June 24, 2004 
Front Page

Land use plan revived; may go

to county July 6

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The ball is rolling, again.

After a brief pause, Archuleta County's plan to pursue the revision of current land use regulations and the development of new policies is moving once more.

And the general direction seems to be forward, according to the majority of sentiments expressed at the end of a Monday night workshop designed to get everyone involved up to speed.

As a result, at its meeting last night (which occurred after press time) the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission was scheduled to "ratify through written findings" its May 26 recommendation to the county commissioners.

The recommendation concerns changes to a draft bulk-mailing survey designed to gather public input on aspects included in a proposed land-use code that has often been referred to as the "preferred alternative."

Revisiting last month's decision by the planning commission satisfies a request made last week by Bill Steele, county administrator, suggesting the basis for the recommendation be clearly expressed in written "minority and majority reports."

Pending the outcome of the planning commission's meeting, further consideration of the survey is slated for the July 6 county commissioners' agenda.

Monday's session, however, was designed for informational purposes, to reexamine the methodology involved in the 10-month planning process leading up to the current phase of development - plans given majority approval by the county commissioners and the planning commission whenever called into question.

The workshop was attended by representatives of the planning commission, county commissioners, administration, planning department staff and about a dozen members of the public.

Presenting the research involved were members off the Citizens Task Force, the eight-member committee charged with evaluating new options for county land-use alternatives based on information compiled by county planning staff during a series of related focus groups conducted last fall.

Reading aloud from a prepared report, task force member Lynda Van Patter summarized the background of the process and the committee's subsequent findings.

After being appointed by the county commissioners Jan. 20, the task force began meeting with Marcus Baker, associate county planner, on a weekly basis after an initial session Feb. 12 "to explore ways of implementing the Community Plan's land-use regulations," said Van Patter.

The Community Plan, a conceptual guideline for the development of growth-management policies, was adopted by the county in 2001.

As well as related areas of concern, said Van Patter, "We looked at the number-one concern of Archuleta County citizens, which is 'responsible management of growth.'"

Furthermore, "We reviewed several zoning and districting options during that time," said Van Patter, indicating the meetings "explored and evaluated alternative scenarios" that would meet the vision of the Community Plan "in a politically and socially acceptable code that is administratively feasible."

Among other aspects, said Van Patter, the review included traditional zoning, performance-based zoning and urban and rural districts, as well as public meetings in Chromo and Arboles.

The end result was the recommendation of a "preferred alternative," a performance-based code modeled loosely on an award-winning growth policy implemented in Fremont County, Idaho.

According to statistics provided by Baker, the demographics of Fremont County are comparable to those of Archuleta County, indicating a population of about 12,000 and one incorporated town of 3,300.

In addition, roughly 32 percent of the land in Fremont County is privately owned and the local economy is based primarily on tourism, recreation and agriculture.

The Fremont County development policy addresses the environmental, cultural and visual impacts of growth and includes identification of commercial and industrial hubs, a transfer of development rights option and elements related to traditional zoning plans.

Also included is the concept of planning districts and "overlay zones," areas that take scenic and wildlife corridors, floodplains, etc. into special consideration without completely restricting development.

Other key factors in the policy are "suitability analysis" and the notion that "density is not specified by zones or districts, but rather calculated on environmental sensitivity of the land."

Another significant factor in the Fremont code is the review process, which evaluates development proposals according to a "scoring system" comprised of three major components: "absolute standards," "relative, standards" and "importance factors."

In summary, the code proposes planning for development based on impact as opposed to planning based strictly on land use.

However, "This recommendation intends the pursuing of the development of the code," said Van Patter, "not the adoption of the code."

Further discussion of the Fremont County code led to several debates that garnered a wide range of commentary, both for and against a performance-based system.

Some said such a code allows the proper amount of flexibility, others said it allows too much flexibility/mitigation and is arbitrary.

One suggestion that received mainly favorable feedback was the possibility of sending members of planning staff and the planning commission to Idaho to gain a firsthand account of the pros and cons of the Fremont County system.

Offering a legal perspective, "Performance-based zoning is a great deal more subjective," said Jeff Robbins, county attorney.

"But it is more flexible, there is no doubt about it," said Robbins, indicating such codes are usually easier to adopt but often more difficult to apply.

Addressing assertions the proposed code is arbitrary, "We're talking about an 'arbitrary code' that doesn't exist," said Baker. "We don't have a black mark yet, because we haven't written it yet."

A subsequent presentation by Ron Chacey concerning the practice of transferring development rights - which Chacey explained is basically a voluntary program that provides funding for the preservation of open space - sparked further questions.

In short, some attendees wondered aloud if a wide range of opinions on potential policies will continue to be evaluated or if decisions on code details will be left to the task force.

"This committee is not going to be deciding any of these details," responded Chacey.

"We're all but done," he added, indicating the responsibility for such decisions ultimately falls into the hands of the planning commission and county commissioners.

Finally, "How do we do something?" asked Planning Commissioner Jerry Jackson near meeting's end.

"This meeting tonight is because we're backing up," said Jackson, indicating he feels it is time decide what comes next. "Let's get down to some of that."

"I think we should have a survey and I think we should find out what the public thinks," responded Commissioner Alden Ecker.

Similar opinions followed; for example, after indicating he feels the process may still "sink of it's own weight," Planning Commissioner Bob Huff expressed a willingness to proceed.

"Whatever the majority is going to do, I'm for it," concluded Huff.

A final suggestion from Robbins to "dumb down the survey" in order to improve understanding received mixed reviews.

Some on hand said they feel making the survey easier to comprehend might reduce the time involved to fill it out, thereby encouraging greater public participation.

Others, including Baker, argued making the survey too basic could defeat the purpose because "the answers to the survey are going into the development code."

The survey is most likely not in final form, said Baker.

Nevertheless, despite potential changes, any questions involved will be important, "tough questions," concluded Baker.

"They require some thought."


3 Pagosans hurt, Michigan man killed in accidents

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A Michigan man was killed and two Pagosa Springs men were seriously injured in two separate accidents Saturday.

According to Colorado State Patrol reports, Jacob Egg, 25, Matthew Hunt, 21, and Isaiah Lucero, 21, all of Pagosa Springs, were ejected from a pickup truck in a one-vehicle accident on U.S. 84 near mile marker 26. None of the men were wearing seat belts.

Trooper Brian Vining, the first state officer on the scene, said the Dodge Ram pickup was traveling at 86 miles per hour when the wheels went off the side of the road. It spun a quarter turn, crossed the highway and went off the other side of the highway. The truck then spun clockwise, went through a fence and rolled at least one time before coming to rest on its wheels. The accident occurred about 1 a.m. Saturday.

Egg, the driver, was airlifted to St. Vincent's Hospital in Santa Fe where he remained in serious condition in the intensive care unit Wednesday morning. Lucero was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. As of Wednesday morning, he was listed in stable condition in the neurological intensive care unit. Hunt was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Durango where he was listed in good condition Wednesday.

According to state patrol reports, Egg was cited for vehicular assault and driving under the influence.

Five hours later, Douglas Strickland, 42, of Jackson, Mich., was killed in another single-vehicle rollover. That accident occurred on U.S. 160 near Fosset Gulch Road.

According to Colorado State Patrol reports, Strickland was eastbound on U.S. 160 about 6 a.m. when the 2005 rented Dodge minivan he was driving went off the road. The minivan came back on the road briefly before rolling multiple times for 266 feet, traveling over a cement culvert wall, through a creek and a fence before coming to rest on its top.

Strickland was wearing a seat belt and airbags did deploy. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


PAWS OKs water rights resolution

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Of horses and hotels.

Such was the theme for a portion of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board of directors meeting Tuesday in which the board approved a resolution regarding water rights dedication for new or expanded uses within the district.

Specifically, the resolution aims to "assure that water rights, supplied by new development and developments which expand the use previously allowed on the property or for which the district had planned to provide service, are adequate to meet the needs of the new or expanded use ..."

A lighthearted yet relevant analogy supplied by Gene Tautges, assistant general manager for the district, further illustrates the intent.

Citing a local tract of pasture consisting of one horse, a single faucet and a bathtub trough as an example, "The parcel is within the district, so the district is responsible for providing water to that faucet, which fills the tub and allows the horse to drink," said Tautges.

"But let's say the land is sold and all of sudden someone wants to put a five-story hotel on the property," added Tautges.

"This resolution basically says a huge developer can't just come in and change the use of that little hydrant and expect the district to cover the costs," concluded Tautges.

As a result, district staff will now evaluate the adequacy of water rights based on a set of new guidelines established in the resolution.

For example, even though a property may be within the district, if adequate water rights have not been dedicated for the proposed/increased use, "any district commitment to serve will not be issued until the dedication is made as provided herein."

In addition, any new development or expansions of use may require "the dedication of water rights equal to 120 percent of the water expected to be required by the new proposed use or expansion of use."

Also, the resolution requires the developer, property owner or "proponent of the expanded development or use" to provide the district staff with a comprehensive report addressing numerous aspects associated with an increase in water use.

Complete copies of the resolution are available at the district office, 100 Lyn Avenue.

Construction update

According to Carrie Campbell, district general manager, progress continues on the Stevens Reservoir and Dutton Ditch projects.

At Campbell's request, the board authorized pursuit of a "full title policy" that is expected to augment ongoing negotiations with residents who own property at the Stevens site.

In an update regarding the Dutton Ditch encasement project, Campbell indicated the Army Corps of Engineers is currently reviewing the initiative to see what type of permit - either "nationwide" or "full-fledged" - the project will require.

Campbell said she feels a "nationwide" permit is probably appropriate and hopes that is the eventual determination "because it makes the process a lot simpler."

In other construction-related updates, Campbell revealed the district's year-to-date total for completed water connections stands at 51.

That figure is down from 2003's year-to-date total of 74, and significantly lower than 2002's mark of 97.

Though the district currently has 23 additional connections pending, said Campbell, only two are scheduled at present and "the bottom line is, you could probably come in here on a Wednesday and we could do your tap Friday."

In addition, Campbell informed the board Tuesday that an irrigation agreement between the district, town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta School District 50 Joint has been finalized.

In the works for three years, the agreement provides for irrigation water to be pumped from the San Juan River and supplied to a number of sites in the downtown area, the most recent of which being the town sports complex.

The agreement also calls for future supplies to Reservoir Hill and Centennial Park.

Finally, Art Holloman, district superintendent, indicated pumping operations at the recently-completed Loma Linda pumping station began Tuesday morning.

For more information on district events, updates and operations, visit the district Web site at www.pawsd.org.

Lake levels

The latest readings provided by the district indicate current reservoir storage is approximately 134 percent over the district's minimum-reserve goal of 1,800 acre feet.

District reservoirs were at the following levels early this week:

- Lake Hatcher - 17 inches below spillway

- Stevens Reservoir - 100 percent full

- Lake Pagosa - 100 percent full

- Lake Forest - six inches below spillway

- Village Lake - 26 inches below spillway.


County Clerk issues plea for poll judges

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Clerk's office has issued a call for precinct polling place judges for upcoming elections.

June Madrid, county clerk, said, Colorado law used to require an equal number of Democrats and Republicans at each polling place at any election.

The law has changed in the last couple of years in an attempt to make obtaining judges easier, she said. It now allows unaffiliated voters and qualifying high school students to serve as judges and for judges to serve in a precinct other than their own.

Madrid said the county did not receive enough names from the caucus process from either party and "we are in dire need of Democrat judges in some precincts."

The pay is approximately $110 for the day and all selected must attend one class that explains what you will do.

"The hours are long," Madrid said, "from 6 a.m. to approximately 9 p.m."

She said the election judges "are an intricate part of our election process and those who serve are an extremely important factor in upholding the integrity of the elections."

Judges are needed for the primary election Aug. 10 and the general election Nov. 2.

Other counties, Madrid said, see elections as a good opportunity for organizations to make money.

"If a church or group would like to supply judges for a polling place, the money could go to that organization or church," she said. "Students can participate to make money on their own or for a school function. In larger counties different companies provide the appropriate judges as do civic organizations."

"If anyone is interested," she said, "please consider this a plea for help."

Anyone willing to serve should call the clerk's office, 264-8350 or 264-8354, and leave their name and telephone number as soon as possible.

Here are some of the situations one might encounter on election day, as a judge or a voter.

You arrive at the polling place where you've cast ballots for the last 10 years, enter the building and approach the election judges' table. Sitting there is the same person who has worked as an election judge each of the previous 10 times you voted.

The judge greets you warmly by name and then asks for some identification before letting you vote.

No, the judge isn't suffering short-term memory loss.

During the 2003 legislative session, the General Assembly of Colorado passed three bills requiring presentation of photo identification at your polling place before you are allowed to vote.

The most common form is a valid Colorado driver's license; however, any one of the following will also suffice:

- a current and valid Colorado Department of Revenue issued identification card

- a current and valid United States passport

- a current and valid employee identification card with a photograph of the eligible voter issued by any branch, department, agency or entity of the United States government or of this state or by any county, municipality, board authority or other political subdivision of this state

- a current and valid pilot's license for the eligible voter issued by the Federal Aviation Administration or other authorized agency of the United States

- a current and valid United States military identification card with a photograph of the eligible voter

- a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector

- a Medicaid or Medicare card.

These acceptable forms of identification must show a Colorado address.

Even if you don't have one of those forms, you might be entitled to vote a provisional ballot at the polling place. A provisional ballot is a regular ballot but is placed in a larger envelope and requires the voter to fill in information and mark a reason why the provisional ballot is being requested.

The law does not allow these ballots to be counted on election night. They must be verified after the election, then counted and added to the election night totals.

Madrid said Colorado law was recently changed to conform to the Help America Vote Act of 2002 signed by President Bush.

It was designed to further secure the integrity of the election process, she said.

Secretary of State Donetta Davidson said, "Voters have unplugged from the election process because of what happened in the 2000 presidential election. We want voters to freely exercise their rights to vote. In order to do so, we want to make sure that when citizens of Colorado go to the polls, each has proper identification."

"By taking proper identification to the polling place," she added, "voters of Colorado ensure that our elections are accessible, accurate and accountable."

 Inside The Sun

Crews monitor Middle Fork Fire northwest of Pagosa Springs

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A wildland fire burning 19 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs in the Weminuche Wilderness has grown to about 40 acres since it was first reported June 15.

That includes the entire perimeter of the fire; the area actually burning is spotty and much smaller.

According to a news release from the San Juan Public Lands Center in Durango, the lightning-started Middle Fork Fire is burning at an elevation of 9,720 feet about 1.5 miles northeast of the Middle Fork Trailhead.

The fire is burning mostly on the ground and is currently surrounded by upper elevation terrain on the north and by rock escarpments on the south. Snow still exists on north aspects and in the upper elevations north of the fire. The fire has backed down to within 50 yards of the Middle Fork of the Piedra River.

It is being managed for Wildland Fire Use, meaning that it is being allowed to burn in an attempt to reach a more natural fire regime in the wilderness. A fire can qualify for Wildland Fire Use management, as opposed to full suppression, if it is naturally caused and does not threaten populated areas.

The Black Hills Fire Use Module, a team of seven fire specialists from South Dakota, is conducting air and ground reconnaissance to monitor fire behavior, spread and smoke. However, because of the rough and inaccessible terrain, fire managers believe it would be unsafe to put firefighters in the area at this time. The crew is camped at the Middle Fork Trailhead.

The fire is also being mapped and monitored by daily helicopter flights originating from Pagosa Springs.

Fire monitors reported some precipitation in the area Monday. Cool temperatures and increased humidity associated with storm cells have reduced the spread of the fire.

A Long Term Fire Analyst (LTAN) is assigned to the fire and is working to predict long term fire behavior, and to model and map possible future fire growth.


Landfill fire flares three times, cause undetermined

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A fire at the landfill on Trujillo Road flared up three times early this week before being extinguished.

According to Archuleta County Sheriff's reports, Deputy Richard Robinson first responded to the fire about 4:30 p.m. June 20 on the heels of Pagosa Fire Protection District personnel.

Two county wildland fire trucks and two fire district trucks, plus personnel, fought visible flames covering about a quarter acre in the dump. The district's volunteer firefighters were released about two hours later and county crews finished mop-up about 10 p.m. A patrol unit was sent out periodically to check on some debris left smoldering.

About 3 a.m., flames were spotted by Deputy Ryan Clark. Robinson returned to the scene with a wildland engine and doused three hot spots that had flared into flames again, remaining on scene until 7 a.m.

Clark and Deputy Richard Valdez responded to the scene a third time when a column of smoke was spotted about 9 p.m. June 21. The fire has not flared up again.

Fire Chief Warren Grams said he suspects, with recent chilly mornings, someone threw wood ashes or charcoal briquettes into the trash which later ignited at the landfill. Spontaneous combustion could also be the cause, he said.

Treasure Falls highway job halts July 2-5

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The road construction project near Treasure Falls will shut down from July 2-July 5 to accommodate holiday traffic.

According to a news release from Nielsons Skanska, the expected completion date remains Sept. 31. Paving is set to begin the week of July 12.

This work suspension affects repaving and road reconstruction efforts at Treasure Falls only, not the other two projects currently underway on Wolf Creek Pass.


Scenery could be changing on the west side of town

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The south side of U.S. 160 west of downtown Pagosa Springs boasts little besides trees and grass. That could be changing.

Tuesday, the Pagosa Springs Planning Commission recommended approval of the first phase of a 75-acre commercial and residential development planned on the site, located near U.S. 160 and Alpha Drive.

The applicant, John Ranson, of Pagosa Partners, LLC, said full development will occur in several phases over eight or 10 years. In the first phase, they are focusing on 8.75 acres to include a total of eight commercial lots and infrastructure development.

The planning commission recommended approval of the plan, on the condition that the developers receive approval from the Colorado Department of Transportation on an access plan. The developers have submitted a request for temporary access at Boulder Drive - currently the turn to First Baptist Church. Eventually, a permanent signalized intersection will be created at what is now the entrance to the Timber Ridge sales office.

Several property owners from the Alpha Subdivision, just south of the proposed development, spoke against any effort to connect new development with roads maintained under their metro district.

Patsy Linbald, president of the Alpha Property Owners Association, said the group rejects any new roads into the subdivision because of increased traffic, dust and maintenance costs as well as negative impacts on privacy and property values.

Ranson said the first phase would not impact the Alpha Subdivision roads, though later improvements required by CDOT could impact their access to the highway somewhat because Alpha Drive is slated to become a right-in, right-out only intersection under the state's highway plan for U.S. 160.

As far as making the connection between the two, planning commission chairman Rice Reavis said, the connection point lies outside town boundaries. Decisions there are in the hands of the county, the metro district and the developer.

In other business, the commission also recommended approval on a final plat for the Riverwalk Townhomes, a development of five townhomes on South 6th Street.

The applicant, Chris Smith, thanked the board for working with him to vacate half of Navajo Street that traveled through the property.

"It allowed us to design an ingress and an egress for the property," he said. "It really made the project come together. We couldn't have made it without that."

He said the project has been designed to complement the feel of some of the other recent construction downtown and will include six street lights.

A separate agreement is being created for the property to address pedestrian access and improvements because the final plan for river restoration work on that stretch of the San Juan has not been completed.

The town council has final approval or denial authority on both of these projects. They are scheduled to come before the council July 6 at 5 p.m.


Town planning commission considers tree conservation

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Town staff floated the idea of a tree conservation ordinance past Pagosa Springs planning commission ears for the first time Tuesday.

Tamra Allen, town planner, said a cursory review of other communities in the state showed that several have ordinances on the books that require developers to save a certain percentages of older trees on their property, or to save trees of a certain size. Other communities require developers to mitigate the loss of trees through reforestation on another property or through replacement efforts.

"I'm looking for some kind of knee-jerk reaction, a recommendation on this," she said. Local arborist Chris Pierce has offered to help create a tree conservation ordinance on a pro bono basis. Allen said it might be possible to use his expertise on a broader citizens' committee appointed to look at the issue. However, she said, because of the busy summer season it might not be possible to start the process until the fall.

Commission Chairman Rice Reavis said it is "an excellent idea." Other commission members were a little more cautious.

"I think you have to be very careful about how you do something like this," Tracy Bunning said. "Take the strip along the south side of U.S. 160 there. If a piece of property is going to be developed, I doubt leaving all those trees is going to be part of the plan."

He said a replacement plan or requirement that the developer present a plan for tree removal to the commission prior to cutting might work better than an ordinance saying trees couldn't be cut on personal property.

He gave the example of trees in front of the Pagosa Lodge, and those in front of the new Wells Fargo building. In both cases, older trees were left in place. They died anyway.

Mayor Ross Aragon asked Allen to present more detailed information to the commission, including a map of where the trees are located that need protection.

"If we told people they can or cannot cut trees, I think that goes too far," he said.


West Nile a real threat; mosquito control urged

How concerned are you about West Nile virus?

Perhaps you're operating under the philosophy that "it won't happen to me" or "it's not in my backyard."

West Nile is a real threat in this country. Unless your city or town has a mosquito-control program, you could be at serious risk.

Just look at what happened to the folks from Fort Collins. The city was hit hard by the virus last year with 228 cases. It had no mosquito management programs in place when the mosquito season began. Fortunately, an emergency mosquito-spraying program implemented in late August helped bring a quick end to the epidemic.

Before the spraying began, 211 people in Fort Collins and its immediate vicinity had contracted the potentially fatal virus. After spraying, only 17 cases were reported in the area through the remainder of the season.

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the drop in cases in that city was far more dramatic than the gradual decrease in infection rates in the rest of the state.

On the move

This year, the mosquito-borne virus is continuing its westward trek across the country. In 2003, there were 9,858 human cases of West Nile virus and 262 deaths.

"West Nile virus poses a serious threat to the public health and communities need to be prepared," says Allen James, president of RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment), an association of suppliers that promotes the safe and responsible use of pest control products including mosquito control products used in and around homes, businesses and public areas.

And all age groups are susceptible to the virus. While it was previously believed that it primarily posed a threat to senior citizens, a number of states have been reporting serious cases of the virus in individuals in their 30s and 40s.

Though many people infected with West Nile only experience flu-like symptoms, some may contract meningitis and lifelong polio-like symptoms, and some may die.

Plan of action

An Integrated Mosquito Management program is the best way to contain the spread of the virus and prevent human infections, James says. This balanced, integrated approach encompasses four components:

1. educating the public about prevention measures

2. surveillance and monitoring of mosquitoes and West Nile virus

3. sanitation and maintenance

4. natural and chemical controls.

James says that in addition to taking precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, citizens should check with their local governments to learn how they are controlling the spread of the virus in their areas. "And if no mosquito-control programs are in place, urge them to implement one," he says.

Spraying the answer?

Some critics claim it is unnecessary to spray pesticides to prevent the spread of West Nile virus. But experts say not spraying puts communities and human health at serious risk.

"The reality is that the risk posed by West Nile virus is much greater than any risk associated with mosquito-control pesticides, which have been extensively tested and are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency," says James, noting the EPA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorse responsible pesticide use as an integral part of the solution to help protect people from West Nile virus.

"The risks associated with proper use of pesticides are so low that one cannot document any lasting effects," says James. "There are no known deaths from spraying these products. The same cannot be said for the victims of West Nile virus."


While mosquito prevention is a nationwide concern, there are some simple steps you can take to limit the spread and impact of the disease:

- mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Prevent new batches by draining birdbaths, flowerpots and any other items that may collect water

- when spending time outdoors during mosquito season, use a topical insect repellent to keep potentially dangerous mosquitoes at bay. If possible, avoid the outdoors in the early morning hours and at dusk, times when mosquitoes are more likely to be out

- rally your community to action. Encourage local lawmakers to institute an integrated mosquito management program if there isn't one in your area.


Senior center staff can help residents select drug card

Pagosa Springs residents on Medicare can save money on prescriptions with the new Medicare-approved drug cards, but confusion is keeping some consumers from signing up.

Coloradans have more than 40 Medicare-approved drug card choices, but can choose only one of the cards.

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center is providing assistance to Archuleta County Medicare consumers to make these choices.

"Our staff has been trained on these issues, and are receiving information and handout materials from Medicare and the Access to Benefits Coalition Rx-Colorado to get consumers the information they need to decide," said Musetta Wollenweber, Silver Foxes Den Senior Center director.

"We also know that which card a consumer picks really makes a difference pricewise. For example, Prilosec 20 mg was priced as low as $106 and as high as $144 under the various drug cards. We'll help consumers find those drug cards that consistently provide lower costs."

The Senior Center is also concerned that those who qualify for a $600 drug credit in 2004 apply for that new Medicare help. Any Medicare recipient who does not have drug insurance from a former employer or Medicaid and who meets income guidelines qualifies. Couples must have income of $16,862 or less, and singles $12,569 or less.

"The $600 credit is very easy to apply for. The application form is short, assets like your investments and home are not considered, and you don't have to send in tax forms or other proof of income," Wollenweber said. "And those who qualify will automatically receive a second $600 drug credit in 2005."

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center will also help consumers learn about some related programs that can save them money like the Together Rx drug discount card, Medicare Savings Programs, and BenefitsCheckUp of Colorado.

Consumers can obtain some of this information themselves. Medicare operates a Web site where consumers can list their zip code and the drugs they take, and then generate a customized list of their drug prices through the various cards at local participating pharmacies. They call also call (800) Medicare and request the computer list, but this service has been overwhelmed with calls. The (800) Medicare line operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and callers are advised to contact them outside normal business hours to have shorter wait time.

"But we are here and ready to help those who prefer local help and face-to-face assistance. Our Medicare counselors are available at the senior center Mondays 11 - 1," Wollenweber said.

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center can be reached by calling 264-2167. Coloradans call also call (800) 503-5190 and be connected to local help organizations across the state.


Alley will seek return to LPEA District 1 seat

One District 1 seat, currently held by Terry Alley of Pagosa Springs, is among four on the September ballot for La Plata Electric Association.

Ballots will be mailed to all current members of the association no later then 10 days prior to the annual meeting date, Sept. 11.

Alley said Friday he will be a candidate for reelection.

Any district members who would like to file as a candidate for the position can obtain a petition from either the Pagosa Springs or Durango offices.

Candidates must reside in the district in which election is sought; petitions must contain 15 or more signatures from members living in the candidate's district, and the deadline for returning petitions to the LPEA office is 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 28.

The annual meeting will be held in Bayfield High School with 9 a.m. registration, a 10:30 business meeting and then lunch for all members in attendance.

Three other incumbents' terms also are expiring, those of Tom Compton in District 2, Harry Goff in District 3 and Pam Patton in District 4.


Pet Pride Day features races, contests, displays

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The SUN

The Humane Society invites everyone, especially kids and their pets, to Town Park Saturday.

It's a special day, one filled with activities 8 a.m.-2 p.m. The best part is that pets are invited - the one event of the year where every kid (and parent) can feel secure that their pup or pet snake or goat or whatever is welcome. The only caveat is to be sure that your pet is comfortable with other pets and lots of people.

KWUF radio will provide live coverage of the event 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

The day begins with the Canine 9K at 8 a.m. and Fun Run at 8:05 with registration beginning at 7. Sally Hameister will start the race. There is still time to pick up registration forms in advance at the Humane Society Thrift Store or the shelter; $15 for adults and $10 for kids.

Runners and walkers will follows Hot Springs Boulevard out Light Plant Road to the turnaround and back to Town Park. Water for both humans and canines will be provided along the route and all runners will receive a T-shirt. Winners, of course, will receive ribbons.

There is also still time to register for the Paws Parade in the Park at the Humane Society Thrift Store or the shelter. Prizes will be awarded to best costume, owner pet look-alike, and celebrity look-alike. Cost is 50 cents to register and the applications forms are available at the Humane Society Thrift Store and the shelter.

A few spaces for vendors of pet related products are still available. Booth space is $10. Contact Annette Foor at the Humane Society administrative office, 264-5549. To date we have Rocky Mountain Reefs and Ponds, Animan the mobile groomer, the Invisible Fence and Pagosa Photography.

For the second year, The Humane Society is calling for a reunion of all who have adopted pets from this shelter or any other. As an acknowledgment of these folks, a group picture by a professional photographer is scheduled. These are the folks who make the concept of sheltering possible and they deserve the thanks of the society and the community at large.

The 4-H involvement with Pet Pride Day is new this year. As a fund-raiser, 4-H will provide food for the day and as part of their projects will bring a draft goat and a fiber goat - the former will provide rides for the little ones and the latter lots of fun petting.

The Humane Society also has planned for your enjoyment and benefit: Blessing of the Animals, pet inoculations, microchipping, a llamas obstacle demonstration, a Canine Good Citizenship Evaluation, a presentation about wolves, a breed showcase, pet massage, homemade dog biscuits, pet photographs, face painting, and, of course, contest for every imaginable type of pet, including a Best Pet Photo Contest judged by a professional photographer

Finally, for information about volunteering to help make this a fun day, call Pauline Benetti, 264-5232.


County to receive $522,307 as its PILT fund share

Archuleta County is set to receive $522,307 as its share of $17.6 million coming to Colorado in the federal government's Payment-in- lieu-of tax (PILT) program.

U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis announced the payment schedule June 18.

The funds, administered by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), compensate counties for nontaxable federal lands located within their boundaries.

"Nowhere is PILT more important than it is to us in rural Colorado," said McInnis. "We rely on these programs to replace lost tax revenue dollars that go toward everything from roads to schools and social services."

Congress authorized the PILT program in 1976, recognizing that counties and other local government entities with substantial acreage of federal land could not collect sufficient taxes to provide needed services or were taxing fewer residents at higher rates to provide services.

McInnis, who has introduced separate legislation that would fully fund PILT and the Refuge Revenue Sharing program, has many counties in his sprawling western Colorado district that rely heavily on the payments.

Since the program's inception, the value of federal payments to local governments under the program has been substantially eroded by inflation. In 1994, Congress attempted to address this concern by increasing the program's authorization levels. However, Congress' appropriations to PILT have failed to meet those authorization levels in the years since, a fact that McInnis' bill sets out to change.

"These federal dollars are much needed and will be well spent. But it is not enough," concluded McInnis. "As it stands now, our locally elected officials are in a financial straightjacket, and only Congress can provide them the relief they need."

The BLM administers the PILT program because it is the largest single federal land management agency, with responsibility for over 264 million acres of public land. Payments are made for BLM administered lands, national forests, parks, and wildlife refuges; land used for federal water projects; and some military installations.


Small business economic injury loan deadline looms

Businesses in Archuleta and six other southern Colorado counties have until July 21 to file applications for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The loans are available for business dependent on farmers and ranchers sustaining crop losses due to drought that occurred after Jan. 1, 2003, and is continuing.

Farmers and ranchers are not eligible for these SBA loans. However, nurseries that are victims of drought disasters can apply.

Applications and further information can be obtained by calling the SBA toll free at (800) 366-6303 or TDD (817) 267-4688 for the hearing impaired.

These loans are intended to assist businesses in offsetting working capital losses which they suffered as a result of the severe weather reducing crop income of area farmers and ranches.

Small businesses claiming to have been physically injured by disaster are not eligible.


Edible, medicinal plant walk slated

The San Juan Mountains Association and San Juan Public Lands are sponsoring a free edible and medicinal plant walk 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 30, at the Junction Creek Trailhead.

Suzanne Davis, owner and operator of Fresh Herbal Body Care, will lead the walk. Call 385-1210 for more information and to register.


Community summit initiative meeting set here July 9

An informational and organization meeting has been scheduled to provide data on a possible Community Summit Initiative for Archuleta County.

The meeting will be 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, July 9, in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Scheduled by Operation Healthy Communities, proponents say the meeting will help people learn how such initiatives made a difference in Dolores, Montezuma and La Plata counties and to decide if it makes sense for Archuleta County.

Anyone interested in being a part of the initiative is invited to come and bring their own lunch.

RSVP to Operation Healthy Communities at 382-0585 or ohc@gobrainstorm.net.


Red Ryder 2005 royalty contests

slated July 1-2

Red Ryder Royalty contests for next year have been scheduled July 1 and 2.

The riding competition for contestants begins 9 a.m. July 1 at the arena and the personality contest at 1 p.m. July 2 in the Extension building at the fairgrounds.

The public is welcome to watch the contests.

The Roundup committee is looking for young ladies to try out for 2005 royalty promising the contest will be new, fun and more exciting.

Queen contestants must be 15-21 years old and princess hopefuls between 8 and 15. They will practice Tuesdays and Fridays 4-6 p.m. Practices are not mandatory.

Applications may be picked up at the Extension office or by calling Sandy Bramwell, 264-5959, or Belinda Thull, 731-5269. Deadline to sign up is June 28. Bring applications to the practice June 29 at the arena.


Many eligible for drug credit

Are you on Medicare? Do you know if you are one of the 72,000 Coloradans eligible for the new $600 drug credit?

If you have a limited income and don't have prescription drug insurance from a former employer or Medicaid, you may be eligible.

Don't miss out on this easy-to-apply-for drug help. Call the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center 264-2167 for more information.


Its the right time of the year to adopt a cat

By Robbie Schwartz

Special to The PREVIEW

'Tis the season that animal shelters are filled with cats and kittens, making it an ideal time to adopt.

To encourage adoption, the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs joins The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Fresh Step, to proclaim June as Adopt-a Shelter-Cat Month. Celebrate with us today by visiting the cats at the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs and at Petfinder.com, the ASPCA's online adoption partner.

Owning a cat is a long-term commitment and therefore deserves serious thought. A good place to begin is to understand that cats know they are family members rather than possessions. They consider themselves the leaders of their families.

As heads of their households, cats want things their way. That may mean drinking from the faucet or walking across the kitchen table.

Cats like to be the center of attention, and they always detect where your attention is centered, whether that be the open pages of the book you are reading or on the keyboard of your computer.

It takes considerable confidence to love a cat - one moment they are cuddling up looking for love and the next they are up and away, tail and nose in air - leaving you thinking, "What have I done wrong?" However, cat lovers swear by the ease and independence of caring for pets of the feline persuasion. Catlovers don't pussy foot around: they know the little purrballs are the cat's meow.

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs has cats in all sizes, ages and colors, not to mention a myriad of purr-sonalities. Adoption rate for cats is discounted 50 percent and at only $22.50 which includes your new feline friend being spay/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, how can you resist?

For more information visit us on the Web at www.humanesociety ofpagosasprings.org or call us at 731-4771.


Pets for people matches seniors with free pets

The Purina Pets for People Program works with the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs and participating humane organizations to offer companion animals to qualified senior citizens, 60 years of age or older, free-of-charge.

Studies have shown that pet companionship may actually improve senior citizen health and outlook on life. Lowered blood pressure and stress reduction are among the benefits of pet ownership. In addition, seniors acquiring pets through the program report feeling happier and safer.

The program covers the cost of adoption fees for pets one year of age and older.

To apply for the program, seniors should call the humane society at 731-4771. A shelter staffer will advise seniors about the background information on any animal they are interested in.

There is a wide variety of pets to choose from. Come to the humane society and fill out a pre-adoption questionnaire during our adoption hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., on Sunday. Staff will be happy to answer your questions and help you find the animal that fits you and your lifestyle.

All animals in the adoption program are spayed/neutered, have current vaccinations, permanent microchip identification and more.


Search on for state's top philanthropists

The National Philanthropy Day Committee is asking the people of Colorado for their help.

Do you know of an outstanding volunteer, philanthropist or fund-raising professional? What about an outstanding business or corporation, foundation, youth or youth group?

Now is your opportunity to submit a nomination for an outstanding individual or organization in your community for the celebration of the 17th Annual National Philanthropy Day in Colorado.

National Philanthropy Day is set aside each November to recognize the thousands of generous people who donate their time, talent and financial resources to worthy causes all over the country. "I definitely think it's a great opportunity for organizations to recognize those people who support or volunteer for them," said Cheryl Bezio-Gorham, chair of National Philanthropy Day.

Nomination forms are available from Jeanne Bistranin, awards committee chair at the Adolph Coors Foundation (303) 388-1636, Ext. 16 or jeanneb@acoorsfdn.org or Maureen McDonald at the Denver Metro Chamber Foundation (303) 620-8038 or online from maureen.mcdonald@den-chamber.org.

Nomination forms are also available at npdcolorado.org.

Nominations must be postmarked or electronically submitted by July 16.

Awards will be presented in 10 categories: outstanding large business/corporation, outstanding small business/corporation, outstanding foundation, outstanding philanthropist, outstanding service organization, outstanding professional in philanthropy, outstanding volunteer, outstanding volunteer fund-raiser, outstanding youth and outstanding youth group.

This is your opportunity to highlight the work and important contributions of those individuals who work every day to make a difference in your community.

Awardees will be honored at the 17th Annual National Philanthropy Day luncheon Friday, Nov. 12, in the Renaissance Denver Hotel.


Pagosan one of three in DAC group exhibit

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."




Merchants launch second year of rainbow trout stocking

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Want a chance to hook up with a double-digit rainbow trout without leaving city limits?

Thanks to the efforts of numerous local merchants, you don't have to look any further than the stretch of San Juan River that runs through downtown Pagosa Springs.

For the second consecutive year, the "Pagosa Quality Fishing Project," a stocking program made possible by entirely private donations, is upping the odds local and visiting anglers alike will meet with success along the shores of the San Juan.

Last week's stocking - the first of three scheduled this summer - consisted of approximately 500 pounds of plump rainbows.

As a result, the portion of the San Juan between the U.S. 84-160 intersection and the footbridge behind the county courthouse is ripe for angling exploration.

The program was spearheaded last year by businessmen Larry Fisher and Thaddeus Cano and moved forward after eventually getting the green light from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Local businesses and private citizens then began donating to the program, which is aimed at augmenting the DOW's scheduled stockings and restoring trout populations that suffered during 2002's record drought.

A few of the trout released during last summer's project were huge, but more than one of the rainbows planted last week are the type of fish most anglers see only in their dreams.

"The majority are in the range of about 11-13 inches," said Cano. "But we've also got some fish in the 16-20 inch range and a few that are anywhere from about six to 10 pounds."

Cano indicated a second 500-pound stocking is set for the end of this month, with a third to follow sometime in July.

As far as participation in this year's program, Cano said at least 15 area businesses have contributed to the cause thus far, and indicated additional donations will be greatly appreciated.

"We'll take the smallest of donations," said Cano. "Even if someone wants to donate just a single fish, we'll take it."

For larger fish, the cost is $5 per pound. The rate for smaller fish is $3.10 per pound.

The fish, which are certified as whirling-disease free, are transported from Cline Trout Farms in Monte Vista.

Anyone interested in donating to the program can contact Cano at 264-2370.

Finally, there is more good news for anglers planning to test the waters of the San Juan this summer.

According to Mike Japhet, a fisheries biologist with the DOW, the Division plans to stock the San Juan with over 12,000 rainbow trout (at least 3,100 fish in the 10-inch range each stocking) on four occasions between now and early August.

"The main goal for stocking this size of rainbow trout is purely recreational; we want people to catch these fish," said Japhet.

In addition, the DOW plans to stock 5,000 brown trout fingerlings in late August or early September.

"The aim is for this to be a put-and-grow type of stocking," concluded Japhet. "By next spring, these fish will also be of catchable size."


State's native trout subspecies gaining population

By Todd Malmsbury

Special to the SUN

After years of recovery work and challenges that have included wildfires and a prolonged drought, Colorado Division of Wildlife officials are reporting good progress in creating new populations of Colorado River, Rio Grande, and greenback cutthroat trout both in the wild and at state hatcheries.

Populations of the state's native trout subspecies had dwindled dramatically before greenback cutthroat recovery efforts began in the 1970s. The state's bid to return cutthroat trout to their historic range took on a new perspective in 1997 when the Colorado Wildlife Commission issued a high-priority directive guiding management polices and long-term goals.

State biologists are now seeing the payoff. Colorado currently has 29 conservation populations of greenback cutthroat trout; 76 conservation populations of Rio Grande cutthroat trout; and 171 conservation populations of Colorado River cutthroat trout.

When the greenback conservation program began in 1973, the state could claim only two naturally occurring populations of the subspecies. Since then, 14 more wild populations have been discovered and the state has added 13 restored populations.

Colorado met its state delisting goal when it achieved 10 populations of Rio Grande cutthroat in 1985. In 1998, the state had 87 stream populations of conservation-rated Colorado River cutthroats and nine lake populations.

"We have made some extraordinary progress in six years," said Sherman Hebein, division senior fish biologist, referring to Colorado River cutthroat recovery efforts.

While overall cutthroat numbers have improved, some individual populations are small and at greater risk of extirpation, which means the recovery program will likely continue for years to come. State and federal biologists recently conducted a rangewide review of the status of Colorado River cutthroats, and results are expected to be released in July.

Cutthroat trout have inhabited the state for thousands of years, and wildlife aquatic biologists and hatchery technicians are committed to preserving the region's natural legacy, said Tom Nesler, native fish species coordinator for the DOW's species conservation section.

"Our cutthroat subspecies have been pushed back from their historic range," Nesler said. "We are attempting to secure these three native trout subspecies so they can continue to form part of our aquatic wildlife heritage."

Biologists blame the decline of Colorado's cutthroats on hybridization with rainbow trout and competition with other non-native trout that were introduced to the state a century ago. Habitat destruction, poor water quality, drought, and human activities such as gold mining have also taken a toll on the speckled fish with crimson neck markings.

As a result of these impacts, the greenback cutthroat has been listed federally as a threatened subspecies, and the Colorado River cutthroat has been displaced from more than 80 percent of its historic range, inhabiting only smaller headwater streams and high-altitude lakes.

Concern for the Colorado River and Rio Grande subspecies has prompted environmental groups to petition for their listing as well. However, recent assessments by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended against their listing because multi-state recovery efforts have been effective in reversing declines and reducing threats to the two subspecies.

"We have three very active conservation programs for our three native cutthroat subspecies," Nesler said. "The condition of the Colorado River and Rio Grande cutthroats is such that the trout's status and our accomplishments have precluded any need to have them protected by federal listing. We have demonstrated that we are actively trying to improve the status of these two trout subspecies and are trying to create new populations and expand habitat."

Nesler and others said native cutthroat populations are making a slow and steady recovery because of the creation of new wild populations, the creation of captive populations in state hatcheries for stocking purposes, and interagency collaboration on goals and strategies among federal and state wildlife biologists in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico.

In 1999, Colorado joined other state, federal and private entities in signing the Tri-State Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Conservation Agreement with Utah and Wyoming.

Earlier this year, the state signed the Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Conservation Agreement with New Mexico. Division officials said Colorado could not have progressed as far and as quickly as it did without the cooperation of the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

While Colorado currently has enough greenback cutthroat trout to meet its recovery goal, wildlife officials acknowledge that a prolonged drought has had a negative impact on some populations and fish have been rescued from rapidly drying streams.

Rich Kolecki, Colorado's hatchery chief, who oversees 20 facilities in the statewide system, said securing sufficient cutthroat populations in state hatcheries to stock lakes and streams is vital to recovery efforts. As such, hatchery technicians must develop broodstocks to increase or amplify the number of fish available for restoration projects.

In essence, hatchery personnel are helping nature by increasing the survivability of the eggs and fry, which in the wild can experience up to 99 percent mortality. In Colorado, cutthroat trout that are rescued in the wild are taken to isolation units in Salida and Rifle before they are transferred to one of several quarantine facilities around the state. Hatchery personnel are then able to develop new broodstocks from the offspring of rescued fish.

"We are very careful about bringing live fish into our state hatcheries because of disease that the parent fish may carry, however, their eggs can be disinfected," Kolecki said.

Kolecki said cutthroats are more sensitive to poorer water quality. Hatchery technicians must put the fish in first-use water and feed them a special, more expensive diet that is fortified with protein, amino acids and double vitamin packs.

"They are high-maintenance fish, but they are important high-maintenance fish," Kolecki said. "A lot of the problems that these species are having are directly associated with humans. Now that we have the ability and the technology to address these situations, it's part of our mission to save them."

Pure subpopulations of the greenback can be found in the Arkansas and the South Platte basins. DOW hatcheries presently have two pure greenback broodstocks from the Arkansas and South Platte rivers and four Colorado River cutthroat broodstocks from the White, Colorado, Dolores and San Juan rivers.

Dan Brauch, a division aquatic biologist in Gunnison who is involved with interstate efforts to recover cutthroat trout, said Colorado wants to establish additional pure, non-hybridized populations of Colorado River cutthroat trout on six major rivers on the Western Slope, including the Yampa, the White, the Colorado, the Gunnison, the Dolores and the San Juan drainages.

"The entire Western Slope region is within the Colorado River cutthroat range. The long-term goal is to maintain current populations and establish new ones, and to ensure that the Colorado River cutthroat trout as a subspecies remains in good condition," Brauch said.

Brauch said another goal for Colorado is to manage the recovery effort in a way that provides angling opportunities for fishermen. Because native cutthroat trout have become less common than other salmonids, many anglers search for opportunities to catch them.

For now, greenback populations at recovery sites must be released back into state waters if they are caught. Greenbacks have also been stocked in high lakes and may be harvested. Most conservation populations of Colorado River cutthroat trout and Rio Grande cutthroat trout are also protected with catch-and-release regulations. Anglers should check the appropriate regulations before stopping at a specific fishing site, wildlife officials said.

Brauch is confident Colorado's cutthroat recovery efforts are heading in a positive direction, despite the drought, wildfires and other challenges.

"If there are enough quality sites out there we can continue to recreationally fish for cutthroats. Certainly, that's part of what we are trying to maintain," he said. "We've been able to establish many more populations. We'll continue to monitor those populations that have been impacted by the drought, and work as hard as we can to try to assist in their recovery."


Fire restrictions in effect for Southern Ute lands

Due to continuing drought conditions, Stage I fire restrictions have been implemented for all trust lands throughout the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

The restrictions became effective 8 a.m. June 16, and prohibit the following:

- open burning - burning and/or yard waste is prohibited

- agricultural burning - burning of crop land, fields, rangeland, debris burning, slash piles, prescribed burning and weed burning are prohibited

- camp fires - building, maintaining or using a warming fire or camp fire outside of designated or developed camp sites is prohibited. The fire restrictions do not include charcoal fires (in suitable containers) for barbecues or fires for sweat ceremonies; however, such fires should not be left unattended and should be fully extinguished after use

- fireworks - possession, discharging, or use of any type of fireworks is prohibited.

Anyone violating the provisions of these fire restrictions may be subject to prosecution outlined in the Southern Ute Criminal Code.

For more information, contact the Southern Ute Fire Management Office at (970) 563-4571.


Division of Wildlife gets new director

Bruce McCloskey has been appointed as the new director of the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW).

Russell George, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR), announced the appointment June 16.

"I have had the pleasure of working with Bruce for the past four years through the DOW, and for many years before that when I was in the Legislature and he served as lead spokesman for the DOW. I know for certain that he is the best person for the job," said George. "I look forward to continuing our working relationship, and I know that Coloradans are fortunate to have Bruce leading the agency charged with protecting our wildlife resources."

McCloskey, who had been serving as acting director of the DOW, has been with the Department for over 30 years, serving in numerous positions, including deputy director, state wildlife manager, and district wildlife manager.

A Colorado resident for 35 years, McCloskey received a B.S. in wildlife management from Colorado State University and a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado.

George pointed to McCloskey's more than 30 years of experience in wildlife management, as well as his already-established relationships with DOW employees, as aspects that made him a desirable candidate for his new position.

"Bruce's dedication to wildlife management - specifically in Colorado - is simply unmatched," George said. "He has long-standing relationships within the DOW and has served the agency in nearly every wildlife management position possible - clearly his dedication is matched only by his wealth of experience."

McCloskey succeeds George, who was appointed by the governor as executive director of the DNR in January.


People trying to help lone young animals can put wildlife at risk

By Randy Hampton

Special to The SUN

Whether it's the 17th Fairway at Tiara Rado Golf Course in Grand Junction or the remote reaches of Douglas Pass, young wildlife is often left alone so the mother can take care of personal business.

Unlike her human counterpart, a deer mother can't just leave Junior with the baby-sitter when she needs a break. Often, does will leave their fawns alone while they venture off to feed.

"This time of year, people often come across young deer or elk that may appear to have been abandoned," says Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) District Wildlife Manager Shaun Deeney. "By trying to help, people can put the wildlife at risk."

Deeney made a trip to the top of Douglas Pass recently to return a calf elk that had been carried into the division's Grand Junction regional service center.

"We had to make a decision about whether to try and return the animal to its mother, or send it to a wildlife rehabilitator to eventually be returned to the wild on its own," said Deeney. "Because the person who brought the calf in was able to provide a very good description of the area where they found it, we opted to return the calf that same afternoon."

Steve Yamashita, division assistant regional manager, added, "That person thought they were doing the right thing."

The calf had been found right in the middle of Colorado Highway 139, the winding road that crosses Douglas Pass. If an animal is in a place where it is in danger of being injured or killed, wildlife officers say moving the animal to the side of the road is the option that creates the best chance of survival.

A few days after Deeney returned the calf elk to Douglas Pass, Yamashita was with a group of golfers when they came upon a fawn in tall grass at Tiara Rado.

"It was easy to see how someone can think about taking the animal," said Yamashita, "but, undoubtedly, the mother was nearby and would return when golf course traffic died down."

Yamashita and the other golfers opted to leave the fawn alone, which is the suggested course of action in almost all cases.

"People are under the impression that if a calf or fawn is newborn its mother is with it at all times," said District Wildlife Manager Brett Ackerman, who oversees the area south of Rifle, where wildlife "pickups" are all too common. "She may wander off for a bit to feed or drink. This is perfectly normal and is not abandonment. Unfortunately, when a human finds the baby animal, the human usually hangs around for long enough to deter the cow or doe from returning immediately, particularly if the fawn is touched or the area around it receives heavy human traffic."

Prognosis is not always good for infants brought into captivity. While a few can be rehabilitated, many young animals will bond with human rehabilitators or other animals that are being rehabilitated. This bonding process generally makes it too dangerous to return the animals to the wild.

"If you find a baby animal, and you don't see any signs of the mother, contain your pets, and leave the baby animal alone where it is," said Division Wildlife Manager Perry Will, who dealt with two wildlife "pickups" last week.

"If you feel the animal is injured, in danger, or truly abandoned, the best thing you can do is mark the spot, then call the DOW," said Will. "A wildlife officer can come out and check on the animal without endangering its chance for survival."

Even if concerned citizens are certain that the young animal has been abandoned or the mother has been hit and killed by a car, it's still best to leave the baby alone and contact the DOW. Trained wildlife officers and licensed wildlife rehabilitators can collect the animal with the least possible impact.

For more information, visit the Web at www.wildlife.state.co.us


Public meetings set to deal with coalbed methane Draft EIS

The public will have the opportunity to learn about and comment on the Northern San Juan Basin Coalbed Methane Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) at public involvement meetings hosted by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service this summer.

The local meeting will be held Tuesday, July 20, 4-7 p.m., at Archuleta County Fairgrounds Extension building, 344 U.S. 84.

Additional public meetings in August will be sponsored by a subcommittee of the BLM Southwest Colorado Resource Advisory Council (RAC), which advises the Secretary of the Interior on public land issues in southwestern Colorado.

Public comments may be presented orally or in writing to the subcommittee. The RAC-sponsored meetings will be:

- Wednesday, Aug. 11, 6-9 p.m., Bayfield High School Cafetorium

- Tuesday, Aug. 17, 6-9 p.m., Archuleta County Fairgrounds Extension building, 344 U.S. 84, Pagosa Springs

- Thursday, Aug. 19, 6-9 p.m., San Juan Public Lands Center, 15 Burnett Court, Durango

The Draft EIS studies a proposal by six energy companies to develop approximately 300 new coalbed methane wells on federal lands in the Northern San Juan Basin of southwestern Colorado.

The analysis area encompasses 125,000 acres north of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in La Plata and Archuleta counties. Although the EIS considers cumulative effects from development on private lands, it will make no decisions involving private property.

CD copies of the Draft EIS are available at the San Juan Public Lands Center, 15 Burnett Court, Durango, 247-4874, and Columbine Public Lands Office, 367 Pearl Street, Bayfield, (970) 884-2512. The large two-volume document is also available for review at these offices. Hard copies are available upon request, but are very costly to produce.

The Draft EIS may also be viewed on the Web: www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan or www.nsjb-eis.org.

Written public comments will be accepted until Sep. 13, 2004, and can be mailed to Northern San Juan Basin CBM EIS, USDA FS Content AnalysisTeam, P.O. Box 221150, Salt Lake City, UT 84122. Comments may also be e-mailed to: nbasin-cbm-eis@fs.fed.us.

For more information, contact Walt Brown or Jim Powers at (970) 385-1304.

Retired Arizona physician rescued on Coal Creek Trail

By Gary Grazda

Special to The SUN

A 73-year-old Arizona man was rescued Friday, June 18, after seven hours alone in the forest with little water and no food.

According to an Upper San Juan Search and Rescue news release, David Rhea, a retired physician from Tucson, was reported missing about 12:30 p.m. by his wife. He had become separated from her and two grandchildren while hiking the Coal Creek Trail near Fawn Gulch Road.

Dick Cole, search and rescue supervising coordinator, said Rhea was wearing hiking shorts and a short-sleeved golf shirt. He had no food and very little water with him. Rhea also had no map, compass, GPS device or cell phone.

Rhea was located about 7:45 p.m. above the switchbacks well into the trail after ground search crews noticed footprints of a lone individual traveling deeper into the forest. He was escorted to safety.

Both Cole and Archuleta County Sheriff Tom Richards urged people who go into the wilderness to take maps, compasses or a GPS device. Cole added that people should not count on being able to use a cell phone because coverage is limited in the wilderness.


Pagosa's blessing

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to the letter of June 10 from Richard Brown of Albuquerque, "Wolf Creek defense."

We have many "visitors" to our area but, unfortunately, not all of them have this area's best intentions at heart. Economics, schmeconomics. One does not have to take an economics course to know the reality of living and working here.

Just as one does not have to be a tree-hugging environmentalist to appreciate the beauty here, or know that if we do not help preserve our beautiful place, there will only be another big city with too many buildings, asphalt, pollution, and times when one cannot burn in one's fireplace for heat. To live here is a true blessing, and it is a challenge, but that is okay for most of us. We have the freedom to roam the countryside, on public lands. It is this public land that keeps us immune from the cult of economics that destroys wildlands and eviscerates rural landscapes in other places.

The reality is salaries will still be low and not all the people who want to work will be able to work "up there." Who do you think will be able to get jobs "up there?" How will that benefit our townspeople? According to the development's plans, they want to be a city unto themselves; why would the visitors or residents "up there" want to come down here?

At least, not to the extent you presume will help business and salaries. Property values are already so high, why the heck would we want them to get higher?

As to the "Texas issue," it's not so much that they are Texans, it's the attitude some bring with them, and this holds true for anyone from anywhere. The attitude they bring is to make things like they are in Wherever, USA; they would not want us to come there and impose our ideas on them.

Pagosa is Pagosa, with all its quaintness, its beautiful scenery, its challenges and its way of doing things. The problem may lie not in losing their business because of the "Texas issue," but in them deciding they like it "up here" better! They may also decide to buy condos "up there" instead of down here. So, it seems to me, it would take away from our business and salaries, not increase or benefit them.

I'm a respiratory therapist and know the high altitude "up there" will cause numerous problems to the flatlanders. So, where will they go for medical help? Most likely to the nearest hospital, either in Del Norte or Alamosa. How does this help us?

When the tide comes up, the boats may rise, but sometimes it also floods. And sometimes floods can be devastating to the boats, the people and to nature. In this case, the tide may float a few boats, but for the most part, it would be devastating to our little section of nature &emdash; while devastating part of the real wealth of Pagosa.

Cyndi Mitchell

Real American

Dear Editor:

Thanks for publishing the statements of Ben Nighthorse Campbell &emdash; a real American &emdash; telling it "like it really is."

John Faber

Gives resignation

Dear Editor:

I regretfully offer my resignation to this board (health services district) &emdash; I believe I am letting down the thousands who voted for me twice by doing so, as those are the folks I represent.

I believe it is sad that special interests that indeed are "conflicts of interest" 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.

This is not due to any demands stated by you via the phone nor due to the threatening letters I have received, but rather a decision that I was making due to the treatment I was subjected to last night (June 15). Having served for six years under three different chairmen, I have never been treated so disrespectfully.

I had hoped that the new board would want to include me in committee work, what with my past years of service and my first-hand experience from 12 years on the ambulance service; however, they have chosen to leave me out.

Patty Tillerson


Community News

Senior News

Senior meals program expands into Arboles

By Musetta Wollenweber

Special to The SUN

Archuleta County Senior Services has expanded into Arboles.

With the sudden closure of Martha T's (which was providing a small senior program with the assistance of the county), I scrambled to continue a meal program in Arboles. What a fun group of folks we are now serving in the southwest corner of the county.

Opening day was Thursday, June 17, and the smell of good food, the sounds of laughter and music, and balloons filled the air.

John Graves entertained the folks by playing some oldies but goodies and many were heard singing along.

Dawnie Silva, kitchen director, and her staff cooked up and served lasagna and all the trimmings. Anlaug Adams is our volunteer driver who gets that meal delivered piping hot from Pagosa Springs and then volunteers in the kitchen or wherever she is needed.

Many volunteers pitched in before, during and after the meal and it all came off without a hitch - except I broke the coffee carafe.

Meals are served the first and third Thursday of every month at the Arboles Catholic Church with a suggested donation of $2.50 for folks 60-plus and their spouses, $4.50 for under age 60. For further information, call 264-2167.

Picnic in the Park

Picnic in the Park was a blast as usual, a tad bit windy, but none the less a good time was had by all.

Several new folks joined us and we look forward to seeing them at the center; we also welcomed back several snow birds. Be sure you don't miss out on the fun and yummy food and join us at our next picnic in the park in July.

Our mischievous table nine at the den is up to no good again. While I was in Arboles preparing for the grand opening they stole the can that I draw numbers from and replaced the numbers with fictitious ones. They keep me on my toes! I guess you can't say we don't have any fun at The Den!

Thank you to Carol from Voc Rehab and welcome to Gail from the Southwest Center for Independence. They came in June 16 and provided info and a demonstration on ways to assist the visually impaired.

We have finally received all the information we need to share with you regarding the Medicare Drug Cards; we'll have the info released soon. In the meantime feel free to stop in Monday's from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and our fantastic Medicare counselors will assist you.

June is flying by, but we will remember our June birthday babies on the 25th when we serve lunch. We always have cake for dessert on the last Friday of every month to celebrate all the month's birthdays. Come in and have lunch with us if you have a birthday this month.

There will be no Qi Gong June 25 and no Yoga in Motion June 29.

We are pleased to have Beverly Arrendell's son bring his choir group to sing at the center June 29 after lunch. This should be a wonderful presentation.


Today - Game Day, 1-3 p.m., Mexican Dominoes, Canasta, Bingo (with prizes) or whatever game you'd like to play

Friday, June 25 - No Qi Gong today; celebrate June birthdays, noon; Free Movie Day - "Hidalgo," 1 p.m.

Monday, June 28 -11-1:00 Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.; Living with the Loss (widow/widowers support group), 1 p.m.

Tuesday, June 29 - No Yoga in Motion; advanced computer class, 10:30 a.m.; massage, 11 a.m-1p.m.; youth choir sings, 1 p.m.

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

Friday, July 2 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; blood pressure check, 11; veterans' benefits, noon


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

Monday, June 28 - Chicken fajitas, refried beans, Spanish rice, stewed tomatoes and fresh fruit

Tuesday, June 29 - Hamburger potato salad, relish platter, bananas and strawberries

Wednesday, June 30 - Jeweled pork loin, squash, green beans almondine, biscuit and baked apple

Friday, July 2 - Hot turkey sandwich, mashed potatoes/gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans and fruit salad.


Library News

Wooden card catalog slated for silent auction

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

Our wooden card catalog has not been in use for many years. There will not be room for it when we enclose the new children's area.

So many people have shown interest in purchasing the piece of furniture, we are going to have a "silent auction" starting next week.

If you are interested, bring your bid in a dated, sealed envelope along with your name, address and phone number. We will open the bids by the end of July.

The winner must remove the catalog from the library premises by a certain date, yet to be determined.

For more information, call 264-2209.

Building project update

Final plans should be in this week from the architect, Dennis Humphries and the contractor, Colorado Jaynes.

Groundbreaking could be scheduled very soon. We are in the "permit" stage at present.

As soon as we know actual costs, we can begin our final fund-raising drive.

Writing in books

It is considered a sin to write in library books.

Every once in a while, some unthinking patrons will take it upon themselves to offer editorial thoughts about the content of a book. We discourage this and often have to discard the material.

However, we have received a donation of a gem of a travel guide, annotated with the best places to go in New Orleans. It is filled with personal comments on post-it notes that have great suggestions of what one should do while there.

While we can't put it in our collection with these notes, we will consider typing up the notes and sharing them with anyone interested in going there. Once the notes are out, we will catalog the travel guide - it is an Eyewitness Guide that shows what others only tell you.

If you're interested, let me know.

New books

"Making Period Dolls' House Accessories," by Andrea Barham will give you ideas on how to make realistic miniature items to furnish and decorate a doll house. The tiny pieces are made from simple, inexpensive materials, using a minimum of equipment and requiring no special skills. Andrea combines her passion for making miniatures with her writing skills. She writes for Dolls' House World magazine and lives in England.

"Spirit Walker - Poems by Nancy Wood, and Paintings by Frank Howell," speaks eloquently of the courage, determination and powerful spiritual faith of Native Americans. The poems reveal the unique wisdom and vision of a people. Howell's paintings evoke the beauty and vitality of the ancient culture. It is an inspirational collection of art and poetry.

Summer reading

Two hundred young readers are participating in this shortened program.

There is only one more week to go. The final party will be at the South Pagosa Park on 8th Street Wednesday, July 7.

Our thanks to Barb Draper for arranging the excellent programs.

Covered Wagon Winners 6 and under were: Keaton Anderson, Brenton Bowman, Savannah Brown, Micaella Church, Kyle Garcia, LeeAnn Hersom, Blake Irons, Tristin Johnson, McKinzee Kelley, Jude Lindberg, Ryan McGinnis, Andie Miller, Kai Wagner and Kudra Wagner.

Winners for age 7 and up: Rachel Allen, Caitlin Cameron, Jacqueline Garcia, Annastasia Hersom, Zack Irons, Jaime Kirkland, Nacole Martinez, Reyes McGinnis, Ben Miller, Jordan Neuleib, Melanie Robles, Paige Rosebeck, Courtney Spears and Aisha Warren.

Other lists of weekly winners are posted at the library.

Holiday closing

The library will be closed Saturday, July 3, for the parade.


We are most thankful for donations of materials from Carolyn Johnson, Catherine Baughman, Susan Grimshaw, Margaret and Jim Wilson, Katherine Frisbee, Steve Costa and Patty Brown.


Chamber News

Join the Patriotic Sing-Along

to kick off July 4 celebration

By Sally Hamiester

SUN Columnist

The communitywide prelude to our local July 4 celebrations will take place next Tuesday evening, June 29, at the community center, and you are all invited to join us at the first-ever Patriotic Sing-Along beginning at 7 p.m.

This program is free to the public, and free flags provided by the Chamber of Commerce and the community center will be given to all who attend.

In addition to local talent, a visiting youth choir, Testament, will sing several patriotic medleys. This high school group of 30 is from the First United Methodist Church in Arlington, Texas, and will be here in Pagosa as a part of their summer tour. Last year this group traveled to Washington, D.C. where they were featured in a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial under the direction of Paul Arrendell, son of the local resident Beverly Arrendell.

Also included in this program will be the Parade of Colors by local veterans as well as Pagosa musicians John Graves, Father John Bowe, a barbershop quartet from the senior center and a ladies trio. Following the program, please plan to stay and enjoy a pot luck dessert and drinks provided by the community center.

Mercy Korsgren, community center director, is delighted to organize this communitywide gathering to celebrate our national heritage and is hopeful this will become an annual event in Pagosa.

LPEA thanks

Our sincere and heartfelt thanks go out once again to Mike Alley at LaPlata Electric for answering my plea to put up one of our Chamber flags again.

Darin Rome with La Plata arrived with the cherry picker and put up the errant flag, and I thank Darin for his efforts. The folks at La Plata Electric have been helping us for years now with these blasted flags of ours with never a word of complaint, and I want to thank them for being such incredibly good and generous friends.

New director

You may or may not be aware that Nan Rowe recently resigned her position as a Chamber of Commerce board director to pursue interests in the political arena.

We are grateful to Nan for the two and a half years she served on this board and wish her well in her new endeavors.

The board determined that we needed a "seasoned" director to fill Nan's vacancy since we all concurred that it takes about a year to absorb and assimilate all the Chamber "stuff."

We are simply delighted to announce that Don McKeehan of Old West Press agreed to come on board for the next six months. Don and Mary McKeehan have individually served a number of years on this board as both directors and president and have collectively supported virtually every Chamber event from the beginning of time. The McKeehans can be counted upon to arrive early and leave late for every function to lend a helping hand and were honored a couple of years ago as Citizens of the Year for their remarkable contributions to this community through their participation in just about everything that happens in Pagosa. We sincerely welcome Don back to our board and applaud him for agreeing to join this motley crew for the next six months.

Rotary holiday parade

Don't forget to pick up your entry form for the July 4 parade sponsored as always by our Pagosa Springs Rotary Club with great prizes awarded to winners in categories that include commercial, nonprofit and service groups, individuals and families, youth groups and musical. I'm sure you can easily fit into one of those categories and stand to win some dough if your group wins.

The parade will be held Saturday, July 3, beginning at 10 a.m. with line-up assignments, late registration and any final decorating taking place in the high school parking lot beginning at 9 a.m. and the parade will begin promptly at 10 a.m. with entry onto U.S. 160 from 8th Street.

Rotary respectfully requests that water guns and air horns stay at home and that parade participants not throw candy or anything at all from the floats.

We'll be talking more about July 4 events in the future, but keep in mind that there will be days of celebration for you to enjoy with family and friends.

The Park to Park Arts and Crafts Festival will take place on July 2, 3 and 4 along with the Red Ryder Rodeo and the 2004 Quilt Fest to be held in the Mamie Lynch Gymnasium. The parade will take place Saturday, July 3, and the concert and fireworks will be held at the sports complex downtown this year Sunday, July 4, with lots of related activities and events.

We are thrilled to announce that the Pagosa Hot Strings will once again grace us with their presence and music at the concert Sunday beginning at 7 p.m. until the fireworks begin at dusk. The Hot Strings have been invited to join us every year for as long as they are willing to, so we are always especially happy to welcome them back each year.

Fair volunteers

Please keep in mind that Ronnie Doctor is still looking for volunteers for this year's county fair and would love to receive a call from you. Specifically, they are looking for help with set-up Tuesday, Aug. 3, volunteers to help with this four-day event and tear-down Monday, Aug, 9.

This year's fair dates are Thursday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 8, and Ronnie will be happy to hear from you at 264-6122 if you are interested in lending a hand. You will also find registration forms at the Chamber of Commerce, the community center, the senior center or the CSU Extension office. Volunteers 18 years and younger require parental consent, and young people 10-13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

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 always-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, 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.

I'll be there at 8 a.m. to cut the ribbon to begin the 9K race with all other events scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. The day ends at 2 p.m.

For more information, call 264-5549. Please plan to join us Saturday morning to celebrate our wonderful four-legged furry friends.

PSAC annual meeting

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council invites you to join them 5-7 p.m. today 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. Nonmembers are welcome, and the cost is $15 per person with tickets available at the gallery in Town Park. 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 beginning today and continuing through June 27, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily on Reservoir Hill. 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, please call Billy Hawkins at (970) 247-8149.


We're happy to bring you three new businesses this week and six renewals. Welcoming these good folks always makes the summer sun shine just a little brighter for us here at the Chamber.

Our first new member this week is Joanne Long who brings us the Ancient Wisdom Healing Center and Ageless Beauty at 145 South Second St. Providing much more than just pampering, this center offers a sanctuary guided by ancient wisdom. You will find a variety of spa-massage and healing modalities. Custom packages are available to you as well as outcalls, so give Joanne a call at 264-1433 to learn more about Ancient Wisdom Healing and Ageless Beauty. We're grateful to Lyn DeLange, owner of the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service for recruiting Joanne and will cheerfully send Lyn a free SunDowner pass for her efforts with our thanks.

Brad Carey joins us next with Integrity Computers and Phone Systems with offices located in his home. Brad is happy to bring you reliable and affordable service with integrity. Whether it's computer or phone related, he can offer you great customer service in the areas of repair, upgrades, networking and tutoring. Give Brad a call at 731-9115 to learn more about Integrity Computers and Phone Systems.

Our third new member is Mark A. Moore who joins us as an Associate with Citizens Bank Pagosa. Mark is vice president at Citizens and offers all areas of commercial loans including business loans, new construction, land loans and permanents. He would welcome your call at 731-7235.

Our renewals this week include Curt Cristensen, CPA; Kristi Nelson Cohen with Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad; Les Mundall who joins as a Realtor associate with Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate; Kurt and Danna Laverty with L Bar Z Cabins (name change); Phillip R. McClendon with McClendon and Lynch, CPAs, LLC and Associate Member and valued Diplomat, Jean Sanft. Thank you all for your memberships.


Veteran's Corner

Show your patriotism at community sing-along

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

All veterans are invited and encouraged to attend the Community Patriotic Sing-along Tuesday, May 29, at 7 p.m. at the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard.

I have been asked to be the master of ceremonies for this fun event. So, I challenge all of our Archuleta County veterans to attend. If you don't, a lot of people are going to have to listen to me sing, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Please come and help drown out my terrible voice and join in with our community.

We veterans can lead the community in patriotic spirit and show support for our country, and honor all those who serve in our military today.

Free event

The event is free and there will be potluck dessert refreshments following the program. Bring your favorite dessert to share with others. The community center will provide hot and cold beverages.

"We are hoping this will become an annual patriotic experience for our community," said Mercy Korsgren, center coordinator. Mercy and I have been friends for many years, so I consider it a great honor that she asked me to be emcee.

Many represented

A number of groups will be represented in the program, a prelude to the community's Fourth of July celebration.

There will be a visiting youth choir from the First United Methodist Church in Arlington, Texas, on the program. Local groups and individuals include John Graves, Pagosa Springs pre-schoolers, a senior center barbershop quartet, Paul Arrendell, Father John Bowe, and a trio of ladies: Susie Long, Judy Patton and Mary Jo Howell.

Local veterans

Local veteran Ron Gustafson will do a special patriotic reading, and Bruce Muirhead will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Veterans Gustafson, Robert Dobbins, Ernie Garcia and Ed Dailey will present a Parade of Colors.

Sing-along sheets will be provided to all as the audience joins in singing familiar patriotic music. Free flags provided by the Chamber of Commerce will be given to all who attend.

Show patriotism

Lets all show our community and national patriotism by turning out for this fun-filled evening of song, music and flag waving. Don't worry if you can't carry a tune in a bucket, you'll blend in with the rest of us with a patriotic message that will be heard loud and clear.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is at 400 South Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, CO 81301. Phone number is 247-2214.

For more information

For 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

Join the board at PSAC annual meeting tonight

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Join the board of directors and members at the annual meeting of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council tonight at JJ's Upstream.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and there is a nominal charge of $15 to help raise funds to support the mission of ensuring a flourishing and diverse community by enriching lives through all of the arts.

If you have ideas to share this is a great time to speak up. Do you want to know more about the arts council? Everyone is welcome to attend.

Hot food, cool art

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council and the Pagosa Chamber of Commerce will host a SunDowner Wednesday, July 28, in Town Park. This will be a combination SunDowner and fund-raiser for PSAC.

The fund-raiser will consist of a live art auction and silent auction with a low reserve payable to the artist.

Artists, please consider donating art for this event. The council is your organization.

Call the gallery in Town Park at 264-5020 or Doris Green at 264-6904. You may also e-mail psac@centurytel.net or greenacres1@centurytel.net.

PSAC is dedicated to serving local artists and providing workshops and exhibits to benefit the community.

New exhibit July 1

There will be no exhibit in the gallery at Town Park until nationally-renowned artist Joye Moon opens her solo exhibit July 1.

The office will be open, but some routine maintenance and cleaning will happen during this time. Call 264-5020 to see if the office is open before making a visit.

Jewelry case donated

A jewelry display case, designed, constructed, and donated by David Smith is now on display at the gallery. This piece has a curved front and hand-turned legs that use the "trumpet and bun" motifs popular at the end of the 19th century. The legs, made from Pennsylvania hard maple, are stabilized at the base by gracefully curved stretchers joined at their centers by a ball and block mechanism. This design provides high strength in a delicate and light form suitable for exhibiting jewelry.

Bird's eye maple and period drawer pulls accent the curved drawer front. Raised moulding around the drawer front adds depth and interesting shading in low angle light. Three halogen lights illuminate a framed glass lid, which opens for easy access to jewelry. The six-step finishing process, gives the piece an "aged" appearance fitting its traditional design.

Elation center for arts

Creativity develops naturally through the arts. Elation Center for the Arts is offering music and dance classes for children, Mondays at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. Arts educators Paul and Carla Roberts draw upon children's innate creative abilities and help them develop artistic skills in fun ways. There is a class for toddlers and their moms at 10 a.m.; a class for children age five to seven at 11 a.m.; and a class for children age 8 to 12 beginning at 1 p.m.

Registration is ongoing throughout the summer, and children can try a class without having to make a long-term commitment. For further information, call the Roberts at 731-3117.

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. July 12, 14 and 16, 9-11 a.m.

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. We will also 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. Monday-Friday, July 12-16, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 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. Monday-Friday, July 12-15, 10 a.m.-noon.

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. Monday-Friday, July 12-15, 1-3 p.m. and Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6, 1-3 p.m.

Art History - In this course you will discuss art history, the elements of art and principles of design, various media, and art interpretation. Monday-Friday, July 12-15, 2-4 p.m. and Monday-Friday, July 26-30, 2-4 p.m. and Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6, from 2-4 p.m. 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 also 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, 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. Monday-Friday, July 19-23, 10 a.m.-noon.

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 out door field experiences. There will be an all-day field trip on Wednesday, July 21 to Chaco Canyon. Monday - Thursday, July 19-22, 3-5 p.m.

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 35mm 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. Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6, 10 a.m.-noon.

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. Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6, 1-3 p.m.

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. Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6, 1-4 p.m.

Opportunities for artists

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. and 4 p.m. This year's judge is Ralph W. Lewis, retired professor emeritus of the University of New Mexico. Check out www.ourayarts.org for more information. Or contact DeAnn McDaniel at (970) 325-4372 or Diane Larkin at (970) 325-9821.

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 me 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 at livingart@cox.net or (602) 697-9456. Each day will be unique, so if you cannot participate for all three days, you may join the class for individual days. The cost for all three days is $130 or $123.50 for PSAC members. Call 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 your spot now by contacting PSAC at 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 - Annual meeting

June 26 - Bird house contest

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

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

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

July 1-28 - Joye Moon exhibit at the gallery

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

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

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

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

July 15-31 - Batik and Screamers papier maché workshop

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

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

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

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

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

Aug. 15 - Home and garden tour, noon-5 p.m.

Aug. 16-21 - Cynthia Padilla botanical art workshop

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

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

Sept. 17-19 - Juried art exhibit for PSAC members


Crab Nebula Supernova's birth lighted Chimney Rock

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

An explosion in the sky on the Fourth of July? Pretty routine. Except this ball of fire appeared in the sky over Chimney Rock and the Four Corners area in the year 1054 A.D.

Remaining for three weeks as a large star visible even in the day and shining as brightly as the full moon at night, it gradually faded away and vanished - but not before the world had seen and recorded this amazing apparition, now recognized as the birth of the Crab Nebula Supernova.

A supernova is the most violent way a star can die, and in this case its aftermath was the creation of the Crab Nebula. (A nebula is briefly defined as any of many vast cloud-like masses of gas or dust among the stars.)

Just what, exactly, is a supernova? Well, to define it "exactly" would probably take a science degree and several thousand words, but following are a few assorted facts relating to this phenomenon.

Eleven million years ago, in the constellation of Taurus the Bull (where the Crab Nebula is now), a star was born. It was much larger than the sun and about 6,300 light years from Earth. Following millions of turbulent years and many successive violent transformations, it exploded. This was 7,247 years ago. The light from this cataclysmic event reached Earth 6,300 years later, on the aforementioned Fourth of July in 1054 A.D. (If you prefer to consider the distance from the explosion to Earth in actual miles, the figure is 40 quintillion.)

A star is essentially a gigantic hydrogen bomb - a fusion explosion converting hydrogen to helium and heavier elements, releasing enormous amounts of energy in the process. It is constantly attempting to maintain a balance between two titanic forces: the immense gravity of its mass, which is trying to compress and crush it, and the gigantic outward pressure of the nuclear fusion at the core, which is trying to blow it apart.

As long as these two forces are in balance, the star neither expands nor collapses, and thus remains stable. But nothing stays the same forever. Hence the supernova.

Imagine how profound an experience it would be for even an amateur astronomer to discover a new star in the sky. Then consider how it must have impacted Ancestral Puebloans, whose very life, religion and culture were dominated by perceptions of the positions and movements of celestial bodies.

These early Four Corners inhabitants left images that may represent this new star.

At Penasco Blanco in Chaco Canyon, N.M., a pictograph of a crescent moon and star is thought to represent the supernova. The handprint is thought to mark a sacred site according to the Pueblo tradition.

And, at Chimney Rock, they may have constructed one wall of the Great House to align with this event.

Another point to ponder: observers in Chaco Canyon saw the star in their northern sky, where it would appear to lead to Chimney Rock.

The creation of the Crab Nebula was one of several events in the sky over and around Chimney Rock in the years 900 to 1200 A.D. Did they influence the settlement and importance of the site? We'll probably never know.

What we do know is that The Chimney Rock Interpretive Program will hold a series of special programs to illuminate and celebrate such events.

On the Fourth of July there will be a special Supernova Sunrise program marking the 950th anniversary of the appearance of the Crab Nebula Supernova. During this program Glenn Raby, Chimney Rock site manager, will describe supernovas, the northern lunar standstill, and other astronomical events as they relate to Chimney Rock. Also, the archaeoastronomy of Chimney Rock will be explored.

Northern lunar standstill

The moon stands still? Well, it's actually more of a turnaround. In a journey of 18.61 years, the moon travels the horizon from south to north, pauses for several years, then returns to the southern end of the cycle. (There's a "wobble" in the plane of the moon's elliptical orbit, which causes this irregular path.)

The rising of the moon in its progressive phases between the rock spires of Chimney Rock was probably of profound significance to its early Ancestral Puebloan residents.

The unfolding events of this returning lunar cycle will be the object of a series of public lectures and observations beginning in late 2004 through 2008. Watch the paper and the Chimney Rock Web site (www.chimneyrockco.org) for specific dates and times.

Calendar of events

Mark your calendar and join us for one or several of our special events this summer.

July will present two full moons and two full moon programs at Chimney Rock. (The second full moon occurring in any month is called the "blue moon," thus the expression "Once in a blue moon.") In addition there is continuing parade of programs planned from now until 2008 exploring the phenomenon of the northern lunar standstill as it impacts sightings at Chimney Rock.

Full moon programs at Chimney Rock begin near dusk, as you walk up to the Great House Pueblo. The two-hour program begins as the sun goes down.

You will journey back in time to when Ancient Puebloans occupied the area around Chimney Rock. Theories, legends and archaeological findings, as well as archaeoastronomy insights, are presented. After the full moon has risen, you will descend in its light, aided by our volunteer light brigade.

- Friday, July 2 - Full moon program. Gates open 7-7:30 p.m. Program begins at 8. Full moon rises at 9:27. Tickets are $10

- Saturday, July 31 - Full moon program, blue moon. Gates open 7-7:30 p.m. Program begins at 8. Full moon rises at 8:53. Tickets are $10

- Fourth of July - Special sunrise program. Gates open 4:45-5 a.m. Tour begins at 5:30 Sunrise is 5:53. Tickets are $25

- Sunday, Aug. 29 - Full moon program.

Join us for a late summer full moon program. Summer vacations are ending and the fall routine is about to begin. Spend the evening watching the sunset and the full moon rise one last time before summer comes to a close.

Gate open 6-6:30 p.m. Program starts at 7. Moon rise is 7:55. Tickets are $10

- Thursday, Sept. 23 - Fall equinox program.

This is a sunrise program. The fall equinox is that point of time half way between the summer and winter solstices. There are many indications the Ancient Puebloans marked the passage of time with a solar calendaring system. Join us to learn how these solar events were observed at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.

Gate opens 5:50-6 a.m. Program starts at 6:30. Sunrise is at 6:57. Tickets are $10

- Tuesday, Sept. 28 - Full moon rise program - harvest moon

Why does the harvest moon appear larger and different in color from other full moons? Join us to find out these facts and more as Chimney Rock Interpretive Association presents a full moon rise program.

Gates Open 5:15-5:45 p.m. Program starts at 6:15. Moon rise is 7:15. Tickets are $10

- Monday, Oct. 4 - Moon rise preview.

The moon will begin to be visible between the rocks. This is a preview of what is to come over the next four years. Only part of the moon is expected to be seen at this viewing. Space is limited and the event will be canceled if bad weather prohibits a safe climb to the Great House Pueblo at the top of Chimney Rock Archaeological Area to view the moonrise. Please note the time of the event.

Gates open 9:30- 9:45 p.m. Program begins at the Great House Pueblo at 10. Moonrise at 10:47. Tickets are $50.

Reservations are required for all events. Contact the Visitor's Cabin at 883-5359 for tickets. The Visitor's Cabin is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Visa and Master Card are accepted.


Four-day watercolor workshop at PSAC

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Nationally renowned and award-winning artist Joye Moon, will conduct a four-day watercolor workshop for the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

She will present four new projects designed specifically for Pagosa Springs. This fast-paced class will include a poured paint floral project, a contact paper landscape, a palette knife garden scene and a collage project.

Moon demonstrates the projects several times during the day and prides herself in giving each student individual attention. There will be a gentle, yet informative critique at the end of each day.

"I've always felt a responsibility to share as an artist. Through exhibiting my work as well as teaching, I can share the lessons I have learned with others who are eager to experience the creative challenge," Moon said.

She is a member of the National Watercolor Society and a signature member of both the Mississippi Watercolor Society and the Wisconsin Watercolor Society. Moon teaches watercolor workshops all over the U.S. as well as in other countries.

Space is limited. Sign up now for Unleashing the Power of Watercolor, July 5, 6, 7 and 8 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Cost is $190 for PSAC members and $200 for nonmembers. Contact PSAC at 264-5020 or e-mail psac@centurytel.net.

Joye Moon's one woman exhibit at the gallery in Town Park opens July 1 with a reception for the artist from 5-7 p.m.

Moon is providing Wisconsin cheese and wine for the celebration. The exhibit consists of recent artwork created especially for the council. She used this opportunity to explore incorporating collage and drawing techniques with her paintings.

The subject of her work varies from realistic and abstract landscapes to placing the figure in an environment. Moon will also feature work painted on location in France and Italy.


Craft fest booth features Chimney Rock

Learn more about it! The Chimney Rock Archeological Area will sponsor an educational booth July 2-4 at the Pagosa Springs Arts and Crafts Festival, in Town Park.

Information about the ancestral Puebloan site will be available. The program is run by local volunteers in partnership with the Forest Service.

Ancestral Puebloans occupied this area approximately a thousand years ago. The site has been declared a Chacoan "outlier." An intriguing area, the site has been excavated by several archeologists, beginning in the 1920s.

Why did these people settle here? How did they live on such a high pinnacle? What caused them to leave? Was this a spiritual site? An astronomical one?

Various theories are presented to visitors on tours of the site. Stop by our booth and learn more about Chimney Rock, its programs and volunteer opportunities.


Open Mic helps teens overcome phobias

By Karen Carpenter

Special to The PREVIEW

Last Friday's Open Mic was a collage of sounds and an excellent way to get over any microphone phobia one might have.

The teens explored different sound and musical venues from keyboard accompaniment to jokes and even sound effects. Open Mic will continue at 6 p.m. Fridays. So bring your instruments, voice and comedy routines for the fun of it.

Our numbers are down this summer as schedules fill up with outdoor and family activities, but many visitors and new residents have come to join us and it is always a pleasure to welcome them.

Air conditioning on hot afternoons makes the Teen Center a welcome refuge from the heat. If you would like to play games, chill with friends or shoot hoops, come join us. We have spontaneous tournaments daily. We are open from 1-8 p.m. weekdays.

Latarah Rivera, 13, won the Teen Center Logo contest. Her logo was a C over T overlay in bright color shading. Patrick Manzanares was runner-up.

The advisory board will meet 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 1.

I would like to thank the Flying Burrito for its donation of meal gift certificates to the Teen Center. We hold contests every week and these prizes are invaluable.

I am looking for a volunteer to teach/spot wrestling. If you are able to give a couple hours of time this summer it would be greatly appreciated.

The Teen Center is in the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard. Phone is 264-4152.


Puebloan pottery workshop set

Greg Wood will offer a pottery workshop July 20-23 at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, a remote Chacoan "outlier" complex just west of Pagosa Springs.

In the workshop you will create Pueblo III Mesa Verde black-on-white pottery using prehistoric methods. With organic paints participants will hand-form, burnish, decorate and trench kiln fire their own handmade pottery.

College credits are available for this class. Fee is $195 for the four-day workshop and includes all materials, firing, and an archaeological site tour. Registration deadline is July 2 .

For additional information and to make reservations, e-mail davejackman@earthlink.net.

Class size is limited to provide each participant individualized instruction. For more information visit Greg Wood's Web site at www. AncientArts.org.


Auditions set for youth roles in 'Peter and the Wolf'

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Auditions will take place in the high school choir room 6-8 p.m. Monday, June 28, for boys and girls 10-12 who would like to play one of the eight to ten characters in "Peter and the Wolf" next month. Rehearsals will start July 12.

The performance will be the highlight when Music in the Mountains hosts a free outdoor community concert called Family Festivo for children of all ages in Town Park 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, July 29.

Felicia Meyer and Melinda Baum are in charge of the open audition for the parts in "Peter," a musical work created by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev to teach his children about the symphony. They explained that the Pagosa Children's Theatre audition will have two parts:

First, aspiring young actors are asked to choose their favorite animal and be prepared to act as that animal without sound for one minute. For example, you might want to show your animal swimming, flying, lying down, getting up, eating, chewing, pouncing or crawling.

Second, entrants will be asked to spontaneously pantomime a role chosen from "Peter" with the music playing. So you will want to be familiar with the characters and the basic story.

The story

Peter is a little boy (a girl or boy may play this part) who lives in Russia on the edges of a meadow with his grandfather. Beyond the meadow is a deep, dark forest. Peter's grandfather has warned him not to go into the meadow alone because it is dangerous. But Peter's curiosity gets the better of him and he ventures out into the meadow.

In the meadow, Peter meets the bird and the duck. The bird flies around the pond where the duck swims, and they argue who is better - the one who can fly or the one who can swim. Then a cat slinks into the meadow, preying upon the bird. Peter calls out to the bird, warning it, and it flies into a tall tree for safety.

Grandfather comes out of the house and is very angry when he sees Peter in the meadow. He warns Peter about the wolf. Peter tells his grandfather that he is not afraid of wolves! Grandfather takes Peter home and a big gray wolf comes out of the forest. The cat springs up into the tree! The duck jumps out of the pond and the wolf chases the duck! The wolf catches the duck and swallows it in a single gulp!

The wolf begins to circle the tree where the cat and bird sit. Peter arrives and he has an idea: He brings a rope and climbs along a branch into the tree. He tells the bird to distract the wolf. The bird cleverly taunts the wolf, who snaps furiously at the bird. Peter makes a lasso out of the rope and lets it down very carefully, catching the wolf by the tail. Then he pulls up the rope with all his might. The wolf jumps wildly to try to get loose. Meanwhile, hunters come out of the woods, shooting their guns as they approach.

What happens next? Well, we don't want to ruin the suspense, so we will keep the end of the story a secret until the performance on July 29.

Other performers

Also entertaining the audience at Family Festivo in Town Park will be local performers including Jana Burch's tap dancers, Jennifer Martin's gymnastics group and Stephanie Jones' San Juan Dance Academy. As well, there will be games for children and free food for all beginning at noon, after the entertainment.

"We want everyone to enjoy the music and performances in a casual, picnic-like setting," said Lisa Scott, who is cochairing the Family Festivo activities along with Claudia Rosenbaum. "We hope everyone will bring blankets and chairs and really have a fun time."

Each character in "Peter and the Wolf" is represented by an instrument or instrumental family: Peter by the string instruments of the orchestra, the grandfather by bassoons, the bird by flutes, the duck by oboes, the cat by clarinets, the wolf by French horns, and the hunters by percussion instruments. To help the audience enjoy this experience even more, Mischa Semanitzky will demonstrate the various instruments. He is the originator and conductor of the Music in the Mountains symphony orchestra, 15 of whom will play for us at this concert.

As well, chief librarian Lenore Bright will include "Peter and the Wolf" in the children's summer reading program.

After the hour-long concert, hot dogs, chips, ice cream, lemonade and water will be served free, thanks to the generosity of Montezuma's Restaurant, The Springs, and Jim and Bonnie Van Bortel. As well, donations from the Bank of the San Juans, LPEA Roundup Foundation and the Town of Pagosa Springs are helping to fund the event.

"Many adults who now love classical music were first introduced to symphonies in their childhood when they attended a performance of 'Peter and the Wolf,' Scott said. "We know everyone who comes will enjoy this concert and the characters in the story. We also hope they will be encouraged to learn more about great music and the many instruments that bring it to life.

"I also want to stress that 'Peter' is a delightful orchestral work that adults will enjoy as well," Scott said, "so this is a concert for children of all ages."

This is the third consecutive summer that Music in the Mountains will offer musical events here in Pagosa, and the first time we have had a free outdoor concert for the community. It is a companion to the ever-popular Family Festivo event that has been held for several years in Durango.


'The Hills Are Alive ...' focuses

on America's developing culture

By John Graves

Special to The SUN

"The Hills Are Alive ," the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters' original musical revue to be presented July 8-10, offers a rare opportunity for families to experience a half century of America's unique culture, as expressed through its show music written by composer Richard Rodgers.

From the early '20s to the late '70s, the songs of Rodgers, with the lyrics of Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, not only reflected the societal and musical mores of these decades, they also affected transformations of the entire art form.

Beginning with "Garrick Gaieties" in 1925 (originally a benefit show for the Theater Guild, which was so successful it had two Broadway runs), Rodgers and Hart's material ranged from silly satire to the poignant but daring social commentary of "Pal Joey," with some of the most beautiful love songs in all musical literature gracing each and every production.

Incidentally, two of their songs were banned from the radio, for the sake of "common decency." One, called "Dancing On the Ceiling," suggested that the singer imagined his or her lover was dancing every evening on his or her ceiling. "The Girl Friend," (which is included in "The Hills Are Alive...") used the word "hell" once as a "throwaway" expletive. (Parental discretion is advised).

"Oklahoma!" written with Oscar Hammerstein II, ushered in a whole new musical era, wherein the songs and dances of the '50s, '60s and '70s were an integral part of the unfolding drama (as in grand opera, but without the ubiquitous obesity of the sopranos and tenors), rather than merely stand-alone vehicles for talented performers.

In addition to the unforgettable music, comedy, dancing and drama of such musicals as "Oklahoma!" "Carousel," "The King and I," "South Pacific" and "The Sound of Music," each production from this team had the courage to include subtle implications of such controversial subjects as race prejudice, spousal abuse, and intolerance - reflecting social concerns of these decades.

Performances of this full-scale musical production (with a cast of over 50 singers, dancers, and musicians) start at 7:30 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium. Reserved seat tickets may be purchased at the Plaid Pony, 731-5262. Prices are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for children.


In-step Dance Club sets July schedule

In-Step Dance Club has scheduled four July classes featuring Country Western Swing II (and polka).

Classes are scheduled for 9 p.m. Thursday, July 1, Wednesday, July 7, and Thursdays, July 15 and 22.

A summer bash dance party will be held 6-11 p.m. Thursday, July 29.

BYOB and potluck dinner 6-7 p.m.; short class starting at 7. Open dancing and too much fun till 11. Bring friends and make friends.

Lessons and party will be at PLPOA clubhouse, 230 Port Ave.

Dues are $20/single or $30/couple; singles without partners welcome.

For information call Deb Aspen at 946-1081.


Patriotic Sing-along set June 29

By Mercy Korsgren

Special to The PREVIEW

The communitywide prelude to local Fourth of July celebrations will be the Community Patriotic Sing-along at the Community Center 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 29.

The program is free to the public and flags will be given to all who attend courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce and the community center.

In addition to local talent, a visiting youth choir will sing several patriotic medleys. Testament, a choir composed of 30 high schoolers, is from First United Methodist Church, Arlington, Texas, and will be here as part of its summer tour. Last year the group traveled to Washington, D.C., where they were featured in a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

The choir director is Paul Arrendell, son of Pagosa resident Beverly Arrendell.

Included in the program will be the Parade of Colors by local veterans as well as local talent including John Graves, Father John Bowe, a barbershop quartet from the senior center, and a ladies trio.

Following the program will be a potluck dessert time. Drinks will be provided by the community center.

For more information call 264-4152.


Quilt Fest's educational segment aimed at youth

By Shari Pierce and Robbye Reedy

Special to The PREVIEW

Each year at Quilt Fest, the Pagosa Piecemakers include an educational component to the show. This area of the show is directed toward children; however, adults often find this section of the show very enjoyable too.

Such will be the case this again this year. Robbye Reedy, educational booth director, has worked with her friends and fellow quilters to design an exciting experience for us all.

Do you know the components of a quilt? Have you seen the underside of a pieced quilt top before it is sandwiched with batting and backing and quilted? Then you will surely want to visit the Education Corner at Pagosa Quilt Fest 2004. Adults, teens, and children are welcome to sit and "play" with the quilt activities that teach about the art and craft of quilting.

We know the regular school year has ended. But visit our Old Times Schoolroom where you will have fun while you test your knowledge or just assemble a puzzle or organize a "pretend quilt." Lending authenticity to this schoolroom are antique school desks with some old school items your grandpa might remember. One or two of our students are real "dummies" but their costumes are pretty neat! You will move to the head of the class when you try out our trivia quiz, preview our library display, make a pretend quilt, or study a little quilt history.

Our schoolroom is an exceptional backdrop for some exceptional quilts. The centerpiece of our bulletin board is a patriotic wall hanging of beautifully hand-quilted "Redwork."

Try our quilting trivia displayed here. Can we stump you? Do you see geometry or symbolism in some antique quilts? Did you know that early American quilters often expressed their superstitious nature within their quilts? We will give you some clues in this area.

Our vocabulary lesson will test your knowledge of quilting terms. Don't worry. Everyone will pass this test. Did you know that pieced designs or "blocks" often have names? See examples of the "Colorado Block" on display. Did you know that pioneer women stitched quilt blocks as they walked hundreds of miles to their new homes in the West? Some were the pioneer settlers in our state.

The schoolroom library includes interesting books for all age and interest levels in which quilting is the central theme. Browse through our collection. Take note of Web sites offering further information. Learn how quilters have embraced technology. Cultural heritage can be expressed in unique quilting techniques, choice of colors, and designs. Visitors, especially the children, can experiment with color and design to make a "pretend" quilt at a table adjacent to the Old Times Schoolroom. Or, perhaps you will advance to the head of the class as you try to assemble a heritage quilt block puzzle.

Next, you may want to take a closer peek at the quilt top displayed on the back wall of our schoolroom. You will be able to view the hand stitching that connects the pieces that make a block. You will see what a quilt top looks like before the batting, backing, and binding are added. And it is here that we step back in time and examine the impact quilts have as silent messengers.

Our social studies lesson entitled "Heritage Through Oral Tradition" hangs on the back wall in our schoolroom. We are honored to display a quilt top which was hand -pieced with a purpose more than 150 years ago. It is on loan to us from Ms. Dorothy Van Antwerp of Rio Rancho, N.M. The oral history of this family heirloom, as interpreted by Ms. Van Antwerp, begins in the 1850s in Louisiana. Ms. Van Antwerp's great-grandmother, Adelia DeHart, hurriedly prepared the quilt top by hand to hang outside her family's farmhouse identifying it as a safe house on the Underground Railroad.

This quilt top may have been placed over the clothesline or fence with the lighter colored road squares pattern pointing north to the next station on the journey to freedom. Later, when the family moved to Texas the quilt top was packed away and Mrs. DeHart died before she could, if she ever intended to, complete it. In 1924 family members brought it in a covered wagon to Portales, N.M.

In more recent years Ms. Van Antwerp, a history teacher and quilter, rescued it. She discovered the important story about it by interviewing elder family members. Her interest was piqued, so she researched the history of the era of this quilt top. Next, she wove the research and the quilt story into history lessons for her students. Don't miss viewing this exceptional piece of history and the fun activities at the Education Booth - Old Time School Room at Quilt Fest 2004.

In addition to the Education Booth, visitors will have a chance to vote for their favorite among the quilts entered in the Pieces of America Challenge issued to guild members. There will be antique sewing machines, irons, an ironing board and a quilt rack that is over 100 years more. There will also be quilts, quilts and more quilts. From wall hangings, to antiques, to large quilts, there will be an enticing variety to see.

Quilt Fest 2004 will be held July 2, 3 and 4 in the Mamie Lynch Gymnasium at the corner of Lewis and 4th streets. On July 3 and 4 the show will be open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and on July 4 it will be open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Entrance to the show will be via the doors on Fourth Street. Admission to the show is $2 for adults and $1 for youth ages 10-18. Children 9 and under will be admitted at no charge. A multiple entry pass will be available for an additional $1. Please include a visit to Quilt Fest in your holiday plans. The Pagosa Piecemakers Quilt Guild sponsors quilt Fest 2004.



Lee Sterling Chile Taste competition is Aug. 5

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

I had never tasted authentic Mexican food until moving to the Southwest 25 years ago.

The closest I got to chile was my mother's version with beans, meat and sauce. Although it was tasty, it was anything but true chile. My first experience came in Tucson, Ariz. At a restaurant that had been there for over a quarter of a century. I ordered chile con carne, and my palate was greeted by new tastes such as cilantro, cumin and, of course, the principal of this dish, red chile. I fell in love with it.

Recently I was dining in one of my favorite haunts. Sitting down to eat I was greeted by the owner.

She sat down and we embarked on conversation. Somehow, we got onto the subject of red and green chile. She told me a true story about her experience as a new restaurateur 14 years ago. The story goes that two new customers came in, Lucy and Mel Martinez. The couple both ordered chile, one red and one green. After the meal, Mrs. Martinez asked the owner where she learned to make chile. She responded, "In New York."

"I see," responded Mrs. Martinez. ""I will be in at 6 a.m. to show you how to really make chile, honey." To this day she uses these recipes for red and green chile, fondly known as "Lucy's Chile" She stated with all honesty, "I'm from Long Island. What did I know about chile?"

Her words ring true for all of us who want to make a great chile. You have to learn from a master at the art of chile making. It takes technique and know how with this delicious dish, from the fiery hot variety for the more daring souls or mild for the meeker taste buds. Many people have that special recipe of their own for chile, so the challenge is to prove that your recipe is the best by entering the second annual Lee Sterling Chile Taste Thursday, Aug. 5.

The categories for chile this year will be red, green and a special open category. The open category will be for variations on the theme such as vegetarian and the many diversions from the standards such as Texas or Cincinnati chili, to name a few.

The chile's at the contest will be judged for the best in the hot ,mild and open category. There will also be the "People's Choice Award" where the patrons of the event can judge who is the best.

Great detail in planning for this year's event will create the feeling of old Mexico. The food tent will be beautifully decorated to enhance the dining experience. A strolling mariachi will serenade diners as they feast on an unlimited array of chili. The Spanish Fiesta royalty will grace us with their presence as our servers for the evening. Vendors will also be present from various restaurants in town to offer items from their menu.

The Lee Sterling Chile Taste is open to all who want to compete in this year's contest, but is limited to only 50 entries. Entry forms must be received no later than Aug. 2.

Calling all our great cooks to not delay, you may be the new winner of the red, green, or in between category. If you do win, you can say that you make the best chile in town and have a prize to prove it!

Please contact the contest officiator, Kim Moore, at 731-0426 for complete details and event times. Best of luck to all entries of the chile festival.


Food for Thought

Fire up the grill; no Wheat Kings shirts this Father's Day

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

"Father's Day is just around the corner."

"Yep, Sunday."

"Your ne'er-do-well daughters aren't going to get you anything. Again. You know that, don't you?"

"So what? I don't expect anything. Moreover, I probably don't deserve anything. But, they nearly always call. Aurora even sends a card every other year or so."

"And that's enough for you?"


"It's not right. You deserve better."

"A lot of people think if I deserve anything, it's a sound thrashing."

"That's for sure, but you need a gift on Father's Day. You've been a good father, in your own peculiar way."

"Dad of the Decade."

"I'm going to get you a present."

"That's sweet, but I'm not your father.

"You're the father of my children."

"It didn't require that much effort, really."

"I found something for you; I want you to check it out before I buy it."

"What is it."

"Something you've needed for a long time."


"Well, true, you've needed that for a very long time. You could do with fewer chins. But no, not that."


"Well, again, that's something that could be of great value, although it's a bit late in the game. But, no."

"A Brandon Wheat Kings T-shirt?"

"I have no idea what that is, and "

"A T-shirt commemorating what I consider to be the consistently best Junior A hockey program in all of Manitoba, though fans in Flin Flon would disagree in typically violent fashion. I'll give you a Web site address and you can order me the black shirt, with the stylized wheat sheaf, and the gray shirt with 'Property of Brandon Wheat Kings' emblazoned on the front. I'll wear them proudly at the gym when I lift heavy objects and put them back down again. Extra-large, please."

"Get serious. I have a gift in mind that will fill a need as well as speak of love and gratitude on Father's Day, and I want you to go check it out before I buy it. Like now."


"Yes, right now. It's on sale and there's only one left at the store. Put your pants on and get off the couch. Turn that TV off. You've seen this episode of Cheaters ten times if you've seen it once. You've got the dialogue memorized. I see you moving your lips. Up and at 'em, chunky."

"But Chauncey is having an affair with the gal at the drive-thru window and, for crying out loud, Taneesha just had twins. - little Chauncey Jr. and Chaunceen. There are poignant subtleties here. Look at Chauncey's body language. Look at Tasheen's tattoo, the permanent teardrop right at the corner of the eye. This is profoundly human stuff."


"Where am I going?"

"To look at a new gas grill."

"A gas grill?"

"Yes. You need a new gas grill. I want to buy it and give it to you as your Father's Day present."

"First, I'm not sure I need a new gas grill. Second, have you saved the money?"

"First, yes you need it. Second, I'll use a credit card. The one with your name on it."

"A gas grill?"

"Look out on the deck. What do you see?"

"Besides the rotting boards and the section of deck that seems ready to collapse at any moment?"

"Look at that old grill. It's beyond being an embarrassment; it's a hazard to health and home. It's being used as a plant stand."

"True. That's why I haven't grilled for two years. Once the igniter went out I lost interest. I mean, to start it I had to take the racks out, then remove the shelf with the greasy lava rocks. Then I had to turn the gas on and reach down inside with a kitchen match to light the burner. And getting those racks back on after the burner was lighted, boy, that was a trick. I finally got tired of the explosions and the smell of burning hair."

"Exactly. You need a new grill."

"But I don't like to grill that often."

"You will. A new grill will open culinary doors for you. You'll discover an enthusiasm you've forgotten. Plus, I'll buy you one of those cute aprons. Extra large."

"Oh, I don't know. Isn't there something more important we could spend the money on? Like the full set of Girls Gone Wild DVDs or a roulette bet the next time we go to Vegas?"

"The apron will have a cute saying printed on it. Something like 'King of the Grill' or 'I be grillin' while you be chillin'. You'll look real cute and everyone will love the food and admire your skill."


"Well, sure. I mean, what good is a grill unless you have a cookout?"

"A cookout?"

"You bet. I've already got a list of people we need to invite. Do you realize how many people we owe? You promised Beth and John a dinner and conned Beth into making dinner for us. It's been two years and we haven't had them over yet. It's a disgrace. And Mike and Berkey. Do you realize how many times they've had us over and all you do is put off an invitation. You always have the flu or shingles or offer up some other phony excuse. How about Dorothy and Larry? They've had us over a couple of times for their Christmas open house. And Jack and Pattie? The gout excuse has lost its power; you have nowhere left to hide, big boy. What have we done? I'll tell you if you don't know: zip, zero, nada. We are social pariahs."

"A cookout?"

"I figure we owe at least 20 people, to start. With your new grill, you can take that first, important step toward redeeming yourself. You can use the grill to help you become a semi-likable person. Think about this situation you've created: It's shameful, Karl. Absolutely shameful. This is your last chance to stop the train around before it jumps the tracks."

"So, you're ready to spend three hundred dollars to have a cookout?"

"Three hundred sixty-two dollars and thirty-two cents. Yes."

"Where will we put the grill?"

"On the deck, of course."

"The deck is ready to collapse. Picture this: me, on the ground, on my back amidst the wreckage. On top of me is a large gas grill, burners still aflame. I am covered with grease and a load of overcooked burgers and bratwursts. The dog is leaping into the debris in a frantic search for sausages. Imagine a fireball. Imagine the smell of burning hair. I've got a lot of hair growing in a lot of places you know. It would be like torching a mattress."

"We'll fix the deck."

"So we can have a place to put the new grill?"

"Exactly. And to have our cookout. Or cookouts. I'm buying a new patio table and chairs set to go along with the grill. What color chairs and umbrella do you prefer? There's teal, salmon, sunflower and buff."

I look at the television screen. Taneesha is screaming at Chauncey as he runs across a dark parking lot, a camera crew in hot pursuit. Actually, I think, Chauncey doesn't have it all that bad. He is fleeing.

"So, this is a set-up so you can engineer your cookout."

"And your social rehabilitation, buster."

"And it's going to cost?"

"The grill is three-sixty and change. I got a bid on the deck and I think we can do it for about two grand. The table and chairs set, with colorful umbrella, is another four hundred. You'll need some grill utensils and I figure that's another thirty bucks. With tax, we're looking at a little over three thousand, Not bad, huh?"

"What about the apron."

"Oooh, yeah. Let's call it three grand, plus fifty or so bucks, firm."

Taneesha is standing in the middle of the parking lot. She is sobbing, the left strap of her flimsy tank top falling off her pudgy shoulder. The compassionate host has his arm around the sobbing woman. An assistant holds the twins. Chauncey has scaled a tall cinder block wall and he is long gone.

I look around. God speed, Chauncey; there is no escape for me.

"So get to it, chubby. Squeeze into those Dockers and take the truck to the store, check out the grill, tell them we'll take it. The table and chairs and umbrella are ready to bring home too."

"I thought you wanted me to pick a color for the chairs and the umbrella."

"They're teal. The guys at the store will help you load things in the truck."

I paid, they helped.

When I got home I imposed on Charlie and his friend to help me heft the grill from truck to deck (that portion of the structure that might support the device). There it sits, a snazzy three-burner with porcelain-coated racks and a nifty little gas ring on the side that Charlie's friend calls a "bean cooker." He lives near Corpus Christi so I don't mention any of the mother sauces I might brew there. We stand around for awhile, admiring the miracle of American engineering and the guys urge me to "break it in and get the paint off the burners."

Sound advice.

It seems I am going to have to adjust my cooking style in order to produce the volume needed to justify the expense. It's not that I am averse to grilling, but I've grown very comfy with stovetop and oven work. It's going to be a tough habit to break.

I refuse to succumb to mundane grill fare - burgers, dried-out steaks, etc. I am going to push this baby to its limits.

The new grill has several manageable heat zones, so I will learn to work with them. I like grilled vegetables and there is no trick to them. I'll buy a rack to use when I grill fish, some skewers for prissy work. I'll prepare some herbal oils and bone up on my marinades. With the "bean cooker" I can amp up the fare considerably.

What to produce on the test drive, on the eve of Father's Day?

My youngest daughter Ivy is due in town and she's a fan of zippy eats. I decide to flash grill a nice hunk of flank steak along with some peppers - one red, one poblano - some white and green onions and a few spears of yellow squash. I'll warm flour tortillas in a foil pack, slice some avocados (unless the market is selling those window breakers that take three years to ripen) and tomato, chop some cilantro leaves, break out a melange of shredded cheeses and unleash the last of a batch of fine homemade salsa. There's several cold beers about. A bit of lime. Yes.

The meat needs marinating so I decide on a simple blend: olive oil, lemon juice or red wine vinegar, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, a measure of ground red chile, sliced onion. The meat and marinade go into the fridge for five or six hours prior to hitting the grill.

This is a simple process: The veggies get grilled, each timed according to its needs, then get plopped on the upper rack over low heat, next to the tortillas. The flank steak goes over a burner turned to Thermonuclear on the dial, each side getting only a couple minutes time over the heat. Then, the slab is off the grill and on to a plate on the side wing of the grill to rest a few minutes. The peppers are sliced, the white onion is sliced. The meat is cut in thin pieces, against the grain. It's wrappin' time.

Everything should be wonderful, if I remember to get the propane tank filled.

Happy Father's Day.

Oh, incidentally, if I owe you a meal, don't hold your breath waiting for the invitation.

I be grillin' while you be chillin'.


Cruising with Cruse

No backcountry hiker should go unprepared

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

Last week someone strayed from the Fourmile Creek Trail and got lost in the woods.

He carried food and water. He had no camping equipment, no GPS, no compass. He was wearing shorts and a fleece top. He ended up spending the night up there, before Search and Rescue found him the next day.

He's okay.

He's darn lucky.

I've been hiking alone this summer. Here's what I carry in a daypack on my back.

Food and water. Besides a normal lunch I throw in a couple of granola-type bars and candy, and I carry two bottles of water.

A first aid kit that includes a Mylar space blanket and an ace bandage, bandages and tape and antibiotic ointment. My kit also has iodine tablets for water purification.

Maps and a compass and a trail guide if it exists.

A knife and flashlight and an extra bit of rope. A lighter and a piece of firestarter.

Rain gear, jacket and pants, no matter how bright and clear the sky is when I set out. Because here in the mountains you never know when a storm might come up. Even in June. Besides, they can double as windbreakers.

An extra fleece shirt.

I've contemplated adding a whistle, to blow if I think there's anyone in the area. But so far I've stayed on the trails, where people are likely to find me.

You might think this is a lot to carry, but trust me, if something went wrong and you had to spend the night, you'd want to be prepared.

I hiked Fourmile Creek Trail last week, a few days after the lost hiker incident. For the first three miles in, until you reach the waterfalls, it's as well traveled as most roads in the county. More heavily than some.

Two vehicles were already at the trailhead when I started. About a mile into the hike I met two dogs and their owner, heading back. The dogs were polite and stuck to the trail, until they saw a rabbit and took off after it.

The owner smiled fondly after them. I said, "It would be nice if they didn't chase the wildlife. Next time it might be a fawn." She said, "I don't think they've ever caught anything." I said, "Not yet."

Close to the waterfall, I met a man who told me that he was walking on two brand-new knees. "They don't hurt a bit. My goal is to climb Pagosa Peak," he said.

There are two waterfalls at the head of the Fourmile valley. The destination for most people is the Fall Creek one, which comes in on your left. The water plummets about 300 feet down the steep cliff. At the bottom the fine spray sparkles like diamond mist.

I felt so good when I reached this spot that I entertained the notion of continuing on up the trail to the top of the other waterfall, the Fourmile Creek one, and then going on to Fourmile Lake. I even contemplated returning to my car by way of the Anderson Trail. Sure it would make a long day, but I knew people who had done it. I decided to go a little farther, see how the trail was.

Right after you cross Fall Creek the trail becomes steep and heavily eroded. This used to be the Central Stock Driveway, and in the old days thousands of pointy little sheep feet went up and down it each summer. Now it's not recommended for stock. Take your horses up the Anderson Trail, if you're heading up to Fourmile and Turkey Lakes for fishing or hunting.

At first it's just a steep trail. Partway up you get a different view of the falls and the U-shaped glacier-cut valley behind you. And then your attention becomes focused on the rocks at your feet. This is a trail? It's more like a boulder scramble. There is a small stream of water flowing down. Am I in the stream bed or on the trail? Brush grows over what might have been the trail, so I take to the rocks around it.

Some people like this kind of thing; they scamper over the rocks like big horn sheep. I hate it. But I press on. And then I'm almost at the top of the cliff. There is Fourmile Creek just beginning to tumble over the edge. The sight is stunning. The roar of the water awesome.

The path levels out under tall spruce. Hotshot and I camped here once with the Scouts, over 15 years ago. The trail was bad then, but at least you could still call it a trail.

I continue on, still thinking of making it to the Anderson Trail. And then I come to a huge tree across the trail. The hillside is steep, and there's room to duck down and scramble under it. Barely. In the shade of the massive trunk is the first patch of snow. More follow. It's still early in the day and I can walk across them without sinking in.

I've gone about half a mile beyond the Fall Creek waterfall, and it's taken almost an hour, when I reach the first crossing of Fourmile Creek. This spot is named The Steel Bridge on my map, but the only sign of any bridge is a few 4X4 posts sticking out of the ground. The rest of the bridge has been missing for many years.

This is the first of three crossings of Fourmile Creek. My guidebook says they can be difficult until "midsummer." There are some small waterlogged tree trunks laying across the fast-moving stream and I don't like the look of them. I hate creek crossings, anyway.

It's time to reconsider. I'm alone. The trail ahead might be full of snow and downed trees. I told my neighbor that I was hiking to the falls, not to the lake. No one would know where I was in an emergency. Going on would be foolish.

I'm getting enough of a high just having come this far. I sit beside the creek and eat my lunch. And then I head back down the trail.


Local Chatter


Music - a precious art form with special powers

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

June 25

This week I'm going to recommend a book in recognition of the Music in the Mountains summer season. Music is a precious art form that has special powers. And this book is available at Sisson Library.

The book is "The Inextinguishable Symphony," a true story of music and love in Nazi Germany. The author, Martin Goldsmith, is a radio musicologist who is writing about his parents, Gunther, a flutist, and his mother, Rosemary, a violinist who played in the Nazi's Kulturbund orchestra. The Nazis had formed the Kulturbund as a public distraction and a comfort for remaining Jews in the late '30s. It was a performing arts venue for Jews. They were allowed to perform only Jewish playrights and composers.

The young couple was newly married.

I'm going to extract from this book their experience rehearsing and performing "Symphony No. 2, Resurrection" by Gustave Mahler that's available on CD at Sisson Library.

Goldsmith writes that his parents were extremely thrilled and relieved to finally get their passports to escape Germany for America Feb. 25, 1941, two days before the performance of Mahler's symphony, the "Resurrection" with the Kuba, (as the orchestra was called). This symphony of Mahler's was new to both and was a great inspiration to all the musicians in rehearsal. This was the last performance of the Kuba before it was closed.

Mahler had cited a German poem called "Resurrection" as his inspiration for this second symphony of his:

" when the earth is silent and deserted only the long-drawn note of the bird of death soft and simple the words gently build up: you will rise again, my dust, after a short rest."

Mahler then adds his own poetry which ends:

"I shall die to live. You will rise again, my heart, in a moment, and be borne up, through struggle, to God."

Goldsmith describes the Mahler musical version of "being borne upward through struggle" as:

" a wondrous clangor of open chords sounded by the strings, winds and brass of the orchestra, undergirded by the rumbling strength of the organ and augmented by crashing percussion and pealing bells. In those last lingering moments flutist Gunther and violinist Rose Marie both experience awe they had previously known only in the presence of an incandescent sunset, a tremendous thunderstorm, or some similarly splendid composition of mature."

Music is masterful. It is the art form that fills the souls of many people. And so we can be thankful that Music in the Mountains reached us.

Fun on the run

I don't suffer from stress. I am a carrier.


Extension Viewpoints

Cooperative Extension system:

More relevant today than ever

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Today - 12:30 p.m. 4-H Entomology, Extension office, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, June 21 - 4-H Dog Obedience, Extension office-Exhibit Hall, 4 p.m.; 4-H Sports Fishing, Extension office, 4 p.m.; 4H-Shooting Sports, Ski & Bow Rack, 4 p.m.

The Cooperative Extension system today is very much about ensuring continued leadership in agriculture and the stewardship of our nation's land and other natural resources; creation of confident, public-service-oriented citizens through the 4-H youth development program and adult leadership training; the strengthening of families and the viability of communities.

This strategic partnership of America's great public land grant universities and federal, state, and local governments enables the Cooperative Extension System to deliver critically needed educational programs at the grass roots level throughout the nation.

Extension is unique in structure and function. With its university faculty and staff serving the states and territories-most located in the over 3,000 counties across the country, the county Extension Office is truly the front door to America's land-grant universities. Local Extension professionals apply their expertise and connect community residents to the resources of the nation's great teaching and research universities to help solve locally-identified problems.

This integration of teaching, research, and public service enables the Cooperative Extension System to respond to critical, emerging issues with research-based information.

Today the Cooperative Extension system maintains its reputation for high quality, non-formal educational programs. Traditionally thought of as a rural program, the 21st century Extension system touches almost every aspect of people's lives in urban, suburban and rural areas. The range of topics Extension addresses includes:

- 4-H Youth Development -develops important life skills in youth that build character and assist them in making career choices that strengthen citizenship and leadership. At-risk youth participate in school retention and enrichment programs. Youth learn science, math, and social skills through hands-on projects and activities

- Agriculture - research and educational programs assist individuals to learn new ways to produce income through alternative enterprises, improved marketing strategies and management skills and help farmers and ranchers improve productivity through resource management, controlling crop pests, soil testing, livestock production practices, rangeland management and marketing. Urban agriculture programs support residents and communities with urban forestry, home and public landscape, pest and disease control, lawn waste management, farmers' markets, and developing skilled master gardeners

- Community and Economic Development - assists local governments investigate and create viable options for economic and community development such as improved job creation and retention, small and medium sized business development, effective and coordinated homeland defense and emergency response, solid waste disposal, tourism development, workforce education, and land use planning

- Family and Consumer Sciences - helps families and communities become more resilient and healthy by teaching nutrition, obesity prevention, food preparation skills, positive child care, family communication, financial management, and health care strategies

- Leadership Development -trains extension professionals and volunteers to deliver programs in gardening, health and safety, family and consumer issues, 4-H youth development, and prepares citizens to serve in leadership roles in the community

- Natural Resources - teaches landowners and homeowners how to use natural resources more wisely and protect the environment with educational programs in water quality and water conservation, timber management, composting, and recycling.

At the dawn of the 21st century, the American land-grant university system began the engagement movement. This next phase of higher learning involves the broader university-academic and clinical faculty, students, extension faculty and staff, and university leaders-in improving current and forming new mutually beneficial learning partnerships with residents and community leaders. As a result of the feedback derived from Extension's involvement in the greater community, academic programs are becoming more experiential and research is focusing on finding solutions to problems identified by the citizenry.

The national Cooperative Extension system today is as critical to the future success of America in the 21st century as it was in the 20th century due to the increased diversity and complexity of the issues people encounter today. As was the case over a century ago, problems in most aspects of everyday living are best resolved by citizens in local communities. Yet unlike a century ago, local problem solving today has the potential of being impacted by a variety of national and global conditions that require the expertise and resources of the total university, and conversely, local decisions can much more quickly impact state, national and global issues.

The Cooperative Extension system is a living, evolving, market-driven organization that responds to society's changing needs. Our nation must continue to expand lifelong learning to all of society and to utilize existing and new knowledge to solve complex problems. As a unique achievement in American education, the Cooperative Extension system continues its longstanding tradition of fulfilling that need by extending the university to the people to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, business and nonprofit organizations, and communities.


Pagosa Lakes News

Volunteerism shows its mettle by keeping the economy going

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association's third annual garage sale was a huge one. There were people at 38 booths hawking their wares, and well over 300 shoppers attending.

Isn't it fun that you can buy and buy and some months later decide that you have tired of those purchases or perhaps it has outgrown its useful life. Waste not, want not? Not! Thrift is un-American.

A friend of mine sniffs at my sense of thrift and calls it a "sign of personal virtue and not much more." My husband puts it in kinder terms and although he tolerates my thriftiness, he continues to applaud consumerism. Need it to fuel the economy.

So keep the economy going, folks. How much fun is it that one man's trash could be another man's treasure? Now the folks who have successfully unloaded their "stuff" can go out and buy more.

Many thanks to the 32 volunteers who showed up to help at the PLPOA newsletter social. The mailing of 18,000 pieces would have been arduous without the kind help of the volunteers. You are appreciated, each and every one of you.

Please read the newsletter closely when you get your copy. The official ballot for the candidates for the board of directors and the proposed bylaw changes are a part of the newsletter.

Back to the subject of volunteerism - it's a powerful thing. So much that goes on goes on successfully is a result of volunteers.

Look at this year's local Relay for Life effort - over $53,000 was raised in this community to help cancer patients and to continue the funding of cancer research. A big group of volunteers made it all happen and every cent raised was voluntarily donated.

The PLPOA team, under the able "captainship" of Steve Elges, raised over $1,700 and was awarded a certificate for top fund-raising non-profit group. Our success was due in large part to our volunteer walkers and volunteer donors.

Runners, don't forget to lace-up your running shoes Saturday morning so you can run in support of our Humane Society. The Canine 9K starts at 8 a.m. with a 7-7:45 check-in and late registration. Come run with me.

A recent study showed that chopsticks may cause arthritis. A study of more than 2,500 residents of Beijing, China found that osteoarthritis was more common in the hands used to operate chopsticks - and in the fingers specifically stressed by chopstick use (the thumb and the second and third joints on the first and third fingers).

While I realize the increase in risk associated with the chopstick use is negligible, especially in Pagosa, I find this study a good excuse to eat more finger foods.




Ellen Gerhards

Ellen Lee Gerhards of Pagosa Springs died in Mercy Medical Center in Durango June 16, 2004. She was 72.

Ellen was born in Brownsville, Texas, on Jan. 24, 1932, to Hiliria Fullen and Eleanor Frances Schaefer. After graduating from high school she married Lawrence Gerhards in Brownsville in November 1949.

She worked as a telephone operator for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., and as a homemaker. Ellen enjoyed traveling. She moved from Canyon Lake, Texas, in 1994 to make her home in Pagosa Springs.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence; brother, Clarence Fullen; and granddaughter, Jennifer Lynn Richie.

Ellen is survived by a brother, Harold Noel Fullen of Brownsville; daughters Catherine Suzanne Gerhards Richie of Pagosa Springs and Deborah Ann Moore of Natalia, Texas; granddaughters Melissa Ermenio of Las Vegas, Nev., and Kristie Morales of Dallas, Texas; grandsons Morris Gentry Richie Jr. of Lubbock, Texas, Jeremy Morales of Colorado Springs; and two great-grandchildren, Anthony Ermenio and Chelsey Ermenio of Las Vegas.

Funeral services will be held at a later date in Mission Burial Park South in San Antonio, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to First Baptist Church for the First Fruits program which provides for various needs of families in Archuleta County. Donations may also be designated for your favorite mission or Gideons.


Hoyle Hafely

Hoyle Leon Hafely passed to be with his Lord on Wednesday, June 16, 2004. Hoyle was celebrating his 80th year with gusto.

His passing leaves behind a host of family and friends.

Hoyle is survived by his wife, Jane Hafely; sisters Lois Buchanan and Twila Whitmore; son, Lee; daughters Sherry, Shelley and Lynn; stepchildren Gayle, Ed, Zoe, Janey and Candy; 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.

Friends and family are invited to gather at the family home Saturday, June 26, 2004, for a continuing celebration of his life. A final memorial will be held Sunday, June 27, 2004.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to New Heart, 4700 Jefferson N.E., Suite 1200, Albuquerque, N.M. 87109.

"If tears could be build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up Heaven and bring you home again."


Samuel Kittinger

Samuel "Sam" Clay Kittinger died in his Pagosa Springs home on June 15, 2004.

Sam was born in Louisville, Ky., Jan. 15, 1936, the son of Melvin Earl and Maude Thomas Furniss Kittinger. He had moved to Pagosa Springs in October 2002, from Bellflower, Calif. He worked as an instrument specialist in Long Beach, Calif., and was a member of the Eagles fraternal organization.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Earl.

Survivors include his son, Robert Kittinger; a brother, Gerald Kittinger of Silverton, Ore., and friend Eddie Arteche of Buena Park, Calif.

Funeral services were held 11 a.m. Saturday, June 29, 2004 at Pagosa Funeral Options. Burial followed in Hilltop Cemetery.


R.C. Williams

Funeral services for R. C. Williams, 91, of Delhi, La., were at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, 2004, at the Cox Funeral Home in Delhi. Burial was in Faith Memorial Cemetery of Delhi.

Mr. Williams died Tuesday, June 22, 2004. He is preceded in death by his "gal", wife Ruth; son, Roddy; and grandson Robert. He possessed great knowledge, love and devotion to his family, and the Lord's spirit was in his heart.

Mr. Williams was born Aug. 29, 1912. R.C. and Ruth moved to Delhi in 1944 and raised a family of three boys, Roddy, Arby and Toby. R.C. and Ruth's family expanded to include 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Williams first came to Pagosa Springs in 1974. They continued to live in or visit Pagosa until the years caught up with them in 1999.

R.C. Williams was a traveling man;

Why, it was in a Model A he took my grandma's hand.

In 1916 he journeyed cross the Lone Star State, on an iron wheel wagon his family found their fate. He worked real hard, made a good life.

Then traveled for a while, in his Airstream with his wife.

Everywhere he went he made good friends,

He had a gift for anyone whom would listen to him.

Now he has a new journey, one like he has never seen

His path is brighter, even more beautiful than his "cool, clear, clean Pagosa Springs."


Business News
Biz Beat

Ponderosa Do-It-Best

Beverly Haynes and Laura and Mike Haynes own and operate Ponderosa Do-It-Best which last week celebrated 20 years in business in Pagosa Springs.

The late Stan Haynes came to Pagosa from Granby in 1984 with his wife, Beverly, and son, Mike, and started Ponderosa Hardware in downtown Pagosa Springs.

In 1987, the Haynes acquired Federal Lumber at a site near the intersection of U.S. 160 and Piedra Road. Since then Ponderosa Tru Value and Ponderosa Do-it-Best offered consumers a full variety of building materials supplies for contractors and home builders alike, outdoor goods, lawn and garden products, sporting goods, home improvement supplies, crafts items, housewares and much more with a lumber yard, store space, and lawn and garden center.

The Haynes once told The SUN they would operate with the motto: "Service like Grandad had." For 20 years, they've done just that.

Ponderosa Do-It-Best is open Monday through Saturday. Phone 731-4111.


Preview Profile

Marie Rasco

Accounts payable clerk for the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District


Where were you born?



Where did you go to school?

"I graduated from Stanley High School and attended Louisiana Tech University."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"September 1998."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I was the assistant director of human resources at Bossier Community College."


What are your job responsibilities?

"Paying the bills is my primary job responsibility."


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

"I enjoy my co-workers and the good working atmosphere. I also enjoy meeting the people of Pagosa. Finding the packing slips is my tongue-and-cheek pet peeve about the job."


What is your family background?

"I have a husband who I have been married to for almost 37 years. My daughter and son-in-law and two grandchildren live here in Pagosa and I have another son who lives in Florida."


What do you like best about the community?

"I like the small town atmosphere and low amount of traffic."


What are your other interests?

"Hiking and serving the Lord."'



Jessica Brown

Jessica Brown, of Pagosa Springs, was named to the dean's honor roll at Abilene Christian University for the spring 2004 semester. Brown is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences at the Abilene, Texas school. To make the Dean's Honor Roll, a student must complete at least 12 semester hours and earn a 3.45 or higher grade point average.

Mesa honors

Four Pagosa Springs students have been named to the Spring Semester dean's list at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

Cited for their academic performance were Mylinda L. Blankenship, Drisa A. Carrizo, Danny D. Lyon and Hillary M. Wienpahl.

Dean's list students at Mesa are those who maintained a 3.5 or better grade point average in 12 or more credit hours during the semester.




David Gustafson, Kevin and Rebecca Neel, and Don and Pat Craigen announce the engagement of their children, Bethina Gustafson and Jarrett Craigen. Their wedding will be at 11 a.m. July 10, 2004, in First Assembly of God Church in Pagosa Springs.

Sports Page


Pagosa gymnasts second in state

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Second place.

Of course they'd rather have been first, but Pagosa's young gymnasts are proud of their team achievement.

And it isn't any second place, but second place in the state and it was paced by a record-setting individual performance by Raesha Ray.

Competing Saturday in Eagles state competition in Colorado Springs against 11 teams with 244 total gymnasts, Pagosa's entry came home with the second-place trophy and Ray's first-place individual medal.

Competing for the Level 5's were Re'ahna Ray (Raesha's younger sister), Sienna Stretton and Toni Stoll and each brought home a state medal.

Ray finished second in the all-around against girls in the child division (10 and under), scoring a 34.55. She had a close fight with a gymnast from the Aerials (home team for the event in Colorado Springs) losing by one tenth of a point. She also placed second in floor exercise with a 9.05, third on beam with 8.6, fourth on bars with 8.55 and fourth in vault with 8.3.

Toni Stoll was fifth on bars at 8.0, continuing what her coach, Jennifer Martin, calls "a great consistent season in all competitions." The youngest member of the team, she scored above 8.0 on vault in every meet and "stuck" her beam routine at state.

Stretton brought home the state silver medal in vault with an 8.5 score.

She started the season short three tricks in her bar routine, but mastered those efforts as the season wore on to bring her score up considerably.

Team member Casey Crow pulled a hamstring in the last regular season meet and was unable to participate at state but showed her team spirit by marching in with the team and staying on the sidelines for moral support during the entire competition.

Raesha Ray, Pagosa's upper level optional gymnast, placed second in the all-around for children 13 and younger with a 34.90.

But she was state bar champion with a record-setting 9.425 performance; placed second in vault with an 8.625 and fifth in floor exercise at 8.65.

"Great," was Martin's reaction. "She was a great performer for us all season and had it not been for a season-ending injury to a teammate, we might have been even stronger."

She was referring to the broken finger suffered by veteran Shelby Stretton which left her unable to compete this season.

She, too, was on hand at state for moral support and intends to perform again next year.


Volleyball skills camp set for younger players

The Pagosa Springs Volleyball Club gets into high gear with a skills training camp for girls who will be in grades 5-8 next school year.

Sessions will be held 9-11 .m. July 5-8 in the high school gymnasium.

The camp will be conducted by the Pagosa Pirate coaching staff, including head coach Penné Hamilton, junior varsity coach Connie O'Donnell and C-team coach Norma Schaffer. The coaches will be assisted by members of the Pirate varsity.

Girls not yet signed up are urged to do so as soon as possible, since camp T-shirts must be ordered. Camp fee is $40.

Call Hamilton at 264-2441 to register or for more information.


National Veterans Golden Age Games set in July

From the East Coast to the West, more than 500 "golden age" veterans will gather in Fresno, Calif., in July for the nation's largest sporting event for senior military veterans.

The 18th National Veterans Golden Age Games, a national sports and recreational competition sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), will take place July 18-23 at the Fresno Convention Center and other area venues.

Events at the games are open to all U.S. military veterans age 55 or older who are receiving care at any VA medical facility. Hosted by VA's Central California Health Care System, the games have competition in swimming, bicycling, horseshoes, bowling, croquet and a pentathlon (softball hit, discus, shot put, basketball free throw and air guns).

"Like other Americans working to improve their quality of life through increased physical activity, these men and women have their own fountain of youth," said Anthony J. Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. "The National Veterans Golden Age Games bring together veterans who landed at Normandy, POWs from Korea and Purple Heart recipients from Vietnam.

Anyone who has ever attended the games and seen the esprit de corps among the veterans knows this event is an important part of their lives."

The athletes compete in open and wheelchair divisions in specific age groups. Although most are veterans of World War II and the Korean War, increasing numbers of Vietnam-era veterans are participating in this annual nationwide competition.

Joining long-term co-sponsors VA and the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the first time as a co-sponsor is Veterans Canteen Service (VCS).

"Veterans Canteen Service is proud to be one of the sponsors of the National Veterans Golden Age Games. These competitors reflect the courage, commitment and determination they demonstrated during their military service," said Jim Donahoe, VCS national director.

"The veterans who participate in the games send a clear message that exercise, fitness and a competitive spirit can help to defy the negative effects of age, injury or illness," said Edward S. Banas Sr., commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "These games provide inspiration to countless Americans who seek to live a healthy and active life."

The event begins with a gala opening ceremony at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 18, in the exhibit hall of the convention center. Festivities include a musical salute to veterans by singer Lee Greenwood, a color guard, a parade of flags from each participating state and a ceremonial lighting of the torch.

For the first time this year, the National Veterans Golden Age Games will serve as a qualifier for the National Senior Olympics, to be held June 3-8, 2005, in Pittsburgh. The National Senior Olympics is a community-based member of the United States Olympic Committee and recognizes senior U.S. athletes in several age-groups.

Ken Peterson, a 62-year-old Army veteran and multi-year competitor in the games from Toledo, Ohio, has overcome three bouts with cancer, undergoing both radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Peterson believes that staying active and involved with sports helped his recovery. "It saved my life," he said. "Being active helps you both physically and emotionally."

A leader in geriatric care, VA offers a spectrum of health care services to veterans. Nearly 65,000 veterans will receive long-term care this year through inpatient VA or state veterans home programs. More than 90 percent of VA's medical centers also provide noninstitutional long-term

For more information visit www.va.gov/vetevent/gag/2004.


Lady golfers climb to third in league

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a low gross, low net format for weekly league day June 15.

In the low gross category, Jane Stewart was first with an 81; second place went to Jan Kilgore with an 88, third to Jane Day at 89 and fourth to Kristin Hatfield with a 97.

In the low net category, Lynn Allison was first with a 69. Jody Lawrence was second with 70, Josie Hummel third with a 71 and Robyn Alspach fourth with a 73.

The association sent its eight low handicap golfers to play Cortez Conquistador Club June 17 and picked up 38 points in match play against Dalton Ranch Golf Club of Durango.

Representing Pagosa were Jane Stewart, Jan Kilgore, Lyne Allison, Cherry O'Donnell, Audrey Johnson, Doe Stringer, Loretta Campuzano and Josie Hummel.

The team is currently third in the eight-team league and will host the next match July 22 at Pagosa Springs Golf Club.


Three men win golf league skins

A Skins Game, made popular by the TV golf show of the same name, was the format for the Men's Golf League June 15.

A "skin" is won by posting a net score on a hole which is lower than any other golfer's score on that hole. With 28 competitors, winning a skin is a very difficult thing to do.

However, three golfers managed net birdies or eagles to win skins in this competition. They were Jim Horky, Alan Leo and Ray Henslee.

Awards were also given for closest to the pin (also known as "greenies") on each of the four par three holes. Frank Hutchins and Kim Winston each obtained one greenie and Russ Hatfield bested the field on two of the par three holes.

The men's league is open to golfers of all levels. League dues are $25 for the season, payable in the pro shop. Competition begins every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Sign up in the men's locker room before 5 p.m. the Tuesday afternoon before each play day.


Parks & Rec


Fireworks show will be July 4 at high school sports complex

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

There have been several calls about when and where this year's Fourth of July fireworks show will be held.

Well here are the details, right from the director's mouth (computer).

This year we will host the fireworks at the high school sports complex.

The entertainment stage will be set up on the soccer practice field, with grass seating throughout the practice field area.

Concessions, which include picnic-type foods will be supplied by local non-profit groups and a few private vendors. We have received calls from other groups, such as candidates, church groups, educational groups etc.

Spaces are available to rent at this event for the above-mentioned groups. All rentals and donations go toward offsetting costs of the pyrotechnics display.

Donations are very welcome and much needed; call me at 264-4151, Ext. 231.

Make this Fourth of July (Sunday) the best family time spent this summer. We will have activities for all ages, and remember you'll be able to dance to the very popular Johnny Mogambo Band coming in from Vail especially for our little picnic/party.

Beer garden

A beer garden will be set up on 5th Street near the fields with some of your favorite cold beers.

The beer garden is sponsored by Four Corner Folk Festival, with some of the proceeds coming back to the fireworks show. So come support the beer sales and support the fireworks show at the same time.

Rockies challenge

The Colorado Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge will take place 5 p.m. Friday, June 25, at the sports complex on the campus of Pagosa Springs High School. The Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge is a 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 the support provided in the form of a grant through the Colorado Rockies and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Age group winners from Pagosa Springs advance to regional competitions. Regional winners advance to the sate championships and will get to see a Rockies game. Call the recreation department 264-4151, Ext. 232 for more details or to reserve a spot for this exciting event.

Adult softball

Our adult softball leagues continue 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 the games have been close and exciting. Play will continue throughout the summer with playoffs beginning in August.

Youth baseball

Our youth baseball season is coming to an end with our final week of competition.

Come out and root for your teams at the Sports Complex Tuesday and Thursday. Pagosa Springs all-star competition will begin in July.

Girl's softball

Girls 9-14 interested in playing softball this summer, call Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 232 for more details. We are moving ahead with a season of girl's softball and hope to get many more girls to join this year.

Hiring officials

The recreation department continues to seek individuals interested in officiating baseball, volleyball, soccer or basketball. Contact Myles Gabel if you are interested. Pay is $15-$25 per game.


Today - The Mountain Man Rendezvous begins on Reservoir Hill

June 26 - Pet Pride Day in the Town Park.



Find common ground

Let's continue to hammer on a point made here in the past, and by Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell in an article in The SUN two weeks ago. The point is simple: We must find strength in what we have in common and not allow small-minded partisanship to weaken us in the face of great danger.

With news last week that Paul Johnson was kidnapped by terrorists and beheaded while yet another American civilian was shot and killed in Saudi Arabia, and with additional warnings about imminent attacks within the U.S., the message should be clear to the most resistant among us: There is a movement afoot in the world seeking our destruction, as individuals, as a society and a culture.

Johnson is the second American taken hostage then brutally executed. Earlier, Nicholas Berg was kidnapped in Iraq and beheaded. In both cases, murderers displayed their act on the Internet in a show of gruesome bravado intended to recruit new members and to intimidate us.

In both cases the men were killed because they were Americans.

Chances are slim either was asked prior to his execution whether he was Republican or Democrat, "liberal" or a "conservative."

What is illuminated in this is a threat nearly as deadly as the hooded thugs who kidnap and kill. It is a threat of our own making.

Our nation is divided as rarely before, polarized into factions tagged with emotionally-loaded labels. In some ways, the polarization goes back to the Nixon years, perhaps to the McCarthy era, and each side in an increasingly cartoonish political game contributes. The media bears as much blame as the political strategists who spend their days creating more garish, more outrageous characterizations of opponents. Many citizens now communicate with labels, yet cannot adequately explain what the labels mean. Many do their intellectual and political business trading in caricatures that, upon inspection, prove without substance - mere containers for personal frustrations, fears, thwarted ambitions.

We are in danger of losing our foundation, of losing the very things our enemies hate, if we continue to buy into a vision of a radically polarized America.

Our hope lies in the fact many Americans are still able to deal with complexity and ambiguity, to think through issues and make decisions without recourse to the stereotypes created by political strategists, PR people and biased media. The best of Americans do not exist in the oxygen-deprived extremes. They exist in the moderate center, in the rich heartland of cooperative American ideas and ideals. We need them to prevail.

As Campbell said, the collective spirit embodied by the generation that fought and helped win World War II is not as evident today, that spirit assailed by simple-minded partisan thinking. He noted our enemies are counting on us to fight among ourselves then cede to their demands.

The truth about our war against terrorists, now so burdened by shortsighted political reductionism, is it will likely go on for a very long time. Our children may have to battle terrorism. Their children may do battle in order to maintain our society. The blows against us will continue and we can ill afford to add to the damage by buying into a false view of America, of an America of extremes locked in irremediable conflict. The trash that comes across the Internet and the airwaves from campaign strategists works to strengthen this view; we cannot succumb. As Independence Day and the November elections near, we need to remind ourselves, despite the noise of negative campaigns and libelous discourse, that we are all American, that we have an enemy and it is not each other. Despite the political battles at home, we must find common ground and fight our greater battles together. Or we will lose.

Karl Isberg

Pacing Pagosa


Vignettes of Pagosa's faith

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

There is something instantly comforting about standing on the shores of the San Juan as people tell of their experiences with Hospice service.

It happened again Saturday, an annual rite of reviving the spirit by planting something in memory of a friend or loved one who has passed us by to set the stage for reunion in eternity.

The scene: Hospice Memorial Garden between the Chamber of Commerce and the river - a plot that is to be expanded in the near future because its tiny beginning, now four years past, has proved foresight was too small and more ground is needed.

It could be a sad occasion but the spirit of Pagosans refuses to let it happen. The messages are upbeat, the story of love, of suffering made easier by the people of Hospice of Pagosa Springs.

What is Hospice? It is care for the person who is dying. It is love until the last moment. As stated Saturday, it is more than just home health care, "It is a philosophy of living while dying."

Appropriately, the opening musical selections was a duet of "In the Garden". The Community Choir sang and high schoolers Samantha Ricker and Christine Morrison soloed with voices echoing eerily off the river banks.

Still, it was the individual messages which of participants which set the tone for the day, special short statements about what Hospice had meant to the speakers and why they were participants.

Hospice chaplain Don Straight talked of the practice of young children building sand castles and lamenting when the tide washes them away. Our loss of loved ones, he said, is first like the loss of sand castles. But as the children build new sand castles we build new lives, each based on the lessons learned and the guidance given.

"When I minister to a family in Hospice," he said, "I find I don't minister to them, but they to me. How we handle loss is what we pass on to others. We can build castles again or we can feel sorry for ourselves."

Perhaps the most poignant of the stories was told by Margaret May, speaking of her sister and the continuing support she draws from her passing.

"She was a teacher, a vibrant woman in an English village. She had a ready smile and a love of life. She was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in her early '50s and the decline seemed almost immediate."

But, she said, her sister would not give in. She had helped start a Hospice chapter in their community and eventually it would serve her.

She would not admit defeat. She fought it until the very end. In fact, she taught until just 30 days before her death. She had to be pushed into the room in a wheelchair and pupils vied for the right to print messages on the chalkboard. But she kept her pace until Hospice had to serve her and her family near the end.

It was in that vein that people began to plant - petunias, pansies, geraniums, small evergreens - and, in some cases, to label the plantings in honor of a loved one or a friend.

It is visible evidence of Pagosa's faith.




90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of June 26, 1914

Fishing in the Archuleta County streams is just now becoming good with the receding of the high and muddy waters. Camping parties of all classes will soon commence.

Mrs. William McComas said she jumped over that dashboard on purpose last Sunday in Ignacio; Bill says she grabbed the lines and was pulled over; but the driver thinks she wanted to ride one of the horses but they saw her coming first. Cleda was hurt the worst - she thought her mother was killed and her Comanche shrieks rent the air - but she never lost her Spearmint. The two-seated rig being wrecked, the balance of the distance to the depot was covered on foot.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 28, 1929

During the month of May the government hunters in Archuleta County made the following catches: Bert B. Turner, Pagosa Springs, 16 coyotes; Albert H. Turner, Chromo, 11 coyotes and 1 lynx; G.D. Fitzhugh, Pagosa Springs, 9 coyotes.

P.A. Dutton is now proprietor of the billiard and recreation parlor in the Rumbaugh building, having today purchased the interests of R.T. Williams.

Owing to a small breakdown at the plant of the New Light & Power Co. Tuesday evening, Pagosa was without lights or power until early Wednesday morning, repairs being obtained at the Bayfield plant.

Mr. and Mrs. W.B. Turner spent a couple of days at Saddleback Ranch last week.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 25, 1954

The new waterworks improvement is nearing completion this week. While the old water wheel has served the town well and pumped many gallons of water, it is no longer the able machine it once was. Increased consumption of water, growth of the town and better fire protection necessitated the improvement. It is a sign of progress in the growth of the community and one that it is hoped will solve the water problems for some time to come.

A plea to make every street in Pagosa Springs an "Avenue of Flags" on July 4 was made by George Alley, Jr., commander of the local American Legion. Alley pointed out that to the oppressed people in every land the Star-Spangled Banner has become the symbol of human freedom.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 28, 1979

A new service club, Rotary, will be officially started here tonight when the new Rotary Club receives its charter at a dinner at the Pagosa Lodge. Don Winter is the president of the new club.

Water levels are starting to drop somewhat but it appears that high water may be running well into July this year. The San Juan River never reached flood stage during the spring melt, but it was mighty close at times.

Warmer weather hit here this week with a high of 83 degrees being recorded Tuesday. Total precipitation for the month was .40 inches, which is well under normal. The lack of rain, along with cool nights, has kept the main rivers from getting out of their banks.




Taking aim at youth: Bow club sponsors fundraiser for Pathfinders

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

These targets can't run and hide.

Antelopes. Raccoons. Bear. Deer. The Pink Panther for fun. Even a plain old rodent or two.

The critters, 21 in all, spread out over a 3/4-mile course winding in and out and up and down the hills, stare with beady eyes at a parade of archers streaming by from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on a fine summer Sunday. The critters' synthetic hides are worn, the designated kill zones dotted with the marks of arrows.

Twelve points is the most that can be earned for hitting a vital kill zone. The points shift down a scale to five for hitting anywhere on the animal but the antlers. A miss equals zero. Small plaques nearby point out which business sponsored their purchase.

This is 3D archery sponsored by the Pagosa Bow Club. The club, made up of about 46 members from all around Pagosa Country, sponsors Tuesday practice shoots yearround and monthly competition shoots during spring and summer.

The goal of the club, which organized officially in 1992, is to promote archery to families and younger generations, to provide a way for hunters and non-hunters to hone their archery skills, and most of all, just to have fun.

"It's set up to simulate hunting conditions," Donna Clemison, club secretary, said. Yardages are unmarked. Angles are tricky. Brush and trees, even gravel roads, are used to make the shots more difficult - always with safety in mind. "But it's not just hunters who come and shoot," she said. "We have those that just like to come out and shoot and those that prepare for the hunt, but the main point is to have fun together."

Clemison said she first participated in archery in high school. She dropped it, only to pick it up again when her stepson showed an interest many years ago.

"I like the challenge," she said, "and trying to at least keep up with and sometimes maybe even beating the guys."

Generally, said Ron Schweickert, club president, it takes between one and a half to two hours to walk the course. Maybe more. It depends completely on the style of archery a person chooses. Using the more advanced, technical equipment tends to take longer because of the sighting and adjustments required perfecting the aim, he said.

Any type of equipment - with the exception of crossbows - is accepted on the shoots and nearly all kinds are represented, from the most basic of longbows made of string and wood to the most complicated of compound bows. Schweickert prefers the more traditional equipment in his own shooting.

"I like the thrill of doing it the hard way," he said. "I like hunting, but I like to do it the hardest way possible. This is it except for a rock and spear."

Shooters travel in groups of at least three. One person is assigned to collect the arrows. The other two help determine scores.

Teams shoot the range twice, taking aim at the targets from a different marker each time. One is a set of stakes. The other is a "whisker," a red or yellow marker thrown on the ground.

Clemison said the first shoot of the year is a money shoot with winners in each class getting a portion of 50 percent of the entry fees. Awards are determined based on the number of entries in a class. For the rest of the year, trophies or other equipment prizes are awarded instead of money.

But winning isn't really everyone's goal, both board members stressed. It's more about having fun, and improvement.

"Archery is a very individualized sport from what you choose to shoot with to what you choose to shoot," Schweickert said. "Many times, you just go out there against yourself, and ask yourself are you getting better?"

At the hunt in June many had finished their first round of shooting around the lunch hour. Others were straggling in to enjoy the last of the hamburgers on the grill.

"Great course," one man said to Schwieckert, who was also acting as chef. "The angles. The up and downs were just great. The most deceiving one is the raccoon." It was also one of the last targets the shooters encountered before the short walk back to base, tired, dusty and ready for more.

The group designed the course on land just east of Pagosa Springs donated by the Laverty Family. Schwieckert said the Lavertys' generosity with land allowed the club to put together the 3/4-mile range, the longest they've ever attempted. Still, he said, safety is always a priority, and the range is safety certified and insured by the National Field Archery Association.

Volunteers from the club gather the day before a shoot to set up the range, using ATVs to transport the target animals from where they are heaped when resting to their spots on the course. A practice range with hay bales and paper targets is erected near a shade tent to give people a chance to warm up and sight-in their equipment. Although shooting is their main focus, Schweickert said, the club holds one major membership meeting a year and sometimes short meetings following a shoot for announcements. Club members travel all over the state, sometimes all over the country, to attend similar competitions. Some, Schweickert said, are even sponsored by various archery supply companies.

On Sunday, June 27, the bow club's competition shoot, set to start at 9 a.m. with registration a half hour before, will be a benefit for Pagosa Pathfinders, a nonprofit youth club who participate in the Youth Hunter Education Challenge sponsored by the National Rifle Association.

Mike Kraetsch, president of Pagosa Pathfinders, said youth ages 8-19 are eligible to participate in YHEC, a competition involving eight events, including: 3D archery, shotgun, muzzleloader, .22 rifle, wildlife identification, a hunter safety course, orienteering and a written test.

About 27 Pagosa youths are members of Pathfinders, competing in regional, state and international challenges. This year, Kraetsch said, it will cost each participant around $1,000 just to travel to internationals in Pennsylvania. To pay for travel expenses, he said, the group participates in several annual fund-raisers. This is a new one on the agenda.

Cost for the benefit shoot is $15 for a single youth or adult (13 and over); $20 for a couple or $25 for a family. Children under 13 are free, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Schweickert said encouraging youth and families to take up archery is part of the club's goal. Sponsoring a shoot for the Pathfinders, whose members sometimes practice with the group, seemed a natural fit.

"We help teach them safety and they help teach us how to shoot," Schweickert said with a shake of his head, commenting on the accuracy of some of the young shooters.

"It's invaluable for our kids to get to shoot, to just have to worry about archery for a day instead of archery and seven other events," Kraetsch said.

The Pagosa Bow Club welcomes new members and guests. Annual membership dues are $15 for a single, and $20 for a family which includes two adults and all children under age 18 living in the same household. Cost for Tuesday night practice shoots, from 6 p.m. to dark, are $3 for members and $5 for nonmembers. The range is located one mile east of town on U.S. 160, directly across from Riverside Campground. For more information on the club, or sponsoring a target, call Clemison at 731-9622.


Pagosa's Past


Ute Strip settlement produced some humor

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

We've been writing about some of the settlers who claimed land on the Ute Strip, an area including such communities, past and present, as Allison, Tiffany, Oxford and others along the Colorado side of the New Mexico/Colorado border in the southwestern part of the state.

Formerly Ute land, the Ute strip was made available for public homestead claims around the turn of the 20th century shortly after the Southern Utes had completed filing on homesteads of their choice within the former reservation boundaries.

The land not claimed by Utes was opened to the public.

One such settler was Walter Anderson who rode horseback from Cripple Creek to take up land near Bondad. Anderson was a bachelor at the time and as such was not required to live continuously on the land to prove up his claim, as were married men.

After clearing his land and proving up on it, he sold half of it to his brother John. John brought his wife and her widowed sister with children followed. Walter married the sister. As was the custom of the day, the neighbors planned to shivaree the newlyweds.

Walter planned to foil the shivaree by putting on one of his wife's dresses and then shooting to scare the crowd away.

A problem developed when he couldn't get his arms all of the way into the dress. By that time, he couldn't get out either. Consequently, he entertained the crowd with the dress half on and half off.

Walter was said to be fond of fine horses and owned an especially fine team of high stepping bays named Ribbon and Swimmer.

During winter, the roads were never cleared of snow and sleighing was the best way of going places. Big bobsleds for hauling heavy loads were used for taking half the neighborhood to the schoolhouse for "literary" or church.

A wagon box transferred to the sleigh and filled with straw and plenty of warm quilts made a snug carry-all for family and friends. When Walter's fine horses were hitched to the sleigh there was a real thrill for speed.

The bells, usually borrowed from milk cows, sounded wonderful on frosty nights. There were no telephones. Instead, the bells sent ahead the message to put on coats and caps because the sled was approaching. On the return a taffy pull or other homemade refreshments awaited the famished crowd in one of the homes.

Smaller sleighs were used for speed or when you wanted to be alone with that special girl. In the spring when mud was too deep for sleighs, the horses were saddled and often carried two each.

Another Bondad settler was Wm. R. Mason, formerly of Victor, Colorado. Victor is small town near Cripple Creek. Mason's glowing account of his new-found property near Bondad motivated a number of his neighbors to join him in the southwestern Colorado community. Those early settlers remember sometimes unfriendly Indians and herds of wild horses coming down from the mesas to drink in the Animas River.

To claim land in the Bondad area during the run, each man drove stakes in the ground to outline his claim. There was much overlapping and much trouble. Some contenders were bought off and others became discouraged and left.

The William Bonds family was said to have lived in the Bondad area longer than any others. Mrs. Bonds had a great impact on the community because she was a practical nurse who combined her training with a caring heart and was always ready to help. For years Dr. Weston at Riverside was the only doctor who came to Elco. He was quite old, a Civil War veteran who had come to Riverside to retire. He drove a little white mare named Nellie hitched to a top buggy. By the time Dr. Weston reached a sick family, Mrs. Bonds was already there.

More next week on early settlement in the San Juan Basin.




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Pagosa forecast predicts 'more of the same'

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

"More of the same" is the forecast outlook for Pagosa Country through the coming week.

Unfortunately, while the latest predictions suggest a daily pattern of increasing clouds into the evening hours, the chance for anything but an isolated mountain shower or two remains slim.

"We're generally under a flat ridge of high pressure and expect to be for the next several days," says Jeff Colton, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"That means clouds building into the afternoon and then clearing out overnight," added Colton.

"There may be the chance for a few mountain storms, but we're not looking at much in the way of rain for the Pagosa area," concluded Colton. "It looks like more of the same."

According to Colton, clear skies this morning are expected to grow increasingly cloudy by this afternoon. Highs should reach into the 80s; lows should register in the 40s.

Winds in the 10-15 miles per hour range are expected to accompany increasing clouds throughout the day Friday, along with highs in the upper 70s and lows in the 40s.

Saturday calls for partly-cloudy skies, highs in the 75-85 range and lows in the 40s.

Similar forecasts for Sunday through Tuesday include predictions of mostly-clear conditions, highs around 80 and lows in the mid-40s.

A 30-percent chance for afternoon showers is in the forecast for Wednesday, as are highs in the upper 70s and lows near 40.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 77 degrees. The average low was 39. Moisture totals for the week, in town, amounted to zero.

The Pagosa Ranger District rates the area fire danger as "very high."

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

The restrictions are 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-ft 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; and,

- the use of explosives is prohibited.

For updates on federal fire restrictions, call the Pagosa Ranger District office at 264-2268.

According to the latest SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan River Basin has reached minimum levels, with melt-out nearly completed.

San Juan River flow through town ranged from approximately 900 cubic feet per second to 400 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of June 24 equals roughly 900 cubic feet per second.


Summer's start opened lightning awareness week

The official start of summer on June 20 marked the peak season for a deadly and yet dangerously misunderstood weather phenomena: lightning.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service and Minnesota Twins All Star Center Fielder Torii Hunter, along with other partners, are campaigning to alert the nation to the dangers of lightning to help save lives.

NOAA, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The campaign kicked off this week &emdash; the nationwide Lightning Safety Awareness Week &emdash; and continues throughout the year with the clear message "Lightning Kills, Play It Safe."

"Lightning is an underrated killer, claiming more lives each year than tornadoes or hurricanes," said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, NWS director. "Summer is the time when we enjoy outdoor sports with friends and families, but a lightning strike can turn fun to tragedy in an instant."

Hunter is featured on a safety poster designed for schools, stadiums, sporting goods stores, and other outdoor venues with the message: "When you hear thunder, get indoors. With lightning, it's one strike and you're out!"

Although the summer months are the most dangerous, lightning casualties occur year-round. Overall, approximately 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes occur in the United States each year. During the past 30 years, lightning strikes have killed an average of 67 people each year &emdash; compared with 65 tornado fatalities and 14 hurricane deaths.

"All thunderstorms have the potential to produce lightning, so it's up to all of us to heed the warnings," Johnson said. "Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a thunderstorm."

National Weather Service is the primary source for weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. It is the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources.