brookhill, Majestic, Oren, Bienvenido Circle, Crestview, Mesa Heights, alley - 1st Street, alley - 2nd Street and alley - South Apache
- week of July 12 - Sam Houston, Ranger Park, Trails, Bonanza, Stevens Circle, Trappers Drive, Martinez Place, Beaver Circle, Buffalo Court, Lake Street, Periwinkle, Dutton, Fischer Court, Monument, Gary's Place, Gala Place, Walnut Place, Midiron, South Driver and County Road 600 (Piedra Road)
- week of July 19 - Sunshine, Haley, County Road 139 (Nutria), Condor Drive, Ace Court, Alpha Metro District, Buttress, Cascade, Harvard, Carino, Hersch, Scenic, Dichoso, Paciente and Waterfall
- week of July 26 - County Road 700 (Cat Creek Road), County Road 175 (Piedra River Road), County Road 500 (Pagosa Junction to Colo. 151), County Road 166 (First Fork Road) and County Road 146 (Turkey Springs Road)
- week of Aug. 2 - County Road 975 (Miller Mesa), County Road 977, County Road 988 (Sambrito), County Road 973, Milton Lane, Pinion Hills Circle, Willard Way, Piedra Park, Shop Road and private citizens' requests.
McKee indicated private citizens' requests will be considered according to a list of roads that received treatment last year and honored on a first-come, first-served basis.
Additional requests may be considered as well, said McKee, especially if residents living along roads that have received applications in the past "opt out" of this year's program.
Fire danger remains, crews extinguish two blazes
By Tess Noel Baker
Wind. Low humidity. High temperatures. Add those together and the result is a weather pattern ready to brew fire.
Fire Chief Warren Grams warned residents and visitors alike to take care with fire and obey the open burning ban in place or the result might be tragedy. Last weekend, members of the Pagosa Fire Protection District responded to a pair of fires. Neither caused much damage. Both were most likely human caused.
Sunday afternoon, seven Pagosa firefighters responded to a half-acre blaze about two miles up First Notch Road. Grams said the fire, reported by an off-duty Archuleta County deputy, ignited the pine needles and oak brush and torched trees.
Because the fire was close to the road, firefighters were able to knock the blaze back with hoses from two trucks. Grams said forest service personnel from both the Columbine Ranger District and the Pagosa Ranger District also responded because the fire was on national forest property.
Ron Klatt, fire management officer from the Columbine Ranger District, said the fire was contained about 7 p.m. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
"We feel certain it was not a natural cause," Klatt said. "No lightning was reported in the area - it was more than likely human caused."
Grams said Pagosa firefighters responded to another, apparently human-caused, blaze June 4 in Aspen Springs.
Firefighters were dispatched when a resident called in to report a fire on a neighboring property. One tree and some logs on the ground were burned. No structures were threatened and no one was injured.
"We think it extended out of a campfire from the previous evening," Grams said, adding that both fires were kept to a small area because of quick reporting and a quick response.
"We just want to remind people why the fire ban is on," he said. "With the dry conditions and with the wind, we don't want a big fire starting."
According to a resolution approved by the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners June 1, fire bans include prohibitions on open fires, agricultural burning and the private use of fireworks within county boundaries.
Also prohibited is the disposal of any burning material, such as a cigarette or cigar butts that could cause ignition of weeds or grasses, except in a fireproof receptacle.
The bans do not currently prohibit the use of charcoal grills or camp stoves. However, language added to this year's resolution allows the sheriff's office to implement an immediate ban on charcoal fires should conditions worsen, provided such actions are later ratified by the commissioners.
Furthermore, the bans do not include public fireworks displays, provided they have been authorized by the sheriff's office and the appropriate fire official in advance.
Fox hired as county airport manager
By Tom Carosello
The Archuleta County airport has a new top gun.
Ken Fox, a longtime Pagosa resident and former U.S. Air Force F-15 pilot, has been hired to oversee operations at Stevens Field.
Fox is no stranger to the history and management of the airfield; he became acquainted with Stevens Field while serving on the county board of commissioners from 1997-2000.
In addition, Fox had been serving as interim manager of Stevens Field since late February, when former airport manager Tim Smith departed to accept a similar position in Fort Collins.
According to Kathi Creech, county administrative assistant, Fox officially assumed the post of airport manager on a permanent basis May 3.
Hantavirus increase seen at Hesperus test station
Recent results from an ongoing study at the Hesperus monitoring station by Colorado State University indicate an increase in the population of deer mice infected with Hantavirus.
In previous years when such an increase has occurred there have been human Hantavirus cases in the Durango area, according to a statement from Dr. Charles Calisher, a professor in the microbiology, immunology and pathology department at CSU.
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) was first recognized in the Southwest in 1993. Cases occur mostly in the western United States.
The virus is passed to humans through contact with urine, feces or saliva from an infected rodent. Breathing contaminated dust is the most common form of transmission.
The virus is not contagious (passed from person to person) and is not transmitted by dogs or cats that catch and eat rodents.
- living in homes with mice
- disturbing rodent-infested areas
- cleaning cabins, barns and other outbuildings where mice have been present
- cleaning other areas contaminated with rodent droppings
- planting or harvesting field crops where rodents have been present.
Note: the greater number of mice, the greater chance of acquiring this disease.
- seal up holes inside and outside the home to prevent entry by mice
- trap mice around the home to help reduce the population
- take precautions before and while cleaning rodent-infested areas. These may include cabins, barns and sheds
- avoid direct contact with rodents, rodent burrows and nests
- do not pitch tents in areas where there are numerous rodent burrows or mouse feces, and do not sleep on the bare ground.
Early symptoms begin one to six weeks after exposure, and include a fever and body aches, particularly leg and back aches. Nausea, vomiting and headache may also be present. A cough and shortness of breath develop two to five days later. A sore throat, sneezing, runny nose and sinus congestion are not typical Hantavirus symptoms.
A blood test for a platelet level should be done by your doctor during the first few days of symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are important. If you have any doubts, go to the local emergency room.
San Juan Basin Health Department reminds the community to exercise precautions to prevent Hantavirus infection.
For more detailed information, call or visit department offices at 281 Sawyer Drive, Durango, 247-5702; or 502 S. 8th Street in Pagosa Springs, 264-2409. Additional information is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov.
School board adopts $25.05 million budget
By Richard Walter
A school district budget reflecting an increase of just over $700,000 from the current year was approved Tuesday by the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.
The total is $25.05 million for the 2004-2005 school year, up from the $24,304,500 for this year but below the $26,465,055 audited final budget for the 2002-2003 school year.
Nancy Schutz, district business manager and finance director, said the budget reflects beginning fund balances totaling $11,874,815, revenues totaling $13,175,185 and expenditures totaling $16,539,190.
Financial health of the district is reflected in the reserves:
General fund, $8,649,815; preschool, $5,000; Capital Reserve, $800,000; bond redemption, $900,000; food service, $25,000; insurance, $400,000; insurance, $715,000; non-expendable trust, $300,000; and student activity, $80,000.
Schutz pointed out 74 percent of the budget involves the general fund with bond redemption the next largest item at 7 percent. Capital reserve gets 5 percent and insurance 4 percent of the total.
Anticipated revenues in the new budget include $9.7 million in the general fund; $65,000 for preschool; $475,000 in capital reserve; $750,000 in grants (see separate story); $860,000 bond redemption; $425,000 food service; $725,000 insurance; $150,000 for student activities.
Schutz told the board the annual tax levy will be set in September after initial school attendance data is compiled.
She said significant increases are seen for the elementary school where new programs mandated new books and where two full kindergarten classes have been added.
Boosting intermediate school costs will be a new computer lab designed as a mobile service for all classrooms.
In the transportation department, she noted, two new school buses are included in the budget.
And, key to staff, the promised salary increase is included, totaling nearly 3 percent across the board.
She told the board she budgeted for $280 per student for educational supplies when, in fact, the statutes require only $168 per student.
Director Mike Haynes had several questions about line items in the budget and asked for the overall per pupil operating revenue figure.
Schutz said that amount stands at $5,811 per pupil.
Noting several cuts in athletic department programs, Haynes wondered "is that the only department seeing cuts?"
Bill Esterbrook, high school principal, explained his staff is in a two to three year process of moving funding "without hurting the integrity of the program.
"We cut $6,000 this year and will add another cut of $12,000 over the next two to three years," he said.
At the junior high school level, the board was told, the cheerleader program was cut after a one-year trial last year.
Chris Hinger, principal, said the action did not affect many students - only six remained in cheerleading by year's end - while at the same time there were 80 students involved in the track program.
"It was the first try at operating a cheerleading program at the junior high level in many years" Hinger said, and it just didn't work out.
Haynes' questioning led to a board decision to go next year to a pre-approval budget workshop in which proposed line item increases or decreases will be ironed out.
Haynes said, "I think it is important that members of the board understand what we're adopting. It would be valuable to us in the future to have the proposed budget sooner so we can take time to go though it page-by-page in a special workshop session."
Director Carol Feazel, board president, said, "we pay qualified people to do these jobs. We need to depend on their decisions."
Haynes agreed, but "the board needs to see all levels of the process. We need to be able to answer the questions of constituents."
Director Jon Forrest said the idea of having the board go over the data in advance "sounds good to me. In fact, I sometimes look at these documents and have no idea what I'm seeing without explanation.
"I trust the people we have," he said, "but if someone on the street asked me for an explanation I'd have to say 'I don't have the answer.'"
Director Clifford Lucero agreed with need for knowledge but cautioned, "we don't want to cross the line into micro-management."
Haynes said he didn't see that possibility. In dealing "with a budget this big, I can see no reason not to spend an hour or two ironing out questions in advance."
After voting unanimously to adopt the budget as presented, the board agreed that next year it will hold a pre-adoption work session.
Haynes closed the discussion commenting, "I've seen districts have big problems because their board of directors didn't pay attention to what was going on. I don't want us to be in that position."
Immediately after the budget adoption, the board passed an appropriation resolution totaling $22.7 million which includes expenditures of $177,000 from the general fund for salary increases; $38,000 from the capital reserve fund for construction on the maintenance-transportation facility and $475,000 from the Newton Fund expendable trust for the same purpose.
Schools seek $553,600 in NCLB federal grants
By Richard Walter
Government grants are always a key to successful educational programs and with districts around the nation complaining about unfunded mandates, they become even more important.
Archuleta School District 50 Joint, in an application drafted by former superintendent Terry Alley, is seeking $553,600 in a consolidated federal grant program tied to "No Child Left Behind" operations.
Under Title I, the application asks $254,064 for the elementary school; $103,332 for the intermediate school; $15,168 for Our Savior Lutheran School; $2,844 for Summit Christian School; $4,500 for services for homeless students; $20,741 for ongoing staff development to meet the "highly qualified" mandate; and $18,171 for administration of NCLB programs.
Under Title II-A a total of $102,545 is requested; in Title II-D $10,764 is sought; under Title III the total is $1,557 for tutoring English as a Second Language students; under Title IV a total of $9,668 is sought for maintaining safe, civil learning environments; and under Title V, a total of $14,246 is requested for a summer school program for students not meeting standards and for the two private schools for students at risk of academic failure.
Asked if the requested funds are assured, Nancy Schutz, business manager, said "nothing is carved in stone. Last year, for example, we got significantly less than projected."
But, "every cent of eligibility must be pursued to meet the mandates," said Superintendent Duane Noggle.
School district to try for settlement in court case
By Richard Walter
A U.S. District Court suit filed by a dismissed Archuleta School district 50 Joint maintenance employee could be settled out of court.
After a 49-minute executive session at the beginning of Tuesday's regular board of education meeting, directors passed a motion to negotiate settlement with Errol Hohrein.
Director Clifford Lucero led the action which directs Superintendent Duane Noggle and school district counsel to seek settlement of the suit filed Dec. 16, 2003, in U.S. District Court in Denver.
It was not an unanimous action.
Although he seconded Lucero's motion, director Jon Forrest voted against it. He was joined in dissent by director Mike Haynes.
That made the final vote for settlement action 3-2 with Lucero, Sandy Caves and Carol Feazel casting the affirmative votes.
No further discussion on the action was taken.
Hohrein's suit and demand for jury trial charged he was fired for raising concerns regarding mismanagement, incompetence, waste and violations of district policies regarding ethics and conflict of interest in the maintenance department.
A second cause alleged breach of contract against the school district and a third specifically cited Noggle as retaliating against Hohrein for having raised concerns regarding mismanagement.
Scott F. Reese of Louisville, Colo., who represented Hohrein, was not available for comment Wednesday.
Included in the original suit were allegations of "many instances of inefficiency, waste of public resources and incompetence" in the department and specifically regarding his immediate supervisor, Dennis Kleckner.
Examples, the suit said, "...included being directed by Kleckner to falsify documents and to work on personal projects during work hours." Additional allegations in the suit indicated Hohrein was required to make repairs on personal property of Noggle in direct violation of ethics policies.
No time limits were placed on action accomplished by approval of Lucero's motion.
Noggle told The SUN Wednesday that the action is required in any civil action filed in federal court. "Periodic efforts at conciliation are required," Noggle said, "particularly in the discovery phase which is now underway."
Two noted author-educators to keynote conference on learning
By Richard Walter
The ninth annual Southwest conference on learning, scheduled July 26-27 at Pagosa Springs High School, will feature two recognized experts in education.
Dr. David Elkind, chairman of the Child Development Department at Tufts University and Dr. Lorraine Monroe, founding principal of the renowned Frederick Douglass Academy in Central Harlem are the special guests.
Monroe, founder of the Lorraine Monroe Leadership Institute, translates her extensive experience in New York City public schools - as teacher, dean, assistant principal, principal and a deputy Chancellor for Curriculum and Instruction - into the guiding set of Monroe leadership principles defining work of the academy.
Elkind has been a leading researcher in children's perceptual, cognitive and social development for over 30 years.
He has authored 13 books ("The Hurried Child" and others), over 400 magazine articles and serves as a contributing editor for Parent's Magazine.
Dr. Monroe's groundbreaking work has been featured on "60 Minutes," "Tony Brown's Journal," "The McCreary Report" and in "Ebony Magazine."
Elkind, too, has been featured on television, appearing on "The Today Show," "20/20," "CBS Morning News," "Donahue" and "Oprah."
He is past president of the national Association For the Education of Young Children and serves as a consultant for several schools and mental health organizations.
Monroe is a national and international consultant who works through lecture, video presentations, hands-on activities and large and small group discussions to share her powerful message about the role of leadership in creating effective schools.
Elkind's messages call attention to the dangers of exposing our children to overwhelming pressures and offer advice and hope for the healthy development of pre-schoolers through adolescents.
Both have new books out, Monroe's "Nothing's Impossible: Leadership Lessons from Inside and Outside the Classroom," first published by Random House, has been translated into both Swedish and Norwegian.
Elkind's "The Need for Play: Growing Up In a Stressful World," suggests the importance of free play and how to bring that back into the lives of our children.
The annual conferences in Pagosa Springs are sponsored by the Charles J. Hughes Foundation and Archuleta School District 50 Joint.
Cost for participants is $75 if registered by July 1; after that date, call for availability. Lunches and snacks are included and door prizes are awarded each day. An optional one semester graduate credit is available through Adams State College - fee is $35.
To register by phone, call 264-2228. A registration form can be downloaded from the Web site at www.pagosa.k12.co.us or register by mail with Southwest Conference on Learning, PO Box 1498, Pagosa Springs, CO, 81147.
The Hughes foundation is dedicated to providing innovation and inspiration to teachers, parents and students.
Each summer for eight years, it has sponsored the Pagosa Springs conference, hosting well-known speakers and trainers here at an affordable cost.
Severe needs teaching post goes to Kurt-Mason
By Richard Walter
Because of a significant increase in the number of perceptually challenged students, a key staffing change is being made in Pagosa Springs Intermediate School.
Superintendent Duane Noggle told the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint the need for an intermediate school severe needs teacher has increased.
With that in mind, the board agreed with his recommendation that fifth-grade teacher Mary Kurt-Mason be assigned to the new post.
Kurt-Mason has 21 years experience in the classroom and holds a degree in special education. She asked for the position, Noggle said.
In other personnel action the board:
- accepted the resignation of Dave Hicks as a full-time driver in the transportation department for health reasons, but agreed to keep him as a substitute driver
- accepted the resignation of part-time bus driver Bruce Kehret who is moving to Minnesota
- accepted the resignation, for personal reasons, of high school baseball coach Tony Scarpa
- accepted the resignation of part-time school nurse Sharon Lowder, for personal reasons
- accepted the application of Patty Martinez as a substitute until she is able to secure a full-time job with the district as a teacher's aide
- accepted the application of Richard Baldwin as a substitute custodian, noting he had been an applicant for the maintenance director position last year
- accepted the application of Jerry Valade as a substitute teacher in math and history
- accepted the application of Diane Pack as a substitute school bus driver, noting she will complete training in August.
'Camper' pleads for school bus service
By Richard Walter
A resident of far southern Archuleta County made an impassioned plea Tuesday for extension of a school bus route closer than five miles from her property.
Christine Heinrich told the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint that lack of a bus route endangers her son's chances for education.
"We live on county road 551 (Juanita Road) on property I bought for cash in 1996," she said, indicating there was a bus route to within 500 yards of the property at time of purchase.
In the meantime, she said, that route has been canceled for lack of ridership.
"We are camping on the property, and have no electricity or telephone," she said. "We're living like pioneers and do not have a trustworthy vehicle to transport my 12-year-old son to the closest bus stop, about five miles away."
She also told the board she had conferred and cooperated with county road and bridge officials by granting them her water rights and permission to put culverts on her property.
She said she had been told the bridge leading to the area is unsafe "but county and private gravel trucks use it all the time. If the reason for canceling the bus route reflected concerns about bridge safety, then it should be fixed."
That, she was told, is a county problem, not one for the board of education.
Mrs. Heinrich told the board her son got way behind in school this past year but has made up the work and will go into seventh grade in the fall.
"This isn't a 20-mile detour I'm asking for," she said, "it's just a few miles and a boy's education hinges on finding a way to get him to school."
Director Carol Feazel, board president, reminded Heinrich that school board policy requires at least seven riders for a bus route and noted even she had once lived on a route that was cut because that requirement was no longer met.
"But the route was there when we moved there," Heinrich argued. "I was told the route would continue. Then, just before school started last year I was told it (the bus) would not run there any more."
Finally, Feazel agreed the board would look into the complaint and would put it on the agenda for next month.
"I don't believe it will happen (extending the route)," she said.
"But we will examine all the possibilities."
"I'll be back," promised Heinrich.
Town considers second donation to visioning group
By Tess Noel Baker
The Pagosa Springs Town Council is considering a second donation of $10,000 to the Mayor's Council for the Future of Pagosa Springs - a privately-organized group focused on strategic planning.
Earlier in the year, the mayor's council hired three consultants to create a strategic vision for the community. When completed, it contained an outline for organizing the community's marketing efforts and public relations and planning for the downtown core area. Costs reached around $100,000 with most of the funds footed by local private donations. At that time, the town council approved a grant of $10,000 toward the group's efforts.
Since then, the Mayor's Council has begun to move forward with fund-raising for market research and design of a conceptual downtown master plan for an area stretching from 12th Street on the west side, to the intersection of U.S. 160 and 84 to the east, Lewis Street to the north and the high school campus on the south.
At a town council workshop June 8, Mayor Ross Aragon proposed giving the group a second $10,000 donation with $8,000 going toward a conceptualized downtown master plan and $2,000 to help fund market research. It would, he said, be the last contribution from the town.
"We have made our contributions knowing we don't have a lot of money," Aragon said. "I don't feel comfortable with more than that."
Council member Stan Holt, echoed that concern. "I think it should be set in stone that this is as far as we're going. We need to make it formal."
Town Manager Mark Garcia said putting the $8,000 toward a conceptual design now - with the remainder of the estimated $55,000 cost provided by private donations - could save the town money later. Total cost of the Hot Springs Boulevard Master Plan created a few years ago was around $35,000.
The conceptual downtown design to be completed by the visioning committee, he said, would compile the information and give some options. Eventually, the project would come back to the town council for implementation with final approval or denial resting in the town's hands.
"The plan we receive will give us some options," council member Darrell Cotton said. "When we make this commitment we are committing to spend more money down the line."
Holt said that is something the council could address later when the project is in the town's hands and not part of a private group.
Aragon said the $10,000 figure was up for discussion and based simply on the former contribution.
Garcia said he is preparing a budget amendment for the council to review at its next regular meeting, July 6, and would include the contributions to the visioning committee in that, along with about $10,000 for a planning consultant and research into a possible Main Street organization for downtown business owners.
The budget amendment will propose reallocating funds from a capital improvement project planned for Hot Springs Boulevard. The final phase of curb and gutter work along the boulevard was slated for completion this summer, but postponed by the town council to allow time to complete the proposed master plan.
Dogs training for AKC testing at Pet Pride Day
By Julie Paige
Special to The SUN
Pet Pride Day is less than three weeks away.
Dedicated dog owners are working diligently training their dogs for the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen® test which will be held as Pet Pride Day opens at 8 a.m. June 26.
The 10-step test evaluates a dog's training and certifies dogs as community members in good standing. This will be the first time this event has ever taken place in Pagosa Springs.
Group practice sessions are being offered by the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs in Town Park 6 p.m. Mondays and Fridays under the guidance of Jan Nanus, a respected West Highland Terrier exhibitor/breeder, and Julie Paige, Certified Pet Dog Trainer, Association of Pet Dog Trainers. There is no fee for the practice sessions.
Handler and dog teams who wish to participate must have already acquired the basic obedience skills. The test and practice sessions are not for untrained dogs.
Training for the CGC test is fun and the skills learned are useful in everyday life. The steps in the evaluation involve the dog accepting a friendly stranger; sitting politely for petting; accepting light grooming and examination; walking on a loose lead - even among people strolling about and chatting; coming when called; responding calmly to the approach of another dog; responding appropriately to distractions - such as loud noises, joggers or a person in a wheelchair; sitting and lying down on command; and remaining calm while the owner is out of sight for three minutes.
Those dogs passing the CGC test will receive a certificate from the Humane Society and are eligible to receive an official certificate from the AKC.
For further information, contact Julie Paige at 731-0231 or Jan Nanus at 264-2556.
Hospice garden planting program slated June 19
A garden created by staff and volunteers of Hospice for Mercy of Pagosa Springs will be the site of a memorial service 10 a.m. Saturday June 19.
Local residents will gather for the spring planting of flowers in memory of deceased family members and friends.
The garden is along the river behind the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center and the annual planting has become a community tradition for many.
The brief opening ceremony will be followed by planting, with the event concluding at noon and the public invited to participate.
The first planting in the garden was organized four years ago by Kim Coleman, R.N., who continues today as one of four registered nurses serving hospice patients here. Enza Bomkamp, hospice social worker and bereavement counselor, is coordinator of this year's event.
"Hospice is more than home health care. It is a philosophy of living to the fullest to the last moment," Bomkamp said. "Our staff and volunteers are trained to help make that philosophy work for persons experience life-threatening illness."
Included in this year's program are musical presentations by members of the Pagosa Springs Community Choir, vocalists Christine Morrison and Samantha Ricker.
Don Strait, longtime hospice chaplain, returns from an assignment in Alaska to open the memorial event with reflections of the spiritual dimensions of compassionate care for individuals and families facing end-of-life issues. "Local ministers who also desire to participate should contact me in the hospice office, 731-9190," Bomkamp said.
Persons wishing to plant flowers in the memorial garden need to bring a trowel. Water will be provided. "Some chairs will be on hand, but it might be wise to bring a folding chair," Bomkamp said.
Annual and perennial flowers are welcomed, but the garden cannot accommodate larger plants. A limited number of markers will be provided to designate the name of the individual memorialized by the planting.
For additional information call Bomkamp at work, 731-9190, at home, 731-3115 or cell phone at 849-7711.
Therapeutic riding offered by hospice
Applications are currently being accepted for attendance at Camp Nueva Vista, a collaborative program between Hospice of Mercy and Cadence Therapeutic Riding.
The program, which incorporates horseback riding lessons, provides a support group for young people who are living with someone with a life-threatening illness or who have lost a loved one.
The first session will begin June 24 and is free to qualifying participants. If you or someone you know might be interested in this program, call Judy Austin, program director, at 382-2011.
Red Ryder royalty sign-up deadline will be June 15
Red Ryder Roundup is looking for royalty contestants and the competition has been revived to be more fun and exciting.
Young ladies 16-21 who have not been married are eligible for queen; those 8-15 are eligible for princess.
Practices are Tuesday and Friday at 4 p.m. in the arena. It is not necessary to attend the practices.
Sign-up deadline is June 15. For more information call Sandy at 264-5959 or Belinda at 731-5269.
A Senator asks: Are we at war?
By Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Special to The SUN
Before the dust had settled on Manhattan in September, 2001, our nation's collective resolve seemed decided; we would find and hold accountable those who used our nation's freedoms to kill thousands of us.
It was hard to find American flags to fly after that day and every other car was decked out in some manifestation of our patriotism. Like Pearl Harbor, 9/11 steeled our resolve to defend America, but for some, only temporarily.
Some in America now seem to have forgotten we are at war. In an age of near instant gratification of every human need, I suppose you could blame that erosion of resolve on our short attention span.
Some, in this presidential election year, have decided to use whatever logic available to undo the election results of 2000. Still others, I believe, are dredging up the spirit of the '60s and view fighting this war effort as akin to the ideological pinnacle of their youth, fighting against the Vietnam War.
As someone who has proudly worn the uniform of the United States Air Force, I know that no war is good, but some wars simply must be fought if our founding principles are to have any relevance.
For me the horror of 9/11 is lasting and I believe there are two very distinct groups of Americans now; the 9/10 Americans in denial and the 9/11 Americans.
The bottom line question every American must answer is this: Are we truly at war?
I believe we are in the early stages of a conflagration that could likely be the next World War. It is a war that pits our sense of freedom and justice against those with radical interpretations of a culture intent on our conversion or our demise.
In America we invite diversity and are all better for it. In some Mideast nations you are besieged, bombed or beheaded for your diversity. The contrasts are stark and unavoidable.
Terrorists are cowards who hide behind masks and attack the innocent.
The terrorists who attacked Munich in 1972, the death squads of El Salvador and Ireland, the bombers of the Marine barracks in Beirut, those who blew Pan American flight 747 out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland, those who attacked the World Trade Center, twice, those who bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City, those who used Sarin gas in attacks in the Tokyo subways, those who flew loaded planes into the Pentagon and an open field in Pennsylvania, those who bombed military housing towers in Saudi Arabia and the USS Cole, those who blew up commuter trains in Spain and nightclubs in Bali did not do so because we are Republicans or Democrats.
They did so because they fear freedom. They fear the light of truth so they bomb and behead, they attack and retreat, hoping to wear down our will.
Today's terrorists believe and count on all Americans being overweight X-Box players, more interested in fixing the outcome of "American Idol" than of defending our freedom. They hold women and children in low esteem and fear seeing others experience the rights all of civilized humanity have come to believe are basic human rights.
I pray they are wrong.
Those Americans who fought in World War II are called the "greatest generation" because they found the will to put their hopes and dreams on hold, to cast aside their political and personal bigotries and defend America and what she stands for against all odds.
I don't see that collective spirit in many of today's Americans. Many have simply not come to the conclusion that we are at war, for whatever reason. They are content to fight the small, partisan political battles but do not see the Terror War as the terrorists do.
Terrorists have declared they intend to fight until we are finished, however long that takes. They have the big picture view many Americans lack.
I pray we do not endure more attacks like those of 9/11 before we cast aside our divisions in favor of the concepts that unify America.
I pray that happens, but in my heart I know more attacks are coming and more death will be visited upon us because of what we represent.
I am a 9/11 American. I know the world has changed and that Americans must defend America. Everything else we do, everything else we believe, pales in comparison to that duty.
IRS warns of identity theft scam of non-resident aliens with U.S. income
The Internal Revenue Service warned June 1 of a fraudulent scheme targeting nonresident aliens who have income from a United States source.
The scheme uses fictitious IRS correspondence and an altered IRS form in an attempt to trick the foreign persons into disclosing their personal and financial data. The information fraudulently obtained is then used to steal the taxpayer's identity and financial assets.
This scheme has surfaced in South America, Europe and the Caribbean so far.
"This is an international variation of an old scheme where scam artists try to get valuable information by pretending to be from the IRS," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "Taxpayers should be wary of strangers trying to obtain sensitive personal information, whether it's in person, over the phone, through the mail or over the Internet."
Generally, identity thieves use someone's personal data to steal his or her financial accounts, run up charges on the victim's existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim's name and even file fraudulent tax returns.
In this particular scam, an altered IRS Form W-8BEN, "Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding," is sent with correspondence purportedly from the IRS to nonresident aliens who have invested in U.S. property, such as securities or bonds, and therefore have U.S.-sourced income.
The correspondence claims that the recipient will be taxed at the maximum rate unless the requested personal and financial data is entered onto the form and the form is faxed to the phone number contained in the correspondence.
The correspondence's threat is baseless. In reality, the rate at which a nonresident alien pays tax to the U.S. depends on the terms of the tax treaty the U.S. has with the foreign person's country.
There are about 2.5 million nonresident aliens who receive U.S.-sourced income, based on the number of Forms 1042-S that were issued last year. The 1042-S is used to report the amount of U.S. income a nonresident alien earned in that year and the taxes that were withheld.
The phony W-8BEN form asks the recipient for detailed personal and financial information, such as:
- date of birth
- Social Security number
- passport number
- bank name
- account number, type and date opened
- e-mail address
- day-time phone number
- how often the recipient visits the U.S.
- information on the recipient's spouse, children and parents
There is a legitimate IRS Form W-8BEN, which is used to establish the nonresident alien's foreign status and to determine whether the foreign person is subject to withholding of taxes.
However, the genuine IRS Form W-8BEN does not ask for any of the personal information above, except, in some cases, for a Social Security or IRS-generated Taxpayer Identification Number.
In addition, genuine Forms W-8BEN are sent to the recipients by their financial institution, not by the IRS. The financial institution -whether bank, brokerage firm, insurance company or other - acts as the nonresident alien's withholding agent for any income subject to U.S. income tax that the foreign person received from a U.S. source. The W-8BEN is used by the financial institution to establish the appropriate tax withholding or to determine whether their customers meet the criteria for remaining exempt from tax reporting requirements.
The real Form W-8BEN can be found on the IRS Web site in the "Forms and Publications" section.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration investigates a wide variety of offenses, including identity theft related to tax administration. Nonresistant aliens who have received a fraudulent letter and form should report this to TIGTA by calling the toll-free fraud referral hotline at (800) 366-4484, faxing a complaint to (202) 927-7018 or writing to the TIGTA Hotline, P.O. Box 589, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, D.C. 20044-0589.
Tobacco chewers, dippers get Web site aid in quitting
For the first time, effective treatment for smokeless tobacco addiction is available on the Internet, thanks to a research study funded by the National Cancer Institute.
Chewing tobacco and snuff users are invited to register with ChewFree.com and receive a free-self-help quitting program. Participants are asked to complete research questionnaires on-line to help evaluate the program.
"Many people mistakenly believe that chewing tobacco and snuff are safe alternatives to smoking," said Dr. Herb Severson of Oregon Research Institute, the project director.
"In fact," he said, "regular use of these products leads to cancer of the mouth, other cancers, and heart disease, as well as a wide variety of dental problems."
Smokeless tobacco may be a factor in 9,000 U.S. cancer deaths each year. More than 6 million Americans use smokeless tobacco products regularly. Use is especially high among minors and residents of rural areas.
The ChewFree.com quitting program addresses the special difficulties faced by chew and snuff users, who have fewer quitting resources than do smokers. All participants will have access to a Web site containing information and quitting resources that have already helped thousands of chewers to quit.
For more information, or to enroll in the quitting program, log on to www.chewfree.com.
Program directors said more than 77,000 Colorado residents are regular smokeless users and more than 5 percent of American males use snuff or chew products daily.
Lawmen will distribute firearm safety kits
Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and Pagosa Springs Police Department will provide 2,000 firearm safety kits to residents through a partnership with Project ChildSafe.
The safety kits, including a gun lock, will be distributed 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, at the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association conference room.
Project ChildSafe, a program developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, will distribute millions of the kits throughout the country.
The project is funded by a U.S. Department of Justice grant with additional funding by the firearms industry.
"We encourage residents to attend and pick up a safety kit so they can securely store their firearms," said Sheriff Tom Richards. "Each kit contains a safety curriculum and a cable-style gun lock. The locks fit on most types of handguns, rifles and shotguns. Our goal is to prevent a child or any other unauthorized person from accessing a firearm in your home."
Additionally, there will be deputies and police officers on hand an hour early (6 p.m.) to check your personal firearms for safety and to show you how the gun locks on your particular firearms. Bring your firearms, but no live ammunition is allowed.
There will be two guest speakers: Sheriff Tom Richards and Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger. After the program starts there will be an open forum for people to ask questions of both lawmen.
Third Wolf Creek Pass project to add to road delays
By Tess Noel Baker
East meets west as far as road construction on Wolf Creek Pass goes.
Two projects on the east side of the pass, one near Fun Valley and the other, the tunnel project just east of the snowshed, have been up and running since early spring.
Now, according to a release from Nielsons Skanska, Inc., a third project, repaving 5.3 miles from Treasure Falls toward the summit is in full operation. Construction includes milling of all asphalt material mixed with existing base material to establish a new base.
Starting approximately July 6, asphalt paving will commence with the installation of guardrail, followed by shouldering material, striping and seeding. Motorists should expect 20-minute delays.
On the eastern project, motorists are cautioned to expect delays to exceed 40-minutes between mile markers 179 and 182, and delays for up to 30 minutes at the tunnel project.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, overnight closures - 10 p.m.-5 a.m.- are occurring during the week. No weekend closures are in effect.
For more information on the projects, call (719) 859-2553 for the project near Fun Valley and (719) 873-2221 for the tunnel and Treasure Falls projects.
Colorado's snowpack vanishing rapidly
Warm and dry weather conditions prevailed across Colorado during May, helping to melt Colorado's snowpack to extremely low levels by June 1.
Snowpack readings taken by the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) SNOTEL network on June 1 indicated that snowmelt proceeded almost unimpaired throughout May, leaving the statewide snowpack at only 23 percent of average.
Measurements taken at 94 mountain locations across western Colorado show that melt out of the ephemeral snowpack is nearly complete in all of the major river basins of the state.
This year's melt out is expected to occur before mid-June across most of the state, which is nearly a month earlier than in an average year, according to Allen Green, NRCS Colorado State Conservationist.
For example, as of June 7, snowpack levels in the Upper San Juan River Basin had fallen to below 30 percent of average.
While this year's melt rates have been higher than in an average year, a more significant factor in the early melt out is that this year's snowpack totals reached their maximum levels earlier in the winter than normal and were significantly less than the average peak accumulations.
This year's statewide snowpack reached its maximum accumulation March 8 and was only 78 percent of the average peak accumulation.
In an average year the state doesn't reach the maximum snowpack until mid-April, but a lack of significant snowfall in March negated the chance for the state's basins to reach average levels this year.
April brought much-needed snowfall to the state, but moisture totals for May were subsequently well below average and, as expected, the resulting lack of snowpack across Colorado will translate into below-average spring runoff in all of the state's major rivers this year.
"While we don't typically count on heavy snowfalls during May, there have been years when significant improvements have been made to water supplies. Unfortunately, this year was certainly not one of those," said Green.
Forecasted spring and summer runoff is below average statewide this year. In some basins across northern Colorado, streamflow volumes are expected to drop to 50 percent of average or less.
In general, water supplies are expected to be much tighter in the basins originating from Colorado's northern mountains than across the state's southern mountains this year.
Reservoir storage will play a critical role as the summer demand season progresses this year. Fortunately, storage volumes have made steady improvements since bottoming out after the summer of 2002.
At the same time, storage volumes continue to track well below the long-term average across most of the state, though current reservoir storage statistics show that present volumes are nearly 200 percent of, or nearly 1.5 million acre-feet above, the low mark for 2002, which was reached Nov. 1 of that year.
Eighty perfect marks highlight high school semester honor list
Eighty students with perfect 4.0 averages, including 17 seniors, 18 juniors, 21 sophomores and 24 freshmen, paced the second semester honor roll at Pagosa Springs High School.
Perfect marks for seniors went to Caleb Bergon, Anna Bishop, Roxanna Day, Lauren Felts, Jenna Finney, Sierra Fleenor, Aaron Hamilton, Jon Howison.
Also, David Kern, Joanna Kuros, Traci Lattin, Hannah Lloyd, Clinton McKnight, Kevin Muirhead, Randi Pierce, Kyle Sanders and Ryan Wienpahl.
Juniors cited were Randi Andersen, Shiloh Baker, Levi Gill, Jessica Harms, Janna Henry, Timothy Kamolz, Kelcie Mastin, Danine Mendoza, Jesse Morris.
Also, Christine Morrison, Ryan Ranson, Brianna (Bri) Scott, Victoria Stanton, Courtney Steen, Laura Tomforde, Landry Ward, Rachel Watkins and Kyle Wiggers.
The 21 sophomores with perfect marks were Heather Andersen, Daniel Aupperle, Christopher Baum, Sara Baum, Jake Cammack, Brittani Corbisiero, Jim Guyton.
Also, Joshua Hoffman, Elizabeth (Liza) Kelley, Beth Lujan, Meghan Montoya, Matthew Nobles, Elijah Olachea, Casey Schutz, Craig Schutz, Michael Spitler.
Also, Charmaine Talbot, Chelsea Taylor, Cody Thull, Katherina Vowles and Veronica Zeiler.
Freshmen with perfect semester scores included Shannon Baker, Kathryn (Brooke) Cumbie, Iris Frye, Kimberly Fulmer, Malinda Fultz, Alaina Garman.
Also, Hayley Goodman, Paige Gordon, Jamilyn Harms, Casey Hart, Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, Shanti Johnson, Kyle Kamolz, Jessica Lynch, Elise McDonald.
Also, Jesse Miller, Jordyn Morelock, Caleb Ormonde, Laurel Reinhardt, Grace Smith, Jessie Stewart, Trevor Trujillo, Jenni Webb-Shearston and Trina Zielinski.
Four seniors, 10 juniors, three sophomores and 11 freshmen missed perfection by just a fraction, checking in with 3.750 averages.
They included seniors Gregory Hudnall, Liesl Jackson, Danielle Jaramillo and Casey Kiister; juniors Brittany Corcoran, Kelli Ford, Brett Garman, Melissa Maberry, Manuel Madrid, Chris Nobles, Tadd Quiller, Rachel Schur, Alexander Tapia and Lori Walkup; sophomores Heather Dahm, Emilie Schur and Ashley Snyder; and freshmen Dustin Bauer, Jacob (Tad) Beavers, Michael Bradford, Kimberly Canty, Andrew Carroll, Kristen DuCharme, Jennifer Haynes, Anna Hershey, Kristin Hopper, Kimberly Judd, Jennifer Lobato, Kyra Matzdorf, Danielle Megli, Ellen Niehaus, Kelly Sause and David Smith.
Two juniors were a step back at 3.7143. They were Paul Armijo and Danny Stuckman.
Fourteen seniors and one freshman checked in with 3.667 averages. They were Emily Campbell, Krystle Franklin, Jeremy Gallegos, Kelly Johnson, Cynthia Neder.
Also, Estreberto Palma, Natalie Przybylski, Coy Ross, Brandon Samples, Jessica Stevens, Amy Tautges, Kyle Taylor, Mike Valdez and Stephen Wallace and freshman Sarah Kornhaber.
One senior, Melissa Diller, along with 12 juniors, 10 sophomores and nine freshmen, had 3.50 averages.
Juniors were Sarah Anderson, Ellen Emanuel, Danae Holloman, Caitlyn Jewell, Tim Johnson, Nathaniel Lee, Esther Lloyd, Benjamin Loper, Mallorie Mackey, Meagan Martinez, Raul Palmer and Darin Prokop.
Sophomores were Emily Buikema, Alis Dubner, Caitlin Forrest, Sandra Griego, Lynda Johnson (Hall), Kelsey King, Derrick Monks, Paul Muirhead, Brea Thompson and Jesse Weddle.
Freshmen at 3.50 were Sabra Brown, Saber Hutcherson, Riley Lynch, Ashley Maddux, Emily Martinez, Tiffany Mayne, Porfirio Palma, Lando (Spur) Ross and Tamara Stanton.
Twenty two seniors were cited with 3.333 averages for the semester, the only students with that mark.
Included were Casey Belarde, Daniel Durfee, Monica Ferenbach, Lee (Drew) Fisher, Ryan Gooden-berger, Matthew Lattin, Angelica Leslie, Ashley Lord, Craig Lucero, Benjamin Marshall, Angelina Martinez, Leslie Martinez, Harriette Mayne, Daniel McGinnis, Shawn Parker, Ty Peterson, Lacie Ream, Courtney Sell, Stephanie Smith, Clayton Spencer, Ashli Winter and Melissa Wollenweber.
Also listed were two seniors, seven juniors, six sophomores and eight freshmen with 3.25 averages.
Named were seniors Heather Hooper and Jacob (Chris) Matzdorf; juniors Kelley Bartholomew, Kyrie Beye, Caleb Forrest, Krista Milburn, Audrey Miller, Ashley Pfeifle and Emily Vega.
Also, sophomores Kirsten Andrews, Kody Hanavan, Ursala Hudson, Roxanne Lattin, Logan McLellan and Emmalynn Smith.
Also, freshmen Diane Chapman, Hannah Clark, Kelly Crow, Lashay Fredlund, Travis Furman, Brian Patane, Max Smith and Julianna Whipple.
Tips for cutting your cooling bills
Everyone needs affordable ways to beat the heat. With hot weather already upon us, now is the time to give your home "checkup."
Here are some tips from the Comfort Institute (www.comfort-institute.org) to make sure your summer electric bills don't blow your cool.
1. Don't run your clothes dryer when it's hot out. Your dryer blows air out of your house when it's drying clothes. And for every cubic foot of air it blows out, a cubic foot of hot outside air gets sucked in and has to be cooled down by your air conditioner. Run your dryer late at night or early morning and you'll have lower electric bills. Even better, use a "solar powered" clothes dryer: a clothes line in the back yard.
2. Have your duct system tested for air leaks. Many think windows and doors are the major cause of a home's energy wasting air leaks. But according to recent research by the Department of Energy, gaps, joints and disconnections in the typical home's duct system are much more significant. The DOE said the typical duct system loses 25-40 percent of the energy put out by the central heat pump or air conditioner. Leaks are usually the biggest problem. Authorities recommend having a contractor seal them with a brushed on mastic. Duct tape often dries out and fails. It turns out duct tape is great for many things, but sealing ducts isn't one of them.
3. Ask your air conditioning contractor to perform an Infiltrometer "blower door" test. The blower door is a computerized instrument invented by the Department of Energy. It pinpoints where your home's worst air leaks are, such as duct leaks, and also measures how leaky the overall house is. While most homes are still far too leaky, some are now quite tight, and need mechanical ventilation to ensure the air inside is fresh. Many contractors offer an Infiltrometer test as part of a "Whole House Comfort Checkup" that also checks insulation levels and overall duct performance.
4. Replace your air conditioner or heat pump air filter. Most systems need this done every month to ensure safe, efficient operation. Some, such as electronic air cleaners, need to be thoroughly washed.
5. Have your air conditioner cleaned and tuned. A preseason tune up is a great investment. It reduces the chances of breakdowns in the middle of summer and more than pays for itself through more energy efficient operation. Make sure the contractor cleans both the indoor and outdoor heat transfer coils, and checks refrigerant gas by measuring "superheat" or "sub-cooling."
6. Consider replacing your old air conditioner or heat pump. Just like a car, central cooling equipment doesn't last forever. If your system is over 12 years old, and you are planning to stay in your home more than a few years, many authorities recommend replacing it before it fails permanently. A new system improves comfort, is more dependable and creates less air pollution. New units are up to twice as energy efficient, which saves money on your monthly electric bills.
However, recent research has fond that over 90 percent of newly installed high efficiency systems have energy wasting mistakes.
For more information, visit at www.comfortinstitute.org. Check out the free reports "Tips and Secrets to Buying a New Heating and Cooling System" and "How to Identify a Good Heating and Cooling Contractor."
Blood drive scheduled June 24
Whose life have you saved lately?
That's the question by United Blood Services as it calls for more donors.
"We need more heroes," says a spokesman for the community blood center for the Four Corners area.
The agency has scheduled a blood drive June 24 at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. Hours will be 1:30-6 p.m.
Identification is required for all donors who may sign up at www.unitedbloodservices.org.
Ranger district changes to summer hours
Effective Monday, June 14, Pagosa Ranger District office hours will be 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
In addition to information on recreational opportunities within the forest, the office provides a variety of services including the sale of permits for forest products.
Through the San Juan Mountains Association, the office carries a variety of Smokey Bear items, maps and books, including nature identification, trail guides and children's books.
The office is at 180 Pagosa St. Phone 264-2268.
GOP women plan U.S. 160 litter pickup
Archuleta County Republican women have scheduled litter pickup Saturday, June 12, on an assigned two-mile stretch of U.S. 160 West.
All volunteers are welcome and orange safety vests and bags will be furnished.
Participants should meet and park at the second Cat Creek Road exit (heading west, on left) at 8:30 a.m. All should bring gloves, water, sunscreen and sturdy shoes.
For more information call Mojie Adler at 731-4277.
Some special events for coming week
The Interpretive Alliance has programs planned in the area throughout June.
Take a bird watching walk with San Juan National Forest wildlife biologist Skip Fischer, 8 a.m. Friday, June 11. Skip is scouting out a good location for the walk, so call 264-2268 for directions to the meeting place.
Dress for the outdoors with comfortable walking shoes and bring binoculars and water. Sponsored by the San Juan National Forest.
As part of the Summer Reading program, children will enjoy a pioneers' dance and music program Friday, June 11, 10-11 a.m. at Sisson Library. Presented by Paul and Carla Roberts, the show is for children of all ages. For more information, call 264-2209.
Attend a free horse/mule packing clinic at Vallecito Lake 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 12. Sponsored by Four Corners Backcountry Horsemen and the San Juan Mountains Association. Call Kathe Hayes at 385-1310 to register.
Enjoy a Bird Watch at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 12, at Navajo State Park. You will see many summer birds that frequent the unique wetland environment. Binoculars and bird books provided. Meet at the Sambrito Wetland Trail. Dress appropriately. There is an entrance fee for the park and the program is free. For additional information, call 883-2208.
At 2 p.m. the same day at Navajo State Park, children of all ages will enjoy the Kid's Corner program about Food on the Fly. Learn about some Colorado birds and make your own natural bird feeder for your campsite or home. Meet at the Amphitheater. There is an entrance fee for the park and the program is free.
Take a wildflower hike at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 15, with Dick Moseley and enjoy the early summer wildflowers that occur along the Williams Creek Trail. Meet at the Teal Boat Ramp located at Williams Reservoir. Dress for the outdoors with comfortable walking shoes and bring water. Sponsored by San Juan Mountains Association and San Juan National Forest. Call 264-2268 for more information.
Come to the San Juan Historical Society Museum open house 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, to view the minerals collection recently donated to the museum by geologist, Glenn Raby. You will be surprised at the treasures within the old waterworks at 1st and Pagosa streets. The usual nominal entrance fee will be waived for this evening. Sponsored by the San Juan Historical Society. For information, contact the museum at 264-4424.
The mission of the Interpretive Alliance is to interpret the natural and cultural resources of Pagosa Springs and surrounding areas in an effort to enhance public interest and appreciation of those resources.
Current partners include the San Juan National Forest, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Parks (Navajo State Park), San Juan Historical Society, Sisson Library, Friends of Archuleta County History, Friends of Native Cultures, Southern Ute Indian Cultural Center, Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Pagosa Springs Town Historical Preservation Board, Pagosa Springs Arts Council, TARA, San Juan Mountains Association, and the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association.
If you are interested in participating in the Interpretive Alliance or if you have ideas or suggestions of programs you would like to see, please contact one of the partners. For additional information, contact Phyllis Decker at the Pagosa Ranger District office, 264-2268.
Community Patriotic Sing-along will open celebration June 29
As a prelude to the town's Fourth of July celebration, a Community Patriotic Sing-along will be held at the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 29.
Free flags provided by the Chamber of Commerce will be given to all who attend. Members of P.S. I Love Red Hats and of local youth organizations will help distribute the flags. The event is free, sponsored by the community center.
Local veterans will participate in the program, preschoolers will form a children's choir to sing one number and local talent will be featured.
Sing-along sheets will be provided to all as the audience joins in singing familiar patriotic music. Also featured will be a visiting youth choir that will sing several medleys of patriotic music.
Following the program, the audience will have time to visit friends and neighbors as they enjoy a potluck dessert. The Community Center will provide hot and cold beverages.
"We are hoping this will become an annual patriotic experience for our community," said Mercy Korsgren, center coordinator. For more information call 264-4152.
Be prepared for dental emergencies
You probably have a first aid kit in your home to handle your family's minor bumps and bruises. But are you prepared for a dental emergency?
According to Dr. Susan Calderbank, DMD, assistant professor at the Department of Oral Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, everyone should have an oral first aid kit in their home as well.
"Dental injuries and emergencies are common in children and adults," says Calderbank. "With just a few items from the drug store, you can put together an oral first aid kit in your home to better handle tooth or mouth injuries."
While the kit does not replace professional treatment, you can use it to treat minor mouth irritations and injuries as well as help alleviate or control major oral problems until you can get to a dentist or physician.
Calderbank recommends including the following items in your home oral first aid kit: dental mirror, dental floss, cotton balls, cotton swabs, sterile gauze, sealable plastic bag (to dispose of bloody gauze or swabs), toothbrush, tweezers, wash cloth, aspirin or aspirin substitute, an oral wound protectant, instant ice pack, bottled water, salt, paraffin or dental wax, medical exam gloves and an oxygenating oral cleanser.
Calderbank also offers these tips for handling common dental emergencies.
Toothache - Rinse mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any food trapped between the teeth, then rinse. If there's swelling, place an ice pack or cold compress on the outside of the cheek (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off). Do not use heat. An aspirin or aspirin substitute may be taken orally to relieve pain. Do not place aspirin directly on gum tissue as this may result in a burn. See your dentist as soon as possible.
Object wedged between teeth - Try to remove the object with dental floss, and then rinse vigorously with water to remove any remaining particles. Do not try to remove it with a sharp or pointed instrument. If you can't remove it, see a dentist.
Canker or mouth sore - Canker sores are small white wounds inside the mouth on the cheek, gums or tongue. They can be caused by cheek biting, burns from hot foods and irritation from braces or dentures. The bubbling action of an oxygenating cleanser removes food particles and other irritants from the sore - so you can eat and drink without the pain.
Knocked-out tooth - If possible, retrieve the tooth. If it is a baby tooth, place it in a container of milk, salt water or the patient's saliva. If these are unavailable, use water. If it is a permanent tooth, take care not to touch the root and carefully insert the tooth back in place. Go to the dentist immediately.
Broken tooth - Gently clean dirt or debris from injured area with an antiseptic oral cleanser. Place ice pack or cold compress on the face in the area of the injured tooth to minimize swelling. If the tooth has created a sharp edge, cover with paraffin (wax) to prevent lacerations to the gums or cheek. See a dentist immediately.
Bitten lip or tongue - Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area for 15 to 20 minutes using sterile gauze. Rinse with an oral cleanser to alleviate bleeding and clean the wound. If swelling is present, apply ice pack or cold compress. If bleeding continues, go to a hospital emergency room.
Orphanage benefit features living life off the grid dream
By Wendy Peters
Special to The PREVIEW
It's a common dream ... leaving the rat race behind and moving to a tropical island. Spending all day in a hammock. Picking fruit off the tree and maybe a little fishing at sunset. Ahh, the good life!
Well, Iala actually did it. She looked her trusting husband, Akal, in the eye and said: "All our dreams can come true now - we don't have to wait."
And he believed her!
PARaDIse 4 $Ale, Iala's one-woman "detour de tropical storm" is the result.
The show is an off-the-grid tale of an apartment-dwelling, office-working, city slicker touched by a vision and morphing overnight into a jungle jenny, earth mama, back-to-nature hippie queen.
Iala takes us through her journey. It is not necessarily chronological or for that matter linear logical, but still manages to touch on visions that just won't quit - a near death experience, and close encounters of the touching kind with wolves and eccentrics. All the while she tumbles mightily from the mountain of "I know it all" to the valley of "I haven't got a clue."
Her whimsical word weaving, skillful storytelling and vibrant energy - along with her hilarious recognition of her own shortcomings - keeps us willing hostages on the edges of our seats.
PARaDIse 4 $Ale is an army ant, coral snake, tin roof pounding torrent of delightful tropical overkill that leaves one happy with one's quiet, quotidian life and grateful for one's piece of the American dream.
Hurray for cell phones, satellite TV, air conditioning and RAID!
After hearing Iala's story, life off-the-grid sounds way off the wall and a bit too one-with-nature for any sane, logical progression-of-thought modern technofile like me.
Enjoy the trip, living vicariously through 90 deliciously manic, highly charged, "I know it all and even if you don't ask I'll tell you" minutes with Miss Iala.
PARaDIse 4 $Ale is written and performed by Iala and can be seen 8 p.m. Saturday, July 10, in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse at 230-A Port Avenue.
Tickets are $11. For reservations call 731-5955.
Performances benefit Casa de Milagros, an orphanage in Peru. See their new Web site at www.chandlersky.org.
Paintball tournament a blast
By Karen Carpenter
Special to The PREVIEW
Our first paintball tournament was a blast at the Paintball Palace Friday night. The competitive adrenaline was flowing but the teamwork was awesome and the sportsmanship a joy to watch.
We had pizza and refreshments. Free passes to The Springs were donated to the winning top guns. Thanks to everyone who made this such a success.
Now, the Teen Center rocks with good sound.
A wonderful donation was received last week from Mike Ferrell, a very nice stereo system for the game room. Teen magazines were donated by Bonnie Thatcher. Prizes for contests have been donated by the Sports Emporium, The Springs and Juan's Mountain Sports. Thank you so much, donors.
Many logo entries have been turned in. Pagosa has some great talent coming up in the ranks.
Picking a winner is a difficult challenge because everyone has tried hard and done a wonderful job. Unfortunately we can only choose one. We will let you know next week.
You will be seeing this logo real soon.
Our three-man pool tournament went very well. More are planned for the future.
Nintendo's "007" has been keeping many of the teens busy here at the Teen Center. This has been a great addition to our activities. Competitions will be held in the near future.
This Friday, June 11, will be movie night and dinner.
The movie "Timeline" will be shown. This is a thrill-packed movie about a group of present-day archaeology students who travel back to the violent Middle Ages to rescue their professor. It is rated PG-13. Hot dogs and fruit will be served.
Beginning June 18 we will be having "open mic" Friday nights. Participants can practice their skills at comedy, Karaoke, magic, or music. Just come on down and give it a try. No pressure, and if you need help or encouragement it will be there for you. We all have to start somewhere.
Anyone interested in helping provide snack foods to the Teen Center is encouraged to contact me. The Teen Center is in the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard and is open weekdays 1-8 p.m.
Phone is 264-4152.
Old West Picnic and Party
An Old West Picnic and Party will be staged 5-8 p.m. Saturday, June 12, next to Pagosa Springs Town Hall and adjacent to the wetlands.
Cost is $10 for adults, $6 for children 12 and under. Tickets are on sale at Moonlight Books and WolfTracks or by calling 264-7779.
Featured will be:
- a beef barbecue dinner with all the trimmings by Chef Matt (or vegetarian option)
- beer or wine
- lively bluegrass music by Randall, Rico, Lincoln and Clay
- guided tours of the wetlands and town conservation easements
- pie and cake auction.
The event is cosponsored by Town of Pagosa Springs and The Springs Resort, and hosted by Southwest Land Alliance.
Proceeds will go toward protecting family ranching, wildlife habitat and wide open spaces.
Start training, get your pet in shape for Pet Pride Day
By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
Time to start training for the Canine 9K Race to be held as part of Pet Pride Day festivities. You have exactly two weeks and a day to get ready, so get yourself and your dog out there.
You don't run? No problem.
This is a race for runners and walkers. In addition, there is 2.5K Fun Run for youngsters and their pets. Everyone gets a T-shirt and winners in all classes get ribbons.
The date is Saturday, June 26, the place is Town Park. Registration begins 7:45 a.m. and you can pick up registration forms in advance at the Humane Society Thrift Store or the shelter; $15 for adults and $10 for kids.
The race begins at 8 a.m. sharp. Runners and walkers will follow Hot Springs Boulevard out Light Plant Road to the turnaround and back to Town Park. Water for both humans and canines will be provided along the route.
You don't have a dog? Not a problem; humans can run by themselves.
Pet Pride Day is a day designed by the Humane Society for pets and the folks who love them and especially the kids. So bring your pets. Dogs, of course, will be the most common participant but let's think of others as well. The only caveat is that your pet be OK with lots of other pets and people, and you are the best judge of that. You would not want your pet to be unhappy.
Perhaps your cat enjoys an outing. Does your goat draw a cart? Would your alpaca enjoy the day? How would your pet snake do? And what about your miniature horse?
Once you decide that your pet will have a good time, come along and join the Paws Parade in the park. Prizes will be awarded to Best Costume, Owner Pet Look-Alike, and Celebrity Look-Alike. Fifty cents to register and the applications forms are available at the Humane Society Thrift Store and the Shelter.
We also invite vendors of pet products and services to participate. Booth space is available for $10. Contact Annette Foor at the Humane Society Administration Office, 264-5549.
Blessing of the Animals, pet inoculations, microchipping, demonstrations of various kinds, dogs, llamas, a Canine Good Citizenship Evaluation, a presentation about wolves, a breed showcase, contests for every imaginable type of pet and, of course, food throughout the day.
Should you want to volunteer your time and effort toward making this a fun day, call 264-5232.
'Dealing Hope With Heart' is Relay For Life theme
By Doug Trowbridge
Special to The PREVIEW
"Dealing Hope with Heart!"
That's the theme for this year's American Cancer Society Relay For Life and hope is what it's all about.
Pagosa Springs will celebrate its sixth annual Relay For Life Friday, June 11, and Saturday, June 12, in Town Park.
More than 300 people on 25 teams will be walking in this year's event. Some walk in memory of a friend or family member who lost their battle with cancer, some in honor of those who have survived, and many will walk because they are in the midst of their own battle.
Whatever their reason for walking, each participant hopes for a cure in their lifetime. We would like to invite everyone to come out to Town Park Friday evening and experience the hope of Relay For Life.
The fun gets underway at 6 p.m. with a parade featuring our local Road To Recovery heroes led by one of the Pagosa Fire Protection District's engines. The Road To Recovery drivers are local citizens who donate their time to transport cancer patients to and from the cancer center in Durango for treatment and they deserve far more recognition than this little parade provides, but in true hero fashion, they don't volunteer their time for the glory.
If you can come out and show your appreciation to these gallant volunteers, we would love to show them how much they are appreciated. If you would like to offer your time to help as a Road To Recovery driver you can contract Gerda Whitkamp at 731-3996.
The evening continues as Pagosa resident, Tom Thorpe, speaks about his personal battle and triumph over cancer followed by a ceremony honoring all cancer survivors and their caretakers.
Last year, nearly 50 cancer survivors took part in the Relay For Life in Archuleta County. We expect that number to continue increasing as treatments for cancer improve and as survivors become more comfortable in acknowledging their illness.
Often, a survivor's first public declaration takes place at Relay For Life because of the overwhelming support of other survivors. You can add your support by joining us in Town Park to honor these brave people who have been through so much and to cheer them on as we get Relay For Life started with the Survivor's Lap.
As the survivors finish their lap, members from the 25 teams will begin their walk that will continue until 6 a.m. the following morning. Relay For Life takes place overnight to signify that cancer doesn't sleep and those who battle the disease never get a night off.
At least one member from each team will be walking a circuit around Town Park until the end of Relay, but that doesn't mean that we don't have fun. You can take a few minutes to check out the local talents at the Relay For Life Silent Auction Chair Event. Donated chairs and benches of all types have been given new life through the talents of local artists and await a new home. Throughout the night, participants will play games, listen to music and enjoy each others' company.
Of course, all that walking builds up a mighty thirst and appetite. Local restaurants and our local grocery store have come to our rescue with donations of pizza, sandwiches, cake, fruits and drinks to keep our walkers going. At midnight, the San Juan Outdoor Club offers walkers grilled bratwursts and in the morning, the Rotary Club cooks up a breakfast to warm the hearts of those early-hour participants.
As the sun starts peeking over the San Juan Mountains, we close our Relay with a victory lap. We ask every Relay participant to join together for one last lap as a show of strength. Following the victory lap, we start handing out prizes to teams and individuals who have raised the most money or shown the most spirit.
In 2003, the Relay For Life in Archuleta County raised $70,000, of which over 60 percent stayed right here in the county for services to cancer patients and their families.
Hope is the theme for this year's Relay For Life and we hope that you will consider joining our effort to find a cure for cancer.
For more information on Relay For Life, please contact Morna Trowbridge at 731-4718.
Tips for keeping your campfire from becoming wild fire
By Chuck McGuire
In the last week, firefighters have found half a dozen abandoned campfires on public lands in southwest Colorado.
Two of the abandoned campfires escaped and became small brush fires. Fire danger does range from moderate to very high. With the high winds the area has been experiencing, the potential for fire starts and a dangerous wildfire is high.
"Campers should always be sure their campfires are completely out before leaving their campsite," said Allen Farnsworth, fire mitigation and prevention specialist for the San Juan Public Lands Center, "but it's especially important right now with higher temperatures, high winds, and grasses that are starting to dry out."
Before building a campfire on forest lands, campers should ask themselves if they really need a fire or whether it is too windy or dry to safely have a campfire.
If campers must have a fire they should consider the following when building their fire:
- clear a campfire site down to bare soil
- build a fire ring out of rocks and keep your fire small
- build the fire away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, and dry grass
- never leave a campfire unattended. It's important to put it out even at night when you go to bed
- keep a bucket of water and a shovel near the campfire
- when putting a campfire out, drown it with water. Stir the fire with water and dirt until all the fuel is cold to the touch. Never leave a fire until it is out cold.
"Without moisture, the fire danger will continue to increase over the next several weeks as the plentiful grasses from the spring begin to dry out," said Farnsworth.
Public land managers review various criteria every week to decide if it is time to put on fire restrictions. At this time, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management anticipate putting restrictions on in another two to three weeks if the area does not receive any moisture. This could come sooner if the number of human-caused fire starts increases.
Unattended campfires should be reported to Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch at (970) 385-1324.
Open burning of any kind is banned on non-forest lands in Archuleta County.
Special rules govern fishing in Pagosa Country
By Tom Carosello
Vanishing snowpack across the San Juan Mountains presents Pagosa Country anglers a bittersweet scenario.
The bad news - the odds are stacked against the likelihood southwest Colorado will see significant relief from lingering drought this summer. On the flip side, subsiding streamflows mean the onset of prime fishing conditions is just days away.
Water temperatures are rising and, as area rivers and streams settle down and clarity improves, many anglers are gearing up and plotting strategies for another season on the water.
However, while it's advantageous to know what works best when and where for certain fish species, it's just as important to know - from a legal standpoint - if special considerations are in order on particular bodies of water.
Though the state's "standard" regulations apply to many of the region's streams, rivers and lakes, some area fisheries fall under what the Colorado Division of Wildlife deems "special conditions and restrictions."
The following is a breakdown of some popular Pagosa fisheries and their corresponding special restrictions/regulations:
- San Juan River - From junction of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 through downtown Pagosa Springs south to Apache St., daily bag limit for trout is two fish
- Piedra River - fishing is restricted to the use of artificial flies and lures only; daily bag limit and possession limit for trout is two fish
- East Fork of the Piedra River - fishing is restricted to the use of artificial flies and lures only; all cutthroat trout must be released immediately
- Navajo River - from headwaters downstream to Bridal Veil Falls, fishing is restricted to the use of artificial flies and lures only, all cutthroat trout must be released immediately
- Echo Canyon Reservoir - all bass between 12-15 inches must be released immediately; daily bag for yellow perch is unlimited, statewide limits apply to all other species
In addition, as required statewide, anglers who wish to use a second rod when testing area waters must purchase a "second rod stamp," sign it and affix it to a valid fishing license.
Finally, anglers are reminded that violating state fishing laws is costly on several levels; blatant and/or inadvertent disregard for regulations jeopardizes not only fish, but fishing opportunities as well.
In summary, DOW regulation violations carry specific point values, and anyone who accumulates 20 or more points in five years may have license privileges suspended for up to five years.
For complete information on fishing in Pagosa Country and southwest Colorado, including legal methods of take, resident and nonresident license options and an alphabetical listing of fisheries, consult the 2004 issue of the Division of Wildlife fishing regulations and property directory.
Copies of the brochure are available at most local sporting goods stores and the regulations can also be found on the Web at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Brochures/.
Wildflower walks reveal a world of unknown habitat
Spend a morning following Dick Moseley and you may find a shepherd's purse, fairy candelabra, or false Solomon's seal.
For several years Moseley has volunteered to lead a series of wildflower walks within the San Juan National Forest and he has gained quite a following. Each walk is within a different habitat as spring climbs up the mountain.
Dates and locations for future walks are: June 15, Teal Boat Ramp and Williams Creek Trail; July 6, Teal Boat Ramp and Cimarrona Trail; July 13, Teal Boat Ramp and Poison Park Trailhead; Aug. 3, Wolf Creek Road; and Aug. 10, Wolf Creek Pass and Continental Divide Trail.
All walks start at 9 a.m. and last two to three hours.
Bring water, hat, sunscreen, repellant, a jacket and wear appropriate shoes. Moseley provides a plant list for each area. The program is sponsored by the San Juan Mountains Association and San Juan National Forest.
Moseley worked in natural resources for 32 years, including 21 years as the head of the nature preserve and heritage programs for the state of Ohio.
Since his retirement, he volunteers in many different roles for the San Juan National Forest, San Juan Mountains Association and Chimney Rock Interpretive Association. Moseley currently teaches a week-long course on alpine and subalpine plants for the Colorado Trail Foundation.
These and other free events that pertain to the natural and cultural history of the area are listed on the Interpretive Alliance calendars posted throughout town and in Kate's Calendar in The PREVIEW.
They are also found on the Web at www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan/education.Scroll down to "Pagosa Springs Interpretive Alliance."
For more information, contact Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.
Montrose area horse put down; West Nile Virus confirmed
A horse in the vicinity of Montrose has been diagnosed with West Nile Virus, the first sign of the disease on Colorado's West Slope.
The 2-year-old quarter horse was not vaccinated and began showing clinical signs of the disease May 30. The horse was later euthanized.
"I can't emphasize enough how important it is for horse owners to talk with their veterinarian about the West Nile vaccine," said State Veterinarian Wayne Cunningham.
Cunningham said the vaccine is administered initially in a two-shot regimen, the second following the first by three to six weeks. Previously vaccinated horses should have a booster shot this year for best protection.
Statistics show that of the unvaccinated horses exhibiting clinical signs from the infection, one in three will most likely die.
"Controlling mosquito populations and vaccination are still the most effective tools in preventing West Nile Virus. We urge owners to contact their veterinarian and follow his or her advice about steps that can betaken to avoid this disease."
West Nile Virus can cause an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and was first discovered in the United States in September of 1999 in a dead bird. Mosquitoes transmit the disease and infected horses may display symptoms including head tilt, muscle tremors, stumbling, lack of coordination, weakness of the limbs or partial paralysis.
The Department's Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory can test equine serum for West Nile Virus. The fee is $5.75 per sample with results within 48 hours. Samples must be sent to CDA-RMRAHL, 2331 W. 31st Ave., Denver, CO, 80211.
For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the Internet at www.ag.state.co.us or the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/oa/wnv/index.html.
Handgun safety course offered for women only
Each year there are more and more violent assaults on women in the United States.
While Pagosa Springs is considered a low risk location, there is always the possibility of a sex offender taking advantage of women in our county. In Archuleta County there are 19 subjects who have a history involving sexual assault.
The sheriff's department is sponsoring a special class on the evening of June 18 and the morning of June 19, for women only.
The class will teach the safety of handguns, how to pick a handgun that is right for you, concealed handgun carry, and last, but not least, pistol marksmanship.
A second course - for both men and women - will be taught June 25 and 26.
There is a fee for the class. Call Curtis Roderick with any questions or to sign up for either class.
Roderick can be reached at the sheriff's department almost any week day at 264-2131, Ext. 1017.
'Herps' workshop slated June 11; DOW launches new interactive website
After nearly three years of planning and research, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) species conservation section will launch an interactive, online atlas featuring scientific and historical data, computer sound files, and digital photos of the state's frogs, toads, salamanders, lizards, turtles, and snakes.
Visitors to the new Web-based Colorado Herpetofaunal Atlas will be able to learn more about some of Colorado's least-known native species and practice citizen science by submitting information whenever they spot "herps" in their backyard or the backcountry. The goal for DOW biologists is to gather enough data from students, researchers and casual observers to determine whether the decline of some species is cause for alarm or part of a natural fluctuation pattern.
"Reptiles and amphibians are not studied or understood as well as the other species out there. Additional information will help us understand what's happening with these populations," said Tina Jungwirth, the DOW's aquatic herptile coordinator, who specializes in amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, crustaceans and the little fishes of the Eastern Plains. "If the public understands how important these species are they'll be more inclined to help us protect them. The public is a great resource for us."
When it went live on June 7, the atlas included 25,000 pieces of historical data on herpetofaunal species dating back to the late 1800s. Jungwirth and high-tech contractors who helped the DOW design the Web site tapped into a litany of resources to set up the database, including scientific surveys, historical journals, and museum specimens.
The site offers observers maps indicating where herpetofaunal species have been sighted in Colorado. Once they have registered as herpetofaunal observers, atlas users will be able to record their own sightings and observations from any location in the state simply by logging onto the DOW Web site. They will also be able to access digital photos and listen to different species via digital audio WAVE files.
Brenda Beatty, a senior ecologist with CDM, the environmental and technical consulting firm that helped the DOW design its interactive atlas, said public participation will be a critical component of the project.
"All contributions are considered important to the understanding of the occurrence, distribution and abundance of reptiles and amphibians in Colorado," Beatty said.
Through the new atlas, visitors will enter the little-known world of several species, including the boreal toad, which lives at elevations of 8,000 feet or higher in the Colorado high country. Scientists already know some of the factors working against boreal toads, which emerge in late April and early May. For one, the toads offspring must develop rather quickly, transforming from egg to toad before ponds freeze over in late September. Also affecting the toads is a damaging skin fungus called chytrid.
The boreal toad is listed as endangered in Colorado and is a candidate for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. By accumulating long-term data on sightings, biologists hope to more accurately assess where the toads live and what sorts of factors are contributing to their downfall.
Atlas users will be encouraged to ask questions, too. Jungwirth, who studied environmental biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will answer questions through a Web-based feature called "Ask a Herpetologist." While she is an excellent fit for her new job, Jungwirth credited retired DOW Aquatic Herptile Coordinator Chuck Loeffler with the atlas' conception.
To raise public awareness about the atlas and database, Jungwirth and others will travel around the state for a series of field sessions through June 15 to teach Colorado residents how to search for such species, identify them, and gather pertinent data. Biologists hope to receive sightings from all corners of the state to add to the database and maps.
Leading the field sessions will be Geoffrey Hammerson, who is the author of the field guide Reptiles and Amphibians in Colorado and a research zoologist with the nonprofit conservation group NatureServe.
Anyone who wishes to register for the herpetofaunal atlas field training sessions should send their name and contact information to Rawlinsonrc@cdm.com or call (720) 264-1145.
A herpetofaunal workshops will be held June 11 on the Western Slope near Grand Junction, at the Colorado National Monument. Meeting site and .more specific information will be made available to participants before the sessions.
Visitors to the Colorado Herpetofaunal Atlas will be able to log onto the new Web site Monday at www.ndis.nrel.colostate.edu/herpatlas/coherpatlas."
Naturalist hikes set on Fridays
The San Juan Mountains Association is offering free, guided naturalist hikes at Durango Mountain Resort.
The hikes will take place 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays, June 18 through Sept. 3.
For more information call Nicole at 385-1210.
Summer solstice at Chimney Rock
The summer solstice marks the day of the year when there are equal amounts of darkness and daylight hours. The public is invited the morning of Saturday June 19 to a Summer Solstice Program.
Glenn Raby, Chimney Rock Site Manager for the Forest Service, will be the speaker. Gates open at 4:50 a.m. and close at 5 a.m. The program begins at 5:15 with sunrise at 5:48.
Tickets are $10 per person and reservations are required. Please call the Visitor's Cabin for reservations at 883-5359.
Honor the flag
I note that June 14 is designated as Flag Day. Sometimes I wonder if people know what the flag is or what it stands for.
As I travel throughout this area I see many instances of disrespect and otherwise mistreatment by some not giving it the respect it deserves. After all, it is the symbol of this great nation which gives them their freedom.
It is, however, my belief that lack of knowledge is responsible for mistreatment of Old Glory. Rules for the placement and treatment of the flag are contained in The Flag Code Title 36, U.S.C., Chapter 10 as amended by P.L. 344, 94th Congress and approved July 7, 1976. Only the president has the right to change this code and must do it by proclamation. The rules I see usually not followed are:
The flag is always given the superior position or on the right. The problem comes in understanding where the superior, right is. As you carry the flag it is on your right, or out in front, but when you look at it, it is on your left. Examples of this are at the entrance to a building. If you are entering the building or looking at it, it's on your left but as you leave the building its on your right. When displayed in a window, on a wall or on a uniform etc., the Union, blue, is always up and to the flag's right. The same rule goes for an entrance to an area, campground or on a truck or float in a parade. It should never be used as bunting, displayed flat on a table or vehicle. No other flag should be displayed above. An exception is the Navy Chaplain's flag when on a ship during services. When flags become dirty, worn or torn they should be retired, usually by burning discretely.
Since the Fourth of July is not too far off, remember when Old Glory passes with it's color guard, stand, place your hand over your heart, or remove your hat and place it over your heart, or salute if you are in uniform.
This year let's show the kids how to respect our flag as it passes, waving freely in the breeze, proud of what it stands for.
Wolf Creek defense
I have many friends who own property in the Pagosa/Wolf Creek area and as a frequent visitor, I am very disturbed at the "backlash" toward additional development at Wolf Creek.
As any economics course will teach, growth is good ... good for salaries, business, property values, real estate, etc. More people mean more business. When the tide comes up, all boats rise. See the quality of life and life-styles at other major ski areas in Colorado and it is apparent that expansion at Wolf Creek is a benefit and is needed. Whether they admit it or not, most people hate change (although the only constant is change) and the environmentalists feed on this trait.
I fail to see what referencing "Texas" developers in the "Friends of Wolf Creek" literature has to do with anything. (Obviously, the environmentalists want to play on the Texas issue). Distribute too many of the negative flyers and those Texans may boycott Pagosa/Wolf Creek ... numerous other areas court their money and vacations.
It is obvious the "Friends" have little knowledge about business, rights or economics ... or as a business owner, they would be in full support. Perhaps this might be the enviros' objective?
As an engineer, frightening the people about water and sewage is inappropriate. New technologies make this a moot point.
The naysayers only want to be the last ones "in" and pull up the drawbridge so no one else can develop in this area ... I would remind them of our U.S. rights to freedom, etc. Forest Service lands (public lands) belong to the people of the U.S. ... not just a handful of people in southern Colorado. This country was founded on property rights.
I hope the facts get presented, not just scare tactics.
Thanks again, Archuleta County. This gratitude is for long-past contributions for a project that has just been realized at the World War II Memorial dedication on May 29.
For a year starting in May, 2000, my wife, Glenda, and I were privileged to serve as the coordinators for the county's fund-raising drive to build this memorial. The generosity of 62 donors contributing $7,915 surpassed the remotely-established goal. Ultimately, $195 million was raised nationally from more than 600,000 donors.
We were fortunate to join John and Carolyn Walker, Charlie Young and daughter, Debbie Mackey, and Bert Hyde at the May 27-30 Washington, D.C. celebration. Glenda and I were delighted with the beauty and warm grandeur of the memorial. To an even greater extent the respectful response of gratitude by the public toward all veterans was very pleasing. The sense of camaraderie among the WW II generation present was overwhelming.
The addition of the World War II Memorial to the National Mall has completed the representation of the most important events of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries in beautiful fashion. I urge you to experience the emotional impact generated by a personal visit to the newest of Washington's significant memorials.
I would like to respond to a propaganda piece you ran by Jerry Curtis about the Blanco River "restoration" in your May 27 paper.
Unlike the San Juan River through town which was altered from its natural course to accommodate the formation of Pagosa Springs, the Blanco is a natural, undisturbed stream bed.
By bulldozing and altering the stream bed proponents of the river work are favoring a man-made, artificial river bed over a perfectly natural one. They use the water diversion upstream as a ruse to justify their "man is better than nature" mentality.
By digging and disturbing the river throughout the month of May, they have shown a total disregard for the resulting disturbance to spawning fish, fledgling ducks, geese and aquatic insect eating birds like dippers. It shows their total ignorance and lack of respect for all things natural.
Many of the problems (water clarity and temperature) Curtis outlines in his article are the result of the actions of landowners along the river - the same people pushing for the restoration. They overgraze small acreage with too many animals, turning once lush landscapes into bare dirt. When it rains, the runoff pollutes the river. They divert the river onto their land, creating ponds which warm and muddy the water before returning it to the river. They plant crops, fertilize them and pump precious water out of the river. And then they complain about the state of the river.
Their solution? Bring in heavy equipment and receive tax money to tear it apart and rebuild it. Go figure.
All your readers should be asking why hundreds of thousands (soon to be millions) of their tax dollars are being used to fund this project which is taking place on private land they have no access to. Even our cash-strapped county commissioners are helping fund this project. Since the public is funding this project, why isn't it being done on public property?
They could have gone upstream from where they started and all the land along the river accessed by the Blanco River Road is National Forest. Better yet, leave the river alone.
'Leap of faith'
Ken Fox, county airport manager, along with Bill Steele, Archuleta County administrator, have managed to maneuver the local taxpayers into a continual chronic squandering of their assets and cash without any approval or giving consideration to its owners' vision, before committing them to a $2.5 million airport loan at 4 percent interest for 10 years.
This taxpayer feels it's due time to offer some 18- karat hometown support to the county airport manager's additional desires to acquire a runway snow blower which The SUN reported in its cover story of May 27.
So, I'd like to bequeath the trusty Honda, 8 H.P. track drive snow blower that I've used on my lengthy driveway from the past 12 winters. It will expeditiously rip through three feet of white stuff like melted butter without a hiccup and zero damage to the roadway.
I slightly modified this machine with a 1,000-watt halogen light that not only illuminates my 1,400 foot driveway, but the entire Front Range in the process - kinda neat for those late hour jobs. Does anyone happen to know what the current length of our beefed-up FAA runway might be?
I'd like to enumerate that Fox and Steele can be assured that my snowblower offer, along with future reliability guarantees, come as a "leap of faith" and some itsy-bitsy personal contact with the "airport fairy." Which should be comforting and will ultimately prove successful and highly cost efficient.
Should the remaining "Two Amigos" in the county commissioners' office accept my generous proposition, in remembrance, I'd like to see a large plaque erected at the airport entrance that states: "Ken Fox, Bill Steele and county commissioners Ecker and Downey have used a snow blower here night and day, due to their rampant overuse of the Archuleta County taxpayers' American Express card."
Editor's note: Comments made during the May 18 commissioners' work session concerning the alleged need of new plow equipment at the airport were made by Dick McKee, county public works director. The comments concerned his discussions with the airport manager. Mr. Steele was not noted as a participant in those discussions and decisions.
Amateur hour produced some big voices
By Laura Bedard
Our seniors have demonstrated many talents at many different times, so we decided an Amateur Half Hour was in order, to fully showcase all the talented souls here.
The Seeds of Learning kids sang, as well as Bruce Muirhead and Carlo Carrannante. Feel free to bring in your own music or instrument and belt out a tune. We start at 11:30 the second Tuesday of every month, so come in and show us your stuff.
Old George reminisces
"Do you remember well water? If you have lived in a home with hot and cold running water, you know all you have to do is turn on a faucet to get hot water for washing dishes or some cold water for a drink.
"Times were different when I was a boy. I can remember very well when water was piped into our house for the first time. What a marvel that was! Previous to that time we had a well with a pump about ten steps from the kitchen door. Anyone who needed water could get it very easily and quickly from that pump. In the kitchen there was a place for two buckets of water which the boys in our family had to keep filled all the time. It was used for washing dishes and clothes and was heated on the old cook stove.
"I remember some homes had a pump inside, next to the kitchen sink. It was a small pump but the water could be pumped without having to go outside to get it.
"Farmers had to use windmills to pump water for their livestock. In the days when I was a boy the landscape was dotted with windmills. The windmill was attached to a pump in the well beneath the structure. The water buckets were never drained completely. You always left some water in the bucket that you used to prime the pump with the next time you needed water. Each time you used the pump you had to pour a little water in the top of the pump so that it would begin to pull up the water. Do you remember those days?"
Odds and ends
Our senior board meeting will be 1 p.m. June 11 in the dining room of the senior center. All seniors who wish to attend are welcome.
Also on June 11, Patty Tillerson will be here to check your blood pressure 11 a.m.-noon. It's important to know your numbers; get your blood pressure checked.
Bev Brown will be doing chair massages this week. She does something different every week so you can experience different massages. She will also have handouts on the importance of drinking water. Come sign up for a massage from 11 a.m.-1p.m.
Don't forget our monthly trip to Sky Ute Casino June 15. We leave the center at 1 p.m. Sign up in the dining room and try your luck in Ignacio.
Wednesday, June 16, is the day to come and get the latest scoop on aids for the visually impaired. Mary Kay Taylor will be here from the Southwest Center for Independence at 1 p.m. to show off everything she has for the visually impaired. Mary Kay has a lot of enthusiasm and her sidekick, Inez, is a sweetheart, so come and check out their information.
It's also time for Picnic in the Park. We do this once a month through the summer, and we'll be in Town Park June 18. We will be serving oven fried chicken and lots of fixings at noon. People sometimes like to bring lawn toys, bubbles, their sun hats and their appetites.
Friday, June 11 - Qi Gong, 10:30 a.m.; MicroSoft Word, 10:30; blood pressure check, 11; senior board meeting, 1 p.m.
Monday, June 14 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; bridge for fun, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, June 15 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; advanced computer, 10:30; massage, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, June 16 - Beginning computer, 10:30 a.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.; visual aid demonstration by Mary Kay Taylor, 1 p.m.
Friday, June 18 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; MicroSoft Word, 10:30; Picnic in the Park, noon
Friday, June 11 - Swiss steak, mashed potatoes/onion gravy, Brussels sprouts, whole wheat bread, strawberries with topping
Monday, June 14 - Roast turkey, stuffing, yams/apple, green beans/mushrooms, and citrus cup
Tuesday, June 15 - Pork chop/apple, seasoned broccoli, whole wheat bread, and fruit cup
Wednesday, June 16 - Salmon patty, lemon wedge, mixed vegetables, noodles, Waldorf salad, and orange sherbet
Friday, June 18 - Oven fried chicken, corn on the cob, broccoli salad, roll and cantaloupe
Power outage prompts concerns and questions
By Lenore Bright
We had a power outage last week that got me to thinking how completely dependent I am on electricity. My world runs on the power grid.
It was early morning and still dark. Couldn't shower, no hot water. Couldn't use the computer to write this article, and send it over the Internet to Karl. Couldn't make coffee; couldn't see to read a book. So much to do - no way to do it. Hmmm was it a plot?
We have a false sense of security here in our part of the world. We forget that "terrorism" has many faces. Last week, a disgruntled person in Granby, Colorado mowed down a large part of the town with a homemade tank.
Any number of natural disasters including fires and floods can strike us at any time. Our limited water supply is always at risk.
The county emergency preparedness officer, Russell Crowley, keeps us informed about specific problems. We expect another dangerous fire season and will have timely information at the library provided by the Forest Service and Mr. Crowley.
Come by and pick up a copy of a practical guide to help prepare for all types of terrorism. The pamphlet is provided by the Department of Local Government.
As the pamphlet says, "We can take control of our fate by taking some of the same actions we take to prepare for any type of disaster or emergency." Does your family have a disaster plan? Do you have a box with basic supplies for a 72-hour period: water, nonperishable foods, flashlight, battery-operated radio, extra batteries, blankets and a first aid kit? Do you know the emergency procedures at your child's school? Do you know your neighbors and their needs?
If you had less than three minutes to get out of your house, what would you take? And don't forget the pets. Do you have carriers for them?
There is a wealth of information about preparedness on the Internet. Come by and pick up a copy of this brochure with the Web sites.
I wonder when, or if, we will stop being gullible and stop falling for the many fad diets on the market.
I hate wasting library budget money buying these books that give false hope to those of us too lazy to change our eating habits and lifestyle. (I know what I am supposed to do, but I prefer to think that there is some quick fix that will take care of the problem without my having to change all my bad habits.)
The latest low-carbohydrate diets are becoming a major concern according to this issue of Good Medicine. There is potential high risk to a low carb diet. There is even a Web site to address the concerns. Kidney damage, gall bladder problems and calcium loss are among the growing list of maladies.
Check out a copy of Good Medicine or one of the healthy books on good nutrition and proper weight control.
Someone ought to write a book on all of the fad diets we've fallen for, and the amount of money we've spent on false hopes and promises.
One out of every four households provides unpaid care to someone over the age of 50. They provide, on average, 18 hours of care weekly, some for a period of five years.
This "free" care however is not without cost; many feel isolated, stressed by balancing work, family, and care giving, and perhaps are even depressed.
The actual value of family care giving to society has been estimated to be $257 billion annually. By 2007, the number of households providing care will increase to 39 million.
The national Alliance for Caregiving has produced a brochure to help individuals who have assumed the role of caregiver. It is a starting point in the pursuit of valuable resources to help with this life transition. There are addresses and phone numbers of organizations that can help with these issues.
We were sorry to learn that Mesa State College is ceasing publication of its Journal of the Western slope.
It has been a depository for western Colorado history for the past 17 years. Time and money once again are in short supply and this shortage brought about the end of this interesting journal.
The final content includes "Sheep Shearing in Western Colorado."
Sheep appeared in western Colorado during the 1800s. The earliest herds were on their way to California and Oregon. The wars between cattlemen and sheepmen are legend. Competition for grazable land caused more hatred between the two groups than any other issue.
Because many of the herders were Mexicans or Basques, the conflicts were often shaded with racism. The annual shearing brought many other nationalities to Colorado.
The journal is located in the library's Hershey Collection and may be checked out.
The latest issue of The Colorado Business Review highlights the state's high-technology industries.
In the past two years Colorado has suffered through its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. It has been particularly hard on the high-tech sector.
We have one of the best-educated work forces in the nation. Massachusetts, California and Colorado are in the best position to take advantage of the knowledge-based economy that is beginning a rebound.
This issue of the Colorado Business Review covers a number of articles on our international business opportunities and prominent state think tanks. Copies of the review are available.
Our building fund got wonderful help from Sheila and Bealer Rogers Jr., David and Charlotte Overly, Carol Ann and James White, Carl and Gloria Macht, and from Patty Sterling in memory of Paul Cronkhite.
Materials came from Patty Sterling, Bob Henley, Ron Tinsley, Jim Pippen and Nancy Kuhlman.
Physical help came from our great volunteers who came to help read the shelves in preparation for the big move once we start construction.
Pioneers and covered wagons in library program
Pioneers and Covered Wagons week at Ruby Sisson Library might have kids joining in with the music.
A presentation of authentic pioneer music and dance featuring Paul and Carla Roberts will offer everyone an opportunity to participate through song and dance.
The 10 a.m. program Friday, June 11, will feature bouncy banjo tunes and folk songs and 9-year-old performer Alyssa Lee performing pioneer dances and telling a story about a real pioneer, her great-grandfather.
Seven-year-old Johannah Laverty will be in the program singing "Boil Them Cabbage Down" and will play her mandolin.
The Roberts have a rare ability to reach and motivate children though music and dance. They have created a meaningful career in the educational system with school concerts and performance residencies which have reached close to a million children during the past 20 years.
Then, at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 15, come to the library to enjoy songs around the campfire at 10 a.m. with Allison and Benellen Laverty as song leaders.
Following this, school age children can learn string games with librarian Peggy Bergon and Barb Draper will lead preschoolers in activities about bears.
All participants (it's not too late to sign up) are reminded to sign up for Reader of the Week at each visit to the library and to pick up fun activity sheets and contest forms each week.
Coming soon: More summer reading news and information about a visit from a local pony.
A lamppost for Brutus; two are still available
By Sally Hamiester
We're still taking adoptions for the lamppost project and just this morning received a request for a boy lamppost named Brutus. Since this came from the good folks at The Spa, we know that this is in memoriam of the wonderful dog that once protected the property.
Brutus, as I recall, occasionally escaped and wandered off to visit friends and relatives elsewhere. What a great idea, however, to name the lamppost after someone who might deserve a tribute. We still have a couple left to claim, so contact us today if you are interested.
The adoption process is the simplest one ever conceived and basically requires only a check for $225 to get the ball rolling. This price includes the flag, the brackets and the end ball, and each flag will boast a colorful Potentilla design.
You need to fill out an adoption form claiming the gender of your lamp post and naming same. Your name and the lamppost's name will appear on a plaque which will be prominently placed in the Visitor Center, and you will receive our undying gratitude.
We ask that you "parent" for two years just in case the flag or post falls ill and needs some attention. Please give us a call at 264-2360 with questions.
Great Divide Title, Jim Smith Realty and Genesis Mortgage have teamed up to sponsor a free seminar for those of you who are dreaming of owning your own home.
Brunch will be served, and door prizes will be awarded at what promises to be a fun and educational morning.
There are only 16 seats available, so call 264-1414 as soon as possible to reserve your space. The seminar will be held at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, June 19.
We're always delighted to announce the anniversary dates of our members, so it is a pleasure to invite you to join the folks at Ponderosa Do It Best to celebrate 20 years of successful business in Pagosa Springs.
Seth Crain, store manager, was good enough to let me know that the week of June 14-19 has been designated as the week of celebration with special events scheduled on the 17-19. They invite the community to stop by during their special week to share the celebration with them.
As a part of the festivities, Ponderosa has collaborated with Priefert Ranch Equipment to bring you a free clinic with Curt Pate at the Red Ryder rodeo grounds Friday, June 18, at 6:30 p.m. Curt is the renowned Montana horseman who worked as a technical advisor for the Robert Redford movie, "The Horse Whisperer."
Curt travels internationally giving demonstrations and presenting clinics on colt starting, horsemanship and ranch horse work. He is a strong proponent of working with the animals in a quiet and gentle manner, and his clinic is sure to entertain and educate you. If you have questions, call 731-4111.
June 19 promises to be quite the busy day if you decide to take advantage of some the event options that will be available to you.
If you are a golfer, you might be interested in chasing that little white ball around a course with some of our law enforcement and firefighter friends during their annual Law Enforcement and Firefighter Golf Tournament, beginning with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. No handicap is required in this four-player scramble, and the cost is $65 per person which includes green fees, cart and lunch. Prizes will be awarded, and you are invited to call the Pagosa Springs Golf Club at 731-4755 with questions or to enter yourself or your team.
You're all invited to participate in the annual Hospice Memorial Garden Spring Planting at the Visitor Center beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 19.
If you're not familiar with this project, the Memorial Garden is located right next to the river behind the Visitor Center and offers an opportunity for folks to honor the memory of deceased family members and friends with annual or perennial plants. Those who wish to do so will be provided with a planting marker on which they may write the name of the person they are memorializing.
The opening ceremony coordinated by Enza Bomkamp will include a program featuring vocal and instrumental presentations and refreshments will be provided. Please bring your plant/flower and a trowel if you wish to plant or just come as a participant.
If you would like more information, call 731-3115.
Gather at the pond
The Southwest Land Alliance will hold an old-fashioned barbecue and community picnic 5-8 p.m. this Saturday, June 12, in downtown Pagosa next to the Community Center and the town wetland in a big ol' tent.
Chef Matt will serve a traditional ranch dinner with all the trimmings to accompany beer, wine, music by the Bluegrass Cadillac boys and a pie auction.
Tickets for this festive event can be purchased at Moonlight Books and WolfTracks Coffee Company and Bookstore for a cost of $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under.
Proceeds for this event, sponsored by the Town of Pagosa Springs and The Springs Resort, will be used to protect open space, wildlife and family ranching, which is the mission of the Southwest Land Alliance.
As a prelude to the very festive July 4 celebration Pagosa always enjoys, the community center will host a Community Patriotic Sing-Along Tuesday, June 29, 7-8:30 p.m.
Free flags provided by the community center and Chamber of Commerce will be provided to all who attend and will be distributed by members of P.S. I Love Red Hats.
This free event will include veterans, a children's choir, a visiting youth choir and lots of local talent. Music sheets will be provided to all members of the audience so everyone can join in on all the familiar patriotic tunes.
A pot luck dessert will be held after the program with drinks provided by the community center. Please plan to attend what Mercy Korsgren, community center director, hopes will become an annual patriotic experience for our community. Questions can be directed to Mercy at 264-4152.
This year is no exception to the rule that to put on a fabulous county fair, you need help from lots and lots of volunteers, and we're hoping that many of you will step up to the plate and give the fair some of your time.
Specifically, the fair board is looking for help with set-up Tuesday, Aug. 3; volunteers to help with this four-day event; and workers for the tear-down Monday, Aug. 9.
This year's fair dates are Thursday, Aug. 5, through Sunday, Aug. 8.
Ronnie Doctor will be happy to hear from you at 264-6122 if you are interested in lending a hand. You will also find registration forms at the Chamber of Commerce, the community center, the senior center or the CSU Extension office. Volunteers 18 years old and younger require parental consent, and young people 10 to 13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
We are pleased to introduce one new member this week and nine renewals. Now if we could just manage some moisture to accompany these good folks, life would be close to heaven.
Our new member this week is Jeremiah Robbins who brings us Bugle Mountain Outfitters located on Beaver Meadows Road seven miles east of Bayfield. Bugle Mountain Outfitters offers horseback rides, breakfast and dinner rides, overnight pack trips, fishing trips as well as fully guided hunts and drop camps. We're happy to welcome Bugle Mountain Outfitters, and welcome you to give Jeremiah a call at (970) 884-7064 to learn more about his outfitting business.
Our renewals this week include Paul and Sandi Hansen with the Mulch Factory; Bill J. Queen with Action Fire and Safety; Kent Davis with Cabinets Plus; Joyce Hopkins with Log Park Trading Company, Inc.; Stephen Conway with High Peaks Affordable Homes ; Cy Scarborough with Bar D Chuckwagon Suppers, Inc. in Durango; Rick Taylor with AAA Propane; Donna L. Kelley with Pagosa Candy Company and Ron and Julia Jones with Pagosa Riverside Campground.
McInnis bill would ease health travel for veterans
By Andy Fautheree
I recently met with Congressman Scott McInnis' representative, Jane Zimmerman, to learn about McInnis' bill for VA health care for rural veterans.
The McInnis bill, if passed, will improve rural veteran's access to health care.
As many of you know this issue is very dear and close to my heart. I have long felt there should be cooperation between the VA and local medical facilities to provide health care for our veterans.
For rural VAHC
The bill will improve rurally isolated veteran's access to health care today by allowing these veterans to receive basic medical care closer to home instead of traveling long distances to the nearest VA medical facility.
Archuleta County veterans travel to five different locations, the nearest being a 125-mile round trip to Durango VA Outpatient Clinic. The longest distance is about 530 miles to Albuquerque and Grand Junction VA medical centers.
Often these trips are for routine matters such as simple tests or blood draws.
Long distance VAHC
Throughout Colorado and rural America, veterans are often forced to drive hundreds of miles to the nearest VA facility for relatively simple procedures and routine checkups. It just doesn't make sense to travel that far when he or she can receive a blood test or another basic medical procedure closer to home.
To ease this travel burden, the McInnis bill would allow the VA to enter into contracts with community health providers to provide the basic medical care and attention that rurally isolated veterans would receive at a VA medical facility.
Veterans living in sparsely populated rural areas who are upwards of 75 miles from the nearest VA would be eligible, based on local population density.
"Rural veterans need help and this bill will work to ensure that our nation lives up to its obligation to provide care and assistance to its many heroes," McInnis said.
The "Help Establish Access to Local Timely Healthcare for Your Vets Act," or the "HEALTHY Vets Act," is expected to be referred to the Veteran's Affairs Committee.
I urge all our veterans and interested persons to write your legislators and support Rep. McInnis' bill.
Returning June 14
The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office will be closed through June 11 for vacation. I will return June 14.
To schedule the VSO vehicle for VA health care appointments you can call the Archuleta County commissioners' office, 264-8300. Please see me when I return for questions regarding VA benefits or claims.
Durango VA Clinic
The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is at 400 South Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, CO 81301. Phone number is 247-2214.
For further information
For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376, and e-mail is email@example.com. 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.
Workshop Saturday, drawing the human face
By Leanne Goebel
An all-day workshop on drawing the human face, especially the eye, will be presented Saturday, June 12.
Randall Davis will be the instructor and he says to bring your mechanical pencil and any other soft pencils you have, paper on which to draw, your eraser and your lunch.
Cost is $30 and the class meets 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the community center.
Local writers are invited to join C. J. Hannah for a writer's workshop Saturday, June 19, at noon.
Each writer is given 20-30 minutes to read aloud and then 30 minutes is spent hearing feedback from other writers that focuses on the craft of writing only, i.e., characterization, plot, setting.
The basic philosophy of Hannah's workshop is "How can I help make this better?" He's fine-tuned his workshop method over many years and is an amazing and on-target critic.
Writer Susan Vreeland, who dedicated her current book "The Forest Lover" to Hannah, sums it up on her Web site.
"My real learning came when I joined the Asilomar Writers' Consortium, a serious fiction critique group led by C. Jerry Hannah (see fictionsite.com). This was not one of those pat-ourselves-on-the-back hobbyist groups. Here was criticism I could depend on, a disciplined format of reading our work aloud without defending it, but listening to an ordered and insightful response by writers who had the best interest of the work at heart. Working with this group for a dozen years has provided a sound alternative for an academic program."
If you are interested in participating in this dynamic opportunity, contact Leanne Goebel at 731-1841 for more information and directions to the workshop.
Music, dance classes
Summer music and dance classes for children are being offered beginning Monday, June 14, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.
The classes are being conducted by Paul and Carla Roberts and include one for toddlers and moms at 10 a.m., a world music and dance class for ages 5-7 at 11, and one for ages 8-12 at 1 p.m. The fee is $8. Some scholarships are available. Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is at 230 Port Avenue, off Vista Avenue. For further information, call the Roberts at 731-3117.
Your tastebuds will be tempted as you master the Art of Chinese Cooking. This one-evening course will be offered up 6-9 p.m. at Fort Lewis on Thursday, June 17. Albuquerque gourmet chef, Gilda Latzky will teach you all the techniques of preparing a fabulous Chinese meal.
In the first-ever advanced five-day program designed specifically for homebrewers, the Advanced Homebrewing Program takes hobby brewers beyond beer kits and extract brewing into the realm of advanced brewing techniques. And it goes beyond simple classroom instruction: This is a total brewing experience. The course starts Monday, June 21, and ends Friday, June 25.
For more information or to register call 247-7385. Preregistration for all courses is required.
Artists Alpine Holiday is set in Ouray Aug. 7-14. Early registration deadline is July 15. Artwork must be delivered to Ouray Community Center, 340 6th Avenue, Aug. 2 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This year's judge is Ralph W. Lewis, retired professor emeritus of the University of New Mexico. Check out www.ourayarts.org for more information. Or contact DeAnn McDaniel at (970) 325-4372 or Diane Larkin at (970) 325-9821.
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 7 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 264-6250.
Watercolor - Beginners II with Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett builds on "The Basics of Watercolor - Beginners I" and uses everything students learned in those classes. In Beginners II, we will continue to work together to make it easy for you to create independently. We use all the materials from before, and just a few more things. Remember, watercolor is magic and fun.
There will be morning lessons and exercises about shapes, composition and design, choosing subjects, further study about value and color, and advanced techniques such as lifting, scraping, masking, glazing, working with sponges, salt, saran wrap, and waxed paper. Afternoons will be spent painting, using the morning's lessons.
June 1-30 - Summer Art Camp for Kids at the elementary school, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon
June 7-25 - Teen acting class with Felicia Meyers, all day
June 17 - Photo club meets, 6:30 p.m. at the community center. Speaker Terry Aldahl will discuss filters and what's new in digital photography
June 12 - Third Saturday Workshop on the Second Saturday! 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the community center
June 22 - PSAC board meeting, 5 p.m. in the community center
June 26 - Bird house contest
June 27 - Writer's workshop with Jerry Hannah, 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, 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. in the community center
July 15-31 - Batik and Screamers papier maché workshop
July 27 - PSAC board meeting, 5 p.m.
Aug. 5-31 - Watercolor exhibit with Denny Rose, Ginnie Bartlett and watercolor students
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
Elation Center begins summer session
Elation Center for the Arts is offering music and dance classes for children, Mondays, beginning June 14, at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.
The schedule is as follows: schedule: toddlers ages 1-4, 10 a.m.; children 5-7, 11 a.m.; ages 8-12, 1 p.m.
Teachers Carla and Paul Roberts believe that artistic experiences can be important in children's social, emotional and cognitive development. They use international music and dance to help children develop creative self expression and teamwork.
The Roberts are known for performing thousands of school concerts and for their fine arts performance residencies and classes.
The fee is $8 per class. Some scholarships are available.
For more information, call 731-3117. Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave., off Vista Boulevard.
'The Hills are Alive ...' is summer Booster show
By John Graves
Special to The PREVIEW
In addition to hearing some of the greatest songs of the 20th Century presented in a full-scale production, "The Hills Are Alive..." will almost certainly give many Pagosa residents a chance to discover hidden talents of some of their friends and neighbors.
This Pagosa Springs Music Boosters summer event will be presented in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium July 8, 9 and 10.
In showcasing the music of composer Richard Rodgers, along with his lyric writers Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, this original revue will feature the voices, dances, and instrumental talents of over 50 Pagosa performers ranging in age from 10 to 76.
For several, this is their first time in front of an audience. Others are veterans of dozens of performances - many professional.
Since, as director Dale Morris points out, there are no small parts, only "small" actors, this list of performers will be alphabetical. (We'll talk about those behind the scenes next week.)
How many of these folks do you already know?
Sabine Baeckmann-Elge, Leslie Baughman, Chris Baum, Melinda Baum, Sara Baum, Oteka Bernard, Joe Davis, Matt DeWinter, Jeannie Dold, Larry Elginer, Amber Farnham, Candy Flaming, John Graves, Ami Harbison, Danae Holloman, Sara Holloman, Roger Jensen, Kyle Kamolz, Kim Legg, Susie Long, Sue Martin, Michelle Martinez, Jesse Morris, Jim Morris, Christine Morrison, Joe Nanus, Jon Nash-Putnam, Keyton Nash-Putnam, Cindy Neder, Bill Norton, Judy Patton, Tim Patton, John Porter, Sharon Porter, Clay Pruitt, Tim Schreyer, Annette Sause, Michael Spitler, Pam Spitler, Victoria Stanton, Bob Thom, Don Weller, Sally Yates, and Veronica Zeiler. (There is a dynamite surprise being planned which precludes naming names of those involved at this point.)
Performances start at 7:30 p.m. Reserved seat tickets may be purchased at the Plaid Pony, 731-5262. Prices are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for children.
Quilt Fest will feature Pagosa's heritage quilt
Nimble fingers are busy piecing, sandwiching, quilting and binding - getting ready for Quilt Fest 2004.
Quilt Fest is the Pagosa Piece-maker Quilt Guild's biannual celebration of quilting. This year's show will be held July 2, 3 and 4.
Making its first appearance on display in Pagosa Springs will the Pagosa Springs Heritage Quilt. The quilt was conceived in 1998 when six members of the guild came together to discuss a community quilt project.
The centerpiece of the quilt depicts an early bathhouse at the hot spring. It is surrounded by 12 blocks representing various people and places that left their mark on Pagosa Springs. The borders of the quilt represent the four seasons. Many guild members participated in the construction of the quilt from design to color selection, appliqueing, piecing, sandwiching, quilting and binding.
The heritage quilt was entered in the American Quilter's Society 2003 Quilt Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee.
Following its showing in Tennessee, the quilt made an appearance in a California quilt show and then, closer to home, it was shown this spring in Durango.
Guild members are excited, knowing the quilt will soon make its debut at home.
In addition to the heritage quilt, visitors to this year's quilt show will see a collection of antique sewing machines, antique irons, a wooden ironing board and a collection of sewing notions. Today's quilters will appreciate the talents of their predecessors even more after they see this collection.
Of course, there will be quilts, quilts and more quilts. Some will be family heirlooms and antiques, others will be those made by current guild members and destined to become family heirlooms. An exciting variety of techniques, color choices and styles will be shown.
It's not too late to include your quilt in this show. You do not need to be a member of the Piecemakers Guild to participate.
If you have a quilt you'd like to share, contact Shari Pierce by June 17 at 264-4862, evenings, or e-mail email@example.com.
The show will be held in the Mamie Lynch Gymnasium at the corner of Lewis and 4th streets. Quilt Fest has been expanded to include exhibits in the adjacent intermediate school gymnasium. Show entrance will be via the 4th Street doors.
Admission to Quilt Fest will be $2 for adults, $1 for ages 10-18, with children 9 and under admitted at no charge. This year a multiple-entry pass will be offered at $3 for adults and $2 for ages 10-18.
Folk festival hosts workshops
By Dan Appenzeller
Special to The PREVIEW
The Four Corners Folk Festival will continue hosting more than 20 music workshops this year during the three-day music event.
For musicians both young or not-so-young, advanced or beginner, the festival offers a variety of workshops featuring some of the best players in their fields.
A schedule will soon be available featuring workshops on several styles of guitar, mandolin, violin or fiddle, banjo, bass, vocals and vocal harmony, songwriting, sound engineering and several others.
All instructors are professionals and workshops are free with the price of admission.
Tickets to the Four Corners Folk Festival are on sale at Moonlight Books in downtown Pagosa Springs.
For additional information about the event, or to order tickets with a credit card, log on to www.folkwest.com or call the festival hotline at 731-5582.
Get lucky: pick the ponies and eat well
By Karl Isberg
There are times you dig in the trash and you find treasure.
It happened to me recently, in Las Vegas.
Over the years, my Vegas vision has turned more toward food and away from gambling. The city has some of the finest restaurants in the country. Leave the buffets for those in need of mere fuel; wonders await elsewhere.
If you have the money.
Since the town involves a colorful shell stretched taut over a greed machine designed to take everything you own, the option of making a trip to a great eatery is out of the question if, 1) you've been lured too often to the tables and/or 2) Lady Luck has left you in the lurch.
This year, I struck the right balance, playing less than usual and playing well when I did. And in a moment of stunning good fortune, I bet the horses right.
My youngest daughter, Ivy, was in from LA. She and I and Marion hit the sports book at Mandalay Bay and we bet on The Preakness. Ivy was in a jovial mood watching me work. We've been to Santa Anita several times and she knew my batting average was .000.
For The Preakness, I indulged a favorite strategy, checking the sheet for snazzy names. My theory hinges on a tenet of Cabbalistic practice: namely, that letters (and therefore names formed by those letters) are in harmony with eternal verities. Tune to the absolute embodied in a letter, a sound and name, and you are enlightened. I used this approach for my first pick. Only one name met the criteria - Smarty Jones, the winner of the Kentucky Derby. I took Smarty as the No. 1 horse in a trifecta.
I asked Icy which horses she liked. She closed her eyes and jabbed at the sheet with her pencil. "I figure I've got as good a chance doing it this way as you do with your method," she said, looking around for a cocktail waitress and another free White Russian. I asked Marion what he intended to do; he shrugged his shoulders and headed for the deli in search of a corned beef sandwich.
I needed a horse to place and one to show.
For someone with my limited attention span, there is too much information available: previous records, odds, jockeys, head-to-head competition, ability to run a certain distance on a particular surface, blah, blah, blah.
I stuck with intuition and inspiration.
There's a horse at 5-1 called Rock Hard Ten. Something about the name grabs me. So it is: Rock Hard Ten, to place.
Then, at 8-1, there's a horse called Eddington. Egad, Sir Arthur Edward Eddington - my favorite British astronomer and physicist. Could it be a coincidence? I think not. Eddington to show.
Well, darned if the picks don't hit. Smarty first, the Hard one second and Eddington third.
I'd found a new way to make a living. I'd dug in the trash, and found a diamond.
And, I had a wad o' cash to take in search of eats.
The night before, we made a trek to Commander's Palace. Ivita and I had a lump crab cake - nary a crumb of bread product in the mass of crab, the sweet flesh surrounded by a light remoulade. Then a bowl of Commander's gumbo and, for the topper, a bowl of barbecue fish stew ladled around a cake of spicy Basmati, the dark, spicy sauce transporting oysters (oh no, it's not an R month!) huge shrimps and chunks of battered and deep fried red fish.
For a finish, the kid and I shared a unique crème brulée - the custard spread in an even, thin layer across a large plate, turbinado glazed crisp by torch
It was mighty fine. Now, how to trump the score?
I pondered the question as I played a bit of blackjack at the Tropicana, doubling and splitting fearlessly. I was thinking Picasso at Bellagio. Aureole at Mandalay Bay. Maybe Nob Hill at the MGM Grand. "I got it," said Ivy. "Posie's in town; just talked to her on the phone. She's on her way from the airport to the Monte Carlo. We'll meet her for dinner."
Posie is the daughter of the former British environmental governor of Hong Kong and his Chinese wife. She was schooled at a English institution, but she acquired a full-tilt, bugs-on-the-windshield attitude toward life, her tank filled with a pharmacological blend precisely adjusted to meet each new circumstance. I realize we're about to take a turn down Odd Avenue, but I go along, After all, I plucked a gem from the muck. I'm lucky.
My confidence dissipates as Ivy and I head for the restaurant. She tells me where we're going and my mood tumbles like a climber absent a critical piton.
If Las Vegas was a huge bathtub, this place would be the screen over the drain.
We take a cab down The Strip to the casino. Outside, cops wrestle a miscreant to the sidewalk, dose him with pepper spray and pummel him about the head and shoulders as they apply the cuffs and drag him away. We enter. Bedlam. The joint is filled with smoke and deafening racket; people push shoulder to shoulder in the aisles. A guy is on his knees barfing into a trash receptacle. A massive fellow with a bleached blond mohawk and Nazi tattoos on his beefy arms turns and punches a small chap dressed in a cheap, polyester suit. People are shouting, some are squawking like large birds. A cocktail waitress in a skimpy outfit pushes past with a tray of drinks. She is 70 years old if she is a day. It is the casino experience, designed by Hieronymous Bosch.
"Nice place," I say to Ive. "What have you got us into?"
"Not to worry pops, as soon as Posie gets here, we're entering another universe."
That's what Posie calls me -"Pops"- when she arrives, the swarm of maniac drones in the casino parting to let the Queen Bee pass.
Posie is dressed appropriately: a skimpy black dress, a feather boa, knee-high retro Go Go boots, half white and half black, a pair of gigantic dark glasses.
I think: We're not going to eat - we're going to be eaten.
But, my luck holds. We board a private elevator at the front corner of the carnival and, as my precious Ivester promised, the door opens on another universe - one of Vegas' highest rated restaurants.
We are greeted by the hostess, who hugs and kisses Posie and Ivy. Then, like a vision from a B-grade Yves Montand movie, the manager appears.
More kisses (delivered to the air next to cheeks) and the flicking of ash from the tip of a cigarette.
"Oh, finally, you return. Life is bleak, no? Ze noise, ze lights, nuhzing. Eet eez ****.
We go to the VIP room, all plush couches and heavy, low tables. The room is reminiscent of a library, the shelves containing all manner of artifacts. We sit.
Not 30 seconds later, Posie is outta there, with Andre in tow. A waiter, meanwhile, delivers the first of three bottles of a Chambertin Clos de Beze, 1999, from Pierre Darnoy. When pinot noir is done right
Posie and Andre are back.
Oops, no they're not. They're up and gone again.
Turns out the restaurant is owned by a former movie producer, Victor D. Turns out Ivy and Posie know Victor from Hollywood. Turns out Ivy's and Posie's photos are on the shelf in the VIP room. Hmmm.
Andre and Posie are back. He snaps his fingers and a waiter appears with menus. A moment later, Andre takes out a teensy pad of yellow paper and asks us what we desire. We tell him, he writes it down. Snap, snap. The piece of paper is dispatched.
Posie and Andre are off again. "Cigarettes and Xanax," says Icy, by way of explanation.
Then, another bottle of the pinot is delivered to home base. We drink, then we're escorted to a booth at the far end of the dining room. Our starters are waiting for us.
For Icy, a tuna tartare: perfectly fresh, minced raw fish compacted into a huge disc in a ring mold, a moat of mysterious sauce (olive oil, cumin, lemon, mustard seed, what else?) surrounding it.
For Posie: A Hummer of a slab of duck foie gras.
Pour moi: Four newly-crafted lobster ravioli in lobster sauce, the sauce a deep brownish red in color, ramified in flavor.
Posie is up and outta there.
"Purging," says Ive, as she ties into the tartare. "And, maybe another Xanax and a Marlboro Light. She's tense, you know. Hollywood makes you tense."
I get to eat most of Posie's foie gras.
Then, serious food.
For Ivy: a filet as large as I've ever seen, medium rare, with a wild mushroom sauce and lobster mashed potatoes.
For Posie: A major league serving of the lobster ravioli.
Pour moi: A piece of perfectly cooked maple and soy glazed Chilean sea bass the size of a catcher's mitt, with pureed yam and crisp green beans.
Andre slides into the booth as we eat. It's like having dinner with Jean Paul Sartre. "Life is ****, eh? Zees pipple, zey are blind, no? I make $300,000 a year. What does it mean? Nuhzing, eh?"
Posie is up and outta there.
The third bottle of the pinot is drained. We are satiated, bleary, too far gone for desserts.
And I am scared by the prospect of the bill. This is a great restaurant; great restaurants entail great prices.
Where is it? And how much? How much room do I have left on my credit card?
The waiters are standing around watching Ivy imitate nearby diners. Posie is bouncing around on the seat of the booth like a bobble-head doll. Andre is slumped back, cigarette drooping from his lip, his eyes invisible behind dark glasses, a small espresso stain on the lapel of his rumpled, linen suit.
"Let's go to the Ghost Bar," shouts Posie.
"I hate ze Ghost Bar and everyone there," mutters Andre. "But, I will go."
Ivy is now imitating Andre. "Zees pipple, zey are, how do you say?, ****. I detest them. We must go."
Not me. I'm finished. I've had a big day. Horse racing king, world-class meal, three bottles of primo pinot. Plus, I'm old. I beg off.
"What about the tab?" I ask. (Fear and trembling).
"Just leave half the tip," says Posie." "Match this, pops." She throws forty on the table. I do the same.
Yep, we're in another universe. Let's see. Eighty is twenty-percent of ?
If I want to return without my special escorts, I better come heavy with cash. In other words, this is never going to happen again.
So, bottom line: The gem in the dung heap magic continued. I'm golden, hotter'n a pistol.
I'm not sure when I'll publish this piece, but I want to share my incredible luck and insight with you, dear reader. Here's a tip on The Belmont: Bet very, very big on Smarty Jones. In fact, bet the same trifecta that hit for me at The Preakness. All the letters, all the sounds, the words are perfect.
Take out a second mortgage if you have to. That's what I plan to do.
Andre agreed: He said eet eez a seench."
Or did he say eet is ****?
Desolation is a relative term
By Katherine Cruse
If you are lucky enough to take a raft trip on the Green River in north-central Utah, putting your boats in the water at a remote spot, miles and miles from anywhere, called Sand Wash, you will probably agree with the explorer John Wesley Powell. He called this area desolate and the name stuck.
For the first two days, 30 miles or so, the water is flat. No rapids, not even riffles. Some groups take motors to shorten this part of the trip and reach the fun stuff sooner.
But if you just row or paddle along this stretch, you have time and silence to notice the sights and sounds along the water's edge.
The gray crumbly cliffs of the Sand Wash area give way gradually to red sandstone and shale, and some layers of rock ooze black oil, deposited there by microorganisms millions of years ago.
Along the river everything is green. Tamarisk, that voracious Western weedy bush, forms a dense wall in some areas. Behind it cottonwood and box elder trees are holding their own. Willow shoots are also evident close to the water, hanging in there against the tammies' relentless onslaught.
Marching up the hills of eroding rock, juniper, piñon, fir, and sagebrush find toeholds in the dry soil and on the ledges.
Desolate depends on your frame of reference.
The river was never silent as we drifted along. The air was filled with the sounds of birds - tweets and chirps and whirrs. We saw them only occasionally. Western tanagers squabbled over territory at Sand Wash. A nighthawk swooped low over the river just after dusk, mouth open, scooping up midges and other insects. Much later it sat in a tree and chuckled and whistled and twittered. For hours.
Other birds said things like, "ta-hoo, ta-hoo," or "Jer-ry." One bird went "Peep. Peep. Br-r-r-r." Over and over.
Sometimes we saw them. A small spot of yellow, or black, or blue, or brown, behind the branch. With a long tail.
There are no trout in this river; it's too silty, but if there were, they would think themselves in trout heaven, with all the midges they could eat. The hatched midges formed clouds over the water, at times so thick that we kept our mouths shut to avoid taking them in like the nighthawk, but not in such numbers that we needed to put on the mesh masks that Any Day and Fearless Leader had brought.
Midges hovered over our rafts. They got behind our sunglasses. They died by the thousands in the water. There were so many of them that at times that their vibrating wings made the air hum. They weren't interested in us. They didn't bite. Their sole urgency was to find a mate and reproduce in the short time they had airborne.
Other insects, mosquitoes, came out after dark at our third campsite. Again Any Day and Fearless Leader were prepared. Up went tiki torches and citronella lamps. Liberal applications of bug repellant also helped.
In the early morning we watched fat stubby beetles with long hind legs stagger across our beachfront campsite, leaving elegant lacy tracks. As the sun rose and the sand became hotter they disappeared, but we didn't see where. Maybe they burrowed into the sand; maybe they tucked themselves under twigs to wait out the heat.
There were other tracks in the damp morning sand. Larger insects, perhaps. Toads. Lizards dragging their trails. Maybe a packrat came to check out our gear.
One morning we woke to the sound of cattle lowing and bellowing, as a small herd meandered across the wide flat area across the river from our camp.
We hiked up dry washes into the side canyons. The hills were alive. We saw bright salmon-colored mallows and white candytuft, tiny white and purple flowers, lavender sedge, yellow spikes, bright green foliage that had yet to develop flowers, but it would. Primrose and poppy and yellow composites. Prickly pear cactus bore large yellow blooms with waxy petals.
Tiny cottonwood seeds, surrounded by fluff, drifted on the wind and gathered in clumps around our tents and caught in the stems of willow and tamarisk.
So much life. John Wesley Powell wasn't looking hard enough. But no matter how hard he looked he probably wouldn't have seen many signs of human life, except for the members of his own party.
We were not alone on the river. Other groups put in the same morning we did. A woman traveling alone planned to spend two weeks on the river and then fly back to Sand Wash to recover her van and trailer.
A happy party of nine people set out on two large rafts; we heard their whoops of joy at being on the river. It was a cause for laughter when one of the group stepped off the raft at river's edge and dropped into water up to his nose. There were more sounds of merriment when one of them jumped off the raft just to take a cooling dip in the river. Eventually we stopped, they went on, and we saw them no more.
We passed a group that had wrapped a raft on a rock two days earlier. A bad wrap, say the river people. It eventually required cutting the floor of the raft in order to free it. They were fortunate that another group happened by and stopped to help unload gear, free the raft, and tow it across the river to a beach. They were also fortunate in the location. This rapid was beside a wide, treed campsite and not between two rocky cliffs. The group had plenty of space while they repaired the raft.
Jet aircraft passed high above, silent, carrying passengers from one side of the country to the other. Closer, a small single-engine plane throbbed along the north-south line of the river.
And always, there was the sound of the river, surging past, on its way to the ocean.
Show respect by flying the flag June 14
By Kate Terry
Monday, June 14, is Flag Day. This is not a legal holiday, but it is a very important day because it is the special day to commemorate the adoption of the American flag by the U.S. Congress, June 14, 1776.
In Pagosa Springs, the American Legion Post will hold a flag retirement ceremony for old, worn-out flags not usable any more. This is a formal ceremony. The event will be at 7 p.m.
The Legion officers will inspect the flags that have been submitted to recommend that they be retired.
The flags will be burned. The burning will take place by the side of the building. To ensure fire protection, firemen will be present.
About 300 worn-out flags so far have been scheduled for this ceremony.
It was on Jan. 2, 1776, at Cambridge, Mass. that George Washington raised the first flag of the United States. It had 13 stripes - six white and seven red - and 13 stars on a blue field denoting the 13 original colonies. Today, there are 50 states.
The tradition that Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, sewed the flag is disputed by some authorities, but she has popularly been given the credit.
A flag is a piece of cloth that has authority. It represents something. There is an understanding in the American Legion that the American flag is not to be used in clothing designs. That idea is lost these days. We see the American flag design on everything.
In the meantime, let's fly an American flag June 14. It's a day to give special respect to our country by flying a piece of cloth that has meaning for us.
Fun on the run
Three little boys were bragging about how tough they were. "I'm so tough," said the first boy, "that I can wear out a pair of shoes in a week."
"Well," said the second little boy, "I'm so tough, I can wear out a pair of jeans in a day."
"That's nothing," said the third boy. "When my parents take me to see my grandma and grandpa, I can wear them out in an hour."
More people mean more human/bear encounters
By Bill Nobles
Friday, June 11 - Colorado Kids, Extension office, 2 p.m.
Monday, June 14 - 4-H Dog Obedience, Extension office-Exhibit hall, 4 p.m.; 4-H Sports Fishing, Extension office, 4 p.m.; 4-H Shooting Sports, Ski & Bow Rack, 4 p.m.; Pagosa Peaks, Extension office, 6:30 p.m.
Colorado has been home to bears since their earliest ancestors evolved in North America. These large, powerful animals play an important role in the ecosystem. Today, increasing numbers of people routinely live and play in bear country, resulting in more bear/human encounters.
For many people, seeing a bear is rare and the highlight of an outdoor experience. Learning about bears and being aware of their habits will help you fully appreciate these unique animals and the habitat in which they live.
Black bears are the most common and generally the smallest of North American bears. Others include the grizzly/brown and the polar bear. Today, only the black bear is known to exist in Colorado.
Although we do not know exactly how many black bears live in Colorado, population estimates range from 8,000 to 12,000. A black bear may live 20 years in the wild, although very few do, and up to 25-30 years in captivity. Black bears are very agile, can run in bursts up to 35 m.p.h. and can run up or down hills quickly and easily. Their short, curved claws help them to climb trees. Black bears are strong swimmers.
Threats to black bears include accidents, disease, motor vehicles and starvation. Natural enemies include other bears and mountain lions. Humans are responsible for the deaths of most black bears: loss of habitat, feeding, illegal killing, destruction of bears that pose a threat to people or livestock and property. Prior to 1935, there was unlimited hunting of black bears. The designation of bears as game animals in 1935 provided for their management and protection.
Current hunting regulations protect cubs and females with cubs and prohibit the use of dogs and baiting.
If you choose to live, or have a summer home, in bear country, make sure you don't contribute to resident bears becoming "garbage" bears. Most conflicts between bears and people are linked to careless handling of food or garbage. Don't let your carelessness cause the unnecessary death of a bear. Learn to live responsibly with wildlife!
Black bears eat almost anything. They will eat human food, garbage, hummingbird food, and pet and livestock food when available. Once a bear has found the easily accessible, consistent food source that human settlements can offer, it may overcome its wariness of people and visit regularly, increasing the chance of a human/bear encounter.
You and your neighbors can make a difference. Your actions may prevent the unnecessary death of a bear!
Make your property safe by keeping garbage out of reach and smell of bears. Use bear-proof trash containers. Be sure garbage cans are emptied regularly. Periodically clean garbage cans to reduce residual odor - using hot water and chlorine bleach or by burning. Store trash in a bear proof enclosure
If you have pets, do not store their food or feed them outside. Clean your barbecue grill of grease and store inside. Hang bird seed, suet and hummingbird feeders on a wire between trees instead of on your deck or porch. Bring all bird feeders in at night. Do not put fruit, melon rinds and other tasty items in mulch or compost piles.
Three local families add to medical profession
By Ming Steen
Every year at this time, small communities across the country watch the best and brightest of their young people graduate from high school and head out into the big world to seek their fortune.
It is with mixed emotions of pride and a sense of loss that we watch them pack up and leave home. Our pride continues long after they have gone as reports trickle back in about their various successes and accomplishments.
On May 23 I witnessed the high school graduation of 133 local Pagosa Springs students. What an exciting occasion to see the optimistic smiles and hear the enthusiastic hopes and dreams for the future of these teens. I wish them happiness and dreams fulfilled.
On May 28, in Denver, three local families celebrated the graduation of their children from medical school at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. The Collyer, Sharp and Steen families all watched the tradition-filled hooding and oath ceremony of 114 new medical doctors. Of those, four have close ties to Pagosa.
Dr. Jim Collyer is the son of Joyce and Burl Collyer; Dr. Britta Seppi-Sharp is the wife of Mason Sharp and daughter-in-law of Cynthia Sharp. Our son and daughter-in-law, Doctors Shawn and Jenny Steen, were also part of the medical school's graduating class.
The four have chosen medical careers that will continue to challenge their endurance. After 19 years of schooling, they are not even finished. Graduate medical education in the form of residencies now awaits them.
It is fascinating to see how the medical school graduates across the country are matched to residency programs. At noon on March 18, more than 25,000 applicants in the National Resident Matching Program simultaneously learned which residency program they will enter for graduate medical training. They learned where they will be "posted" for the next few years of their lives.
"The Match," conducted annually, attempts to match the preferences of applicants (where they want to go) with the preferences of residency programs (which applicants they want to accept) in order to fill the available positions at U.S. teaching hospitals. Shawn and Jenny were one of 641 couples in the match this year, the highest number ever.
There are 49 specialties these young physicians can select from for their residency. Dr. Jim Collyer will specialize in dermatology at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in Illinois. Dr. Britta Seppi-Sharp will specialize in family practice at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction. Dr. Shawn Steen will specialize in general surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, during a five-year residency. His soul mate, Dr. Jenny Steen, will also be at Baylor, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.
A 1997 sleep deprivation study found that a person who has been awake for 24 hours functions on a par with someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.10 - too drunk to drive in all 50 states. But not, in recent history, too drunk to practice medicine. Since the earliest modern medical residency programs, 120-hour workweeks and 36-hour hospital shifts had been a rite of passage for apprentice doctors.
New rules from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education now stipulates that residents may no longer work more than 80 hours a week on average - and no more than 30 hours in a stretch. What a cushy schedule!
The number of applicants and competition for entrance into the nation's medical schools has risen, a trend attributed in part to the fact that most doctors continue to be very satisfied with their work despite problems with managed care.
Doctors, in general, are people who are altruistic and who are interested in assisting others. Just as important, doctors-in-training need to prove they've got what it takes to be a caring health professional in a stressful, often chaotic environment.
Some critics may suggest that doctors are in that profession for the monetary compensation. Not so. A young doctor - often leaving medical school with a crippling debt load on an average makes about $38,000 a year during his or her years as a resident. Although a physician's earning power increases with completion of graduate medical education, so do expenses like liability insurance.
Watching these young people go through the sacrifice and commitment to such a long period of training and education, I value even more highly our local doctors. I salute and thank them for choosing to practice medicine in our small, rural community.
Ralph Manring of Pagosa Springs died May 1, 2004.
He is survived by his wife, Lolita; daughters Leslie (Phil) Saali, Jill Manring, Amy (Roger) Wright; and sister, Marcia (Harlan) Kebel of North Carolina.
Mr. Manring lived in Glendale, Mo., until retiring in 1981 from Monsanto and moving to Pagosa Springs.
He became active in Lions International and served on the Mercy Medical Board. He was a member of the Masonic Blue Lodge in Belleville, Ill., and of the session at Glendale Presbyterian Church. He was a member of Healing Waters Presbyterian Church in Pagosa Springs.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 15, 2004, in Community United Methodist Church of Pagosa Springs.
Maurice Aloysius Murphy, 100, passed away May 26, 2004, at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center.
Mr. Murphy was born Feb. 7, 1904, in Manchester, Conn.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Fern Tyler Murphy, his parents, brothers and sister.
Maurice lived in the Hartford, Conn., area until his retirement from United Technologies when he and Fern moved to Clearwater, Fla. They enjoyed dancing, traveling and sailing on his boat.
Fern died in 1984 and Maurice stayed in Florida until coming to Pagosa Springs in 1994 to live with his daughter.
He is survived by his only child, Jean Marie Hartman; grandchildren Linda Veik, Robert Varney, Susan McCarty, Donald Varney, Catherine Kyle, Lisa Clark and Mark Hartman; 16 great-grandchildren; and nine great-great-grandchildren.
Mr. Murphy was a lifelong Roman Catholic whose ashes will be spread at sea off the Florida coast.
Wings over Pagosa
Wings over Pagosa offers two exciting opportunities: the thrill of flying in an open cockpit, Boeing-Stearman biplane, or experiencing the San Juans from a Cessna aircraft.
Both planes are flown by Airline Transport-rated pilot Tom Broadbent, who is accompanied by his wife, Gayle, in the photo above. Tom has flown more than 11,000 accident-free hours over a period of 36 years.
Tom and Gayle can be contacted by calling 264-2349 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public health advisor
Where were you born?
Where did you go to school?
"I graduated from Greeley Central High School and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley."
When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?
"January 17 of this year."
What did you do before you arrived here?
"I worked as a public health nurse in Broomfield. I have been a public health nurse for 14 years."
What are your job responsibilities?
"Educating people about health-related topics."
What are the most enjoyable and least enjoyable aspects of your job?
"The most enjoyable aspect of my job is working with the staff at San Juan Basin Health Center. The least enjoyable is making children cry every once in a while when giving shots. "
What is your family background?
"My parents and brother live in Pagosa and another brother lives in Toronto."
What do you like best about the community?
"The people are very friendly and are willing to help each other out."
What are your other interests?
"Fishing, camping, reading and playing with my cats."
Resha Watkins of Pagosa Springs has graduated cum laude in management from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla.
She maintained a 3.40 or better average to earn the degree in commencement ceremonies May 22.
Katherine Martinez of Pagosa Springs is one of 18 undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences at University of Colorado in Boulder to have received the prestigious Jacob Van Ek Award for outstanding academic achievement and contributions to both the university and city communities.
The recipients were honored May 6 along with the faculty members they named as mentors. Martinez named Fred Pampel of the sociology department as her mentor.
Each of the 18 received a $400 award and the Van Ek honor named for the dean of the college from 1929-1959.
Bay and Peg Forrest are pleased to announce the July 17 marriage of their daughter, Amanda Michelle, to Robert Bruce Burgmann of Phoenix, Ariz. Rob and Mandy will reside in Phoenix, where Rob is an elementary school teacher and high school basketball coach. Mandy will coach volleyball at Grand Canyon University this fall, while she completes her degree in English literature and communications.
Chris Kelly and Lori Engle are looking forward to sharing their wedding vows together Saturday, June 19, at First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs.
Gymnasts third at Castle Rock; go to state finals June 19
Pagosa gymnasts brought home a third-place team trophy from the Rock Solid Gymnastics competition in Castle Rock last weekend.
Seven teams were entered with 45 individual gymnasts participating.
Because of the large number of gymnasts, age group awards were not given but were lumped into junior (7-11) and senior (12 plus) divisions.
Pagosa entrants were paced in junior division by Re'ahna Ray who was fifth, Toni Stoll 11th and Sienna Stretton 12th.
Had age group awards been given, both Re'ahna and Toni would have won their divisions.
Casey Crow had her best meet ever until her last event, the floor exercise, when she pulled a muscle and was unable to finish her routine.
Raesha Ray, one of 23 competitors in the senior division, placed tenth. In her age group she would have been third in the all-around.
The next test for Pagosa's girls is the toughest - state gymnastics competition at Aerial's Gymnastics in Colorado Springs June 19.
Horse clinician plans session here June 18
Renowned horseman and training clinician Curt Pate will conduct a clinic in Pagosa Springs Friday, June 18.
Pate is a Montana horseman who will demonstrate how taking the right approach can make it easier to train and work with any horse in any setting.
The free clinic, sponsored by Ponderosa Do It Best, will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Red Ryder rodeo grounds.
A former rodeo competitor, Pate grew up with horses. He learned a great deal about them from his grandfathers and his ranching background. As his interest grew, he attended horsemanship clinics by well known clinicians.
In 1997, he had the opportunity to work with Buck Brannaman as a technical advisor for the Robert Redford movie "The Horse Whisperer."
A recognized horseman in his own right, Pate now travels internationally giving demonstrations and holding clinics on colt starting, horsemanship and ranch horse work.
He emphasizes he has learned over the years that you have to learn to work "with" your animals, not against them. He uses methods that are quiet and gentle, without the use of a lot of special equipment and gimmicks. He said the type of saddle you ride, the clothes you wear, and all the other stuff people think so important doesn't matter to the horse.
Chapman format produces plenty of low golf scores
By Rich Broom
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Springs Men's Golf League event June 2 featured a Chapman format and lots of slow scores.
The two-man Chapman is a combination of scramble and alternate shot. Each team member hits his drive, then his partner hits the second shot using the other's drive. Then the team decides which ball they will use.
From there on, for the rest of the hole, they alternate shots until holed out, using the best ball after the second shot. Using this format leads play to provide lower scores than an individual might get.
Such was the case June 2.
Three teams had gross scores in the lower 70s and the net competition resulted in three teams at least four shots under par for the round.
The team of Rick Baker and Fred Campuzano took first gross with a score of 72; second place was the team of Russ Hatfield and Ray Henslee with a score of 72 (second place determined after a score card playoff) and third gross went to the team of Dennis Yerton and Don Ford, with a score of 75.
In the net category, the team of Bob Howenstine and Jim Gregory took first place with a net of 61, second place went to the team of Frank Hutchins and David Prokop with a 64, and third place was taken by Jack Hummel and Norman Utz with a score of 66.
The Men's League is open to golfers of all levels. 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 day.
Mutton busters urged to sign up for Red Ryder event
Calling all mutton busters.
The Red Ryder Roundup is less than a month away and local youngsters are urged to sign up for one of the rodeo's favorite events: mutton busting.
Contestants in the mutton busting event must be 6 years old or younger and must complete and submit an entry form by Friday, June 25 in order to compete.
This year, there will be 12 riders per day on July 2, 3 and 4, and there will be prizes for all contestants. First-place winners will receive belt buckles, all others will receive a trophy.
There is no entry fee for the mutton busting event. Helmets, vests and ropes are provided at no charge to each rider.
Entrants will be selected in a draw to be held Monday, June 28, and will be notified by telephone of the day they will ride.
See the ads in this week's SUN and PREVIEW for an entry form.
Modified Florida Scramble challenges area women golfers
By Lynne Allison
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a modified Florida Scramble for its league day May 25.
The team of Sho-Jen Lee, Carol Barrows and Audrey Johnson captured first place with a 74.
Second place went to Jane Day, Cherry O'Donnell, Julie Pressley and Genie Roberts with a 75.
The association played a criss-cross format June 1 in which each golfer kept her gross score for the round and at the end of the round chose her best score between the 1st or 18th hole, 2nd or 17th, 3rd or 16th, etc.
Each golfer then had a best score for nine holes, following the above-mentioned format and subtracted 50 percent of her handicap for an adjusted total.
Josie Hummel captured first with a 24; Sho-Jen Lee was second with 27; tied for third were Karen Carpenter, Loretta Campuzano and Jane Day, each with 28; sixth place went to O'Donnell and Nancy McComber tied with 29; and Sally Bish was eighth with a 30.
Bicycling to work and play is good for you and environment
By Joe Lister Jr.
Pagosa Springs celebrated national "Ride Your Bike to Work" month by hosting a group ride.
Following a brief meeting at Town Hall, we had approximately 15 bicyclists, led by former World Champion, and Olympian, Ruthie Matthes, making the trip.
We rode our bikes across the Apache Street bridge, north on 6th Street to the Riverwalk, on to Hermosa Street, to a luncheon at JJ's Restaurant.
Over 20 people met to have lunch with us, with the group enjoying a great message by Matthes.
Ride your bike when you can, she urged, noting that sometimes in our culture we forget to add five or 10 minutes travel time to our busy schedule and just ride our bikes or walk.
The benefits are tremendous, both healthwise, and environmentally. Ruthie joked about our culture, where we drive cars to work out at a club, then drive around the block 10 times to find a parking place. The ironic part is us driving anywhere - to work out.
She also shed light on the commercialism of, and selection process for the Olympics. This year, because of our World Cup points, as a country we may have only have one representative in each category in mountain biking. The point is that, for the entire competitive cyclist group in our country, only one representative will be selected.
So we should not put so much pressure or competitiveness into our daily lives; allow young athletes to strive at their own pace and not push them into something with so many high goals. Goals are great, but have fun achieving them, Matthes urged.
Fourth of July
The Fourth of July activities are coming together, thanks to the Chamber of Commerce, this department and all the local vendors/volunteers.
All the details have not been worked out, but the schedule and lineup is taking shape.
Entertainment includes Hopi dancers, Hopi singers, an inflatable planetarium (sponsored by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association), games, tethered hot air balloon rides, horseshoes, volleyball and two bands for your listening/dancing pleasure: Pagosa Springs' own Pagosa Hot Strings and The Johnny Mogambo Band, a very popular group that plays throughout the state from their home base in Vail. Music is scheduled to start around 6 p.m.
The class of 1974 will celebrate its 30th class reunion. They were the first to reserve the VIP parking area. These areas can be set aside for families, church groups, businesses or individuals wishing to reserve a spot near the beer garden or to stake a claim to choice lawn seating with views of the fireworks and music.
A camper or tailgate set-up is welcome in the VIP section where parking costs $50 per 40x50 foot space.
We would like to ask all interested people or businesses to call Town Hall to donate money for this year's fireworks show. We contracted out a price to allow for a great show, and we need money to help cover those costs. If you are interested, call me at 264-4151, Ext. 231.
Track athletes, are you ready? The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department will hold the Hershey Track and Field Challenge starting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 15.
Hershey's Track and Field Youth Program has grown from a playground meet in Charleston, W.V., to the largest youth sports program of its kind in the United States.
Local winners will travel to Lakewood June 26 to compete for state awards. State winners could be invited to travel to Hershey, Pa. to compete in the National Finals.
The track meets' mission is to provide a quality recreation program where children have fun and are introduced to physical fitness through basic track and field events such as running, jumping and throwing. Call 264-4151, Ext. 232 for more details.
The Colorado Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge will take place Friday, June 25.
The Challenge is a baseball competition that allows youngsters to showcase talents in base running, batting and throwing with scores based on speed, distance and accuracy. It is a youth program of the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association with support provided in the form of a grant through the Colorado Rockies and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
Age group winners from Pagosa Springs advance to regional competitions. Regional winners will go to a Rockies game and compete for the state championships. Call 264-4151, Ext. 232 for more details.
Adult softball leagues are in full "swing" with eight men's and five coed teams doing battle each Monday and Wednesday night.
With teams from Pagosa Springs and Dulce competing each week, we look forward to spirited action. Play will continue throughout the summer with playoffs beginning in August.
Youth baseball continues with great team play and beautiful weather.
Our Pagosa Springs teams competed against teams from Ignacio this past weekend. Our local teams fared well, winning all four of the 9-10 and 11-12 age-level games played. All teams exhibited great ability and sportsmanship.
Our teams will travel to Ignacio this weekend to complete this home-and-home series. In the next couple of weeks our teams will add competition with Durango.
Come out and root for your teams at the Sports Complex on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Pagosa Springs all-star competition will begin in July.
If any girls ages 9-14 are interested in playing softball this summer, call Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 232 for more details.
We are moving ahead with a season of girl's softball and hope to compete against teams from nearby towns in hopes of building a great girls' sports program.
Now hiring umpires
Even though our baseball/softball seasons have begun, we are still hiring umpires. Contact Myles Gabel at the number above if you are interested. Pay is $15 - $25 per game.
June Fun dates
June 11-12 - Relay for Life in Town Park
June 18 - Fishing derby, River Center fishing/skating ponds
June 18-20 - American Legion softball tournament
June 19 - Power House auction in Town Park
June 20 - Knights of Columbus Fathers Day Picnic in Town Park
June 21-25 - First Baptist Church Camp in Town Park
June 24-26 - Mountain Man Rendezvous
June 26 - Pet Pride Day in Town Park.
Election season is here
Let the games begin. The phrase will be used when athletes from all nations convene in Athens this year for the 2004 Olympics. It is also a call that sounds in Pagosa Country as slates for the first round of election action are set and the process moves to a Republican primary election that will sort out candidates for District 1 and 2 commissioner races, if not pick the commissioners themselves.
Incumbents Bill Downey (District 1) and Alden Ecker (District 2) have each filed the paperwork to put them in at least a party primary race.
Those races were assured last week when two Republican challengers also filed petitions and made their way to the ballot. Robin Schiro will test Downey in a primary; Rhonda Zaday will battle with Ecker.
Whether the victors in the primary will need to move on to November's general election is not yet determined. The local Democratic Party was unable to produce candidates for these important offices. There is at least one individual making a move to be placed on the District 1 general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate, and there is time for others to follow. Further, the deadline for general election write-in candidates extends beyond the primary date.
Unaffiliated candidates have until July 5 to submit petitions to the county clerk and, if the petitions are validated, to find a place on the general election ballot. A write-in candidate has until Sept. 3 to file an affidavit.
The Republican primary election will take place Aug. 10 and it is critical that county Republicans turn out in force and make informed choices. With no more entries into the fray, they will select at least one county commissioner to serve the next four years. The last day to register to vote in the primary election is July 12.
It is time to formulate questions to ask these candidates. It is time for candidates to begin to bring their points of view into the light of day. This is a key time in the county's history, one where certain decisions must be made and made well, while they can still make a significant difference.
One of these decisions concerns land use planning- its form, scope and implementation. There is scant time left to forge an effective compromise between the relatively unconstrained development that can reduce the area to a chaotic jumble and its extreme opposite, which could stifle the economy and the ability of residents to survive and prosper. Has the county implemented the Community Plan? If so, how? If not, what needs to be done?
Candidates should present positions regarding how the county, in its current economic position, can deal with roads in the county system and with demands for additional roads to be put in that system. The courage to speak realistically to those angry with the situation would be refreshing; creative solutions to money woes would be welcome. Will we be asked to increase the mill levy? If so, by how much? How would it solve the problems? What about metro districts? What is the long-range vision?
And, how to deal with problems born of money woes in the greater sense, with demands of all kinds, born of unguided growth? What do the candidates propose? Has the county planned effectively for contingencies, or has it been caught with its pants down, with major debt the result? If so, can we prevent it from happening again?
What will the county do regarding support of water storage proposals and why? What relationship is best between county and town?
It's time to put the cards on the table, time to bring ideas and records under scrutiny. It's time for the games to begin.
Yet she waves, despite all travail
By Richard Walter
Even as pieces of the original - which flew over Fort McHenry - continue to turn up, the nation is being asked again to proudly fly the American Flag Monday, June 14, Flag Day.
The first official flag of the new nation was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia. The resolution was passed on June 14, 1777. That is the date we celebrate each year as Flag Day.
Perhaps the most poignant tribute to our flag is the salute titled simply "Old Glory," written by Howard Schnauber. You've probably heard it read but may not know all the lines:
"I am the flag of The United States of America.
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America's Halls of Justice.
I fly majestically over great institutions of learning.
I stand guard with the greatest military power in the world.
Look up and see me!
I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice. I stand for freedom. I am confident.
I am arrogant, I am proud.
When I am flown with my banners, my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer.
I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world. I am worshipped, I am loved, and I am feared!
I have fought in every battle of every war for more than 200 years: Gettysburg, Shiloh, Appomattox, San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome, the beaches of Normandy, Guam, Okinawa, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and a score of places long forgotten by all. But those who were there with me.
I was there!
I led my Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.
I followed them and watched over them. They loved me.
I was on a small hill in Iwo Jima. I was dirty, battle-worn, and tired.
But my soldiers cheered me!
And I was proud!
I have been soiled, burned, torn, and trampled on the streets of countries that I have helped set free. It does not hurt, for I am invincible.
I have also been soiled, burned, torn, and trampled on the streets of my own country and, when it is by those whom I have served with in battle - it hurts.
But I shall overcome, for I am strong! I have slipped the bonds of Earth and, from my vantage point on the Moon, I stand watch over the uncharted new frontiers of Space.
I have been a silent witness to all of America's finest hours.
But my finest hour comes when I am torn in strips to be used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the field of battle - when I fly at half-mast to honor my Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, and ... when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving mother, at the gravesite of her fallen son or daughter, I am proud.
My name is Old Glory - long may I wave.
Dear God, long may I wave."
In all its forms and travels, the flag of the United States has been America's signature.
90 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of June 12, 1914
Supt. Hamor of the Durango hatchery this week deposited 25,000 young trout in the Blanco.
Dr. Ellsworth and Will Nossaman are spending a few days on the upper San Juan in the vicinity of Elwood - hunting for gold.
Jim Carlin's new Rumley gasoline tractor has arrived and is now busily engaged hauling lumber and ties from his mill south of town. It is a great machine and does the work of twelve head of horses.
The Sparks Hardware Co. has recovered the saddle which was stolen from their store May 17th by a trio of tramp thieves. The saddle was recovered from a Mancos party, to whom the thieves traded it for a horse and who is now after them to recover his horse.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 14, 1929
Vernon Cato, who last week graduated from Denver University, arrived Tuesday and is spending the week on a fishing trip to Weminuche with two classmates from Denver.
The Alley Variety Store, which was compelled to move from the McGirr building, recently damaged by fire, is now nicely located in the Rumbaugh building, the former Archuleta County Court House. It was also damaged by the fire, but has been re-roofed and is now being decorated, both inside and out.
Ranger F.E. Loring now has a crew at work on the Piedra Trail, as well as other trails in his district. The sheep drive on the Yellowjacket divide is among those being repaired.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 11, 1954
An extremely hard wind Sunday was followed by a hard frost Sunday night and many gardens were nipped. It also killed some of the alfalfa in surrounding areas. This is fairly late for a freeze in this area but there have been other instances in the past when there were some slightly later.
The grizzly bear - one of America's most picturesque and dangerous game animals, and once numerous in Colorado where it is now threatened with extinction - is to receive protection in the state. The Colorado Game and Fish Commission has set aside an area on top of the Continental Divide in portions of Hinsdale, La Plata and San Juan counties to be known as the San Juan - Rio Grande Grizzly Bear Management Area.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 14, 1979
A mud slide, or flow, closed the road to Cimarrona Campground and the Poison Park area Sunday. There were about 18 people at the campground and their vehicles had to be towed across the mud so they could leave the area.
This area has not been hit hard by the gas shortage that is prevailing along the East and West coasts. There are service stations open every day of the week, and there is gasoline available at local stations all of the time, except in very rare instances, and there has been no time when there was not two or three stations that did not have adequate gasoline for tourists.
The San Juan River is rising again with warmer weather, but hasn't reached the high set earlier this spring.
Canvas of Bark: Local woman photographs vanishing tree etchings
By Tess Noel Baker
History on trees.
Etchings of horses, women, homes, lists of numbers, signatures drawn with a sharp point long ago by sheepherders high in the San Juans.
"You wonder who they were and what their lives were like," Peggy Bergon said, looking through some of the 1,800 photographs of these arborglyphs she's collected in the Pagosa area over several years.
Taking pictures of these journals on trees started as a hobby for Bergon in the late 1970s. Friends who were outfitters would sometimes request her services as a cook. Walking through the forest, she first noticed dates scratched in aspen bark. Old dates. And beautiful cursive handwriting. She started taking pictures.
"It was just pure instinct," she said. "I don't remember the first one I saw, but I remember the cursive writing and how beautiful it was."
The first dates she came across reached back to the 1920s. Since then she's found one carving dating to 1906. According to her research, Hispanic sheepherders worked in this area starting in about 1880, making their way through the wilderness to summer allotments with herds of between 1,300 and 1,800 sheep.
Generally, Bergon said, two people went with each herd - one was the camp tender, the other stayed with the flock. The shepherds received a permit for a certain area of pasture. Apparently, on their way to the assigned allotment, they would stop several times, make camp and then tend to the sheep, moving them a little farther each day in search of food and water. After about three days, the main camp would move to keep pace with the sheep.
Bergon said she's searched for more detailed information on the sheepherders and their industry in the early 20th century, but come up with very little.
"There's just not a whole lot of documentation with the sheep industry," she said. Available historical texts focus on the cattle industry, leaving her with a lot of mystery and few answers.
"I'd like to know how long did it take them to get up to their permit - that's one thing I would like to know."
She's also interested in the conditions of their trek, in what went through their minds as they walked or rode with the sheep. In the details of life on the trail for months on end.
And it wasn't just names. She has photographs of etchings of buildings, animals, religious icons, geometric designs, self-portraits, even notes and numbers, mathematical equations. Eventually, she came to recognize the carving styles of certain herders, slowly linking pictures to names when possible.
At first, it was just something she did if she came across arborglyphs on a hike. Then came the Missionary Ridge fire and the realization that the notes were being lost forever through disease, development, natural phenomenon and death of the trees.
Aspen trees, the canvas for arborglyphs, live only 80 to 120 years.
"There are truly thousands of carvings out there, although because of the age of the aspen trees probably 80 to 90 percent of them are already gone," she said. "The Missionary Ridge Fire made me realize how fragile a cultural resource this is."
To record the remainder of this vanishing record, she and a friend, Jeff Schaupp, began a hunt for arborglyphs in earnest in the spring of 2003. Nearly every weekend snow didn't cover the mountains, they took off in search of old stands of aspens, researching historical stock driveways in their spare time and packing sometimes as many as 10 rolls of film.
When they found a likely spot, they split up, working the stand of aspens on a grid system to help ensure they didn't miss anything, looking over all sides of the trees.
Most of the arborglyphs are found between four and five feet off the ground, Bergon said. Despite what people might think, the height of the trees has changed little, they've simply grown laterally. A few pictures, however, are higher, as though the artist carved on horseback. Most, Bergon said, are found in clusters, but not all.
"We've been in places where every tree has something on it, and then we've searched a grove, found nothing, been almost ready to go and come around a tree with something beautiful on it," she said.
They've even searched deadfalls, looking over and under the trees for the herder's markings.
As the photos are developed, Bergon said, she's catalogued them in albums, indexing names, dates and locations whenever possible. Ninety-nine percent of the names are Hispanic. Some, she has traced back to cemeteries in Lumberton and Dulce. Others, have only a question mark. Still others, she's organized into smaller books based on date, or just favorites.
"It's been interesting to me to see the wide range of age groups who think this is pretty neat," she said. Last summer, when the photographs nearly covered the house, her children's friends would stop to ask questions. Older generations stop to ask about family members. In a store once, Bergon said, she was talking with a woman who mentioned a close relative who had been a sheepherder. Bergon had pictures with his signature, a fact that brought tears to the woman's eyes.
"It's just a unique piece of history indigenous to this area," Bergon said.
She certainly isn't willing to quit looking. Already, she and Schaupp have been back at the trails, following them until stopped by snow, waiting to push higher and higher into history.
"I'd like to be able to get up to the actual allotments," she said, a task that would probably take horses. She'd also like to find the sites of some of the long-term camps, sites marked by hand-dug wells and other remnants and sites she's heard tell of, but never seen. And take up the search for oral histories, interviewing people who worked as sheepherders or their descendents.
To try to accomplish those goals, she is searching for research funds, both locally and statewide - something to help cover the cost of film and the cataloguing and preserving of photos which will soon become the only resource available.
"There's so much research to be done," she said. "Photographing, putting the families together, doing the oral histories, I just feel it's something the community will embrace," she said.
San Juan pioneers worked hard to survive, succeed
John M. Motter
Pioneering was not all glamour and romance.
Mostly, this land was tamed by plain hard work and perseverance. We miss the real, day-to-day story, because those pioneers merely tell us, "we settled such and such a place, in such and such a time."
If you've ever blistered your hands with shovels, axes, grub hoes, and other hand tools, as I have, you'll appreciate the following story about a pioneer who came to be known as "The Duke of Oats." His story can be found in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country, Vol. IV."
As did many pioneers, John Sponsel and his wife journeyed from their native Germany to the United States in response to advertisements touting free land. The time was between 1880 and 1885.
The two landed in Durango and immediately located a homestead. The land was covered with sage brush, rabbit brush, and either pine timber or the stumps left by loggers.
Without an animal of any kind, and with only his two hands, an ax and a grubbing hoe, John began the task of conquering a wilderness and raising a large family.
To protect his planted acres, he cut and carried poles on his shoulders to fence the ground. He dug and cut and trimmed and burned - burning out the old stumps the lumber men had left.
His first team was a horse and an ox yoked together to a borrowed plow or wagon.
Sufficient water for irrigation was not yet available, but the land got enough water to yield a good increase. In order to raise a garden, water was carried in a bucket to water the cabbage and other plants one at a time. Husband and wife, with meager subsistence, toiled through days without end. Blissful sleep brought rest to tired limbs each night.
Eventually, water diverted through irrigation ditches reached the land and harvests became bountiful. John worked for neighbors better fixed with money, soon had raised some feed and grain which he sold, purchased a better team and cattle and slowly developed a better life.
After a few years the meager beginnings grew into bountiful crops and the few cows into a fine range herd. Shelter for the stock and a new home followed. Life became easier and better.
After a little more time, the children were big enough to help. More land was acquired and crops expanded. Oats found a ready market at sawmills, in the mining camps and in growing Durango. At first a thousand or two bushels were produced. The first crops were cut with a scythe. Grain was threshed by hand with flails. Later, as many as 15,000 bushels were grown in a single year.
In 1891 the Rio Grande Southern Railroad was built. Building the railroad required many laborers. Farmers in the area planted large potato crops, all planted and harvested by hand.
Down through the years, other farmers and ranchers diversified in various directions, but not John Sponsel. John continued to produce oats. In a Feb. 1912, Mancos newspaper article we read, "John Sponsel, Duke of Oats, raised 16,000 bushels of oats on his Thompson Park farm, all harvested and threshed with his own machinery and practically all labor done by his own family. Big farm, big family, big yields."
Thompson Park is located between Durango and Mancos. Sponsel's story is not as exciting as many, but the hard labor is probably typical of pioneering in the San Juans, including Pagosa Country.
John Olbert Sr. came to Colorado from Illinois during the early 1880s. He tried his hand at a number of things including railroad building near Pueblo and working on the construction of the first snow shed on Marshall Pass.
While panning gold in the Colorado River, he became acquainted with Bob Hott and the man who later became Sen. West.
(Motter's note: Bob Hott was the cowboy ancestor of Pagosan R.D. Hott. In partnership with Sen. West, Hott ran cattle on the upper Piedra.)
Olbert eventually homesteaded in Thompson Park before finally settling near Oxford and serving time as a La Plata County commissioner. He was fond of telling stories.
Next week, we will repeat a couple of Olbert's stories about San Juan pioneers.
Pagosa Country forecast: dry, but cooler
By Tom Carosello
Probably dry, but cooler.
That's the prognosis for Pagosa Country weather in the coming week.
Also, wind is slated to make an occasional appearance on the regional weather stage, with performances likely through today and into tomorrow.
Rain, however, is not expected to be in the mix.
"There will be a chance for a little moisture in the north-central part of the state, but it looks as if southern Colorado will remain dry," said Norvan Larson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.
"And with the jet stream centered over the state for the next day or two, winds in the 15 to 20 mile per hour range will kick up from time to time," Larson added.
Finally, "Look for temperatures to come in 10 to 15 degrees below average as a cold front moves across the state through the weekend," he concluded.
According to Larson, today's forecast predicts mostly-sunny skies, increasing afternoon winds, high temperatures around 70 and lows in the 35-45 range.
Friday calls for occasional clouds, west winds at 10-15 miles per hour, highs in the 70s and lows in the upper 30s to mid-40s.
The forecasts for Saturday and Sunday indicate mainly clear conditions, highs in the 70s and lows around 40.
Partly-cloudy skies, highs near 80 and lows in the 40s are in the forecasts for Monday and Tuesday.
Wednesday's forecast includes a 40-percent chance for isolated thunderstorms, highs in the 80s and lows in the 40s.
The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 82 degrees. The average low was 39. Moisture totals for the week amounted to zero.
The Pagosa Ranger District rates the area fire danger as "high." Conditions can 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 below 30 percent of average.
San Juan River flow through town ranged from approximately 1,000 cubic feet per second to 2,000 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of June 10 equals roughly 1,500 cubic feet per second.