July 22, 2004 
Front Page

March 10 seen key date for health district's solvency

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Is 24/7 coverage negotiable?

That was one question put before the Upper San Juan Health Service District Board of Directors at a nearly four-hour regular meeting Tuesday evening.

"We're looking for direction from the board in this," Dave Bohl, chairman of the finance, audit and budget committee said. The committee has been working to negotiate a contract with a group of local physicians for essential services - such as 24/7 coverage, after-hours urgent care and an EMS physician advisor.

Bohl said in negotiations up to this point, two small holes in 24-hour physician coverage remain. He also asked the board to consider two separate financial timelines facing the district - a crunch time between now and March 10 as the district struggles to catch up on old bills and limp along with most of the tax monies already spent, and life after that.

"If we can make it to March 10 without borrowing against future revenues we think we can be solvent from that date," he said. According to the finance committee report, as of July 14, the district owed creditors just over $100,000. The same day, the district had $126,500 on hand. However, nearly $32,000 was paid out on the 15th.

Bohl said $452,000 remained in outstanding receivables. Sixty percent of that is over 90 days old.

According to the report, "The good news is that if we get a reasonable amount of the money owed to us - and reasonably soon - we should have enough cash to meet our financial obligations."

That being the case, Bohl asked if there would be wiggle room, perhaps in the next nine months, for 24/7 coverage, meaning having a physician on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

More than one board member said constant on-call coverage was part of the platform of the recent election and should be a minimum requirement of any negotiation.

"As far as the community goes this is a very volatile issue," board member Neal Townsend said, mentioning a concerned call from a citizen he recently fielded. The citizen was under the impression a doctor was available at Mary Fisher at all times. He had taken his wife, who'd been injured in a fall from a horse to the clinic after-hours on a Sunday and found no one available. They went on to Durango, where the woman was treated and released, but the incident left the man wondering "why 24/7 is not already in place."

Mark Wienphal, a local physician, said the goal of having physicians available on call or at the clinic 24 hours a day should be applauded. However, he added, the board needs to look closely at the realities of their financial situation.

"So far, the attempts at 24/7 are not doable with your monies," he said, a trend that can be traced back through many boards over many years. "How do you address that issue?"

Both Wienphal and Dr. Guy Paquet, a physician currently employed by the district, also asked the board to consider setting a hard-and-fast definition for 24/7 on-call care.

"Everyone is saying 24/7 and no one knows what it means," Paquet said.

Wienphal suggested possibly stationing a paramedic at the clinic to help triage patients who want to be seen, or advised on whether or not to go on to Durango.

Both Paquet and board member Bob Goodman said that might be feasible - but only with physician backup.

Following a suggestion from the audience, the discussion was tabled until an Aug. 3 special meeting, when more information, including a definition of 24/7 on-call coverage might be available.

Bohl was asked to present information on the costs of two or three options currently under negotiation for the same meeting to help the board make a decision.

The special meeting is set for 7 p.m. in the board room at Fire Station 1 on North Pagosa Boulevard.


Fire guts bedroom in vacant building

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A structure fire, a car fire and a smattering of lightning strikes kept area firefighters on their toes this week.

Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams said fire in a residence on South 6th Street resulted in heavy smoke and heat damage before being contained by firefighters late Monday night. One bedroom was a total loss.

Smoke was leaking out of the eaves when firefighters arrived at the two-story single-family residence about 10 p.m. Grams said two teams of firefighters were sent into the house. One searched for possible occupants while an attack team brought the fire, which centered in a first-story bedroom, under control.

Initial reports indicated someone might have been in the house, but the search came up negative. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, Grams said, but it appears to be accidental.

Twenty-one firefighters with four pieces of equipment responded. Grams said they cleared the scene at about midnight.

Volunteers with the district also responded to a vehicle fire which completely destroyed a pickup truck in Aspen Springs Saturday evening as well as to several small lightning-caused fires.

Grams said Monday firefighters were called in to assist the county with a small grass fire in Alpine Lakes started by children and, later in the day, put out a single-tree fire on Tina's Court in Aspen Springs.

About 5 p.m. Tuesday, firefighters successfully extinguished another single-tree, lightning fire, this one in a tree near Piedra Road.

And they weren't the only ones busy.

Phyllis Decker, of the Pagosa Springs Ranger District, said forest service firefighters responded to 14 lightning-cause fires between July 15 and July 20.

"All of them were less than an acre, and most of them were one-tenth of an acre," she said.

Currently, the local district has one type II helicopter and three local engines available plus a 10-person hand crew visiting from Routt National Forest.


Conservation initiative aims at 34,000 acres on Navajo

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

A conservation initiative aimed at protecting nearly 34,000 acres in the Navajo River watershed got a boost during this week's meeting of the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners.

After a briefing from Bill Steele, county administrator, outlining The Conservation Fund's plan to establish conservation easements on the Catspaw and Banded Peak ranches near Chromo, the board voted unanimously to draft a letter supporting the measure.

According to a letter to the board from Sydney Macy, Conservation Fund director for the state of Colorado, "Completion of conservation easements on the Catspaw and Banded Peak ranches, together with other pending projects, will mean the protection of over 45,000 acres in the next several years."

The letter explains the next step in the process will be for The Conservation Fund to submit an application to Great Outdoors Colorado for grant funding that, if approved, will be used to achieve protection goals.

The letter also states, "The Navajo (area), because of its blend of high-elevation and low-elevation habitat, has some of the most well-preserved plant communities, and rare and threatened species in southwest Colorado."

Furthermore, "Subdivision and an active real estate market for second homes threaten the Navajo's unique natural, cultural resources."

Board comments seemed to reflect such sentiments.

Prior to his motion to support the plan, Commissioner Bill Downey said the two ranch parcels, in his opinion, are "probably the most important pieces of open space that can be acquired in this county.

"I can't state my support for this project too strongly," concluded Downey.

The Conservation Fund's request for local support this week is the latest effort in an ongoing campaign to conserve wildlife and native plant habitat in the Navajo River Basin.

Since 2000, the entity has collaborated with the county, Colorado Division of Wildlife and local residents to protect over 10,000 acres on four ranches in the Chromo area.


New proposal could hike junior high roof cost to over $400,000

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The cost of having a roof over their heads may initially be much more than anticipated for students in Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

The Board of Education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint wrangled with the acknowledged problem and potential fixes for nearly an hour Tuesday.

The board had budgeted $60,000 for work on the roof this year, with an anticipated $100,000 more each of the next three years to complete the project in four stages.

That $360,000, spread over four budgeting periods would give a piecemeal solution.

But the proposal took on a new aspect when maintenance director Steve Walston told the board it might be possible to get a better job, a more lasting one, with a long-term warranty at a total cost of just over $402,000 - and have it all completed before winter.

Key to that possibility is the board following Walston's recommendation to utilize a proposal supplied by the Garland Company, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, but a big player in educational facility roofing in Colorado.

The firm, represented Tuesday by Jeff Ruden, most recently has done schools in Monte Vista, but has extensive experience on the Front Range.

While board members expressed great interest in the Garland proposal, and respected the $20,000 study done free on needs at both the junior high and elementary schools, they were not quick to take the bait.

In fact, directors Clifford Lucero and Jon Forrest wanted to see quotes on the work from similar companies before making a final decision and director Mike Haynes, serving as president pro tem, was hesitant to commit without getting comment from prior customers of the firm.

In the end, the board directed Walston to seek additional cost quotes for similar surfaces, if available, within 45 days. It is possible, he said, that comparison quotes could be available by the Aug. 10 regular board meeting.

Ruden told the board his firm has done projects for 16 Colorado school districts, installing a specially designed roof system warranted for 30 years and carrying a life expectancy of up to 40 years.

He told the board the current roof on the junior high has a short life expectancy and is providing little R-value. "You are going to spend as much or more on roof maintenance and repair as this would cost you to have a three-decade, worry-free surface."

In effect, he said, his firm acts as the general contractor and the process is handled in a 2-10 year payoff lease contract. "At the end of the 10th year you pay $1 more and own it."

Haynes asked if the entire roof needs to be replaced and Walston said, "Yes, except for the portion over the intermediate school gymnasium (the upper gym)."

"The existing roof is aging and beginning to pit out," Ruden said. "The amount you need to replace is hit and miss, depending on where you want to begin and whether you can do it as a single job. We try in our process to accomplish everything in one operation, including on-site monitoring three days a week."

Walston told the board, "We have bad leaks in all seven roof sections, substantially more in two or three sections, but at least some in all."

He said he invited Ruden's firm to evaluate the situation and make a proposal because he was interested in the district getting the best possible use of its money and the best possible long-term benefit for the investment."

Ruden estimated his firm's job, if contracted, would save the district up to $6,000 a year in lost energy costs.

While Haynes wondered about the investment in terms of needing to add the elementary school at a later date, director Sandy Caves opined the total cost cited by Ruden is "within the ball park range of our original $360,000 concept."

Nancy Schutz, the district business manager, told directors it might not be possible to do the whole job now. "Financially, we could do it in sections, or we could ask voters for a change in the mill levy to cover an emergency expense, or do the lease option."

Ruden told the board it is in the best interest of the district to do the job all at once. "If you get heavy snow sitting up there this winter, some portion of it is likely to fail."

"We could do it in sections," said Walston, "but we'd still have continual repairs on the rest."

Schutz told the board to keep in mind, no matter what choice it makes, that "you will be obligating money as a capital expense and in effect will be limiting future projects."

In answer to a question from Caves, Ruden said the project could be completed in 30-45 days, weather permitting.

Forrest said, "If we're going to get more quotes, we need to compare apples to apples. There are too many products out there with questionable warranties. Some won't have labor covered and that would be a big factor."

Lucero agreed, saying "I'm impressed by what you've shown us, but I want this board to make the best decision possible. This looks great, but how do we know it is the best possible option for us. We need to at least ask if there are others doing the work and what their costs would be."

Butch Mackey, from the audience, said his firm did the roof on parts of both the junior high and elementary schools, "and I don't agree that full replacement is necessary. It can be repaired. We offered the same kind of package in 1995, and it was rejected by that board."

"In my opinion," he said, "the amount sought is a lot more money than the job warrants. I suggest you seek data for comparison before committing to this."

Superintendent Duane Noggle told all present that he has personally examined the junior high roof "several times and it has serious problems, particularly blistering in several sections and visible leaks in many locations."

Mackey said his firm already has replaced large sections of the roof at no cost even though there was no warranty on the job.

It was then that Lucero asked for the delay in making a decision and that Walston seek other cost estimates. Though no formal vote was taken, other directors agreed.

 Inside The Sun

Health service district sets three August meeting dates

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District will meet at least three times in August.

Board Chairman Pam Hopkins announced dates Tuesday night for two special meetings and one regular meeting.

The special meetings are set for Aug. 3 and 31. The district's regular monthly meeting will be Aug. 17. All meetings are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. upstairs in the board room at Fire Station 1 on North Pagosa Boulevard.

On the 17th, the board is set to consider appointment of a seventh member. They have been operating one member short since Patty Tillerson's resignation last month. Anyone interested in serving on the board must have their application and resume turned in to the district offices, or search committee chair Jim Knoll, by July 30.


Cat in La Plata County tests positive for plague

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The San Juan Basin Health Department has issued a press release indicating a domestic cat found July 11 on the Colorado Trail in La Plata County has tested positive for plague.

Plague is causes by a bacterium called "Yersinia pestis" and is transmitted to people through flea bites and direct contact with infected animals. Squirrels and prairie dogs are the most significant plague hosts.

In light of the July 11 incident, department officials are offering the following reminders of how to minimize the chances of spreading and contracting plague:

- Do not feed or entice any rodent, rabbit or squirrel.

- Please restrain pets and do not allow them to roam.

- Insecticide treatment should be used on cats and dogs. The effectiveness of flea repellent collars has not been proven

- Avoid contact with sick and dead rodents, including prairie dogs, rock squirrels, rabbits and feral cats.

- When hiking, treat pants, socks, shoe tops, arms and legs with insect repellent.

According to Joe Fowler, an epidemiologist with the SJBHD office in Durango, lingering drought stymied the spread of plague across much of the state over the past several years.

However, increased moisture levels this year are apparently resulting in greater chances for plague to spread.

"We're seeing more animals test positive for plague around the state this year," said Fowler.

"So I think this incident can serve as kind of a heads-up to all of us," added Fowler.

"We've seen some quiet years, but it looks like plague is starting to make a comeback," he concluded, indicating the last case of human plague in Colorado occurred in 2000.

The incubation for human plague is two to six days. Typical symptoms include sudden onset of fever or chills, severe headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and general feeling of systemic illness.

Illness from plague can be treated successfully and cured if it is diagnosed early in its course. Consult a physician if sudden, unexplained illness occurs.

Fore more information, contact San Juan Basin Health Department at 247-5702.


Health district board considers EMS options

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Nine options were presented for restructuring the Upper San Juan Health Service District Tuesday night.

Nine options researched to provide "guaranteed immediate response" for at least two ambulances if simultaneous 9-1-1 calls went out.

Nine options that ranged from a $65,000 savings for the district to a $140,000 cost to the district.

Not one made the handful of EMTs at the meeting comfortable.

According to a report from Brian Sinnott, chairman of the EMS advisory committee, the proposed models address a couple problems with the current system - a labor issue and availability of a second or third ambulance in case of back-to-back calls.

Now, he said, some part-time staff are paid $2 an hour for time they are required to be in-house. That could be in violation of fair labor laws.

In addition, he said, the current system has one full-time crew of three on staff 24 hours a day, plus two open slots which are filled on a sign-up basis by a group of part-time employees. These part-timers are paid a nominal fee for being in-house and only go on-the-clock for an actual ambulance run.

"Currently," the report states, "the immediate response of the first ambulance is 'guaranteed' but due to the staffing pattern complications, and available staff, the second and third ambulance simultaneous response cannot be classified as 'guaranteed immediate response' all the time."

Sinnott added that because of tremendous good will of employees willing to leave their jobs, their families and respond from home when a "wild page" goes out from dispatch requiring a next ambulance, the current system has never failed.

"There is not a case that I have discovered that a patient, be it the first or third simultaneous person calling 9-1-1 has gone without care," he said. Still, statistics in July showed that 22 percent of the time the schedule for part-time sign up went unfilled, meaning that a second ambulance could not technically be guaranteed.

In looking at numbers from 2002 and 2003 presented by the committee, a second ambulance is needed before the first one comes back in service about 22 percent of the time. A third ambulance is needed between three and four times a month.

Sinnott said another goal of the group is to create a system that provides advanced life support level of care on any ambulance leaving the station.

Sinnott said the first two options would save the district the most money, but would mean significant staffing cuts. Those models also required both the second and third ambulances be staffed on call, a situation that would lengthen response time.

The next four models showed "where you might like to be," Sinnott said. Each of these models add enough full-time staff to cover two back-to-back calls, with a third crew staffed on an on-call basis.

The seventh and eighth models, the ones recommended by the committee, kept staffing exactly the same and were based on having two response crews available. A first crew, of one paramedic and one basic EMT, would be in house. A second crew of one basic EMT and one intermediate EMT would be in house during "peak" call hours - 11 a.m to about 11 p.m. Outside that time period, a second crew would be on call, meaning within 15 minutes of the district offices. Another option here would be to add an additional part-time crew on call to staff the third ambulance.

Sinnot also presented a ninth option, this one created with a group of EMS employees, that would add an on-call in house position seven nights a week.

Despite the fact that staffing levels remained the same, employees in attendance were concerned because of the drop in the use of EVOs - Emergency Vehicle Operators - the on-call component and a perceived focus on finances instead of people.

"We don't mind for $2 an hour to sit over here," Ronnie Crandall, said. "We need to have people ready to go. It's not for me, it's not for anybody else, it's for the community."

Kathy Conway, EMS operations manager, said it is essential to keep a pool of "good will" people ready to respond in a pinch.

"There are several people here who can't work under number seven," she said. "They can't make enough money off this schedule."

Allen Hughes, interim business director for the district, said some misconceptions about the models exist.

"There has been no discussion of getting rid of the EVOs we have," he said. Under the new model, they would be used for stand-by events until they could be retrained to EMT-basic status to qualify for slots in the regular rotation. No new EVOs would be hired.

After still more discussion, the board tabled discussion and sent the information presented on the nine options for restructuring EMS to the budget, finance and audit committee to give them a chance to review the numbers and make a recommendation.

A tenth option, based more closely on the current shift structure, was presented by Larry Escude, an EMT, at the last minute. It was signed by many of the EMS employees in attendance. It will also be considered.

The topic will come to the table again at a special meeting Aug. 3 in the board room of Fire Station 1 on North Pagosa Boulevard.


County to receive $17,400 in homeland security funds

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of Commissioners approved a grant agreement Tuesday with the Durango Fire and Rescue Authority that is expected to strengthen county law-enforcement and antiterrorism capabilities.

According to Russel Crowley, county emergency services director, most of the $17,400 made available to the county through the agreement will be used for the purchase of three self-contained, breathing units and two ballistic shields.

"This equipment is mainly for the law-enforcement side of things," said Crowley, indicating the breathing units are designed for use during chemical attacks, while the shields can be used in various situations involving line-of-fire tactics.

The associated funds are trickle-down monies made available as part of a $30 million grant awarded to the state last month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The funds were in turn dispersed to each of the state's nine security regions in order to boost local defenses against terrorism.

The portion earmarked for the county this week is a "subrecipient" share of a $1.76 million award to the state's Southwest Homeland Security Region, which is comprised of Archuleta, La Plata, San Juan, Dolores and Montezuma counties, as well as the Southern Ute Indian Reservation and Ute Mountain Indian Reservation.

The recent allotment, said Crowley, is only a small fraction of the request for funds he submitted to the state earlier this year, an amount exceeding $200,000.

"One of the biggest things I asked for was a lot of generators," said Crowley. "From my perspective, that's the most critical thing for us."

Given the limited amount of funding, said Crowley, it is nearly impossible for the state to meet all demands.

"They didn't fund it, but I can sympathize with their way of thinking," said Crowley.

"If they had honored that request, just imagine what they'd be expected to provide to areas like Denver and Colorado Springs," he concluded. "And there's just not enough, right now, to satisfy every request."

However, Crowley indicated there is a likely chance the county will receive future funding that will be put toward emergency services improvements - items such as satellite phones and a laptop computer loaded with Enhanced 9-1-1 information.

Further decisions regarding "who gets what" in the way of antiterrorism funds, said Crowley, are expected in the near future.

Public hearings

In other business Tuesday, the board scheduled public hearings regarding a conditional use permit and variance request for Seminole Commercial Park and a conditional use permit request for the Galles Rocky Mountain Championship for Tuesday, July 27, 7 p.m. and 7:30, respectively.

Additional business conducted by the board this week included the following:

- approval of the annual jail nursing services agreement and approval of a minor amendment to the existing jail medical services agreement involving after-hours compensation;

- approval of a letter of support for the establishment/expansion of a mental health facility at the new Mercy Hospital in Durango to be managed by the Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center;

- reappointment of Kathy Holthus, assistant county administrator, to serve as the local representative on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission;

- tabling consideration of new positions at the county airport and clerk's office, as well as extension of hours at the transportation department;

- approval of a memorandum of understanding with the Colorado Department of Human Services regarding the Colorado Works Program and Child Care Assistance Program;

- approval of the final plat for Whispering Pines Townhomes, phase nine;

- approval of the release of $12,000 in sidewalk escrow funds to the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association for improvements to an existing trail that parallels North Pagosa Boulevard from Village Drive to Lakeside Apartments.


School district, Hohrein reach

out-of-court settlement

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Two resignations were accepted, a host of posts were filled, and the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint approved an out-of-court settlement Tuesday with a former employee.

The latter action, taken in executive session prior to the regular board meeting, approved a confidential settlement with Errol Hohrein, former maintenance department employee.

Amount of the settlement is privileged and The SUN is filing an Open Records Act request for release of the court records.

The settlement filed July 1 in U.S. District Court in Denver, said both parties to the suit "agreed to dismiss this case with prejudice, the parties to bear their own costs and attorneys' fees."

Hohrein had sued the district and Superintendent Duane Noggle for, among other claims, illegal dismissal, unlawful employment practices and tortuous conduct and demanded a jury trial to determine damages.

Accepted by the board Tuesday were the resignations of Hohrein's wife, Gloria, a special education teacher at the high school and Nicole Lepke, School-Within-A-School teacher in the intermediate school.

Employment was approved for Carrie Toth as an intermediate school severe needs teacher; Michol Brammer as a fifth-grade teacher; Sue Ratcliff as a junior high math teacher; Meredith Bunning as the high school librarian and junior high volleyball coach; Linda Rackham as high school resource teacher aide for one year; Cynthia Mitchell as the half-time high school librarian aide; Jerrilyn Raine as high school interpreter; Bob Hemenger as the fifth- and sixth-grade School-Within-A-School teacher; Shirley McGee as a half-time nurse; and substitutes Jaime Despres, Joy Redmon, Danielle Sullivan, Lorna Medici, Thomas Ferrell, Jayme Lutz and Kathleen Hamilton.

In other personnel related action Tuesday, the board approved a revision of the Sick/Personal/Emergency leave policy updating to add occasions for which emergency leave may be granted.

Included are (with documentation provided):

- attending a function in which an immediate family member is a participant, i.e., a graduation, wedding or other family event in which the staff member has no control of the scheduled date;

- attending a funeral or wedding of other individuals not considered to be an immediate family member;

- attending a scheduled court date;

- receiving significant honors or recognition of the staff member or an immediate family member.


How can my grandson get to school?

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Juanita Brodecky came all the way from Texas to fire questions at the Board of Education of Archuleta School District 50 Joint Tuesday.

Representing her daughter, Christine Heinrich, and her grandson, she wanted board answers as to why it cannot justify a bus to the Juanita crossing to bring her grandson to school in town.

It is a story the board has heard before, from Heinrich.

The family has no transportation, the bridge is deemed unsafe for school buses, the county has taken no action to repair or replace it, the boy's future is challenged if he cannot get to school.

Brodecky wanted to know the weight of "large" school buses and was told 26,000 pounds. She wanted to know why the district does not use smaller 12- to 15-passenger buses for "small-ride routes" and thus save a lot of money on operation expenses.

"Getting this boy five miles to a bus stop means him riding a bike or walking about 25 miles per week ... and there's no way he can do it in winter," she said.

She pleaded with the board to find a means of getting transportation for her grandson until such time as her daughter has an operable vehicle.

Heinrich, too, repeated her plea to the board, acknowledging it has done as much as probably allowed by hearing her situation.

Finally, the board directed Dolly Martin, transportation director, to make one more survey of the situation and make a decision prior to Oct. 1.

"The board is concerned about your son," said director Mike Haynes, president pro tem. "We face the issue many times. We've had to cut other routes for similar reasons. We wrestle with the kids' issues and our decisions are not coldhearted."

And, he pointed out, school transportation is not mandated in Colorado. "We don't have to provide it and when we do, must keep it within financial limits."


Hammers ring as summer jobs keep school staff busy

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

School district crews and a number of contractors have been busy summer bees with a number of projects done or nearing completion in time for school's opening Aug. 23.

Steve Walston, district maintenance supervisor, outlined project status for the board of education Tuesday.

- at the high school, the heated sidewalk ice control project is nearly completed, except for an outfall berm, for about $7,500 and "$20,000 had been budgeted for the job";

- the elementary school air conditioning upgrade has been completed and tested and all units function properly;

- gymnasium floors in both the high school and junior high have been restriped and resurfaced;

- a new retaining wall to prevent mud flow onto grounds at the junior high-intermediate campus has been completed and will have tree and shrub plantings added;

- two rooms in the intermediate school where mould problems had been feared were found to be clean and have been redone and recarpeted;

- a means of installing a safety fence in the junior high wrestling room overlook of the gymnasium has been found and will be done;

- second comparative soil borings are being sought for the planned school bus maintenance facility and transportation coordination facility near the high school, meaning a delay of two to three weeks in the planned bidding process and a possible need to change specs depending on the type of foundation deemed needed;

- all hard pipe connections to raw water feed for the sports complex have been completed. The board had budgeted $24,000 for the sprinkler system but quotes were much higher. Now, however, a local contractor has agreed to do the digging and soil replacement at original cost estimate and new fencing for the baseball field has been ordered.


LOWV to hold commissioner candidate forum July 26

The League of Women Voters of Archuleta County will hold a county commissioner candidates' forum for the primary election Monday, July 26 in the Extension building at the county fairgrounds.

Attendees can visit with the candidates beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the forum to follow at 7.

There are four commissioner candidates participating in the Aug. 10 primary election. Running in District 1 are incumbent Bill Downey and challenger Robin Schiro. Running in District 2 are incumbent Alden Ecker and challenger Ronnie Zaday.

The forum will provide information to county residents and citizens who are new to the county. It is also an opportunity for voters to listen to the candidates and ask questions.

The forum is intended only for information dissemination and is designed to promote informed decision making; it will not be a public debate.

The forum is open to all county citizens and the format encourages citizens to meet and talk with the candidates for office, and to learn their positions on important issues affecting the county.


Health Department closing two days

Colorado's mineral and mineral fuel industries produced $6.05 billion worth of raw materials in 2003, a 49 percent increase from the revised total value of $4.06 billion in 2002, according to a recently released report by the Colorado Geological Survey (CGS) of the Department of Natural Resources.

Russell George, executive director of the state's Department of Natural Resources said, "Colorado's mineral and mineral fuel industries make significant contributions to our economy. It is important to many local governments and workers that this industry's performance remains strong."

And, speaking at the 17th Annual Coal Conference of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, Jim Cappa, chief of the Mineral and Mineral Fuels Section of the Colorado Geological Survey added, "The report measures the total value of the 2003 production of base and precious metals, construction materials, industrial minerals, coal, oil, natural gas, and carbon dioxide in Colorado."

Higher prices for oil and gas, gold, molybdenum during 2003 were the biggest factors in the increased produced value. "The year 2003 was a record production year for coal and natural gas," said Vince Matthews, director of the CGS. "This demonstrates the increasing demand for Colorado's abundant clean-fuel resources of natural gas and coal that is low in sulfur, mercury, and ash.

The report provides information about the mineral and mineral fuel resource production in the state and discusses exploration and development activity for minerals and oil and gas. The report also contains graphs showing historical trends of commodity production and price.

"The report will be useful to anyone who is interested in the economic impact of the mineral and mineral fuel industries in the state of Colorado," said Ron Cattany, director of the Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology.

Copies of the report, Colorado Mineral and Mineral Fuel Activity, 2003 (Information Series 69) by James Cappa, Beth Widmann, Christopher Carroll, John Keller, and Genevieve Young are available over-the-counter for $6 at the CGS. Telephone and mail orders require an additional $3.50 for shipping and handling. VISA and MasterCard are accepted. Send orders to the Publication Section, Colorado Geological Survey, 1313 Sherman Street, Room 715, Denver, CO 80203, call (303) 866-2611 or fax (303) 866-2461.


Coalbed methane drilling session set here Aug. 17

Citizens have several more opportunities to offer oral and written comments on Northern San Juan Basin Methane Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) this summer.

An open house will allow members of the public to ask specific questions of agency specialists and submit written comments into the public record.

The public can drop by at any time during the open house which will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday July 28, in Able Atencio Community Room, Ignacio Municipal Complex, 570 Goddard Avenue, Ignacio.

Concerned citizens will also be able to submit oral or written comments into the public record at meetings sponsored by a subcommittee of the BLM Southwest Colorado Resource Advisory Council, which is made up of citizens from diverse backgrounds who advise the Secretary of the Interior on public land issues in southwestern Colorado.

These public meetings will be:

- Wednesday, Aug. 11, 6 - 9 p.m., Bayfield High School Cafetorium, 800 CR 501, Bayfield

- Tuesday, Aug. 17, 6 - 9 p.m., Archuleta County Fairgrounds Extension Building, 344 Highway 84, Pagosa Springs

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

In addition, at any time during the 90-day comment period, which closes Sept. 13, citizens can mail written comments to Northern San Juan Basin CBM EIS, USDA FS Content Analysis Team, P.O. Box 221150, Salt Lake City, UT 84122. Comments may also be e-mailed to: nbasin-cbm-eis@fs.fed.us.

The Draft EIS studies a proposal by six energy companies to develop approximately 273 coalbed methane well pads on federal lands in the Northern San Juan Basin of southwestern Colorado. The analysis area encompasses 125,000 acres in La Plata and Archuleta counties north of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Although the EIS considers cumulative effects from development on private lands, it will make no decisions involving private property.

Copies of the Draft EIS are available at the San Juan Public Lands Center, 15 Burnett Court, Durango, 970 247-4874, 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 and at public libraries in Durango, Bayfield and Farmington. The Draft EIS may also be viewed at: www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan or www.nsjb-eis.org.

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


Blue Moon

program at Chimney Rock

While the haunting notes of the Native American flute swirl away into the darkening sky the mysteries and legends of Chimney Rock's ancient people unfold as the moon begins to rise.

When two full moons appear within the month the second moon is called a blue moon. July's second full moon program at Chimney Rock, the Blue Moon Program, is Saturday, July 31.

Stan Plum of the Forest Service will discuss the Ancestral Puebloan people who lived at Chimney Rock as well as the archaeology, archaeoastronomy and geology of the area.

Charles Martinez will play to the rising of the full moon as he performs with his Native American flutes during the two-hour program.

At dusk the group will hike to the top of the Chimney Rock area to see the ancient dwellings. After the moonrise program the Volunteer Light Brigade will assist the group's descent.

Please wear comfortable clothing, hiking shoes, bring a jacket, a blanket to sit on and water to drink. A working flashlight for each person is required. Children under the age of 12 are not recommended.

Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160. Go three miles south on Colo. 151 to the entrance to Chimney Rock Archaeological Area. The gate is open between 7-7:30 p.m when it will be locked. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated.

Reservations are required. Call 883-5359 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for reservations.


Archuleta County a key player in 3rd District race for Congress: Corsentino

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"Archuleta County is a flower ready to bloom but it needs to implement guidelines to control and maintain roads and water supply and tourism."

That was the opening comment July 16 as Pueblo County Sheriff Dan Corsentino brought his campaign for the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress to the county.

In a multifaceted interview, he said the 3rd Congressional District seat he seeks, vacated by Scott McInnis, will be a key spot in the upcoming Congress.

"I obviously think I'm the man for the job," he said, "and I am taking my campaign to all of the 29 counties in the district."

Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County, he said, "are poised to be the bridge to the Western Slope and as such a key spot in any political campaign."

He feels some things "are out of balance in Washington," and cited specifically PILT (Payment in lieu of Taxes) program shortfalls which leave large rural areas without additional funding to which they're entitled."

He said one of his objectives if elected will be to "ride herd" on the program, making sure "full funding of the formula is achieved on a timely basis."

He said homeland security and water are prime concerns, the first for the nation and the second for Colorado, "but ultimately for all the people of America."

He believes Congress should renew the Patriot Act when it's scheduled to end in 2005, noting "terrorism is here for generations to come. I would not amend or change it (the Act) now."

Pointing to a critical need to protect our infrastructures, he said we must adequately train first response and local enforcement teams.

A 20-year veteran of law enforcement, the last 14 as sheriff, he said he has the experience and training to give Congress "front line experience with relation to crime, terrorism and security."

The top two concerns are linked, he said, because the water resources issue in Colorado - he was against Referendum A - requires protection for the state's water infrastructure. "Dams, canals, waterways, reservoirs, water works plants all are vulnerable to terrorist attacks," he said. "And destruction of a major dam or contamination of water supply could prove disastrous to people in this district and the state."

Touting his belief the nation needs a national water master plan to establish use rights and intergovernmental cooperative agreements for sharing storage and set-aside allotments for each region, he said, "Congress must be proactive in making sure water is available to every American."

"If the country were to be thrust into a total national drought, it would be a national disaster because there is no plan extant for relief," he said. "If we had a terror attack shutting down power supplied by water, that too would be a national disaster."

He believes it is time for Congress to initiate dialogue and then action on both national security and water rights.

While Congress has no rule of state water, it can initiate talks between states and regions, keeping in mind basin of origin laws that protect local rights, he said. "We need new creative thinking at both the state and national levels."

His third most important platform is improving rural health care and correcting "the crime we have in national insurance and medical costs."

Doctors, he said, need encouragement to move careers to rural areas. Their initial costs are huge and their hours long. "They need to be paid back in a national program for their tuition costs in medical school and for some of their start-up expenses."

"We need to leave medical decisions to the doctors," he said, "not the HMOs and paper pushers hundreds of miles away from the patient."

Toward that end, he said, "We need a national look, not just state by state, at tort reform. We can no longer have activists and criminal attorneys driving up premiums to the point no one can afford coverage."

He said it is a sin that "inmates in Colorado prisons have better health care than the state's working poor," and insisted "that has to change".

"Their constitutional needs are met with cash from the taxpayers for major illnesses," he said, "but they should be made to help pay for their routine health care. If a farmer and his wife can't afford health care insurance, why should the criminal being punished for crime be an added burden on them?"

He said he has signed the pledge to not vote for new taxes ... "only if we were under imminent threat from outside enemies," would he consider it.

On the topic of education, he feels No Child Left Behind is a "great concept if it had been fully funded. But he's opposed to either federal or state mandates with strings attached and funds promised under the proverbial, "If ..."

"I believe we have to look at charter schools and voucher plans but make any decisions based on what plan best serves the students of the individual districts," he said.

And he is fully behind control of schools remaining at the local level. "Who knows better the needs of the local children than those who deal with them on a daily basis?" he concluded.

With five Republicans in the primary race, he sees a critical vote split, "one that will make me the winner."

"I think the other four will split the Western Slope vote and that I will carry Pueblo, and Huerfano counties along with the San Luis Valley and several locales in the Four Corners area," he said.

If that is the case, and he's pitted in the general election against Democratic candidate John Salazar of Manassa, "I'll look forward to debates. I'll push for one in Archuleta County which has all but been ignored in the past for major office seekers."

With his criminal fight background, he was asked if he has encountered laws he considers archaic, or run into situations where new laws are needed.

"No one knows a community better than its sheriff," he said. "We see the best and the worst. There are some inequalities at the state level, but the federal law enforcement bureaucracy is an embarrassment."

One of his aims in Washington, he said, "is to eliminate unnecessary burdens and unfunded mandates placed on law enforcement and to remove the archaic statutes."

Corsentino said he believes "there is too much federal tax and we have to look for creative solutions. I'm studying a national sales tax and its implications, or the possible institution of a flat tax. I haven't made up my mind completely, except to know the structure needs to be changed.

"For example, senior citizens need to be rewarded for all the years they worked with some form of tax relief. And we have to find incentives for relief for low-income families" he added. "There is no reason in the United States why mother dad and the three oldest children in a family should have to all work to just make ends meet.

"We need to take a 'hammer it home' approach to the federal bureaucracy," he said, "and make powers in high places aware the individuals' rights are being taken away with current tax burdens."

A single father of a 21 year-old daughter, the candidate was educated at Harvard, University of Colorado, National FBI Academy and Northwestern University Police Staff and Command Academy.

He is a member of the National Sheriff's Association Executive Committee and next in line for the unit's presidency. As of the interview date, he had been endorsed by 21 of the sheriffs in the 3rd District.

As a law enforcement officer he supports the death penalty and also believes Roe vs. Wade should be overturned. "I am a pro-life candidate," he said. "I believe the choice to conceive comes before the act, not after. In cases of rape, incest or where the mother's life is in the balance, then a life choice for the mother must be made."

Finally, he said, as congressman he "won't be just Pueblo's man or the Front Range man but the district's man to go to for answers."

He said being in Congress will give him a unique position to work for job development efforts "and I will do everything I can to bring the right jobs to the district, whether in Pagosa Springs, Pueblo, San Luis, Durango or Grand Junction.

"Jobs paying a living wage in every community of the district are tantamount to growth," he said, but cautioned, "That growth itself must be controlled with respect to availability of work force, infrastructure and support services."

Finally, taking a line from one of his brochures, he said, "This election is not about me - it's about you, it's about Colorado and it's about us."


'Big box' task force could be formed soon

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Growth. It's a topic consistently on the table for many groups in Pagosa Country.

The county commissioners. The Town Council, The Mayor's Council for the Future of Pagosa Springs. The county's Citizen Task Force. Planning commissions throughout the region.

And, soon, a town task force on "big boxes," generally defined as retail stores over 25,000 square feet such as WalMart and Home Depot, may take shape.

The request for a task force to discuss these kinds of stores, and what types of planning to put in place to manage their growth, was presented to the town council at their regular July meeting.

Kathy Keyes presented the council a letter signed by 261 people in support of the idea of a task force. She brought her concerns forward again at a special meeting July 15.

"The core of it is, we want to be prepared for the big box," she said, requesting a short-term task force be formed to look at the issue and then bring forward an action plan for the council's consideration. She also requested a joint town and county public meeting be arranged to allow people to voice their opinions on the issue.

The council agreed to the idea of an advisory task force, asking Keyes to work in cooperation with town staff to come up with a list of names and a possible timeline by July 27 at 5 p.m. when the council set a special meeting to consider both.

"If we're going to do it, we'd better get it done," council member Darrel Cotton said. He added that membership on the task force should be balanced with people on all sides of the "big box" issues so that their findings would be credible.

Mayor Ross Aragon said Town Manager Mark Garcia had initiated contact with the attorney on possible planning options for dealing with this type of retail growth.

He added that he isn't sure how much weight to give the petition presented by Keyes and others because so many of the names are visitors or people who live outside town boundaries.

Keyes said the letter was not meant as a true petition, but as a visual example of how many people in the general area were concerned about the issue.

"Tourists, visitors, like Pagosa the way it is," she said. "That's why they come."

To help further gauge public opinion, town staff posted an informal three-question survey on their Web site www.townof pagosasprings.com.

The questions read:

- "Would you like to see additional national retail chains (i.e. WalMart, Target, Home Depot) in Pagosa Springs?"

- "If you would like to see additional national retail chains in Pagosa Springs, which ones are you willing to support?"

- "If you do not want to see any national retail chains, would you support a task force to look at current local regulations for national retail chains?"

A fourth question asks for resident status.

Garcia said the agenda for the meeting July 27 will also include discussion of a survey conducted over the last few weeks to gauge the community's feelings on a proposed tobacco smoking ban in public places. The special meeting will take place in Town Hall on Hot Springs Boulevard.


Two blood drives slated in community

United Blood Services has scheduled two blood drives in Pagosa Springs during the rest of this month.

They will be 2-6 p.m. Tuesday, July 27, at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St., and 2-6 p.m. Thursday, July 29, at Mountain Heights Baptist Church, 1044 Park Ave.

Potential donors should be aware valid identification is required. You may sign-up for drives online at www.unitedbloodservices.org

For more information call 385-4601 or (800) 863-4524.


Child care referral

service unit moves

The Southwest Colorado Office of Resource and Referral has relocated to 1315 Main Ave., Suite 118-A, Durango.

The office provides services for Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties.

Shannon Bassett, resource and referral specialist, provides resources for needy families, referrals for quality childcare and technical assistance for childcare providers.

For more information, call Bassett at 247-5960, Ext. 18, or e-mail shannonccrr@yahoo.com.




Monsoon angling often requires 'bright ideas'

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Monsoon has started and thunderstorms at higher elevations are resulting in fluctuating flows for Pagosa Country streams and rivers.

Spikes in flows often lead to brief periods of poor water clarity, but trout will occasionally become less spooky during runoff and aggressively feed on the increased food supply being swept downstream.

In murky conditions bright, attractor-pattern flies drifted in the debris flow often produce strikes, as do flashy spinners in metallic hues that include accents of chartreuse, black, red or yellow.

Bright surface poppers may also garner attention when fished with a steady twitching motion along seams and side eddies.

Testing the inlets and steeper banks of reservoirs after a rainstorm may also pay off, so long as care is taken to avoid areas subject to flash floods. Fish will often cluster in such areas to sample the surge of food being washed into the shallows.

The following is a breakdown of conditions at some regional fishing hot spots:

- San Juan River (through town) - Stocked recently by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Flow is varying in color, fluctuating between 100-190 cubic feet per second. Anglers using spinners, flies, marabou jigs and streamers are reporting decent catches of rainbows along with a few browns. From junction of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 through town to Apache St., daily bag limit for trout is two fish.

- Echo Lake - Vegetation growth continues to make shoreline angling difficult, but largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and perch are being taken on live bait, ultralight jigs and small plastics. Trout are deep mid-day, but hitting early and late on attractor flies, bright marabou jigs, spinners, flatfish, salmon eggs, nightcrawlers and PowerBait. All bass between 12-15 inches must be released immediately; daily bag for yellow perch is unlimited, statewide limits apply to all other species.

- Williams Creek Reservoir - Fishing for rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout is best in the early morning and late afternoon with live bait, jigs in orange and red, and spinners in gold, silver and fluorescents. Surface bite picks up near dusk, especially along the west shore. Kokanee salmon are apparently now difficult to locate, with few catches being reported.

- Navajo Reservoir - Lake elevation is holding at just over 6,031 feet and water temperature is 70 degrees in the main channel, though some canyons are reading as high as 77. Catfish and Northern Pike are biting well at Windsurf Beach and Arboles Point. A few trout are being caught with silver and green-colored lures.

- Big Meadows Reservoir - Fishing for rainbow and brook trout is best in 8-10 feet of water near the inlets and slower in the main lake body. Successful anglers are using rainbow pattern Fin-S-Fish, marabou jigs in red and orange, PowerBait, flies and flashy spinners.

- Piedra River - River is blown out immediately after heavy rain, but otherwise fluctuating between 85-160 cubic feet per second. Browns and rainbows are the predominant catch and are hitting flies, streamers and metallic spinners. Fishing is restricted to the use of artificial flies and lures only on most sections of the river; daily bag limit and possession limit for trout is two fish.

- Fourmile Creek - Flow is varying with runoff from afternoon rains. Brook trout and cutthroat are the main catch in the upper stream, while rainbows and browns are hitting attractor-pattern flies and lightweight spinners in the lower stretch.

- Williams Creek - Water near the campgrounds continues to see heavy pressure but the creek is maintaining decent clarity and fishing well along its entirety, especially in canyon stretches. Flies and small spinners are working well for brookies, cutthroats, browns and rainbows near the dam. Browns and rainbows are the main catch farther downstream.

- East Fork of San Juan - Flow is varying and murky after rains. Recently stocked by DOW. Fishing for pan-sized rainbows and browns is fair in the early morning and toward evening if water clears.



No 'slap' in face

Dear Editor:

Clearly Glenn Bergmann's letter, "Level the field," in last week's SUN supported two of the four Republican candidates for county commissioner; so let's name them all.

Robin Schiro is challenging incumbent Bill Downey in District 1 and Rhonda Zaday is challenging incumbent Alden Ecker in District 2. Bergmann alleged that Schiro and Zaday have been mistreated by the "hierarchy of the Archuleta County Republican Party (ARC)," but he didn't say how.

Reportedly ARC Chairman Pat Ulrich denied Schiro and Zaday the privilege of placing their campaign materials on the ARC July 4 parade float and in the ARC headquarters. The reason given for the denial was that they were placed on the primary election ballots by petition, rather than by the ARC assembly. If this denial happened, it was wrong; but I doubt that it was intended as a "slap in the face" to anyone.

Article III, Section B of the Archuleta County Republican Central Committee Bylaws reads, "Pre-primary Neutrality: Prior to a Primary election, no candidate for any designation or nomination for public office shall be endorsed, supported, or approved by the ARC (acting as an entity) or by its officers or committees, unless such candidate is unopposed in the primary."

According to the ARC secretary, Commissioner Downey's motion to make it clear that candidates placed on the ballot by petition have equal status with those placed by assembly action was unanimously approved by the committee at its regular monthly meeting at noon Thursday, July 15.

Bergmann is less than objective in his road-related allegations against Downey and Ecker. The commissioners are firm in their conclusion that the contractor did what the contract called for. They did not "fail to act."

There was no basis for seeking funds from the contractor's bond.

The "subsequent litigation" Bergmann referred to is Bergmann versus Board of County Commissioners of Archuleta County, Case Number: 01 CV 115, District Court, Archuleta County, Colorado. The court granted the county's motion to dismiss, treating the motion as a summary judgment. Bergmann appealed and the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's judgment. It was revealing to read in the district court's order that "...finds that the plaintiff clearly should have known that his claims were substantially frivolous and groundless."

The agreement on the contract provisions, scope of work, specifications, bond, contract documents, etc. was signed August 27, 1998. The Notice to Proceed was signed August 31, 1998. Downey was appointed to fill a vacancy in October, 1998. Ecker was elected in 2000 and sworn in early in January, 2001. Gene Crabtree was elected in 1998 and sworn in early in January, 1999.

Those three inherited the project, signed, sealed and in process of being delivered.

Earle Beasley

Candidate forum

Dear Editor:

I'd like to remind voters that the League of Women Voters of Archuleta County is holding a County Commissioner Primary Candidates Forum on Monday, July 26, in the Fairgrounds Extension Building. Meet the Candidates at 6:30 p.m.; forum begins 7 p.m. KWUF Radio will provide live coverage.

The League's purpose in the election process is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in their government. The League is non-partisan and does not support nor oppose any political party or candidate.


Katherine Cruse, President

League of Women Voters of Archuleta County

Blessed place

Dear Editor:

I think it is about time to express why I feel so blessed being able to live in this beautiful place.

We attended the Patriotic Sing-Along and can only hope it was the "first" annual. Thanks to Bev Arendel, Pauline Benetti, the Red Hatters and those who contributed desserts. Imagine how great it was to have to put up more chairs because the people just kept coming.

And then there were all the activities to enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July. Thanks to Junior Lister and Jim Miller for the spectacular fireworks. Wow!

After the Music Boosters presented their best yet, "The Hills Are Alive ..." such fun to enjoy all the great singing and dancing and thanks to Michelle and Bob for that wonderful gift on a Saturday night.

Thanks to everyone involved in these three wonderful events.

Cindy Gustafson

Stranger helps

I was at the post office and had arranged what I came to do, when I realized I had left my billfold at home. I left immediately to get the billfold and return and pay. I drove ever so carefully, since my license was in the billfold also.

When I returned I was told by the clerk that soon after I left, a lady had volunteered and paid my bill. I have no idea who she was, but where else will you find a stranger who will do such a nice thing?

I left a few dollars with the clerk in case someone else has that problem. My deepest thanks to the unknown lady.

Ernest Jones

Serious problems

Dear Editor:

I have some questions I hope you or the county commissioners could address.

First, the airport. We have very serious problems; a water shortage, terrible roads, traffic and meth labs and yet we are we spending a lot of money on the airport?

Why do we have to vote on a bond to get our roads maintained, but the commissioners borrowed $2.5 million which will be paid from the mill levy, without a vote by the people? How could such an expense take them by surprise?

Plus, it's beginning to sound like an air force base in the mornings and evenings around here. Even if previous commissioners did not see that the airport would be in a bad location, why compound their mistake. I might be glad to support the pilots' hobby with my tax dollars, but only after we have solved some of the pressing problems and I could turn left onto U.S. 160 without risking death.

Second, PAWS. Just a few years ago, the San Juan River was a trickle and we were warned of only having 160 days left of water. But PAWS still is allowing water taps for new development when it didn't have sufficient water for the amount of people three years ago. No one wants to make the tough decisions. Consequently we are playing catch-up. Having a good infrastructure first wouldn't be a bad idea.

Third, what is this "Mayor's Council for Future of Pagosa Springs" which is "privately funded"? Privately funded by whom? Is it a secret? Is it a good cross-section of the community or is it a group hand-selected by just the mayor? If you have reported on the above matters and have answered my questions, please direct me to your articles or the commissioners' investigative findings regarding the above and I will look them up at the library.

I don't live in Pagosa Springs, but I call it my home and I am concerned that decisions are being made, not for the good of the community, but solely for the benefit of a few.

Having a big noisy airport, limited water, terrible roads and traffic is not my idea of the "Best of Colorado." Pagosa Springs has been good to me and in turn I have done my best to return the favor. Who wants to live in a place that looks like a strip mall town and the corridors leading into town could be the sleazy outskirts of any city?

Wouldn't it be nice to live in an area where people want to come for the beauty, the shops, the artists, the hot springs, the hunting, fishing, skiing, and not because we have a WalMart?

The next question is, are there enough of us to apply pressure on our elected officials to make decisions that benefit the community, not just the special interest groups?

I would like this to be the "Best of Colorado" not the Best Eyesore in Colorado.

Barbara Parada

Editor's note: The Archuleta County Commissioners have not publicly specified the source of funds to be used to repay the airport loan.

Pushin' for Patti

Dear Editor:

After spending 14 years in Pagosa I made many wonderful friends, whom I still hold dear to my heart. Though living in Fort Collins now, the small-town woods, school and people will always be "home." Now as an active community member, I am reaching out to those I know and trust.

My mom, Patti Stickler, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000, and I've been drawn toward fund-raising events, and education about the disease ever since. It's amazing how quickly we learn information once an ailment hits close to home.

Coloradans should become aware of this mysterious, autoimmune disease, since we are one of the highest diagnosed states in the nation. My county specifically has unbelievable statistics - 1 in 400.

What causes more women than men to be affected? Why can you lose your vision for a year and then regain it? Why is an adult diagnosed every hour? Why can't my mom walk on some days?

We do not know, and for this my sister, Kara, and I are participating in Colorado's Second Annual MS Challenge Walk. I also walked the three days worth of 50 miles last year and it changed my life.

I watched a husband push his wife in a wheelchair, a man incredibly push his own wheelchair, and another pull a weighted wagon in honor of his mother. It's amazing what the body can accomplish when working toward a positive outcome. There is light at the end of this tunnel, as the medical community has made leaps and bounds over the past 50 years worth of research.

Last year I had the pleasure of walking next to my life-long friends (and Pagosa family) Holly, Heather and Debbie Tautges. This year I will be "Pushin' for Patti" on my own, yet plan to make many friends along the trail! My sister Kara will be volunteering as an athletic counselor and serving walkers ever-needed water, stretching our sore muscles each day, and cheering us on as we fight heat, mileage, and the ever-hated blisters. However, at the end of a day, you feel like a champion.

In order to participate, we are asked to raise a minimum of $1,500. If you are not participating in the walk, you can become a treasured team member of "Pushin' for Patti" by supporting the efforts of Kara and me. Any monetary support for the National MS Society is appreciated and we promise to fill you in on the walk's excitements upon completion.

My mom, Patti; dad, Ron; sister, Kara, and myself thank you for your time and encourage you to learn more about M.S. Thanks to your support, we are walking to one day make M.S. stand for Mystery Solved.

Thank you for your love and support.

Traci Stickler

Right to change

Dear Editor:

Sunday morning when I stopped to get gasoline and some coffee, I noticed both the Denver and New York newspapers had front page articles on police and guns.

Before moving to Pagosa Springs I lived on the Front Range and worked in high tech. I had a neighbor who was a Jefferson County sheriff who was part of the Columbine school investigation. I am very thankful to the men and women who work in law enforcement. The daily fear and danger that these people deal with is beyond my capabilities or understanding.

When I worked in high tech, I met engineers from the Pacific Rim. We would discuss the differences in cultures and societies. It was interesting to learn that guns were against the law there and to own one brought the death penalty. When asked if they had gang problems, they would smile and say "not at all, we threw them all in jail." I said, "Well, we put them in jail here, too." They would laugh and say, "Yes, but you wouldn't want to be in one of our jails."

Now I live where hunting contributes to the local economy. I understand about the balance of nature and the service that hunters provide.

The Constitution guarantees our right to bear arms. I am also glad to be able to protect my livestock from predators by using a gun when needed. But I wonder, 200-plus years later, is it time to rethink the issue of our right to bear arms?

If I lost a loved one because of a gun (God forbid), would I not gladly trade some livestock for the return of the loved person?

Is the sport of hunting and the right to bear arms worth what is happening in our great society? With our creativity and intelligence, would we not find another draw to this beautiful area if hunting was out of the picture? Have we come to a time when we should consider change of our rights for a greater benefit?

Do I truly need this right to put food on my table every night? Would I be forced to become a vegetarian if I didn't have a gun, and perhaps be healthier? Am I threatened from foreign or local governments walking through my front door uninvited, for no good reason? Would articles about law officers and guns be on the front page of major newspapers if I gave up my guns?

Hummm, I wonder.

Pam Thompson

Fair changes

Dear Editor:

It's fair time, we have a new time for the demolition derby, and I would like to explain why. In the past, we have begun the derby around 1 p.m. This poses a problem for our kids' rodeo.

Most people like to watch both events, and with these events overlapping, this has been a problem. Starting the derby later would bring on another problem, which is the possibility of rain.

The official times of both events are as follows: 9:30-11a.m. the kids' rodeo for children age 6 and under takes place; the demolition derby will begin at 11. The gates will open at 10. The kids' rodeo will resume at 2 p.m. for children age 7 and older.

We realize an early start to the derby may interfere with church. We invite the entire community to come to our informal praise and worship service at the fair on Sunday beginning at 8 a.m. This year we are proud to present the Children's Praise Team from the Restoration Fellowship (formerly Community Bible Church). We will also be offering doughnuts and coffee. If any other church group is interested in performing at this service, contact Charlene at 731-3941.

Please come and enjoy our praise and worship service, and then enjoy the fair. Fair dates are Aug. 5-8.

Carrie Toth

Honest town

Dear Editor:

In wanted to send a letter regarding some really nice people in your town.

On July 1, 2004 we were traveling through Pagosa Springs on our way to my sister-in-law's home in Pueblo. We had stopped on the west side of Pagosa Springs at McDonald's because my wife wanted an ice cream cone. While there, she accidently left her billfold in the ladies' restroom

We had driven all the way to Alamosa before we realized what had happened. We finally narrowed down where she might have misplaced it and called back to McDonald's in Pagosa.

An employee had found it and had given it to the owner of the store, a lady by the name of Kay (I don't know her last name). We were given her cell phone number and I managed to talk to her.

We drove back across Wolf Creek Pass and even though it was very late, she met us at McDonald's and everything was there in my wife's billfold.

Your town should be proud of having such honest, decent folks. Charles Watkins

Wichita, Kan.

Defends position

Dear Editor:

Responding to Mr. Stampfer's July 15 SUN assertion that neither Mr. DeRossett nor I addressed the two issues he raised in his July 1 SUN letter, may I submit this clarification.

Point 1: To claim that Bush deserves impeachment as much as did Clinton because he, "on the evidence," knowingly used false information to convince the American people and Congress to support the war is to misstate the facts. As I last wrote, Bush used the same intelligence Clinton, et. al., did.

The difference is that Clinton repeatedly urged Americans "not to overreact" to the terrorist threat, thus lulling them into a false sense of security, while Bush acted upon the information. Not one of Bush's many maligners has produced evidence of impeachable crimes.

Mr. Stampfer, too, offers no proof for his "on the evidence" and "knowing use of false information" assertions. In other words, his conclusion that Bush should be impeached is a non sequitur because the second premise of his attempted syllogism that Bush "repeatedly gave false information to further his cause" was untrue. Id est, non est atqui/ergo. Simply stated, Mr. Stampfer's "facts" are not facts and so Bush is not impeachable.

On the contrary, the 9/11 Commission praised Bush for his candor and useful intelligence and exonerated him of any deceit or wrongdoing. Thus Mr. DeRosset's use of "long jump" was most insightful and precise.

Furthermore, Dr. David Kay, in his 10/03 report to Congress, cited nine evidentiary reasons justifying Bush's actions. Too lengthy to enumerate here, they can be found with excellent commentary in Sean Hannity's book "Deliver Us From Evil," pp. 159-163. Clinton's legacy is not so much that he was impeached, but that, with the same intelligence Bush, Congress and the UN, etc., had, Clinton utterly failed to safeguard our national security by non-action against terrorism. His and the UN's weakness, clearly perceived by Hussein and al-Queda, emboldened their resolve to attack us.

Point 2: Recent reports give evidence that the intelligence about a Nigerian connection being "misinformation" was in fact false and that the information used by Bush and Blair was indeed true. Footage showed technicians in Nigeria transferring yellow substance from large to small containers for transport.

The new Iraqi government turned over to the U.S. authorities "to be airborne out of Iraq 1.77 tons of low enriched uranium and 1,000 highly enriched elements." The government said they would not continue Hussein's development of nuclear weapons and did not want the material to fall into al-Queda hands.

Finally, I take this opportunity to express gratitude to those who phoned me and sent me letters thanking me for writing and expressing strong support for my positions.

Eugene Witkowski


Community News
Local Chatter

Story of how 'Peter and the Wolf' was written

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

It's wonderful that a free children's concert is being added to the Pagosa Springs Music in the Mountains summer program.

Serge Prokofieff's symphonic folktale, "Peter and the Wolf," will be the feature.

The musicians are members of the Dallas Symphony and the characters are local children. An 11 a.m. July 29 performance is scheduled.

This is the story of how it was written.

Serge Prokofieff was an established Russian composer when, in 1935, he was living in Moscow and he took his wife and two sons, Suiatosla, age 1, and Oleg, 6, to the nearby Moscow Children's Central Music Theatre to see an opera for children. He was so impressed that they returned several times.

After one performance he went backstage to meet the director, Natalie Satz. And her company. Satz suggested that he compose something for her company. After several sessions they agreed that the work would introduce people to classical music and the instruments in a symphony orchestra. Satz suggested "a symphonic fairytale."

Satz hired a young poet named Nina Saksonskyaya to write a scenario. She wrote it in verse. Prokofieff hated this so he wrote his version in prose. He assigned leitmotifs to specify instruments. The story was narrated. He wrote it both in text and music in four days. He called his own simple little story "Petya (Little Peter) Fooled the Wolf."

Serge Prokofieff was born in 1891 at Sontosovka, his parents' estate in southern Russia. He was writing music by the time he was 6 and outdistanced any training from teachers and his mother and so entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory when was 13 from which he graduated with honor. Rimsky Korsakoff was one of his teachers.

His music had many facets - one its boldness, and another his humor which could be impish at times. Critics opposed his modernism but nevertheless he rose steadily and won worldwide recognition despite them.

If you have never seen a performance of "Peter and Wolf" then you are in for a treat. And if you know what to expect, you can relish another performance of this delightful composition by Serge Prokofieff.

This is for everyone, not just children.

A note: Prokofieff (an ending with a double "F") is the correct Russian spelling. The "V" ending is a modern way that probably came into practice after the Russian Revolution.

Sources for this article were Paul Crabb's "The Story of One Hundred Symphonic Favorites" and "Music Lovers' Encyclopedia" by Rupert Hughes and Dennis Taylor and Russel Ken and from the Internet Prokofieff Message Board.

Correction: The amount raised locally for local kids to attend the Youth Hunter Education Challenge was $1,400, not $14,000. Sorry for the mistake.

Fun on the run

From the Internet:

1. How many honest, intelligent, caring men in the world does it take to do the dishes? Both of them.

2. Why does it take 1 million sperm to fertilize one egg? They won't stop to ask for directions.

3. How does a man show that he is planning for the future? He buys two cases of beer.

4. What is the difference between men and government bonds? The bonds eventually will mature.

5. Why are blonde jokes so short? So men can remember them.

6. How many men does it take to change a roll of toilet paper? We don't know. It has never happened.

7. What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is every night? A widow.

8. When do you care for a man's company? When he owns it.

9. How do you get a man to do sit-ups? Tape the remote control between his toes.

10. What did God say after creating man? "I must be able to do better than THAT!"

11. Man says to God, "God, why did you make woman so beautiful?" God says, "So you would love her."

"But God," the man says, "why did you make her so dumb?"

God says, "So she would love you."



Senior News

Try playing basketball with the 'Old Jocks'

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

What fun we had at Picnic in the Park Friday, July 16. There were 93 of you outdoor-loving folks.

Some residents from Pine Ridge had planned their picnic the same day so they joined us with their lunch. It was nice to have them join us and we hope they'll join us again next month.

As always we enjoyed the Mountain Harmony singers and they tell us they have a performance coming up Aug. 20, so keep your eyes out for more information on that.

Unfortunately we did not have enough participation for our star party July 17. Mother Nature was sharing her rain with us and the skies were not good for viewing. We'll try again in September.

Seniors of today have a lot more energy and fun than seniors of past generations -- as proof, you can come out and play basketball with the Old Jocks (who are ages 63-73). They encourage folks older and younger to play as well. Gather at the community center gym 8-9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is no charge, but donations will be accepted at the community center desk. You youngsters may find some competition on the courts - come check it out.

We need a computer instructor. Sam Matthews will be moving to another position in the transportation department and won't be able to teach his classes. Someone just came in for a membership a couple of weeks ago and offered to teach a computer class. Will you please come back and offer again?

Blood pressure check for this Friday has been rescheduled to the following Friday, July 30, 11 a.m.-noon.

Our free movie this Friday is "In America." This is a lighthearted look at how immigrants adjust to life in America. Movie starts at 1 p.m. in the lounge. Popcorn is only 25 cents.

You might be interested in our Senior Law Handbook, available to buy or check out online. Topics include: Government and Financial Assistance, Medicare and Medicaid, Health Insurance Beyond Medicare, Residential Options, Housing, Medical Advanced Directive, Estate Planning, Family Relationships, Discrimination, Consumer Information, Protecting Yourself from Crime and What to Do when Someone Dies.

The information in this Colorado Senior Law Handbook is general in nature and scope and is not intended to replace the advice and services of an attorney. Major changes in federal law may have occurred since the date of publication. This book is based on the laws and current practice of Colorado in 2004, and the policies and programs of the federal government in that year. Books may be purchased through the senior center for $10.50. Please call by Aug. 6 if you would like us to order you a copy, 264-2167. Quantities may be limited. Or go directly to the Web site and access the information on line at http://www.cobar.org/group/index.cfm?category=726&EntityID=dpwfp.


Friday, July 23 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m; free movie day, "In America," 1 p.m.

Monday, July 26 - Me dicare counseling and drug card information, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; bridge for fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, July 27 - Yoga in Motion, 10:30 a.m.; advanced computer, 10:30; massage, 10-11; Ice Cream Social and Sing-Along with the Jack Hanson Trio, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, July 28 - Beginning computer, 10:30 a.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.

Friday, July 30 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; celebrate July birthdays, noon.


Friday, July 23 - Oven fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, asparagus, roll and almond peaches

Monday, July 26 - BBQ beef on bun, broccoli spears, carrot raisin salad, fresh fruit, and peanut butter cookie

Tuesday July 27 - Liver and onions, mashed potatoes, vegetable medley, whole wheat roll and fruited Jello.


Library News

Roaring Twenties exhibit on display at the library

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

Catherine Frye and Elaine Heitkamp have put together an exhibit in honor of the "Roaring Twenties" for your enjoyment. Come see their display of lavish styled hats, gloves, shoes, purses and art deco items including Betty Boop.

These collecting ladies - Catherine and Elaine - have their own "Antique Road Show," and we thank them for sharing another part of it with us.

Time for politics

The library will provide the table in the foyer for handout items from individuals running for public office. We do not allow posters, only handouts. There is also a time limit for items that are left. Gee, only 115 days to go.

Card catalog silent bid

Please get your silent bids in for the wooden card catalog. Put your name, address, phone number and what you would pay for the item in a sealed envelope and bring it to the library. We have two so far. The deadline is the end of July. The winner must pay cash and remove the item immediately.

The Big Tamale

You may have heard or read in the media that libraries are getting a huge windfall of free music CDs as part of some price-fixing, antitrust suit. We hate to look upon this windfall with some misgiving - something about the gift horse and his mouth. However, four heavy boxes arrived last week. The boxes had been mauled and some of the CD containers are broken; 84,000 CDs were allocated to Colorado as part of this settlement. The method of distribution to the libraries is questionable.

We got 81 of the 84,000 CDs that include many duplicates with names unfamiliar to most of us. According to the settlement approved by the court, the CDs must be used to further music-related programs. There is a caveat that some of the CDs may not be suitable for all ages. The letter of agreement says that if we want to, we can sell some for fund-raising purposes. Guess what - we will have some brand new CDs for sale at the Friends Annual Book Sale coming up in just a few weeks.

Friends annual meeting

The public sale will be Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Extension Building. The annual meeting is Friday, Aug. 13. Anyone may join the Friends and be invited to this evening meeting and preview of the books for sale. Members get first chance at the bargains. Membership is $5 for an individual, $10 for a family and $100 for a lifetime membership.

The Friends have spearheaded our fund-raising drives and are responsible for the success we have. We will be making several announcements of major gifts at the Friends annual meeting.

New board member

We thank Dick Hillyer for his many years of service to the Friends organization. The Hillyers will be missed. The board recently appointed Debbie Hartvigsen Morton to fill Dick's term. Congratulations to Debbie. She will be presented at the annual meeting. If you have not paid your annual dues, please do so to be sure of receiving an invitation to the meeting and preview. You may pay at the library any time. The invitations will be going out in the next week.

Other Friends board members are Warren Grams, Donna Geiger, Maureen Covell, Charla Ellis, Cynthia Mitchell and Sharee Grazda.


Our building fund continues to grow with your help. Recent money gifts came from: David and Charlotte Overley; Carole Ann and James White; Margaret May; Friends of the Library; Don and Paula Ford; Terry Hershey; The Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation; Richard and Janet Geiger; Odd Jobs Unlimited and Wendy Mirr. Earle and Betty Beasley in memory of Hazel Carlson. Ernest and Dorothy Jones in memory of Frances Skelton. Materials came from Priscilla Garfield, Jane Reseigh, Richard Sutkin, Linda Lawrie, Margaret and Jim Wilson. All of these gifts are gratefully received.


Chamber News

Forty sparkling vehicles attest car wash prowess

By Sally Hamiester

SUN Columnist

Our annual car wash just couldn't have gone any better, and we are so grateful to all our "worker bees" as well as those who brought in their tired and dirty vehicles to get a little bath.

It turns out we washed almost 40 vehicles, and all washers had the puckered hands and achy bones to prove it after the three-hour marathon.

We thank all the hard-working directors, staff members, spouses and family members who gave their all in the name of expressing our appreciation to our members for their support. We are grateful to Toby and Renae Karlquist, Jack and Patti Renner, Tony and Kelly Gilbert, Tamra Gayhart, Don and Mary McKeehan (who looked perfectly stunning in her car-washing ensemble), Sally Hovatter, Scott Asay, Bob Eggleston, Jessie Formwalt and staffers Doug and Morna Trowbridge.

We actually had a great time and look forward to doing it again next year. We congratulate member Robin Schiro who won a year's free Chamber membership and should have won another prize for showing up in the most colorful dress of the day.

Thanks again, folks, for your continued support and know that we are most grateful to each and every one of you.

Family Festivo

Music in the Mountains proudly presents a free concert for children and their families featuring the work of Russian composer, Sergei Prokofiev, "Peter and the Wolf" in Town Park at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 29.

Prokofiev created this work in an effort to teach his children about instruments and music and it will be performed by members of the Music in the Mountains symphony with local children taking on the roles of the characters who appear in this work.

We sincerely hope you will bring all your family members to this event to enjoy food, fun and the delightful "Peter and the Wolf" concert.

Ride the Weminuche

United Way of SW Colorado is delighted to invite you to attend the fourth annual Ride the Weminuche four-hour horseback ride in the beautiful mountains surrounding the Poma Ranch Saturday, July 31, beginning at 9 a.m.

This wonderful day will also include a delicious chuck wagon lunch and a live auction with many interesting, unusual and exciting items.

You can choose a guided or unguided ride, and charges will be $55 if you bring your own ride, $95 if you need to rent a horse and $15 if you are a wimp like me and choose only to eat lunch.

This event is sponsored by the good folks at Poma Ranch and the proceeds will go the United Way coffers to be used for their many benevolent causes in the community. You can pick up a registration form at the Chamber or give Kathi DeClark a call at 946-2057 for more information.

Bagpipe concert

Also available to you Saturday, July 31, is a bagpipe concert in Town Park. Yes, I said a bagpipe concert - featuring Scottish Highland pipes and dancers.

This unusual event will highlight band piping, solo piping, dancers and drummers and quite possibly, singers and poetry readings.

Mistress of ceremonies will be Marilyn Leftwich who is a professor at Fort Lewis College as well as one the performing pipers.

The concert will begin at 11 a.m. and continue for a couple of hours.

Take advantage of this opportunity for I assure you, it won't present itself again for some time.


In less than a month you will have the opportunity to match spatulas and spoons with the best and brightest chile masters in Pagosa, at the Annual Lee Sterling Chile Cook-Off and Taste of Pagosa.

If you have a killer chile recipe that might win prizes, you need to pick up an application at the Chamber of Commerce, the Flying Burrito or WolfTracks Bookstore & Coffee Co. before Aug. 3 to enter your delectable dish.

Judging will take place at the county fairgrounds 4-9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5. Prizes will be awarded to the best entries in six categories: hot red, mild red, hot green, mild green, open class and professional.

Call Kim Moore if you have questions about the Chile Cook-Off or Taste of Pagosa at 731-0426.

Big Brothers-Sisters

Last week I attended the grand opening of the BBBS new offices here in Pagosa and was most impressed with the lengthy list of businesses here in Pagosa which donate to this worthy organization.

I was so impressed actually, that I would like to recognize them here and now because these good folks donate gifts, discounts, coupons, scholarships, passes, clothing, free rental equipment, free pictures, free services and free tickets to the BBBS cause on a regular basis. Those businesses who have earned an A-plus for generosity and community spirit are Summit Ski and Sportswear, Juan's Mountain Sports, Switchback Mountain Gear and Apparel, Liberty Theatre, The Spa Motel, Upscale Resale, Methodist Thrift Store, Mountain Snapshots, San Juan Dance Academy and Pagosa Springs Gymnastics, Fairfield Pagosa Resorts, Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, Pagosa Health and Fitness-The Club, Curves for Women, Radio Shack and Wolf Creek Ski Area. I would also like to acknowledge WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company, Pagosa Baking Company and Joanne Irons with Enzo's and Wrap It Up! for providing the delicious food for the grand opening.

Once again, the generosity and benevolent spirit of this community never cease to amaze me.

PSAC exhibit

Drop by the gallery in Town Park to view the one-woman exhibition of nationally renowned and award-winning artist, Joye Moon, which will remain on display through July 31.

Some of Moon's work was created especially for the Arts Council and includes incorporating collage and drawing techniques into her paintings.

Her work ranges from realistic and abstract landscapes to placing a figure in the environment.

Please stop by the gallery from noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday or call 264-5020 for more information.

Duck race

The Knights of Columbus announce their second annual Duck Race and Picnic to be held in Town Park Saturday, Aug. 14, beginning at 11:30 a.m. with BBQ and kids' games.

The food court will feature Hispanic food, hamburgers, hot dogs and brats. Music and prize raffles will also be a part of this fun, family day in the park.

The Duck Race will be held at 2:30 p.m., and you can win some serious money if your duck wins or places. First-place prize is $1,000, second place wins $500 and third-place winner will take home $100. Not a bad day's work.

You can purchase your tickets for the duck race at the Chamber for $5 each and give Barry Pavlovich a call at 731-0253 for more information.


We have nine mighty fine renewals to share with you this week and are indeed pleased to do so.

Chamber gratitude for renewing goes out to Andy and Angela Bauer with Edelweiss Construction and Roofing with home offices; Michael DeWinter with The Plaid Pony and DeWinter and Associates; Sherley and Michel Albouy with Blanco Rive RV Park; Laura Daniels with Pagosa Central Reservations, Inc.; Gregg Jorgensen with Backcountry Angler/Pagosa Outside; Charlie Rogers with A & P Tents; John D. Voden with Bogey's Mini Golf; and last, but certainly not least, Mary Jo Coulehan with TLC's Catering.

We are grateful to you all.



Veteran's Corner

A letter from Baghdad

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

I have been in contact via e-mail with one of our seasonal Pagosa Springs residents who is currently serving in Military Police with the U.S. Corps of Engineers in and around Baghdad, Iraq.

I thought you veterans who have been in harm's way in other wars in faraway places might like to hear a first-hand report of what it is like in Iraq right now.

Lt. Col. Jim Hampton, his wife and family frequent our area to visit their acreage down on Cat Creek. They plan to retire here one day, as soon as he can quit dodging bullets in Iraq. He sent me the following e-mail the other day.

Antiterrorism Force

"I am the Anti-terrorism Force Protection Officer for the Gulf Region Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I am a reservist on second year mobilization with the Corps working out of the Northwestern Division in Portland, Oregon on Temporary Change of Station (TCS) orders to Baghdad for 6 months. This is my sixth tour to this part of the world since 1996 (five previous tours to the Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo)."

Pipeline protection

"This is like an embassy level outfit and we have the mission of rebuilding Iraq, predominantly using Iraqi local national contractors. All the oil pipelines and power lines you hear about being blown up on the news? Well, those are our projects that the anti-Iraqi forces (formerly anti-coalition forces) are attempting to destroy to discredit our efforts. It is an ongoing battle to make progress in this environment. Many of the contractors have been threatened, kidnapped, or killed and many are ceasing work because of the danger to them and their families."

Car bombs

"As for our daily life, there are frequent explosions outside of the International Zone (formerly the Green Zone) attributable to vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED's or simply car bombs), mortars, and rockets. We have yet to have a VBIED penetrate our perimeter, but we have had a large number of mortars and rockets land in the area."

Rocket attacks

"A few days ago a local national guard was killed in a rocket attack about a block away from us. A 122 mm rocket landed about a block in another direction a couple of days later, but failed to completely detonate. Nonetheless it destroyed one car and blew windows out of many others. One of our ex-pat contractors was probably 100 yards away, but was uninjured. Had it not been a low-order detonation he probably would have been killed or seriously injured."

Nearby explosions

"We're right across the Tigris River from the Sheraton and several other hotels that are frequently on the news. The news you hear on CNN about explosions over there ... we hear and see them first hand. We've had mortars and rockets land in the river right outside of our office (which happens to be the former digs of King Faisal II who was deposed by Sadaam in '58). I have had my sleep interrupted on a number of occasions.

"(There is a) massive reorganization going on right now following the turnover of power to the Iraqi Interim Government. I expect the turmoil to continue to varying degrees until their regular elections in the November-January timeframe. Then maybe our kids can start coming home."

Armor shortage

Jim told me the following about the availability of armored vehicles that seem to be in short supply.

"There is a lot of good being done over here, but I'm very frustrated at some very major deficiencies. Armored vehicles for our tactical troops have been slow in coming. You should see the rag-tag armor they're coming up with.

"Heck, I'll show you some shots of some of the retrofit Hadji armored Humvees our guys and gals have rigged up (Hampton has sent me a number of digital photos from Iraq with his approval for use with his letter).

"We, the Corps, have a similar problem. Not being a tactical TOE unit, we are not authorized armored vehicles, so we acquire armored SUV's any way we can get them. Just this moment (July 12) I finished a meeting with our contracting guy and one of our lawyers trying to figure out how to get Washington to realize that the congressional limitation or purchase of such vehicles does not apply to tactical vehicles or to a combat zone.

"Every week I go by the hospital to visit our troops. We have it good here in the Green Zone compared to our tactical troops. Every week I see some kid lacerated because he was in an inappropriate vehicle out on patrol.

"I was personally in a vehicle that was attacked with a 155 mm artillery round configured as an improvised explosive device (IED). Had our car not been armored or had the timing been a split-second different, I might have been alongside one of those kids in the ICU."

Jim will be sending me more "Letters from Iraq" in the near future. We all hope Lt. Col. Hampton can return home safely when his work is done in Iraq and live his dream of retiring here in Archuleta County.

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.

More information

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

Jack Hanson Trio comes to PSAC gallery July 28

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Join Pagosa Springs Arts Council and the Chamber of Commerce for a night of fun July 28 at the gallery in Town Park, for food and art, featuring the Jack Hanson Trio.

This event promises to be a great time, and the PSAC is looking for artists and others to donate artwork for the live art auction and silent auction.

Want to get rid of that painting on your wall? No place for that sculpture? Donate it to PSAC for the auction.

The committee is working hard to bring you affordable, fabulous art. So mark your calendar and start saving your money to bid on original art and fine art prints by some of our favorite local artists, including Pierre Mion, Claire Goldrick and Randall Davis.

The event will also feature rodeo art by Wendy Saunders and Quick Draw by Virginia Bartlett.

All proceeds from the event and auction help provide art and cultural programs in Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County.

Contact the gallery at 264-5020, e-mail PSAC@ centurytel.net, call Doris Green at 264-6904, or e-mail greenacres1@centurytel.net, for more information on donating art.

Home, Garden Tour

Mark your calendar for the fourth annual Home and Garden Tour coming up noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15.

The committee was out touring the homes and is very excited about this year's offerings. Now that the rains have arrived, the gardens are greener and more vibrant with flowers.

Creative courses

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

The Fine Art of Greeting Cards. Learn a multitude of artistic techniques to create your own sendable, frameable greeting cards, tags and envelopes. Includes watercolor, collage and embellishments. This class is suitable for beginners to professionals. 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 26-30, and Aug. 2-6, 2-4 p.m. Choose the week which works best for you.

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

Women Writers of the West. 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. You 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, from 1-4 p.m.

Artist opportunities

First Annual Juried Painting and Drawing Show at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Sept. 2-28. Juror for this event is nationally recognized fine artist and illustrator Pierre Mion. Monetary prizes and merchant awards will be presented.

The show is open to water media, oil, pastel and drawing. All work must be original in concept and created without the assistance of an instructor.

A prospectus will be available Aug. 1, and mailed to those on the PSAC artist list. It will also be available at the gallery in Town Park and posted on the PSAC Web site at www.pagosa-arts.com.

Renew your PSAC membership today to receive the prospectus by mail.

Ongoing workshops

Beginning Watercolor with Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett, every Monday and Wednesday morning, 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

Mixed Media - 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.

Botanical Art and Drawing with Cynthia Padilla, Aug. 17-20. Dallas artist Cynthia Padilla, returns to Pagosa Springs for a week of botanical drawing, painting, nature drawing and creating luminous mandalas. Classes are Monday-Friday and you may sign up for one class or all. Each class is $75 day or $71.25 for PSAC members.


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

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

July 29 - Music in the Mountains Children's Concert in Town Park, 11 a.m.

Aug. 1 -Advertising and submission deadline for SW Colorado Arts Perspective

Aug. 5-8 - Archuleta County Fair

Aug. 5-31 - Watercolor exhibit with Denny Rose, Ginnie Bartlett and 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 mixed media 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. 2-28 - First Annual Juried Painting and Drawing Exhibit at gallery in Town Park

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

Oct. 1-3 - SW Colorado Community Theatre Festival in Pagosa Springs, sponsored by Music Boosters


Music in the Mountains has become a Pagosa summer surprise for all

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

When Music in the Mountains debuted in Pagosa Springs in July 2002, few could have predicted its stunning popularity and amazing growth in our town.

Yet this summer, only three seasons later, this classical music festival has expanded to include three under-the-tent evening concerts at BootJack Ranch, an elegant "Evening at Keyah Grande" benefit reception and concert, a free community event featuring "Peter and the Wolf" at Town Park, and a wide variety of programs and scholarships for young people.

This diverse lineup results from the fact that so many world-class musicians who have performed on stages all over the world look forward to returning to Pagosa each summer.

"Once they experience our stunning scenery, cobalt blue skies and deep appreciation for their talent, they are more than happy to flee their crowded big cities to perform for us," said Jan Clinkenbeard, chairman of the committee organizing the events in Pagosa. "They enjoy making beautiful music in beautiful places."

Keyah Grande benefit

One of the least-known Music in the Mountains events this season was also one of the very best - "An Evening at Keyah Grande" on June 26, made possible by the generosity of Barbara and Alan Sackman and the Lodge at Keyah Grande.

This extraordinary event included cocktails and an international buffet prepared by the Keyah Grande chefs, followed by a concert featuring pianist Daredjan (Baya) Kakouberi and soprano Gemma Kavanagh in the living room of the Sackmans' magnificent hilltop home. Later, guests joined the artists for coffee and dessert on the terrace of the Sackman's home, with its panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

The Keyah Grande event raised funds for classical music concerts and children's musical events in Pagosa, following the successful tradition set last year when the benefit was held at Jon and Fran Jenkins' beautiful Bear Mountain Ranch.

Best known among the Music in the Mountain events are the Friday evening concerts that take place at 7 p.m. at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs, thanks to the generosity of David and Carol Brown, owners of the ranch at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass.

World-class musicians

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

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

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

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

Tickets for the three concerts sold out in record time, but disappointed music lovers will be pleased to know that the Chamber of Commerce is maintaining a waiting list until the concert dates. If ticket holders must cancel, they can call the Chamber at 264-2360 to get the names of people wanting tickets. To put your name on that list, call the same number. Ticket holders wishing to donate their tickets to Music in the Mountains may do so at the Chamber and they will be mailed a tax letter for the full amount of the ticket price.

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

Family Festivo concert

Another new addition to this summer's Music in the Mountains lineup is a free community concert called Family Festivo 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in Town Park on Thursday, July 29.

Highlight of this event will be "Peter and the Wolf," a work created by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev to teach his children about the symphony. Each character in the story - Peter, his grandfather, the wolf, a cat, a bird, a duck and some hunters - is represented by an instrument or instrumental family and will be acted by local children. Michael DeWinter is designing the children's costumes.

Also entertaining the audience 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 after the entertainment.

Hot dogs, chips, ice cream, lemonade and water will be given away, thanks to the generosity of Montezumas Seven Flags Grill and Winery, The Springs, Jim and Bonnie Van Bortel, Page's Leaf Custom Catering and the Lodge at Keyah Grande. In addition, donations from the Bank of the San Juans, LPEA Roundup Foundation, the Town of Pagosa Springs and those who attended the benefit are helping to fund the event.

"This will be a fun occasion for adults and young people alike," predicted Lisa Scott, co-chair of Family Festivo. "We're hoping for a large crowd of 'kids of all ages' who enjoy great music," she said.

Young people's events

Less well known are the many Music in the Mountains programs for young people, made possible by a donation from the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club. They include bringing musicians to Pagosa schools to work with youngsters involved in music programs, holding workshops for young musicians and sending Pagosa children to a Taste of Music Concert in Durango.

The organization also arranges for and provides scholarships for local youth to attend Conservatory Music in the Mountains music education programs held at Fort Lewis College. This year's recipients include Chris Baum, who will receive a scholarship funded by the Bank of Colorado and the Conservatory to attend a two-week program. As well, Courtney Spears will attend the Suzuki Institute for Children and Kate Kelly will attend the Suzuki Institute for Teachers, both on grants provided by Wells Fargo Bank.

Clinkenbeard said that ticket prices pay for only a small portion of the cost of the concerts and other Music in the Mountains activities.

Contributors, volunteers

"Our Pagosa festival is possible only because of contributions from individual donors and larger organizations like those previously mentioned in this article. We also want to thank The Source for Real Estate, donor of our colorful banner now hanging above Hot Springs Boulevard near Town Park," Clinkenbeard said. ""It advertises our events and depicts our spectacular local mountain scenery based on photos from Jan Brookshier."

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

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



Bob Huff brings cowboy poetry to weekend fare

Experience a special evening Saturday, July 24, as Bob Huff shares his experiences in life and on the trail through cowboy poetry.

The program will begin 7 p.m. at Teal Boat Ramp at Williams Reservoir. Allow about 40 minutes for the drive north of Pagosa Springs on Piedra Road to Williams Creek Road and the reservoir.

Dress warmly, bring a chair, flashlight and blanket for this outdoor program.

The program is sponsored by the San Juan National Forest, a partner in the Interpretive Alliance which provides provocative, enjoyable and memorable programs focusing on Pagosa Springs and surrounding areas - free.

Watch for colorful calendars posted throughout the area during the summer.

Partners in the alliance include the San Juan National Forest, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Parks (Navajo State Park), San Juan Historical Society, Sisson Library, Friends of Archuleta County History, Friends of Native Cultures, Southern Ute Indian Cultural Center, Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Pagosa Springs Town Historical Preservation Board, Pagosa Springs Arts Council, TARA, San Juan Mountains Association, and the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association.

If you are interested in participating in the Interpretive Alliance or if you have ideas or suggestions of programs you would like to see, please contact one of the partners.

For additional information about programs, stop in the office at 2nd and Pagosa Streets, check online at www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan/education or contact Phyllis Decker at Pagosa Ranger District, 264-1528.


Cast of 'Peter and the Wolf'

Eight local youth will play the characters in the free performance of "Peter and the Wolf" in Town Park Thursday, July 29, at 11 a.m., accompanied by a 15-member Music in the Mountains orchestra.

Those pictured on The Preview cover are, left to right at the back, Erika Legg (bird), Ami Harbison (Peter), Leslie Baughman (duck), Andrew and Houston Gordon (hunters). Seated is Andrea Fautheree (wolf). Kneeling is Emmi Greer (grandfather). Missing from the photo is Kelsea Anderson (cat).


Pianist Reichert opens concert series Friday

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Israeli pianist Aviram Reichert returns to Pagosa Springs to a sold-out Music in the Mountains audience 7 p.m. Friday, July 23, under the tent at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs.

A Van Cliburn International Competition medalist, Reichert is one of the most popular classical musicians ever to play here. This is his third appearance in the Pagosa Music in the Mountains series in as many years, always to sold-out audiences.

In this concert, he will perform works from Debussy, Chaim, Scriabin and Schumann with several members of the Dallas and Baltimore symphonies.

Reichert is a frequent soloist with all the leading orchestras in his native country, including the Jerusalem Broadcast Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Haifa Symphony, the Israel Chamber and others. In 2004 he toured in Japan, Korea and South Africa to rave reviews.

This talented pianist has performed with many European and North American orchestras, and his Schubert performance with the Fort Worth Symphony earned him critical acclaim in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "His perfect command of detail approaches the level of genius; no fine point escapes his notice, even as note by note he builds the total magnificent structure."

Reichert has played and recorded with several world-class orchestras. He also is the featured performer on a Music in the Mountains CD "A Three-Piano Salute to Mozart."

In earlier years he was a medalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997 and he also has won the top prize in prestigious contests in Korea, Japan and France.

Music in the Mountains requests that no food be brought to the grounds, and that no pets be brought or left in parked vehicles. Prior to the concert and at intermission, finger food, wine, coffee, soft drinks and water will be available for purchase.


Town seeks wood carvers for public art project

Two dead cottonwood trees in Town Park may get new faces.

The Town of Pagosa Springs is requesting proposals from wood-carvers interested in making the two trees into art.

The town would like to develop public art projects in its parks by offering woodcarver artisans and artists a chance to respond to request for proposals for woodcarving services. The two cottonwood trees, are approximately five feet in circumference and are blank slates.

Some ideas for the carvings include kachina dolls, local historical figures, and general mountain wildlife.

"I don't want to see anymore of those carved bears that are up and down U.S. 160," Tony Simmons, a town council member, said.

Proposals for the two cottonwood tree carvings shall be reviewed by staff and presented to the Town Council for approval. The project shall commence upon the selected candidates proposed schedule.

For additional information, contact the Town of Pagosa Springs, Julie Jessen, Special Projects Director, 264-4115, Ext. 226.


Here's your chance to learn to cha-cha

By Marie Layton

Special to the PREVIEW

The cha-cha first appeared in the West Indies where there is a plant that produces seed pods that make a "cha-cha" sound.

In Haiti, the voodoo band consisted of three drums, a bell, and a rattle which was made from this "cha-cha" plant. The cha-cha was used by the band leader as a metronome to set the pace for dancing and singing.

The greatest contribution of the mambo is the fact that it led to the development of the cha-cha. Even during the peak of the mambo, most dancers agreed that its movements were too jerky, unlike the smooth movements usually associated with Latin dances.

In 1953, the Cuban orchestra, "America," started playing a mambo with a different beat. It was slower, allowing the dancers to use a slight hip undulation on the slow count. Gradually this was changed into a triple step and the cha-cha was born. Soon, dance studios reported that it was their most requested dance.

The cha-cha was introduced to the United States during the early 1950s and by 1959, it was the dance sensation. Today, cha-cha remains as the most popular Latin dance in the United States. The cha-cha is characterized by a swinging of the hips, called "Cuban Motion," and by very small steps.

Class schedule is Thursday, Aug. 5, Wednesday, Aug. 11, Thursday, Aug. 19, and Thursday, Aug. 26, 7-9 p.m. each day at PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave.

Dues are $30 per couple, $20 for singles. Singles without partners welcome.

For questions or comments, call Deb Aspen at 731-3338.


Go take a hike - with a llama

The San Juan Mountains Association in conjunction with San Juan Public Lands, Durango Mountain Resort, and Lois the Llama Lady will host, "Hike, Lunch and Wine with a Llama."

This is an interpretive hike where participants will learn about wildflowers, trees, birds and geology of the area.

The llama will carry lunches and wine for a midday picnic. The hike will take place 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 31 at Durango Mountain Resort.

Cost is $30 per person, $50 per couple. Call 385-1210 to register by July 29.


Chile cookoff, entertainment, rodeo, auction highlight fair

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

The Archuleta County Fair is literally around the corner. In two weeks, townspeople and visitors alike will be able to enjoy Pagosa's brand of hospitality in the outdoor setting, showcased by our beautiful mountain vistas.

The second Annual Lee Sterling Chile Cookoff and Taste of Pagosa will kick off the food festivities 4-9 p.m. Thursday Aug. 6. All of our best cooks will be represented in this culinary talent show. The competition is stiff but only a few will be crowned as chile aficionados.

Friday, Aug. 6, brings a showcase of talent with Jana Burch Tap Dancers at noon; Tonya Shepherd, a resident and talented singer warming up the crowd with her band 4-5 p.m. followed by The Colgate Country Showdown in the activity tent.

The Bad Moon Rodeo will be highlighted in the arena from 7:30-11 p.m.

The always-awaited 4-H Chuck Wagon dinner is 4:30-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7. If you leave this event not full then you must have a hole in your boot.

The livestock auction opens at 7 p.m. so you can work off your dinner with some bidding.

And then, if you have your dancing boots on, you won't want to miss Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge Railroad playing 9 p.m.-midnight. It sounds like a great date night under the stars folks.

Sunday brings praise and worship beginning at 8 a.m. The Children's Praise Team from Restoration Fellowship will bless us with their gifts of song. Doughnuts will be served at the service, making it a good time to get soul food and tummy food in one place.

These are just a few of the many activities that will be happening at the fair. Detailed information can be found in the Fair Book available in many locations about town.

Information can also be found at the Extension office, or by calling the office at 264-4660.


Archuleta County Fair Schedule of Events

Bill of Fair

Wednesday, Aug. 4

Exhibit Hall

1-8 p.m.

Check in all Open Class entries (No check in Thursday).

Thursday, Aug. 5

4-H Room:

8-11 a.m.

4-H inside projects judged


Livestock Tent:

8 a.m.-noon

All animals brought in



9 a.m.

Fair opens

10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Vendors open


Activity Tent:


Judge's lunch


Exhibit Hall:

noon-6 p.m.

Open Class projects judged


Education/Demo Tent:

noon-5 p.m.

Federal, state, and county agencies

noon-5 p.m.

Daily demonstrations - TBA


Activity Tent:

noon-10 p.m.

Beer Garden open

12:30 p.m.

Dog Obedience


Livestock Tent:

2 p.m.

4-H Swine weigh-in


Education/Demo Tent:

2:30-4:30 p.m.

Upper San Juan Health Services District, CRR, and emergency demos


Livestock Tent:

2:30 p.m.

4-H Steer weigh-in

2:45 p.m.

4-H Goat weigh-in

3 p.m.

4-H Lamb weigh-in



3-8 p.m.

Southwest Ag. children's tractor train rides


Livestock Tent:

4 p.m.

Rabbit Showmanship


Education/Demo Tent:

4-7 p.m.

Rocky Mountain Riders


Activity Tent:

4-9 p.m.

Annual Lee Sterling Chile Cookoff &Taste

4-9 p.m.

Food vendors closed during chile event



4 p.m.

Dunking Booth and Extreme Games open


Activity Tent:

4-9 p.m.

Strolling Mariachi- Juan Cabrera


Education/Demo Tent

4:45-6:30 p.m.

Ken Jones fly-tying


Livestock Tent:

6 p.m.

4-H Non-Market Goat Show


Exhibit Hall:

6-8 p.m.

Open to public

10 p.m.

Fair closed

Friday, Aug. 6

Livestock Tent:

8 a.m.

Rabbit judging

8:30 a.m.

4-H Market Swine Show



9 a.m.

Fair opens

9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Jungle Mobile



Exhibit Hall:

9 a.m.-8 p.m.

Open to public

9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Vendors open


Education/Demo Tent:

10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Federal, state, and county agencies

10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Daily demonstrations - TBA



10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Southwest Ag. children's tractor train rides


Activity Tent:

10:30 a.m.

Dog Obedience judged



10:30-11 a.m.

Wayne Francis-ventriloquist

11a.m.-6 p.m.

Dunking Booth and Extreme Games open


Livestock Tent:

11 a.m

4-H Market Goat Show


Activity Tent:

11 a.m.-midnight

Beer Garden open



11:30 a.m.-noon

Mad Scientist Experiments

11:30 a.m.

Bubble Gum contest


Livestock Tent:

12:30 p.m.

Chicken judging


12:30 p.m.

Sand Castle contest

12:30-1 p.m

Mysto the Magi


Education/Demo Tent:

12:30-2:30 p.m.

Upper San Juan Health Services District, CRR, and emergency demos

1:30 p.m.

Hula Hoop contest


Livestock Tent:

2 p.m.

4-H Rabbit Showmanship



2.-2:30 p.m.

Wayne Francis-ventriloquist



2:30 p.m.

Pie eating contest

3 p.m.

Apple bobbing

3:30 p.m.

Potato race


Livestock Tent:

3 p.m.

4-H Rabbit judging



3-3:30 p.m.

Mysto the Magi


Livestock Tent:

3:30 p.m.

Rabbit "Catch-It" contest


Education/Demo Tent:

3:45-6 p.m.

Patrick O'Brien-GPS/Map Reading. Bring personal GPS



4 p.m.

Hula Hoop contest



4-4:30 p.m.

Mad scientist experiments



4:30 p.m.

Bubble gum contest

5 p.m.

Sand castle building contest


Livestock Tent:

5 p.m.

4-H Heifer Show


Activity Tent:

5-8 p.m.

Colgate Country Showdown


Livestock Tent:

5:30 p.m.

4-H Market Steer Show



5:30-6 p.m.

Mad scientist experiments


Livestock Tent:

6 p.m.

4-H Market Steer Show



6-6:30 p.m.

Mysto the Magi

7-7:30 p.m.

Mad scientist experiments



7:30 p.m.

Bad Moon Rodeo

11 p.m.

Fair closed

Saturday, Aug. 7


9 a.m.

Fair opens

8 a.m.-noon



Livestock Tent:

8:30 a.m.

4-H Market Lamb Show

9 a.m.

Horseshoe pitching

Exhibit Hall:

9 a.m.-8 p.m.

Open to public


Education/Demo Tent:

9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Janet Karn-table setting

9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Vendors open



10-10:30 a.m.

Abbie the Clown


Education/Demo Tent:

10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Federal, state, and county agencies

10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Daily demonstrations - TBA



10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Southwest Ag. Children's Tractor Train Rides

10 a.m.

Digging for buried treasure

10:30 a.m.

Ladies' nail driving contest



11a.m.-6 p.m.

Dunking Booth and Extreme Games open


Livestock Tent:

11 a.m.

4-H Livestock Round Robin



11-11:30 a.m.

Wayne Francis-ventriloquist


Activity Tent:

11 a.m.-midnight

Beer Garden open



11:30 a.m.-noon

Mad scientist experiments

11:30 a.m.

Stick Horse barrel racing

Noon-12:30 p.m.

Mysto the Magi


Education/Demo Tent:

12:30-2 p.m.

Larry Fisher, Bob Gutknecht, Sally Delange- Fly tying and GPS/Map reading. Bring personal GPS



12:30 p.m.

Jana Burch's Tap Dancers

1-1:30 p.m.

Abbie the Clown


Education/Demo Tent:

2-3:30 p.m.

Lois Burbank- felting project for children



2 p.m.

Blind Man tractor race (tentative)

2-2:30 p.m.

Wayne Francis-Ventriloquist

3-3:30 p.m.

Mad scientist experiments

4-4:30 p.m.

Mysto the Magi


Education/Demo Tent:

4-6 p.m.

Mountain High Fiber Ladies- Jane McKain and Marsha Silver


Activity Tent:

5-7 p.m.

4-H Chuck Wagon BBQ (Beer Garden closed)

5 p.m.


Baby Contest:

Mother/Daughter Look Alike

Father/Son Look Alike



5-5:30 p.m.

Abbie the Clown


Activity Tent:

5:30 p.m.

Best Dressed Cowboy/Girl

Best Beard Contest

Ugliest Boots and Hat Contests

6 p.m.

Introduction of fair honorees



6-6:30 p.m.

Mad scientist experiments

7-7:30 p.m.

Mysto the Magi


Livestock Tent:

7 p.m.

4-H Livestock Auction



8-8:30 p.m.

Wayne Francis Ventriloquist


Activity Tent:

9 p.m.-midnight

Fair Dance with Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge

12:30 a.m.

Fair closed

Sunday, Aug. 8


8 a.m.

Fair opens


Activity Tent

8-9 a.m

Southern Gospel Breakfast


Livestock Tent

9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Livestock Record Book inter-



Exhibit Hall

9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Open to public



9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Vendors open



9:30 -11 a.m.

Kids Rodeo-Children 6 and under



10-10:30 a.m.

Abbie the Clown



10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Southwest Ag. Children's Tractor Train Rides



11 a.m

Dunking Booth and Extreme Games open


Derby Arena

11 a.m

Demolition Derby


Livestock Tent

11 a.m.

Livestock moved off Fairgrounds

Activity Tent

11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Beer Garden open



11-11:30 a.m.

Wayne Francis-ventriloquist

Noon-12:30 p.m.

Abbie the Clown


Education/Demo Tent

noon-2 p.m.

Cindy Carothers - temporary airbrush tattoos

noon-4 p.m.

Daily demonstrations - TBA



1:30-2 p.m.

Wayne Francis-ventriloquist



2 p.m.

Kids' Rodeo- Children 7 and older



2:30-3 p.m.

Abbie the Clown

3:30-4 p.m.

Wayne Francis-ventriloquist


Exhibit Hall

4-6 p.m.

Release of Open Class exhibits and premiums paid


4-H Room

4-6. p.m.

Release of 4-H projects

6 p.m.

Fair closed.


Ride the Weminuche for United Way July 31

By Sue Walan

Special to The PREVIEW

The weekend is coming up quickly and I'd love to get out for a ride in the wilderness, but there is so much to be done at work and the chores are piling up at home.

Meanwhile that horse that hangs out in my pasture being fed 12 months a year has gained 150 pounds. Well, I've found a solution, and maybe it will work for you too. I'm going to sign up and send in my money and mark my calendar to "Ride The Weminuche for United Way." Then I'll have to do exactly what I've wanted to do all summer.

The ride will be at the 960-acre Poma Ranch in the beautiful Weminuche Valley. If you have ever hiked the trail out of Poison Park you've seen the northeast corner of the ranch. I'm dying to see if the rest of the ranch is as beautiful as the little piece that I have seen. Matt Poma has generously offered to share his ranch with us for the day and states:

"It is my pleasure to be able to offer my ranch for this worthwhile fund-raising event. It is important to me to give back to my community. I want to invite everyone to experience the wonders of the mountains up close and personal, and to enjoy the spectacular high country lakes and streams, to watch the deer, elk and other wildlife in their natural habitat. I invite you to touch the wilds."

So, here are the details. On Saturday, July 31, drive 26 miles up Piedra Road always bearing to the left, going past the turn off for Williams Reservoir. Leave early enough to be ready to ride at 9 am. After a couple of hours riding, we'll return to the ranch for a wonderful chuck wagon lunch, with cowboy music provided by Phil Janowski.

If you don't ride, won't you please join us for lunch and the serenity of the day?

If you don't have a horse, you can ride one of the experienced trail horses supplied by Matt Poma. Or you can bring your own horse.

All funds raised stay in Archuleta County and over 90 percent goes directly to the supported programs, which are: The Archuleta Education Center, Archuleta Victims Assistance, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Community Connections, Senior Center, Seeds of Learning, Southwest Community Resources, Southwest Youth Corps, Volunteers of America Safehouse, Pagosa Outreach Connection and Habitat for Humanity.

Many of these programs cannot exist if we do not raise the needed funds to help support them.

The cost of the ride is $95 if you need to rent a horse and tack; $55 if you bring your own horse; and $15 for lunch only. You can mail your checks to Kathi DeClark at PO Box 4274 Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or call 946-2057 and charge by phone.


Chuck Wagon Cook-Off set by Cattlemen

La Plata-Archuleta Cattlemen's Association will sponsor a Chuck Wagon Cook-Off July 31 with wagons arriving at La Plata County Fairgounds in Durango July 30.

Cooks from each wagon, plus their helpers, will begin early July 31 preparing food for about 60 people, with all the cooking done in Dutch ovens.

The food, all locally grown, will consist of meat, potatoes, bread, beans, a dessert and a drink. Each wagon will be judged on its authenticity. Each category of food will be judged and ticket holders will be served at 5:30 p.m.

The cook-off will be on the lower baseball field (just west of the rodeo arena). The public is invited to visit the wagons, visit with the cooks, and make a decision as to which wagon's food you would prefer.

Awards will be presented at the evening performance of Fiesta Rodeo.

A limited number of tickets are available at the Cattlemen's picnic Saturday, July 17 at Cole Ranch and at Basin Coop. A $12 donation is required. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the gate.


Food for Thought

Take a trip to a foreign land - in Nevada

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

There are times you need to get away.

Away from work, your routines, the people you see on a daily basis.

You require the cleansing power of a radically different environment. Preferably one where people speak a different language, a place that tests you, forces you to be keenly aware of your surroundings, one with at least the illusion of some risk. One with exciting food options.

Let's see: risk, awareness, foreign languages, food.

Sure, there's Europe and Central America and Asia. You can go to Paris or Shanghai, to Buda, Pest or Buenos Aires. But, when time is short, why go through the stress, the struggle with jet lag, why endure the problems with airport security?

Why not strike out for a foreign land just a long day's drive from home?

Why not Las Vegas?

That's what I did last week, for the second time in two months.

I was sullied by the sameness of my everyday existence; I needed cleansing.

The opportunity was undeniable: Kathy is involved with a cutting-edge system of language instruction and the national conference this year was set for - oh, the magic of coincidence - Las Vegas.

I did the noble thing.

"Honey," I said, "I can't bear the thought of you being with strangers for five days. I have a couple weeks vacation coming, so why don't I sacrifice one of them and go with you? That darned Las Vegas is rough turf when you peel away the circus-like veneer. You shouldn't be alone in a place like that."

"Oh, Karl, that's sweet of you. But, I'll be in sessions all day, starting at 8 a.m. I won't be out until four in the afternoon. You'd be alone."

"Oh, shucks, snuggle bunny, that's a small price to pay just to be near you and to know you're safe, to know you're not spending your nights by yourself in some dismal hotel room listening to drunken thugs bellow outside your door. Here's an idea: We'll book in at Mandalay Bay. They've got an aquarium there - Shark Reef. Why, I can spend hours every day just watching the fish. There's a glass tunnel through the center of the big tank where I can sit and watch a variety of fish swim overhead. It'll be great. I can't wait."

"But, won't that wear thin after three or so days?"

"That's hard to imagine darling, but if it does, I'll have the laptop along and I can sit in the room and work. I've been thinking about writing poetry. Some cantos, perhaps. I'm really excited about this, aren't you?"

"Well, I suppose so. The aquarium sounds neat, but "

Sensing a threat in her hesitation, I throw her the bone.

"Well, I wouldn't want you to miss the aquarium. It's open late, so we'll go together, after you've finished class. My treat. I really want you to see those sharks. They're humdingers. Very natural. Plus, I'll buy you gelato."

"Well, I "

"And a show. I'll take a bit out of my special savings account and I'll treat you to a show."

"Special savings account? What special savings account?"


"Gosh, how many times have you said you want to see that Cirque de Soleil show at Bellagio? Huh? Cirque de Soleil? Oh? Think of the costumes, the magnificent pageantry. I hear there's water involved. I'll get the best tickets possible. Wow, what a treat that'll be. In fact, I'm going to call for reservations right now. Normally, I don't get too worked up about this sort of thing, but I am really stoked. On second thought, you know Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, is doing two shows a night. What a dilemma. I can't pick, can you? You gotta pick for us, honey. What's it gonna be, Wayne or the Cirque. Huh? Gosh, I'm excited. Really. Woooweee."

"Well, I love Bellagio, and "


It worked.

So, we throw some togs into a suitcase and we make the 10-hour drive to Vegas. Simple as that.

Before you know it, Kathy is at her conference, having a ton of linguistic fun sitting in a stuffy room jammed with teachers (and they are a rip-roaring bunch!) and I am prepared to walk briskly past Shark Reef and head straight to the casino.

I need the risk. I need to hear people babble in foreign tongues.

I am not disappointed.

I sit at first base at a blackjack table. It's 8 a.m., a time when neurons are blooming, synapses opening in peak form

A group of young Chinese folks sits down at the table, two females and one male. They are all chain smokers. Every so often, I hear a word or phrase I understand, notably "blackjack" and "ahhhhh, no."

The guy seems to take a shine to me. He smiles, I smile back.

He gets amped up, jumping out of his chair when the dealer draws, whooping when the dealer busts, moaning when the dealer beats him. Regardless of outcome, after every hand the guy looks at me, gives me the thumbs up, grins wildly and says something that sounds like "dough meow."

No matter what: thumb, crazed grin, "dough meow."

If one of the young women loses, the guy goes nuts, leaps from his chair, spins around and grabs his ears.

Then, the grin, thumbs up.

"Dough meow."

For whatever reason - it can't be attributed to my play since I am totally distracted by the Chinese guy and his concubines - I begin to win. In fact, I can't lose.

It's the phrase, I think. It's gotta be the phrase. The Chinese guy is influencing the cards with some sort of weird incantation. The radically different environment is cleansing my mind. I'm tabula rasa, thinking very, very clearly.

"Dough meow."

Next hand, I get a blackjack.

"Blackjack," my new Asian buddies shout in chorus. "Dough meow."

Next hand, the gal next to me busts and the guy goes nuts, leaping, tearing at himself. The woman begins to sob.

The guy busts after he hits a sixteen against a dealer's king. He tries to rip off an ear, then looks up, grins, releases a huge puff of smoke. Thumbs up. "Dough meow."

I am swimming in strange waters. I decide to bridge the cultural gap and send some luck back his way. I give him the thumbs and say "Dough meow."

It's like I shot the guy. His jaw drops open, his head turns beet red. He shouts something to the women, grimaces and, like a flash, the whole pack is gone.

A guy sitting mid table looks over and says something that sounds like: "Dost tree vootay."

OK, sure.

To continue my quest for the foreign experience, I retreat to the hotel spa where I languish in the decidedly homoerotic atmosphere, take steam baths and dip in heated water, foundering in a variety of whirlpools like a beached whale. I hear people speaking Arabic (is security watching?), Italian, French, German.

I am cleaner, in more ways than one.

In my hotel room, I tune to a Japanese channel on the hotel television system. I watch videos. In my favorite, which I see at least ten times during my stay, a guy buys a big house overlooking the beach. His girlfriend is very happy.

Something goes wrong. The girl is unhappy; the guy is unhappy. They each stare at the ocean. The music swells and the young folk fight.

The girl leaves on a bike. She reads a letter. She cries.

The guy stays at the house and suffers. He sings along with the music and gets depressed. The girl gets depressed. We flash back to happy times. The couple is in a canoe.

The guy sells the house and rides off on a bike.

The end.

I need more.

I switch channels, to a Chinese soap opera.

The characters speak Chinese but there are Chinese characters running across the bottom of the screen. They are translating the Chinese into Chinese. I wanted foreign, I got foreign.

A cartoon chipmunk appears in the upper left corner of the screen and, suddenly, I'm watching a girl smile and eat a glob of putty-colored glop off the end of a stick.

I switch to the Spanish language channel and watch a guy dressed like Liberace predict the future.

Or, at least that's what I think he's doing, since I don't speak Spanish. He has a burnt orange pompadour hairdo and wears huge rings on his stubby fingers. I am certain he is telling me something important and I strain to detect a clue.

Before I know it, my day is done. The regimen is working; I am cleaner than ever, sharp as a tack, without a care in the world.

Then, there's the food. Nothing evaporates anxiety like eating at fine restaurants.

The first night, I take Kathy to one of Wolfgang Puck's restaurants: Lupo Trattoria. Nice place. She has a chicken scaloppine with a Marsala sauce; I have pan roasted grouper with green beans and pimento.

Another night, we traipse up The Strip to a favorite of Kathy's at Paris (see, still foreign): Mon Ami Gabi.

Kathy swears the best filet she ever ate was put in front of her two years go at this facsimile of a French bistro. She orders the Filet Parisienne, medium with a wine reduction and potato gratin. I order chicken paillard, with a white wine, lemon and butter sauce. We share an order of spinach and garlic. At my request, Kathy speaks French. People are impressed. I am cleansed.

Kathy's scaloppine and my paillard are cousins in that, in both styles, the meat is pounded thin. The meat could just as well be veal or pork.

The uniform thickness of the meat allows for quick cooking, thus ensuring tenderness, if done right. While there is no doubt in my mind a chicken's dark meat is far superior in flavor to the breast, slicing then pounding boneless chicken breast, seasoning it well and flash cooking it is one the best ways to prepare it.

Take a boneless breast, slice it to produce two cutlets. Take a cutlet, put it between two sheets of plastic wrap which you have moistened slightly with water (to keep the meat from sticking) then pound the bejeebers out of it until it is about a quarter-inch thick.

Heat a heavy frying pan (Got cast iron? Use it) over medium high heat and add olive oil and butter.

Season the paillard/scaloppine with salt and pepper on both sides then dredge lightly in seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Pop the meat into the pan and cook for a couple minuets on each side. Remove the meat to a heated plate and cover.

Throw some finely minced shallots into the pan then hit it with a good dose of dry white wine. Let this reduce for a minute then pop in some chopped fresh herbs of your choice, a splash of chicken stock, some chopped parsley and a mess of fresh lemon juice. Taste, adjust seasonings, reduce somewhat then swirl in as much butter as your coronary condition will allow, one bit at a time, until the sauce is velvety. Put the chicken back in the pan to coat.

Try the spinach and garlic. This is so simple it's gotta be against the law. Take a huge wad of baby spinach and rinse and dry it. Over medium-high heat, briefly sauté sliced garlic in a mix of olive oil and butter then toss in the spinach. Don't worry if you have a giant heap of the stuff - it's going to shrink, dramatically and quickly. Season with salt and pepper (kosher salt, please) stir constantly and, in a couple minutes, it's done.

If you need to get away and can't get to Vegas or some similarly foreign locale, make this meal at home.


If you have satellite TV at your house, turn to the Mexican channel and crank up the sound while you dine. If someone in your family speaks a foreign language, have them babble incessantly.

The food, the racket, the incomprehensibility - it's a revitalizing change of pace. It will cleanse you.

Oh, and don't forget:

"Dough meow."


Cruising with Cruse

Rainbow Hot Springs and Blackhead: total difference

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

I haven't walked the trail to the Rainbow Hot Springs for several years. It seems to have gotten better since the last time. Maybe that's because I went early in the morning, after a night of rain.

The trail was damp, not dusty. It wasn't crowded with people. The grasses and skunk cabbage and the leaves of all the wildflowers were washed clean and sparkled with drops of dew. Even that first mile through private property seemed less onerous, less boring, than I remembered.

It's about four and a half miles to the camping area around the hot springs.

Going in I met few other hikers. A fisherman passed me at the bridge over the West Fork and I never saw him again. I met a backpacker as I neared the springs. He told me there were two "Europeans" in the pool.

"Were they naked?" I asked.

"Yes," he said. "Some people aren't comfortable with that. Just thought I'd warn you."

Turned out to be not a problem, as the Europeans, and their dog, had already gotten their clothes back on and were 10 minutes behind him on the trail.

When I found the bathing pool, I had it all to myself.

After lunch, on the way back, I met a couple who had taken a wrong turn, although that seems pretty hard to do. And I met another couple on their way for a "soaking day" at the springs, although it was already 2 p.m., and they still had over a mile to get there and the clouds were building farther up the canyon. It looked more like it was going to be a soaking evening, and the soaking might come from the sky and not the springs.

The next day I went on a very different hike, this time with members of the San Juan Outdoor Club. We were 12 people and a dog named Sam. We went to the top of Blackhead Peak. To get there, you drive out Mill Creek Road to about the end, park your car, and hike UP. And up.

There is no real trail. There are a succession of game trails and hunters' pathways, and some intuitive direction finding. Basically you hike to the ridge the Nipple Peak sits on, and then turn right. I could have enjoyed the view more, if I hadn't been so busy trying to breathe. I also had to pause regularly to let my heart rate move back down into an acceptable zone.

It's humbling to be the slowest hiker in the group. I've never made any bones over the fact that I'm a slow hiker, but people don't necessarily believe it when I tell them that. "Oh, me too," they say, just before they charge up the trail like a runaway bus.

So I'm gasping along, struggling up a 45 degree hillside, feeling a most unusual stretch in the backs of my calves. I top out on some little ridge and there they all are, resting. "Everybody here? Let's go," says the leader. No rest for the slowpoke.

When you're climbing a peak, or even just hiking into the backcountry, one cardinal rule is to be off the high spots by noon. So it's important to get up there before then and have a little time to look around and savor the moment. At some point I told the leader that I thought I should stop and let them go on, so I wouldn't hold the group back. "Oh, no," he said. "They're just a little way ahead of you. It's not much farther." And other encouraging noises like that.

From the Nipple, which by the way is a column of stone about 60 feet high, we crossed an open saddle, until we reached a spot where we had to climb and scramble up 20 feet or so of rock wall. Put your hand here, your foot there, heave yourself up, hope that next rock you're grabbing is solid and not about to come loose from the soil it's imbedded in. I don't know how Sam made it.

"Watch out for that rock," said a voice from above. "It's loose." Bringing up the rear, Sam's owner pulled out the loose rock and sent it crashing down. "Trail maintenance," he said with a grin.

Above the rock climbing part, we hiked up an open alpine park. We were small bugs marching up the rounded side of a pillow. We were cars inching up the steep hills of San Francisco. I leaned forward to keep from tipping backward off the side. The three people above and ahead of me paused, and I heard one of them say, "I thought it was going to level out a bit." Oh joy.

Well, I finally made it. The rest of the group was sitting around munching on their granola bars and trail mix and lunch fixings and admiring the view.

They gave me a big cheer.

Blackhead Peak is 12,500 feet high, almost as high as Pagosa Peak. From our vantage point we looked out over the tops of a lot of other mountains stretching away to the north and east. Below us the Nipple was almost tiny.

Off in the distance we could make out Put Hill and the Pagosa Lakes. "I can see my house," someone said, "Or at least I can see where it is."

It was 12:30 and the weather was with us. We finished lunch, gathered up our stuff, took pictures to document our presence on the peak, and started back down. People helped each other down over the rocky part. Several of us found that sitting down and sliding was the best way to go.

Halfway back to the trail head (I use the term euphemistically) we passed a lone hiker on his way up, up to where the clouds were beginning to build for late afternoon storms.

The group is tackling Pagosa Peak next month. Now that I've done Blackhead, that doesn't seem so intimidating.


Extension Viewpoints

Simple picnic can be disease breeding ground

Monday, July 26 - 4-H Dog Obedience, Extension office-Exhibit hall, 4 p.m.; 4-H Sports Fishing, Extension office, 4 p.m.; 4-H Shooting Sports, Ski & Bow Rack, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, July 27 - 4-H Fairgrounds cleanup with BBQ following, Extension office, 4 p.m.; 4-H Council meeting, Extension office, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, July 28 - 4-H Entomology, Extension office, 12:30 p.m.; 4-H Livestock weigh-in, Fairgrounds, 6 p.m.

Thursday, July 29 - 4-H Home Economics Contest run through, Extension office, 3:30 p.m.

Think food safety when planning a picnic.

There's something special about packing a picnic and heading to the park or hills to enjoy being in the great outdoors. Whether your picnic is an elaborate gourmet affair for 20 or a simple packed lunch for two, the last thing you want to bring back home with you is foodborne illness.

Picnics are notorious breeding grounds for bugs, including the microorganisms that cause foodborne illness. With a little knowledge and pre-planning, however, outdoor picnics can be an enjoyable and safe event.

When planning a picnic or cookout, make a list of items to pack. Your menu will dictate what to bring. For example, if you're planning to cook raw meats, poultry or fish, remember the rules to prevent cross-contamination.

Raw animal products can be a source of unwanted bacteria. Cooking meat kills pathogens that may be present. Bring a meat thermometer along and check to be sure that hamburger patties have reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees F before removing from the grill. For grilled chicken, the recommended internal endpoint temperature is 170 degrees F.

Take care to make sure that all utensils, cutting boards and hands that have contacted raw meat are washed thoroughly before contacting other foods. It's a good idea to pack duplicate sets of utensils and cutting boards and to bring along an ample supply of moist towelettes for hand washing.

A makeshift wash station can be set up using two plastic tubs, one with soapy water and the other with clean rinse water. A spray bottle filled with soapy water also is easy to bring along.

When packing a cooler, be sure to use one that is well-insulated and has an adequate ice source. Ice blocks, cubes or refreezable ice packs all work well. Carefully package raw fish, meat or poultry to keep juices from leaking in the cooler. Make sure the items to be packed already have been chilled to refrigerator temperatures before placing them in the cooler. Keep the cooler in the shade, and make sure foods are not sitting out, either before or after cooking, for more than two hours. This time window is shortened to only one hour if it's hotter than 85 degrees outside.

Remember that pathogens can be present on produce. All fruits and vegetables, including melons, berries and leafy greens, should be washed well under running water in your kitchen before packing in a cooler.

When cooking, be vigilant about sources of cross-contamination. Different utensils and serving platters should be used for raw and cooked foods. Make sure that everything that touches food is clean. Also, don't even think about using any of the marinade that touched raw meat as a basting sauce or dip for cooked meat. Rather, reserve out a portion of the marinade recipe for use as a sauce or dip, then spread the rest of the recipe on the raw product.

Avoid partially precooking meats to be finished later on the grill. Precooked foods should be cooked thoroughly, placed immediately in a refrigerator, brought down to a cool temperature then packed in the cooler. Remember, unwelcome food pathogens multiply quickly between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F, a window of temperature that is warmer than a refrigerator but cooler than hot serving temperature.

All utensils, cookware and grills should be cleaned thoroughly after use. To sanitize cutting boards, wash with warm, soapy water, rinse, then dip in a solution of one teaspoon of bleach in one quart of lukewarm water.

Leftovers should be wrapped well and placed in a cooler with ice. They should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours, one hour if it's over 85 degrees outside. Finally, remember the maxim: "When in doubt, throw it out."


Pagosa Lakes News

Adventure races, a national rage, coming to Pagosaland

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Imagine yourself relaxing on the couch one night flipping through the channels on the TV when you run across a show describing a human-powered race covering about 300 miles of wilderness.

When you get past the initial amazement, you either think those people are crazy or you're feeling a bit interested yourself.

Once the pleasure of a few professional masochists, grueling adventure races are suddenly a national rage. Adventure races are hosted throughout this country, with the closest being offered in Durango these past four years. On Sept. 11, that will change.

LungBuster 2004 will premiere right here in our own backyard. The course will start at Wolf Creek Ski Area and end at Beaver Creek Reservoir. This adventure will include off-road trekking/running, mountain biking, peddling and orienteering.

These are the three main events that you'll find at any race and with each course there's navigation involved. You have to plot your course using a map and compass, then figure out where all the checkpoints are and which is the best way to get to each checkpoint.

Pagosa Springs not only provides the ideal venue for a race like this, it will become a destination to which people will return because it is obviously an attractive tourist location. We will attract a good handful of locals, athletes in the Southwest and people from all over the country.

The course is entirely within the Rio Grande National Forest at elevations of 9,000 feet and above, including a portion along one of the most scenic sections of the Continental Divide Trail. Although specific time limit is yet to be determined, it will be a one-day, dawn to dusk event.

You can do the LungBuster with your buddies in a team of four, three or two persons. Solo entries will also be accepted. Your own support crew is required (visit www.lungbustger.com for more race information and to register). If you prefer talking to a person, call race director Carole Walters at 731-2829.

Not up to the physical demands of an adventure race this year? You can still be a part by being a volunteer.

LungBuster is a fully sanctioned adventure race under the auspices of the United States Adventure Racing Association, which has strict guidelines for safety and race management. Use and access of the Rio Grande National Forest is via an approved permit from the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Wildlife.

At the end of last year, an estimated 25,000 Americans participated in nearly 400 U.S. adventure races - and about 30,000 entered 60 mountain bike relays of 12 to 24 hours. Tens of thousands more will cycle centuries and compete in events like California's 129-mile Death Ride, an annual contest that requires 16,000 feet of climbing over five Sierra passes.

Just 10 years ago, the marathon was the outer limit for ordinary people. Now there are nearly half a million finishers of American marathons every year. For a growing number of amateur athletes, the thrill of slapping pavement 10,000 times is gone.

Last summer I competed in my first adventure race with fellow sufferfest buddy Richard Cyr. A heck of a lot more bragging rights come with finishing an adventure race than with a marathon.

Here's your chance to lay it all on the line and survive an adventure. Today, any weekend warrior is quite happy to go out and race for eight or nine hours. With pros pushing the extreme, the average athlete is fully able to go out with a couple of buddies and do a one-day event.

The athleticism is the means, not the end.




Trevor Jermaine Jackson

Trevor Jermaine Jackson was born June 5, 2004, in Durango, Colo., to Trina Mestas and Brandon Jackson of Pagosa Springs. Trevor weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 19 1/4 inches long. Grandparents are Frank and Christine Mestas of Pagosa Springs, Veronica Chavez of Pagosa Springs and Judy Jackson of Flagstaff, Ariz. Great grandparents are Emily and Frank Mestas of Pagosa Springs, Connie Chavez of Pagosa Springs, and Vera and James Peeler of Flagstaff.





Nick D. Bellino Jr.

Nick D. Bellino Jr., died Friday, July 9, 2004, in his Durango home. He was 46.

He was born May 3, 1958, to Nick E. Bellino and Florinda (Villareal) Bellino in Monte Vista. The family lived in Pagosa Springs until moving to Durango when Nick Jr. was in third grade. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves and attend San Juan Vo-Tech Trade College to become a certified heating and air-conditioning specialist.

Mr. Bellino had more recently been involved in construction with Reigle's Mechanical on the surgical center on Sawmill Road.

He played guitar and taught many people their first chords, dreaming of playing professionally. That dream went with him, but his memory will remain with many people.

He expressed his love as a father, son, partner, brother and friend. "Nick was a people person," said his sister, Molly Bellino. "His smile would win your heart."

Survivors include his mother, Florinda Riss of Bloomfield, N.M.; a son, Rodney of Durango; brothers Dennis and Tony of Farmington and Jeff of Crowley; his partner, Candyce Figliozzi, of Durango; sisters Loretta Kratz and Linda Coy, both of Littleton, Dorothy Ulibarri of Farmington, Molly Bellino of Aztec, N.M., Angie Alcon of Oklahoma City and Lucy Miller of Bloomfield; and numerous other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his father and two nephews, Justin Trujillo and Anthony Bellino.

Visitation and recitation of the Rosary was at Hood Mortuary in Durango and Mass was July 13 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Memorial contributions may be made to Manna Soup Kitchen, PO Box 1196, Durango, CO 81302.


In Memoriam

Steven R. Poleski

Born into life May 13, 1959.

Born into eternity July 19, 2003.

We can never be separated from those we love because God leaves us with memories to hold and cherish and those will never pass away.

All our love,

Mom, Dad, sisters,

families and dear

Pagosa friends

Business News
Biz Beat


Adventure Real Estate

Mike Marchand of Adventure Real Estate backs his business with honesty and integrity.

It is Adventure Real Estate's mission to bring high quality professional real estate services to Pagosa. As a longtime Pagosa resident, Mike is familiar with the Pagosa area and can help you find the type of real estate you are looking for.

For additional information or to set up an appointment, contact Mike at 731-5120 or 946-2549.




Preview Profile

Phillip Valdez

Animal control officer, Archuleta County


Where were you born?



Where did you go to school?

"Pagosa Springs High School."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"September, 1998."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I worked on Mill Creek Ranch for 11 years."


What are your job responsibilities?

"Picking up and rescuing lost animals and checking on the welfare of animals."


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

"The most enjoyable aspect of my job is meeting new people. The least is the way people are toward animal control. They take out their anger on you for doing your job when it was their responsibility in the first place to keep their animals out of a situation where animal control would be necessary."


What is your family background?

"Single. The Valdez family has been in Pagosa for a long time."


What do you like best about the community?

"The scenery and wildlife."


What are your other interests?

"Hunting, fishing and team roping."



John Hermann

Marine Corps Sgt. John W. Hermann, son of Debbie A. Hermann of Pagosa Springs, and Greg G. Hermann of Tucson, Ariz., and more than 2,100 other military personnel assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) recently deployed with the Belleau Wood Expeditionary Strike Group to the Western Pacific and Central Command area of responsibility in support of the global war on terrorism.

Hermann's unit is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment.

MEU's are built around a reinforced infantry battalion, a combat service support element, a reinforced helicopter squadron and a command element.

With its complement of fully integrated air and ground forces, Hermann's unit is ready to conduct real-world operations including amphibious, heliborne and boat raids, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, noncombatant evacuation operations and humanitarian assistance operations.





Nicole Ashley Rodriguez and Luke John Laydon announce their engagement to be married May 21, 2005, at University Park United Methodist Church in Denver. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Beverley and David Rodriguez of Littleton. She earned both bachelor's and master's degrees from Colorado State University and is employed as the assistant of programming with Clear Channel Colorado in Denver. The future groom is the son of Lauren and John Laydon of Longmont. He received his bachelor's degree from CSU and is a senior media representative with Screenvision Direct in Denver. He is the grandson of Steven and Delores Butler of Pagosa Springs. The couple will honeymoon on a Mediterranean cruise and plan to make their home in Denver.


Cards of Thanks

'Hills' thanks

I had the idea, John Porter did the research, director Dale Morris had the vision, and everyone who participated in "The Hills Are Alive...!" made it happen - a production at a level of quality which would be worthy of a community of any size. Talent, dedication and goodwill make an unbeatable combination.

The unexpected gift on stage was a great surprise, and much appreciated. (And I didn't even have a tip jar!)

Thank you all for everything.

John Graves

Casa de los Arcos

Thank you from Casa de los Arcos to the following for their generous donations:

Carolyn Church for puzzles and knitting materials; Curves for all the food items; Pagosa Baking Company for bread and other baked goods; Terrie Koch for beautiful flower arrangements; anonymous donor for pudding, popcorn and soup.

Molly Johnson,

Casa de los Arcos

Senior seating

Thank you so much to Rotary for providing the seating in the shade for the seniors. The parade was a blast!

Everyone enjoyed themselves and stayed comfortable thanks to you.

Musetta Wollenweber

Silver Foxes Den Senior Center

Memorial pins

Words cannot express to the Class of '84 how touched we were by the memorial pins made for those attending the reunion.

Each pin contained the photos of three fallen classmates - Emily Villarreal, Dino Martinez and Blain Cooney.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for remembering our children in such a beautiful way.

Forever grateful!

Judd and Diane Cooney

Lisa (Cooney) Kraetsch and family

Reading success

On Thursday evening, July 15, two fun things happened in Pagosa. The first was the Midsummer Celebration of Reading at the elementary school and the second a steady, soaking rain.

Maybe it was the rain that kept folks from bringing their youngsters to the Celebration of Reading, but the event was still a success for those who did show up.

Young people read together, swapped books and renewed commitments to be readers over the summer. Parents, volunteers and young readers enjoyed bagpipes and a meal together. Our children loved it.

Thank you to the volunteers from PIE and the Rotary. Thanks to he bagpipers and the volunteer readers. And a huge thanks to Joann Irons who planned and coordinated the event. We hope this becomes an annual midsummer event for elementary students. Good work, Joan!

Sally High

and Heather Hunts

Artist intro

Thank you to all contributors who made the introduction of Pagosa's newest artist, Pat Erickson, a huge success. The presence of so many members of the whole community at the Taminah Gallery was outstanding. Thank you all for coming.

Special thanks to Sally and the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce; the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, especially Leanne Goebel, Kate Terry (Kate's Calendar), Eric Erickson, Jean Magnelli, Phyllis Alspach, Abby Linzie, Marti Capling and Jo Ann Costa.

Karen Cox

Hospice garden

Many thanks to all who participated in making the annual Hospice Spring planting an inspirational and healing event for all who attended.

Thank you to the Pagosa Springs Community Choir, to vocalists Samantha Ricker and Christine Morrison and to Susan Anderson who provided brilliant accompaniment for all the singers.

Also thanks to our returning Hospice chaplain, Rev. Don Strait, who provided words of faith and blessing.

The Hospice Volunteers of Pagosa Springs made it all happen with their many hours of clean-up, weeding, watering and baking delicious treats for the refreshment table. All of their work is greatly appreciated.

Enza Bomkamp

Hospice volunteer coordinator


Sports Page


Pine Cone Classic draws 108 golfers from seven states

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

With 108 golfers from seven states the 36-hole Pine Cone Classic hosted in Pagosa Springs July 13-14 featured strong play and challenging greens.

Hosted by Pagosa Women's Golf Association and Pagosa Springs Golf Club the annual event hosted players from Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas and Utah.

The annual event is for teams of four women who play a best two-ball gross and net format. The field of 27 teams played Meadows and Pinon courses with par 72 the first day and Pinon/Ponderosa, par 71, the second day.

Six Pagosa teams were winners or placed in their respective flights.

In the championship flight, the team comprised of Sho-Jen Lee and Marilyn Smart and their teammates Kay Daley and Ginny Husted, of Sierra Vista, Ariz., captured first place gross with 293.

Pagosans Jane Day and Julie Pressley, along with teammates Kay Crumpton of Crumby, Texas, and Shelly Earl of Mancos, captured first net with 242.

First place net winners in the first flight were Pagosans Loretta Campuzano, Josie Hummell, Marilyn Preuter and CeCe Simms of Rocky Ford with a 237.

Kathy Giordano, Judy Horky, Cherry O'Donnell and Sheila Rogers of Pagosa captured second net with a 251.

In the second flight, Karen Carpenter, Genie Roberts, Ann White and Lee Wilson took first place with a 246. Second net went to Lynne Allison, Linda Duplissey, Pat Francis and Kristin Hatfield with a 250.

Special events winners on opening day were Julie Pressley, straightest drive on No. 1 Meadows, all flights; Cherry O'Donnell, first and Loretta Campuzano, second, in a special 4-hole putting contest with obstacles.

Second day special events winners included Audrey Johnson, closest to the pin on No. 3 Pinon for 19-36 handicappers; and Sally Bish, longest putt all flights, on No. 6 Ponderosa.

Contestants enjoyed a breakfast both mornings and on Tuesday evening were treated to a cocktail party and buffet dinner with entertainment by Jack Constant under the big tent on the club grounds.

Audrey Johnson and Barbara Sanborn, tournament co-chairwomen, said "this year's tournament was a huge success, thanks to Terry Carter, club groundskeeper and staff, for the excellent condition of the course; and Alan Schutz, club pro and staff, all the volunteers, the wonderful weather, and the great turnout of top players."


Nine Porpoise swimmers in Slope finals

This is the biggest weekend of the year - to date - for members of the Pagosa Porpoises Swim Team.

Nine of them will travel to Durango's Recreation Center Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the amateur Colorado Western Slope Championships.

Preliminaries will be Friday, with elimination heats 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and the finals 2-5 p.m. Sunday.

For eight of the Pagosa swimmers it offers a final chance to register a qualifying time for state competition.

To date, Pagosa's Teale Kitson is the only Porpoise with a state qualifying time.

Other teams in the competition will be Durango, Montrose, Ouray, Grand Junction (two teams) Sopris, Rangeley, Delta, Steamboat Springs, Telluride and Aspen.

Representing the Porpoises, coached by Steve Kitson, will be Teale and MacKenzie Kitson, Del and Evan Greer, Aaron and Austin Miller, Kalie Ray, Cela White and Michael Caves.

Kitson said this competition is on a short course, meter setting.


Kilgore low gross, Chitwood low net in ladies' league

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The July 6 league event for Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a low gross/low net format.

In the gross category, Jan Kilgore captured first place with an 81; second went to Jane Stewart with an 87; Barbara Sanborn and Sheila Rogers were third and fourth with 89 and 95 respectively.

Winners in the low net category were: Nancy Chitwood, first with 63; Lynne Allison, second with 67; Sally Bish and Marilyn Preuter with 69 and 72 respectively.

The shot of the day went to Katy Threet on No. 4 Meadows, a par 3, 132-yard hole with the tee box and green separated by a medium-sized lake.

There is a large, deep sand trap guarding the left side of the green. On that day the pin was tucked in right behind that sand trap.

Katy's drive hit the top of a post on a split rail fence that separates the cart path from the fairway. The ball caromed off the post, hit the left side of the sand trap, rolled into and out of the trap and landed four feet from the pin.

Amid great gales of laughter and lots of smiles, Katy quoted some famous golfer who said, "If you can't be good, it's great to be lucky."


Local baseball players named to all-star team

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department this week announced the players who made the 2004 All-Star Team.

These players were scheduled to compete in the first round of the regional championships in Monte Vista July 21 and 22: Sam Bard, Jordan Boudreaux , Mary Brinton, Chad Condon, Preston Dale, Mike Flihan, Will Laverty, Tino Lister, Waylon Lucero, Mathew Wells and Austin Willis.

Coaches are Myles Gabel, Lucas Jones and Steve Laverty.


Major League Soccer Camp set Aug. 2-6

Major League Soccer Camps is bringing skills training and thrills of accomplishment to Pagosa Springs High School fields Aug. 2-6.

Camps will be run for munchkins and nippers 9-10:30 a.m., intermediate players 9 a.m-noon and advanced players 5-8 p.m.

Costs will range from $67 to $107, equipment included and all campers receive their own soccer ball and T-shirt.

MLS camps are recognized as America's No. 1 soccer provider for the last 35 years, having developed a program for both boys and girls ages 2-18 through its one of a kind Kidriculum® which combines skills and technique training with games and activities for daily thrills.

As an official camp and clinic of Major League Soccer, participants receive exclusive privileges and awards, including a companion voucher to an MLS game, secret moves and techniques and a post-camp MLS team stadium graduation.

For more information visit MLScamps.com or contact Pagosa Pirate soccer coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason at 731-2458.


Parks & Rec

Parks getting heavy use in summer season

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

With July more than half over, our summer activities continue, with locals packing a lot into their time and park use is up tremendously.

Our parks are being used from dawn to dusk for tubing, biking, hiking, fishing, soccer, softball, picnicking and any other activities that you can think of that are summer oriented.

Weekend activities scheduled the rest of July are as follows: Saturday, July 23 - Vacation Bible School picnic, July 23 - political fund-raiser picnic (Rhonda Zaday).

More special events

Music in the Mountains will present a day of fun/games/lunch and, best of all, music July 29 in Town Park.

Come early for a good seat, the music is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. with games and lunch following the performance. This event is geared toward children, so parents, mark your calendars.

On July 31, The West Wind Pipe Band will present a free concert at the Town Park Gazebo, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The band features bag pipers, drummers, and dancers in full costume, entertainment in true Scottish fashion.

Soccer sign-ups

Sign-ups for the 2004 Youth Soccer League season will take place July 19-Aug. 13. Cost is $20 per player ($10 for each additional child in a family).

Age divisions for the league are: 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-13 (child's age by Aug. 1, 2004).

Soccer practices will begin Aug. 23 and continue through Sept. 3.

Soccer games begin Sept. 7 and continue through October on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Business sponsorship for youth soccer is $150 which includes plaque with team picture, signage and designation in newspaper. Plus, the sponsorship is tax deductible.

Registrations will be taken at Town Hall. For questions or additional information, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, at 264-4151, Ext. 232 , 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Youth soccer clinics

The recreation department will hold soccer clinics to allow our soccer players the opportunity to "tune up" for the upcoming soccer season.

Clinics are free to any paid participant in our soccer program and $10 for all others. Sites of clinics will be announced at a later date.

Soccer clinic dates are Aug. 16 -20, 4-6 p.m. for 5-6 year-olds and 6-8 p.m. for 7-8 year-olds; Aug. 17, 4-7 p.m. for 9-10 year-olds; and Aug. 18, 4-7 p.m. for the 11-13 age group.

Rockies challenge

The Town of Pagosa Springs is very proud of all its participants who qualified for the Rockies Skills Challenge in Pueblo Sunday, July 18. The young athletes who competed for Pagosa Springs were: 6-7 Division, Caden Henderson; 8-9 Division, Clint Walkup and Trisha Flihan; 10-11 Division, K.C. Lord; and 12-13 Division, Austin Willis and Mary Brinton.

Henderson and Willis each placed third in their divisions.

Volleyball camp

Get ready for your upcoming high school season. High School Volleyball Camp will take place July 28-31 at Pagosa Springs High School for grades 9-12.

To reserve a spot for camp, contact Penné Hamilton at 264-2441 or Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Open volleyball

Open recreational volleyball is being held 6-8 p.m. in the community center throughout the summer. Participants must be at least juniors in high school through adults to participate.

Now hiring

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department continues to seek individuals interested in officiating soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball. Please contact Gabel at the number listed earlier if you are interested. Pay is $15-$25 per game.



An important primary election

It's crunch time: Primary elections are coming Aug. 10, with early voting commencing July 30. There is plenty on the plate locally, and at the state level. Republicans, Democrats, unaffiliated voters have the chance to cast ballots in a process that usually, sadly, draws a low percentage of those eligible to participate.

The primary election in Archuleta County is particularly important this year. The Republican primary will pick a county commissioner to serve a four-year term on the board. There will be no Democrat or independent candidate to face the winner of a Republican race between Alden Ecker and Ronnie Zaday. Whoever amasses the most votes Aug. 10 represents District 2 on the commission.

The Republican primary also features a race to pick a party candidate to battle it out in the November general election for the District 1 commission seat. Bill Downey faces Robin Schiro in the primary race and the winner goes on to compete against independent Nan Rowe in November.

This week's SUN features our Election Tracker section, allowing each of the local primary election candidates to respond to a set of questions. Aside from the standard query regarding background and qualifications, we devised questions concerning some of the major issues and problems facing a new county commission. We ask about roads, about the airport, about administration of county government, about growth and land-use planning and recent efforts to update the county regulations. We give each candidate a chance to add additional concerns and issues to the list.

Study the answers carefully. These issues, and the way our elected leaders deal with them, are critically important factors affecting the manner in which Archuleta County will grow and function in the future. Inattention to these issues in the past produced problems; the next board of commissioners must deal with them in decisive and effective fashion. Which candidates seem most ready to do so?

Next week, July 26, the League of Women Voters holds its candidate forum at the Extension building. The forum provides another chance for candidates to answer questions, this time those submitted by members of the audience. It is a valuable opportunity for voters to expand on what they have read in the Election Tracker and advertising, as well as to bring up other points they consider important.

While they have no decision to make in the commissioner primary, Democrats will vote in state races. Unaffiliated voters, however, have options available in this election.

There are 2,003 unaffiliated voters registered in the county; each can play a role in the Republican primary, with a say in who the next county commissioner in District 2 will be, and which candidate will go on to the general election to fight for the seat in District 1.

An unaffiliated voter can declare as a Republican for the primary at the clerk's office prior to election day or at the polls Aug. 10. The change need not be permanent. Giving the clerk's staff several days following the primary, a voter can go to the clerk's office and ask the affiliation be changed back.

Voters can cast early or absentee ballots at the county clerk's office beginning July 30, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. As at the regular polling places, early voters must present acceptable identification before receiving a ballot. A list of acceptable forms of ID accompanies the Election Tracker. Without proper identification, a voter must go through a provisional ballot process that makes both the voter's and the clerk's job more difficult.

Cast a vote, but make the job easy. And make the decision with as much information at hand as is possible.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Litter, litter - it's everywhere

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Summer holds a number of surprises for those who pound the pathways of Pagosa Country.

Perhaps surprise is not the correct word. Disillusionment might be more apropos.

We live in one of the most beautiful areas of this or any other state yet we have probably more square feet of litter per capita than any of those other areas.

Don't believe me?

Take a walk in any direction.

For sake of this item, let's start at the River Center and move west on the south side of Pagosa Street.

Cross the bridge and look down. Cement blocks, empty cans and other debris in the water; discarded food wrappers, plastic cups and beer bottles on the shoreline. Lying along U.S. 160 (Pagosa Street) just west of the bridge, an empty whiskey bottle.

Perhaps a hundred steps further and you see two more beer bottles, one broken against the curb. At the next intersection, 2nd Street, fast food wrappers dumped in the street.

There's no rhyme nor reason for this littering to be so widespread.

Wait until early morning and walk downtown looking at the parking lot on the east side of the business district. At almost the same location every morning, perhaps 20 feet from garbage cans, is the detritus of gatherings the night before. Empty soft drink and water bottles, fast food bags and sometimes the food itself.

Not only do the taxpayers have to pay to clean up the mess on a daily basis, they also pay for the construction and maintenance of such areas so people can visit and shop downtown. What would the parental reaction be if all this junk were suddenly deposited in their own yard? In a way, it is. This is everyone's yard.

Want a different location? Try walking the circle drive around the south end of the school sports complex. Almost any weekend you can easily fill one or more garbage bags with the tossed away beer, wine, whiskey and soft drink containers lining the banks.

People seem insistent upon dropping their litter at the point where they've finished with it, no matter where that point lies.

Want another example?

Try the north edge of the commercial parking lot facing San Juan Street (still U.S. 160) between 7th and 8th Streets. Any day of the week you'll find the remains of evening gatherings - bags, bottles, cans, plastic wrap, car parts, and broken glass abound. The stores in the mall work hard to keep it clean but it's an unending job.

On Sunday morning an even more discouraging sight caught my eye.

A six pack of empty beer bottles, carton included, strewn along the northern edge of the Ruby Sisson Library grounds along with six empty Marlboro packages. Wouldn't want all that cluttering up the inside of the car, now, would we?

Town, county and state crews regularly clean up the garbage dumped in stupidity, but they are no match, even with private and voluntary group cleanup efforts thrown in.

Got trash? Take it home for proper disposal.




90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of July 24, 1914

Mrs. Ruth Parr, county superintendent of schools, made a business trip to the Blanco Basin this week. Last week she visited the O'Neal Park school and reports a particularly nice little band of scholars.

About the most versatile and accomplished young lady we know of in Pagosa is Miss Mabel Hatcher, daughter of G.S. Hatcher, Pagosa's leading hardware merchant. When she is not keeping the books and blending her pleasing personality in connection with her father's business, or tooting an alto horn in the boy's band, you will probably hear her playing the violin or piano in the local theatres. Besides being a splendid housekeeper and cook, she's a jolly, cheerful, sensible, good all-round girl.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 26, 1929

A large aeroplane, of the Nevada Air Lines Company, passed over Pagosa Springs early Saturday morning enroute to Denver from Los Angeles, via Durango. Negotiations are now being made to establish an air line from the Pacific coast to Denver, and Pagosa Springs will no doubt be on the route.

J.C. Maloy, former forest ranger of the San Juan Station, was over from Durango this week and while here completed a deal whereby he and Mrs. Maloy will become proprietors of the Metropolitan Hotel, commencing August 1. They have purchased the furniture and fixtures from Mrs. B. Pettyjohn and leased the building from Chas. F. Rumbaugh. Continued ill health has forced Mrs. Pettyjohn from active business.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 23, 1954

Hardly in the history of the community can anyone remember when the river ran so yellow with mud and silt as it has here the past three weeks. This is the type of silt and mud that is practically impossible to filter and takes a long time to settle out. According to Whit Newton, this mud and silt is coming from high upon the East Fork of the San Juan where a large clay bank has slid into the river.

The new infiltration gallery in the town water system is being finished this week and will be ready for use by the end of the week. The engineer and the town board are a bit reluctant to give it its tests under such severe conditions to start with. It looks as if this might be a good chance to find out just how efficient it is.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 26, 1979

The State Highway Department has appropriated $30,000 to do as much cleanup work as is possible at the mud slide area near the chain station. That slide, earlier this spring, blocked traffic for a day or two, left tons of mud and debris on the highway, forest land, and private property. Some of the money will be used in an effort to rehabilitate the area, as for control measures.

A tour bus broke down on Wolf Creek Pass this week. Participants in the tour were brought to Pagosa Springs to spend the night while the bus was being repaired. Bus tours through this area are becoming increasingly popular and some of them stop overnight here.




An American Experience: Two teen-agers from Northern Ireland build friendship in Pagosa

B By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"We want to say a big thank you to Jenine, and thanks to all the people who contributed to our airfare and made us feel welcome.

"The people here are so nice, just brilliant."

Those were the sentiments from Helen Anderson and Niamh McKernan, two 16-year-olds from Northern Ireland visiting Pagosa for a month through an exchange program aimed at fostering peace and understanding among Catholics and Protestants in their country.

Ten days into their trip, both girls said it is the experience of a lifetime. Already they'd been to Waterworld, Elitch Gardens, Red Rocks and "all the malls" in Denver. Plus a pow-wow in New Mexico.

McKernan said she'd bought presents for family and clothes.

Anderson, so far, had focused on clothes. Mostly skirts.

"They're so much cheaper here," she said.

A train ride, river rafting, a visit to Winter Park and a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park are still on the agenda.

As of Sunday, the highlight for Anderson was watching a Rockies baseball game in Denver, a game that turned out very different than she expected.

"I just always saw it on the Simpsons," Anderson said, laughing.

Both were thrilled to have the opportunity to watch Gaelic football, a popular sport in Northern Ireland that's something of a cross between the American version of football and soccer.

Jenine Marnocha, of Pagosa Springs, whose family is hosting the girls, said the game appeared on one specialized satellite channel available in one pub in all of Colorado.

Marnocha said the group was all ready to go at 9 a.m. - the time for the game posted on the Internet - when a call to the pub made them realize the game had started at 8.

"No worries," Marnocha said the manager told her. "We knew you were coming and we're taping it for you. Come any time." They went later in the day and had the entire pub to themselves for a second showing.

"Their team even won," Marnocha said.

She got the idea of hosting the teens from an episode of "Touched by an Angel," that centered on programs to bring Northern Ireland teens of different religious backgrounds together in a neutral location.

"As always with those kinds of shows, I was bawling my head off," she said. Inspired by the television show, and her own memories of living and working in Ireland, she went online and found the Children's Friendship Program for Northern Ireland. According to the CFPNI Web site, the group is a nonprofit organization which pairs teens from Northern Ireland together for four weeks in the United States - neutral territory where they can become friends and focus on their commonalities instead of their differences. The organization has been in place since 1987, and since then, has matched more than 2,000 teen-agers for visits to the United States.

McKernan first heard about the friendship program while working on a radio program. Anderson heard about it from a teacher at school.

"Sure, I was all up for it," she said. "I thought, why not America? It'd be a great opportunity to meet new people."

The two girls interviewed for the program before Christmas and met for the first time at a gathering a couple months later for all the youth involved. They learned their host family's name in May.

"It was quite late," Anderson said, "but we e-mailed them, got to know each other, send pictures and now we're here."

Both girls said their parents were a little nervous about sending them abroad until they were able to e-mail and call the Marnochas.

"We haven't got homesick yet," McKernan said.

Anderson, a Protestant, and McKernan, a Catholic, traveled with 140 other Irish youth on the six-hour flight from Dublin to New York in early July. From there, each pair went their separate way. Anderson and McKernan were the only two set to visit Colorado, yet another four-hour flight away.

For McKernan, the trans-Atlantic flight was her first time in an airplane

"It was scary but fun at the same time," she said.

The Marnocha family, Jenine and her husband, Scott, picked them up in Denver. Jenine said she was told to give the girls 24 hours to rest, but they were up playing basketball at 9 the next morning, raring to go. Since then, it's been a whirlwind of activity.

"We've met a load of new people," they said. Both girls are from County Armagh and live in separate small towns about 20 minutes apart. Anderson attends a mixed Protestant and Catholic high school. McKernan attends an all-Catholic high school, but said she participants in different groups where students are mixed. Getting to know each other was easy, they said.

And since they've been here, they've attended both Catholic and Protestant church services.

"There's loads more singing here than at home," McKernan said. Both agreed that services here are also longer.

They listed the weather and the food as two of the biggest differences between their homeland and Colorado.

"It always rains in Ireland," McKernan said. "It's really sunny here."

"And warm," Anderson added.

"You tan, I just burn," McKernan said. She added that she missed some of the traditional Irish dishes - like Shepherd's Pie.

"The water here is horrible," Anderson said. "It tastes like eggs."

Watermelon, however, "is gorgeous," both girls agreed.

"I'm starting to like pasta," McKernan added.

They will stay until Aug. 5 when they head home, hopefully taking a lifetime friendship with them. Both are already planning a trip back next summer.

According to the CFPNI Web site, "The program's focus on preparing a new generation of leaders to find cross-cultural solutions for living harmoniously is crucial for a generation that has known limited months of relative peace." To do that, members of the all-volunteer organization are continuously working to increase the number of students brought to the U.S. for the four-week program each summer. That requires hosts. And hosts willing to raise some money.

Marnocha said, as a host, it was her responsibility to come up with the money for plane tickets for the girls. She accomplished that through a pancake breakfast and checkers tournament held in May. Funds from the event also went to help fund Becca Lynn Stevens' trip with People to People.

"It's all been an inspiration," Marnocha said. "They're the most kind, generous people. They're just excited to be here and we're excited to have them." Besides that, since the girls arrived, she discovered that a good friend of hers was also friends with Anderson's family.

"It was fate," others around her said.

Marnocha said she hopes other people in the community will consider participating in the program in years to come. More information on the Children's Friendship Program for Northern Ireland can be found at cfpni.org.


Pagosa's Past

Ute treaties opened area to settlement

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

William H. Craig homesteaded on the Ute Strip between Durango and Farmington in 1898.

After clearing land, building a house, raising fences and digging a well, Craig began to stock his place with cattle. Crossing the homestead was an old Indian trail leading to Durango.

Some of the first good money Craig made was selling beef to the crews building the Red Apple broad gauge railroad between Aztec and Durango.

The Craig house was a buggy house, a common enough occurrence for a strategically located house during horse and buggy days. A buggy house was a place distant neighbors stayed overnight while on their way to town. "If we can make it to Craig's we'll be all right," was a familiar saying in their area. The latch string was always out, corrals available for stock, teams fed, and many times a full house. One time after a flash flood took out the surrounding bridges, 13 marooned persons stayed at the Craig's until the bridges were fixed.

The "latch string was always out" is a way of saying the front door to the house was left unlocked in those houses without doorknobs. The latch was on the inside of the door with a string which could be extended through a small hole to the outside. A visitor, by pulling the string, could open the latch. If the homeowner didn't want the door opened from the outside, he just pulled the string inside and, presto, the door was locked.

Usually, a quarter of beef hung in the slaughter house, the dirt cellar was full of fruit and vegetables and lots of eggs and milk. Unexpected guests did not mean a trip to town; plenty of food was on hand. Bread was sometimes lacking, but Mr. Craig could whip up a batch of biscuits that any cook would be proud of in no time at all.

Legally, the big events that opened the San Juans and Pagosa Country for settlement were a series of treaties with the Ute Indians, principle occupiers of the area.

One of these treaties, sometimes known as the Kit Carson Treaty, was completed at Conejos in 1868. As most of us know, Conejos was, and is, located along the Conejos River on the west side of the San Luis Valley. Some of the oldest settlements in Colorado were made near Conejos.

Possibly the first settlement inside the present boundaries of Colorado was a walled town on the banks of Rio Culebra near San Luis established in 1851 by New Mexican colonists. The town was called San Luis de la Culebra. San Luis is across the valley easterly from Conejos.

Settlement in the San Luis Valley might have been much sooner. Former Colorado Gov. William Gilpin accompanied Nathaniel P. Hill to San Luis de la Culebra in 1864 while on a visit to the Sangre de Cristo land grant owned by Charles Beaubien.

Remember, Colorado became a territory in 1861 shortly after gold was discovered near what was to become Denver. The eastern portion of Colorado Territory was taken from Kansas Territory, the western portion from Utah Territory. One of Colorado Territory's original 16 counties was Conejos County. Archuleta County was separated from Conejos County in 1885.

Hill tells us: "We are staying at the house of Amidor Sanchez, one of the rich and old men in the place. He is 101 years old, was born in the house in which he now lives."

If Hill's information is correct, it indicates the existence of a permanent Spanish settlement in Colorado's San Luis Valley as early as 1763, 13 years before the American Revolution. Evidence exists that the valley was inhabited when visited by Lt. Zebulon Pike in 1807. As most of us know, Pike built a stockade near today's Conejos before being arrested by Spanish troops and forcefully escorted to Mexico.

The Conejos Land grant was issued by the Mexican government in 1832 and included land bounded by La Loma de la Garita on the north, on the east by el Rio del Norte, on the south by el Cerro San Antonio, and on the west by La Sierra Montosa. In modern times the boundary would be identified by the small community of La Garita to the north, the Rio Grande River to the east, Mount San Antonio to the south, and the San Juan Mountains to the east. The names of the grantees on the document are Jose Ma. Martinez, Julian Gallegos, Atenecio Martinez, and Seledon Valdez. These settlers dug ditches for water and built rude huts but abandoned the settlement because of drought and Indians.

The Conejos Land Grant was issued again in 1842. This plan again failed. Another plan failed in 1852. When the U.S. took over the Mexican land grants following the Mexican American War, most of the Spanish and Mexican land grants were reviewed by the U.S. government. Concerning the San Luis Valley grants, Congress approved the Sangre de Cristo and the Baca No. 4 grants in 1860, but never approved the Conejos Grant. During testimony taken in 1890 concerning the grants, it was reported that the deeds were given to Lafayette Head and A.C. Hunt, but never recorded. The verdict was the land had not been lived on a cultivated over a sufficient period of time to warrant approving a petition for ownership.

Next week we'll get back to the 1868 Kit Carson Indian Treaty held at Conejos.




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'Hit or miss' rain expected through weekend

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Monsoon activity across Pagosa Country is expected to be hit or miss through the weekend.

That's the latest word from Brian Avery, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

While the atmosphere could dry out temporarily over the next few days, said Avery, a good chance will remain for localized, heavy rainfall.

"Right now, we're still in what we call a 'monsoon burst,'" said Avery. "And though we may be headed for slightly drier conditions, there still will be enough moisture around to churn up afternoon thunderstorms."

Temperatures should register at or above normal for the next several days, said Avery, with highs approaching the mid-80s and lows expected in the upper 40s to low 50s.

In addition, Avery indicated a potential danger forecasters are keeping a close eye on is the potential for flash floods across the Four Corners region.

"With each occurrence of heavy, saturating rain, the chance for flooding obviously worsens," said Avery.

"We're advising people to pay close attention to rainfall patterns during the monsoon and avoid areas that could be subject to rapid flooding," he concluded.

According to Avery, today's forecast indicates a 20-percent chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms, highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s.

The forecasts for Friday through Sunday predict a 20- to 30-percent chance for afternoon and evening thunderstorms, highs in the 80s and lows near 50.

Monday and Tuesday call for partly-cloudy skies, a 20-percent chance for isolated thunderstorms, highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s.

Wednesday's forecast indicates a 10-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms, highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid-40s.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 83 degrees. The average low was 52. Moisture totals for the week amounted to just over seven-tenths of an inch.

The Pagosa Ranger District rates the area fire danger as "high."

Fire restrictions went into effect June 21 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.

San Juan River flow through town ranged from about 100 cubic feet per second to 190 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of July 22 is roughly 185 cubic feet per second.