June 17, 2004 
Front Page

Tillerson says she'll quit; board halts recoup plan

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Legal action to recoup nearly $60,000 in gross severance payments doled out to Upper San Juan Health Service employees in the days leading up to and following the May election, has been put on hold.

Current members of the board of directors unanimously passed a resolution stating that, on the advice of counsel, and considering the best interests of the district, the matter will be dropped unless further evidence of criminal acts is uncovered.

"We were advised by legal counsel that it would be more money to go after them than we would receive back," Pam Hopkins, board chairman, said.

According to the resolution "regarding previous board members," presented at the board's regular meeting Tuesday, severance payments were made to Dee Jackson, executive director, Susan Spencer, administrative assistant, and Kathy Saley, training coordinator, upon their resignations between April 30 and May 6.

Jackson was paid a net fee of $29,865.41 via a check signed April 30 by Charles Hawkins and Patty Tillerson, both members of the board prior to the May 4 election, and Jackson herself. Saley netted $9,862.87, and Spencer received $8,862.59, both on cashier's checks dated May 6 and signed by Hawkins and Debra Brown, another member of the former board.

According to the resolution, the severance payments were allegedly barred by TABOR, executed without public knowledge, executed without board approval and authorization as required by law if they were valid and executed outside the authorization of the executive director. The resolution also states, "furthermore it appears that three board members of the former board attempted to disguise an unposted meeting at which a quorum was not present, as a meeting which might qualify to authorize such action."

Dick Babillis, who served as the district's temporary interim manager until June 7, said records found in the district offices include the agenda for a short meeting held May 6 in the Best Western Oakridge. In attendance were Jackson, Spencer, Saley, Hawkins and Tillerson. The agenda included: administrative business, the newly elected board, district plans and administrative staff issues.

Both Spencer and Saley turned in resignations May 6, stating they were, "harassed and forced to leave." This last statement, based on contracts signed with both in 2004, is what triggered the severance payments.

Babillis said it's possible others were in attendance at the May 6 meeting, but are not listed in the minutes. Bills for $190 in food and $90 in flowers were found that appear to be associated with the meeting.

"I think we will find there were no official board meetings, no posted board meetings, and not all members of the board were invited to any of the decision-making process you've looking at right here," he said, referring to the severance checks.

Later in the discussion, board member Jim Pruitt proposed an amendment to the resolution calling for Tillerson's resignation for her role in making the severance payments.

"We've signed a code of ethics," he said. "It makes no sense that we would not try to censor a person who would not follow that code of ethics." The amendment was approved.

In an interview Wednesday morning, Tillerson, who was the only one of seven board members not replaced in the May election, said she did plan to resign.

"I don't need this hate," she said. "I just don't need it. I have done nothing wrong."

Tuesday night, she pointed the finger of blame at the new board for pursuing policy that passed profits on to private physicians instead of the health service district.

Tillerson claimed EMS had been instructed to take all paying customers - those with third-party insurance - to the private Pagosa Family Medicine Center on ambulance calls. Indigent patients, she alleged, were to be transported to the Mary Fisher Medical Center. That practice, Tillerson said, not only reduces profits coming into the clinic, but makes it difficult to bill for the trips ending at the private doctor's office.

"We have learned in the past," Tillerson said, "if the ambulance transports directly to a doctor's office, more than likely they will not be reimbursed because insurance companies only recognized those transports to a designated emergency care center." The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center is licensed by the state as a community health care and emergency center, she added.

In an interview Wednesday, Allen Hughes, the district's interim business manager said Tillerson's statements regarding ambulance procedures were incorrect.

"EMS has not been directed either by administration or the board to take paying customers to the Pagosa Family Medicine Center and indigent to the Dr. Mary Fisher clinic," he said.

The June 15 meeting was the first Tillerson had attended since six new members of the board were elected in May. She walked out of the meeting at 7:35 p.m.

"I was totally ostracized from the moment I arrived," she said. "I couldn't make eye contact with anyone. No one even spoke to me." Tillerson added that the board's public request for her resignation due to alleged illegal acts was nothing more than a character assassination.

"You don't treat someone like that publicly," she said. "It's got to stop." Later Wednesday, Tillerson brought a letter of resignation to The SUN dated June 16 which reads, in part: "I believe it is sad that special interests that indeed are 'conflicts of interests' are now in control of the district and that, instead of spending efforts on 'building' you are spending time and effort on 'witch hunts' to discredit good people."

Tillerson said obligations made it impossible for her attend the last few meetings. She was listed as excused from the regular May board meeting. District bylaws state only unexcused absences from regular meetings, not special meetings or work sessions, count against a board member.


Lightning, campfire kindle blazes

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Storm clouds June 10 brought little rain and lots of lightning to the area, kindling Pagosa Country's first significant natural-cause fire of the season.

The 30-acre Puma Fire, located approximately 18 miles southeast of Pagosa Springs, started sometime Thursday afternoon. It was contained by midnight and controlled by Sunday at 7 p.m.

Cooler temperatures, higher humidity and a quick response from local and federal agencies allowed firefighters to get a quick handle on the fire.

Two hotshot crews, two helicopters and personnel from several other agencies assisted. On Friday, 25,000 gallons of water were dropped on the blaze, allowing firefighters to work slowly but surely toward the interior of the contained area.

Incident Commander Ron Klatt said mop-up efforts moved a little more slowly than expected because of the amount of large fuels on the ground.

Initially, the perimeter of the wildfire was thought to include private, BLM and forest service lands; however, it was eventually determined that it did not include public lands. A few homeowners in the area were evacuated for a couple of hours Thursday.

"In seven to 10 days from now, this fire would probably have been more difficult to control," Klatt said. "As the cheatgrass turns from purple to brown our fire danger will increase significantly, so folks really need to be careful with their campfires and other activities that could spark a fire."

Fire Chief Warren Grams said 11 members of the Pagosa Fire Protection District assisted with structure protection on the Puma Fire Thursday night. Four volunteers using two tankers continued to assist with water supply through Saturday night.

June 10 and 11 proved to be busy days for local firefighters. While the Puma fire was being contained, someone threw a cigarette butt into the wood chips in the traffic circle at Fred Harman Drive in Pagosa Springs, igniting the chips. Grams said the fire was quickly extinguished by a passing Pagosa Springs Police Department officer, but reminded everyone it could have easily been much worse.

Countywide restrictions prohibit disposal of cigarettes or cigars anywhere except approved receptacles.

Firefighters responded to what looks like another human-caused fire near Aspen Springs June 11. Grams said personnel were paged to Crooked Road south of Unit 6 about 4 p.m. Friday.

The fire destroyed a 14- to 16-foot camping trailer and burned about an acre and a half of ground cover and oak brush in the same area.

Grams said it took firefighters about four hours to control the blaze because of high winds.

"The camping trailer burned to the ground before we were on scene," he said. Twenty-three Pagosa Fire Protection District volunteers responded and cleanup was complete about 11:30 p.m. The fire was called in by the property owner and apparently started when a campfire was not properly extinguished. Charges are possible in the case and are being reviewed by authorities.


Land use regulations poll put on hold - for now

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Is it time for a "zoning" pit stop?

After receiving green lights since its inception in August 2003, Archuleta County's plan to pursue the revision of current land use regulations and the development of new alternatives has been pulled over.

Temporarily, at least.

As a result, a bulk-mailing initiative designed to gather public opinion on aspects in the proposed code - a survey originally given approval by the county board of commissioners in mid-May - will have to wait.

That's the scenario after a Tuesday night workshop ended with a majority decision to "revisit" the methodology involved in the 10-month planning process during an informal work session scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, June 21 in the courthouse meeting room. The public is invited to attend.

Also expected to attend are members of the same cast on hand Tuesday: representatives of the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission, county commissioners, administration, planning department staff and the Citizens Task Force - the committee charged with evaluating new options for land-use alternatives, a group appointed by the board of commissioners in January.

At issue during Tuesday's session was whether or not enough details are known about the current proposal, labeled "Re-vision: Archuleta County," to move forward with it at this time.

The proposal developed and presented by Marcus Baker, associate county planner, and the Citizens Task Force over the past several months is a "performance-based code" loosely modeled on an award-winning growth-management policy implemented in Fremont County, Idaho.

The proposal is also based, primarily, on principles established in the Community Plan, which was adopted by the county as a visionary guideline for growth in 2001.

Until this week, the plan had been given majority approval by the county commissioners and the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission at every juncture.

But discussions this week seemed to indicate a high degree of uncertainty exists among some who have been - and will continue to be - required to contribute to landmark decisions on the plan.

For example, "There is probably some debate on what the Community Plan is calling for," said Planning Commissioner Dan Aupperle, before summarizing a list of concerns he has with the current proposal.

The proposal, said Aupperle, lacks enough elements of traditional zoning, "has the potential to shut down growth" and does not include enough "real-life" examples or comparable alternatives.

"If that's what the county commissioners want, then maybe we ought to state that and move in that direction," added Aupperle.

"But I think we're going down a path, that frankly, I'm not comfortable with," concluded Aupperle.

"Maybe we haven't clearly stated what we want," said Commissioner Mamie Lynch, acknowledging Aupperle's sentiments.

"As for the county wanting to 'shut down' growth, I have always personally felt our aim was to try to manage growth," Lynch added.

Bill Steele, county administrator, suggested perhaps "taking a step back" to reevaluate opinions would benefit all involved.

"If the planning commission isn't comfortable with where they are, it may be worth a couple of hours to revisit that," said Steele, adding the issuance of written "majority and minority reports" might also help.

Planning Commissioner Bob Huff agreed with the notion to "step back" in the process.

"I don't think we're all that far apart, but we're at a point, I think, that gets a little fuzzy," said Huff, who was absent during the March 24 planning commission meeting in which the framework was first unveiled.

Sending out a survey without first "drawing in the lines" of potential industrial/commercial hubs, said Huff, may lead to the perception "that we're throwing out a blanket of bureaucratic regulations that cover all land use in the county."

"We need to take little, incremental baby steps," concluded Huff. "Let's get a draft on paper and review it."

However, others expressed different opinions - views that seemed to reject assertions the process has proceeded without being thoroughly examined.

"What we looked at is how we could take all of the information we were provided over the months and put it into a plan that can work for everybody," said Rhonda Zaday, a member of the task force.

With respect to traditional zoning, "It's built into the commercial and industrial evaluation aspects of the code," said Zaday.

"And we really feel we need more input from the public - the survey - before we start drawing lines," she concluded. "This is not a new development."

Furthermore, "The planning commission approved the overall structure and timeline for this process last year," said Baker, referring to the Aug. 27, 2003, planning commission meeting in which the proposal - including the notion of assigning preliminary development to a task force - gained unanimous approval.

As a result, "The planning commission, more or less, kind of set themselves to the side for that portion of it, in my opinion, though certainly not for the entire process," added Baker.

"We can't forget this all started with the approval of the planning commission," said Baker.

Echoing Baker's comments, "This is the way I understood the plan would be working," said Planning Commissioner Betty Shahan.

"I believe what we're doing is what most people want, and I understand all of this because I have heard it from the very beginning," Shahan concluded.

Planning Commissioner Larry Garcia added further commentary.

"I think we all need to get on the same page; that way we know exactly what we need to do," said Garcia.

"I think once we get to that point, everything will come together," added Garcia.

In subsequent commentary, Commissioner Alden Ecker indicated he is in favor of localized control of certain land-use decisions and implementing a plan "that best benefits the citizens of Archuleta County."

Near meeting's end, further discussions led to the decision to schedule Monday night's informative session, described by one attendee as an "enlightenment presentation."

To that effect, "We have to recognize that we're all not going to be happy in the end; that's not the way we work," said Steele.

"But I think we should take a half-step back ... and look at a more-detailed presentation of what the task force did," added Steele. "Maybe we don't all know what we all know."

"I think this is the wrong move," responded Baker. "What we're talking about has already happened, and no matter how many times we present it there will always be some who say, 'huh?'

"I recognize that, but this is only a concept, and I feel we have to move forward with presenting it to the public in order to develop details; all the answers aren't there right now," said Baker.

Commissioner Bill Downey agreed, stating, "I feel, in the community right now, there's a fair amount of 'get on with it,'" said Downey.

"That's not to say we should speed through it and do a sloppy job," added Downey. "More questions are fine, but I do think we need to keep moving."

On a related note, Jeff Robins, county attorney, indicated Tuesday a resolution is in the works that will create a new entity to be known as the "Archuleta County Planning Commission."

The new commission is necessary, said Robbins, because state statutes require land-use recommendations to the board of county commissioners to be handed down from an entity comprised solely of county representatives.

The current membership of the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission, save for representatives of Hinsdale and Mineral counties, will apparently be invited to serve on the new commission.


Forest Service invites comment on coal-bed methane drilling idea

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The U.S. Forest Service has released a preliminary environmental impact statement regarding proposed coal-bed methane gas production in the Northern San Juan Basin.

Public comments concerning the findings in the EIS will be accepted by the Forest Service for 90 days subsequent to its release date of June 10.

The draft EIS analyzes a proposal from six gas companies to develop nearly 300 new coal-bed methane wells on Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and private lands in a study area encompassing 125,000 acres north of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in La Plata and Archuleta counties. There are 300 existing coal-bed methane wells in the analysis area.

The EIS covers seven alternatives that study different development scenarios and mitigation measures and discusses numerous relevant issues, including the physical, social, and biological impacts from development of leases.

One of the alternatives, proposed by the gas companies involved - BP America, Pure Resources, XTO Energy, Elmridge Resources, Petrox Resources and Exok - suggests creating 273 well pads and 118 miles of roads in the study area, which would affect an estimated 1,113 acres.

The Forest Service's preferred alternative scales back that proposal, recommending the creation of 211 well pads, up to 283 bores and 94 miles of roads, a plan that would potentially affect about 965 acres.

However, environmentalists would like to see the scope of the project narrowed even further, especially since development is slated to occur in the HD Mountains.

The EIS released last week addresses a wide range of environmental concerns, including those applying to the HDs, but at the same time cites the "right of lease holders to develop federal mineral resources to meet continuing needs and demands so long as undue and unnecessary environmental degradation is not incurred."

It's the latter half of that statement that raises a point of contention among those who oppose development plans for the HDs.

In a press release issued last week, "The HD Mountains are the last tiny corner of the San Juan Basin not yet drilled for natural gas," said Janine Fitzgerald, president of the San Juan Citizens Alliance.

"As the HDs go, so goes the rest of the West," adds Fitzgerald. "Are we going to sacrifice all of our public lands to natural gas drilling, or save a few special places for future generations?"

Drilling in the HDs, says the release, threatens not only stands of old-growth ponderosa pine and area wildlife, but also the health and safety of resident families and the livelihood of area businesses.

In addition, the release states the HD Mountains Coalition intends "to scrutinize the Forest Service's planned drilling with technical experts in a range of fields including air quality, archeology, forestry, wildlife, and hydrology" and plans to work with those "concerned about the reckless proposal to flood the Forest Service with comments expressing concern."

The SJCA also alleges "the Forest Service's preferred alternative waives a long-standing health and safety regulation that bans drilling along the outcrop of the coal-bearing Fruitland Formation that holds the coal-bed methane."

According to Walt Brown of the San Juan Public Lands Center in Durango, that claim is somewhat accurate, but does not tell the whole story.

Because of the effects some of the existing wells in the Northern San Juan Basin have had on the area, said Brown, federal policies were enacted that prohibit drilling within 1.5 miles of the top of the Fruitland Formation.

"But that buffer has always been contingent upon the completion of the EIS for the Northern San Juan Basin," said Brown.

"In other words, the buffer is in effect now but can be modified as a result of the EIS released last week," he added.

"We're still investigating it; the preferred alternative could be viewed as one way the current buffer might be changed," Brown concluded.

While the EIS indicates the majority of wells in the analysis area are proposed in La Plata County, the Forest Service's preferred alternative currently calls for 86 wells in the portion of the HDs that stretches into the western edge of Archuleta County, with most development targeted at federal lands.

The total coal-bed methane reserve in the Northern San Juan Basin analysis area, including production to date, is estimated at about 2.5 trillion cubic feet, which could result in about $7.5 billion in gross revenues.

The life expectancy of the wells in the study area is estimated at about 25 years.

According to statistics provided by the Forest Service, federal mineral revenues generated $211,112 last year in Archuleta County, with $105,556 dispersed to the state of Colorado.

Finally, approximately 45 percent of the land in the study area is privately owned, and while the EIS considers cumulative effects from the proposed additional development on private lands, it makes no decisions involving private property because the EIS has jurisdiction only on federal lands and minerals.

According to a Forest Service press release, written public comments must be postmarked no later than Sept. 8, 2004, and mailed to Northern San Juan Basin CBM EIS, USDA FS Content Analysis Team, P.O. Box 221150, Salt Lake City, UT 84122. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to: nbasin-cbm-eis@fs.fed.us.

Compact-disc copies of the draft EIS are available at the San Juan Public Lands Center, 15 Burnett Court, Durango, 247-4874, or the Columbine Public Lands Office, 367 Pearl Street, Bayfield, 884-2512. Because the EIS is very large, limited hard copies are available.

The document is also available on the Web at www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan or www.nsjb-eis.org.

During the comment period, a local public hearing will be held (date and location to be announced) where interested citizens may offer oral comments, and local open houses will be held to offer information.

A subcommittee of the Bureau of Land Management Southwest Colorado Resource Advisory Council will also sponsor a concurrent working group process to offer additional avenues for local public involvement.

For more information, contact Walt Brown or Jim Powers at the San Juan Public Lands Center at 385-1304, or Vaughn Whatley or Hillerie Patton at the BLM State Office at (303) 239-3671.


 Inside The Sun

'Health district hemorrhaging badly', medical director says

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

It was a sequel without the cliffhanger.

At Tuesday's regular meeting of the Upper San Juan Health Service District Dick Babillis, who served as temporary interim business manager until June 7, presented "Where's the money? Part II," to the board of directors.

Since taking on the temporary position in May, Babillis has been searching district records to discover how $483,000 in total cash in the district as reported in August of 2003 vanished. Currently, he said, the district has about $35,000 in the bank with accounts payables still outstanding, including $15,000 dating back to October of 2003.

To explain, he used indicators with broad estimates instead of exact figures. The exact numbers, he said, will have to wait until mid-July when an extensive audit by Chadwick, Steinkirchner, Davis and Company, LLC, of Grand Junction, should be complete. That's Part III of "Where's the Money?"

Babills said audit company representatives spent four days on site last week collecting 2003 information. He offered a little preview of their report based on remarks made during their visit. It appeared, he said, there were:

- significant differences between billing entries in the clinic's billing system and entries into the district's accounting system

- significant differences between EMS billing reports supplied to the billing service and entries into the district accounting program

- poor management of accounts receivable

- and at least $7,000 in 2003 accounts payable that were never posted.

"On the other hand," he said, "in looking for where the money went, they (the auditors) found most of the money so there weren't huge gaps there, just some poor reporting and accounting for it."

Babillis said, according to his research, the money began to trickle away with the departure of four providers from the clinic in 2003. As could be expected, he said, the majority of their patients followed, but the clinic was staffed at nearly the same level as before at sometimes higher costs.

Patient levels stayed down and remain there, Babillis said, resulting in continued losses.

Later in the meeting, Dr. Guy Paquet, medical director at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, likened the problem to a hemorrhage.

"When you have a hemorrhage," he said, "You don't just try to stop a little bit of the hemorrhage because you're going to bleed to death. No matter what, you have to stop the whole hemorrhage. Right now, the health district is hemorrhaging badly."

Current volume, he said, does not support a full-time physician, it does not support the provider overlap on Thursdays and Fridays and it doesn't support eight hours of operation on Saturday. "The status quo is not economically viable," he said and urged the board to move quickly to solve the problem.

On the EMS side, Babillis said, billing remains about the same, but billing practices need to be cleaned up. That's revenue.

More losses can be attributed to what he called "discretionary spending." These things, he said, do not necessarily represent a misuse of funds. They simply represent spending, more trickle of money away.

In this category, he included about $60,000 in severance pay, $48,000 in legal fees and $87,000 in consulting fees, including the salary for a training coordinator, among other things, about $244,000 all together.

To address at least a few of the issues, the board approved several suggestions presented by interim district manager Allen Hughes, including a motion to set ambulance fees according to the billing companies' standard. Hughes said currently the district was averaging billings of $200-$300 below the industry standard in Colorado.

The board also approved a policy setting the limit for overdue accounts receivable at 90 days before being sent to collections with a review process to insure patients are given the opportunity to settle the claims.

They took under consideration a proposal from the financial advisory committee to solicit proposals, "for the operation of patient care, urgent care, EMS advisors and 24/7 coverage as soon as possible to reduce the serious financial drain on the," district.

June 23, at 7 p.m., the board plans to meet in the EMS board room in a work session. The agenda will include: consideration of the financial future of the district, fostering communication between board members and meeting with staff from both the EMS and Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center. No motions or action will be taken.


Middle Fork fire designated for wildland strategy

The Middle Fork Fire is burning at high elevation inside the Weminuche Wilderness approximately 1.5 miles north northeast of the Middle Fork Trailhead and 19 miles north northwest of the town of Pagosa Springs.

It was estimated Wednesday afternoon at 1.5 acres in size and was burning to the north. It was reported late Tuesday night and is believed to have been started by lightning.

The fire is burning on steep slopes in rough terrain.

The Middle Fork Fire has been identified as appropriate for wildland fire use, a firefighting strategy that allows for management of certain fires.

The goal of this strategy is to allow a natural fire regime to return to remote areas of National Forest lands that have been deprived of fire for a century by all-out suppression tactics. A wildfire can qualify for wildland fire use management if it is naturally caused, does not threaten populated areas, and is ignited inside the boundary of a designated wilderness area. In addition, sufficient firefighting resources must be available nearby.

Because of the very steep and inaccessible terrain in the Middle Fork, fire managers believe it would be unsafe to put firefighters in the area at this time. The fire will be closely monitored by air and ground crews.

Although the San Juan National Forest just announced fire restrictions to go into effect on Monday at lower elevations, fire danger at the elevation of the Middle Fork Fire (9,720-foot elevation) is still considered to be moderate.

For further information, contact Fire Information Officer Ann Bond at the San Juan Public Lands Center, 385-1219.


Salazar brings Democratic candidacy for U.S. House to Pagosa Springs voters

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

He's familiar with the Four Corners area, having been raised in the San Luis Valley.

But John Salazar was a little taken aback by road construction delays as he worked his way across the 29 counties in the 3rd Congressional District.

The Democratic choice for the race was a few minutes late for his Thursday appearance in Pagosa Springs, the delay attributed to work between Silverton and Durango.

He was quick to get to the point of his trip: He wants to take his record as a state legislator to Washington as the replacement for retiring U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis.

A lifelong farmer, rancher and businessman in the nearby San Luis Valley, Salazar says growing jobs grows the local economies.

"Small business," he said, "is the heart of the state's economy, especially in rural communities that rely greatly on tourism and agriculture."

The Manassa state legislator took 70 percent of the delegate votes at the recent state Democratic convention in Pueblo, to secure his spot on the ballot.

He and his wife, Mary Lou, own and operate a seed potato operation and he is an owner, past president and CEO of Spudseed.com, an Internet company that markets potatoes. His family has farmed and ranched the same lands in Conejos County for more than 100 years.

A graduate of Centauri High School in La Jara and Adams State College in Alamosa, he feels he is in tune with the needs of the Southwest Colorado region.

Getting adequate funding for highways, creating new jobs and building infrastructure that encourages business growth are basics.

But, he said, "a major concern is health care. It is simply too expensive and out of reach for too many residents of not only our district but much of the country."

In fact, he said, "right now at least one of every five people in this congressional district has no health insurance."

He began the quest for moving area residents out of that category by sponsoring legislation in the state House that would have lowered prescription costs for consumers and the state.

He said it appears someone "has to take on the big lobbies and expand affordable health insurance so it is available to all Americans," and he believes he's the man to do that.

Perhaps even more important to this region of the state is his position on protecting Colorado water and natural beauty.

He knows firsthand how precious our national resources are, he said, and how important it is to balance use of the land with protection of its beauty so future generations can explore and enjoy the state as his pioneer family has.

"Water is the lifeblood of the region," he said, "and we must work to protect the basin of origin rights." Toward that end, he said, he worked to defeat the recent Referendum A in Colorado, calling it: proposed careless management of our most precious commodity."

He said his election will bring a commitment to fundamental environmental priorities, "leading with water protection, wild area preservation and assistance to rural economies."

In addition to his service from House District 62, Salazar has served on the Governor's Economic Development Advisory Board, the State Agricultural Commission, the board of directors of Rio Grande Water Conservation District, and the board of directors of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Forum.

His interest in youth - he and Mary Lou have three sons - is evidenced in his coordination of the St. Joseph Parish Youth Group, working with the Manassa Elementary School basketball and leadership program, and mentoring young students at Centauri.

An Army veteran, he served in a criminal investigations unit 1973-1976, stationed in Indiana and then Germany.

The older brother of the state's attorney general, Ken Salazar, John Salazar said he is in favor of rolling back tax cuts for top income brackets and balancing the budget.

"The deficit creates inflation and high interest rates," he said. "I am concerned about our children having to pay this back."

And then, it was off to Creede - and more probable highway construction delays on Wolf Creek Pass - before heading home to wind down from another long day on the campaign trail.


Educational forum on wildfires slated in Aspen Springs

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

The Archuleta County Fire Plan states, "It is not possible to protect every home in the wildland/urban interface, so residents must participate in protecting their own properties."

This statement, combined with the citation that Aspen Springs, Unit 6, is the No. 1 wildfire risk area in the county, motivated the Aspen Springs Community Pride organization to develop an educational forum to help citizens be prepared when wildfire strikes.

A free, wildfire protection meeting is planned for the general public at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, at the Mountain Christian Fellowship in Aspen Springs. From U.S. 160, in Aspen Springs go north on Buttercup, at Paul's Place (the former VFW hall); turn right on Flicker, proceed to the A-frame at 259 Flicker Lane.

Other highest-risk areas identified in the plan are, in order, Alpine Lakes Estates, Log Park, San Juan River Resort Village, Burns Canyon, and Pagosa Lakes, near Martinez Canyon.

The meeting will open with a 20-minute presentation, "Wildfire and You in Archuleta County," by Laurie Robison, fire protection technician, from San Juan Public Lands Center. The presentation discusses fire history, fire's role in our forest ecosystems, how Euro-American settlers, society and culture altered fire in the ecosystem, what we can and need to do to help our forests, and what homeowners need to do on their property.

A panel of fire experts will address the following topics:

- "Goals and Strategies in Local Forest Fuels Management" with Jo Bridges, Pagosa District Ranger, U.S. Forest Service

- "Good Neighbor Policies on Indian Lands" with Jim Shepherdson, fire management officer, Bureau of Indian Affairs

- "Beetle Infestations, Defensible Space and Fire Mitigation Assistance" with Chas Carmichael, Colorado State Forest Service

- "Defensible Space and Fire Protection in Aspen Springs" with Warren Grams, chief of Pagosa Fire Protection District

- "Evacuations and Safety Info for Aspen Springs Residents" with Tom Richards, Archuleta County sheriff and Fred Harman, 9-1-1 coordinator.

At 7 p.m., the newly released, 30-minute video, "First Line of Defense: Homeowners Stand Up to Wildfire," will be shown. This educational film outlines the steps you can take to make your home more defensible against wildfire before it strikes. Listen to other Colorado homeowners who either lost or saved homes to wildfires during the 2002 fires.

Lots of handouts from Colorado State University Cooperative Extension and other agencies will be available for furthering knowledge on this critical topic.

Residents are strongly encouraged to get the facts and prepare for wildfires.

Aspen Springs Community Pride is offering to share this program with local organizations to foster broader dissemination of this vital information, which can save lives and properties from needless destruction. Call 731-3138, for program resources.


Two hikers rescued by SAR personnel, helicopter crews

By Gary Grazda

Special to The SUN

Upper San Juan Search and Rescue teams were doubly busy last week.

Dick Cole, supervising coordinator, said members responded to two calls for assistance to hikers in distress.

A search began Friday, June 11, after Theresa Shepherd, a visitor from Midlothian, Va., came into the Archuleta County Sheriff's office to report her husband was lost somewhere in the wilderness.

Sheriff Tom Richards said Mrs. Shepherd was interviewed by Cole. She said her husband called her from a cell phone and reported being lost somewhere near one of the waterfalls on Fourmile Trail where he had gone on a solo walk earlier in the day.

Cole was able to talk to Shepherd on his cell phone but the lost man was unable to determine his location or give map coordinates to authorities. He said he did not have GPS, compass or camping gear and that he was clad in khaki shorts and a fleece jacket, He did have some food and water with him.

A call for search and rescue volunteers was hampered by the fact many members are also volunteer firefighters and were involved with two separate blazes in the county.

Nevertheless, over 30 volunteers responded to the call to help locate the lost visitor. Searchers worked under hazardous conditions until about 11:30 p.m. when Cole called off the search until daybreak for safety reasons.

Early Saturday rescue unit personnel resumed the search assisted by members of the El Paso County (Colorado) Search and Rescue and horse teams from Mounted Rescue, a group of private horsemen.

By that time Shepherd's cell phone battery was too low for effective communication.

Almost six hours of searching failed to locate Shepherd who was celebrating his 50th birthday alone on a mountain top near 10,000 feet and in temperatures below 30 degrees.

Cole called for a helicopter from New Air Helicopter in Durango after it was determined that a Colorado National Guard helicopter crew from Eagle would not be able to respond until some time later.

"I was concerned for the well-being of Shepherd who by now had been exposed to the elements for about 20 hours," said Cole. "Even though we had several foot teams and horse teams looking for him, we still did not know his exact location. The New Air Helicopter was the solution."

The helicopter landed at an incident command location near the base of Fourmile Trail and picked up Ronnie Crandall, an EMT who acted as an observer.

Found at 10,000 feet

A few minutes after being airborne, Crandall spotted Shepherd standing in a sunny area near the 10,000-foot level.

The helicopter evacuated Shepherd to Stevens Field where he was embraced by his wife Theresa after he exited the helicopter.

An EMS crew waiting at the airport examined Shepherd and pronounced him in good condition.

He and his wife expressed gratitude to all the volunteers who worked so hard to find and return him to safety.

Mrs. Shepherd was heard to remark she planned to buy her husband a GPS device for Father's Day.

Second search

An earlier call involved a 15-year-old female from Houston, Texas.

Courtney Charlie was allegedly suffering hypothermia when a friend used a cell phone to notify authorities June 9.

The unidentified male caller told a county 9-1-1 operator they were somewhere in the Granite Lake area but could not pinpoint the location and was able to give only vague clues.

Both EMS and Search and Rescue personnel responded but were hampered by lack of a definite location.

A medical helicopter from Taos, N.M., was called in to assist in locating the subject and shortly after arriving, spotted her about six miles from the Poison Park Trailhead.

The chopper landed, and a medical crew evaluated the girl before flying her to Mercy Medical Center in Durango where it was determined she was suffering from hip pain.


PLPOA director proposes survey for long-range plan

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Development of a 20 to 25-year long range plan for the Pagosa Lakes community could hinge on an in-depth property owner survey proposed June 10.

Director Gerry Smith outlined for the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board of directors a probable three-year process to determine subdivision by subdivision the hopes owners have for what the area will be like 20 years down the road.

Based on a similar survey done by a Pennsylvania property owners group, the idea would be to take a year to accumulate data, a second year to develop proposals and a third to formulate a set of directives based on community ideas.

Smith's proposal would be to conduct the resident survey in five segments with three phases.

Phase one would include determination of constituent positions on common areas, i.e., tennis courts, swimming pools, a second recreation center, etc,; and a similar determination by individual subdivision including the unique desires specific to each such unit.

Phase two would include developing positions and/or modifications proposals for adoptive vote in all common areas and by individual subdivision; and the decision process would be decided - was response sufficient to make an informed recommendation? Was percentage of participation enough to be binding?

Phase three would be the development of an implementation schedule.

Smith pointed out the steps would have to be designed to gain majority response.

"We need definitive questions which are common to all areas and specific questions for desires within individual subdivision organizations," he said.

He noted the Pennsylvania survey began with a message to owners from the association president that the survey was needed and would be done, with specific time frames.

Owners were given financial incentives to participate and that in turn developed a huge response.

Once such response is achieved, he said, the next step would be to analyze and communicate analysis of responses with an overall town meeting to introduce conclusions and meetings in the individual subdivisions to quantify and evaluate unit-specific desires.

Then, he said, the idea would be to ratify or refute by individual item, both associationwide and within the individual subdivisions.

If the plan were to be approved, he said, it would have to involve a staff team assigned to develop questions for probable common problems and individual subdivision teams of three or five members working within their specific subdivisions to develop ideas.

Smith said he was not introducing the survey idea as a staff or board mandate proposal, not to railroad any decision, but to find a means of determining resident desires both associationwide and within specific neighborhoods.

He said it should be developed, if the board decides to conduct the survey, so that all property owners "know, going in, that an outcome will be assured ... that they will be a part of a process that has a sequence of outcome certain."

The Pennsylvania project had 30 pages of multiple choice questions, "far more than we would have," Smith said, "and it included many questions that would not be specific to local needs here. But it provides a basic idea for local use."

The biggest problem, if the board decides to go ahead, "may be engaging the community. Residents need to know they are helping formulate what this area will be like down the line when new board members sitting here and on boards in separate subdivisions look back for guidance."

Director Fred Ebeling agreed a survey is needed reference possible updating of declarations, bylaws and regulations, "but we should not get into amenities ... it would be wrong to play God and try to be everything to every property owner."

Smith assured him there was no such intent, that the survey would be need specific, and would determine what people want in the future.

"It could be roads, public safety or an outdoor swimming pool; it might be a feeling recreation centers should be self-supporting; or that the lakes lend a character to the entire association and not just to those subdivisions on their shores," he said.

"We would not be looking for ways to tax everyone for the amenities of a few," he said. "We would be talking about the character of the whole community and the individual communities comprising it."

Director Bill Nobles said it is his opinion the survey is a good idea. "We need to make decisions, not sit on our hands. We have nothing to lose ... and nothing to gain if we don't look forward. This is the right direction to take."

Director David Bohl, board president, said, "It is easy to sit here and make judgments. The reality is that such a project will take time. We need to lay the groundwork and the develop the actions which would best extract the community's sentiment."

Walt Lukasik, association general manager, was directed to contact the association which polled its Pennsylvania community.

Find out what worked for them, what didn't, what they'd do differently now, what they'd suggest to others, he was told.

And it will be an ongoing topic of discussion, Bohl said, "until we make a decision one way or another. We will not rush into anything unless we are convinced it will work."


PLPOA paring duplicate voter list addresses

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Holding an election is much more complicated for a property owners association than for a normal governmental unit.

That was made clear June 10 when the board of directors of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association got an update on preparations for the July annual meeting and election.

Walt Lukasik, general manager, said 18,500 newsletters have been prepared for mailing to property owners in time to have ballots returned at the July 31 annual meeting.

But, he said, research has shown there are innumerable duplications on mailing lists and that Gloria Petsch, the new executive secretary, has been paring down the list.

In fact, he said, she has found at least 4,000 duplicate addresses between association membership lists and those of the seven time share associations.

That means only 14,500 ballots will be mailed, in order to avoid duplication of ballots.

Confusing that issue, however, is the fact many nonresident property owners are also members of time share associations.

That issue confuses because a property owner gets a full vote while a time share membership qualifies for 1/50th of a vote.

That makes the job of confirming ballots an even tougher one for election officials on ballot counting day.

When one member of the board asked why the association didn't acquire the Fairfield mailing list to avoid duplication, Lukasik said Fairfield, "in the interest of protecting the privacy of owners, will not release its data base."

In conjunction with that discussion, Lukasik asked if the board intends a regular meeting July 8 in addition to the annual meeting and the August meeting on the 13th.

Board members agreed they should keep all three meetings as scheduled, sticking with regular board routine.

In other action the board:

- approved an addendum to the animal control contract with Archuleta County to clarify two previously undefined provisions - making training for animal control, at PLPOA expense, a once-a-year operation (if necessary); and spelling out more completely the percentage of cost borne for major repair or replacement for an animal control vehicle

- heard from Lukasik that administration is still awaiting word from La Plata Electric Association on how it intends to deal with the controversial installation of power lines at South Shore Estates and the threat of legal action to block it

- agreed to increase its share of cost for warning buoys against boats entering areas near the golf course from $250 to $500 after learning the total cost will be about $1,000

- heard that dues collections are slightly ahead of last year at this time, with approximately $830,000 having come in

- heard Lukasik report an item was overlooked on the annual budget, the upgrading of parking lots at both the administration building and recreation center. He said $7,300 had been placed in reserve for the work but was inadvertently not included in the budget. "And both lots are in very bad condition," he said.

- approved a previously discussed resolution setting guidelines for home replacement in the event of fire or catastrophic loss, after incorporating therein an ECC recommendation for wording specifying "review and design meeting current standards"

- heard that May animal control action resulted in 6,720 minutes of service and 1,609 miles driven; three dogs impounded, no cruelty cases, six dogs released to owners, six verbal warnings issued an one summons issued.


Sheriff's office sponsors handgun safety course just for women

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.


EMS review author hired interim business manager for health district board

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Emergency medical services experience, plus recent work in Pagosa, gave Allen Hughes the leg up on the position of interim business manager at the Upper San Juan Health Service District.

Hughes, a paramedic with a bachelor of arts in organizational development and a master of science in management from Regis University in Denver, started June 7.

Prior to accepting the Pagosa position, Hughes operated his own EMS consulting firm in Loveland. As a consultant, he was hired by former Upper San Juan District executive director Dee Jackson in 2003 to complete an independent review of EMS operations. Jackson received the report in September, but it was never given to the board. Jackson said it was "work product" and incomplete. Board member Dick Blide presented a copy of the review - which pointed out several deficiencies in operations - to members of the board at the end of October.

In part, Hughes' review read: "We have identified a number of organizational practices that need to be addressed. It is our opinion that all identified deficiencies need immediate attention and therefore have the same 'number one' priority ranking. Some areas of operations need new programs or processes to improve business practices. Others need to be reevaluated and redesigned Until all issues are resolved, the organization remains vulnerable to liability. With that said, if the political turmoil and climate of hatred and distrust are not resolved, these deficiencies can not be adequately rectified."

Jim Knoll, a member of the interim search committee, said Hughes' involvement with that report was one of the things that made him such a strong candidate.

"It was felt he could 'hit the ground running' and take the day to day load off the board almost immediately so that they could turn to more strategic concerns," Knoll said. Hughes listed four years of experience as an EMS director and knowledge of business consulting, team development, financial management, personnel management, contracts, public relations, strategic planning and problem resolution on his resume.

Eight candidates applied for the interim position. Three were placed in the long-term search category because they were from outside the state and could not be interviewed within the time frame requested. One other withdrew application prior to an interview. The other four candidates were interviewed.

Hughes received a six-month contract with a salary of $5,000 per month and no other benefits. He has expressed interest in the permanent position.


Five share $13,500 in Rotary aid

By Livia Cloman Lynch

Special to The SUN

A primary mission of Rotary is to promote "Service Above Self."

Since 1982, the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club has awarded college scholarships to 87 local youth with awards totaling $168,000.

The purpose of these annual scholarship awards is to encourage student participation in community service, reward intellectual excellence, and provide needed financial assistance for further education.

This year the club awarded $13,500 in scholarships to five graduating seniors. A $6,000 academic scholarship went to co-valedictorian Randi Pierce who plans to attend Fort Lewis College this fall.

Jon Howison received a $4,000 academic scholarship to attend Colorado University at Boulder; and David Kern and J.R. Hudnall each received $1,000 academic scholarships. Kern will attend Hillsdale College and Hudnall plans to attend Colorado School of Mines.

Chrystal Snow was recipient of the $1,500 Rotary vocational scholarship and plans to attend San Juan College.


Be an archaeologist for a day at Crow Canyon

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center has begun its popular summer Day Programs for archaeologists-at-heart.

Offered every Wednesday and Thursday throughout the summer, this program provides a one-day, in-depth perspective on ancient Pueblo Indian life ways, as well as an introduction to archaeology and Crow Canyon's research.

The programs begin at 8:45 a.m. on Crow Canyon's campus. Crow Canyon's laboratory holds pottery and stone tools excavated in past research projects and a tour of the lab demonstrates how discoveries are made through the careful analysis of these artifacts. Then participants have a chance to examine them while learning the basics of archaeology and ancestral Pueblo culture.

After a lunch prepared by Chef Jim Martin and his staff, a Crow Canyon educator will escort the group on a tour of Albert Porter Pueblo, which was occupied between A.D. 700 and 1280.

This will be Crow Canyon's last year of excavating at this beautifully preserved site which may have served as a large community center.

The research team believes it holds clues to the nature of Chacoan influence in the Mesa Verde region. Day Program participants tour the site to learn about the important contributions archaeological research has made to understanding the ancient people and communities of the Southwest.

The Day Program concludes back on campus at 4 p.m.

This exciting chance to be an archaeologist for a day is open to individuals, groups, and families. Children should be at least 10 years of age. Participants should bring a water bottle and wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Hats, sunglasses, and sun screen are recommended.

The cost is $50 for adults (ages 18 and up) and $25 for children (ages 10-17). Lunch is included in the cost. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (970) 565-8975 or (800)422-8975.

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is the Southwest's primary archaeological research and education facility. Its research programs focus on the study, interpretation, and preservation of archaeological sites from the ancient Pueblo Indian cultures of the American Southwest.

Crow Canyon works in partnership with descendants of these cultures and involves the public in its research. Scholars interact with program participants on Crow Canyon's 170-acre campus west of Cortez, in the greater Southwest region and throughout the world. The not-for-profit organization offers excavation, workshop, and travel programs. It has provided hands-on learning opportunities to program participants for more than 20 years.


Power of attorney, a valuable aid

Today, you are in complete control of your life. That's why it's hard to understand that someday you may need someone else to make decisions for you.

A power of attorney is a written document where you (the principal) appoint someone (called the agent or attorney-in-fact) to handle your affairs if you can't take care of things yourself. Even if you have a will, you should still choose a power of attorney since the will's executor doesn't gain power until your death.

Your agent will be making important decisions on your behalf so he should be someone you trust. Many people select their spouse and designate a child or other relative as a substitute. Pick another person if your spouse will be unable to handle everything because of an illness or the inability to manage finances.

There are a few different types of power of attorney, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). They differ on when they start and end. These types include:

- conventional power of attorney - begins when you sign it and continues until you become mentally incapacitated

- durable power of attorney - begins when you sign it and is effective for life until you cancel it

- springing power of attorney - begins when a specific event happens (such as incapacitation).

You can give your agent as much power as you want. Let him sell your car, manage real estate, sell stocks or sign your income tax return. When designating power of attorney, it makes the most sense to give your agent a range of powers so he will be allowed to take care of everything for you - even things you haven't thought about. Note that all powers of attorney end at your death, meaning that the agent can't make any decisions after your death.

The best way to prepare power of attorney is through a lawyer. It's a step that could save you and your family valuable time. If you don't have a power of attorney, family members may have to go to court to appoint a guardian.


Called for grand jury duty? Here's what it means, how it works

The State Court Administrator's Office has provided this information to Colorado residents.

Grand juries are summoned by the courts when the attorney general or a district attorney's motion is granted by the chief judge to empanel the body. A court may also summons a grand jury upon its own motion. Grand jurors are summoned from the same pool as trial jurors.

In counties with a population of 100,000 persons or more, according to the latest federal census, a grand jury is drawn and summoned by the court to attend the sitting of the court at the first term of such court in each year. In all other counties, the grand jury shall be called and shall sit at such times and for such periods as the court may order on its own motion or upon motion by the district attorney of the judicial district in which the county is located. (Section 13-72-101, C.R.S.)

A grand jury consists of 12 or 23 members in addition to four alternates. At any meeting of a grand jury at least nine grand jurors constitutes a quorum. (C.R.S. 13-72-102)

Grand jury members are selected by the chief judge with the advice of the district attorney. The court, upon its own motion or at the request of the district attorney, can enter an order to preserve the confidentiality of all information that might identify grand jurors when reasonably necessary to protect the grand jury process or the security of the grand jurors. In absence of such an order, upon request, the jury commissioner will make available for inspection by members of the public a list of jurors containing only their names and numbers. (Section 13-72-103, C.R.S.)

Grand juror service is for a term of 12 months unless the court discharges the jurors earlier or enlarges such term upon a finding that the efficient administration of justice so requires; except that in no event shall a grand jury serve for longer than 18 months. (Section 13-71-120, C.R.S.)

The grand jury hears witnesses called only by the prosecution. It also has the power to subpoena witnesses as it deems appropriate. Witnesses may be accompanied by an attorney. However, that attorney cannot participate in the grand jury process.

Indictments: A grand jury has the authority to return an indictment (also known as a "true bill" or "presentment"). It also may decline to issue an indictment (a "no true bill"). Under certain circumstances, a grand jury may issue a report. (Section 16-5-205.5 C.R.S.)

The district attorney can petition the court ordering any indictment to be sealed and no person may disclose the existence of the indictment until the defendant is in custody or has been admitted to bail except when necessary for the issuance or execution of a warrant or summons. (Section 12-72-109, C.R.S.)

Judicial district grand juries

Grand juries are not drawn, summoned, or required to attend the sitting of any court in any county in Colorado unless specially ordered by the court having jurisdiction to make such an order and except as provided above as specified in counties with more or less than 100,000 population. A judicial district grand jury has the same powers and duties and functions in the same manner as a county grand jury except that its jurisdiction extends throughout the judicial district. The law applicable to county grand juries applies to judicial district grand juries except when that law is inconsistent with the provisions specific to the latter. (Section 13-74-102 through 110, C.R.S.)

Statewide grand juries

State grand juries exist because of the need to investigate and prosecute crimes without regard to county or judicial district boundaries in cases involving organized crime, criminal activity in more than one judicial district, or unusual difficulties in the investigation or adjudication of a matter or cases in which the attorney general has the authority to prosecute. (Section 13-73-101, C.R.S.)

The attorney general may petition the chief judge of any district court for an order to convene a state grand jury. This body has the same powers and duties as a county grand jury except that its jurisdiction extends throughout the state. (Section 13-73-102, C.R.S.)

Juror selection: The state court administrator prepares a list of prospective state grand jurors drawn from existing jury lists of several counties. Not more than one-fourth of the members of the jury can be residents of any one county. Terms of service and length of service mirror those of judicial district grand juries. (Section 13-73-103, C.R.S.)

The presentation of evidence is made by the attorney general or his designee. (Section 13-71-106, C.R.S.) Judicial supervision of the jury is maintained by the chief judge who issued the order impaneling the jury and all indictments, reports and other formal returns made by the jury must be returned to that judge. (Section 13-73-105, C.R.S.)

Indictments: The attorney general can petition the court ordering any indictment to be sealed and no person may disclose the existence of the indictment until the defendant is in custody or has been admitted to bail except when necessary for the issuance or execution of a warrant or summons. (Section 13-73-107, C.R.S.) Any indictment by a state grand jury is returned to the chief judge who, by order, designates the county in the state as the county of venue for the purpose of the trial.

Judicial Branch policy

Any inquiries to court personnel regarding whether a grand jury has been convened, what is being discussed, or that a jury is even meeting will receive a response, "I can neither confirm or deny the information you are seeking." Court personnel can provide information as to whether an order has been issued by the chief judge to preserve the confidentiality of the membership of grand juries which deems that neither juror names nor numbers may be released to anyone other than the prosecutors and/or investigators with the district attorney or attorney general's office without written authorization from the court. Copies of these orders are available at the clerk's office where the chief judge presides. Often these orders are entered by the chief judge when the jury is initially convened at the onset of its 12-month period of service and is effective for the duration of the panel.

The information provided is specific to Colorado state court grand juries. Inquiries regarding federal grand juries should be directed to the specific court in question.


Relay For Life raised $50,000 for cancer fight

By Morna Trowbridge

Special to The SUN

Over $50,464 was raised this year at Relay For Life in Archuleta County.

Opening ceremonies included a parade by the Road to Recovery drivers, a prayer by Rev. Don Ford, introduction of 49 local survivors with their victory lap and reception then, with 21 teams participating this year, the Relay itself, with team members walking through the night and into the morning.

When not walking on the track, team members had the chance to play games, eat the mountains of donated food and maybe catch a little shut-eye.

Corporate donations this year produced $15,800; the always wonderful silent auction Chair Event drew $2,605; luminaria sales netted $2,225 and team totals were $29,834.

Best decorated tent site went to Archuleta County; top fund-raising business was Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate and the "Diving Turtles"; top fund-raising civic group was Pagosa Springs Rotary Club; top fund-raising church group was First Baptist Church; top fund-raising youth group was the Key Club of Pagosa Springs; top fund-raising government group was Archuleta County; top fund-raising nonprofit group was Pagosa Lakes Property Owner's Association; top fund-raising club was The Bridge Group; top fund-raising individual was Dick Bond, who raised $2,325; and top fund-raising team and caretaker of the "pig" for the next year was Pagosa Springs Rotary Club which raised $6,218.


Quitting chewing - tobacco - can be a momentous decision

By Jane Looney

Special to The SUN

For Matthew, it is the hardest thing in life. For Sam, it was O.K. And for Mike, it was easy.

Quitting chew is different for everyone. They do so for different reasons and with different techniques or tricks that work for them.

Mike still goes through a box of toothpicks a week. Matthew quit for two months and is back chewing. Sam ended up turning to cigarettes. And now he's in the midst of dealing with quitting that hard habit.

Nicotine is a drug. It is highly addictive. More so than cocaine and heroin. Spit tobacco contains twice the nicotine of cigarettes. In fact, if a person uses just two cans of snuff each week, he or she is taking in the same amount of nicotine as someone smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes each day.

Tammy Honald, local dental hygienist and Lasso Tobacco Coalition member, states that it's "Much more addictive because it goes directly to the bloodstream via mouth tissues."

Dental hygienists see the effects on the mouth - tooth abrasion, gum recession, tooth discoloration and bad breath, oral cancer, and pre-cancerous (leukoplakia). Honald recommends that chewers take their lip and pull it out to look at where they hold tobacco. "Look to see if it's spider webby or white patch. If it is, you may have leukoplakia (means white patch), a precancerous condition."

If you do find this condition, she suggests that you immediately quit or move your chew to new place in your mouth. If the condition doesn't change after two weeks, you should consult your dentist for a simple biopsy.

After 20 plus years of chewing, Mike said doctors and dentists were amazed that he didn't have any pre-cancerous lesions. He was lucky. Though younger and used less years, Matthew is not as lucky. Matthew's dentist and doctor absolutely warned him about the health risks. They took pictures of his mouth - poster child for all the things wrong.

It's a gamble and a timebomb. Spit tobacco drastically increases a person's risk for cancers of the lip, tongue, cheeks, gums, mouth. This year, more than 27,000 American will be diagnosed with oral cancer. More than 7,000 people die from it.

However, even if you don't have signs oral cancer, chew tobacco causes a whole set of health concerns for the rest of the body. Nicotine causes: increased heart rate, high blood pressure, strokes, and increased risk of heart disease. The high concentrations of salt can contribute to high blood pressure as well. In addition to nicotine, spit tobacco contains 28 chemicals known to cause cancers such as throat, larynx and esophagus as well as other health problems.

Matthew is planning on quitting next week when he returns from his brother's wedding. Though disappointed that he didn't stay quit, he's optimistic "I'm building each time, makes it easier."

Mike is five months quit. Almost as an after thought, he shares "from quitting tobacco, my blood pressure went from 197 over 100 to 130 over 80, something like that.


- Colorado Quitline -- (800) 639-QUIT (7848) free

- co.quitnet.com - great tips/ resources; easy; interactive, 24 hours, online buddies

- San Juan Basin Health, free Quit Kits: contact Susie at 264-2409 Ext. 25

- www.quitspit.com


Major improvement projects under way in school buildings

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

School may be out for the summer but there is no shortage of activity in the school buildings.

Steve Walston, maintenance director for Archuleta School District 50 Joint, told the board of education June 8 there are eight major projects underway.

Planning for the district's new maintenance and transportation building southeast of the high school is right on schedule, he said.

Drawings are 60 percent completed, he said, "and we're on target for seeking bids in July, starting construction in August and seeing completion in Spring 2005."

At the elementary school, he said air conditioning work was to start June 16 and heating system improvements are ongoing. New electronic controls are being installed "and we expect both functional and costs savings."

At the high school, he said, a sidewalk heating system is being installed to create a drainage for snow melt off the portico at the band room entrance.

"We had severe stress this year handling the melt-off. We had to call in steam cleaning personnel to melt off the ice pack on the roof and still it created a dangerous condition at ground level where at least one person was injured in a fall," Walston said.

"Heating the sidewalk," he added, and funneling the resultant drainage to the ditch northeast of the building "should eliminate 99 percent of the problem."

He said the ball field sprinkler system improvement planned for this year has been postponed after the bids received "were too high.

"We are now pumping non-potable, untreated water to the fields from the new raw water feed east of 5th Street," he said.

At the junior high school, Walston said, the decision has been made to do the reroofing program in three phases, beginning this year with work at the south end of the structure where the worst problem exists.

"We're limited," Walston said, "by the small number of qualified contractors in the area of the type of work needed." He estimated the first phase will run about $60,000, with working on the balance of the roof continuing in 2005 and 2006.

He told the board the floors in the high school and junior high gymnasiums are going to be completely redone during the week June 21-27, including total restriping. No access to those facilities will be allowed that week.

Walston said the department's work order list was at 80 projects when 40 would be the norm, "but there is only one budget line item project so far.

"It will be quite a challenge to meet all the needs, but we will prioritize them and anticipate completing more than half before school reopens this fall," he said.

Finally, he said, the various emergency departments have asked for a specific address and name for the new maintenance-transportation building.

"I suggest the board pick a name for the street."

"Easy Street," or "Hard Rock Avenue," have been suggested, he quipped.

"Sterkel Circle," was a suggestion from the audience. (Glen Sterkel is director of vocational education in the structure which will separate the new facility from the high school itself).

Others heard were "Bus Barn Boulevard," "Icy Lane" and "Crazy Circle."

The board declared the name decision "under study."


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.


Planning Commission

The Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, in the county commissioners' meeting room, in the county courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

- Call to order/roll call at 7 p.m.

- Election of officers

- Request for an extension of time for the final plat for Colorado's Timber Ridge Phase 5.

This request is for consideration of a six-month extension of time for consideration of the final plat for Colorado's Timber Ridge Phase 5 (formally called Colorado's Timber Ridge Ranch Community - Phase I). This is a proposed 11-lot subdivision located on 34.57 acres.

The property is located at the end of Cool Pines Drive, east of Colorado's Timber Ridge Phase I and south of Alpha Subdivision

- Request for an extension of time for the re-plat of a portion of Tract H, Pagosa Vista Subdivision creating Tract H-1.

This request is for consideration of a six-month extension of time to allow the applicants to apply for a variance from the land use regulations for improvements required for the final plat. Tract H-1 will have 2.18 acres located in Tract H of the Pagosa Vista Subdivision.

The property is located at 116 Prospect Blvd. along the South side of Prospect Boulevard just east of the junction of Lake Street and Prospect Boulevard

- Review of the final plat for Cordova Minor Impact Subdivision

This request is for the final plat Review for a one-lot subdivision of 10.02 acres with a designated use of a single-family residence.

The property is located at 2901 CR 500 (Trujillo Road). The property is more generally located about 2.9 miles south of the junction of U.S. 160 and 8th Street

- Other long range planning as may come before the planning commission

- Review of the May 12 and 26, 2004 planning commission minutes

- Other business that may come before the commission

- Adjournment.


Nintendo competition had co-champs

By Karen Carpenter

Special to The PREVIEW

Thursday's Nintendo 64 "007" mini-competition was tough but produced champions - a tie between Patrick Manzanares and Allan Van Ness. Congratulations, guys.

Beginning Friday, June 18, and every Friday thereafter we will be having an open mic night. 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.

As usual, we'll have the movie night and refreshments Friday. The movie "Hope Ranch," will be shown. What could ranch life teach the kids on the streets? You'll want to find out. It is rated PG-13.

Next week we'll feature challenges that explore teamwork and brain power. Come be part of the fun.

We are in need of refreshments. Anyone interested in donating snack foods to the Teen Center, contact me at 264-4152, Ext. 31, or talk to Mercy.

The Teen Center is in the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard and is open 1-8 p.m. weekdays.

Many thanks to Lorri Bayger and Doug Ihly for covering for me while I was attending my niece's graduation in Ohio last week.


Lava Lava Island hosts Vacation Bible School at CUMC

Community United Methodist Church invites children of the community, preschool through grade 5, to Lava Lava Island: Where Jesus' Love Flows.

"This year our church is overflowing with excitement as we explore Lava Lava Island," said the Rev. Don Ford, pastor. "Our Lava Lava Island program will provide fun, memorable Bible-learning activities for kids of all ages.

"Each day kids will sing catchy songs, play teamwork-building games, nibble tropical treats, take a daily challenge to let Jesus' love flow home, experience electrifying Bible adventures and create Bible Point crafts they'll take home and play with all summer long.

"Lava Lava Island is an exciting way for kids to learn more about Jesus' love," Rev. Ford said. "We'll be studying stories about the life of Jesus. Plus, kids will join nearly a million children in North America participating in this program this summer.

"We'll conclude each day with a festive Lava Lava Luau that gets everyone involved in celebrating what they've learned.

"Family members and friends are encouraged to join daily for this special time at 11:05 a.m. We hope Lava Lava Island will help Jesus' love flow into our community."

The program is scheduled June 21-25, 8:30-11:30 a.m. daily at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.

Lunch for all children attending will be served at 11:30 a.m. For more information call 264-5508.


Power House auction is Saturday

The Power House Youth Ministries annual auction, its primary fund-raiser, is scheduled in Town Park Saturday, June 19, starting with dinner at 5 p.m. followed by the auction at 6:30.

Money from donations auctioned help run the facility for the following year and are tax-deductible.

For more information on Power House operation and the auction, call Bill and Barbara Fair at 731-5202 or 264-4403.


SJMA seeks weed digging volunteers

The San Juan Mountains Association is recruiting volunteers to help eradicate noxious weeds along the first fork of the Piedra River.

This effort will take place June 21-24, and is held in conjunction with the San Juan National Forest Pagosa Ranger District. This project will include digging thistle and other noxious weeds. Interested parties should contact Kent Rector at 385-1242.


Hospice garden spring planting is set Saturday

If you've ever been in the position of needing hospice care for a loved one, you know the depth of feeling they put into their service.

An annual rite celebrating the care of hospice workers and of those whose final days have been made easier by their efforts comes to Pagosa Springs Saturday.

The memory garden operated by Hospice of Pagosa Springs adjacent to the Chamber of Commerce building will be the 10 a.m. site for the event.

Spring plantings accompanied by a brief introduction of key personnel, a dedication address and music by Pagosa Springs High School singers, will be part of the program.

But the keys will be the people who join to plant offerings to brighten the garden throughout the summer months.

The first planting in the garden took place four years ago and each year the participation has increased.

Bring your plants and a trowel, and join in the salute to hospice and those they have served.


2004 Fiesta features parade, food, entertainment

By Jeff Laydon

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Fiesta Club has put together an exciting schedule for 2004 Fiesta July 17. La Herencia de Pagosa!

Get ready for a great time with family and friends enjoying fun, food and entertainment starting with the traditional 10 a.m. parade kicking off the Latin rhythms of the day.

Parade applications can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce and prizes will be awarded for the best entries.

At 11 a.m. the Fiesta will get underway in Town Park with admission set at $5 for adults and $2 for kids under 12.

Entertainment will include talented local dancers and singers. Some program openings are still available and, if you would like to participate, you can call Lucy Gonzales at 264-4791.

Ernestine Romero, "La Joven-cita," from Santa Fe will be entertaining throughout the day with song and dance you're sure to enjoy.

The Knights of Columbus will be provide libations and the always delicious cooking by the Guadalupanas will be featured.

Vendors will bring arts and crafts, toys, chile from New Mexico and much more. A few more vendor spots are available. If interested, contact Alberta Nickerson at 731-2496.

Program directors encourage families to come together to participate in the games and the Hispanic costume contest. Fiesta in the Park will end at 4 p.m.

Then, at 7:30 p.m., the doors will open for The Fiesta Dance at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Cost is $12 for adults and $5 for children under 12. There will be lots of dancing and musical entertainment by Tucson y los Amigos from Durango, with more delicious food and the Fiesta Cake to top it off.

Discounted tickets go on sale this week at the Chamber of Commerce at $20 per couple in advance.

All proceeds benefit selected Pagosa Springs High School graduates with scholarships for continued education and new community benefits for senior citizens and children's programs. Any and all support is appreciated.

For more information or if you would like to volunteer call Jeff Laydon at 264-3686.

Viva la Fiesta.



10th annual TARA Independence Day parade in Arboles

The TARA Historical Society at Navajo Lake will present its 10th annual Independence Day parade and barbecue 10 a.m. Saturday, July 3, in Arboles.

All are welcome to participate in the parade. Line-up is at 9:30 a.m. Enter at Willard Way from the east (off San Juan Boulevard/CR 982 - the road to Navajo State Park). Just follow the signs.

All are welcome to the barbecue at the TARA Community Center, 333 Milton Lane, immediately following the parade.

Come and dunk the Los Pinos Fire District firemen in the dunking booth sponsored by the fire district's women's auxiliary.

For more information, call Kathy St. Germain at 883-2286.


Mountain Man Rendezvous is returning June 24-27

After an absence due to the drought last year, the Rendezvous of the Brotherhood of Free Trappers and Friends will return to Pagosa Springs June 24-27.

Early setup at the site on Reservoir Hill will start June 24, hosted by the House of Muskets, Trader Bob and the Brotherhood.

One of the features of the event celebrating the men who helped conquer the wilderness is a reenactment of the Mountain Man era prior to 1840. Primitive dress is suggested but not required.

The public is welcome to observe the events and there is no admission. For the enthusiasts, however, there will be campin' and shootin' fees of $25 for adults for campin' - $35 for families (immediate only); $10 per family for campin' and for traders, $20 plus one drive and that includes campin' fee.

In addition to the primitive camp, there will be a tin tipi camp nearby, firewood and water will be provided, dogs must be on leash at all times. There will be daily novelty shoots, trail walks, aggregate for rifle and pistol, knife and hawk, pee wee's competitions (free), black powder cartridge competition and council fire fun.

Men's and women's aggregate prizes will be awarded for first and second place and many other prizes also are planned.

Neither the Brotherhood nor the Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department will be responsible for any accident or injury incurred during the event.

Camper/trader registration and shooter registration will be 8 a.m.-1 p.m. June 24 and 25. Each of those days the paper range will be open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. as will the trail walk, and knife and hawk. Novelty match times are to be announced and a traders' row will be ongoing.

The same times will apply June 26 with children's activities to be added at a time to be announced; all targets to be turned in by 6 p.m. and council fire storytelling at dark.

On the final day thee will be a free shoot on the paper range, trail walk and knife and hawk 8-10 a.m. and awards presentation at noon.

For more information, call Booshway Billy Hawkins at (970) 247-8149.


Canine Good Citizen evaluation an opener for Pet Pride Day

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

The ninth annual Pet Pride Day will feature a new event this year — an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen Evaluation which will be held as Pet Pride Day opens at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 26, in Town Park.

To prepare dogs for this 10-step evaluation Julie Paige and Jan Nanus are holding group practice sessions in Town Park at 6 p.m. Mondays and Fridays. This is an excellent opportunity to polish up your pet's obedience skills.

Even earlier in the day, runners will be registering for the Canine 9K Race and the 2.5K Fun Run for youngsters, which will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the race will begin at 8. Previous runners and walkers will receive registration materials in the mail; otherwise registration forms are available at the Humane Society Thrift Store. Runners are encouraged to run with their pet, as long as both are in condition.

For the second year the Humane Society is inviting everyone who has adopted a pet from the shelter to come to the event with their pet. Adopters will register, be given a button in recognition of their important role and be asked to join in a group photograph.

The abandoned dogs and cats of our community depend on people like these for their new homes and we want to honor both pets and owners at this year's event. Just this year, well over 100 pets have found homes with people in our community.

Present also will be some of the current shelter dogs searching for new homes. So a special invitation is extended to community members who might be looking for that special creature to fill a void in their family circle.

Once again we will have a Breed Showcase, featuring a variety of breeds and popular crossbreeds with information regarding their characteristics.

The Watsons from Wolfwood, the wolf rescue sanctuary, will be present with some of their charges to talk about issues they face.

And for even more variety, the DBJ Ranch will have some of their llamas present and engaged in an obstacle course. Everyone will enjoy Leviticus the goat trained to draw a cart as a 4-H project. He and his handler, Danelle Condon, will offer rides to the little ones.

And for just plain fun there will be the Paws Parade with its contests for best overall costume, owner pet look-alike and celebrity pet look-alike. So to the folks and their pets who like to dress up, get to planning this year's costume.

And there will be contests of all kinds: smallest dog (over 6 months of age); best canine vocalist; best retriever; most unique item fetched; best Frisbee catcher; best cat trick, longest whiskered cat; longest dog with shortest legs; curliest tail; tallest dog; face only a mother could love; best tail wagger and most colorful animal.

Many useful services and products will also be available, innovative pet products, pet inoculations by Dr. Gretchen Pearson of Elk Park Animal Hospital and microchipping by the Humane Society.

And finally, food offered by the 4H. In short, there is something for everyone on this day when pets come first in Town Park.

Contact Julie Paige (731-0231) or Jan Nanus (264-2556) for information about canine good citizenship; Contact Joe Donovan (731-9296) about the breed showcase.

Should you like to participate by volunteering, call 264-5232.




Fire restrictions on public lands to begin June 21

Fire restrictions will go into effect Monday, June 21, in Zone 1, the lower-elevation zone, of the San Juan Public Lands.

The restrictions will be Stage 1 restrictions which mean:

- campfires are limited to permanent fire rings or grates within developed campgrounds

- smoking is limited to vehicles, buildings, or 3-foot wide areas cleared of vegetation

- chain saws and other internal-combustion engines must have approved, working spark arresters

- acetylene and other torches with an open flame may not be used

- the use of explosives is prohibited.

By restricting campfires to campgrounds, fire managers hope to reduce the risk of an escaped fire from a hot, untended campfire, which they have been finding on a regular basis this spring.

The use of fireworks is prohibited on all Forest Service and BLM lands, regardless of zone.

In 2003, fire managers divided the San Juan Public Lands, which include the San Juan National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management-San Juan Center, into two zones - Zone 1 and Zone 2, which basically correspond to lower- and higher-elevation zones.

"The change to zones was very well received by the public, law enforcement, outfitters-guides, and others," said Mark Stiles, forest supervisor and center manager, "so we decided it was definitely worth continuing."

The zones are not based strictly on elevation or vegetation type because it was necessary to find some definable features to describe the boundary between zones.

From U.S. 550 east to Wolf Creek Pass, the low zone includes all San Juan Public Lands outside of the South San Juan and Weminuche wildernesses.

West of U.S. 550 over to the Utah border, fire managers have used roads and trails to define the low zone, which includes lands south of Kennebec Pass, Spruce Mill Road, and the West Dolores Road.

Basically, all BLM-San Juan Center lands, including Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, are in the low zone, except for those located in San Juan and Ouray counties outside of Silverton.

"People may have to use a part of the forest that they are not familiar with if they want to have a campfire outside of a campground," said Stiles, "but at least they still have that opportunity with the zones."

There are three stages of fire restrictions available to federal fire managers - Stages 1, 2 and 3, with Stage 1 being the least restrictive and Stage 3 the most restrictive.

There are currently no plans for restrictions in the high zone, but if the monsoon season doesn't arrive in mid-to-late July, restrictions could be possible.

"However, it's unlikely in the high zone that we would need to go beyond Stage 1 restrictions," said Stiles.

Fire managers look at fuel moistures and other indices to determine the fire danger, as well as some subjective factors, when deciding whether to institute fire restrictions.

"Our large dead fuels are exhibiting very low fuel moistures, and the grasses, which greened up so nicely this spring, have begun to cure out, increasing the chances of a human-caused fire escaping," said Ron Klatt, fire management officer for the Columbine Public Lands office in Bayfield.

Fire managers look at the long-range outlook not only for weather, but also the availability of firefighting resources.

"Right now we are still in good shape in southwest Colorado," said Stiles, "but we have requested some additional resources as a precaution."

In addition to the single-engine air tanker (SEAT) pre-positioned in Durango and two Type 3 helicopters available at Mesa Verde and the Ute Mountain Ute agency, firefighters are also supported by a Type 3 helicopter stationed at Animas Air Park, an air attack plane for reconnaissance at the Durango Air Tanker base, and a Type 2 helicopter stationed at Stevens Field in Pagosa Springs.

Flyers describing the current restrictions will be posted across the public lands at trailheads, campgrounds and entry areas. Maps showing the two zones will be available at Public Lands Offices in Pagosa Springs, Bayfield, Durango and Dolores, as well as at visitor centers and on the Web by the end of the week.

Additional information on fire restrictions for local counties and other entities can be viewed at www.southwestcoloradofires.org.


USFS extends comment period on Dutton Ditch proposal

The Pagosa Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service has extended the comment period on the proposed Dutton Ditch pipeline project to July 19.

The proposed project involves the construction of approximately 31,000 feet of a water transmission pipeline by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.

The pipeline would generally follow or be adjacent to the existing Dutton Ditch.

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 St. Comments may also be faxed to Attn: Rick Jewell, fax number 264-1538.

Oral comments must be provided at the district office during normal business hours via telephone or in person, or at an official agency function (i.e., public meeting) that is designed to elicit public comments.

E-mails must be submitted to comments-rockymountain-sanjuan-pagosa@fs.fed.us. Comments sent as an attachment to an e-mail message should be submitted in Microsoft Word (MS-Word) format in a common font such as "Times."

For electronically mailed comments, the sender should receive an automated acknowledgment of receipt. If the sender does not an automated acknowledgment of receipt, it is the sender's responsibility to ensure timely receipt by other means.

To qualify for standing to appeal the subsequent decision on this project, an individual or group must submit "substantive comments" during the comment period.

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposed action and will be available for public inspection.

Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, those who only submit anonymous comments will not have standing to appeal the subsequent decision.

For further information, contact Rick Jewell, environmental coordinator with the Pagosa Ranger District, at 264-1509.


PLPOA kids' fishing derby winners listed

By Larry Lynch

Special to The SUN

With nearly 150 fish caught despite a lower than normal turnout, the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association fishing derby produced some happy winners June 4.

Winner in the 6 and under category was Halie Severs, who caught a rainbow trout nearly as big as she was.

Second place in the category went to Trevor Bryant who landed several nice perch, and third was Clara Charnley who enjoyed catching a sizable yellow perch.

In the 7-9 category, first place went to Cody Haynes with 15 fish; second to Lila Burns-Weerstra, also with 15 perch caught; and third place to Morgan Shelton with several more nice perch.

Brandon Haynes was first in the 10-12 age category for a large perch; Briana Bryant second and Killian O'Conell third.

All the winners took home nice prizes including new fishing poles, tackle boxes and other fishing gear.

Ponderosa Do-It-Best provided the prizes at their cost.

And, as a result, everyone went home happy.


Four-day outing spawned love for outdoors

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

Though I don't recall the exact date, many years have now passed since my good friend, Bob MacCall, first invited me to camp on his wooded 40-acre parcel near Montrose. And, while planned as a simple four-day outing of fun, light adventure, and warm camaraderie in the trees, I could never have foreseen the profound influence that particular event would have on the rest of my life.

I was living in Vail at the time, and shared an apartment with my older brother, Jim. Having recently moved there from the Midwest, I was beginning a new life after divorce and the utter stagnation of a dead-end job. Bob also lived in Vail, though he, Jim, and I had served together in the Marine Corps Reserves back in our home town.

My move to Vail was actually the result of what was supposed to be a 10-day visit, during which Jim and Bob took me hiking, rafting, camping, and to the top of Mount of the Holy Cross, a fourteener south of town. I was so taken by the natural beauty of the high country, with its grand treeless summits, vast aspen and conifer forests, cold gin-clear trout streams, and the fresh, almost sweet, taste of the crisp mountain air, that any thoughts of returning to the Midwest simply held no appeal.

So, I didn't. Instead, I went to work tending bar in a popular Bridge Street nightclub, and flipped burgers at a favorite locals' hangout on the side. Meanwhile, Bob waited tables at the Holiday Inn, and briefly tried selling real estate.

In the months that followed, we became fast friends. We shared many common interests, and as work schedules allowed, we hiked, camped, partied, and in the wintertime, skied Vail Mountain together. While humor was always a principal theme in our developing relationship, our mutual love of the outdoors formed a bond that, no doubt, will hold us together for life.

Bob apparently never sold any property, but in the attempt, managed to discover 40 densely-forested acres for sale outside of Montrose. It was one of a handful of similar parcels in a comparatively small and secluded subdivision largely surrounded by public forest. The price seemed reasonable, and one overnight campout quickly convinced him to buy.

It was probably the summer of 1978 when Bob invited me to his land. Another hometown friend, Roger Adams, had also moved to Vail a month after me, and the three of us made the three-hour drive to Montrose in Roger's four-wheel-drive, Dodge Power Wagon.

Situated in the Uncompahgre River valley, Montrose is approximately 5,800 feet in elevation, and summer daytime temperatures routinely soar into the mid-90s. While irrigation allows significant agricultural production north and south, the adobe hills east of town are dry and barren, with little or no appreciable vegetation.

To the west, however, the landscape steadily rises up the east side of the Uncompahgre Plateau, as a sparse and semi-arid piñon/juniper forest gradually gives way to great stands of aspen and ponderosa pine. Douglas fir and a few Engelmann spruce dominate the higher terrain over 10,000 feet, where afternoon highs are often 20 to 30 degrees cooler than town. Said to be the largest plateau in the world, the Uncompahgre is relatively unsettled, and its diverse wildlife includes an abundance of mule deer and trophy elk.

It was a hot sunny afternoon when Roger, Bob and I pulled into Montrose. Eager to escape the heat and any semblance of civilization, we quickly purchased supplies at the local supermarket, then hastily drove another hour up the plateau and into the forest. I still remember our excitement as the miles unfurled, and the road grew narrower and more primitive.

The country was wild and unaltered, and all so new to me, I struggled to keep my bearings through a virtual maze of left and right turns. All the while, as we passed in and out of forest and meadows, we saw but a single old ranch house, and it looked weathered and somewhat rickety, as though tough economic times and a host of harsh winters had progressively taken their toll.

A few more miles, and the road lessened to a rough and rocky two-track with deep ruts and occasional mud puddles, suggesting that when the rains come, travel is rather precarious. By then, the forest had really closed in, and only minor breaks in the aspens and pines revealed striking views of the San Juan and San Miguel mountains to the south.

The sun was low in the western sky ahead, as we passed through a gate just two miles from camp. Back then, a padlock held the gate secure, and gaining entrance to Bob's property (and its neighboring parcels) required the right combination; something Bob had wisely written down and kept in his wallet.

With the road abruptly ending just half-a-mile past Bob's, and only a couple of other parcels showing any sign of recent human inhabitance, I remember thinking how incredibly private the place was. Not only did a locked gate keep people out, but it could also keep us in if we misplaced the combination.

We drove into the property an hour before dark. The sky above was a deepening blue, while the still evening air brought a slight chill that had us reaching for jackets. The west was still bright, though the sun had slipped below a tree-lined ridge that loosely defined the national forest boundary beyond the road's end. In the woods some distance away, a robin spoke softly to its unseen companion, apparently settling in for the nighttime roost.

The witching hour had come that brief magical moment when all is quiet and everything seems suspended. With a long day nearly finished, yet the dark of night still minutes away, we quietly rushed to make camp under the aspens.

The weather was ideal over the next couple of days, with cool clear mornings, warm partly cloudy afternoons, and crisp starry nights. Long walks in every direction from camp slowly gave me a feel for the lay of the land, where thick forest occasionally gave way to lush open meadows, and to the south, the lofty San Juans. A steep wooded slope and broad shallow ravines bestowed character to the property, and I found myself silently considering several sites for a future cabin.

Often, I was content for a time, sitting on a log or in tall grass, looking and listening, and basking in nature and a sense of solitude that I had never really known before, and couldn't quite explain. No doubt, the expanse of sheer wilderness that lay between where I was and the outskirts of town, or perhaps the fact that only a few people in the world could open the gate a couple of miles away, lent me this blissful air of personal fulfillment. Regardless of its origin, it was a feeling of absolute isolation from the civilized world that I thoroughly enjoyed, and have returned to the property to experience many times since.

Today, a modest hunter's cabin sits in the tallest aspens on the southeast corner of the land, with unobstructed views of the high peaks to the south. Things have changed some over the years, and a few more people have discovered that corner of the plateau. But the surrounding forest and abundant wildlife are still there, and the property is owned free and clear and Bob says I'm invited to visit any time.


A new fire defense video now available

A new video, "First Line of Defense: Homeowners Stand Up to Wildfire," is now available at the San Juan Public Lands Center.

The video is a locally produced 30-minute documentary about how southwest Colorado residents worked to lessen the risk of losing their homes to wildfire.

The video highlights an actual "defensible space" project conducted near Durango at one woman's home in a ponderosa pine forest. The forest was partially burned during the Missionary Ridge Fire in 2002.

The camera follows her, a forester and a mitigation crew as they determine the risks, needs and choices they face, then take it step by step to thin and trim brush and trees around the home, ultimately making it safer from wildfire.

The film is a partnership production of the Office of Community Services at Fort Lewis College and Durango Community Access Television, Cable Channel 22. It was funded and supported by the San Juan Public Lands Center and the Colorado State Forest Service.

The video, available in both DVD and VHS format, is available at local libraries and fire stations and Forest Service/BLM offices in Dolores, Durango, Bayfield, and Pagosa.


Workshop will focus on jobs in wildlife refuge

Have you always wondered what life was like at a wildlife refuge?

A free workshop is going to be held at the South Fork Community Building 4-5 p.m. Thursday, June 24.

Admission is free and topics will include: Life at a Wildlife Refuge, types of animals found there, ways to keep wildlife safe, and more. Consider this an abbreviated, off-site tour of a wildlife refuge.

There is a minimum of 20 attendees needed, so bring the family. Call (719) 873-5512 for more information.


Noted horseman Curt Pate plans free Friday session

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.


Forest Legacy Program proposals are due by July 22

The Colorado State Forest Service is currently accepting Forest Legacy Program proposals. The application deadline is July 22 for federal fiscal year 2006 funding.

The purpose of the Colorado Forest Legacy Program is to protect environmentally important privately owned forested lands that are threatened by conversion to non-forest uses.

This program provides an opportunity for private landowners to retain their landownership, continue to manage their land and receive compensation for the development rights.

The Forest Legacy Program authorizes the U.S. Forest Service, through the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS), to purchase permanent conservation easements on private forestlands to prevent those lands from being converted to non-forest uses.

Forestlands that contain important scenic, cultural, recreation, water resources, fish and wildlife habitat and other ecological values that support continued traditional forest uses will receive priority.

Landowners who voluntarily choose to participate in the program are required to follow a land-management plan designed for their forest. Activities consistent with the management plan including timber harvesting, grazing and recreation activities are permitted.

Colorado already has an extensive network of well-qualified land trusts and other non-governmental land-conservation organizations.

The Colorado Forest Legacy Program will support the efforts of this existing land-conservation network. Because CSFS is the lead agency for the Colorado Forest Legacy Program, title to all easements must be held by CSFS.

"The program offers an important opportunity for land conservation groups in Colorado to access federal funding to protect valuable private forestlands," said Joe Duda, forest management division supervisor, CSFS. "CSFS will continue to foster strong partnerships with local land trusts to service conservation easements though contracts or other service agreements," Duda added.

For additional information and an application packet, call the Colorado State Forest Service at (970) 491-6303. Proposals must be submitted to the Colorado Forest Legacy Program, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523-5060 by July 22.

The Colorado State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee will evaluate proposals and forward selected proposals to the U.S. Forest Service to compete at the regional level. Proposals selected at the regional level will compete nationally for funding.


Two San Luis Valley meetings slated on mountain lion control

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) will host the first of two planned public meetings on San Luis Valley mountain lion control at 7 p.m. June 24 at the Grizzly Inn in Alamosa.

The session will deal with plans to manage mountain lion populations on the east side of the San Luis Valley.

The meeting will begin with a brief presentation on proposed changes to population management and the setting of harvest quotas. A period of discussion and time for questions will follow.

Another meeting is planned in early July to address the same issues on the west side of the San Luis Valley.

Mountain lions are classified as a big game animal in Colorado. The hunting season runs from Jan. 1 through March 31, and from the day after the close of regular rifle deer and elk seasons through Dec. 31 annually. Hunters are required to report any lion harvest, and to bring their animals to a DOW office for inspection.

Once the harvest quota for a management unit is reached, the area is closed to further lion hunting during that year. Mountain lions may also be killed when they present an imminent threat to livestock, pets or human life, but in these cases, the carcass must be turned over to the DOW.

Mountain lion interactions with humans have increased in recent years as more people build homes in mountain lion habitat and more outdoor recreation enthusiasts spend time in the mountains.

People living in mountain lion country should provide kennel enclosures for outdoor pets, and closely supervise small children as they play outside, ensuring that they stay a safe distance from areas of heavy cover.

Make sure that you have adequate outside lighting around your home and keep children in the house around times of dawn and dusk. Remember that anything in your yard that attracts deer, may also bring mountain lions nearer.

If you encounter a mountain lion that stands its ground - stay calm, try to make yourself appear larger by raising your arms and opening your jacket, and then back away slowly. It may help to shout and make other loud noises, or to throw stones or sticks. Report any such encounters to the DOW. Fight back if attacked by a mountain lion.


Great museum

Dear Editor:

The Mountain View Homemakers Club last Thursday toured the Pioneer Museum in downtown Pagosa Springs and found out what a great little museum we have.

Many of the members had never been in the museum before and some of us had not been in for many years and we were all pleased and surprised at how well organized it was and how well the items were displayed and marked. I personally dislike museums where one is not told what an item is.

Ann Oldham conducted our tour and gave us such valuable information and personal insight into many of the items on display. The space is divided into rooms by category, which makes the tour so much more enjoyable: there is a schoolroom, a dental office, a Catholic Church area, a kitchen, and so forth. New items come in almost daily.

If you haven't ever been there or haven't been for a few years do yourself a favor and go.

Let's support our local Pioneer Museum.

Virginia Bartlett

GOP delegates

Dear Editor:

On Friday afternoon, June 4, two of our Archuleta County citizens were elected to represent the Third Congressional District of Colorado at the Republican National Convention to be held in New York City in August. They are John Bozek and Robin Schiro.

There were 10 candidates for the three national convention delegate seats allocated to the district. Approximately 600 delegates to the district's Republican convention were present and voting. The convention was held in the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Denver. All but one of Archuleta County's 14 delegates were present.

Earle Beasley

Timeshare share

Dear Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you all how much my wife and I enjoy your paper.

We are accustomed to a "Daily Disappointment" not a "Wonderful Weekly." We truly enjoy the local climate that is offered in such articles as: "Pagosa's Past," "Food for Thought," "Chamber News," "Cruising with Cruse" along with the fantastic photography throughout the whole paper.

We have been a timeshare holder (Mountain Meadows and Eagles Loft) for 20-some years and we come to Pagosa quite often.

One thing I have never seen posted in the "Wonderful Weekly" is how much monies timeshare holds bring into Pagosa each week! National surveys show that timeshare patrons spend an average of $1,500 per week (per unit), and Pagosa averages about 400 units per week summer/winter and 200 units per week spring and fall.

This amounts to a very large input of local business and taxes sponsored by timeshares holders who are usually treated as second-rate citizens around a town that they truly love.

Once again, thank you for a great paper, and thank you be being a sounding board for a great number of timeshare patrons.

Jack "Doc" Cotton


Defensible space

Dear Editor:

Last week's Puma Fire, which threatened homes in the Alpine Lakes Subdivision just northwest of Chromo, should serve as a good wakeup call on the dangers of wildland fire to the residents of rural Archuleta County.

Firefighters were very appreciative of the homes that had a reasonable amount of what firefighters call "defensible space" but other homes were not at all prepared for a wildland fire. Brush, trees, construction debris, gasoline containers and other flammables needed to be cleared away from one home as the fire approached.

If the Puma Fire would have spread any faster, this cleanup would not have been possible to complete and homes might have been lost.

Fire season is upon us and it has the potential to be a busy one. It's not too late to clean up around your home to provide defensible space.

Firefighters will do all that they can to protect your home, but they need a safe place to work around it. In remote locations of the county, defensible space around your home becomes even more important. It takes firefighters longer to get there, and many rural homes are far from a good water source.

Help us do our job; provide us with the defensible space that we need. For ideas on defensible space check out the Web site atwww.southwestcoloradofires.org, contact your fire district, Colorado State Forest Service or stop by the Pagosa Ranger District.

Allen Farnsworth

Fire Mitigation and Education Specialist

Where's outrage?

Dear Editor:

Where is the outrage? Where are the mass protests? Why are not thousands and thousands of American families who have been touched by the war in Iraq marching on the White House, on Congress, in their representatives' hallowed halls and demanding that some sense be put to this entire mess?

With half truths, outright lies, extension of duty times in Iraq, the broken promises, the prisoner abuse, the horrible example of planning for this occupation, the obvious energizing of the whole terrorist movement throughout the Middle East because of our invasion of Iraq, our mess-up in Afghanistan, and our total support of Israel and its unbelievable gall - one wonders what is going on in the American mind.

Are "we the people" buying into all this? Are we as a nation of freedom-loving people, thinking that our administration is really trying to grant the Iraqis new freedom? Are we, as a nation of wealth and conspicuous consumption, actually thinking that our leaders are not first and foremost interested in further lining our pockets with control of precious natural resources in the Middle East?

Is it patriotism? Patriotism is not just supporting our fighting men and women. True patriotism goes much deeper than just military considerations. Patriotism is devotion to one's country. And devotion to one's country means standing up to the ideals upon which it was founded.

In the case of Iraq, the patriotic thing to do would be turn full control over to the Iraqi people immediately and get out of there when their leaders say we should. Who is to say they cannot provide security for their people? Who is to say they cannot rebuild their infrastructure? Who is to say they cannot become vibrant society again?

Why do "we the people" seem so pliant in the face of Washington actions? Does the fact of war somehow feed an acceptance of and a penchant for violence?

I wonder.

John Woodard

Columbia Falls, Mont.


Community News
Senior News

Picnic in the Park at noon Friday

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

This week, we will have our first Picnic in the Park.

Every month we eat in the Great Outdoors (in Town Park) and this month we'll get together June 18. We'll enjoy oven fried chicken and all the fixings for only $2.50 suggested donation if you are 60 or older and $4.50 for the younger folks.

We will serve at noon, and we will have picnic tables and shade for everyone. Some people like to bring their park toys as well, like ring toss or bubbles. Be sure to bring your sun hat and your appetite.

We aren't forgetting Father's Day. Monday we will give the men a small present at lunch to honor our fathers, grandfathers and even some great-grandfathers. Come in and bring your Dad to lunch.

There will be no MicroSoft Word class for the rest of the summer. We still have beginning and advanced computer classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Bonnie from Slices of Nature was here June 7 and gave a demonstration of how to gift wrap beautifully on a budget. Angie Furer won the basket of goodies and what a beautiful smile she had on her face when she showed us her prize. Bonnie has great ideas, so we will be sure to have her back in a couple of months for another presentation.

Bev Brown likes to show off different kinds of massage, and she will do table massage and bring information about arthritis Tuesday. Tell her where you hurt and she will try to make you better. She starts at 11 a.m. and works until about 1 p.m. Find out what massage is all about.

We are trying something new this month - Game Day. We have some board games like Scrabble, Mexican Train, cards and Bingo (with prizes for Bingo), so please bring your favorite board game and perhaps a snack and we will play games 1-3 p.m. Thursday, June 24.

Do you need an idea of what to do this weekend? You might consider a drive to Vallecito and do a tour of the carvings. The carvings commemorate the Missionary Ridge Fire of 2002 and were produced from the damaged Ponderosa pines in the area. Most are mounted on concrete piers and can be found all over the lake area. It's a beautiful drive and the carvings are quite remarkable. Contact the Vallecito Chamber of Commerce for a map showing the locations of the carvings, or for more information, at 247-1573.

We will celebrate June birthdays the last Friday of this month. If you had a birthday this month, come have lunch with us; we will serve cake for dessert.

Free Movie Day is June 25. This month's feature is "Hidalgo," with Frank Hopkins traveling to the Middle East to compete in a 3,000-mile horse race across the Saudi desert. The movie starts at 1 p.m. in the lounge. Popcorn is only 25 cents.


Friday, June 18 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; Picnic in the Park, noon.

Monday, June 21 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, June 22 - No Yoga in Motion; advanced computer, 10:30 a.m.; massage, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Wednesday, June 23 - Beginning computer, 10:30 a.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, June 24 - Game Day, 1 p.m.

Friday, June 25 - No Qi Gong; celebrate June birthdays, noon; free movie day, "Hidalgo," 1 p.m.


Friday, June 18 -- Picnic in the Park: Oven fried chicken, corn on the cob, broccoli salad, roll and vanilla pudding

Monday, June 21 - Macaroni and cheese with ham, zucchini olé, garden salad, whole wheat bread and fruited Jello

Tuesday, June 22 - Meatloaf, boiled potato and gravy, orange beets, whole wheat bread and melon

Wednesday, June 23 - Lemon chicken, oven potatoes, steamed broccoli, whole wheat roll and chocolate pudding

Friday, June 25 - Beef stew, mixed green salad, biscuit and fruit parfait.


Library News

Homeowners can check out film on wildfire defense

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

Fort Lewis College and the San Juan Public Lands Center produced a DVD and a videotape to help homeowners stand up to wildfire.

Homeowners are the first line of defense against wildfire in southwest Colorado. This 30-minute educational film outlines the steps you can take to make your home more defensible against fire before it strikes. Another dangerous fire season is upon us and we all need to be proactive

You may check out this film, or order a free copy from the San Juan Public Lands Center, 15 Burnett Court, Durango, CO 81301.

Colorado climate

There are many Web sites to study weather patterns in our area. The outlook is fairly grim concerning moisture for the rest of the year.

June is the driest month on the Western Slope. There are wide variations in temperature in our state. The difference of 35 degrees in annual mean temperature between Pikes Peak and Las Animas, 90 miles to the southeast, is about the same as that between Iceland and southern Florida.

Because we are far from the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, precipitation is limited. Pacific Ocean storms lose much of their moisture on our side of the mountains. Storms coming from the north carry little humidity to us in Archuleta County.

Agriculture varies depending on the number of days in a growing season. Our season is around 80 days while Grand Junction may have 190. One can grow a bumper crop of cabbage in Silverton. Delicious Olathe corn comes from the mild valley just down the road a piece.

We had a good winter moisture-wise in Pagosa, but don't count on much more wet stuff. According the forecasters, El Niño could push it one way or the other. Flip a coin, do a rain dance, but most of all, understand you moved to a semi-arid area so don't plant trees, shrubs or flowers that need lots of water.

The folks at Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District or at the county Extension office can give you excellent advice on what to plant.

And another warning: The deer will eat most of the lovely plants, trees and shrubs you may have in mind.

Two plants that do amazingly well need very little tending dandelions and bindweed. I cultivate both. Years ago, Flanders and Swann (a musical team) did a song called "Misalliance." It was the tender ballad about the marriage of Honeysuckle and Bindweed. Honeysuckle spirals clockwise while Bindweed goes anti-clockwise. The verse speaks of their romantic entwinement and the concern of a bee who wondered about their potential offspring: "Poor little sucker, how will it learn which way to turn?" The marriage was doomed for they knew not whether to veer to the left, or turn to the right. (Sound like current politics.)

You will have many opportunities to study the mating habits of bindweed so you might as well relax and enjoy it.

Summer reading winners

The first week of our shortened summer program is over. The following winners may claim their prizes at the desk: Keaton Anderson, Colton Castro, Karrington Castro, Timothy Cochran, Trenton Cordova, Zack Curvey, Anthony Hobbs, Amanda Kerr, Jaime Kirkland, Julia Nell, Daniel Rivas and Paige Rosebeck. More winners are posted on the bulletin board.

Activities are Tuesday and Friday mornings.

Business resource guide

We have a comprehensive business start-up guide for anyone considering starting a small business. Since its inception in 1998, more than 100,000 copies have been distributed. This year, it is published in magazine form.

This is an excellent reference for anyone considering opening any kind of business. You may get a copy of your own. Ask for more information at the desk.

Medicare discount cards

The American Library Association, in connection with Walgreen Drugstore, is attempting to explain the cards supposed to save you money on prescriptions. Medicare is contracting with private companies to offer the discount cards. If you make more than $12,569 as a single person, or $16,862 if you're married, you don't qualify. People on Medicaid don't qualify.

The cards are voluntary and given out by the various companies. There may be a cost for the card. Call (800) 633-4227 and ask about drug savings. Or come by the library and pick up one of the brochures.

Building plan update

By next week we should know the timeline for our project. Groundbreaking cannot be far off. Colorado Jaynes and the architect are in the final design stages. It's getting exciting.


Thanks for materials from Moonlight Books, Jeanne Simpson, Carolyn Johnson and Tom Ferrell. Thanks to John Steinert and Juan's Mountain Sports for a classy new bicycle rack.


Chamber News

Ponderosa Do-It-Best celebrating 20th year

By Sally Hamiester

SUN Columnist

Please stop by Ponderosa Do It Best this week to help them celebrate 20 years of successful business in Pagosa Springs.

They will be observing their anniversary all week with some extra special events scheduled Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

We always find it especially pleasant to observe anniversaries here in Pagosa because not every business has the privilege of enjoying them. We congratulate the good folks at Ponderosa and invite you to stop by and wish them at least 20 more years of business here in our community.

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 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 18.

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.

Free seminar

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 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 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, June 19.

Golf tournament

We have yet another recreational activity for Saturday if you are one of those wacky people who enjoy chasing a little white ball around and attempting wheelies in a cart.

The Law Enforcement and Firefighter Golf Tournament begins with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. at the Pagosa Springs Golf Course, and you are cordially invited to join them for all the fun and games.

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 them at 731-4755 with questions or to enter yourself or your team.

Hospice planting event

Another event you might wish to attend this busy Saturday is the annual Hospice Memorial Garden Spring Planting at the Visitor Center, beginning at 10 a.m.

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.

Patriotic Sing-along

Local veterans will parade the colors at the beginning of the Community Patriotic Sing-along to be held at the Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 29.

All attending veterans will be recognized and will be asked to introduce themselves and to identify their branch of the Armed Forces. Free flags provided by the community center and the Chamber of Commerce will be distributed to all who attend this free event, and a pot luck dessert will be held immediately after the program.

Preschoolers will sing "My Country 'Tis of Thee," and other community participants will include members of 4H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Fair Royalty and the P.S. I Love Red Hats group. Musicians John Graves and Father John Bowe will play the piano and a barbershop quartet from Durango will sing a number.

If you have questions, give Mercy a call at 264-4152.

Fair volunteers

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 help with tear-down Monday, Aug. 9.

This year's fair dates are Thursday, Aug. 5, through Sunday, Aug. 8, and 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 and younger require parental consent, and young people 10 to 13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Whistle Pig Concert

The Jack Hanson Trio will be featured performers at the 7 p.m. Whistle Pig House Concert Wednesday, June 23, in the Hudson house, 446 Loma Street.

Even though there is a Chamber SunDowner that night, I can encourage you to attend both because the SunDowner will be 5-7 p.m. at Silverado Clothing. Just wear your roller skates and count on a busy evening.

The Jack Hanson Trio includes Jack Hanson on clarinet and sax, John Graves on piano and DC Duncan on drums, and they will grace you with some exceptional jazz, Dixieland and swing.

This concert is one of this year's monthly musical performances sponsored by Artstream Cultural Resources, a local nonprofit which promotes educational and cultural arts events.

Pet Pride Day

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs invites you, your family and your pets to join them in Town Park for their annual Pet Pride Day celebration Saturday, June 26.

This fun day will include a 9K race for adults, a Fun Run for the kids (both races with dogs), the Paws Parade with kids, pets and costumes, an agility demonstration, Canine Good Citizenship Certification, breed showcase, llama performance and a reunion of owners and dogs that were adopted from the shelter. You will also enjoy contests of all kinds, food and lots and lots of fun.

The race begins at 8 a.m., events are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, call 264-5549.

PSAC annual meeting

Members of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council invite you to join them at JJ's Upstream Restaurant for their annual meeting and social event of the season.

You can expect great food, great fun and lots of entertainment 5-7 p.m. Thursday ,June 24.

Nonmembers are welcome, and the cost is $15 per person with tickets available at the gallery in Town Park. Please plan to attend this event and feel free to call 264-5020 with questions.

2004 Rendezvous

The Brotherhood of Free Trappers will host the 2004 Pagosa Springs Rendezvous June 24 -27 on Reservoir Hill, daily from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

This is a free event featuring a reenactment of the mountain man era with black powder shoots, knife and hawk throws, novelty shoots, games, primitive dress and camping and traders. If you would like to participate, are interested in camping or have any questions about the Rendezvous, call Billy Hawkins at (970) 247-8149.


We are so pleased to introduce two new members to our merry band this week and seven renewals. All this and lots of visitors coming to our little town combine to make a great start to our summer.

Our first new member is actually an established member joining with yet another business. Our friend Casey Lynch brings us Mountain Waters Rafting in Durango. Mountain Waters Rafting offers family fun rafting trips for the young and the young at heart. Nine trips daily are available to you with prices and times to accommodate just about everyone. They would be happy to talk to you if you would call at 259-4191 or (800) 748-2507, or online at Durangorafting.com.

Craig Taylor joins us next with Treecology with offices located in his home. Craig offers preventive beetle control, insect control programs, deep root watering and fertilization and lawn weed control. Craig is insured, licensed by the state and offers free estimates. He brings 25 years experience in arbor culture to the table and will be happy to answer your questions at 731-9634.

Our renewals this week include Bonnie Nyre with Slices of Nature; Kimberly Colby with Old Town Gifts and Christmas in Pagosa (we're so glad to have you back, Kimberly) and Diane Ludwig with Wolf Creek Run Motor Coach Park and Fireside Inn Cabins.

Our associate member renewals this week include my predecessor here at the Chamber and current county commish, Mamie Lynch, and valued Chamber Diplomat Joan Cortright and husband Gene. We are so grateful to you all for your continued support.


Veteran's Corner

Unemployability ruling could hike VA benefits

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

Veterans with less than 100 percent service-connected VA rated disabilities may be eligible for increased VA compensation through "unemployability." If the application is successful the veteran's disability will be raised to 100 percent.

Several important factors may affect the eligibility for this VA benefit.

VA SCD rating

First, the veteran must have a VA rated service-connected disability (SCD) of at least 60 percent for one medical condition, or have combined rating of at least 70 percent with one medical condition rated at 40 percent or more.

The VA realizes veterans with disabilities at this level most likely would have a very difficult time, if not an impossible task, finding meaningful work or continuing a career. An example might be that a veteran has SCD for back injuries that would make it very difficult to work at a job involving heavy physical labor such as construction.

Old SCD reevaluated

Often a veteran has been rated with a SCD quite some time in the past, for lower percentages. As time goes on, the SCD may worsen and the veteran applies for a "reevaluation" of the disability rating.

Once the VA SCD rating reaches the above-percentage criteria, the veteran can then apply for the unemployability factor. It's kind of a two-stage benefit application process.

The benefit application process can take some time. The initial or reevaluation SCD claim can take a year or so to be ruled on. The unemployability application would take additional time. Any appeal to the claims may add as much as a year or more to the process. But remember, the benefit is normally paid back to the date of claim application once it has been approved.

Lengthy process

Why so long? Remember there are millions of veterans in the U.S. with applications for VA benefits that require obtaining and review of military records, reports from other agencies and medical facilities, and finally being in line with other veterans for the VA claims specialists.

But the process is worth the effort. Obtaining 100-percent SCD leads to many other benefits that can affect not only the veteran, but their family too. With 100-percent SCD the veteran is entitled to full VA health care which can include vision, hearing and dental care. Additionally, the veteran's spouse and children may also be eligible for health care.

Increased death benefits

Upon the death of the veteran the family may be eligible for increased death benefits, and other survivor benefits and payments.

A simple two-page form asking employment history and other details is all that is required to apply for the VA unemployable benefit for eligible veterans.

If you already have an SCD, I urge you to stop by my office and see me for an evaluation interview that might help determine if you might be eligible for increased compensation ratings.

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.

Further information

For additional information on these and other veteran's 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 afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.


Arts Line

New arts magazine arriving in Pagosa

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

An art magazine for southwest Colorado debuted to rave reviews in Durango, Cortez and Mancos and now it comes to Pagosa Springs.

The purpose of Southwest Colorado Arts Perspective, published by Shared Vision Publishing, is to support the arts by bringing artists to the reader, and by inspiring the reader "to attend a gallery opening, see a performance, pick up a brush, take an arts class, or audition for a play," writes publisher Heather Levitt in the first issue.

The magazine is available at galleries and coffee shops throughout southwest Colorado. Pick up a copy, read the letter from the editor, and let them know what you think. As Levitt says: "With the help of all artists and supporters, Arts Perspective will serve as a stone thrown into the pond of our cultural consciousness."

Council on the Arts

The Colorado Council on the Arts met June 4 and grant letters are going out.

Here's what we know so far: 91 grants were awarded and 42 applicants will not receive funding. No words yet on the status of the PSAC grant application. The list of grants awarded and the total dollar value of grant money to be distributed will be made public in July.

With the hiring of Elaine Mainer as new executive director, interim director Reneé Boveé, will leave the CCA as of June 30.

Funding for arts month

Whether you're an artist seeking a grant, an arts organization looking for additional funding, or a new nonprofit in need of assistance, June is the month for you at the Foundation Center.

Discover information and programming of benefit to grantseekers, grantmakers and the entire arts community. Volunteers, staff and other professionals are on hand to help. Learn more about securing fiscal sponsorship and explore opportunities and trends in support for arts organizations.

The Foundation Center's Web site, www.fdncenter.org, is designed to educate and inform nonprofits in the arts. Be sure to check out the Arts Funding Watch, a newsletter devoted to arts-related news, job listings, requests for proposals, and more that is available to registered visitors of the Web site. Although it is a monthly newsletter, the Foundation Center will deliver five weekly issues free during Funding for Arts Month.

Artists may also receive a free one-week subscription to Foundation Grants to Individuals Online during the month of June.

Creative courses

The Fort Lewis College Extended Studies Program is offering the following courses. For more information or to register call 247-7385. Preregistration for all courses is required.

The Art of Basketry - Create your own basket as you learn the history and technique of basketry from a number of different cultures, including Navajo, Zuni, and others; 9-11 a.m. July 12, 14, and 16.

Travel Writing - Travel is a composite of exploration and discovery; of taste, smell and touch; of history, culture and geography; of personal immersion in new experiences. In this course, you will learn how to translate the knowledge and emotion gained from traveling to a new place, whether exotic or regional, into clear and compelling language that not only captures the essence of people and place but also stirs the interest and passion of the reader. This interactive seminar will focus on the elements of descriptive, nonfiction writing and will involve in-class exercises and weekly writing assignments. You will study the work of writers ranging from Marco Polo to Captain Cook to Mark Twain and such current authors as Bill Bryson, Jan Morris and Sebastian Junger; 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, July 12-16, with a full day field trip Thursday, July 15.

Remembering Your Story, Creating a Spiritual Autobiography - Are you seeking a renewed sense of life? Uncover and explore the connection between your unique life story and the story of the others through the sacred texts from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and contemporary stories, music and art. Refresh your soul and renew your spirit. Participants have the option to create their spiritual autobiography in solitude or within a small group setting; 10 a.m.-noon, Monday-Friday, July 12-15.

The Fine Art of Greeting Cards - Learn a multitude of artistic techniques to create your own sendable, framable greeting cards, tags and envelopes. Includes watercolor, collage and embellishments. This class is suitable for beginners to professionals; 1-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, July 12-15 and Aug 2-6.

Art History - In this course you will discuss art history, the elements of art and principles of design, various media and art interpretation; 2-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, July 12-15, July 26-30 and Aug. 2-6. Choose which week works best for you.

Nature Writing - Nature is an ever-changing pageant of texture and color, dynamism and quietude, of sweeping grandeur and brilliant detail. It touches each of our senses and affects our intellectual and emotional beings. In this course, you will learn to evoke the essence of the natural world around us through compelling, imaginative, and expressive writing - both prose and poetry. This interactive seminar, focusing on the elements of evocative nature writing, will involve in-class exercises and weekly writing assignments. You will study the work of writers ranging from Henry David Thoreau to John Muir to Isak Dinesen and such contemporary authors as Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, and David Quammen; Monday-Friday, July 19-23, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. with a full-day field trip Thursday, July 22.

The Sessions of your Life, Creating a Lasting Legacy-This course is designed for adults in the second half of life. However, all those who are seeking to obtain a greater understanding of their life, where they are, where they have been, and where they are going, are welcome to join in on a fun journey of discovery and greater self-awareness as you explore the four seasons of life. Experience the art of reminiscing and preserving memories to give meaning to the present and to gain hope and awareness of new possibilities for the future; 10 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday, July 19-23.

Introduction to Rock Art and the Architecture of Chaco Canyon - Known for its beautiful and intriguing Native American rock art, learn all about Southwest history through its art by joining us for in-class and outdoor field experiences. There will be an all-day field trip Wednesday, July 21, to Chaco Canyon; 3-5 p.m. Monday - Thursday, July 19-22.

Introduction to Black and White Photography - This seven-week course will help you develop an eye for black and white subjects, shooting techniques, and focusing on tonality and texture in a world full of color. You will cover a basic understanding of photography and an application of how to better use your camera. Through assignments, students will learn compositional elements and Ansel Adams' zone metering system. Participants must have their own manual 35 mm camera and supply of film and processing. Call the Office of Extended Studies at 247-7385 for more information.

Women Writers of the West - For more than a hundred years, the West has been somewhere that strong, independent women, who didn't fit in elsewhere, could make a place for themselves. Typically seen as the civilizing force for this untamed region, women instead often were feisty and unwilling to live by the conventional rules they had left behind. Native women shaped the West through the arts, weaving stories, songs, painting, rugs and their lives together. You will start with Willa Cather's classic, "Death Comes for the Archbishop" and make your way through Ellen Meloy's, "Raven's Exile," Barbara Kingsolver's, "Animal Dreams," Terry Tempest Williams' "Unspoken Hunger," and the work of Native writers Paula Gunn Allen, Joy Harjo, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Linda Hogan. Given time, you will also read about the "soiled doves" and painted ladies, of the dusty cowboys and wild mountain miners and how they lived through their first fortunes and hard times; 10 a.m.-noon, Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6,

Writers of the Southwest - This course will explore the diverse voices and genres of contemporary Southwestern literature. We will read and discuss two seminal novels of our region, Ron Querry's "The Death of Bernadette Lefthand" and Leslie Marmo Silko's "Ceremony," as well as Edward Abbey's classic, "Desert Solitaire." Stories of Hispanic culture in New Mexico from Tierra Amarillo Native American poet and musician Joy Harjo, and essayists Terry Tempest Williams, Wallace Stegner, and Frank Waters will round up the best of the Southwest; 1-3 p.m., Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6.

Introduction to Basic Drawing - Yes, you can learn to draw in five days! You will learn to use the right side of your brain where your creative side dwells; 1-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6.

Artist opportunities

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

Ongoing workshops

Beginning Watercolor with Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett, every Monday and Wednesday 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the Fairfield Activities Center. Call 731-8060 to reserve a spot for only $25.

Upcoming workshops

Expressing Yourself in Mixed Media with Amy Rosner, June 28-30. Welcome to the only art class that will not encourage you to make your artwork look like the subject. The object of this workshop is to create emotionally expressive painting and collage.

No previous painting experience is necessary, but this class is for the experienced painter as well. Learn new techniques and gain a new way of looking at the subjects you paint. We begin by freeing you from the fear of failure so that you can unleash your true creative skills. You will learn how to channel your emotions into a meaningful work of art that is fun, therapeutic and aesthetically pleasing. Join in for a journey into the process of putting a part of yourself on paper. Amy Rosner, Ph.D. is a psychology of art teacher, visual attention researcher and lifetime artist.

Learn more about her at www.amyrosnerfineart.com or contact Amy: livingart@cox.net or (602) 697-9456. Each day will be unique, so if you cannot participate on all three days, you may join the class for individual days. The cost for three days is $130 or $123.50 for PSAC members. Contact PSAC for individual day rates.

Unleashing the Power of Watercolor with Joye Moon, July 5-8. Moon returns to Pagosa Springs with new projects. If you took her class before, this workshop promises new experiences formulated specifically for this class. Beginner to advanced artists are welcome. This class is filling up fast, only a few spots remain. Reserve now by calling 264-5020.

Watercolor - Beginners II, Aug. 11-13, with Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett.

This workshop builds on The Basics of Watercolor - Beginners I and uses everything students learned in that class. In Beginners II there will be 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. The cost is $130 or $123.50 for PSAC Members.


Today - Photo club meets, 6:30 p.m. in the community center. Speaker Terry Aldahl will discuss filters and what's new in digital photography.

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

Thursday, June 24 - PSAC annual meeting

Saturday, June 26 - Bird house contest

Sunday, June 27 - Writer's Workshop with Jerry Hannah meets at noon

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

July 1 - Joye Moon reception for the artist at the gallery in Town Park, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug, 16-21 - Cynthia Padilla botanical art workshop

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

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

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


'The Hills are alive ...' celebrates Rodgers

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

The Music Boosters' production next month of "The Hills Are Alive..." celebrates the life work of Richard Rodgers.

Very few of Broadway's celebrated composers were as involved as he was in the totality of the production process. He loved it all: turning the original idea into a script and musical score, the audition process, the rehearsals, the presentations to potential backers, the out-of-town tryouts, opening nights and even reading the reviews.

He was also involved in the management end, and even formed a business partnership with Oscar Hammerstein II (which is still conducting business concerning the properties created by the late partners).

The Music Boosters' upcoming original revue reflects a wide range of such multi-tasking, as it delivers a full-scale musical production to Pagosa audiences on July 8-10.

Director Dale Morris is also the choreographer, with assistance from cast members Jesse Morris, Cindy Neder, Clay Pruitt, Candy Flaming and Oteka Bernard. Her production assistant, Shawna Bolt, who handles the multitude of constantly arising details, is also a fine musician.

Stage manager JoAnn Laird, who has been a featured singer in other shows, makes sure everything and everybody shows up at the right place at the right time. Singer Michelle Martinez joins Pruitt and Neder to clothe the cast in creative costumes.

Music Boosters president Michael DeWinter, who is handling advertising sales, along with scenic artist Gayle Allston, designed the sets and backdrops. Set construction is the responsibility of set engineer Tim Bristow, Rod Catlin and Gayle (who is also doing publicity, the poster, and the program).

Director Dale and costumer Clay are creating the lighting design, while sound masters Lisa Hartley, Randy Kamolz, and Tim Kamolz assure a positive auditory experience. Those who have hair, either natural or contrived, will have it artfully arranged and presented by Elizabeth Young.

Based on John Porter's extensive research, he and musical director John Graves wrote the spoken words. Melinda Baum will assist John in musical direction and playing, as well as being vocal coach. Singer and instrumentalist Larry Elginer is assistant vocal coach, and rehearsal pianists Harvey Schwartz and Kathleen Isberg, along with drummers Jesse Morris and Alex Baum, round out the musical contingent.

Amassed talent, experience, dedication and versatility ... talk about "a full-scale production!"

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.


Veterans will parade colors for sing-along

By Mercy Korsgren

Special to The PREVIEW

Local veterans will parade the colors at the beginning of the Community Patriotic Sing-along at the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard, Tuesday, June 29.

The event is scheduled 7-8:30 p.m.

All veterans who attend will be recognized, asked to introduce themselves and to identify their branch of the military. Prior to this, they will lead the public to the Pledge Of Allegiance.

A visiting youth choir from Arlington, Texas, will ask everyone to join them singing the Star-Spangled Banner. Some of the songs you will hear during the evening are "My County, 'Tis of Thee," "You're a Grand Old Flag," "America, the Beautiful," "Anchors Aweigh," "The Caissons Go Rolling Along," "Over There," "The Marines' Hymn," "God Bless America" and many more. Warm up your vocal chords, folks.

Early in the program, pre-schoolers will come to the front to sing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee." The audience will then repeat the song with the preschoolers. Other community participants include members of the community choir, the Archuleta County Fair Royalty, members of P.S. I Love Red Hats and many musicians.

John Graves will provide the prelude and Father John Bowe will play the postlude on piano. A barbershop quartet from the senior center will sing one number and a 4-H group will lead us in "Yankee Doodle Dandy." We'll have the complete program in next week's PREVIEW.

Free flags provided by the Chamber of Commerce will be distributed to all present. A potluck dessert social will be held immediately after the program. The community center will provide hot and cold beverages. Residents and visitors alike are invited to this fun evening.

The audience will receive song sheets which will include lyrics to all songs. For more information, call 264-4152.


Pagosan one of three in DAC group exhibit

By Dan Appenzeller

Special to The PREVIEW

Durango Arts Center will host the second of this year's group exhibits "Roots: Life and Pathways," July 6-31.

Featured will be artists from Pagosa Springs, Durango and Fort Collins. An artists' reception is scheduled 5-9 p.m. July 9 in the center's Barbara Conrad Gallery at 802 E. 2nd Ave.

The public is invited to attend and meet the artists: William Secrest of Pagosa Springs with "stump images," oil paintings of uprooted tree trunks that are intended as landscape metaphors for his personal journey; Ric Peterson of Durango with portraits of real and imagined people, places and botanicals in realistic and surrealistic styles; and Jamie Turk of Fort Collins, displaying figure studies rendered in a variety of media and incorporating three-dimensional materials into her compositions.

Center hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information call 259-2606.

Meanwhile, winners have been announced in the center's 28th annual juried exhibit and award winners will remain on view in the center through June 30.

Best of Show went to Maureen May for her mixed media painting, "NO Matthew 5:9 (The Geography Lesson)"; Juror's Choice was Jan Goldman's pastel painting "Guardian of Trout Lake"; and the Merit Award went to Ed Kruse for his pastel drawing, "Winter Valley Sunset."


Whistle Pig will feature an evening of jazz

By Clarissa Hudson

Special to The PREVIEW

The Whistle Pig Concert Series is proud to present an intimate evening of jazz with three of the most talented musicians in Colorado: the Jack Hanson Trio, on Wednesday evening, June 23 at 7 p.m. at the Hudson House, 446 Loma St.

Suggested donation for the evening event is $10, which includes homemade dessert and coffee or tea during intermission.

Reservations are strongly recommended for this popular local trio.

Jack Hanson, performing on sax and clarinet and singing lead vocals, has been a professional musician since age 16 and has played in bands and orchestras all over the country, including Norm Hoagy's Band, the Howard Devron Orchestra, and the Velvetones. He also appeared in the movie "The Love Boat."

John Graves, who began playing piano professionally at age 14, has become very well known in the Pagosa music scene as pianist with various performing groups, including the jazz quartet Rio Jazz. Before arriving in Pagosa, he was pianist on The Betty White Show, a '50s daytime variety TV show, and pianist-performer-arranger for The Gloria Hart Show with Art Kassel and His Castles in the Air on KLAC-TV.

Singers and performers he has accompanied include George Burns, Jimmy Durante, Redd Foxx, Rudy Vallee, Rosemary Clooney, Helen Forrest and Julie Christy.

DC Duncan is the youngster of the group, but nevertheless may be the finest jazz drummer in southwest Colorado. DC has performed with Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers), Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Ford Coley, Roger Miller, Scott McGill, Anson Funderburgh, Dickie Lee, Dee Moeller, Dale McFarland, Scott McGill and others.

The Whistle Pig Concert Series is dedicated to presenting outstanding musicians of all types, and to encouraging emerging new talent in an attentive, intimate atmosphere. All concert ticket sales proceeds go directly to the musicians.

Whistle Pig is sponsored by Artstream Cultural Resources, a local nonprofit arts organization which promotes educational and cultural arts events and classes in the Pagosa Springs area.

Mark your calendar for the Jack Hanson Trio, June 23 at 7 p.m. To make reservations and for more information, call Bill or Clarissa Hudson at 264-2491.



Writers' workshop at noon Saturday

Local writers are invited to join C. J. Hannah for a writer's workshop noon Saturday, June 19.

Each writer is given 20-30 minutes to read aloud and then 30 minutes is spent hearing feedback from other writers focusing 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 (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 June 19.


San Juan Pueblo troupe to welcome summer solstice

Friends of Native Cultures, a Pagosa area-based volunteer organization, will sponsor San Juan Pueblo singers and dancers at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico on summer solstice, Sunday, June 20.

Russ Bodnar, chief interpreter at Chaco, said, "The park service is so pleased to be partnering with Friends of Native Cultures to make this event possible."

"The San Juan Pueblo people," he said, "have a strong cultural link to the Chaco area and it is a unique and special opportunity to be able to witness dances and hear songs that could have been performed here hundreds of years ago."

The singers will welcome the sunrise at Casa Rinconada, followed by their traditional social dances in the plaza at Pueblo Bonito at 11 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park is approximately 70 miles south of Farmington of Hwy. 550, formerly N.M. 44). For more information call (505) 786-7014.

Caroline Brown, director of Friends of Native Cultures said, "Summer solstice will be a very special day at Chaco. Help us celebrate the beginning of summer and share in the rich traditions that began at Chaco a thousand years ago and are still alive and well in native peoples today."

The Friends group is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible cultural stewardship by sponsoring indigenous peoples of the southwest in presenting their traditional dances, music and songs for the public at archaeological sites in the Four Corners region.

Other events for the 2004 season will include a multi-pueblo gathering at Chimney Rock July 10-11 and Aztec Dances in Boulder, Utah, Aug. 28.

Anyone wishing to volunteer with the organization can contact Brown at 731-4248.


Every work of art has a story at Quilt Fest

Quilt story. The reason behind why a quilt is made. Was it needed to provide warmth? Was it made to show off needlework talents? Perhaps a gift was needed to mark an occasion such as a wedding or birth. Maybe the quilt was made to celebrate a historic event or a friendship.

The quilt story is the inspiration behind why a person takes a perfectly good piece of fabric, cuts it up and sews it back together. Some chose to use scraps of fabric left over from sewing projects, others cut up worn clothing. The tiniest of scraps were saved for future projects. Madness? No, it was the completion of a mission.

Each year at the Quilt Fest, a favorite part of the show for visitors is the quilt stories. As quilt owners share their quilts through this biannual quilt show, they share the stories behind the quilts. Some were made over 150 years ago and have been gently handed down from generation to generation. Other quilts were created as gifts or simply to fulfill the desire to create. Some of the quilts were produced especially for this show. The quilts on display will be accompanied by the stories their owners are so generous to share.

At previous Pagosa Piecemakers quilt shows, the quilt angels working the show have been faced with the question: Are the quilts for sale? In the past, the answer has been "no." This year that answer has changed to "some of them are."

Some quilters have elected to sell their quilts. These quilts will be priced by the owners and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Quilts for sale will be clearly marked. This is your chance to own your own quilt. Be sure to stop in and see the variety of quilts for show and sale.

Members of the Pagosa Piecemakers have been busy making preparations for Quilt Fest. And, they've spent their spare time making items to sell at the show. Under the direction of guild projects manager, Pam Thompson, members have made tote bags and needle cases.

The Piecemakers have also completed a crazy quilt, which will be sold through a silent auction. This quilt will be on display throughout the show, with bidding sheets available. You will definitely want to see this special quilt.

Another exciting aspect of Quilt Fest will be the vendor area. Local quilt shops will be set up with all the latest in quilt making supplies, fabrics and designs. As you become inspired while looking at the beautiful quilts on display, you will be able to browse through and even purchase the supplies needed to make your own work of art.

Local artist Denny Rose will be at the show exhibiting her paintings that have quilts incorporated into them. The detail is exquisite.

Quilt Fest 2004 will be held July 2, 3 and 4 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.



Music in the Mountains sold out for evening series

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

This summer's three Music in the Mountains evening classical music concerts have sold out, with a waiting list available for those hoping for cancellations.

This is the third year concerts have been held in Pagosa. In past years all the events have sold out in advance of the concert dates — but tickets have never moved as quickly as they did this season, with total sell-outs logged seven weeks before the first concert.

"We're delighted to set yet another records for concert sales," said Jan Clinkenbeard, chairman of the committee organizing the events in Pagosa. "The high demand proves that Pagosa people and our visitors appreciate how lucky we are to have such superb musicians come to perform for us."

The Chamber of Commerce will maintain a waiting list until the concert dates. If ticket holders must cancel, they can call the Chamber at 264-2360 to get the names of people wanting tickets. To put your name on that list, call the same number. All concerts are $35, the same price as last summer. Ticket-holders wishing to donate their tickets may request a tax letter.

The concerts will take place Friday evenings at 7 p.m. at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs, thanks to the generosity of David and Carol Brown, owners of the spectacular ranch at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass. The festival requests that no food be brought to the grounds, and that no pets be brought or left in parked vehicles.

Prior to the concert and at intermission finger food, wine, coffee and water will be available for purchase. The coffee is being provided by WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company. The pastries and other goodies are being provided by the Pagosa Baking Company.

Several of the world-renowned soloists who thrilled Pagosa concertgoers last year will return for this summer's concerts, and we also will experience exciting new talent:

On July 23 pianist Aviram Reichert will perform works including Schumann's "Piano Quintet" with several members of the Dallas and Baltimore symphonies. Reichart, who has won numerous awards and performed with major orchestras in Israel and Europe, wowed Pagosa audiences when he played here last summer.

On July 30 Antonio Pompa-Baldi brings his piano mastery back to Pagosa. He too was a great hit with local audiences last summer. He will perform solo and then join his wife Emanuela Friscioni, also an award-winning pianist who has appeared on stages around the world, in piano for four hands selections.

On August 6 Pagosa welcomes two new internationally famous musicians, Anne-Marie McDermott on piano and Philippe Quint playing the violin. Their performance will include Martinu's "Madrigals" and Brahms' "Piano Quintet."

In addition, Music in the Mountains will host a free concert at Town Park on Thursday, July 29 at 11 a.m. Highlight of this event will be "Peter and the Wolf," a work created by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev to teach his children about the symphony. Each character in the story - Peter, his grandfather, the wolf, a cat, a bird, a duck and some hunters - is represented by an instrument or instrumental family and will be acted by local children.

Open auditions take place Monday, June 28, in the high school choir room from 6-8 p.m. for boys and girls aged 10-12 who would like to play one of the 8-10 characters.

"This will be a fun event for adults and young people alike," Clinkenbeard predicted. "We're hoping for a large crowd of 'kids of all ages' who enjoy music," she said.

She said that ticket prices pay for only a small portion of the cost of the concerts. "It is thanks to contributions from individual donors and larger organizations like the Lodge at Keyah Grande, The Source, Bank of the San Juans, Montezuma's Restaurant, LPEA Roundup Foundation, Rotary Club, Bank of Colorado and Wells Fargo Bank that our Pagosa festival is possible," Clinkenbeard said.

As well, all of the organizational work is done by Clinkenbeard's local volunteer steering committee composed of Melinda Baum, Sally Hameister, Mike and Lauri Heraty, Carole Howard, Crystal Howe, Teresa Huft, and Bob and Lisa Scott.

To get on the mailing list for these and future Music in the Mountain events, call 385-6820 in Durango and specify that you want to be on the Pagosa Springs mailing list.

There still are tickets available for concerts in Durango. Call 385-6820 or log on to www. music-inthemountains.com and click on tix for more information.



Martinez Canyon photo date changed

Barbara Conkey, nature photographer, will lead a walk into Martinez Canyon Wednesday, June 23.

Conkey will share her perspective on nature photography, composition and use of light.

To catch the early morning light, the walk will begin at 7:30 a.m. Participants are encouraged to bring a camera and drinking water, and to dress appropriately for a moderate hike. The walk will be limited to 10 people, so call the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268 for additional information and to reserve a slot.

This free event is sponsored by the San Juan National Forest. It was originally scheduled June 26, but due to a conflict the date has been changed to June 23.


Jungle Mobile will kick off county fair

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

Fairs and carnivals always signaled to me the beginning or the end of the summer season.

The air was thick with the aromas of hot buttered popcorn, cotton candy and fried foods. Children and adults were primed to have a festive time.

In my younger years, I would marvel at the livestock and beg my parents to get me a goat or a chicken. Living in the center of Pittsburgh, Pa., did not lend itself to livestock in the small backyard of my parent's home. Regardless, I would persist with the matter every year until I grew up and realized its impracticality.

The Archuleta County Fair will bring to the newcomers as well as the old-timers their own sense of nostalgia. Memories of a child can last a lifetime, and be shared in tradition for future generations to come. Our young people will love the events we have planned for them this year at the fair, and build memories of their very own.

The Kiwanis Club is generously sponsoring a new event this year to open the fair activities on Friday Aug. 5. It is called the Jungle Mobile.

Not to worry parents, the exhibit does not have any live animals such as tigers or bears. The Jungle Mobile is, instead, a fun interactive mobile classroom. The jungle theme entices children to learn about important safety issues in a hands-on atmosphere.

Kids should love this exhibit for the fact that they can touch something without the fear of being scolded, and have a great time doing it. Just to let everyone know, the Jungle Mobile will leave town for another learning safari after Friday. Do not miss this exciting learning adventure.

All of the old-time favorite activities will return Saturday, Aug. 6, such as the pie eating contest and apple bobbing contest, to name a few.

Favorite children's entertainment from past fairs will return this year with the mystical talents of Misto the Magi and the talented ventriloquist Wayne Francis and his friend, whom I dare not call a dummy. Annie the Clown will also be in attendance, as well as The Mad Scientist, to concoct lots of laughter and experiments to boggle the young mind.

Parents should mark their calendars for the events Saturday Aug. 7 for the beautiful baby contest, the mother and daughter look-alike and the father and son look-alike contests. There is also the best-dressed cowboy/girl contest for all of the sharp-dressed cowpokes. The activities are fun as well as giving the family bragging rights.

So many events are featured in the fair for children this year. For a thorough list, please visit www. archuletacountyfair.com.

On the other hand, one can find all of the scheduled events in the "Bill of Fair" available on opening day at the entry gates. We again look forward to seeing all of you at the fair.

Food for Thought

Bring on the marrow, there's no fear here

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

Be afraid.

Be very, very afraid.

It's our mantra. Repeat it, again and again. Get in the groove.

Fear is becoming the spine that holds the psychic body erect yet trembling, the germ at the center of the contemporary American experience.

Everywhere you look, dread lurks in the wings; there is little about modern life not stained by apprehension.

There are warnings sounded everywhere, about nearly everything - on television, on radio, in newspapers, in conversations with friends.

Beware, someone is preparing to abduct your children. Beware, your kid is in mortal danger every time he or she steps out of the house, out of the smothering sphere of parental control. There's no more playing outside after dark. In fact, there's not much unsupervised activity of any kind for kids these days.

At the same time, be suspicious of the other parent. A woman speaking on a television program the other night warned parents to suspect their mates of abuse, just to be on the safe side. The problem might sleep next to you every night! Do you really know all that much about the person you married and with whom you've shared a life and had children?

Of course, you should be on the alert for terrorists, they're going to blow up the mall next week or attack the nuclear power plant located down the block. Here in Pagosa, in the wave of fear that spread from the 9/11 murders, I received calls at the newspaper from people demanding an "investigative reporter" spy on a crew of "obviously Arab" males allegedly stocking the grocery store shelves at night. What were they putting into the meat? What were they injecting into the melons?

Think twice about traveling on a train, a plane, a bus, in a taxi. Be on constant lookout for abandoned backpacks in public places; be careful to assess everyone nearby to determine if he or she appears to have bulky items beneath clothing. Are they wearing inappropriate clothing? Do they look odd? Does anyone not look odd?

Did you know the government is using all of us as guinea pigs in an insidious chemistry experiment, loading our systems with who-knows-what witches brew disguised - oh, man, can you believe it - as jet aircraft contrails. It's obvious, isn't it? Just look up in the sky. The fact that most east/west flights are in the skies at certain hours has nothing to do with the fact we are going to grow gills and tails or that our ability to make clear decisions prior to an election will be obscured by Pentagon-approved organic compounds. Be afraid, very afraid. For crying out loud, there are Web sites devoted to this stuff. Isn't that proof enough?

Be careful of the water you drink. Sunlight will kill you. So will an absence of sunlight.

There is a list of more than a thousand diseases you need to fear and you need to question the medications prescribed for the illnesses you might have. Can you trust physicians? Need I ask? And pharmacists? Aren't they agents of a corporate conspiracy that includes doctors, the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry? Well, of course they are. There are Web sites devoted to the subject. Need I say more?

Ebola? Chicken virus? SARS? West Nile Virus? Yep, all lurking in the company of who knows what other lethal viral cousins recently loosed by the clear-cutting of rain forests. And once those rain forests are gone, what goes next? The polar ice caps. Water sports, anyone?

Car safety?

Slippery floors?

Errant baseballs?




All certified anxiety producers.

Be wary of drinking too much alcohol or not enough alcohol and, while you're at it, try to monitor air quality wherever you go. Chemicals in carpeting can bring you to your knees, as can gases emitted by plywood. Do you have asthma? Do you know why? Really know why? Do you know the carpet industry is in bed with physicians, pharmacists, etc.?

Did you know mountain lions love to attack joggers? From behind? They're back there, so try to turn around as often as you can.

What about muggings, carjackings, armed robbery, someone stealing the weed eater? Those slack-jawed kids with baggy pants, wearing their hats on sideways - most likely conniving criminals plotting to wait until you are old and feeble before they invade your home, rob you blind and thump you within an inch of your life. That loud music they play, the racket that rattles the windows when their cars pass by -it's a code. It's about you, but you can't understand it.

Sure, the communists aren't much of a threat now (they're still out there though, plotting, scheming), but did you realize your neighbor could be a liberal? She is going to take your gun from you any time now, and then where will you be? Government? Oh, for heaven's sake government. What won't government steal next? Which inalienable right is next on the chopping block? Why, the time will come soon a man can't throw his garbage next to a roadway or put a hog farm next to a school.

And food?

Here's the Big Killer. Dangerous stuff. Butter? Fish that swim anywhere near the bottom of the ocean/lake/stream? Fish that are raised in fish farms? Poultry? Do you know about hormones? What about insecticides on your veggies and grains? Red meat? Succumb to the temptation to gnaw on a burger, ask for it medium rare and 30 years later you're in the grip of a ripping case of Mad Cow disease.

Killers, one and all.

Fear producers.

Our propensity to accept fear as a standard is understandable. It evolves, at least in part, from the genuine angst that comes when we realize that, as we speed down the road of life, there is a massive wall built across the road somewhere up ahead. There is no way to avoid hitting the wall; the only question is when the wall will be hit, and at what speed.

To avoid the bone-deep terror that comes of contemplating an absolutely certain collision, humans since the beginning have been willing to believe just about anything to buffer the shock - mostly some variation on the idea that, yes, the collision happens, but you will survive it. Then, another fear takes over: specifically, what shape you'll be in after the impact. Fortunately, given your particular belief system, there is usually a comforting code of behavior that can be indulged as insurance: You can buy your way out of doom by dispensing a few mea culpas in the company of those who share your beliefs.

It works, as long as you don't give it too much thought.

You'd think that would be all we need, but no. The harbingers of disaster double their efforts daily; they are relentless, encouraging us to fear nearly everything, to live in a state of perpetual consternation.

I can tolerate nearly all the nonsense, since I am pretty much reconciled to the crash, absent those moments on the brink of sleep, or present upon waking in the middle of the night, when the deepest and simultaneously frightening and satisfying apprehension of mortality flowers unrestrained by reason.

But my tolerance disappears when fear is linked to food.

My wife, Kathy, has a subscription to the Be Very Afraid Journal. The cover of the monthly publication inevitably features a brightly colored photo of an attractive young woman, glowing with good health. A closer examination of the cover, however, shows indications of something else secreted inside.

"10 foods that will stop your heart within two minutes."

"Don't exercise? Prepare to die a horrible early death."

"Cleanse your body of industrial toxins."

"Think things are going well? Think again."

"You and your diet: An arterial disaster ahead."

According to this magazine, and several others delivered to our door, food will kill you. You must, say the experts, be very, very afraid of most foods and most ways of preparing them.

Allow me to summarize the lengthy list of deadly foods: Anything that tastes good is lethal.

You must, report these journals, eliminate everything you like from your diet; then, in the unbalanced state precipitated by your withdrawal, you must delude yourself into thinking the few, pathetic items left on the menu actually taste good.

I refuse to succumb.

I will not be afraid of food. I'll willingly fret about al Queda. I will be on the alert for dioxin. I will look both ways before crossing the street. I will go to DEFCON 3 when I hear hip-hop music. I will run indoors and seal myself in a closet with duct tape any time I see a contrail in the sky.

I will not fear great food and I will not convince myself a gelatinous slab of seeds, grains, nuts and tofu tastes "better than meatloaf."

As a matter of fact, I intend to lash out against food fear this very evening. I am going to wage war at the dinner table.

I'll start with this salvo: strip steak with bordelaise sauce.

No need to go over the specifics of searing the flesh. It is going to be medium rare, to put the diner in mind of blood and the chemicals that once coursed through the steer. How about a heavily peppered crust? Pepper's gotta be lethal, eh? The more the better. I'll grill the flesh - grilling, some say, produces carcinogens. My, aren't they tasty?

It's the bordelaise that will give me the fuel I need to stand up against the doomsayers.

Gotta have a serious amount of demiglace. It's best when homemade, reducing equal amounts of brown veal stock (oh, the poor tykes) and sauce espagnole - an exquisite blend of mirepoix, tomato paste, seasonings and brown veal stock, brought together with a lustrous brown roux.

A measure of red wine graced by shallots, thyme, bay leaf and black peppercorns is reduced by half or more over medium high heat. In goes an equal amount of demiglace and the mix is simmered until reduced to a desired thickness, the flavors amalgamated. The mix is strained and seasoned with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Here's the big daddy fear killer.

In goes a wad of diced, poached marrow. Ah, the marrow bone - sturdy repository of heavy metals and industrial waste, vault of all things toxic. The marrow bones are soaked in salty water for a while then the marrow is pushed out and poached. Mmmmm. Dice it and cook it into the sauce.

To finish, the pan is taken off the heat and a massive amount of butter is swirled into the elixir.

Over the top of the grilled beef it goes.

Go ahead, add more. Maybe a little more. Have courage. Have a spoon at the ready.

Over the top, lads: Pop a wad of beef, butter and marrow. We have nothing to lose, but fear itself.


Cruising with Cruse

'What if' moments for accidents, missed flights

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

Life is full of little "What if" moments, isn't it?

Like, What if I hadn't been driving into town to the Relay for Life last Friday afternoon at precisely the time I was?

My car wouldn't have been rammed at the notorious intersection of U. S. 160 and S. 8th Street. Or as the hapless driver who hit me said, "Just one second more (or maybe less) and it wouldn't have happened."

What if two good friends hadn't happened along within minutes? The whole experience would have been a lot more stressful. They called the police on their cell phone, while I was pretty much reduced to standing beside my crippled car and wringing my hands.

Shakespeare said it this way, in his play about Henry III, the much-maligned English king and last Plantaganet ruler: "For want of a nail, the shoe was lost." After the shoe the horse was lost, and then the battle, and finally the kingdom. What if the farrier hadn't been asleep on the job that morning?

History would have been changed. Or maybe not.

You can drive yourself nuts thinking this way. What if I hadn't been going to the Relay for Life on Friday? My car would probably be fine today, but I probably wouldn't have raised any money for a worthy cause.

Take it back all the way. What if Eve hadn't listened to the serpent? We'd still be wandering around naked in the garden, never making any mistakes.

And never having the chance to do the right thing when bad things happen.

Earlier last week I was attempting to fly home from California, on a flight leaving at 11:30 a.m. The connecting flight should have gotten me into Durango around 5 p.m. It never occurred to me to wonder, What if?

First off, the agent at the check-in counter said, "Your flight will be delayed. It hasn't even left Denver yet. The captain's oxygen mask isn't functioning properly.

"You can take ground transportation to San Francisco now and catch a plane departing at 11:15," she said. She could get me a seat on that plane, but she couldn't guarantee the bus wouldn't get delayed on the bridge.

"You have other options," she said. She gave me boarding passes for flights I was scheduled to take, and she reserved seats for me on the flight that left Oakland at 2:05 and, more importantly, the later United Express flight.

"They'll know more in half an hour," she said. And my suitcase disappeared into the maw of the baggage security and transportation system.

Things did not go smoothly. In time a gate agent appeared and a line formed.

Then the agent left, saying she'd be back soon. I don't know about friendly skies, but the people I met on line that day were great. We waited, and shared our stories. The woman behind me was heading for Oklahoma with her sister. "I'm retired," she said. "I'm not in any big hurry." Sis, sitting with the baggage, gave a little wave.

The woman behind us was trying to get to Montrose. She'd been trying for two days. The commuter flights were all full. "What about Grand Junction?" I asked. "But then I'd still be 60 miles from my car," she said. Reasonable objection.

We slowly shuffled forward. The gate agent tried to make sense of what I showed her. "You won't need this backup," she said. "But, I want the later Durango connection," I said. "Just in case."

"Okay," she said. So now I had a boarding pass for Flight 268, which wouldn't leave Oakland at 11:30 but might sometime later. And a boarding pass for the later Durango connection.

More complicated were the itineraries of people hoping to go to Florida or some farther destination. The line got longer and longer. The gate agent began to look strained. She announced that we could get a meal voucher at Mr. Burrito. I went for a burrito. Then it was back to the gate area.

For a long time the information board listed both flights, each of them departing at 2:05. And then suddenly the 268 listing was gone. There were about 30 people in line, as there had been for the last hour. I scampered to the counter. "What happened to Flight 268? Will it be at another gate?"

The agent stared at me with that deer in the headlights look. "What's Flight 268?" she said. "The one that's so late, the one all these people were supposed to fly out on," I said. Oh, THAT Flight 268.

"We're consolidating the two flights," she said. Consolidate, that's a nice word. "Will I need a new boarding pass?" You bet I did. It was back in the line again.

Progress was excruciatingly slow. A woman joined me. She had just noticed that Flight 268 had been dropped from the board. People stopped by, asking if they needed to get in this line. What? See a line, get in it?

The man behind me was talking on his cell phone, I think to a buddy somewhere else in the airport. "I could have taken America West," he said. "I said no, because it meant a stop in Phoenix."

The Montrose lady reappeared. I think she and her spouse had rejected Mr. Burrito and gone somewhere else for lunch, probably somewhere with alcohol.

I got a new boarding pass. The lady beside me and the man behind us didn't.

The gate agent announced that the flight was now full. So much for consolidation. The Montrose lady was out of luck. The sisters going to Oklahoma and a whole bunch of other people weren't going to be arriving at their destinations any time soon.

It occurred to me that Americans are wonderful people. In some countries we probably would have stormed the gate and beaten the agent senseless. But they still wouldn't have let us on the plane.

The day was full of What-ifs. What if I hadn't stayed close to the gate?

What if the Montrose lady hadn't gone off for lunch? What if that fellow had taken America West? What if the captain's oxygen mask hadn't malfunctioned?

As I said, you can drive yourself nuts with this kind of questioning.

And it still won't make the plane fly. Or keep the bad things from happening.


Extension Viewpoints

Dozens of species of aphids found on plants in Colorado

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Friday, June 18 - 4-H Rabbit, Extension office, 2 p.m.

Monday, June 22 - 4-H Dog Obedience, Extension office Exhibit hall, 4 p.m.; 4-H Sports Fishing, Extension office, 4; 4-H Cake Decorating, Bennett residence, 5.

Aphids occur on almost all types of trees and shrubs. They usually do not damage plants and are controlled by natural enemies such as lady beetles.

Problems most commonly occur where aphids produce leaf curls, such as on ash, plum, honeysuckle and snowball viburnum. Check for natural enemies before treating with insecticides. Systemic insecticides are particularly effective when aphids have curled the leaves.

Contact insecticides and soaps are useful when aphids are exposed on leaves.

Dozens of species of aphids (plant lice) may be found on shade trees and woody ornamental plants in Colorado. Aphids are small insects, typically less than 1/8 inch, although some may be almost 3/4-inch long. Colors range from bright orange or red to dull gray. One common group, woolly aphids, produces an abundance of flossy, waxy threads that cover their bodies. Winged and wingless forms can be produced by all Colorado aphid species.

Aphids feed on plants by sucking plant sap from the leaves, twigs or stems. When abundant, aphids remove large quantities of sap, reducing plant growth and vigor. This injury is most common with stem- or trunk-infesting aphids, such as the woolly apple aphid and juniper aphid. Aphids feeding on developing leaves also can produce leaf curl injuries.

This is most frequently observed on snowball viburnum, honeysuckle, plum, aspen and ash. Most aphids excrete large quantities of a sweet, sticky substance called honeydew. At times, excessive honeydew dropping from trees can be an extreme nuisance. Also, sooty mold fungus may grow on the honeydew, producing a gray, unattractive covering of the leaves. Sooty mold is not damaging to the trees except when it covers leaves and temporarily reduces photosynthesis.

Ants often are attracted to honeydew and feed on it. Ants may even tend aphids and other honeydew-producing insects (certain scales, leafhoppers, treehoppers), protecting them from natural enemies such as lady beetles and lacewings. Often the presence of ants crawling up trees or on foliage indicates that large numbers of aphids or other honeydew producers also are on the plants.

Typical aphid life history

Most species of Colorado aphids overwinter as eggs on specific types of woody plants. Eggs hatch in the spring. The following spring and summer, forms of the aphid sometimes move from overwintering plants to other plant species. Summer aphids consist entirely of females that give birth to live young at a rate of one to 20 per day.

The newly hatched aphids can complete their development within one to two weeks, after which they begin to produce more aphids. Consequently, aphid populations may increase rapidly, with several generations occurring during the growing season. At the end of the summer, both male and female aphids are produced. They mate on the overwintering host plant, and females lay eggs.


Many kinds of insects naturally prey upon aphids. Most common are various species of lady beetles (ladybugs), green lacewings, syrphid flies and small parasitic wasps. Under many conditions, these beneficial insects provide effective control of aphids. Before applying any insecticide, check the plants to make sure these natural controls are not already reducing aphid numbers. Sometimes ants interfere with these natural controls. Excluding ants with sprays, sticky bands, etc., can allow biological controls to be effective.

When natural enemies are not abundant enough to provide aphid control, insecticides sometimes are needed to prevent plant injury. For most aphid problems, particularly those associated with leaf curls, insecticides that move systemically within the leaf or plant provide the best control. The most common systemic insecticide available to homeowners is Orthene (acephate). Cygon (dimethoate) also may be available as a spray for use on evergreens.

Some insecticides can be applied to the soil and taken up by the roots of the plants. These are called systemic insecticides. The most recent, Imidacloprid, is sold under the trade name Bayer Advanced Garden Tree & Shrub Killer Concentrate. (Merit is the trade name of imidacloprid used by professional tree care companies.) It is applied as a drench over the root zone.

There are several insecticides effective for aphid control when sprayed on plants. Perhaps most effective are those with systemic activity that allows them to move through the plant. Acephate (Isotox, Orthene) is the most widely available systemic insecticide. Dimethoate (Cygon) is less commonly available and is mostly used for aphids on evergreens. Other insecticides used as sprays that have activity against aphids include insecticidal soaps malathion, and esfenvalerate.

Many of the aphids that curl leaves and produce problems in spring originate from eggs that remained on the plants during winter. Before bud break and egg hatch these eggs can be killed with sprays of horticultural oils. Such a use of oils is often described as a 'dormant oil' application, since it is applied before the plants produce new growth in spring.

On smaller trees aphids may be controlled by use of high pressure sprays of water. Hosing plants can also remove the sticky honeydew that aphids excrete.

For more information contact the Archuleta County Extension office at 264-5931 or visit us at the county fairgrounds.


Pagosa Lakes News

Get in the swim and be ready for the triathlon

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Master's swim program at the recreation center has been going strong all spring and now, in the early summer.

Bubbles come off of our four lane, 25-yard pool every Tuesday and Thursday morning - 6-7 a.m. Practices will remain through the summer. Emphasis is on developing an efficient free-style and building endurance to help triathletes prepare for and improve the swimming portion of their event.

There is no coaching, per se. A workout plan is provided for each practice and swimmers pace or push themselves as they wish.

A dual team master's swim meet is planned Saturday, July 10, at the recreation center. I'll have more details later on.

But speaking of swim meets, Special Olympics had one at the recreation center in May that involved 10 swimmers from Durango and four from Pagosa. Many from our community volunteered to make the event an enjoyable and successful one. After the swim meet, ladies from the Methodist Church provided sack lunches for all athletes, families of athletes and volunteers. What a thoughtful treat.

Pagosa Lakes swim team trains in the morning during the summer months - Monday through Friday 7:30-9:30 a.m. During those two hours, the pool is closed. Open swim begins at noon during the week. Morning hours 6 a.m. until noon are reserved for water exercise classes, swim lessons, swim team and lap swim. Although lap swim is also available in the afternoon, the pool is very congested. During the weekend, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., there are no scheduled classes - and so open swim is available that entire time.

The PLPOA will be doing an 18,000-piece newsletter mailing Monday, June 21, 9 a.m. to whenever the last piece is ready for mailing. Residents are invited to come help, chat with their neighbors while they work and, if they like doughnuts, there will be plenty (to go with the coffee and juice). This super-size mailing which will include the annual election ballot goes out to both lot/home owners and timeshare owners. Your help, for however long, will be hugely appreciated.

Do please come out, and you may even be one of the many lucky door prize winners. Call 731-5635 (PLPOA administrative offices) to RSVP.

Here's a chance for local runners to race right here at home. The Canine 9K, a run to benefit the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs, will be held Saturday, June 26, at 8 a.m. in Town Park. This run is in conjunction with a bunch of other fun-filled activities for Pet Pride Day.

Don't want to run? Then walk. Bring your dog if you wish - dogs must be leashed, please. The 5 1/2 mile, mostly flat course is on paved roads with a few refreshing hills. A totally flat course is too boring. The run will start and end at Town Park with the race route on Light Plant Road.

Youngsters under the age of 14 wishing to participate are encouraged to do so. Canine 9K organizers have a 1 1/2- mile course available for youths.

The Chuck Dorman Memorial Golf Tournament this year will be held Saturday, June 26. Golfers will have nine more days to sharpen up their swings. This tournament is hosted by Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs and all proceeds will go toward supporting local Rotary projects including college scholarships, high school student exchange programs, Rotary Park, July 4 parade, youth leadership training, 9Health Fair, Operation Winter Coat and Relay for Life.

Entry fee for this tournament is $70 and that includes green fees, cart, lunch and refreshments. There will be a shotgun start at 9 a.m. Categories will be men's and women's flights based on individual stroke play. There will also be a putting contest.

Entry deadline for the tournament is June 22. The goal is to attract 100 players so the $2,700 purse for the winners becomes feasible. Many local businesses have already donated generously in support of the tournament.

Watch out for this year's entry favors. I here they're great.




Izaac James Howell

Michelle Alicia Chavez and Landon Ronald Howell of Kingman, Ariz., announce the birth of their son, Izaac James Howell, May 26, 2004, at Kingman Regional Medical Center. Proud maternal grandparents are Felipe and Veda Sedillo and paternal grandparents are Ron and Carol Howell all of Kingman. Great-grandparents are Alice M. Young and the late James A. Young Sr., of Pagosa Springs.


Kaden Hawk Edwards and Zane Night Edwards

Robin Kundtz and Kevin Edwards, of Pagosa Springs, are doubly excited to announce the birth of their twin boys. Kaden Hawk Edwards and Zane Night Edwards found their way into this world on June 1, 2004, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. Kaden weighed 5 pounds, 11.5 ounces and was 18 1/4 inches long, and Zane weighed 5 pounds, 14.5 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long. Though first children for Robin, Zane and Kaden join a large family of siblings from Kevin's family. Two local siblings, Shelbie Edwards (age 9) and Christopher Edwards (age 21) are delighted with the two new additions.



Sofia Madril

Sofia Maria Madril, 91, of Pagosa Springs, died June 11, 2004, in Las Cruces, N.M.

Mrs. Madril was born March 3, 1913 in Pagosa Junction, Colo., to Juan and Pablita Vasquez. In November, 1928, she married Jose Demetrio Madril in Pagosa Junction and the couple moved to Chama, N.M., until 1943 when they moved to Pagosa Springs. Mrs. Madril lived here until last year when she moved to live with her daughter in New Mexico.

Mrs. Madril was a dedicated mother who had 11 children and raised two grandchildren, most of whom were reared in the family home at 296 2nd St. in Pagosa Springs.

She enjoyed gardening and growing flowers, loved listening to Big Band music and attending baseball games. She was a longtime member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church of Pagosa Springs.

She is survived by 11 of her children: Marcella (Johnny) Reyes of Sierra Vista, Ariz.; Pauline (Rudy) Falcon of Las Cruces, N.M.; Demetrio (Ida) Madril of Sun City, Calif.; Linda (Mark) Thomas of Pagosa Springs; Viola; Evangeline Madril of Humble, Texas; Nova (Jim) Cosby of Las Vegas, Nev.; Martha (Joe) Young of Pagosa Springs; Lorraine Madril of Pescott, Ariz.; Allen (Michele) Madril of Cody, Wyo.; and Yvonne (John Paul) Rivera of Pagosa Springs; 36 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Jose Demetrio Madril, and her sons, Benjamin Sixto Madril and John Joseph Madril.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, June 15, 2004, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs with burial in Hilltop Cemetery.

Contributions toward funeral expenses can be sent to: Memorial Fund for Sofia Madril, Citizens Bank, P.O. Drawer 1508, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147-1508.


Dr. Max Forbert

Dr. Max Forbert died Thursday, June 4, 2004, at his home in Williamson Valley, Ariz. He was 75.

Max was born Dec. 30, 1928, in Los Angeles, Calif. He practiced dentistry and resided in Menlo Park and Atherton, Calif., then later in Riverside, before retiring to Pagosa Springs where he lived with his wife and two horses for 12 years.

Last November, the Forberts moved to Arizona for the warmer climate.

He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Marian Forbert; his three sons, Mike, Mark, and Tim Forbert; his daughter, Lori Toriseva; his granddaughter Malia Forbert, his two horses, Cisco and Bandit, and his puppy Chica.

At Max's request, there will be no public services. Longtime friends Gary and Judy Waples will plant a tree and place a plaque in his memory at the new Humane Society Shelter.


Jean Vandercook

Jean Vandercook, 92, died June 7, 2004. Jean was born in Minneapolis, Minn., Sept. 11, 1911.

She was the daughter of Albert Wilkins and Jesse Coy Wilkins. She married Neil Vandercook in San Francisco, Calif. They moved from Los Angeles County to Pagosa Springs in November 2003.

She worked as a bank vault supervisor in Santa Monica., Calif., during World War II, but spent much of her life as a homemaker, caring for her home and her family. She was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. Jean enjoyed traveling and swimming.

Jean is survived by her husband, Neal Vandercook, her daughter and son-in-law, Jan and George Love, and grandson Wesley Vandercook, all of Pagosa Springs; her niece, Audrey Ball of Glendora, Calif.; and nephew Van Johnson of Seattle, Wash.

A private memorial service was held Tuesday, June 15, 2004.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the local humane society.


Business News
Biz Beat


European Cafe

For fine European cuisine and a cheerful and inviting atmosphere, make a trip to the European Cafe.

Retha and Harold Kornhaber, pictured with their two daughters, Havi and Sarah, recently opened the restaurant at 121 Pagosa St.

The European Cafe specializes in Italian and French cuisine and offers a full espresso bar and fine wines and ales that complement the quality European dishes. All desserts are made fresh at the restaurant.

Harold and Retha are "locals for locals" and invite members of the community to attend special local nights that will take place in the fall and enjoy the Sunday brunch buffet, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Call 264-3876 for more information.




Preview Profile

Dick McKee

Public Works Director


Where were you born?

"Breckenridge, Texas."


Where did you go to school?

"I graduated from high school in Leadville, Colorado."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"August of last year."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I was the assets supervisor for Summit County."


What are your job responsibilities?

"I work with several departments, including engineering, fleet maintenance, road and bridge, weed and pest and public transportation."


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

"I enjoy working with the people of Archuleta County. The least enjoyable part of my job is that I never have enough time to enjoy all of the recreational activities Pagosa has to offer."


What is your family background?

"I am married, with two kids."


What do you like best about the community?

"The best parts of the community are the friendly people and the beautiful scenery."


What are your other interests?

"Fishing, fishing and fishing."



Stephanie Gordon

Stephanie Bliss Gordon, a freshman from Pagosa Springs majoring in music, has been named to the Dean's List for the spring semester at Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, Va.

One of 17 chosen (only three freshmen), she maintained a 3.4 or better average for the semester to qualify.


Cards of Thanks

Gallo family

We would like to express our appreciation to Chromo EMS and the firefighters, law enforcement and National Forest personnel from Pagosa Springs who responded to a wildfire in the Elk Ridge subdivision of Alpine Lakes Ranch on June 10.

Our heartfelt thanks go as well to the firefighters and equipment from California, New Mexico, Utah and Leadville who were literally camped in our yard and garage for three days protecting us and our home. Without exception, these men and women were true professionals and displayed complete dedication to their mission.

Thanks also to our many neighbors and friends who called to offer whatever assistance we needed as well as a place to stay in the event of evacuation. We are grateful to all.

Marti and Bill Gallo

Rising Stars

The Rising Stars of Pagosa Springs would like to sincerely thank all of the businesses and individuals that supported our non-profit at the Great Date Auction. We would like to thank Pacific Auction Exchange, Sally Hameister, Montezuma's Vineyard, The SUN , KWUF, the singles (Carol Turner, Deb Reynolds, Tim Decker, Reid Kelly, Peg Schwarzkopf, Ian Vance and Les Linton), and the band (Will Spears, Bob Heminger, Chris Pierce, Jammin' Jeff, Mark DeVoti, and Andrew Jones). We would like to thank all of the businesses and individuals that donated to the auction and to all of the wonderful people who came out to support the event. Proceeds from the event will go toward supporting the many programs that the Rising Stars offers youths and families.

Rising Stars board of directors


Sports Page


Prokop, Bish low gross, net men's leaders

David Prokop shot 76 to become last week's gross winner in the Men's Golf League first flight June 9.

Al Iveland shot a 78 for second low gross; Gene Johnson was third with an 80.

Low net in the first flight went to Tom Bish with a 67. Rick Taylor and Casey Belarde shot 68s in a tie for second low net.

In the second flight, Rich Broom had first low gross with an 87. Carl Carman was second at 88 and Bob Howard and Jack Hummell tied for third with 89s. Low net in this flight was captured by Mark Mesker and Norman Utz in a tie with 69s and Bob Jones was third with a 70.

The men's league is open to golfers of all levels. The league has golfers with handicaps ranging from 1 to 36. The format is varied from week to week, with the emphasis on playing well versus your handicap.

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.


Courage Classic registration has opened

Cyclists of nearly any age or ability can now register and begin training for the 15th Anniversary Courage Classic, a three-day bicycling tour which benefits The Children's Hospital.

The Courage Classic, scheduled July 17-19, will take riders on a 162-mile tour over quiet backcountry roads, challenging climbs and picturesque views of Colorado.

This year's route - from Leadville to Summit County and back - will include Vail, Turquoise Lake, Fremont Pass, Copper Mountain, Frisco, Breckenridge, Keystone and Lake Dillon.

Registration is $100 (which includes a short-sleeved shirt) or $105 (which includes a long-sleeved shirt). Additionally, participants must raise a minimum of $250 in pledges that directly supports patients at The Children's Hospital.

These funds will allow Children's to build a state-of-the-art facility at Fitzsimons and to continue to provide important programs throughout the community, including The Handicapped Sports Program, KidStreet, The Bereavement Program, Specialty Care Clinics, Urgent Care Centers, The Children's Hospital Foundation Research Institute and many more.

Since its inception, the Courage Classic has raised more than $11.6 million in support of The Children's Hospital. Interested participants can get information and register online at www.couragetours.com or by calling (303) 456-9704.


Bow Club event benefits Pathfinders

The Pagosa Bow Club will sponsor a 3D Benefit Shoot June 27. All proceeds from the shoot will be donated to Pagosa Pathfinders, the local chapter of YHEC (Youth Hunting Education Challenge).

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. with the shoot set to begin at 9 a.m.

The club's range is located one mile east of town directly across from the Riverside campground.

Cost is $15 for a single youth or adult (13 and over), $20 for couples or $25 for a family. Children under 13 are free, but they must be accompanied by an adult.

Questions may be directed to Donna Clemison at 731-9622.


Ladies swing for top scores in two events

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a "no goofs" format for league day June 8.

Golfers were penalized one point for each of the following "goofs": hitting the ball into the rough or the water, out of bounds, or into the sand trap.

Players with the least amount of points were winners.

That placed Jan Kilgore first with no points and her best round of the league season with a 77. Jane Day was second with 1 point; Cherry O'Donnell third with 3; and Josie Hummel fourth with 5.

Eight women from the association traveled to Farmington June 7-9 to compete in the annual San Juan Medical Center Ladies Invitational.

The 36-hole tournament was a two-women best net and gross ball format, played at Piñon Hills Golf Club June 8 and San Juan Country Club June 9.

Representing Pagosa were Sally Bish, Nancy Chitwood, Carole Howard, Jody Lawrence, Audrey Johnson, Jane Stewart, Sue Martin and Julie Pressley.

Bish and Chitwood won first place net in the fourth flight with a 128; Howard and Lawrence won second place net in the fourth flight but their score was unavailable at press time.


Parks & Rec


Use demands make June busy month for parks

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The parks and recreation department is spread thin during the month of June. Pagosa Springs weather, including melt-off, gives us a small window of opportunity to work on turf and parks.

June is our busiest month for park rentals, youth league games, softball games and every fund-raiser you can think of in the pre-July 4 time slot.

Our new irrigation is wonderful but we have had a few scares, and are always working out the kinks. It seems that 24/7 we are watching flows to the pump, not wanting to have any down time in our watering schedules.

With every weekend taken in June, the Town Park has been very difficult to green up. We try to turn off the sprinkler system for important fund-raisers, but are trying to strengthen the turf for the beating it will take over the week of the July 4 holiday.


The 2004 Mountain Man Rendezvous has been booked and is ready to go. This year's event will be held in Reservoir Hill Park with the rendezvous open to the public June 24-27.

We will close the back mountain bike trail during the event for safety purposes. Please be considerate during the event.

If you have never witnessed this event, it is a great get away for you and your family to see life as it once was in Pagosa Country.

With the drought of the past couple of years, the event was postponed but we plan to host the mountain men for a great 2004 rendezvous.


Rental agreements are in place for the following events in town parks:

June 18-21 - American Legion softball tournament, Sports Complex

June 19 - EMT picnic, Town Park

June 20 - Knights of Columbus Father's Day picnic, Town Park

June 21-25 - First Baptist Church youth sports camp

June 24-27 - Mountain Man Rendezvous, Reservoir Hill Park

June 26 - Pet Pride Day, Town Park

Until the July 1 publication we will keep you informed on the events scheduled by the department for our annual celebration.

This year the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday. We will host the fireworks display and annual picnic at the Sports Complex that day. We are planning the following schedule of events:

- 3 p.m. - set-up and sound check

- 4-5 p.m. - games set-up

- 5:30-6:30 p.m. - games, food, tethered balloon rides, horseshoes, volleyball, vendors open for family picnic. Beer garden opens

- 6:30 p.m. - Hopi dancers and singers

- 7:30 p.m. - Pagosa Hot Strings

- 9:15 p.m. - fireworks display

- 10 p.m. - Johnny Mogambo Band with dance music from the '70s through present dance tunes, until midnight.

Vendors signed up include Pagosa High School Sports Boosters, Kiwanis Club, Wrap it Up, Flavored Kettle Corn, Pagosa parks and recreation, hot air balloon rides, inflatable planetarium and music for all ages.

Call Town Hall to reserve your picnic area and a regular or VIP parking spot.

The department is accepting any and all donations to offset the cost of this year's fireworks display. Call anytime at 264-4151, Ext. 231.

Rockies challenge

The Colorado Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge will take place Friday, June 25.

This is a baseball competition allowing youngsters to showcase their 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 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 state championships. Call the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department for more details.

Adult softball

Leagues are in full "swing" with six 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

Competition continues with great team play and beautiful weather.

Our local teams traveled to Ignacio last weekend to compete in the second half of a home-and-home series. All teams exhibited great ability and sportsmanship.

In the next couple of weeks our teams will add competition from Durango. Come out and root for your teams at the Sports Complex Tuesdays and Thursdays. Pagosa Springs all-star competition will begin in July.

Girl's softball

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 girls' softball and hope to compete against teams from surrounding towns in hopes of building this great girls' sports program.

Hiring umpires

Even though our baseball/softball seasons have begun we are still hiring umpires. Contact Gabel if you are interested. Pay is $15-$25 per game.



Time to make a move

This is a note to the younger members of our community, a repeat visit to a favorite topic. It is not a call for revolution; it is, rather, a request for replacement parts. The machine of government needs an overhaul.

While political overhauls tend to be generational, in the ideal form of our government the overhaul should be ongoing; an election year like this provides a special opportunity to begin the work.

Put simply: If you are between the ages of 18 and 35, an aging crew, not you, is running your community, your region, your nation. There is nothing inherently wrong with this; everyone has a role to play. But it is time to begin to replace tiring bodies and minds, to put fresher, more vital forces into play.

It is time for younger players to move into the arena and begin to compete.

This fall, we will go to the polls and select a president, a U.S. senator from Colorado, a representative from the 3rd District to the U.S. House and two Archuleta County commissioners. The individuals we put in office will set the course for our community, region, state and nation. You will follow that course and your lives will be shaped by it. The question is how much longer you wish to be led, how much longer you want to wait before you get involved. For the most part, you will eventually be saddled with the results of decisions made by those long gone; you will bear the burden of debts incurred, deficits established. You will fight the wars and supply the money needed for increasingly costly programs. Locally, many of you intend to remain here or return after your education. Many of you want to raise families here; you will inherit the place. Is it what you want? Is Pagosa Country becoming what you want it to be? What do you recommend? What do you want changed? Shouldn't you have a meaningful voice in your future? What's wrong with beginning now and not waiting for attrition to take its toll and create political space in which you can operate?

Decisions will be made this summer and fall in Archuleta County that will have a permanent effect on the community in which many of you have grown to adulthood. You have the right to be a part of the process that will select the fellow Pagosans who make the decisions.

Painful as it might be, it is time to take a lesson from your elders- in particular the oldest generation in the community. Whether or not you appreciate their values and standards, the oldest members of this community have done for years what you need to do now: they registered to vote, they've voted, they have become involved in the party processes, they have organized or been organized by common interests. They have imposed their ideas and practices on their society, rather than being led like pets. As a result, they have profited, for the most part - personally and collectively. You can and should do the same.

To have any effect, however small it might be in the beginning, you need to register to vote. If you wish to vote in the Aug. 10 primaries you must be registered Republican, Democrat or Unaffiliated by July 12 (an Unaffiliated voter can declare a party at the polling place on primary election day). To vote in the Nov. 2 general election, you must register by Oct. 4. As important: Read, discuss, organize. This county, this state, this nation is yours.

Our representative government requires your participation, feeds on active and informed citizens making smart choices in terms of leadership. It needs candidates and officials with energy and new ideas. That's you.

Make your move.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa


Seeing Pagosa at its finest hour

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

You never know what problems are until you've walked in another's shoes - or walked with a cancer survivor.

Whether a work in progress under treatment, or a multi-decade conqueror of the Big C., walking with these people is a lesson in itself.

So it was at the Pagosa Springs Relay for Life Friday night in Town Park.

Anyone who could hold back a tear did not understand what was happening.

These people had been down for the count but came back to share with us their determination, luck, persistence and faith, to show us it can be done, to illustrate that cancer isn't just the big bad bully we all fear but one that can be beaten by the skinny kid into whose face the sand of challenge has been kicked.

It was a congenial atmosphere dealing with a most unfriendly topic. And the cheers for each cancer survivor introduced carried the wish that all who are afflicted might also have the opportunity to share with the public the success of their fight.

Young mothers, grandmothers, fathers and grandfathers marched forward to receive a gold medallion on a purple sash and to present a similar one to the next person whose name was called.

Businessmen, businesswomen. Many people you deal with in everyday life. Some you were aware were survivors and some whose silent victory was a surprise.

Put them all together for the opening lap and you had the sense that man and his God had put the most feared of scourges on a one-way trip to oblivion.

There are those who will suffer relapse. New cases will be discovered. But the fight to halt cancer is one we will win. Just ask those represented in the Relay. Ask those who marched because they felt it was one way to support a community effort that they could do without drawing the limelight to themselves.

People marched with groups who vied for prizes for the most money raised. But there were those who walked silently, some who had nothing to give but their moral support.

It was, again, an effort which showed Pagosa Springs at its concerned best, giving citizens, young and old alike, the chance to help the area live up to its growing reputation as a community that cares.

Food flowed, camaraderie was born anew, some marched for half an hour, others for four or more hours.

The distance walked made no difference. The purpose was to show the survivors they were not alone and Pagosa responded with its normal banner effort.

There were tender moments, like a recipient so overcome by the moment that he or she forgot to stay at the bower of victory to pass on the love to the next person; or the presentation of the luminaria, lighted and stretching around two thirds of the march route, with names of those who had gone before in a losing fight against cancer, but who spurred people to walk in circles for hours to show they knew the loss and would fight to prevent it from happening anew.

It was Pagosa at its finest.




90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of June 19, 1914

Ladies - young, old, fat, lean and medium - will all be weeping salt tears when they hear the sad news that Max Mickey, the genial, affable, pleasant, always courteous, tango tripping, bunny hugging professor, is - break it very softly - going away. On the morning of the 22nd the Professor will, with his tango slippers, his pleasant smile and handsome face, and leaving a trail of broken hearts behind, depart for his home in Del Norte. Mr. Mickey, during his connection with the Hatcher Merc. Co., has made a host of friends for both himself and the firm.

A new floor is being put down in the Hatcher Hall this week - a much needed improvement, especially for the dances.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 21, 1929

Fire, discovered early this morning in the attic of the Turkey Springs ranger station, west of Pagosa, completely destroyed the structure. The ranger, John C. Baird, and wife were there only temporarily while the former was engaged in counting sheep entering the forest for summer range, hence had only a camp outfit with them, which they succeeded in removing from the burning building.

The Goodman Paint Co. of Durango is now putting the finishing touches on the new Wicklem Garage at the corner of Fifth and San Juan streets.

About fifty Archuleta County residents enjoyed a community picnic at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass Sunday.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 18, 1954

The weather continues to be rather unsummer-like with more frosts this past week. There have also been some pretty windy days and the ground is drying out fast. The willow flies were out this week and many feel that this indicates the start of fly fishing. Gardens in town and near town have suffered damage from the freezes as has the alfalfa and other crops.

A group of Legionnaires went to the rodeo grounds to make arrangements for the erection of a flagpole at the grounds on Tuesday of this week. The Legion will erect the pole and Legionnaire Glen Edmonds has offered us the use of his flag for this year until the Legion can purchase one large enough.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 21, 1979

There was some new snow on the peaks Tuesday morning and some rain fell in town during the night. There wasn't much rain or snow, but there was some high winds. The snow quickly melted during the day. There were three nights when it froze this past week and a few gardens may have been nipped.

Wolf Creek Pass is now open only during the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Construction work is going ahead on four-laning projects and the night time closure will not be in affect as long this summer as it has been in the past.

The San Juan River runoff may well have had its peak period in the spring runoff. Highest flow through town to date was 7.10 feet June 7.




D-Day plus 60 years: Omaha Beach and the days that followed

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Sixty years ago today Morris Self was working on a beach in Normandy, France, building infrastructure to move equipment and supplies inland to the Allied infantry striking against Hitler's armies.

It was D-Day, plus eleven.

Self, who has lived in Pagosa Springs part-time since 1976, landed on Omaha Beach June 6, 1944, along with 15,000 other Allied troops in the first wave of the invasion that would turn the tide of World War II for good.

On D-Day, plus one, he helped save about 25 stranded soldiers foundering on a sand bar, earning him the Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement.

A few days later, he and his unit were able to move to a camp about a half mile off the beach. And there they stayed for several months, working each day to build roads across the sand, and then across the countryside to help win the war.

"That's what I like to remember," he said. "The days following D-Day. That's when we were doing our jobs." For Self, that job included clearing mine fields and building bridges in advance of the Allied infantry as a First Lieutenant Combat Engineer Platoon Leader with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1st Division, 1st Army.

Over the next year and a half, Self would travel across most of the continent of Europe, participating in battles in Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and central Europe. Generally, he worked at night. Usually under sniper fire.

For his actions, he also received the Croix de Guerre and a EAME ribbon with five stars and one arrowhead, as part of a unit, a U.S. Presidential Citation, and the French Croix de Guerre avec Palm. Fifty years after he set foot on the eastern edge of Omaha Beach, the people of Normandy awarded him - and all other living veterans of the Normandy Campaign, which lasted from June 6-July 24, 1944 - the Jubilee of Liberty Medal.

"I used to thank God I was honored for saving lives, not taking lives," Self said. "Now I know for every infantryman I saved, I probably killed a dozen Germans, but you didn't think about that then."

When the journey began in 1940, Self was just 18 and newly graduated from White Bear High School in Minnesota where he was president of the student council and lettered in football and ice hockey. He was also already a member of the workforce, having spent his evenings in a factory when he was 16 years old to help the family while his father was out of work. As a senior, he apprenticed as a plumber and signed up for college courses in aeronautical engineering for the fall. He decided to join the National Guard.

"I thought, gee, I'd get a trip to California for their summer camp, and I've never been out of Minnesota," Self said.

He shrugged off his father's concerns and joined up, making it through one semester of college classes in the fall before the president federalized all of the National Guard troops and sent him to Camp Haan in California.

According to a story in the March 4, 1945, edition of the St. Paul Sunday Dispatch, written by his father, he started as a private in the 101 Coast Artillery Anti-Aircraft Brigade. He was commissioned at the Corps of Engineers' Officer Candidate School at Fort Belvoir, Va., and trained at Camp Crowder, Mo., Fort Riley, Kan., in the California desert and at amphibious training bases in Florida and Maryland. He continued training oversees in November, 1943, where he was assigned to the Rolay Engineers school.

Self said practices for the D-Day invasion took place on the Gower Peninsula where conditions were similar to those on the Normandy coast.

When the time came Self, and his reconnaissance team of four men, boarded a transport for the trip across the English Channel. Their mission was to land on the beach at 7 a.m. and set up 7-foot tall markers for landing zones Easy Red and Fox Green on Omaha Beach. The markers, Self said, were designed to show the boats that followed where to land. From there, his unit was supposed to clear a mine field for the infantry.

The troops' mood was fairly casual as the boat headed toward shore, Self said. That is, until they began to realize the shelling, bombs and demolitions heard in the distance were not all their own.

Bullets began to hit, "ping, ping," on the side of the craft, Self said. A boat about 100 yards away suffered a direct hit and exploded in a fireball and then, about 500 yards from shore, machine-gun fire cut through the control tower of the craft Self and his men were in, knocking out the hydraulic steering. The boat turned sideways in the waves while the crew struggled to right it, eventually guiding the craft the rest of the way manually and reaching the beach 30 minutes late.

"In training," Self said, "the men would ask why, or give you suggestions, but at that moment the only thing they heard was what the officers said." That leadership responsibility, in turn, kept Self going. "I was so filled with a sense of responsibility I could overcome my fears," he said. "I didn't have time to think about the dangers even when men were shot alongside me. I was just glad I had a job to do and I could think about that. The infantryman - all he had to think about was shooting and being shot."

Self's platoon managed to raise the markers as designed only to have them chopped down by enemy artillery. Again, they put them up, and again they were cut down. Eventually, Self said, they gave up.

"We tried to bury ourselves in the ground as much as we could and wait for the rest of the unit," Self said. The firing was so heavy and the position so tenuous, he added, there were even a few moments when he considered the possibility of a swim back across the English Channel. Instead, he was sent forward to clear a path through the mine fields for the infantry.

At the end of the beach, Self said, was a bluff topped with a double-apron of barbed wire, and below that, a marsh full of 12- to 18-inch high grasses. The Germans had placed antipersonnel mines throughout the grass, not even bothering to bury them.

"I remember I had a pair of wire cutters," Self said. On his back he crawled under the barbed-wire, cutting the wires over his head as he went to make a path to the mine field. As he reached the second half of the apron, he clipped a smooth wire and immediately thought of booby traps.

"I waited there 10 or 15 seconds, and when nothing happened I followed the wire about 20 feet and found a flame thrower. The Germans set them up along the fence to set the marshes on fire. It was June and they were dry. I was just lucky the one I set off wasn't functioning."

From there, his team began working its way through the mine field, the men crawling the entire way on their bellies and feeling in the grasses for the three types of antipersonnel mines they had been sent to find.

Most mines, Self said, exploded upward, making it safest to be as close to the ground as possible. The men disarmed the mines and stacked them along the sides of the path, marking each safe passage as they went with a half-inch strip of cloth like a trail of breadcrumbs. Eventually, Self said, they managed to clear a couple different avenues through the marsh, but it took time. At least one commander led his troops across the field before it could be cleared. They made it, Self said, but not without casualties.

Three thousand men died on that beach June 6. And although the day went down in history as the beginning of the end for Hitler, it was, after all, only the beginning of the end.

Self said no one slept for the first 48 hours on the beach. They simply dug foxholes into the side of the riprap bluff to shield their torsos and waited for daylight. Combat lasted four or five days, and only after that were they able to move a half mile inland and make camp. Still, they worked 16-hour days, beginning the process of building roads across the sand. They would continue to rebuild roads and bridges for the next year and a half, all across Europe, sometimes twice a night, moving a "Bailey Bridge."

On June 7 - D-Day plus one in military terms - Self was working in the marsh mine field when he heard cries of distress and saw six boats stranded on a sandbar. About 30 men, seeing the destruction on the beach and the plight of those who landed before them, had refused to leave their boats. Some were injured. All were in danger of drowning as their boats listed on the sandbar and began to sink. Self and 2nd Lt. W. Sidlowski of New York organized a rescue, swimming out under constant artillery fire to get six before rigging a lifeline to help the others. It was that action that earned him the bronze star and his picture in the British edition of Yank - a picture of a man in glasses staggering onto the Normandy Beach next to two others with an injured soldier between them that would resurface 50 years later on the cover of the May 23,1994 edition of U.S. News and World Report. Decades after Self had stopped to think about his part in World War II.

Self was discharged in December, 1945. He went home to Minnesota and reenrolled in college, this time as a civil engineer. He marched through bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees. He married, started a family. Became a professor at the University of Florida-Gainesville.

Except for a trip to Europe with his wife, Ruth, in 1952, when the couple retraced Self's movements, bicycling and camping their way across the continent, he put the war in the past, giving away many of his souvenirs.

"The war never entered my mind for 50 years," he said. "I was always too busy with my own personal activities to think about it."

Then, the magazine. His son pointed out Self's picture on the cover, and a reporter from The Gainesville Sun came calling.

"My wife came in and said 'I hope you're recording this because I've never heard any of it before,'" Self said.

Now, plenty of people will hear of it, as Self's story is told during this 60th anniversary year of D-Day.



Pagosa's Past


Early settlers developed sense of resourcefulness

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

John Olbert Sr. came to Colorado from Illinois during the 1880s. As a single young man, he was caught up in the adventurous life he found in the West, even though he had much to learn.

He worked at railroading, logging and mining before becoming a farmer in the Thompson Park and eventually settling near Oxford. While wintering at one of the mines, he placed his boots next to the fireplace in order to dry them. Imagine his chagrin when he awoke the next morning to discover what had been his boots were now a pile of ashes. Not having anything else to wear on his feet, he wrapped them in gunnysacks and snowshoed out to Telluride where he could buy a new pair of boots.

The humor of it all did not escape Olbert and in later life he developed a reputation as a story teller. He enjoyed telling about the resourcefulness of the early settlers.

One story concerned John Robinson, a cowpuncher. On one particular trip into the hills to round up some missing cattle, carrying only a sack of flour for "vittles." He did not carry cooking utensils. Instead, he wrapped a small piece of dough around a stick and roasted it on the campfire like a hot dog. Together with an occasional rabbit, also roasted on the campfire, that was the only food he had for about a week.

Olbert told about another homesteader in Thompson Park whose fences were repeatedly cut by cowboys working for a nearby cattleman. Although a small man about half the size of the cattleman, he went to his opponent and said, "I am tired of this. If my fence is cut again, I am about to shoot someone. Turning to his listening cowboys, the cattleman drawled, "You heard what the Dutchman said, and I do think he means it. Better let him alone. And they did."

Olbert married, raised a family, and served as a La Plata County commissioner from 1917 to 1921.

One of the epic stories connected with settlement in the San Juan Basin is that of opening the Ute Strip. The story contains sweet and sour ingredients, depending upon whether the observer is Ute or Anglo. It begins: "On May 4, 1899, a strip of Ute Territory lying just north of the Colorado-New Mexico state line, including some land of the La Plata, Bondad, La Posta, Sunnyside, Oxford, Tiffany, and Allison of today, was thrown open to settlement.

It should be clear that before this settlement the land had been part of the Ute Reservation. The land was opened for settlement as a result of the infamous "Land in Severalty" policy of the U.S. government which resulted in the decimation of many Indian reservations. That policy is not the subject of this article. Settlement of that land did take place.

There seemed to be some misunderstanding about the manner in which the land was to be taken up - some saying a run had to be made at noon of the opening day, some that stakes were to be driven at that time on the desired acreage, and some that entry at the land office in Durango was to be made first. This accounts for the fact that all three forms were used, giving rise to disputes, quarrels, and at least one shooting.

Walter Anderson chose to make a run for it. Born in New Boston, Missouri, Anderson had been in Colorado a number of years, first at Florence and then at Cripple Creek.

When he learned of the opening of Indian land in southern Colorado, he rode horseback from Cripple Creek to Twin Crossing on the New Mexico state line, then rode to the Bondad area on opening day. His first location was disputed, so he took up 160 acres nearby.

More on Walter Anderson and settlement of the Ute Strip next week.



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'Lesser chance for rain' forecast for Pagosa Country

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

A little more to the east, please.

That could arguably have been the plea of many residents as higher elevations to the west of Pagosa Country received sporadic, heavy rainfall during the past week while areas closer to town were relatively shortchanged by a weak pattern of afternoon thunderstorms.

According to forecasters, that trend will continue until the weekend, although any new outbreaks of thunderstorms are expected to be dryer and shorter in duration than recent events.

"We're in the middle of what, right now, is an unstable southwest flow laced with small amounts of moisture," said Doug Crowley, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"Typical, afternoon thunderstorms and periodic wind gusts can be expected in the mountains (today) and Friday, though the chances aren't great for extensive rainfall," added Crowley.

"By the weekend, conditions should stabilize and lead to higher temperatures and a lesser chance for rain," concluded Crowley.

According to Crowley, high temperatures today should approach the mid-70s, with lows expected settle into the upper 30s.

Southwest winds in the 10-20 miles per hour range and the possibility for scattered mountain showers are also in the forecast.

Friday calls for partly-cloudy skies, west winds at 10-15 mph, highs in the 80s and lows in the 40s.

Sunny skies Saturday morning should yield to partly-cloudy conditions by afternoon. Highs are predicted in the 80s, lows around 40.

Sunday's forecast predicts mostly-cloudy skies, highs in the 75-85 range and lows in the 40s.

Partly-cloudy skies and a 10-15 percent chance for afternoon showers are in the forecasts for Monday through Wednesday, along with highs near 80 and lows in the 40s.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 75 degrees. The average low was 36. Moisture totals for the week, in town, amounted to zero.

The Pagosa Ranger District rates the area fire danger as "very 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 25 percent of average.

San Juan River flow through town ranged from approximately 630 cubic feet per second to 1,700 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of June 17 equals roughly 1,100 cubic feet per second.