August 5, 2004 
Front Page

Pagosa students gain in 14 areas; math scores low

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The scores are in and the reactions mixed.

Colorado Student Achievement Profiles, CSAP for short, were released Aug. 2 for all public schools.

The scores were based on spring 2004 testing in reading and writing for students in third through 10th grades, mathematics in fifth through 10th grades, and a science assessment of eighth-graders.

In Pagosa Springs gains were registered in 14 of the 23 assessment areas with reading improvements seen at fourth, seventh, ninth and 10th-grade levels. In writing, gains were made in the same class levels and the sixth grade while grades six, seven and 10 showed math score improvements.

Based on performance on the test, a student is placed in one of five categories in each subject with the spectrum of proficiency ranging from unsatisfactory upward through partially proficient, proficient, advanced or invalid.

In general, said Superintendent Duane Noggle, "positive trends are noted in reading scores, especially in the fourth, ninth and 10th grades. Writing scores indicate a stable trend line."

"But math scores," he said, "remain a concern for district officials."

On the other hand science students, assessed only at the eighth-grade level, "show a positive upward trend line." Starting with the 2005-06 school year, students at fifth- and 10th-grade levels will take the science assessments, enabling the district to track individuals over time and review progress over a period of years.

Because mathematics are important to science projects, the school administration was a little dismayed at the eighth-grade scores in math, with 27 percent unsatisfactory and 42 percent only partially proficient while the same class was only 15 percent unsatisfactory and 25 percent partially proficient in the science testing. Seven percent were at the advanced level in math and 8 percent in science.

Only 24 percent were ranked proficient in math, while 52 percent hit that level in science.

"We're already delving into the questions and trying to determine why the divergence of performance in related topics," Noggle said.

The same class was one of two, along with the fifth grade, to show scores below the state average in reading. The third grade tied the state average while grades four, six, seven, nine and 10 showed performance rating increases in the subject and all five were above state average.

Overall, Noggle said, the reading scores are positive at all grade levels, except third, when compared to 2001 results.

Writing scores, too, were a mystery for the school district.

With eight grades tested, "students in Archuleta School District showed disappointing results, with gains realized only at the eighth-grade level," Noggle pointed out.

"In addition," he said, "students performed below the state average at all grade levels except fourth, which topped the state average by 2 percent; and ninth, where student performance was at exactly state average.

That said, writing scores showed neither a positive nor a negative trend and while below state average, remain stable in the 40-50 percent proficiency average.

Mathematics scores improved in sixth, seventh and 10th grades, remained static in eighth grade and declined in fifth and ninth grades. Still, students at all grade levels performed below state average in math.

A new districtwide mathematics curriculum was introduced last year, Noggle said, and it is expected that will help improve the scores when the students are more familiar with it.

As pointed out earlier, science scores at eighth-grade level were a high point of this year's testing.

After a decline in 2003, students tested this year exceeded the high recorded two years ago, increasing their own performance percentage by 10 and coming in 9-percent higher than the state average.

There are two things to be gleaned from this year's data, Noggle said.

"First, our students continue to show good progress in reading and eighth-grade science. But while we see positive trends in both subjects we know we can still do a better job.

"Secondly, we would not be telling the truth if we did not say we are disappointed in the trends for both math and writing. These scores are unacceptable and we must take proactive steps to increase student achievement in both."

There are several ways of utilizing the CSAP data, he said.

"The next step principals and teachers take will be to break the data down by gender, ethnicity, poverty level, special education and Title 1 students. Once the data is disaggregated (looked at in smaller groups of students) by the various subgroups, teachers will then be able to use the results to adjust instruction to meet the needs of those students struggling academically.

"For example, preliminary analysis of the data indicates a higher than average number of 'unsatisfactory' scores among male and Hispanic students. This information regarding the performance of students and groups of students can now be used to focus on the specific needs of each child."

In addition to the new mathematics curriculum, Noggle noted a new language arts curriculum was developed to include greater emphasis on language development and writing skills.

"Any time a new program is established," he said, "staff development and teacher training must become a major focus for our teaching staff. As with any good research-based program, it will take time to see the impact of the changes. We are confident we are taking steps in the right direction."

And, he added, "We must keep in mind that each CSAP test represents a 'snapshot in time' of a student's ability and is just one of the measures of academic progress the district uses.

"Beginning last year, the district began to use an online assessment called Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) to gauge student achievement during the course of the year. This assessment allows teaches to monitor the progress of students and reteach in areas where students may be struggling."

Noggle also related the newest scores to other areas.

"While standardized assessments are important," he said, "we must also keep in mind CSAP does not measure student performance in the fine arts, vocational education, social studies and interscholastic activities.

"The school district and its employees remain committed," he said, "to providing students of the district with a good education and will take whatever steps are necessary to improve student achievement."


PLPOA members cite road care woes

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It should have come as no surprise.

Roads - their construction and maintenance - have and will continue to be the biggest bone of contention in the Pagosa Lakes community.

At the association's annual meeting July 31, the oft-heard charges of lack of county maintenance, lack of association pressure for that action and harrowing tales of cars almost disappearing in potholes were heard from many speakers as the public comment portion progressed.

Gene Cortright was the first, referring to lack of road maintenance by the county creating an inequity never addressed.

"All the property owners in Pagosa Lakes pay the same rate but one third or more of the roads are not accepted by the county and those that have been accepted receive varying degrees of maintenance."

He called the county's maintenance policy "mainly fragmented," and cited Sweetwater Drive in Twin Creek Village as the worst of the worst. In addition, he cited Lakewood Village as an entire subdivision "in which no roads - none - have been accepted by the county.

"Of the new roads built with the Fairfield settlement fund," he charged, "none have been maintained. And many that are just five years old will soon need complete reconstruction."

He charged that unmaintained or poorly maintained roads in the area "directly affect health and property values."

He said some county officials have "suggested Pagosa Lakes seeks special privileges. What we really want is our fair share of the money the county spends on road maintenance."

He noted there are 463 miles of maintained road in the county. PLPOA subdivisions have 113 miles of roads but only 76 miles are maintained.

Pagosa Lakes residents, he said, "have 16.4 percent of the roads maintained in the county but provide 37 percent of the total road tax collected.

"We hope the county commissioners realize we mean it when we say were are not receiving fair and equitable maintenance," he said.

"The county board," he said, "has failed to live up to any agreement and has repeatedly replied to our needs with half-baked plans and unfulfilled promises."

He urged association members to remember that when they go to the polls. "We have the voting strength to elect commissioners of our choice if we agree and support them as a group."

Another resident referred to the aforementioned Twin Creeks Village area as "pothole heaven."

"I'm appalled at the caliber of the existing county commissioners," he said, "and it is imperative that we get new blood."

But it is not all the fault of the commissioners, he said. "The board of this association, present and past, has chosen to do nothing. This board has washed its hands and decided to do nothing. We have the numbers, influence and clout to get something done. There have been enough excuses. We need action, now."

Dallas Johnson, however, called attention to the fact the association's articles of incorporation prohibit the board from endorsing candidates for any office. "The board cannot take a stand. If it does, the association can lose its tax free status."

He opined a solution to the road problem might be more concerned with "a more equitable distribution of sales taxes. The town gets 50 percent of all the sales taxes collected in the county."

He suggested the county board is not acting in the best interests of all residents by accepting that tax distribution status.

A Lodge Condo resident who is a full-time resident of Albuquerque, said he and others are "bitter over the atrocious condition of the trails and roads in the area."

And, he said, "the littering of the area roads is gross and disgusting. Every one of us needs to bend over and pick trash up. And we need better patrolling to prevent it."

Noting all the problems reported and not acting is just as bad, said George Esterly.

"If we all sit quietly and do nothing," he said, "we can blame ourselves."

He said he's noticed increased action by the board of directors to decrease enforcement of covenants "and that has to be addressed."

Another resident, recalling the days of the Public Safety Office (PSO), said it was "not only a facility for enforcement, but one of surveillance." Homes weren't burglarized like the "several we had last winter. We used to have county police out here once in a while, but rarely see county officers on the roads now. I recommend in 2005 we find some way to put a policing group of some sort on the ballot for the membership to vote on.

"The cost," he said, "wouldn't be much more than a six-pack of beer per month per property owner."

Ray Finney, speaking as a resident only, thanked the board for the efforts to create a trail system in the association subdivisions, but noted a stretch of Piedra Road has no trails and regularly has children riding bicycles, and walking along the roadway.

The board noted it has a five-year trail plan in effect, but Piedra Road is not included.

Harry Carlson of Oakwood Circle told the board he'd had chemical treatment on his road "but watching the county method of application seems to insure there will soon be no roads. They bladed off the top three inches and moved it down the line. If that keeps up we'll soon be walking in the ditches."

A second problem, he said, arose two months ago when new gas mains were installed and access to some roads was closed. "We ended up with a cloud of dust you couldn't believe, mainly because there are no speed limits enforced."

Somehow, he said, "We need to have speed limits posted and enforced in the area. We're concerned about the dust and the speed and the fact no one pays any attention to the problems."



Campaign ending; now the voters must decide

The 2004 primary election is scheduled Aug. 10.

Early and absentee voting for the primary election began Friday, July 30, with the Archuleta County Clerk's office the only early/absentee voting precinct.

Office hours for early and absentee voting are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. through Friday, Aug. 6.

The office is on the ground floor of the county courthouse at 449 San Juan St. If you have questions call 264-8350.

Voting Aug. 10 will be in the lawful polling places designated for each precinct and the polls will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

The Precinct 1 polling place is located in the Archuleta County Courthouse in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Voters in Precinct 2 go to Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.

The polling place for Precinct 3 is the Archuleta County Fair Building, 344 U.S. 84.

Voters in Precinct 4 cast ballots at St. Peter's Catholic Church, 18851 Colo. 151, in Arboles.

The Precinct 5 polling place is the Aspen Springs Saloon, 43 Buttercup Drive.

Voters in Precinct 6 go to the Vista Clubhouse, 230 A Port Ave.

The Restoration Fellowship at 264 Village Drive is the site of the Precinct 7 polling place.

Voters in Precinct 8 cast votes at First Baptist Church, 2900 West U.S. 160.

The same regulations apply to early, absentee or regular voters. You will need to show ID before being allowed a ballot. Acceptable IDs include:

- a current and valid Colorado driver's license;

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

- a current and valid United States passport;

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

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

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

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

- a current Medicaid or Medicare card.

You will not be able to pick a ballot for someone else but will be allowed to carry out your absentee ballot if you wish. Absentee ballots will be sealed in envelopes and not opened until election night.

If you show up to vote without ID at any polling place, you will have to vote a provisional ballot. You will need to fill out the application on the envelope, vote the ballot and insert it in the envelope. These ballots will not be counted until the information on the applications can be verified the day after the election. It will help all election judges and voters if you will remember to take your ID to your polling place.

The following offices and candidates are on the ballot:

U.S. Senator:

Candidates are Bob Schaffer and Pete Coors for the Republican nomination and Mike Miles and Ken Salazar for the Democratic nomination.

Regent of the University of Colorado at Large:

Steve Bosley, Republican and Democrats Wally Stealey and Jim Martin.

Representative to the 109th United States Congress from Congressional District 3:

Greg Walcher, Matt Smith, Dan Corsentino, Gregg P. Rippy and Matt Aljanich vie for the Republican nomination; John Salazar is uncontested for the Democratic nod.

State Representative, 59th District:

Mark Larson unopposed on Republican ballot; no Democratic candidate

District Attorney, 6th Judicial District:

Craig Stephen Westberg on the Republican slate; no Democratic candidate.

Archuleta County Commissioner, District 1:

William J. Downey, the incumbent, and Robin J. Shiro, for the Republican nomination; no Democratic candidate.

Archuleta County Commissioner District 2:

Alden Ecker, the incumbent, and Rhonda "Ronnie" Zaday for the Republican nomination; no Democratic candidate.

Winners in these races will represent their parties on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.


 Inside The Sun

Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11, in the county commissioners' meeting room in the county courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

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

- continuation of a conditional use permit for the Jaycox Gravel Pit.

This is a continuation of the request for consideration of an open pit gravel mining operation for a period of 20 years. Discussion will focus on possible options for conditional approval, proposed by the Planning Department. Public comment may or may not be taken on this agenda item.

The property is located at 181A CR 975. The property is legally described as the SE 1/4 NE 1/4 & N 1/2 NE 1/4 SW 1/4 of Section 19, Township 32 North, Range 5 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO.

- Bear Trace Estates Subdivision - Preliminary Plan and Variance:

This is a request for the planning commission to review the preliminary plan for the Bear Trace Subdivision - a six lot subdivision adjacent to San Juan River Resort, Unit 2.

The variance is a request to allow a single access from Red Ryder Circle to the proposed subdivision, ending in a cul-de-sac.

The property is a tract of land in the San Juan River Resort (SJRR), south of Red Ryder Circle. Legal description for the property is the San Juan River Resort Unit 2, Tract A, or the N 1/2 NW 1/4 of Section 27, the SE 1/4 SW 1/4 of Section 22, and the N 1/2 SE 1/4 of Section 28, in Township 36 North, Range 1 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO.

- review and adoption of the Archuleta County Planning Commission Rules and By-Laws;

- review of the July 14, 2004 planning commission minutes;

- other business that may come before the commission;

- adjournment.

County joins town's

superstore moratorium

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Archuleta County Commissioners have joined the town council in passing a six-month moratorium on superstores.

Tuesday morning, the commissioners unanimously approved an emergency ordinance halting development of retail stores over 18,000 square feet. Food stores are specifically excepted.

According to the ordinance, the county will spend the six months studying the impacts of such developments and creating land use regulations to address appropriate locations for such stores, design criteria and necessary infrastructure. Regulations will be created in conjunction with the Town of Pagosa Springs, which passed its own six-month moratorium July 27.

Along those lines, the commissioners also officially appointed Commissioner Bill Downey to the Pagosa Springs Alliance for Responsible Growth, a task force containing representatives from both the town and county set to begin looking at "big box" issues.

Kathy Keyes, one of the local business owners who presented the idea for a task force to the town, gave a quick outline of the group's goals.

In the time allotted, she said, the task force will conduct public hearings, meet with legal counsel and planners from other communities who have dealt with the issues, review options and prepare a recommendation.

"In light of the action by the town last week, I think it puts the county in a pretty vulnerable position," Downey said in presenting the moratorium for consideration. "I mean no criticism to the town, they took what they felt was a necessary action and big box retail stores do have a major impact on a community. I want to know what those impacts are. I think we need to look at the whole range of effects - we just don't know, and we need to know."

Commissioner Alden Ecker said such development needs to exist in harmony with the surrounding environment and not harm the current feel of the community. However, he added, economic impacts, including the amount of money trickling out of the community to big boxes farther away, also needs to be considered.

From the audience, Ronnie Zaday asked if a member of the county planning staff could be added to the task force.

Lynch agreed, asking Keyes to take the request under consideration.

The commissioners also spent some time discussing whether or not to pass the moratorium as an emergency resolution, or to wait and hold a public hearing.

From the audience, George Esterly and Cappy White encouraged the commissioners to move on the moratorium immediately.

Esterly said if the board waited, someone could apply for a permit tomorrow and throw a wrench in the whole process before it ever got off the ground.

"We've talked about opening one of our meetings as a pubic forum," White said of the task force. "Why not go ahead with the moratorium, and get it in place to prevent something from happening in the meantime?"

Julie Rodriguez, director of county development said, currently, no applications for such superstores have been submitted to the county.

In related business, the commissioners also gave a thumbs up for the planning department to move ahead with a land use survey to be sent to registered voters in the county. Results from the survey will be used to help develop a performance based zoning code.


Voting method changed for PLPOA member issues

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

All future votes cast by members of Pagosa Lakes Property Association will reflect a new policy adopted by voters at the annual meeting July 31.

Ratified by a count of 596 in favor and 432 against was a bylaw amendment changing vote count to two, no matter how many lots are in the ownership; and a second amendment by a vote of 604-418, basically stating the same one lot-two vote privilege.

The issue had been brought up earlier this year by a property owner who felt she was being penalized by having only one vote when neighbors who constituted a couple got two votes on the same issues.

In other voting action three incumbent directors, Hugh Bundy, Pat Payne and Gerry Smith, were reelected to three-year terms and Fred Uehling was elected to finish the term to which he was appointed earlier this year (it expires in 2006). Bundy had 931 yes, 51 no votes; Payne 914 and 64; Smith 940 and 41; and Uehling, 940 and 42.

Payne, the board secretary, was unable to attend the annual meeting. Smith was designated her replacement for administrative purposes.

In a special meeting afterward, the incumbent officer slate was retained by unanimous vote. David Bohl is board president; Bundy vice president, Payne secretary; Uehling treasurer and Smith, Bill Nobles and Fred Ebeling directors.

At the same session, the board asked that all the appropriate actions be taken to put citizen complaints at the annual meeting - roads, speed limits, trash collection, etc. - on the agenda for the next regular meeting Aug. 12.

In other action at the annual meeting, the board:

- noted a West Nile infected bird had been found in an association subdivision and urged residents to take precautions to control insects and mosquito populations;

- heard Uehling report that expenditures for the budget year have been almost $89,000 under budget, and approved a motion from the audience to carry any balance remaining on Dec. 2, 2004, over to apply to the 2005 budget;

- heard Nobles report for the recreation committee that the recreation center had over 122,000 users since the last annual meeting, despite ongoing work updating facilities and that the pool will be drained and refilled - for the first time in 15 months - in September;

- heard Bundy spell out the plans for a series of focus group sessions, with one group for each subdivision, to determine the consensus of 6,000 residents on what they want in the future.

It was noted the current PLPOA declarations and rules are 30 years old and that many individual subdivision documents were drafted long before the recent growth spurt.

It is probable some codes and regulations are outdated and the board wants to know what the property owners want.

When that is determined by subdivision, representatives of each will begin working together on overall proposals for the association.

"We want to know," Bundy said, "what is working, what is not and how do you want us to fix it."

He said it won't be a quick decision. "We want every resident to have the chance to participate, to make their feelings known. No one will be able to say at the end that they were taken by surprise, didn't know it was coming, or didn't understand the process."


'Defensible space' is key to fire safety, chief tells PLPOA

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"We've had rain for the last two weeks, but we're not out of the woods yet."

That was Warren Grams' opening statement to members of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association during their annual meeting July 31.

And don't think the lifting of fire bans in National forest and BLM lands will lessen the local danger, he cautioned.

"A dry-out is predicted for two weeks from now and the bans could be reinstated as quickly as they were lifted," said the chief of Pagosa Fire Protection district.

He said the fire department is growing because the potential fire load grows along with development.

He noted the department has taken over accident scene extrication duties and that a new rescue truck will arrive, hopefully, in November.

The department, he said, covers 180 square miles, 75 percent of the populated area of the county, "and more people are coming in all the time seeking coverage. We have five stations and two have recently been remodeled and a fire training unit added at another."

But the key of his presentation was asking residents of the 26 subdivisions making up the association to recognize they need a defensive space profile for their properties.

"Call our office and we'll come out and inspect your property and recommend the changes, if needed, that will help protect you and your possessions against wildfire.

"You are in trouble if you have large growths of timber, brush ornamental bushes and dry grasses that you don't cut. If you want help," he said, "you have to help me.

"If you don't prepare, I definitely won't put people and equipment in jeopardy," he said. "We'll move on to a property where owners created defensible space."

Owners, he said, need to know the proper cuttings to make to clear away the fire fuels and keep an open path to the structures on the property.

"There is no cost to the property owner," he added. "We'll walk the property with you, show the you problem areas, if any, and in some cases show where fire resistant plants can help.

"Fire moves fast," he said, "and even when I was younger I couldn't outrun it. Neither can you, but you can make it harder for fire to get to you. If you have created a defensible space, we can fight the fire and likely control it."

From the audience, he was asked if a weed control plan would be an asset, particularly on vacant lots.

Yes, said Grams, but there are legal considerations. "Even if a next door lot is vacant and you want to clean it up, you could be trespassing."

Asked if lifting the ban isn't a mistake if the danger is so high, Grams said it is a problem every year.

"The indices for fire fuel and moisture content both come from the forest service, taken at higher elevations. The lower elevations are always much drier."

When the ban is lifted, he said, property owners are expected to observe the instructions for prevention. "If they don't, their burn permits will be pulled.

"If the rains continue," he said, "the ban will stay off. But if we go 10 days or more without rain, it could quickly be reinstated."


Town council hears smoking survey results

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The road and bridge department struggled through the second quarter of 2004 short-handed.

That was one of several points made by Dick McKee, director, during a verbal wrapup of transportation, solid waste, GIS, engineering and fleet operations through June during a Tuesday county commissioners' meeting.

Road and bridge was down three equipment operators and administrative assistant for that time, McKee said. Still, crews managed to unclog several culverts where drainage problems existed, complete two major road stabilization projects, spend over 540 hours grading Forest Service roads and complete the dust abatement program.

McKee said the lack of crew and trouble with delivery from a supplier delayed the Magnesium-Chloride application program about a month, starting June 7. In total, 261,855 gallons were applied to 59 miles of road.

Road stabilization projects took place on the Upper Blanco Road where about half a mile became almost impassible in the spring and on Park Avenue between Valley View Drive and Eagles Loft Road where about 700 feet of subgrade failed. Both have since been repaired.

In the fleet department, McKee said, new vehicles were outfitted with two-way radios, numbers, decals, beacons and road measuring devices. He added that due to increasing fuel prices, patrol is already over fuel budget for the year. Several other departments are close, although they are generally one-vehicle departments.

When it came to the landfill, McKee said as far as recycling, the three-month quarter yielded 360 cubic yards of cardboard, 180 cubic yards of newspaper, 10 cubic yards of tin, 52 cubic yards of plastic and 30 cubic yards of aluminum.

Those numbers could be much higher, he said.

"Our obstacles right now are dust with high winds and a high volume of refuse coming in at this time." In other places, he said, refuse can be reduced up to 75 percent with a successful recycling program.

"We don't have a very good track record there," he said. On the other hand, a three-day battery, oil and paint recycling program produced 110 gallons of paint, 75 gallons of oil and 48 batteries that were safely disposed of.

Engineering personnel, McKee said, spent about 33 percent of their time on planning issues for the quarter, and the other two-thirds on road and bridge issues.

In the transportation department, McKee gave kudos to staff who made it possible to make the home delivered meal program completely volunteer as of June 30. Ten of 19 bus schedules and stop signs have been installed around town, and a recent ride free day on the Mountain Transport system proved to be a success with 111 riders.

From the audience, Claudia Smith asked McKee why Canadian thistle couldn't be controlled better on County Road 700 and, "Why is road and bridge having problems with staffing?"

According to the weed management report, staff sprayed nearly 30 miles of county road shoulders with a "bareground product" in the spring. They also sprayed 57 private properties and three government properties.

McKee said Canadian thistle is something that has to be sprayed in the fall when the plant is gathering nutrients back into the root system.

Staffing, he said, has to do with money.

"Our entry level wage is low enough it's hard to recruit people," he said. So far, two employees have been lost to the town, one to Texas and one to a private company.


County road and bridge director delivers quarter wrapup

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The road and bridge department struggled through the second quarter of 2004 short-handed.

That was one of several points made by Dick McKee, director, during a verbal wrapup of transportation, solid waste, GIS, engineering and fleet operations through June during a Tuesday county commissioners' meeting.

Road and bridge was down three equipment operators and administrative assistant for that time, McKee said. Still, crews managed to unclog several culverts where drainage problems existed, complete two major road stabilization projects, spend over 540 hours grading Forest Service roads and complete the dust abatement program.

McKee said the lack of crew and trouble with delivery from a supplier delayed the Magnesium-Chloride application program about a month, starting June 7. In total, 261,855 gallons were applied to 59 miles of road.

Road stabilization projects took place on the Upper Blanco Road where about half a mile became almost impassible in the spring and on Park Avenue between Valley View Drive and Eagles Loft Road where about 700 feet of subgrade failed. Both have since been repaired.

In the fleet department, McKee said, new vehicles were outfitted with two-way radios, numbers, decals, beacons and road measuring devices. He added that due to increasing fuel prices, patrol is already over fuel budget for the year. Several other departments are close, although they are generally one-vehicle departments.

When it came to the landfill, McKee said as far as recycling, the three-month quarter yielded 360 cubic yards of cardboard, 180 cubic yards of newspaper, 10 cubic yards of tin, 52 cubic yards of plastic and 30 cubic yards of aluminum.

Those numbers could be much higher, he said.

"Our obstacles right now are dust with high winds and a high volume of refuse coming in at this time." In other places, he said, refuse can be reduced up to 75 percent with a successful recycling program.

"We don't have a very good track record there," he said. On the other hand, a three-day battery, oil and paint recycling program produced 110 gallons of paint, 75 gallons of oil and 48 batteries that were safely disposed of.

Engineering personnel, McKee said, spent about 33 percent of their time on planning issues for the quarter, and the other two-thirds on road and bridge issues.

In the transportation department, McKee gave kudos to staff who made it possible to make the home delivered meal program completely volunteer as of June 30. Ten of 19 bus schedules and stop signs have been installed around town, and a recent ride free day on the Mountain Transport system proved to be a success with 111 riders.

From the audience, Claudia Smith asked McKee why Canadian thistle couldn't be controlled better on County Road 700 and, "Why is road and bridge having problems with staffing?"

According to the weed management report, staff sprayed nearly 30 miles of county road shoulders with a "bareground product" in the spring. They also sprayed 57 private properties and three government properties.

McKee said Canadian thistle is something that has to be sprayed in the fall when the plant is gathering nutrients back into the root system.

Staffing, he said, has to do with money.

"Our entry level wage is low enough it's hard to recruit people," he said. So far, two employees have been lost to the town, one to Texas and one to a private company.


Coors cites individual responsibility

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Peter Coors made a campaign stop in Pagosa Springs July 31, speaking to a group of Republican Party faithful at the county party headquarters, further defining a conservative point of view he hopes will make him the party's candidate for U.S. Senate in the November general election.

Coors faces off in the Aug. 10 Republican primary in a battle with Bob Schaffer. The winner goes on to face the winner of a Democratic battle between Mike Miles and Ken Salazar.

In an interview with The SUN, one thing stands out in Coors' approach to politics: a commitment to individual responsibility as opposed to the notion that government can and should deal with all social and economic issues.


The attitude is clear when Coors responded to questions about education funding and the No Child Left Behind legislation that has caused so much controversy since its implementation.

Coors is a proponent of vouchers, on a broad scale. In his support of private education and home schooling, Coors puts those forms of education on an equal footing with the public education system.

"I'm for vouchers across the board," he said. "Poor people have many programs available to them, but middle class families don't have access to those options. I think what's good for one family should be good for all families."

Coors said he sees "flaws in No Child Left Behind. It's a good concept," he said, "but we have unfunded mandates. It's a good idea to measure schools, but Colorado already has a program in CSAP. I believe the No Child Left Behind program (at the federal level) is underfunded."

But that funding is not an ultimate solution to education problems, said Coors, sounding what is a familiar theme concerning the role of government. "The federal government can't solve problems of education; families have to solve them. The idea we do everything from Washington, D.C. is a poor idea. We need to make people independent and able to solve their own problems, If the state has a role in developing minimum standards for education then, given those standards, we need to turn the duty of operating education over to local school boards and parents."

Health care

The call for individual responsibility continued when Coors tackled the subject of health care.

"A lot of people want to nationalize health care," he said. "I'm 180 degrees opposite that position. We need first to ask what is the minimum standard for health care for citizens in this country. We don't know this now. We need to determine the minimum amount needed to fund that standard and let people find a doctor they're comfortable with and then live with that care."

Medicare, said Coors, "is flawed. An example: If I'm eligible for Medicare and need a procedure and can pay for it, the doctor can't take my money."

Concerning the need for overarching, national health care, Coors asserts "minimum health care is already being funded, it's already in the system. All a national program will do is make it more costly and more complicated. I believe smart hospitals will survive the costs of health care with treatment clinics that keep underinsured or indigent patients out of the emergency rooms where care is most expensive. A clinic system leaves hospital beds open for the critically ill."

Social Security

When he considers Social Security, Coors says he is troubled by the trend of borrowing Social Security surplus for the general fund.

"If we don't change the system," he said, "then it's not a matter of if, but a question of when, it will go bankrupt. My bet is the debts to the Social Security Fund won't be paid back. I would like to see us stop borrowing from Social Security for the general fund and use that money to bolster the Social Security fund. I also think we need to allow for personal retirement savings accounts."


Considering rising energy costs and asked about increased domestic oil and gas exploration and drilling, Coors was emphatic in his response. "I'm in favor of doing anything we can to improve and extend our energy resources. I am not concerned about environmental damage because we have the technologies to do what we need without damaging the environment."

Coors says, however, he is a strong advocate of work to develop alternative energy sources as well. "Eventually we'll run out of fossil fuels," he said. "We'll need other sources of energy. I think this is a good place for federal research dollars."

War, terrorism

Asked about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism, Coors showed support for current policy.

"We're there (Iraq)," he said. "We have a mission to fulfill. We need to help the Iraqis transition to sovereignty; we need to continue to help them help themselves. I'm glad our fight is going on over there, rather than here in the U.S. I believe in giving our military all the resources needed to get the job done and I have little patience with anyone who suggests otherwise.

"Terrorism is a world problem," he continued.

"There are some bad people out there, with extreme views. The first job of the federal government is to protect U.S. citizens. We should spend what we need, even if it is at the expense of other programs, to do this. John Kennedy's budget spent nearly 50 percent of funds on the military. We're out of balance now, with 16 percent spent on the military.

"Further, we had better take our intelligence community and their work more seriously. I am a strong advocate of bulking up our intelligence services."


Finally, responding to a question about a budget deficit estimated by the White House to exceed $445 billion, Coors deemed that deficit "way too high. A strong economy will take care of part of that problem with increased tax revenues," he said.

"But, the decision must be made to quit spending so much. If we don't we will have to deal with the deficit by raising taxes and putting the economy back in a tailspin. That is not an attractive alternative: we can't take any more. We need to put a lid on spending until we catch up.

"The Democrats are big on saying tax cuts help only the wealthy, but tax cuts put money back into the economy and stimulate the economy. We need to be more competitive with our international trading partners and work to lower the trade deficit. And, finally, before we spend money as a government, we need to know what we are doing. The Medicare drug bill is a good example. This bill was signed without anyone knowing the cost. That can't continue to happen."

Personal data

Coors, a Colorado native, is 57 years old, the son of Joseph and Holly Coors and the great-grandson of Adolph Coors. He and his wife Marilyn have six children.

He earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Cornell University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Denver. Coors has a long history of involvement with civic and charitable organizations.

In 1993, Coors was named vice chairman and CEO for Coors Brewing Company. In 2002, he became chairman of Coors Brewing Company and chairman of the Adolph Coors Company.


Education is nation's top issue says candidate Schaffer

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Bob Schaffer went to Congress with a promise he would serve a self-imposed three-term limit.

True to his word, the Fort Collins Republican left his U.S. House seat in January 2003 and became executive director of the Colorado Alliance for Reform in Education, an organization working toward promoting broad, innovative education opportunities for Colorado's poorest children through free-market solutions.

Now the former U.S. Representative is seeking a slightly higher niche, serving as U.S. Senator from Colorado.

It is not an easy road from Fort Collins through the mountainous terrain to the Ignacio ranch departing Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell will retire to, but Schaffer is traveling the route and all the stops along the way.

In Pagosa Springs Thursday, July 26, he told The SUN he was one of the authors of the No Child Left Behind Act, "but voted against it."

Initially, after it was assured by the Florida decision that Mr. Bush was, in fact, the new president, Schaffer was summoned with others, he said, "to the Texas White House where we were asked to form a team, develop a plan and convert it to an educational legislative proposal."

It was to be a wide-ranging project to develop a new, improved education system for America with three specific phases: Harmonize national tests with state tests; offer parental choice with all the alternatives explained; and sweeten the grants of flexibility to the states.

"What we drafted," he said, "would have served the purpose."

But as often happens in Congress, what you start with is not always what you get. "First, the third phase was eliminated, state flexibility was removed; then the parental choice section disappeared," he said.

"When it came to a vote all that was left was the testing and more unfunded mandates. I could not vote for what we were given," he said.

"The original Bush proposal had been commandeered by Congress and state leaders urged me to vote 'no' on the final bill," he said.

To settle the current education crisis, he said, "I am in favor of a massive cash infusion into American education, not in direct grants, but through the tax code.

"I would propose a 50 percent tax credit for all taxpayers, whether they have children or not, including a corporate tax credit."

Recipients of the credits could spend it on public education, funnel it to home schooling or establish scholarship funds, he suggested.

A dozen states, he said have adopted similar plans, citing Arizona's as one of the best. "It has resulted in citizens contributing millions of dollars to easing the burden on state schools."

"Education," he said, "is the number one long-term issue for the country. I'm concerned and I'm passionate on the issue.

"Our students are continually failing compared to foreign students," he added. "We need a free-market program to start treating American education as a complete system not just a provider. We need to start recognizing the children as the product of education, not the buildings we put up to house them."

On a number of other subjects, the person hopeful of filling the Campbell seat was equally as forthcoming, not once mentioning his opponent for the GOP nomination, Peter Coors.

Iraq, homeland security

"I believe President Bush, Prime Minister Blair and the global community were right to defeat and incapacitate Saddam. There was sufficient evidence to believe there were weapons of mass destruction available to him.

"He is being replaced with a civilian government that more reflects the freedoms of the Iraqi people. They are safer having a terrorist regime removed. They will have a central government with public elections in January, a credible domestic security force is being created and democracy is taking place.

"I want to see us move our troops out as quickly as possible, but there will probably be a 2-3 year period of our presence necessary.

"I was in Congress after 9/11 and was there when the Patriot Act was passed. It is still an administrative function, taking shape and developing. I'm not inclined to second-guess the administration, but the effort can't be just federal. We need coordination of all federal, state, county and local agencies with a proscribed method for sharing intelligence and planning.

"I'm certain there will be more terrorist episodes in this country and that there are active, if dormant, terrorist cells here planning to kill Americans.

"But I'm just as certain, from previous experience, that there have been many similar attempts thwarted."

Water and prior rights

Basin of origin issues, he said, should be moderated by the states "with the federal government involved as little as possible."

"Occasionally policy matters will require action of a federal agency like the Army Corps of Engineers. The nation needs to be more aggressive in storage and conservation efforts. We need to be able to avert the tension of the last several years of drought. We can't let perceived needs of reclamation and endangered species be the fatal element leaving people with no water."

"Environmental lawsuits will always slow necessary projects, but those filing deserve their day in court - once, and then," jokingly, "extradite them."

"In Colorado, water is a constitutional property right that has been challenged over the years by federal interference. The federal institution has to come in second when people's needs are threatened."

Health care, costs

"Our general approach needs to be reconstructed. There is a direct relationship of consumer to provider and Americans have lost the consumer instinct. We've come to the point where we expect the government, the drug manufacturers, the insurance agencies - just someone else - to pay.

"We no longer question whether we need a drug, whether it is the most economical form, or if we're getting the best price.

"The reality is that prescription drug costs are a huge bill for the consumers. Few realize that 35 percent of the total drug cost goes to help the pharmaceutical firms pay legal bills. There's always someone waiting to sue.

"I'm not in favor of drug re-importing, but we have to do it to end it. America foots 100 percent of the research and development of new drugs. If the home government in another country, Canada for instance, subsidizes the product cost, the medication becomes cheaper to everyone. We need to tell Canada to stop subsidizing or we'll either increase prices to them or stop exporting and sell only for domestic consumption.

"We need to move toward health care accounts with tax free income that can be built over time to cover major health crises.

"Had I still been in office, I would have voted against the present prescription drug bill. But I wasn't and I don't want to destroy the program. The federal government has over-stuffed this constitutionally legitimate creature and now has to sell it."

PILT funding

The issue of compensating governmental entities for the nonpayment of taxes on federal lands within their boundaries has become a growing issue.

"The Eastern liberals, always the first to want to expand national parks, public lands and wilderness areas, are also the last to vote for the funds to finance and reciprocate.

"Shortages in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funding should be known as the Charade of Liberal Environmentalism."

Gas, oil drilling

"There have always been those who want to shut down oil and gas extraction, whether from federal lands or exercising private mineral rights.

"Coalbed methane drilling has always been in conflict with environmentalists. But if the best present guidelines are followed, it should be beneficial for all in cooperation with state permitting process and continued dialogue."

Roe vs. Wade

"I agree with the plaintiff in this case, Norma McCorvey, that the ruling went too far, denied rights to an entire class of defenseless human beings and trampled rights of Americans to establish compassionate and prudent reproductive policy through their state legislatures."

Personal data

The candidate, now 42, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a graduate of the University of Dayton with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, is married and the father of five, including 16-year-old twins Jenny and Emily, son Justin and daughters Sarah and Mary.


Some candidates ignore county's 9,000 potential votes

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Next Tuesday's primary election ballot in Archuleta County will carry the names of a number of candidates who have not bothered to even recognize existence of the county's 9,000 registered voters.

On the other hand, three of the candidates for the U.S. House from Congressional District 3 have made campaign forays into the county as have all of the U.S. Senate candidates.

First, a last-minute look at candidates for the House seat being vacated by Scott McInnis.

Five Republicans are on the ballot, two of whom - Dan Corsentino and Gregg Rippy - have campaigned here.

Corsentino, 53, is a four-term Pueblo County sheriff and is regarded a person who can appeal to both political camps.

Rippy, 49, is an incumbent state representative from Glenwood Springs and a construction company owner whose firm helped build Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon.

Also on the Republican ballot will be Matt Smith, 46, another incumbent state representative, from Grand Junction; Greg Walcher, 47, a peach grower from Palisade and a former director of the state's Department of Natural Resources; and Matt Aljanich, 37, of Steamboat Springs, a commercial airline pilot and founder of a small health care software company.

The lone Democratic candidate and thus the man who will face the Republican winner in November's general election is another state representative, John Salazar, 51, of Manassa in the San Luis Valley. He has made at least three official forays into Archuleta County spelling out his qualifications.

Looking at the U.S. Senate race, the Salazar name appears again with incumbent Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar, the representative candidate's younger brother and a man with Archuleta County ties, waging a fierce campaign, including several Archuleta stops.

He was surprised when he lost the top spot on the ballot at the state Democratic convention to first-time candidate Mike Miles, a Colorado Springs educator, former Army Ranger and member of the U.S. diplomatic corps.

Miles has been campaigning for the post for over two years and has made several Archuleta County appearances.

On the Republican side, both of candidates in the high profile, big-money race - former Congressman Bob Schaffer of Ft. Collins and beer baron Peter Coors, of Golden, made last-minute visits.

Coors has carried on a heavy television campaign citing his big business experience in creating jobs while Schaffer has basically run on his extensive record of governmental experience - nine years in the state senate and six in the U.S. House.

Schaffer was interviewed Thursday in Pagosa. Coors visited Saturday. (See separate stories).

The two party winners will square off in the general election for the seat being vacated by Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Ignacio, who has endorsed Coors.

The fact a candidate has not appeared in Archuleta County is considered by some to represent an "I don't need them" attitude.

Those who have come here have told The SUN they believe every voter deserves a chance to hear their story in person.

They have said they perceive 9,000 potential votes as a possible "carry margin" in a close race.


Mayor's Council working on downtown master plan, hires part-time director

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Budgets, organization and downtown master planning progress were atop the agenda for the Mayor's Council meeting for the Future of Pagosa Springs July 28.

According to a printed progress report, Hart Howerton, a consulting firm consisting of planners, architects and landscape architects, is on a three-month track for completing a conceptual downtown master plan. They have been working for six weeks and are currently researching legal and physical constraints and initiating plan alternatives in support of both public and private interests.

Members of the Mayor's Council will meet with the consultants in mid-August. Presentation of the proposed master plan to the public is set for the end of September. Once the consultants have finished with the plan, it will be presented to the Town Council for official action.

Mike Heraty, a member of the Mayor's Council, along with other members of the marketing committee, presented an organizational structure for the council that could help make the group more sustainable. The chart focused on horizontal communication between chamber, tourism bureau, economic development and downtown committees, each with a separate funding source. Overseeing the four committees would be a board of directors. The group would be a nonprofit with, at least to start, a part-time executive director.

With the organizational chart on the table, members of the council unanimously agreed that it was time to institute the paid position to keep the group on task, handle administrative issues and begin the application for nonprofit status. Angela Atkinson was approved as the first executive director.

"We're all busy," she said, explaining why she proposed the permanent position. "We all have other jobs. I know I've been incredibly committed to the process, but I have a million things to do. I just think we need someone who rides herd over the group, who makes sure information is filtering to the right people."

Atkinson's proposal was a part-time, 24-hour a week contract, with a $24,000 annual salary and a budget of $6,000 for expenses.

Her request was already figured into the group's proposed $157,245 budget for 2004. Besides the paid position, the current budget would fund design development and printing of a series of marketing posters with the slogan "Real People, Unreal Lifestyle." It would also cover the current community survey - a market research effort - and fees for planning consultants Hart Howerton.

Contributions to date total just over $90,000. Dave Brown, one of the group's founders, said figures were closer than expected to covering expenses at this point. So far, contributions have come from Brown, Fairway Land Trust, J.R. Ford, the Pagosa Springs Resort, Parelli Natural Horsemanship, The Source and the Town of Pagosa Springs.

At their next meeting, the group agreed to continue discuss the overall structure of a permanent organization, setting up necessary bank accounts, becoming a nonprofit and electing a board of directors. A date and time for that meeting has not been set.


Work and delays continue on Wolf Creek highway projects

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Work on three road projects on Wolf Creek Pass continues.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, daytime traffic stops are possible at each project, starting on the east side with the Lonesome Dove to Windy Point widening project between mile markers 179 and 182. Work on this project is scheduled for 7 a.m. to dusk, Monday through Sunday with some overnight closures possible.

Daytime traffic stops are necessary when blasting operations are underway. Motorists can expect delays to exceed 40 minutes as material is moved and traffic is cleared in each direction. On weekends, delays of less than five minutes are in effect. No vehicles over 12-feet wide or 105-feet long will be allowed to travel through the work zone at any time. For more information, the project hotline is (719) 850-2553 and the Web site is

Work on the tunnel project continues 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and until 3 p.m. on Fridays. Up to 30-minute delays are possible during working hours. For more information, the tunnel project hotline is (719) 873-2221 and the project Web site is

Near Treasure Falls, a five-mile repaving project is underway Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Lane closures with up to 30-minute delays are possible. A 12-foot width restriction is in effect at all times. For more information on this project, see the Tunnel project hotlines.

All three projects are expected to be completed late this year.


Resident seeking restitution of cost to move water line

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer


That's what Bill Hudgens requested from the Archuleta Board of County Commissioners Tuesday morning.

He requested $1,140 for himself and $1,365 for a neighbor to cover moving their water lines for the paving project on South Pagosa Boulevard, Meadows and Buttress drives.

Hudgens said it was a matter of principal, noting neither he nor his neighbor were given appropriate notice that the lines, placed there 28 years ago in his case, would have to be moved.

"I've been hoping for asphalt for the last five years," he said. "I really think it will enhance the whole area, and I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth here unless it's really a Trojan horse and I think that's what this is."

Hudgens said his wife received a call in late June from the county's engineering department informing her that their water line would "probably" have to be moved because bank cuts for the road project would leave it exposed, or at least closer than five feet to the surface. At the time, it looked like the move might not be necessary until fall.

Then, Hudgens said, he received a call July 2 saying the line would be cut in 24 hours. It didn't actually happen until July 9. Hudgens had to write the check the next day.

"I don't budget like that," he said. "I am not a rich man."

Mamie Lynch, board chair, said because the water lines were encroaching in the right-of-way, cost legally fell to the owner.

Hudgens said because of the situation, it was "a matter of principle." He also requested that the county consider posting speed limit signs in the area of the new paving project.

Commissioner Bill Downey said speed signs are part of the project, but can't be raised until the end.

Lynch said the board would take the request for reimbursement under consideration. No action was taken.


Planned Parenthood sets sessions for parents and teens

By Sky Gabel

Special to The SUN

Adolescence is a time of learning about responsibility and relationships.

Most teens experience powerful, often confusing emotions, especially concerning sexuality. Responsible parents will talk about healthy relationships and sex with their teen-agers, but teens usually look to their peers or the media for advice.

Research consistently indicates young people tend to delay intercourse and make healthier choices around sexuality when they are given complete and accurate informational tools for making those decisions.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is presenting interactive workshops to give parents and their teens the tools for successful communication about sexuality issues.

Parents of any age, teens and anyone working with youth can attend "The Power of Parents" to learn the importance of talking about sexuality, the role of values, sources of support, when and how to have discussions with your teens, as well as potential obstacles to open communication.

The workshop is free and open to the public, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Greenbriar Plaza Unit b-15, 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12.

Call 731-2202 for more information.

Then, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, teens 13-16 are invited for a session with a Planned Parenthood education specialist to learn the facts about abstinence, contraception, healthy relationships, STD's, values and more.

Teens will discuss the issues with their peers and an expert in the field of family planning. This will be more complete than the sexual education currently taught at our high school.

A free pizza lunch will be provided, a $20 donation is requested to cover the cost of speakers. Call 731-2202 to reserve your spot.


Head Start accepting applications

Pagosa Early Childhood Education Center/Head Start, is accepting applications for ongoing preschool enrollment.

The center is a nonprofit organization serving children and families throughout Archuleta County for 39 years. It administers several early childhood programs with varying eligibility requirements. All of the programs are low cost or free to eligible families.

Call Eva or Mardel at 264-2512 for more information.


Knights invite all to duck race, picnic Aug. 14

Pagosa Knights of Columbus invite the public to spend a fun day at their annual Duck Race and Picnic Saturday, Aug. 14, in Town Park.

This event will not only have ducks racing down the San Juan, but also just ducky kids' games, a food court, and an assortment of prize raffles. Will Spears and KWUF radio will have a live remote on the scene.

Anyone can purchase a duck for $5 -- buy as many as you would like. Anyone who buys 20 ducks receives a free T-shirt. Each duck is numbered and you know at the time of purchase the number of your duck. All ducks will be in the water and the race will start at 2:30 p.m. Ducks will be racing for cash prizes: First place is $1,000; second is $500; and third is $100.

Buy your ducks from any Knights of Columbus member. If you have any questions call 731-0253 or 731-3741.


Reaching New Levels of Faith

seminar at Church of Christ

What is faith? Why should I work on my faith? What are the different levels of faith? How do I acquire searching faith?

Reaching New Levels of Faith is the theme of a two-weekend seminar to be hosted by Pagosa Springs Church of Christ Aug. 7-8 and 14-15.

There will be two classes Saturday night, 6 and 7 p.m., two sessions Sunday morning with class at 9:30 and worship at 10:30, and Sunday night classes 5 and 6 p.m.

The speaker for the seminar is Curtis Hartshorn, author of a new book "Reaching New Levels of Faith." He is a minister on the campus of Adams State College in Alamosa and preaches for Church of Christ.

He has directed evangelistic Bible studies on campus since 1998 and has also taught college courses on "Principles of Marriage" and "Death and Dying." He holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and has a master of biblical studies from Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver with an emphasis in biblical counseling.

Hartshorn has been preaching since 1987. He and his wife, Kathy, have three children - Mario, Tony and Branson.

Learn what it truly means to have faith and how faith can change your life.

The seminar is free and open to everyone in the church at 277 Lewis St. For more information, call Dorman Diller at 264-2552 or 264-4454.


Community center sets celebration of second year

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Community Center will host a party Friday, Aug. 20, to celebrate its second anniversary and to recognize the volunteers who give so generously of their time.

The celebration will include dinner with barbecue chicken provided and an evening of musical entertainment. The community is invited and asked to bring along a favorite side dish or dessert to share.

Musical entertainment will include Father John Bowe and John Graves on the piano and organ, an encore from the recent Music Boosters extravaganza,"The Hills are Alive ...!," and more. The evening's festivities will be 5:30-8:30 p.m.

For two years the center has provided a focus for community gatherings and sponsored, family-centered events for the community's enjoyment. Some of those events have proven so popular that they will become annual - the Christmas Cake Walk and the Fourth of July Sing-along, for example. Also popular were The Harlem Ambassadors and the Circus fund-raising events, which the center will try to repeat.

The history leading up to this evening is an interesting one. It all began with a survey in l996 by the University of Colorado's Office of Community Service which discovered that Pagosa needed more meeting rooms for community groups and activities; a facility for large banquets; more recreation facilities, especially for kids; expanded day care services, a larger Head Start facility and a teen center. Head Start was able to expand when the senior center moved from their shared building to the new center.

Unfortunately, expanded day care remains a community need; however, the other identified needs were met with the completion of the community center.

History also includes a community that was solid behind this project in words and deeds. Businesses and families donated $345,000 and 5,672 hours of work; Colorado foundations gave close to $500,000; the private land value donation came to about $600,000.

The Aug. 20 celebration is about commemorating the community's hard work and success.


Fair royalty represents the spirit of community service

By James Super

Special to The PREVIEW

In these modern times, I am astonished when I consider the people some of the young people in our society emulate. Sports figures and heirs to family fortunes are the pillars of society in the eyes of many of the young.

Alternatively, what designer clothes or handbags are these idols sporting?

Often these idols fall from grace with behaviors that are less than admirable and, at times, morally bankrupt.

Fortunately, we have alternatives.

When I was asked to perform the task of judge at the 4-H Royalty Pageant, I paused to reflect: I do not like beauty pageants and I did not want to be a part of anything that would reward someone for their looks and performance on a stage.

I was told that this was not the case in this pageant: These young women were to be judged by the merits of their performances in society.

I agreed to be a judge. I was pleasantly surprised by what I experienced as well as astonished at how hard my task was. Each of the contestants was beautiful in her own right. Each carried with her the personality and sense of concern that cannot be bought in any store or achieved in any game. Each was distinguished by poise and grace.

In the judges' eyes, each girl was a winner.

When it came time for the final analysis, only three would be chosen as royalty, with three picked as runners up should any of the royalty not be able perform duties. There were some tears shed in disappointment, but all the contestants were special because they took a chance. Next year always brings new hope and promise.

This year's winners of the pageant were Queen Brea Thompson, Princess Allison Laverty and Junior Princess Leslie Baughman.

These three young women represent the spirit of the community. They each have their own stories to tell. They are not lofty tales of trips to Paris or jet-set parties, but stories revealing what it means to be a person of substance involved with community service.

Anyone who attends the Archuleta County Fair should take a moment to meet these three young, royal achievers. All of us, regardless of our age, should look to them as worthy examples. We are very proud of them and their achievements, and we wish them much luck in their future endeavors.


Our Savior Lutheran cited

as a leading congregation

By Julie Martinez

Special to The PREVIEW

Our Savior Lutheran Church, of Pagosa Springs, can place itself at the top of the list.

The congregation has been notified by Gerald B. Kieschnick, president of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, (a national body of 2.5 million members), that they have been identified, " as one of the most effective congregations in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod in worship attendance growth in non-metropolitan areas over the past five years."

Under the blessing of God and the leadership of Our Savior's pastor, Rev. Richard A. Bolland, this achievement is due to the steadfast retention of the historic Lutheran liturgical form of worship, steadfast adherence to the proclamation of the Word of God in all its truth and purity and the administration of the Sacraments in accord with Christ's institution.

In doing these things, Our Savior has set itself apart from the general offering of Reformed congregations in their community, according to Rev. Bolland.

Bolland said, "Lutheran doctrine and practice is unique among Christian denominations and, because it is true, it has the ring of truth in people's ears."

Bolland also claimed that nearly every other Reformed group in the community is engaged in what is commonly known as contemporary worship, with praise bands, and multimedia-led worship services. "The historic liturgy of the Lutheran Church stands in stark contrast to contemporary worship, providing a Biblically-based, Sacramentally oriented, reverent setting in which God brings to those who have gathered His precious gifts of grace through the means of grace," Bolland remarked.

Many of those who have been received by adult confirmation over the years are coming to Our Savior precisely because of the depth of well-thought-out theology and the perception of somewhat "shallow" theology in many Reformed and non-denominational congregations.

Bolland reflected, "There is a genuine hunger out there for real depth of theology especially among those who have not known it before. The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod is missing a bet if we do not capitalize on the strengths of reverent worship and solid theological teaching."

Not all of those adults confirmed at Our Savior over the years come from Reformed congregations, however. Several have come from unchurched backgrounds and one has even converted from Orthodox Judaism. Rev. Bolland also credits the evangelism of the Lutheran School the congregation operates with some of the influx of membership. "To God alone the glory!" Bolland concluded.


It's time for the Auction for the Animals

By Annette Foor

Special to The PREVIEW

Summer is in full bloom and that means it's time for the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs' annual Auction for the Animals.

This year marks the 10th anniversary for the auction that attracts hundreds of people each year and is the organization's largest fund-raising and social event of the year.

The Auction for the Animals always offers many unique items and lots of fun. All proceeds from the auction benefit the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs animal shelter.

This year, the Auction for the Animals will be held Friday, Aug. 27 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, 5:30 p.m.

Ticket prices for this extravaganza will be the same as they have been the past few years. Advance purchase with wine and beer tasting will be $25 and $30 at the door. These tickets will include a commemorative wine glass or beer stein.

Tickets not including wine and beer tasting will be $15 in advance and $17 at the door.

Gourmet hors d'oeuvres will be served throughout the evening with the silent auction starting at 5:30 p.m. and the live auction to follow.

Each year, the humane society receives a great variety of donations and support from the community along with donations from the entertainment industry. This year's items include a Connelly pool table handcrafted in Tucson, Ariz., a Freeflow TLX 12 spa that seats five adults comfortably; a Weber Genesis Gold Series C grill; a yearly timeshare condo at Vail Run Resort; a Yamaha acoustic guitar donated by Gary McNaughton; an Orvis fly fishing rod and reel; an autographed script from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, signed; a "Join Up" denim jacket from Monty Roberts; a bronze sculpture, The Antelope Hunter, by Quintin Mendoza, donated by Dr. Kitzel Farrah; a Golden Owl Kachina Doll donated by Pagosa Peak Financial Group; signed books - "The Cat Who Talked Turkey" by Lillian Jackson Braun and "Odd Thomas #301" by Dean Koontz; and much more.

The auction is a fun evening and has something for everyone, so come on out and enjoy scrumptious food, fine micro-brewed beers, exquisite wines and non-alcohol beverages. Catch up with friends or make new ones and maybe you'll find that special item you've been looking for, or that item you just can't do without.

For more information about the auction contact the administration office at 264-5549 or e-mail Be sure to mark your calendar and come out for a night that's guaranteed to be a great time.



Fourmile trailhead expansion plans open to comment

By Leigh Fortson

Special to The SUN

Increased traffic at the Fourmile Trailhead has led the U.S. Forest Service to consider expanding the parking area and improving sanitation facilities. Public comments are being sought.

According to a U.S. Forest Service news release, the trailhead, " does not have a parking area capable of supporting the demand of either cars or horse trailers. In addition, sanitation is becoming an increasing concern."

Three alternatives are on the drawing table.

The first is taking no action.

The second is to move the trailhead about 625 feet down Fourmile Road and construct a new parking lot to accommodate the existing uses. The current parking lot, about 1/2 acre, would be closed and rehabilitated. This alternative would impact nearly 2 acres.

The third alternative would keep the existing parking lot for cars only and construct a new parking lot 625 feet down Fourmile Road for horse trailers and larger vehicles. A horse trail would be constructed from the new parking lot to the existing trail. This alternative would impact about 1 acre.

Both the second and third alternatives would include constructing an outhouse to address sanitation concerns.

The Fourmile trailhead is at the end of Forest Service Road 645 on the Pagosa Ranger District in Mineral County (SW 1/4 SEC. 26 T37N R2W).

Comments on the proposals should be sent to District Ranger, Attn: Rick Jewell, PO Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or by fax to (970) 264-1538 by Aug. 27.

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


Two special events feature Glenn Raby

Glenn Raby, geologist, will lead a tour Saturday, Aug. 7, and tell of the complex and violent geologic history of the Pagosa area.

Raby will explain how the mountains, valleys, rivers and hot springs came to be and what may be in store for the future of our area. This is a driving trip with several collecting and interpretive stops.

Visitors of all ages are welcome but small children will need close supervision, since there will be stops along busy roads and near live streams. Bring a sack lunch, water, camera and outdoor clothing. No lengthy hiking is required, but wear comfortable walking shoes.

Meet Glenn at the Arts Council building in Town Park on Hermosa Street at 10 a.m. for a short orientation, then follow Glen on a drive to several places from town up to Wolf Creek Overlook.

The tour, which will last until about 2 p.m., is sponsored by San Juan National Forest.

An event for rockhounds and geology buffs is the open house at the San Juan Historical Society Museum 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21.

Raby's minerals collection is one of the many treasures found in the museum. He will be at the museum for the open house and invites rockhounds to bring in their rocks to be identified.

The museum is at 1st and Pagosa streets. The free event is sponsored by San Juan Historical Society.

For more information on either of these events, contact Raby at 264-1515.

These programs are presented by partners in the local Interpretive Alliance. The Interpretive Alliance Calendar of Events for August, is posted throughout the community and is in a brochure available at the Forest Service office at 2nd and Pagosa streets. Events are listed in more detail online at Scroll down to the Pagosa Springs Interpretive Alliance and click on calendar. All programs are free and are related to the natural and cultural resources of Pagosa Springs and surrounding areas.

The Interpretive Alliance consists of several organizations, agencies, and individuals who have combined efforts to interpret and enhance public interest and appreciation of natural and cultural resources.

For more information, contact Phyllis Decker at 264-2268.



Please vote

Dear Editor:

As taxpayers, one county commissioner costs us over $40,000 a year in salary, plus benefits.

With the primary just days away, I hope all registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters are considering the ways this money has, or hasn't, benefited our community, because it is up to us to decide what to do about it.

This is not a personality contest. It's a performance-based review of our commissioners' records and our opportunity as voters to reward, or reject, their performance as a standard we wish to apply to county governance.

There's only way we can be certain that we're heading down the right path to a desirable future for our county - that's by ensuring Archuleta County's government is representative of our population.

If every registered voter will embrace this opportunity to ensure our future prosperity by sharing their informed opinions in the way of their votes, we can have a representative government here.

To every registered voter who reads this, please vote, because not voting doesn't count for anything.


Karen Aspin


Face real issues

Dear Editor:

Attacking any veteran's military record is spitting on the flag they served. It's amazing the levels people will lower themselves to over politics.

There are no political parties mentioned on the tombstones at Arlington.

Personal attacks and political facades are used to hide the fear of talking about the real issues: terrorism, home security, oil prices, jobs, nuclear proliferation, Iraq, Middle East, disease and rapid climate change.

Although it's the popular thing to do, I find it difficult to judge and reduce my life, or anyone else's life, to a dreadful phrase or sentence - "so and so is nothing but a ... "

As American politics looks now, we will beat ourselves to death through a needless civil war long before the terrorists will destroy us.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag ... "

Ron Alexander



Dear Editor:

Finally the truth is being stated openly. The rabid, bizarre hatred for George W. Bush by the liberal left, is less that he is a conservative or a Republican, but more precisely because he is openly a Christian.

Hillary Clinton, at a recent "Take America Back" rally, introduced to the hate Bush, crazed crowd, billionaire George Soros. Soros has stated openly that God does not exist, therefore Christians are all extremist. Bush is a Christian therefore he must be defeated. And he believes majority of Americans are stupid otherwise they would be voting Democrat.

Soros is more honest than most of the Dems, who in fact believe the same but for the sake of votes and image, won't admit it.

Recently at a Simi Valley rally for Kerry, the Democratic hopeful was quoted as saying, "This moment in Simi Valley is a moment of truth. Not just for my campaign, but for the future of my party as well. For some of us, this may be our only chance to confirm the demise of the man who is solely responsible for turning the American people away from liberal philosophy. As Democrats, we need to put small differences aside and be certain that this man is truly gone. Next, we must reclaim our country from the churchgoers, the middle America folks and the uneducated conservative masses."

Like the Federalists of Jefferson's era and their heirs, the Democrats during Lincoln's administration, today's Liberals, are elitists who believe middle America and particularly "churchgoers" are the greatest threat to their power and their drive for federal control of every aspect of the American experience. Christ centered government which was given to us by our founding Fathers is of course a menace to those who desire more than anything to place American sovereignty under United Nations control. The Democratic ticket will strive to eliminate America's status as a world leader in order to give greater authority to their god and the one world government he wishes to establish. Soros and Kerry believe even the American masses are "stupid" and "uneducated." It's time to show them, their pride has brought their demise.

To their hatred of Christians, let our rally cry be what our founders' was, "No king but King Jesus."

William Bennett


Heads in sand

Dear Editor:

I both chuckled and felt a little sad when I read the article on the six-month town moratorium, which could become a county moratorium with Mamie Lynch's, "It will be discussed" guarantee.

Poor folks here are under the misconception that they can preserve our sleepy mountain town. Pull your heads out of the sand people, that dream left about six years ago. If you don't believe me, look around - fast food franchises, pristine ranches being turned into housing tracts, and traffic. The one-mile loop I live on has gone from nine houses in 1998 to 63 today, with four more under construction.

What this smells like is legislation to protect select local businesses, since grocers were excluded. Sure local merchants suffer when big retailers come in, but like it or not, that's what free enterprise and capitalist economics is all about - competition.

Competition accomplishes two things, and neither are bad. First, it lowers prices and second, it improves quality of service and goods. Point in case - the price of Pagosa gasoline, which has always been a sore spot with me. Now that the local grocery retailer "discounts" gasoline, other stations have lowered their prices. With the prospect of another large gas retailer locating on Eagle Drive, one station may even be on the market because of possibly losing the relative "monopolistic market" it enjoyed for years. Competition is good!

Karl Isberg wrote in The SUN a couple of years ago that the .10 to .15 cents a gallon higher prices here, compared to Durango and other surrounding towns had no logical explanation. He was right - the only explanation is the concept of "charge what the market will bear," or more concise, "gouging." Proof: When gas was relatively cheap, $1.35-$1.50 a gallon, prices here were higher than anywhere else. Now gas is at or near record highs, gas here is exactly the same price as Durango, Farmington, Santa Fe, and on and on ... Why? Record high prices have psychologically capped the "gouging range" and that's not just my opinion, it is a proven, documented business fact.

Pagosans do more shopping in Durango than they do here because of choice and price. Unless you want to wear boots and western shirts/skirts, you're kinda limited on apparel, and that's just scratching the surface. I told my wife the other day, "Let's go to town," so we got in the car and drove to Farmington.

Change is not inevitable, it's already happened, whether idealists like it or not. Might as well let the Big Boxes and everyone else come in so we can get the tax revenues and jobs, instead of shipping them to La Plata County. The only other alternative is to make the moratorium permanent and post guards on U.S. 84 and U.S. 160 to shoot Texans coming from the south and Californians coming from the west. Won't have to worry much about the east and north, because Kansas and Wyoming don't pose much of a threat.

Roy K. Boutwell


Road tax idea

Dear Editor:

I am amazed at the timing of the proposed vote to increase the mill levy for road maintenance after so many years. To even have a chance of passing, however, some essential elements must be clear.

It has to be all for one and one for all. Either all roads that are built to county standards must be maintained or none should be.

Since everyone pays the same taxes, everyone must be treated equitably. If that's not going to be the case, any vote will never pass. Even so, without some added provisions, it may be difficult to pass.

Some taxpayers (like me) already live on roads that are maintained by the county. The people in the town of Pagosa Springs already get their roads maintained. The same is true for members of metro districts. Why should all of those folks vote to have their taxes increased when their roads are already maintained?

First, maybe the county commissioners should decree that if the vote does not pass to increase the mill levy, that Archuleta County will no longer maintain any roads whatsoever.

Now, let's vote. Too heavy-handed, you say? It certainly would not be as unfair as the status quo, would it? Further, it would have to be that the increased taxes collected on properties within the boundaries of the metro districts and the Town of Pagosa Springs would go to those entities, not to the county. Now, may we vote?

I wonder if a 1-percent real estate transfer tax on all properties sold, to be paid by the buyer, might not be easier to pass. Many of the buyers and sellers of property in this county are not Archuleta County residents. All taxes collected would have to go to roads and would be distributed to the various entities as outlined above.

With the way our prices are increasing around here, I'm not sure that 1 percent would be noticed that much and $2 million a year could be raised.

Jerry Driesens


Blame it on Bush

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to Mr. George Johnson's letter in the July 29 SUN. I agree completely with Mr. Johnson's concerns about the proposed construction of roads in Roadless Areas of the HD Mountains to facilitate drilling in these areas. I am just as concerned over proposals to construct roads in other Roadless Areas of the National Forests to allow logging.

Once these wilderness areas are gone they are lost forever. However, by writing to The SUN to express his concerns Mr. Johnson is addressing an audience that probably generally agrees with him already.

Attending public meetings held by the Forest Service or writing comments to them expressing an opinion against these roads is only marginally more effective. The most effective way to end this threat to these wild areas in our National Forests is defeat the person whose environmental policies are most responsible this threat, George W. Bush.

Lal B. Echterhoff


Include clergy

Dear Editor:

I have noticed that in selections of task forces that concern growth in our area, one group has continually not been represented. I have not seen a clergy person on any list of those considered for a growth task force.

I would suggest that organizers consider a member of the clergy. There are many issues concerning growth in our area. Some that need to be considered are social issues dealing with livable wage, part-time employment, housing for the needy, etc.

Any clergy person in our area would be interested in these social issues. More than half of local government constituents attend church and represent a great portion of the community.

Although I have not checked with any of the other clergy, I feel certain most of them would be willing to serve on such a task force.

Please consider including clergy on any growth task force.

Donald A, Ford, Pastor

Community United Methodist Church


Fill Village Lake

Dear Editor:

Village Lake is nearly four feet down but none of the other lakes in the area are much below full. The primary reason is that the golf course draws water from Village Lake to make the fairways, tees and greens green.

It's working. The course is in very nice shape. It is recognized that the golf course is a necessary amenity for Pagosa Country. It has tremendous economic significance.

But Village Lake is an important amenity for the many timeshare and condominium visitors near its edge. Imagine the disappointment visitors have when they settle in only to discover that the water is many muddy feet distant from the established shoreline. Fishing and boating also suffer.

Tom Carosello's article about the PAWS meeting Tuesday evening a week ago was enlightening. Carrie Campbell, the general manager was quoted as saying, "Historically, the district has focused on keeping the upper lakes as full as possible to meet demand. And the level of Village has fluctuated depending on irrigation."

I believe only Village Lake is used for the golf course irrigation.

The upper lakes can all be made to flow into Lake Forest where water is taken for purification and distribution. Water from the upper lakes can be made to flow into Village Lake and thence into Lake Forest. If the water in the upper lakes is to be used for distribution, it must flow through Village.

Karen Wessels, board chairman, reportedly said engineering and water quality studies show water in Village "is not of such quality that the district would use if for their purification and distribution system."

Of course! The lake is so low that water quality is adversely affected, but this water would be part of any flow into Lake Forest. It appears that Ms. Wessels' water quality statement is flawed.

The real question is: Has the PAWS board made the right decision in selecting Village Lake as the only source of irrigation for the golf course, making this one lake unattractive while the upper lakes remain nearly full?

Jim Lincoln


T(abor) Party?

Dear Editor:

I believe you were referring to my letter in support of TABOR. Democracy is great! We agree to disagree. I think we share a common conception concerning the lack of fiscal and personal responsibilities by some in state government.

I also sent my two bits worth to Sen. Isgar and Rep. Larson. No response from the senator but Rep. Larson and I agreed to disagree. However, he was also of the opinion that there is much room for improvement in fiscal management. The voters elected them to govern. That concept seems to have gotten blurred with the influence of partisan politics, lobbyists, and special interest groups. Many years ago there was the Boston Tea Party. Maybe TABOR is the Colorado T(abor) Party.

I am not smart enough to know all the complexities of TABOR and should know better than engage an editor who has a much sharper pen than I do. However, when everyone seems to agree that there is need for overhauling the fiscal programs in this state, the government measures success by the amount of money it spends.

If a program does not measure up, allocate more money to it without regard to accountability. Yet when TABOR works as intended, the officials in Denver quickly suggest amending it to fix the real or perceived problems.

In your editorial you mentioned that the issue may go before the voters in November in the form of a Campaign for Colorado Initiative. The Denver Post reported Sunday, Aug. 1, that they threw in the towel because of "lack of support and money." If this was successful, they could have pointed to public support.

Folks, here is where this thing can get ugly. A bi-partisan group is being formed to see they can "craft a solution to sell to the lawmakers." Now the back-room politics will be set in motion. It may go something like this: Lawmaker A visits Lawmaker B. Lawmaker A: "You know that I am on the bipartisan committee to see if we can get this TABOR thing on the November ballot and need your support. If you support it and it passes, it will mean millions to the state coffers. That program you want to award millions to your brother-in-law's company to see if the Wooly Mammoth can be reintroduced in Dinosaur National Park, well maybe I can help." Yup, good old-fashioned deal making when the voters have repeatedly told them to leave TABOR alone.

I again urge all voters to become familiar with the both sides of the issue and if TABOR makes it on the ballot in November cast your vote. I'm done. Good bye and good luck.

Don Papierniak


Tunnel tuned out

Dear Editor:

I'm a northeast Nebraska ex-truck driver. I came here after all these years to see your town and to go down Wolf Creek Pass like in the C.D. McCall song by Dave Dudley.

I cannot believe that you have ruined the pass by putting in a tunnel and changing it like this has ruined all the good looking scenery.

Can't the state of Colorado and the government leave things that are sacred to people alone? I think they have ruined a beautiful thing, one heard of for many years in song and legend.

I think this modern approach has hurt the older people of your city who liked things as they were. I heard an old fellow born and raised here talking about how it hurt the feelings of a lot of people.

Lyle Sparr

Ewing, Neb.


Community News

Local Chatter

Shamrock Festival to feature food, sale, auction and games

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

For a number of years, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church has held its annual fall bazaar on the second Saturday in September and it is doing so this year, only a lot more is being added, and to cover all the doings, the event will be called The Shamrock Festival.

To begin there will be food: a breakfast at 8 a.m.; a lunch of hot dogs, chili and nachos; an afternoon tea and an evening barbecue with jazz and folk music entertainment.

The famous casseroles will be available and soups and cobblers will be added to this category. And there will be a bake sale.

Other things will include a craft table, a silent auction, a quilt raffle and a gigantic garage sale.

For the children, there will be a special area set aside for games and rides. Tickets will be available.

The Methodist Women

When the United Methodist Women meet tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Community United Methodist Church, Joyce Chiles Hines will give a program having to do with her ancestor, Sue Adair Owen, who was a Methodist missionary after the Civil War, about 1880. Joyce will be in costume. In telling the story, she will assume the part of Sue Owen's good friend, Charlotte Swearingin. The church is celebrating 135 years of missionary work.

Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Library will hold its annual meeting Friday evening, Aug. 13, at the Extension Building. The meeting opens at 6 with refreshments provided by members and is followed by access to the books for sale.

The books to be sold are set out the day before. The Pagosa Fire Protection District and the Rotary Club provide the muscle for the job and members do the rest.

The book sales started in the very early 1980s and were held in the yard of the old library that was housed in the Town Hall - located then at the corner of San Juan and Lewis streets. The sale was moved to the new library when it was built and then moved to the Extension Building where it has been ever since.

The Friends was organized in 1983.

Books not sold at the annual meeting are sold the next day. There will be bargains galore both days.

Fun on the run

A young schoolboy was having a hard time pronouncing the letter "r" and all the other kids were, of course, teasing him about it. To help him out, the teacher gave him a sentence to practice at home:

"Robert gave Richard a rap in the ribs for roasting the rabbit so rare." In class a few days later, the teacher asked the boy to recite the sentence out loud.

The boy nervously eyed his classmates - many of them already laughing at him - then replied, "Bob gave Dick a poke in the side because the bunny wasn't cooked enough."


Senior News

Celebrate being Silver Foxes; wear your T-shirts

By Laura Bedard

Special to The SUN

For the month of August, we will be celebrating being Silver Foxes by wearing our Silver Foxes Den T-shirts every Friday. Be sure to show your pride, wear your T-shirt every Friday in August.

We were pleased to have Hospice come and do a presentation for us. We had a number of people curious about what Hospice had to offer and they left well informed.

Jack Hanson and John Graves came to play for us the day of our ice cream social. The music was wonderful and so was the ice cream.

We have two events we are traveling for this month: We will go to Creede Saturday to see "Spitfire Grill" and we will go to Bar D in Durango for a great Western supper Aug. 9. You can still get tickets for this, but you need to call us by Friday for reservations. Hurry, hurry!

If you are wondering what cataracts are, you might think about joining us Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. Dr. Nelson will be here to tell us all about cataracts and answer any other questions you might have about your eyes.

If you aren't worried about your vision, and you like to sing, then you can still come to the center Aug. 10 for our Amateur Half Hour. Bring your own music, instrument, voice or whatever special talent you have and strut your stuff.

We will be going to Durango Aug. 12 for the shop-till-you-drop trip. The suggested donation for seniors is $10. Sign up in the lounge.

Friday the 13th doesn't scare us here at the center. As a matter of fact, we will be having our last Picnic in the Park that day and are planning on having a good time. (And good weather.) We serve lunch at noon in Town Park. Come join us for a picnic. Seniors 60-plus suggested donation is $2.50 and the younger folks pay $4.50.

Our senior board meeting will be 1 p.m. the same day in the center. All members are welcome to attend.

We still need a computer instructor. Sam Matthews has moved to another position in the transportation department and won't be able to teach his classes. Does anyone out there wish to teach a beginning or intermediate computer class for our seniors? If so, call us at 264-2167.

You might be interested in our Senior Law Handbook, available to buy or look at 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 early this 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 at category=726&EntityID=dpwfp

Here's a heads-up on a neat fund-raiser for our senior center. On Aug. 28, Pagosa Country Club (next to the First Inn) will donate a percentage of their proceeds to our center when you play miniature golf or eat any of the tasty food they have available. This is great family entertainment and your donation goes to our Silver Foxes.


Friday, Aug. 6 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; pinochle, 1 p.m.; Spirit Day - wear your T-shirt, noon.

Saturday, Aug. 7 - "The Spitfire Grill" at Creede Repertory Theatre, 2:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 9 - Medicare and drug card counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.; Bar D Chuckwagon Supper in Durango, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 10 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; massage, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Amateur Half Hour, 11:30 a.m.; cataracts talk with Dr. Nelson, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 11 - Canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Aug, 12 - Durango trip

Friday, Aug. 13 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; Picnic in Park, noon; Spirit Day - wear your T shirt; pinochle, 1 p.m.; senior board meeting, 1 p.m.


Friday, Aug. 6 - Swiss steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, Brussells sprouts, whole wheat bread and cantaloupe.

Monday, Aug. 9 - Meatloaf, whipped potatoes and gravy, zucchini, breadstick, strawberries and whipped topping.

Tuesday, Aug. 10 - Mandarin chicken salad, vegetable soup, whole wheat roll, fruit medley and cookie.

Wednesday, Aug. 11 - Baked fish fillet, baked potatoes, coleslaw, muffin and apricots.

Friday, Aug. 13 - Picnic in Town Park: Chicken, potato salad, four-bean salad, chilled peaches and roll.


Library News

Annual book sale is on the horizon

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

We're just a week away from our annual book sale.

You're all invited to come browse the many materials we have to share. The Friends preview and annual meeting is Friday, Aug. 13. The public sale is Saturday, Aug. 14.

Come join us for a good time in honor of the printed word.

The two events are held at the Extension Building on U.S. 84 at the county fairgrounds.

Friday's meeting starts at 6 p.m. The public sale Saturday starts at 7 a.m.

New state publications

Senior Law Handbook 2004: A Colorado Legal Information & Reference Guide for Older Adults - a publication of the Colorado Bar Association - is intended to give older adults information based on the current laws and practices of Colorado to better understand the laws that affect their daily lives. It lists agencies and other resources that can provide help.

Long-term care is discussed with explanations of various estate planning strategies. Any financial planning should be done with the aid of an attorney with Medicaid expertise because of potential penalties.

There is a program known as the "Colorado Estate Recovery Program," that allows the state to recover Medicaid expenditures from the recipient's estate after they die. The program allows the state to file a claim against an individual Medicaid recipient's estate, including a lien on the home. The state can enforce the lien and recover the expenses paid by Medicaid from the proceeds of the sale of the property.

Other chapters in the publication cover government financial assistance, housing, medical advance directives, crime protection, and what to do when someone dies.

One chapter on family relations covers divorce without a lawyer; protection from family violence; common law marriage; use of former name and grandparents' visitation rights. The Web site is

Continuing education

Two new catalogs arrived - one from University of Colorado, and one from Colorado State University.

As they say, learning is a lifelong journey. The flexibility of "distance degrees," can accommodate most challenging schedules. Other possibilities are correspondence study, professional development, and video/online courses.

Ask to see the catalogs.

Feeding wild birds

The caring bird feeder spends mega bucks on a variety of feed both winter and summer. There are many "mixes" sold commercially.

We finally found a guide to the selection of bird feeds that is helpful. A Web site from the Virginia Cooperative Extension office published a list we can share.

The list and the study was done under the direction of the Urban Wildlife Research Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is based on 710,450 observations of birds. Ask for a copy at the desk.

According to the study done in many parts of the country, black-striped sunflowers and white prove millet were used as standards. The research provides a list of 18 kinds of birds that frequently visit feeders across the country.

Sunflower seeds attract most birds. Safflower seeds attract mourning doves but few other species. The report suggests spending money by buying the sunflower and millet separately in bulk, and then buying the specialty seeds depending on the birds you wish to attract.

This report has many other suggestions for presenting bird foods and landscaping to invite birds to your home.


There are growing concerns about having your Social Security number printed on so many documents.

Colorado now has a law imposing restrictions on the use of SSNs. No public entity should issue a license, permit, pass or certificate that contains the holder's Social Security number unless it is necessary to further the purpose of the document or is required by federal or state law.

If you are an employer, look into this new law. If you are concerned about identity theft, you may wish to think about all of the documents you carry that contain this critical number. Protect yourself and never give that number to anyone over the phone or the Internet. Be sure that your number is not on any documents you put in the trash.


Don't forget to come by and see the Heitkamp/Frye display of feminine paraphernalia of the past. From Betty Boop to Mae West, it's fun to see.

Silent bid

This is the last week for the chance to make a bid on the wooden card catalog. Bring your bid in a sealed envelope with name address and phone number. You will have to remove the catalog if you win.


Thanks to all who have given us donations of materials the past few weeks. We did not get all of your names. My apologies to those folks who gave us books and got away anonymously.

But these kind people we did catch: Bill Storm brought material from Billie and Lee MacLemore clear from Texas. And we received materials from Linda Bright, Paul Matlock, Helen and Andrew Richardson and Patty Sterling.


Chamber News

August in Pagosa Country brings events galore

By Sally Hamiester

SUN Columnist

I gave you some Visitor Center stats last week that were pretty darned impressive, but I have to top it this week with the Web update.

In July, we received over 40,000 visits on our Web site with a daily average of almost 1,300. Our year-to-date total is almost 211,000 representing a daily average of 1,378.

Once again, these figures are pre-new look we'll be sporting soon, which means that things will only get better with our Web numbers. We'll keep you posted, so stay tuned.

County fair

What can I possibly add to the info about the county fair, except perhaps the famous DeWinter quote, "It's the best little county fair in the country!"

It begins this evening at 4 p.m. with the Lee Sterling Chile Cook-off and Taste sponsored by The Pagosa Springs SUN and Jackisch Drug.

From 4-9 p.m. you can enjoy tasting the chile entries, food from local restaurants and vendors, a beer garden, mariachi music, prizes and the pleasure of seeing lots of Pagosa neighbors and friends.

Remember that this year you can take advantage of the free shuttle service offered from the parking lot to the fairgrounds which will be especially nice if the weather gets iffy.

For the complete and overwhelmingly huge schedule of events throughout the fair, please check out last week's PREVIEW or most likely again this week. This is definitely a case for "something for everyone" with the remarkable variety of events, games, dunkings, contests, entertainment, food, rodeo, races, exhibits, experiments, animals, ventriloquist, clown, demolition derby and competitions.

Suffice it to say, that you won't want to miss any one of the aforementioned items offered at this year's county fair. I will specifically see you at the Chuckwagon BBQ around 5 p.m. Saturday evening when I award prizes for the Mother/Daughter-Father/Son Look Alike, Best Dressed Cowboy/Cowgirl, Best Beard, and Ugliest Boots and Hat contests. Now if that doesn't sound like fun, I just don't know what does. Hope to see you all at the fair this weekend.

Softball tournament

The 21st annual Blowout Softball Tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7-8, at the Sports Complex.

This will be a double-elimination tournament for both the open men's and open women's divisions, with cash and prizes awarded to the winners.

Contact Sue Jones if you are interested at either 264-2642 or 946-1439.

TARA Treasure Trail

The 11th annual TARA Treasure Trail will be held Saturday, Aug. 7, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., from Allison to Arboles and various stops in between.

You look for TARA flags along the route where you will also find games, food, art and crafts, yard sales and a flea market.

A silent auction will be held at the TARA Center at 333 Milton Lane in Arboles concluding at 8 p.m. There will also be a family dinner held at the center starting at 6:30 p.m. for only $3 per person, $5 per couple and $7 per family. Contact either Cathy at 884-5334 or Marilyn at 883-5380 for more information about the treasure trail.


Now this is more like it - three new members to introduce this week and 10 renewals. You see, you have spoiled us rotten here at the Chamber with new member and renewal numbers, so we have come to expect not only outrageously high numbers, but miracles. Is that really asking too much? Drum roll, and on with the miracles, please.

Our first new member this week is Teena Roemer with Video Works, 266 North 5th Street. Teena will be delighted to capture a lifetime of special memories on video with weddings, christenings, birthdays, anniversaries and graduations just to name a few. Your end product will be a professional video created with style and flair. Teena also offers movie-making classes for children. We are grateful to Recruiting Queen Kathryn Heilhecker for bringing Teena into our membership and will send her yet another free SunDowner pass with our sincere gratitude.

Our old friend, Dennis Eichinger, returns to Pagosa and to Chamber membership this week with Eichinger Financial, Inc. Stay tuned for a detailed description of Eichinger Financial, Inc. or give Dennis a call at 731-3023 or (970) 640-4444 (cell) for more information about how he can help you with financial questions. Welcome back to Pagosa Springs, Dennis.

Kirk Becker is our third new member this week and brings us Farmers Insurance and Financial Services/Becker Agency, 166 Village Drive, Suite 7. At Farmers Insurance, they "get you back where you belong" by making sure you are properly covered on your auto, home, life and financial services. Give Kirk a call at 731-5258 to learn more about how he can "get you back where you belong."

Our renewals this week include Roy D. Vega with Vega Insurance and Financial Services; United Country-Northern New Mexico Real Estate in Chama, N.M.; Jim Smith with Jim Smith Realty; Lisa with Holy Smokes Stoves and Fireplaces; Pat Rydz with Pagosa Peak Financial Group; Jan Brookshier with Brookshier Photo and Framing; Marianne Caprioli with JEM Jewelers, Inc.; Melinda Baum with Colorado Pines; Board Director Patti Renner and husband, Jack, with The Office Lounge and Renner's Mini Storage. We thank each and every one.

Library private book sale

I can't believe that I will miss this annual event that is simply one of my favorite things to do all year long.

The Friends of the Library will hold their annual meeting and private book sale Friday, Aug. 16, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Extension Building.

Traditionally, I purchase a box or two of books every year to keep me literate throughout the winter, and dutifully return each book as I finish it. The fabulous thing about this sale is that you pay a fraction of the price you would pay anywhere else and have the most incredible variety of books you could imagine from which to choose.

If you are looking for a catch, it is simply this: You must be a Friend of the Library to attend and you can become a member at the library at any time or even at the door the night of the sale. Memberships are ever so affordable at $2 for students, $5 for an individual, $10 for a family and $100 for a lifetime membership.

I can't think of a more worthy manner in which to spend your dough than a membership in our more than totally awesome library.

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 with barbecue 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, 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 race at the Chamber for $5 each and give Barry Pavlovich a call at 731-0253 for more information.

Home and garden tour

Mark Sunday, Aug. 15, on your calendars so you won't miss the upcoming Pagosa Springs Arts Council Home and Garden Tour.

I don't have all the particulars as yet, but I do know that this is always such a popular event because you get to see truly beautiful Pagosa homes and gardens, and you can do it at your own pace. It's self-guided so that you can map out exactly how you want to tour between the hours of 1 and 5 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books, WolfTracks Book Store and Coffee Company and the PSAC Gallery in Town Park. The price is $10 per ticket with a nice break for PSAC members at $8. Call Marti at 731-9770 or the gallery at 264-5020 with questions.

HSPS auction

Save your pennies for Friday, Aug. 27, when the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs will hold its 10th annual Auction for the Animals at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

This is their largest fund-raiser and social event of the year with great gourmet hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer, all beginning at 5:30 p.m.

You can anticipate a vast array of silent and live auction items to include celebrity memorabilia and other unique, fabulous items donated by members of our always-generous community.

Don't miss this annual gala which offers you the opportunity to pick up some great, original items and donate to a wonderful cause at the same time. I will announce the ticket outlets soon, but for the time being, just mark your calendars to join us.


Veteran's Corner

VA closer to private health care cooperation

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

Department of Veterans Affairs electronic health records will soon be readily available to doctors, hospitals and clinics around the country, courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"VA is proud to lead the health care industry in the use of information technology. The expertise we have gained, however, belongs to the American public," said Dr. Jonathan Perlin, VA's acting under secretary for health.

"With our federal partners," he said, "we're making it easier for the private-sector health care industry to make use of this electronic system for health care records."

Important for us

What does this mean for Archuleta County veterans? As many of you know I've long stood on a soapbox advocating integration of Medicare and VA Health Care. I think this is a major step forward in that direction that could drastically affect veterans over 65, and perhaps eventually all veterans, enrolled in VAHC.

It is my belief, and that of others in the VAHC system, that as many as seven out of 10 veterans enrolled in VAHC are enrolled for the prescription drug program. Since Medicare has little or limited availability of low-cost prescription drugs I have long supported enrolling every veteran I can into VAHC so they can get these low-cost prescription drugs.


I admit it: I am guilty of inflating the VAHC system with those who are only there for the drug benefit. And I will continue to encourage every veteran to enroll in VAHC, even if it is just for this purpose. I estimate right now over half of all veterans in Archuleta County are enrolled in VAHC. That is, there are about 500-600 local veterans enrolled, and I have about 1,250 local veterans in my database.

However, enrolling all veterans has become a little more difficult since Jan. 17, 2003, when the VA suddenly cut off access to VAHC for a married veteran making over about $30,000 a year and having no service-connected disabilities.

Steps to efficiency

My position on all this is, if they would open VAHC prescription drugs to veterans through private care physicians, in particular Medicare, there would be a sudden "Whoosh" sound as perhaps seven out of 10 enrolled veterans would leave the VAHC system and obtain the benefit from their local doctors.

This is especially true for our veterans in Archuleta County and other veterans living in remote areas throughout the country. Given the choice, veterans in rural areas do not want to travel hundreds of miles just to obtain prescription drugs.

VAHC where needed

This would open the enrollment for all those veterans who truly need VAHC benefits without regard to their incomes, and probably save a great deal of money in the VA budget. It could free up money to provide better care for investing in new technology and treatments, more facilities where they are needed, and higher levels of trained medical professionals, as well as probably assist in many areas of health care I'm not familiar with. Patients and taxpayers alike can win with a solution like this.

Once private care physicians can access VA medical records, and vice-versa, I see it as only a matter of time before VAHC will see the advantage of allowing private care medical services for veterans.

VistA system

VA developed the system, called VistA-Office Electronic Health Record. A version of VistA is used at more than 1,300 VA facilities throughout the United States to maintain records on five million veterans who receive their health care from VA.

Under the announced plan, private-sector health care providers can obtain a version of VistA at nominal cost. Distribution of the software is expected to begin in late 2005.

VistA offers health care providers a complete electronic record covering all aspects of patient care, including reminders for preventive health care, electronic entry of pharmaceutical orders, display of laboratory results, consultation requests, X-rays and pathology slides.

Durango VA Clinic

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

For further information

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

Please note the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office is closed while I am on vacation. I will return Aug. 9. VA health care transportation vehicle scheduling can be arranged by calling Kathi Creech in the county commissioners' office at 264-8300. For all other VA related inquiries or assistance please see me when I return.


Arts Line

First annual juried show set for PSAC gallery

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

The first Juried Painting and Drawing Show at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery is set Sept. 2-28.

Juror for this event is nationally recognized fine artist and illustrator, Pierre Mion. Mion's work has been exhibited worldwide and is included in the NASA fine arts collection and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum collection. He has been widely published in National Geographic, the Smithsonian Magazine, Look, Life, Popular Science and Reader's Digest. Thanks to the sponsorship of Herman Riggs and Associates, $1,000 in prizes and merchant awards will be presented.

The show is open to entries in water media, oil, pastel and drawing. All work must be original in concept and created without the assistance of an instructor. All work must be dry, properly framed and wired for hanging. Exceptions are allowed for work specifically intended to be unframed. Size is limited to 40-inches-by-40-inches, including mat and frame. Limit of two entries per artist. All entries must be for sale. PSAC will retain 30-percent commission on all sales.

To enter, fill out an entry form and attach it to the artwork. Please mask the artist signature on the artwork in preparation for judging.

Drop off the artwork and entry fee at the gallery in Town Park Monday, Aug. 30.

Entry fee for PSAC members is $15 for one entry and $25 for two entries. Nonmembers pay $20 for one entry and $30 for two. Make checks payable to PSAC.

Artists will be notified Sept. 1 if their work has been accepted. Unaccepted work will need to be picked up from the arts and crafts space at the community center, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 2.

Judges awards will be announced at a reception for the artist's Thursday, Sept. 2, 5-7 p.m. at the gallery in Town Park. A people's choice award will be announced at the close of the show Sept. 28. Artists will receive payment for work sold by Oct. 15.

The prospectus is now available at the Gallery in Town Park and posted on the PSAC Web site at

Home and garden tour

PSAC's fourth annual Home and Garden Tour will feature five unique properties Sunday, Aug. 15, noon-5 p.m.

Home styles include a flat-roofed contemporary, a traditional log construction, a stone and stucco mountain style, a log lake house, and a traditional adobe in horse country.

All have two or three stories and magnificent views.

Landscaping styles vary from formal to natural, most featuring perennial flowers suited to this area, rock gardens, a pond and waterfall.

Each host will serve a beverage and one home is featured as the refreshment center.

Tickets are $8 for PSAC members, $10 for nonmembers, and are available now at the Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books, WolfTracks, and PSAC Gallery in Town Park. All proceeds from ticket sales go to benefit the Arts Council to continue offering classes, exhibits, and cultural offerings to the area.

Denny, Ginnie, the Gang

When local painters Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett launch their annual exhibit at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park, they always include some of their students.

This year, Inge Tinkleberg, Janey Bynum, Lynn Cluck, Fran Jenkins, Anita King, Sandy Martin and Kayla Douglas will join the dynamic painting duo.

A reception for the artist's will be held tonight, 5-7 p.m.

SunDowner auction

If you missed the SunDowner live art auction and silent auction last Wednesday, you missed a great time.

It was a gorgeous evening in Town Park and the bidding on original art and a 32-inch television set was lively and spirited.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Your generosity raised about $4,000 to fund art and culture programs in Pagosa Springs. Many of you walked away with the deals of a lifetime, particularly on the Pierre Mion original watercolor and the Roberto Garcia bronze sculptures.

The Arts Council would like to extend a special thanks to the artists and merchants for donating items for the auction in support of the arts in Pagosa. Thanks go to the many volunteers who helped make this event a success.

Watercolor demo

The watercolor club meets Aug. 11.

Claire Goldrick will demonstrate the techniques for painting a horse with watercolor. This will be a great club meeting. Don't miss it. It's great to have Claire back in Pagosa.

Ongoing workshop

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

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. You may sign up for one class or all.

Poems of the Brush with Sharri Lou Casey, Sept. 13-17. A five-day workshop, in plein air and with studio painting at Blanco Dove. Sharri Lou Casey is a dancer, choreographer and costume designer who retired at the age of 30 to focus on her desire to paint. She studied at the University of California, NYU, and the University of New Mexico. Through painting she hopes to open the eyes of the viewer to a deeper sense of beauty and spiritual awareness. The cost is $458 and includes meals. Contact Betty Slade at 264-2824 or

Hidden in the Ordinary, Seen in his Glory, the 2004 Christian Artist and Writer's Retreat, Sept. 24-27, hosted by Blanco Dove Ministries in Pagosa Springs, and the Southwest Christian Writers Association. Workshops on sketchbook journaling by Sharri Lou Casey, writing by Lauraine Snelling and Jan Jonas (editor of the Albuquerque Tribune), poetry with Connie Peters and special guest speakers: Steve Oelschlaeger, Lynne Cumming, and Betty Lucero. For more information contact Betty Slade at 264-2824 or e-mail her at Check out the Blanco Dove Web site at


August 5-8 - Archuleta County Fair.

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

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

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

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

August 16-21 - Cynthia Padilla Botanical Art Workshop.

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

Sept. 2-28 - Juried Painting and Drawing Exhibit, PSAC Gallery in Town Park.

Sept 11 - Colorado Arts Consortium meeting.

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


Colorado Arts Consortium to meet in Pagosa Springs

"Pagosah" is a Ute word meaning healing or boiling waters, making Pagosa Springs a fitting location for the Colorado Arts Consortium Annual Conference: Healing the Arts in Colorado.

With drastic cuts in funding and a sluggish economy, arts organizations statewide are struggling to make ends meet. Founded in 1978, the Colorado Arts Consortium's (CAC) vision is to integrate the arts into the core of community life because the arts are essential to the development of the human spirit and potential. CAC brokers ideas, resources, and services among communities, organizations, and individuals.

This year, CAC is brokering the idea of sustainability.

Investing in leaders is at the heart of a vibrant, sustainable arts community. National Arts Strategies (NAS) has been doing just that for 20 years. Founded by the Ford, Rockefeller and Mellon Foundations, NAS helps strengthen communities of arts organizations and brings new approaches into the field.

In their leadership development programs, arts executives explore the toughest challenges facing organizations today, and learn from some of the top business school faculty in the United States.

Over 1,500 executives, board members, and staff from over 500 arts and cultural organizations in the United States and Australia have attended NAS seminars. Their programs bring people together across the country and in communities to help fuel the conversation among arts executives, board members, and funders, and to help them to take a fresh look at their organizations.

Russell Willis Taylor 

The Consortium is pleased to have Russell Willis Taylor, president of NAS, as the keynote speaker for Healing the Arts in Colorado.

Taylor has been working in the arts and not-for-profit sector for over 20 years, in strategic business planning, financial analysis, and all areas of operational management.

Educated in England and America, she started her career in the arts as director of development for the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art before returning to England in 1984 to work with the English National Opera.

Taylor lectured at graduate programs throughout Britain, held a number of non-executive director posts in the commercial sector, and worked on a broad range of projects including the establishment of a private foundation for the arts, and helping Diana, Princess of Wales, establish the National Aids Trust.

In 1997, she rejoined the ENO as managing director. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts as well as the recipient of the first Garrett award in Britain, an annual recognition of an individual's outstanding contribution to the arts, and returned to the United States in 2001 to take up the post of president and CEO of National Arts Strategies.

Healing the Arts in Colorado will also include Elaine Mariners, executive director of the Colorado Council on the Arts; Cheryl Bezio-Gorham, program director for CANPO; Jim Copenhaver, chairman, Arts for Colorado; Jim Morris, consultant; and a panel discussion on the do's and don'ts of capital campaigns.

Who should attend? Anyone who is passionate about art and culture and the impact it can have on a community. Leaders of arts and cultural organizations, volunteers, directors, administrators, staff, board members, artists, performers, writers, anyone who wants to help heal the arts in Colorado.

The conference is a one-day event Saturday, Sept. 11, from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Cost for member organizations is $50 for the first participant and $25 for each additional participant from the same organization. This includes lunch and a reception hosted by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council at the gallery in Town Park. For non-member organizations the cost is $80 for the first participant and $55 for each additional participant from the same organization. This includes lunch and a one-year individual membership in Colorado Arts Consortium, with a free "base-membership" to Americans for the Arts. Registration forms can be downloaded at lgoebel@


Teens find life begins to dance after dark

By Karen Carpenter

Special to The PREVIEW

The gym was decorated in neon green and purple. Icicle lights, black lights and colored lights ever so slightly illuminated the dance floor.

The hip-hop beat of music could be heard throughout the building. Food, along with flowers, adorned the tables. The dance was on.

Groups of teens gathered - some in the game room, some outside, some in the TV room but, no one would dance until darkness fell and the sun's rays quit peering through the skylights. So it is: Life begins after dark.

About 30 teens attended the dance Friday and performed their latest moves. Being with friends and socializing occupied most of the evening. Hey that's what a dance is all about, isn't it?

Thanks to Moe and Shon Webb for the music and DJ set up; to the six brave chaperones who are now wide-eyed and tone deaf; to the teens who decorated and set up; and to the cleaning crew that magically made the aftermath disappear.

The police presence at the parking lot is always a comfort. Thanks also to Wrap It Up and The Plaid Pony for their contributions to the success of the dance. The teens are slowly building their fund-raising skills so they can do more activities. Another profitable dance.

The advisory board will meet 5:30 p.m. today and we will have two new potential board members in attendance, one adult and one junior high student.

On Tuesdays we join in on the recreation open volleyball games. The board game "Cranium" has become a favorite team game any day of the week.

Drawing, cartooning, Nintendo competitions and basketball are other favorite things to do at the Teen Center. Snacks are available every day to keep participants energized.

Someone is always available if you just need to talk. So if you are a teen, come check it out: the Pagosa Springs Teen Center.


'Peter and the Wolf' brings 600 to Town Park for family event

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Almost 600 people attended Pagosa's first-ever free Family Festivo community concert at Town Park July 29 where local children performed "Peter and the Wolf" accompanied by members of the Music in the Mountain festival orchestra and several other youth groups also entertained the crowd.

The wife of one of the orchestra musicians, who has seen many versions of "Peter and the Wolf" throughout the years, said the Pagosa production was by far the best she has ever seen.

It was clear from the reactions of the crowd of mostly locals that the audience was equally impressed. Even the very youngest children were spellbound, sitting quietly as they watched the play performed in front of them - and then reacting with laughter, excitement or sadness as the story unfolded.

"Peter and the Wolf" was created by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev to teach his children about the symphony. Each character in the story is represented by an instrument or instrumental family and was acted by local children.

"We owe an amazing vote of gratitude to Melinda Baum and Felicia Meyer for coaching the children in their superb performances," said Jan Clinkenbeard, chair of the Pagosa steering committee for Music in the Mountains. Playing the parts were Erika Legg (bird), Ami Harbison (Peter), Leslie Baughman (duck), Andrea Fautheree (wolf), Kelsea Anderson (cat), Emmi Greer (grandfather), and Andrew and Houston Gordon (hunters).

First-class costumes

Adding to the professionalism of the program were the costumes designed by Michael DeWinter. One local who moved here from New York and was a regular theater-goer there said that the combination of the stellar children's acting and their outstanding costumes made this a performance worthy of Broadway.

Even the details of the costumes caught the attention of children in the audience. "Cool," breathed one child as the cat and duck appeared on stage. "The wolf is very real looking," was the opinion of a young boy. Said another in a whisper to his mother, "Look, Mom, the wolf is wearing bedroom slippers."

Backing up the young players were 15 members of the Music in the Mountains festival orchestra conducted by Mischa Semanitzky, festival artistic director. Semanitzky and his musicians -- all well-known members of famous orchestras in the United States and around the world - visit Colorado each summer to play classical music festivals in Durango and Pagosa.

Larry Elginer enhanced their performance with his outstanding narration.

Other young performers

Also entertaining the audience were three local groups - Jana Burch's TAPS dancers, Jennifer Martin's Pagosa Springs Gymnastics group and Stephanie Jones' San Juan Dance Academy. Their performances brought loud applause and accolades from the audience as well.

After the entertainment came games for children and free lunch for all.

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

Prizes for the games came from the Town of Pagosa Springs. The multitude of helium balloons that decorated the park were courtesy of Edward Jones Investments.

Co-chairs responsible

Organizing all the details of this impressive gathering were co-chairs Lisa Scott and Claudia Rosenbaum. "We're just thrilled that everyone obviously enjoyed themselves," Scott said. "It was even worth it to completely run out of food because it proved that this was a such a popular event. We're determined that Family Festivo should become an annual tradition in Pagosa.

"This is a fun way to introduce beautiful music to young people and others not familiar with the classics," she said. "We hope everyone who experienced 'Peter and the Wolf' will be enticed to explore more symphonic pieces."

This is the third season for Music in the Mountains in Pagosa, and the first free Family Festivo concert. "Planning is well underway for an expanded series of concerts next year," Clinkenbeard promised.

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


Dance instructor, husband snare 17 firsts in nationals

By Marie Layton

Special to The PREVIEW

The In Step Dance Club congratulates its instructor Deb Aspen and her husband, Charles Jackson, for another dazzling dance performance at the annual Arthur Murray's International Unique Dance-O-Rama July 16-17 in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Charles and Deb danced among some 5,200 entrants, yielding an astonishing 17 first places and one second place in the freestyle division which included the waltz, tango, foxtrot, cha-cha, rhumba, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, country western swing and polka.

Outfitted in shimmering sequined silver Latin costumes, Deb and Charles solo danced to the music of Chili Cha-Cha, quickly becoming a crowd favorite and earning a prestigious 93.8 score. In the Smooth Three Dance (waltz, tango, foxtrot) and the Rhythm Three Dance (cha-cha, rhumba and swing) competitions, they placed eighth in both among competitors of all ages and abilities.

The highlight of the Dance-O-Rama was the usual "save the best for last" when top national professionals vied with the hope of somehow besting the nation's 11-time champions Julia Gorchakova and Bob Powers.

The results were, of course, a hands-down, unanimous decision, once again in the champions' favor.


Pagosa Hot Strings opening act

at Four Corners Folk Festival

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

Kicking off this year's Four Corners Folk Festival at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, are the Pagosa Hot Strings, who will be making their ninth appearance at the show - not bad for a band whose oldest member is 21.

The local boys win fans from well beyond the Pagosa borders each year, proving again and again why they've earned their spot as the traditional local hosts of the event. They have shared the folk festival stage on songs with Eddie From Ohio and Nickel Creek's Chris Thile in the past, and are sure to collaborate with some special guests this year as well.

Matt Flinner is no stranger to the Four Corners Stage, performing in past years with Sugarbeat; the Judith Edelman Band; Flinner, Grier and Phillips; and Drew Emmitt and Freedom Ride.

But on Friday this year the multi-instrumentalist gets to front his own unique project, the Matt Flinner Quartet. Starting out as a banjo prodigy who was playing bluegrass festivals before he entered his teens, Flinner later took up the mandolin, won the banjo contest at Winfield, Kan., in 1990, and took the mandolin award there the following year. He is now widely considered one of the hottest mandolin players on the acoustic scene.

The Matt Flinner Quartet made their recorded debut on 2002's stunning "Walking on the Moon" an album that draws from bluegrass, jazz, funk, and blues influences and combines them with the group's own improvisational wit.

An accessible yet original ensemble, the Matt Flinner Quartet is the rare band that plays with all the power of an electric outfit while retaining the sensitivity and empathy of the finest acoustic jazz and bluegrass outfits. They are scheduled to perform 3:30 p.m. Friday Sept. 3.

After a six-year hiatus, the unique New Orleans/Rocky Mountain stew of harmony, groove, and roots that is the subdudes has returned to the music scene with a bang. Their new album, "Miracle Mule," showcases a quintessentially American group of musical explorers in the tradition of Crosby Stills Nash & Young or the Band - admittedly lofty comparisons which the subdudes more than measure up to, with multiple songwriters and four astonishingly gifted singers.

John Magnie and his fellow founding members Tommy Malone (vocals, guitar) and Steve Amedee (vocals, percussion) are joined by longtime compadre Tim Cook (vocals, bass, percussion) as well as bassist/guitarist Jimmy Messa. With exquisite vocal interplay and unique elements like Malone's slide, Magnie's accordion and Amedee's brushed and hand-struck tambourine, the subdudes established themselves as a treasure trove of blues, folk, R&B, country, Cajun, funk, gospel, and rock and roll. They made four studio albums for High Street Records, collaborated with Bruce Hornsby, the Rebirth Brass Band and Bonnie Raitt, and of course were perennial favorites at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival - even though they relocated to Magnie's hometown of Fort Collins early in the game.

The subdudes said "hasta la vista" in 1997, with each member pursuing their own projects. They subsequently re-emerged as the subdudes at Jazz Fest 2003. The subdudes will bring their signature sound to close the Four Corners Folk Festival 7:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3.

The Four Corners Folk Festival will take place Sept. 3-5 on Reservoir Hill. Tickets are on sale locally at Moonlight Books and WolfTracks and are available with a credit card online at or by calling (970) 731-5582.

The festival is a family friendly event, with free admission for kids 12 and under, and free children's performances and activities throughout the weekend. If you are interested in volunteering in some capacity, please call 731-5582.

The Four Corners Folk Festival is produced by FolkWest Inc., a locally-based non-profit organization.


Home, garden tour tickets now available

By Marti Capling

Special to The PREVIEW

Tickets for the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Home and Garden Tour 2004 are now available at the gallery in Town Park, Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books and WolfTracks.

Cost is $8 for PSAC members and $10 for nonmembers, entitling the bearer to an afternoon of touring five homes and gardens, plus refreshments.

As previous years have been sellouts, those interested should get their tickets early. Mark your calendars for noon-5 p.m. Sunday Aug. 15 for this self-guided tour.

Information regarding each home will be found on the tickets.

Favorable weather conditions this year have produced some of the best flowers seen in awhile, so the gardens will be especially colorful.

Each home has spectacular views of the mountains, valleys, and lakes and each has its own style of furnishings and décor.

This year the selected homes are all west and south of Piedra Road, reducing the amount of travel. Visitors are encouraged to share a ride to ease traffic and parking.

It promises to be an enjoyable afternoon that will benefit the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and all its programs for the community.


Piano-violin concert Friday in Music in the Mountains series

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott and violinist Philippe Quint will make their first appearance in Pagosa at a sold-out Music in the Mountains concert 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6. under the tent at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs.

Composers featured in this concert will include Beethoven, Ysaye, Debussy and Brahms.

McDermott gained fame most recently as an interpreter of Prokofiev, recording most of his piano works over the past few years and performing all nine of his piano sonatas at Lincoln Center. She is widely celebrated for her expressive performances on the world's most illustrious stages around the United States, including Carnegie Hall, and at festivals at venues like Santa Fe and Spoleto. She also has performed to rave reviews in Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Yugoslavia and Puerto Rico.

Quint, born in St. Petersburg, Russia and now an American citizen, has been nominated for two Grammy awards. After winning an award given to the most gifted performer in New York, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and with several other U.S. orchestras, as well as in Beijing. A Chicago Tribune critic noted recently, "Here is a fiddle virtuoso whose many awards are fully justified by the brilliance of his playing."

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.


Native flute solo show set

August 14

Spend an enchanted evening listening to Charles Martinez in a solo performance on the Native American Flute.

With years of playing and spiritual guidance, Charles has become a master flute player in the traditional style. His passion is to share his music and message of harmony.

Charles is a native of Pagosa Springs and of Jicarilla Apache and Navajo heritage. During his years of performing at full moon programs at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, his powerful music has captured the hearts of many.

Don't miss this special opportunity to experience the magical sounds of the flute in the ancient surroundings of Chimney Rock at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14.

Admission is $15 for adults, $7.50 for children. For tickets, call 883-5359 daily, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.


AgriCultural photo contest open to all

Colorado offers picturesque landscapes for photographers every season of the year.

Shutter bugs of all ages are encouraged to capture the essence of Colorado agriculture on film and enter the 2004 "Colorado ... it's AgriCultural" photography contest.

"Since the contest began in 1998, we've received hundreds of photographs representing every aspect of agriculture in the state," said Don Ament, commissioner of agriculture. "As its popularity has grown, the quality of the photos has improved each year."

The pictures are used in educational and marketing publication covers, brochures and presentations to depict the breadth of Colorado agriculture.

Entries must be submitted to the Colorado Department of Agriculture with an official entry form by Dec. 31. Judging will be based on theme, creativity and technical quality, and prizes will be awarded in four categories: livestock, people, crops and scenes from a farmers' market. The photographer whose picture best depicts the "spirit" of Colorado agriculture will receive a Kodak digital camera.

All winning photographs will be displayed in the Beede-Hamil Agriculture Building at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo.

For complete contest rules and forms, visit the following Web site: or call (303) 239-4119. Entry forms are also available at all Colorado State University Cooperative Extension offices. The contest is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the AgInsights Committee, Kodak and Northeastern Junior College.


Pagosa team captures national homebrew award

Tony Simmons and Julie Jessen, of Pagosa Springs, claimed a Bronze Medal in the Fruit Mead Category at the American Homebrewers Association's 2004 National Homebrew Competition.

It was one of only two medals awarded to homebrewers in Colorado. Simmons and Jessen won with their Sparkling Pyment (a blend of grape wine and honey wine). It was the top Pyment in the country and the third best Fruit Mead.

"For homebrewers, taking a medal in the AHA National Homebrew Competition is the pinnacle of achievement," said Gary Glass, competition director. "With this year's record number of entries, the competition was fiercer than ever - the medal winners can truly take pride in knowing that they brew the best beer and mead in the world."

The association's 2004 competition proved it's the world's largest beer competition with its 4,443 homemade beers and meads from 1,058 homebrewers in 46 states and three countries. This year saw a 33-percent growth from 2003 with a record number of brews in 29 style categories.

"Homebrewing is alive and rocking," says Charlie Papazian, author of Complete Joy of Home Brewing and founder of the National Homebrew Competition and American Homebrewers Association. "This spectacular participation by homebrewers from around the world and particularly America really reflects the passion homebrewers have for their hobby. It also resounds with a thumbs-up for the taste of 'full-experience' craft beer."


Japanese Club forming for Pagosa teens

Pagosa Springs has a new program for teen-agers: the Japanese Club.

This club is available to all teens (ethnicity and having Japanese heritage has nothing to do with membership). It's meant to promote cultural awareness of Japan, and also to form a new kind of melting pot in Pagosa where American teens bring the culture and language of another nation into their lives.

Other Asian cultures will be explored as well (especially concerning oriental food), but the club focuses on Japan.

The Japanese Club (or J-Club) would also like to be able to provide different cultural events so that everyone can see and get first-hand experience and insight into the customs and way of life in Japan.

The first official club meeting will take place in the Pagosa Springs Teen Center 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18. Meetings will be held every Wednesday, but the time will be negotiated to fit the convenience of the members.

If you cannot attend the first meeting, but would still like to join, contact Kyle Kamolz at 731-7474.

Membership in the Japanese Club is free and the club is open to anyone ages 12-19.


Food for Thought

Things are popping, and Bobby wants to play

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist


With a 58th birthday looming on the horizon, there are some things a guy probably shouldn't do.

For example: power cleans.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Cocker spaniel-dumb world of strength training, it will suffice for you to know a power clean is a particular way of lifting a heavy object and putting it back down again.

It is, therefore, a well-defined way to hurt yourself if you are nearing 58 years of age.

As such, it can also provide an occasion for some needed musings.

It's bad enough to hurt yourself when you are young, but you usually bounce back quickly, and in fine fashion. It is profoundly stupid to hurt yourself when your 58th birthday is casting a shadow. You do not tend to bounce back, quickly or completely.

Part of growing old with a measure of grace is developing a willingness to admit your faults. So, here goes.

I'm nothing, if not an idiot. This is not news to anyone who knows me, but I need to repeat it in order not to forget.

The power clean incident is a perfect example of my idiocy.

Things are going well in the gym; I've been working my back and my biceps as part of a split I like to do, and I'm feeling randy.

Right there the alarm bell should sound.

At my age, I should not feel the least bit randy. In any regard. I should recognize randy as a danger signal, and head for the showers when randy shows up on the radar screen.

But, no. (See above, re. idiot),

Not only do I proceed full steam ahead and throw some major disks on the bar, I decide, since I'm toasty and confident (randy), that I can deal with even heavier weight. On go a couple more plates.

"Heavy," of course, is a highly relative term. Let's be precise: I'm looking at short, fat guy, 58-year-old "heavy" weight.

Providing added incentive, there is a delightful young woman using the ab crunch machine nearby, working to further tone a six pack that already defies description.

Perhaps, I think, I'll impress her. (See above, re. idiot).

It had to be an interesting spectacle. I hope she was entertained.

Bingo, I connect on the first clean, taking care to do important things - like breathe and make tortured sounds.

Kazaam, there's two and three and four and five.

And, uh oh there's six.

Something kind of pops on the sixth power clean. Something in the back. Something in the lower back.

Popping is not a good thing. There's no getting around a pop, whenever or wherever it is experienced. But when it happens in a gym, while lifting heavy objects and putting them back down again, something serious has occurred.

So much for randy. Randy has morphed into damaged. I act nonchalant for the audience's sake, but when I reach down to remove the plates from the bar, I know there is a big problem. How? I can hardly straighten up. I grit my teeth and attempt a jaunty exit from the gym.

Some injuries announce themselves with a twinge, then retreat only to show up later in the day, or perhaps a day or two later. They are minor inconveniences.

Other injuries announce themselves with a fanfare and don't retreat an inch. In fact, from their birth, they blossom. You know you're hurt, and you know it's not going away anytime soon.

If ever.

Such is a pop in the lower back.

This injury is not renting the space for a day or two; it's subletting. Maybe working on a lease-purchase agreement.

I give the pop a day; it doesn't improve. In fact, it worsens. Two days - same story. Three days, it's not going away.

I'm in pretty severe pain, but I'm missing my workout. So I make a decision, gymwise (refer again, please, to idiocy, above). I will abstain from lifts that stress the popped lower back, concentrating instead on lifting heavy objects and putting them down again with other muscle groups. I have been lifting heavy objects and putting them back down again for many years, I tell myself. I am an expert.

To make a long and absurd story short, this time it appears to be a matter of herniated abdominal muscle. Or, as I like to say: Letting Little Bobby out to play.

In compensating for one injury, I've developed another.



Proof positive, if we need it, that age and wisdom are not necessarily joined.

The end result: I've had some time to sit around, albeit crookedly, and reflect.

The topics of my reflection?

Well, first, there is the fact I am a moron. How is it that a person can reach my age and still be a complete fool? I ponder this for some time but, being a complete fool, I don't make a lot of headway. I do find solace, however, in watching politicians my age or a bit older. As I listen to them yammer, dish out their blather and play their silly charades, I realize I am in good company. I may not be able to cure the disease, but there are others similarly infected. Misery loves company.

And it's not just my politician peers who give me a bit of relief. I observe examples of what, for lack of a better term, can be called the "new" parent - younger folks whose children dominate family existence and who believe any restraint on their offspring is a grievous offense. As I watch the kiddies exhibit a total lack of manners and grace and the parents struggle to justify their childrens' atrocious behavior, I know I am not the only person around whose utter stupidity is the root of his undoing.

I also understand there is probably no way to modify my idiocy.

Ecce homo.

The second thought I consider as I rest tender and nearly immobile on the living room couch is the inevitable breakdown of the body and the stubborn refusal of the mind to admit the whole kit and kaboodle is on the road to ruin. I am not a classical dualist by any stretch of the imagination, but let me describe this situation in simple, dualistic terms. Oh, the irony: the tragicomedy of an 18-year-old mind in a 57-year-old body.

I admit it: Most of the time, unless reminded of my decline and mortality by pointed events like a pop in the back, I am, for all intents and purposes, still in high school. This is scary in a couple of respects.

First, it is delusional. But, I am no stranger to delusion.

Second, it is sad. There is absolutely nothing to recommend me as I was in high school.

Third, it means, in many ways, I am unprepared for the inevitable. Perhaps this is a good thing, since a persistent, existential awareness of mortality leads to depression and the overuse of the miracle products of modern pharmacology.

The fourth, and perhaps most important consideration as I recuperate?

What can I cook that doesn't require me to stand for extended periods of time?

Prolonged time at the stove is out of the question once the pop occurs. A sauté fiesta is not going to happen. At best, work on the stovetop must be limited to a few minutes. Most sauces require time on the feet. They're out. So is grilling.

Something simmered is appropriate. Soups could be in the picture, providing it's not summer when hot soup is a bit much. Something steamed might be doable.

Something roasted could work as well: pan roasted fish, meats, the like.

Then, there's a braise. Most require scant time on the feet in order to sear ingredients; the remainder of the cooking takes place in the oven or on the burner, with a lot of time between start and finish to rest the pop.

I opt for a dish I've written about before: a version of Julia Child's coq au vin, chicken with wine. This is a simple dish, with many variations. The easier the better - an amalgam of chicken, cognac, wine, fungus and aromatics.

All you need is chicken (use thighs, they are tasty); a teensy bit of cognac, a bunch of small white onions (peeled), a half bottle or so of stout red wine, a similar amount of beef stock, a glob of tomato paste, a bay leaf, some thyme, a bunch of mushrooms (thickly sliced) a lot of mushed garlic and some flour, salt and pepper.

Wing it with this one; it's an elastic concept.

The prep work can be done seated.

There will be time to brown the chicken in a pot before the pain becomes difficult to deal with. A bit of cognac goes in and is set aflame to burn off most of the alcohol. The flame is extinguished with the lid to the pan. In goes salt, pepper, the herbs and spices along with the onions.

Sit down.

A few minutes later, stand again, add the flour and coat everything in the pan. Cook a bit to get rid of the flour taste. Stir in wine and stock, to cover. Throw in the garlic and tomato paste. Cover and simmer slowly.

Recline on the couch for half an hour or so.

Struggle to your feet, see if the chicken and onions are done and tender. If the chicken is ready and the onions require time, remove the chicken to a heated, covered plate and keep cooking the vegetables. Throw the chicken back into the pot, toss in the mushrooms, adjust seasoning, cook sauce to desired consistency.

Total time on the feet in front of the stove: 10 minutes, max.

Put chicken and onions in a bowl and eat with a large spoon while reclining on the couch and watching the Home Shopping Network. Slip a hotpack beneath the pop.

This should do the trick in case of injury and idiocy. And, who knows, after dinner maybe Little Bobby can come out and play.


Cruising with Cruse

Confronting moose can be a bear of an event

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

Hiking back from the waterfall on Fourmile Creek Trail a few weeks ago, I encountered two women. They looked rather athletic and very determined. And one of them emitted a faint jingle with every step, because she was wearing a bell to warn and ward off bears.

This was on that superhighway of trails, the Fourmile Creek Trail. Now, I'm not saying there aren't bears around there. Early one summer Hotshot and I saw the tracks of one in the snow that still covered an open hillside. We crossed the snow, hung out at the falls for a while, and on our way back saw tracks that hadn't been there half an hour earlier.

But on that day last month there must have been at least 20 people coming and going on the trail. No self-respecting bear would hang around under that kind of scrutiny. I wonder how often people actually see bear on the trails, especially the well-traveled trails.

I have to tell you, in 20 years of hiking around here, Hotshot and I have never seen a real live bear on the trail, although we've met people who said things like, "Did you see the bear? Just up the trail a ways?" Maybe we've just been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or maybe we're just really blind.

But we have seen moose.

Actually, I'll bet moose might be as much of a threat as bear. Mike Reid of the state Division of Wildlife told me about a moose that terrorized a hunting camp a few years back.

As I recall the story, there were several hunters staying in the camp, and along came a moose that intended to keep them there. They could move between their various tents, but every time any of them tried to leave the area, that moose heard about it and came a-running. I think after a couple of days of this - yes, days! - they managed to call for help. You'll have to ask Mike for further details.

Here's another moose story, this one from a friend whose two sons live in Idaho. The young men and their dog were fishing on some river, and one of them decided to head back to the truck, taking the dog with him. About 15 minutes later his brother started to leave, but he was interrupted by a cow moose who decided he was a threat to her calf. She charged. He had nowhere to go except to clamber up a huge pile of driftwood beside the river's edge. Which he did.

The moose hung around for a while, and then wandered off. Thinking the coast was clear, he started to climb down off the woodpile. She heard him and came roaring back, or whatever it is that moose do, and he scrambled back up onto the woodpile again. This happened another time or two. It was getting on toward dusk when she finally gave up and he could get off the driftwood and make tracks toward the trailhead.

Of course, by then his brother had finally gotten worried and come looking for him. I think there was a little bit of huffiness for a while. One brother thought that nobody could fish that long. The other was miffed that his own flesh and blood hadn't cared enough to come looking for him sooner. But I understand that they got over the ill feelings soon enough. They still go fishing together.

Hotshot and I encountered a moose early one morning in Squaw Pass, up on the Continental Divide. We had camped there and were bushwhacking our way across the hillside to intercept the Cimarrona Trail. We came upon a large patch of mountain willow, about chest high. From the other side of the willows a moose lifted his head and stared at us. He was perhaps 40 feet away, and only the willow brush was between us and his huge antlers.

Hotshot fumbled for his camera. I said, "Moose can be cranky. You better watch out."

"I'll be okay," he said, moving closer to the willows. The moose wasn't interested in having his picture taken, not that day. He moved on along his side of the willow patch, not rushing, stopping to grab an occasional bite of willow.

There was no way Hotshot could get close to the moose. If you've ever tried to make your way through a patch of mountain willow, you know that those branches are dense and tough. (Fortunately, we didn't have to learn if they would have slowed down a charging moose.)

Hotshot never got close enough for a picture before Mr. Moose disappeared among some trees.

Here's one more story. I met a woman on a trip back east, a cashier in one of those stores where they ask your phone number as they process your charge. "Don't put my name on any mailing list," I said. "I live in a small town in Colorado and there's no outlet of your store anywhere near me."

She said, "I love Colorado. We went there 14 years ago, on our honeymoon. We were driving up to Rocky Mountain National Park. My husband felt the call of nature. Not a rest stop or convenience store in sight."

She said to him, "Oh, honey, just pull over and go behind the bushes." A solution we've probably all come up with from time to time.

He did. From the car she heard branches crackling as her husband proceeded behind the bushes, probably willow again, and then the sound of a lot more branches breaking. Way too much noise for one man to be making. Suddenly he came running out of the brush for the car - followed by an irritated moose.

They drove the rest of the way to their destination with no more stops.


Extension Viewpoints

Cattlemen's association sets membership drive

By Bill Nobles

Preview Columnist

Thursday, Aug. 5 - 4-H Inside Projects judged, Extension office, 8-11 a.m.

Archuleta County Fair opens, Fairgrounds, 9 a.m.

The La Plata/Archuleta County Cattlemen's Association will hold a membership drive for Archuleta County stockgrowers 5:30 p.m. Aug. 21, at Shahan Ranch, County Road 382, house number 3791.

A guest speaker from the state office will speak. Roast beef supper will be served. To R.S.V.P. or for more information, call Helen at 264-4239 or Betty at 264-2416.

Preventing deer damage

Quick facts

It is difficult to move deer out of areas where they are not wanted. A hungry deer will find almost any plant palatable, so no plant is "deer proof."

The two types of deer repellents are contact repellents and area repellents.

Netting can reduce deer damage to small trees. Adequate fencing to exclude deer is the only sure way to control deer damage.

Although browsing deer are charming to watch, they can cause extensive damage by feeding on plants and rubbing antlers against trees. In urban areas, home landscapes may become the major source of food. Deer can pose a serious aesthetic and economic threat. Damage is most commonly noticed in spring on new, succulent growth. Because deer lack upper incisors, browsed twigs and stems show a rough, shredded surface. Damage caused by rabbits, on the other hand, has a neat, sharp 45-degree cut. Rodents leave narrow teeth marks when feeding on branches. Deer strip the bark and leave no teeth marks.

Management strategies

It is difficult to move deer out of areas where they are not wanted. Not all strategies are practical for every homeowner. Frightening deer with gas exploders, strobe lights, pyrotechnics or tethered dogs typically provides only temporary relief. More practical management strategies include selecting plants unattractive to deer, treating plants with deer repellents, netting, tubing and fencing.

Selection, placement

The placement of plants in part determines the extent of damage. Plant more susceptible species near the home, in a fenced area, or inside a protective ring of less-preferred species. A hungry deer will find almost any plant palatable, so no plant is "deer proof." Also, a plant species may be damaged rarely in one area but damaged severely in another.


The two types of deer repellents are contact repellents and area repellents. Contact repellents are applied directly to plants, causing them to taste bad. Area repellents are placed in a problem area and repel by their foul odor. Repellents are generally more effective on less preferred plants.

Apply repellents on a dry day with temperatures above freezing. Treat young trees completely. Older trees may be treated only on their new growth. Treat to a height 6 feet above the maximum expected snow depth. Deer browse from the top down. Hang or apply repellents at the bud or new growth level of the plants you wish to protect. A spray of 20 percent whole eggs and 80 percent water is one of the most effective repellents. To prevent the sprayer from clogging, remove the chalaza or white membrane attached to the yolk before mixing the eggs. The egg mixture is weather resistant but must be reapplied in about 30 days.

Home-remedy repellents are questionable at best. These include small, fine-mesh bags of human hair (about two handfuls) and bar soap hung from branches of trees. Replace both soap and hair bags monthly. Deer have been reported to eat the soap bars. Materials that work in one area or for one person may not work at all in an area more highly frequented by deer.

Netting and tubing

Tubes of Vexar netting around individual seedlings are an effective method to reduce deer damage to small trees. The material degrades in sunlight and breaks down in three to five years. These tubes can protect just the growing terminals or can completely enclose small trees. Attach tubes to a support stake to keep them upright. Another option is flexible, sunlight-degradable netting that expands to slip over seedlings. Both products are available from Colorado State Forest Service offices. Paper or Reemay budcaps form a protective cylinder around the terminal leader and bud. They may help reduce browse damage. Budcaps are rectangular pieces of material folded lengthwise and stapled around the terminal leader.

Tubes placed around the trunks of larger trees will help prevent trunk damage. Tubes may not, however, protect trunks from damage when bucks use the trees to scrape the velvet off their antlers. Fencing may be required.


Adequate fencing to exclude deer is the only sure way to control deer damage. The conventional deer-proof fence is 8 feet high and made of woven wire. Electric fences also can be used. Electric fences should be of triple-galvanized, high-tensile, 13.5-gauge wire carrying a current of 35 milliamps and 3,000 to 4,500 volts. Several configurations of electric fences are used: vertical five-, seven-, or nine-wire; slanted seven-wire; single strand; and others.

When using a single strand electric fence it helps the deer to "notice" that the wire is there if it is marked with cloth strips, reflective tape or something similar. Otherwise, the deer may not see it in time and go right through it. Additional options include invisible mesh barriers, slanting deer fences, and single-wire, electric fences baited with peanut butter. The invisible mesh barriers are polypropylene fences of various mesh sizes, typically 8 feet high with a high tensile strength, that blend in with the surroundings. The baited fences attract deer to the fence instead of what's inside the fence. They administer a safe correction that trains the deer to stay away. They are effective for small gardens, nurseries and orchards (3-4 acres) that are subject to moderate deer pressure. Deer are attracted by the peanut butter and encouraged to make nose-to-fence contact.

Deer, like many wild animals, seem to respect and respond better to electric fencing after they become familiar with the fenced area.


Pagosa Lakes News

It takes courage to be a parent

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Parenting in this day and age is not for the fainthearted.

In a world in which hate groups and pornography can enter your home via the television and Internet and in which gangs, drugs and sex are just around the corner, communication between parent and child is more important than ever.

But adolescents, especially those who are heading for trouble, may greet parents' efforts with silence at best, hostility at worst. It's the responsibility of the parent to make sure he or she knows what's going on with the children and to be observant.

We're just so individualistic, we assume our kids are individuals, and if we don't let them be, we're hampering their growth. None of that makes sense. There are limits.

Parents need to intercede when they believe their children are in danger. However, you have to make sure nothing can be made worse by your teen-ager telling you he or she is in trouble. I say this with full knowledge of how hard that can be.

Raising a child is a long process of letting go, allowing that person to be more independent as appropriate, but also for me personally, letting go of my concept of how that child will be.

One thing I have to do is accept that life is different for my daughter. The temptations are huge. Kids' lives are chaotic and overly sexualized.

I have to have courage to be a parent. That means peering over my daughter's shoulder, asking questions, knowing her friends, knowing where she's hanging out and setting limits.

It doesn't come easy. After a couple of weeks of putting parents through terrible anguish, most teens will stop fighting it. Then two or three weeks later, they'll love the family closeness. I really believe what teens want most - and more of - is parents.

Sometimes parents do well by accepting help from other adults and agencies trained to provide services and counseling. "The Three Step Program" sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Pagosa Springs and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains will be made available to all boys and girls 13-16 on Saturday, Aug. 14.

The Three Step Program educates participants about the prevention of unintended pregnancies and possible dangers and consequences of unprotected sexual activity. Also provided will be information on sexuality topics including anatomy, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and responsible choices.

The program will start at 9 a.m. and go to 3 p.m. with a pizza lunch provided. The venue for this presentation is the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall of Pagosa Springs, Greenbriar Plaza (at the corner of North Pagosa Boulevard and Greenbriar Drive).

I applaud this effort and the efforts of the staff at Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center and the San Juan Basin Health Department.

Tri results

With triathlon training progress for a big group of Pagosans, I would like to recognize Robby Johnson's latest accomplishment at the July 26 Boulder 5430 Half-Ironman held at the Boulder Reservoir.

Robby took the plunge along with 450 other athletes for a 1 1/4-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13-mile run. In spite of temperatures in the 90s, Robby's performance was outstanding.

His blistering finish time of 4 hours, 57 seconds was a personal best by 22 minutes and placed him 64th overall and third in his age group.

Robby will use the Aug. 14 Pagosa Lakes Triathlon as another training day to prepare for Ironman Triathlon Canada at the end of this month.

Our best wishes go with him.



Connie M. Hotz

Connie Marie Profitt Hotz was born to Earl and Virginia Profitt on Sept. 7, 1953, in Eureka, Mont. She died in her Pagosa Springs home July 31, 2004.

In 1972 she came to Pagosa Springs and met her future husband, William A. Hotz Jr. On March 17, 1973, they were married in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs and were married 31 years.

On Jan. 12, 1983, she was blessed with her only child, a daughter, Magdalena Alexandra Hotz.

She thought this area was the most beautiful in the world. Connie loved to fish, jog and hike, which she did every chance she got.

All will miss her friendliness, good heart and her big smile. Connie Marie never had a cross word about anyone or anything. She loved life very much and worked very hard at it.

She is survived by her husband, William, and daughter Magdalena, both of Pagosa Springs; her mother Virginia Johns in Montana; three sisters, Shari Anderson and Loriann Diaz both in Washington, and Gloria Holiday of Montana; brothers Gary, Ronnie and Lester Profitt; sister-in-law Neoma Unmack and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and great nieces and great nephews.

Recitation of the Rosary was at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2, 2004, in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church where Mass of Christian Burial followed at 1 p.m. with Father John Bowe as celebrant. Interment was in Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs.

Pallbearers were Bob Snow, Gene Snow, Jeff Mills, Gilbert Candelaria, Pat Candelaria, Frank Mestas, Gary Draper and Larry Holder. Honorary pallbearers were Alex Montoya and Bob Smith.


Juan C. Gomez III

U.S. Army Ret. Lt. Col. Juan Cristobal Gomez III of Center, Colo., and Frances, N.M., passed away Saturday, July 10, 2004, in Farmington, N.M.

Juan was born Dec. 23, 1946, in Durango, Colo., to Juan Cristobal Gomez Jr., and Lila Padilla Gomez.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Carla Vigil Gomez of Center; a daughter, Dia Feliz Gomez of Denver; a son, Juan Cristobal IV of Santa Fe, N.M.; his father; two sisters, Sister Sara Marie of Aztec, N.M. and Melesia (Ron) Atchley of Bloomfield, N.M.; two brothers, Louie (Diane) Gomez of Farmington and Bart (Diane) Gomez of Covington, La; and numerous tias, tios, nieces, nephews, primos and friends.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Louis and Sarah Padilla (originally from Pagosa Springs, as was his mother, Lila), his uncles Jesus, Amos and Andy and his aunt, Dora P. McMillan; his paternal grandparents Cristobal and Agapita Gomez; and his uncle, Celso Gomez.

Juan graduated from St. Michael's High School in Santa Fe in 1964 and from the College of Santa Fe in 1969, whereupon he entered the U.S. Army.

In addition to his many years service in the Army and Army Reserve, he owned and operated Licores Gomez in Center since 1975.

Juan was known for his passionate dedication for honoring military veterans of all branches and eras. He was often the master of ceremonies and spokesman for events honoring veterans and his large, loving family. A devout Catholic, he served his church with the same passion and vigor with which he lived his life.

He will be remembered. Que viva!

Memorial Mass was July 13, 2004 at St. Rose Catholic Church with Monsignor Leo Gomez, V.G., celebrant. A memorial service was held July 15 in St. Frances Jerome Catholic Church in Center.


Herman Hartong

Herman C. Hartong (Chuck) passed away Monday, Aug. 2, 2004, at his home in Chromo. He had turned 84 on Friday, July 30.

He was born July 30, 1920, to Charles and Rose Hartong in Berkeley, Calif. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was stationed on the USS St. Louis when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He spent his entire military tour on the Pacific Ocean until the war was over.

After the war and while working for United Air Lines he met his wife-to-be, Drue Gardner, who was also working for United. They married on April 12, 1947, and lived in San Mateo, Calif., where he was an accomplished auto mechanic. Their first son, Charles B. Hartong, was born on Jan. 3, 1949, and on Dec. 10, 1951, twins Ronald W. and Karen Jean were born.

The couple continued to live in California until 1954 when they moved to the ranch in Chromo where they raised Hereford, Limosine and Angus cross cattle. Mr. Hartong was involved with the cattle operation right up to the time of his death.

Mr. Hartong enjoyed model railroads, building toy models, golfing, snowmobiling, fishing, hunting and riding his four-wheeler. He also enjoyed watching baseball on the big screen TV.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Drue ; three children, Charles B. Hartong and wife Denise of Irving, Texas, Ronald W. Hartong of Chromo, and Karen Jean Hartong of Ignacio; a sister, Shirley Carliss of Mill Valley, Calif.; a granddaughter, Karen Lee Hayes and her husband, Keith, of Southlake, Texas; two great-grandchildren, Hayden Keith Hayes and Tatum Drue Hayes of Southlake; and several nieces and nephews.

Cremation was planned and the family will hold a memorial service at a later date.


Robert K. Betts

Robert K. Betts, 39, died Thursday, July 22, 2004 in Durango, Colo. A celebration of his life was held Monday, July 26, 2004 at Hood Mortuary Chapel with Pastor Jeff Huber of the First United Methodist Church in Durango officiating.

Robert was born May 1, 1965, in Alamosa, Colo., the son of Charles and Judy Betts. Robert grew up in Kiowa, Springfield, Durango, and Pagosa Springs where he graduated high school. Robert obtained a degree in marketing from Fort Lewis College. He married Carrie Lynn Brown on August 10, 1991, in Durango.

Robert achieved scouting's highest rank of Eagle Scout with the Order of the Arrow. He was also very involved as Den Leader in Cub Scouts with his son, Nicholas. In his professional career, he worked for Nike for eight years in Portland, Ore., for Shimano as a brand manager for five years, at Okuma Fishing Tackle Company for one year, and most recently, moved back to Durango as a managing partner at Brown Sports Shoe.

Robert was an avid fisherman, hockey goalie and outdoorsman. He enjoyed snowboarding, cycling, and photography, but most of all he enjoyed people and his family. He was well traveled in both career and personal excursions, however he leaves with many trips yet untraveled.

In spite of his active career, Robert always put his family first. He was a wonderful and loving father and husband.

"He was just happy go lucky," remembers his wife, Carrie. "His motto was 'Do what you love; love what you do.' Robert just enjoyed life."

He is survived by his wife and children Carrie, Allison and Nicholas Betts of Durango; his parents, Charles and Judy Betts of Pagosa Springs; his sister, Susan and her spouse, Guy Coffman, of Winnemucca, Nev.; nephews Ryan and Garrett Arndt of Winnemucca; brother and sister-in-law, Ty and Julie Brown of Bayfield; nieces Lindsay and Brianna Brown of Bayfield; his wife's parents, Bill and Pam Brown of Durango; grandparents Virginia Carpenter of Ventura, Calif., Nelda Schuman of Aurora, Colo., and Herbert and Rosella Brown of Sun City, Ariz.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents Marvin and Violet Betts, and Paul Carpenter.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Robert Betts Memorial Fund, C/O the Bank of Colorado, 1199 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301, and will be used for Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts in our area.


Esther A. Miller

Esther Amelia Miller, 77, passed away in Colorado Springs on Wednesday, July 28, 2004.

Esther, the daughter of Luke and Carolyn Stone, was born Feb. 23, 1927, in St. Louis, Mo. She was valedictorian of the class of 1945 in Kremmling, Colo. Shortly after graduating on Nov. 17, 1946, she married Charles Harold Miller Jr. She was an administrative assistant for Oriental Missionary Society, a secretary of Utility Completions Inc., and secretary for Power Systems Inc. She was an active member in churches she attended in Kremmling, Granby, Pagosa Springs, and Greenwood, Ind.

She moved from Granby to Pagosa Springs in 1984 and lived here until 1990. Esther enjoyed her family, painting, sewing, knitting and serving God.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; two brothers, Fred and Paul Stone; and a sister, Betty Moffat.

She is survived by a sister, Frances Pickering of Kiowa, Colo.; son and daughter-in-law George C. Miller and Lona Anderson of Pagosa Springs; son and daughter-in-law Wayne and Coleen Miller of Granby; daughter Kathleen Miller of Greenwood, Ind.; daughter Lorraine Ahlswede of Willits, Calif.; eight grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends.

Memorial contributions may be directed to OMS International Headquarters, Greenwood, Ind.

Esther's family gathered to visit and say farewell Sunday, Aug. 1, 2004, in the Pagosa Springs Funeral Options chapel. Prayer and scripture reading was led by Rev. Louis M. Day. The funeral service was 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 2, 2004, at First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs with Pastor Dan Sanders officiating. Interment was in Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs.

Business News

Biz Beat

Nice n' Clean

When it comes to cleaning, some jobs are better left to the professionals.

Alberta Lucero, of Nice n' Clean, pictured with her granddaughter, Caitlin Cameron, offers cleaning and shampooing services for such jobs.

Nice n' Clean bids projects by the size of the space to be cleaned or shampooed.

For additional information or to arrange for an estimate on the price to make your building or space sparkle like new, call Alberta at 731-2496 or 946-1178.



Preview Profile

Jeff Stuckwish

Deputy clerk and recorder, Archuleta County


Where were you born?

"Okeene, Oklahoma."


Where did you go to school?



When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"August of 1983."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I owned a grocery store in Okeene."


What are your job responsibilities?

"I issue license plates, car titles, marriage licenses, etc."


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

"The most enjoyable part of my job is working with the people. The least enjoyable part of my job is having to work with people who are hard to satisfy."


What is your family background?

"I am a single father with a daughter and a son."


What do you like best about the community?

"The climate and the people."


What are your other interests?

"Spending time with my kids and enjoying the outdoors."


Cards of Thanks

United Way

I want to thank those that made the United Way Trail Ride a success this year. My heartfelt thanks goes out to Ethel Poma, the matriarch of the Poma Family and the owner of the Poma Ranch, for allowing us to use the ranch.

Thank you to our hosts, Matt Poma and Tina Gomez, for the great time, the ride and the food. Thank you to Phil Janowski for the wonderful cowboy music at lunch. And thank you to those that donated for our auction: Karen Cox, owner of the Taminah Gallery, Rosie and Jerry Zepnick, owners of Lantern Dancer, Mark Weiler of Parelli Natural Horsemanship and to Damon Scott, Flyfishing Outfitter. On behalf of United Way and the 14 health and human service agencies in Pagosa Springs - thank you.

Kathi DeClark

Pleased pipers

I'd like to thank The Pagosa Springs SUN and the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce for the support both gave the Westwind Bagpipe Band concerning our performance Saturday, July 31.

We also are indebted to the Town of Pagosa Springs and Park Director Joe Lister Jr. for making the Town Park and gazebo available to us.

The concert was a success. We had 212 people in the audience and nine pipers, three dancers and a drummer performing and hope to do it again next year.

Also we really appreciate Goodman's Department Store allowing us to use their facilities to dress for the performance.

Jim Dorian

More donors

On July 15 The Pagosa Springs SUN published a thank you letter from the Archuleta County Fair Board to sponsors of the 2004 Kid's Rodeo and on July 22 published an ad featuring the 2004 Archuleta County Fair sponsors/donors.

The fair board would like to recognize, with thanks, these additional 2004 donors: Hogue's Glass, United Building Centers, Econo Lodge, Best Western Oak Ridge Lodge, The Spa at Pagosa Springs, L Bar Z Ranch Cabins, The Springs, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, and Paint Connection Plus.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind folks that the Sunday, Aug. 8 Kid's Rodeo will take place in two sessions - 9:30-11 a.m. for kids 6 and under and beginning at 2 p.m. for kids 7 and up.

We are looking forward to seeing Pagosa residents and visitors at the 8 a.m. Sunday worship service, both sessions of the Kid's Rodeo and the demolition derby at 11 a.m.

Marti McAlister Gallo


Sports Page

Women golfers scramble for league scores

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a scramble for league day, July 27.

The team of Josie Hummel, Jan Kilgore, Sho-Jen Lee and Barbara Sanborn captured first place with a score of 69 (two under par).

A tie for second place went to two teams - Loretta Campuzano, Beverly Hudson and Julie Presley; and Lynne Allison, Pat Deason, Sue Martin and Jane Stewart, each team with a 73.

The association's club championship is scheduled Aug. 11-12.

Sign up at the clubhouse or contact league president Jan Kilgore at 731-9804.


Junior high gridders start drills Aug. 16

All students interested in playing junior high football must report to the school gymnasium 4-6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16.

All are requested to come to the first practice with completed physical and parental permission slips.

The physical examination slip can be obtained from local physicians and must be given to a coach before a student can practice.

Coach Jason Plantiko said students should come in shorts and T-shirts and with enthusiasm to play.

If there are any questions about practice, call Plantiko at 731-9592.


Upcoming school sport practices

Local high school and junior high athletes are reminded that time is growing short before the beginning of the fall sports practice season.

Most teams begin practice Aug. 16 and while young athletes will no doubt be eager to begin, they must arrive at their respective practices eligible to participate.

In order to practice with a school team, the athletes must present two documents prior to their first practice: a completed sports physical and a parent permission form. No one will be allowed to take to the field or court without the physical and permission slip.

Sports physical examination forms are available from local physicians.

Athletes and their parents are urged to read next week's SUN to learn other requirements particular to each sport as well as times and locations of practices.


Yertons drive on for league laurels

By Richard Broom

Special to The SUN

In a preliminary tune-up for the big two-man best ball tournament Friday and Saturday, the Pagosa Springs Men's Golf League event July 28 featured the first stage of two weeks of local best ball competition.

The setup was designed to give league golfers experience before playing for the big prizes. The second stage was played Wednesday and will be reported next week.

Once again the format led to impressive below-par scores by the Yerton gang, with Josh and Jeremiah Yerton firing a 4-under-par 67 to take first place in gross competition.

Josh's score was combined with Bob Jones' score for second-place gross. Bob Howard and Ray Kilgore teamed for a low net 57 to break the Yerton dynasty momentarily and take first low net, but father Dennis Yerton combined with Don Ford to win second low net.

It is rumored an investigation has been undertaken by the U.S. Anti-doping Commission to determine if there were any violations by the Yertons.

The Men's League is open to golfers of all levels. League dues are $25 for the season, payable in the pro shop. Competition begins every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Sign up in the men's locker room or by phone (731-4755) before 5 p.m. the Tuesday afternoon before each play day.


Parks & Rec

Facility use makes 'town within a park' motto ring true

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist 

On our business cards it says "Pagosa, a town within a Park." With Reservoir Hill Park, and the Town Park we often feel like a town within a park.

We also have the privilege of living in a place that has so many great volunteers to host events such as "Peter and the Wolf." Thanks to the Family Festivo committee and all the hard work they did to make this event the talk of the town.

Over 500 people, young and old, enjoyed the event, with the committee offering the music, followed by a free lunch and kid's games.

Special events

We hosted the Irish Bagpipe band Saturday in Town Park, a family reunion Sunday then, on Monday, a memorial luncheon.

People are using the park for everything under the sun, and are enjoying our parks for very special occasions. We love to note all the activities that take place in our parks. This shows the beauty our park maintenance has fostered. Thanks to the parks department and all the volunteers who make these special events possible. We welcome park use.

Please call town hall when scheduling any large get-togethers in a park.

Soccer sign-ups

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

Age divisions for the league are: 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-13. The group is determined by the child's age as of Oct. 1, 2004.

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

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

Business Sponsorship for youth soccer is $150 and it includes a plaque with team picture, signage and designation in the newspaper. And the sponsorship is tax deductible. Registrations will be taken at Town Hall.

Youth soccer clinics

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department will hold 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. Site of clinics will be announced next week for the following dates:

- Monday, Aug. 16 - players 5-6 years old, 4-6 p.m.

- Monday, Aug. 16 - 7-8 year olds, 6-8 p.m.

- Tuesday, Aug. 17 - 9-10 year olds, 4-7 p.m.

- Wednesday, Aug. 18 - 11-13 year olds, 4-7 p.m.

Fall volleyball leagues

Open recreational volleyball has ended for the summer but fall volleyball leagues are right around the corner.

Start putting your teams together now for the upcoming season.

Managers' meeting for coed and women's volleyball will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, in Town Hall.

Hiring soccer referees

The department continues to seek individuals interested in officiating soccer. High school students may apply. Compensation is $15-$25 per game depending on experience.

For any questions or additional information concerning any of the Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, at 264-4151, Ext. 232,1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.



In the rearview mirror

There is little time left to plan and implement effective land use and growth management strategies for Pagosa Country. It cannot be put off until tomorrow or until elections are over, as some might want. What must take place is compromise and it must be struck soon. If you need verification, talk to any old-timer who is capable of honest reflection.

Many who have spent a lifetime in this part of the nation, who benefit from several generations of ancestors in Colorado know, regardless of the frustration in compromise, we need to go ahead with the task of controlling what we will become. They are rarely starry eyed, dazzled by the fantasy of a "pristine" world, a "paradise." Neither do most fear moves to ensure a healthy economy. Most have a clear idea of what has transpired without reasonable controls in the 128 years since statehood was bestowed on Colorado and, because of that, most fear the worst.

They've watched agricultural and ranch lands removed forever from production, witnessed the sprawl of badly conceived subdivisions and the frantic fire drill of unconstrained development. They know a Colorado ravaged by the machinery of greed - mining towns, for example, where the frenzy of discovery and the promise of wealth led to the death of the land. They've seen communities grow like mold, highway corridors bloom with a cancer of clutter.

At the same time, they understand what happens when development and growth are skewed to one economic class or another. They know of towns once nearly deserted, then "discovered," where low-income working persons were pushed out by rocketing property values and taxes, where the service community, needed to tend to the privileged and the tourists, was forced to live hours away with the dream of living in "paradise" revealed to be for a select few.

They've also heard the unreasonable cries of those who want to prevent any and all growth and economic development, who are not aware of what happened in those ghost towns in the high country when one-dimensional economies failed.

They know there is little time left because they have seen so many opportunities lost.

We need better land use planning and growth control here, now. We need planning that considers the benefit to all. It is critical that adequate compromise and innovative ideas take root.

The Mayor's Council is studying the situation with an eye to the future and developing its agenda, including a downtown master plan, in prompt fashion. If its actions continue to reflect concern for everyone, in every economic class, the council will do good things.

But there are others content to delay as long as possible, politicians and bureaucrats who give lip service to land use planning and growth control, then sit back and do very little, very slowly. We waited a long time for a Community Plan in Archuleta County and when it was developed, we believed the process would move ahead. Instead, officials and their appointees saw fit to reinvent the wheel, going through another involved process with numerous, inexplicable delays, bringing us full circle back to the start line. This took another year. A public survey concerning land use waited weeks before its mailing was finally approved by our commissioners Tuesday. How much longer will it be before we have draft regulations, plans the public can consider, a scheme that can be implemented? We need to elect representatives who will move ahead in determined fashion. Whoever ends up in office, we should pressure them to protect and promote a collectively defined future and make it possible for business compatible with that way of life and environment to flourish.

We must do so, or what many Colorado old-timers see in the rearview mirror will run us over .

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Beware politic-speak nuances

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It is once again election time.

You know it by the rhetoric, the charges and countercharges, character assassinations and dumbbell commentary.

I thought it might be edifying to look at some historical perspectives, at home and abroad, on the subjects of patriotism, politics and the age-old habit of electioneering.

One of the great quotes I found reads:

"I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians." - Charles De Gaulle.

Or, perhaps you'd like that of another from a distant shore:

"The best argument against democracy is a 5-minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill.

Still another from an unusual source:

"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." - Josef Stalin.

Why not come home, you ask.

Try this from a professional:

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." - Barry Goldwater.

Or, it might be more apropos to consider this one:

"Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president; but they don't want them to become politicians in the process." - John F. Kennedy.

Sometimes the politicians have uttered phrases which put them on the far out branch of the political tree. To wit:

"A low voter turnout is an indication fewer people are going to the polls." Duh? This one came from at master of malaprops, Dan Quayle.

Then, again, there was this earlier phrase which gained instant immortality in the annals of politic-speak used to describe collectively the opposition:

"... the nattering nabobs of negativity." - Spiro Agnew.

Perhaps stepping outside the candidate lexicon can give a different perspective. How about one given to regular commentary on things American:

"Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction in stolen goods." - H.L. Mencken.

I mean not to sabotage the oratorical efforts of those seeking to serve our interests, but to show the wide band of commentary designed to influence our decisions.

Honesty, we say, should be a primary portion of the platform of any candidate. But how do we determine what is, in fact, honest or just a deceit intended to confuse and elect?

As we approach the primary election next week and then brace for the general election and another 80-some days of campaign rhetoric, we need to look closely at the words used, the meanings intended, and the choices made available.

Perhaps, as the man in Oregon who, several years ago changed his name to None of the Above, and then ran for office, we need to weigh our choices more carefully.

The perils growing more evident in this land dictate that we make educated decisions and remember we have to live with them.



90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of August 7, 1914

Frank Matthews filed on 80 acres of land in O'Neal Park Wednesday in addition to his already vast holdings there.

At the Star tonight and tomorrow in addition to the regular run will be given a good comic. If you do not want to laugh do not come.

Miss Mabel Hatcher has taken the place of her cousin, Miss Elsie Hatcher, in the dry goods department of the Hatcher Merc. Co.

Fred Rock, head ratchet setter at the big Pagosa mill, who suffered an accidental crushing of a foot some days ago, is rapidly improving but on account of the nature of the injury, it will be some time before he will be back at his duties.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 9, 1929

The downpour of rain Wednesday afternoon and evening washed out one of the approaches to the bridge across Turkey Creek on the Wolf Creek Pass highway, but repairs were made so that traffic could be resumed the following morning. The bridge in question will be abandoned when the new road and bridge project now under construction is completed.

Fred Flaugh and family started Wednesday on an extended vacation trip by motor to northwestern and Pacific coast points, expecting to be absent for a year or more. Their first visit will be with relatives in Idaho. During their absence, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Clay will be in charge of the Flaugh ranch.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 6, 1954

This week The SUN commercial printing department delivered to the Pagosa Springs Telephone Co., the new 1954 telephone directory. This is the largest telephone directory ever compiled in Pagosa Springs and lists all the current telephone numbers. Many new names and numbers have been added since last year showing the growth of the community and the increased use of the telephone.

The Town Board met on Tuesday night of this week. Fire Chief Bud Patterson was present and explained the needs of the fire department. The necessary equipment is greater than the budget and a plan is to be worked out whereby the most necessary equipment is bought this year and the rest from budgets in coming years.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 9, 1979

The town board has, by resolution, adopted the policies set forth in a town plan for progress. This plan was drawn up under a federal and state grant and has taken the better part of a year to prepare.

An extension of water mains in South Pagosa was approved by the town board this week. The cost is to be partially borne by the property owners. The extension is along the former south city limits of the town.

It is now official. The community does own a geothermal well, with the title transferred last week jointly to the town, county and school district. A project, estimated to cost more than $1 million, is being undertaken to develop the geothermal energy and distribute it through portions of the town.



Cutting It Up!
Championship, clinics put Pagosa on the cutting horse circuit

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The cutters are back.

Starting yesterday, about 1,000 participants in the second-ever UBS/Galles Rocky Mountain Championship, a $250,000 added, private cutting competition, descended on Pagosa Springs.

They will remain until Aug. 13 to participate in a sport that combines elements of the old west with the sheer athleticism of an animal trained to be the best of the best at what it does.

Cutting began as a skill in ranch work, a way for cowboys to separate sick cattle from a herd when few fences were available. It then became a competition between cowboys on horses so well trained they seemed to "dance" before the cattle, effectively maintaining the separation. The National Cutting Horse Association was organized in 1946 to promote the sport and standardize the rules.

Participants in today's cutting competitions are given two and a half minutes in front of judges to cut at least two cows out of a herd. A cow cut from deep in the herd earns extra points.

And it's not just the cowboy's efforts that count. The horse can earn extra points for skill, exertion and style in controlling the cow. In fact, once the cut is clearly made, the rider must give the horse its head to "defend the herd" and "control the cow." At this point, the riders only control over the horse is through leg pressure. It is up to the rider to "quit" the cow once control of separation is demonstrated. Deductions are made if the rider reclaims the reins before "quitting," if the rider quits while the cow is moving toward the horse or if the cow returns to the herd.

Rick Galles, of The Galles Ranch, became interested in cutting horses after ending a 23-year career on the Indy Car Racing circuit.

"I had just given up the excitement of race day, and I needed something to fill that void," he said. In a conversation with Joe Montana, Galles said, the former quarterback told him the only thing that came close to the thrill of game day was cutting horses.

Galles gave it a try, first as a spectator, and now as a student.

"For two and a half minutes it's a pretty exciting experience," he said, made more so by the number of variables. Man. Horse. Cattle. The conditions of the ring. The weather. Not only that, but in the midst of it all, the horse must be given its head and allowed to use its training and speed to finish the job.

"You're really there to help the horse instead of the horse helping you," he said. "You'd better be prepared to stay with him, predict his moves."

Just a little over a year ago, Galles presented the idea of hosting a cutting event at his ranch in Pagosa Springs to Scott Goldman, of UBS. Goldman and others from UBS visited the ranch and agreed with the concept. After just 103 days of preparation, the first UBS/Galles Rocky Mountain Championship was conducted in August 2003.

Despite mud, and then dust, and a few minor glitches, it was deemed a success, a family affair hearkening back to days when horsemen traveled from ranch to ranch for such events, welcomed with open arms and treated as friends.

This year, several improvements to the facility and the traffic pattern have been made.

The championship is one of two major cutting events in Pagosa this summer. The other is a series of six all-inclusive, four-day cutting clinics led by Leon Harrel, a two-time National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Champion and a member of the NCHA Riders Hall of Fame.

Harrel said he first met Galles at last year's championship during a hospitality night event with the Galles family. That led to a two-day cutting seminar for sponsors on Harrel's Kerrville, Texas, ranch.

"That was so successful that we discussed clinics for the summertime," Harrel said, "and the result has been fantastic."

Four clinics, limited to 15 people each, have already been held with participants coming from as far away as Hawaii and Australia.

Galles is also participating in the clinics, a deal the two agreed on beforehand.

"Leon said if he was going to do clinics, and do these events, I needed to become a participant and not just a spectator so I understood what the participants are going through."

Harrel said the clinics are geared to more than just cutting. They're about horsemanship, the western lifestyle and building relationships between people and horses, and people and people.

"We can change people's lives in four days," he said. "We show them how to let life touch them and not kill them and they leave with a different attitude about life, family and friends - the whole ball of wax."

Part of it is the individual attention, Harrel said. "We have as many people working on the staff as in the clinic."

Another part is the openness and friendliness of the Galles lifestyle - and the country itself. Wide open spaces. Fresh air. The mystic of rural mountain towns. Life without Starbucks.

"The first day they all bring their cell phones, and they don't want to turn them off and by the end they're leaving them in their hotel rooms," Cindy Plate, Galles' daughter and one of the event coordinators, said.

Participants of all levels are accepted, and each one is matched with a cutting horse according to their abilities.

"It's not just the bonding between Leon and the client, it's the horse, too," Galles said. Several of the participants have purchased horses used during the clinic because they couldn't bear to leave the animals behind.

Galles said the goal of the clinics is to teach horsemanship and to give people a sense for the Western lifestyle. A slower pace. An escape of sorts.

According to the public relations material, "Leon masterfully helps students overcome doubt and fear through positive reinforcement, encouragement and humor."

He will also be participating in the championship.

Due to area regulations, admission to the cutting championship will be limited to entrants with parking passes.

Plate said the Galles family had worked diligently with local officials to limit the environmental impacts and wear and tear on area roads, something that becomes a concern with 1,000 participants - two or three people with each horse.

"For that reason, it has been designated a private event, so parking passes are required for entry," she said.

Anyone interested in learning more about the last two cutting clinics, set for Aug. 16-19 and Sept. 13-16, should go to and click on Five Star Clinics.


Pagosa's Past

Settlements move into San Luis Valley, set stage for San Juan Basin

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Two weeks ago we began a series of articles designed to shed light on events that had to occur before settlement could take place in the San Juan Basin.

Our starting point was the Kit Carson Treaty signed at Conejos in 1868, involving the Ute Indians who controlled the San Juan Basin prior to settlement by Europeans.

We have learned that beginning settlement of the San Luis Valley took place at least two or three decades before settlement of the San Juan Basin. One factor restraining settlers from coming into the San Juan Basin was the fact that the San Juans belonged to the Southern Utes.

By 1868, a number of small communities dotted the San Luis Valley, including Conejos. Fort Garland on the east side of the valley protected the new settlements from marauding bands of Utes.

Conejos was the county seat of Conejos County, a county stretching to the Utah border and containing most of the San Juan Basin.

An earlier treaty with the Utes consummated in 1864 had removed the Utes from the San Luis Valley. Conejos became a thriving trade center and was a distribution point for dispersing goods to the Utes, as were at various times Cimarron, Taos, Abiquiu, Tierra Amarilla and even Amargo.

Conejos had a bank, several saloons, trading posts, rooming houses, doctors and lawyers, all spread around the village plaza. The plan of the village remains intact today, a drawing card for tourists interested in history.

Many of Conejos' first settlers moved a few miles to Antonito when that community was established by General Palmer and the Rio Grande railroad circa 1879-1880.

Few names from that era will be recognized today, although Major Lafayette Head was a powerful man of the time. Born in Missouri in 1825, Head came to Santa Fe, N.M., as a member of Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny's Army of the West at the onset of the Mexican American War. The year would have been 1846.

Kearny continued west to help liberate California from the Mexicans. He left behind some troops, including Head. After mustering out of the Army, Head became a licensed Indian trader in Abiquiu, N.M., served in the New Mexico legislature, and was later president of that august body. He married Juana Martina Martinez of Abiquiu, launching a lifetime of leadership among New Mexico Hispanics.

It is safe to guess that Head was a personal friend of many Pagosa Springs Hispanics who trace their ancestrage back a few generations to Abiquiu. That includes the Archuleta family for whom Archuleta County would be named in 1885.

In about 1854, Head organized a group to go to Colorado. They first went to Servietta but later joined Jose Maria Jaquez in Guadalupe during the fall of 1854.

Located on the north side of the Conejos River, Guadalupe suffered from floods. Some of the colony moved to the south side of the river and called their new town Conejos.

Head was a leader in the town in both business and politics. He served as a representative to the territorial government, an Indian Agent in the Colorado Territory, a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1875 (Colorado became a state in 1876), and was the first lieutenant governor of the new state.

Head constructed a large-walled adobe house on the north side of the village square. His home was the center of many activities such as weddings, religious and political meetings many hosted by the gracious Juana Martina.

The peace and security Conejos residents enjoyed was due in large part to Head who, along with John Evans and others, helped with the treaty of 1864.

Otto Mears, the pioneering ancestor of the local Pitcher family and known as the Pathfinder of the San Juans, was a friend and business associate of Head.

More next week on the Kit Carson Treaty of 1864.



Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture