August 12, 2004 
Front Page

Downey, Ecker lose county board seats: Turnout 21%

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Tuesday evening's primary election vote tally indicates it was "ladies' night" for the pair of challengers vying for Republican nominations to the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners.

Unofficial vote totals provided by the county clerk's office show candidates Robin Schiro and Ronnie Zaday have defeated incumbent commissioners Bill Downey and Alden Ecker in respective battles for the District 1 and District 2 board seats.

Preliminary totals for the District 1 race indicate Schiro garnered 845 votes while Downey amassed 655.

The figures show Schiro carrying precincts 1 (62-50), 5 (32-18), 6 (143-62) and 7 (96-56) while edging Downey in absentee/early votes by a margin of 301-204.

On the flip side, Downey carried precincts 2 (81-53), 3 (63-48), 4 (28-23) and 8 (93-87).

With the victory, Schiro earns the right to continue the race for the District 1 board seat and will now battle independent candidate Nan Rowe in the months leading up to the Nov. 2 general election.

Downey's tenure as commissioner from District 1 will end Dec. 31.

In the District 2 race, Zaday received 914 votes for the winning total while Ecker tallied 595.

The numbers indicate Zaday took precincts 1 (59-51), 5 (32-20), 6 (147-59), 7 (96-56) and 8 (103-79) and topped Ecker in absentee/early votes by a margin of 334-174.

Ecker held narrow advantages in precincts 2 (70-66), 3 (59-52) and 4 (27-25).

Though she still must participate in the Nov. 2 general election, since there is no independent or Democratic candidate registered to challenge for the seat, Zaday is expected to begin serving a four-year term as commissioner from District 2 in January.

Ecker's term as District 2 commissioner will end Dec. 31.

As far as voter turnout - vote totals suggest approximately 21 percent of the county's 8,127 registered voters participated in Tuesday's primary.

The battles for local government seats weren't the only contests decided this week, however, and the following is a breakdown of how other candidates appearing on the primary ballot fared in their respective races.

(Winners in these races will represent their parties on the Nov. 2 general election ballot. The figures in parentheses represent the unofficial total of votes each candidate received in Archuleta County only.)

U.S. Senator:

Pete Coors (990) got the statewide nod over Bob Schaffer (471) for the Republican nomination, and Ken Salazar (184) topped Mike Miles (190) for the Democratic nomination.

Regent of the University of Colorado at Large:

Democrat Jim Martin (180) defeated fellow Democrat Wally Stealey (98). Steve Bosley, running unopposed on the Republican ticket, gained 1,105 county votes.

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

Greg Walcher (330) edged Matt Smith (337), Dan Corsentino (236), Gregg P. Rippy (200) and Matt Aljanich (110) for the Republican nomination. John Salazar, uncontested for the Democratic nod, gained 306 county votes.

State Representative, 59th District:

Mark Larson, unopposed on Republican ballot, gained 1,289 county votes. (No Democratic candidate.)

District Attorney, 6th Judicial District:

Craig Stephen Westberg, on the Republican slate, picked up 1,129 county votes. (No Democratic candidate.)


Club baseball group rips high school field condition, spending

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Condition of the high school baseball field, its lack of availability for club action, and questions about priorities in expending school funds were considered Tuesday by the Board of Education of Archuleta District 50 Joint.

A group calling themselves "Concerned Parents of Pagosa Springs Baseball Players" sought a last minute placement on the agenda to read their complaints into the record.

Theresa Bradford was the first called and read a letter to the board which questioned timing of baseball field fence removal, and asked why construction is taking place when it appeared the board had said it would not take action this year, and why coaches and parents involved in the summer club baseball program were not contacted so coordination of effort could have been made for the summer club program.

The club program, which has no contract with the school district and is not under the wing of the town's parks and recreation department, played nearly all its games this summer on the road.

"Parents paid out thousands of dollars to go on the road to these games, and teams which would have come to Pagosa and spent money to boost the economy here did not come," Bradford said in an aside from the letter itself.

The letter asked about the plan being implemented at the baseball field at this time, about who is contracted to do the work and what their qualifications are, what the plans are for areas surrounding the field and why the work was not done earlier to have the field playable for the Spring 2005 baseball season.

More specifically, the letter asked, "Is it ethical that Athletic Director David Hamilton and his son perform all or part of the work currently being done? Who is overseeing this work? If it is the Pagosa Springs High School administration, is this not a conflict of interest? How can they evaluate their own work for payment?"

The letter continued, "It is obvious not only to us but to many others in the community that this field has not been a priority for many, many years. It is a lawsuit waiting to happen. We feel strongly that over the years there has been a major lack of maintenance, necessary upkeep and improvements and simply put, abuse of this field and that it has come time to pay the piper and construct a baseball field that is worthy of Pagosa Springs athletes."

The letter also questioned why the vacant high school baseball coach's position has not been advertised, especially at beginning of summer when teacher/coaches are looking for jobs and how the district expects to find a qualified coach at this late date.

"It seems," the letter said, "that not only is the facility not a priority, nor is hiring a legitimate head coach/teacher. It appears that this procedure is taking a backseat just like the baseball facility has."

The letter requested "the school board halt all construction on this field to evaluate what is necessary to bring the field up to a quality facility that other sports enjoy at Pagosa Springs High School.

"We are also requesting that the school board do whatever it takes at this time to have this field ready for play in Spring 2005. This work should include but not be limited to hiring a fully licensed, experienced construction company to head the project and warranty the work, install proper infield dirt, properly grade the entire field, sod and install an irrigation system. In addition, major facility improvements outside of the field are overdue including bleachers, dugouts, walkways, bathrooms, etc."

A somewhat stunned board sat quietly during the reading and agreed to respond, point-by-point, in writing as soon as possible.

"Do we have to wait until the next board meeting?" asked Bradford. "We're concerned that the taxpayer dollars are being wasted with what's going on now."

Director Carol Feazel, board president, felt the board was put on the spot being asked for immediate answers to a letter it had not seen before that moment. Superintendent Duane Noggle agreed the board should answer with a letter of its own.

David Cammack, a second spokesman for the complaining group, said they would, had they known the construction was to be undertaken, "have cooperated both physically and financially for a proper job."

But Bradford still argued, "we see you pouring money in and then having to tear it up again because it wasn't done professionally or properly.

"We're afraid someone will be hurt on the field and then a lawsuit will ensue," Bradford said.

Steve Walston, the school district's maintenance supervisor, explained the original estimates for work to be done came in over budget. The sprinkling system had to be done because it is the last element of a joint raw water use program with the town, and had to be done first.

When secondary quotes on the field were received, they were even higher than initial bids. And then, it was discovered another bidder could do the job at lower than the original cost.

He said a new infield, an extended outfield, properly-seeded playing surface and refencing all are in the plan for the field.

"Some people we spoke with," argued Bradford, "gave the impression the district is trying to undermine the baseball program and do away with it completely."

That, board members jointly emphasized, "is just plain dumb."

Asked if the work will go on, Noggle said, "Yes, contracts have been signed.

"The board," he said, "will answer your complaints in detail."

In their own review of the meeting later, board members expressed embarrassment for the Hamiltons and the comments about them.

"That was unnecessary and they obviously did not have the facts," said Director Clifford Lucero. The sentiment was echoed by director Jon Forrest, who added, "They need to realize we have been on a schedule of upgrading all sports facilities. Football and track were top priorities and baseball is next.

"Budgetary restrictions," he added, won't let us do everything at once."

"Had they given us their questions ahead of time," said Feazel, "we could have had time to answer them after the letter was read."

"Let's just be sure we answer every single point," concluded Director Mike Haynes.


Authorities probe new burglaries

Missing: Pickup, cash and radios

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

One pickup and a small amount of cash were stolen in a series of burglaries in the county the first week of August.

Archuleta County Detective George Daniels said Mastercorp, located in the 300 block of Park Avenue, and Allen's Auto Body Shop, 600 Cloman Boulevard, were broken into two nights apart.

Mastercorp was burglarized sometime on the night of Aug. 2. A white 2000 Toyota Tacoma 4-by-4 pickup and some portable radios were stolen. The pickup's license plate is Colorado 079-ARM and police were still searching for it Monday. When stolen, the Mastercorp emblem was on both front doors.

A digital camera and a small amount of cash was taken from Allen's Auto Body Aug. 4 or early Aug. 5.

Both Daniels and Pagosa's Assistant Police Chief Carl Smith said the two burglaries could be related to a similar case inside town limits. The Heritage Building downtown was ransacked the same week. The case was reported Aug. 5. Smith said, although nothing appears to be missing from offices in the building, quite a bit of damage was done.

Both departments are following all leads at this time. Anyone with information on the location of the stolen pickup is asked to call dispatch, 264-2131, immediately.


Town votes 4-1 against

proposed smoking ban

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

If somewhere close to 95 percent of local businesses are nonsmoking, is there a problem?

No, according to the majority of the members of the Pagosa Springs Town Council. At a special meeting Aug. 2, they voted 4-1 to take no action on an ordinance to ban smoking in all buildings, including bars and restaurants, within town limits.

The council had been considering such an ordinance for several months, conducting work sessions, public hearings and a local survey on smoking issues.

"I just think it isn't going to affect many people," council member Darrel Cotton said. "To me we're taking away the public's rights." Besides that, he added, his research into the Environmental Protection Agency's studies on secondhand-smoking deaths showed some questionable data.

"From what I researched, they manipulated the data to reach conclusions they made before the study was even complete," he said. "It's not on us to pass an ordinance based on poor or manipulated data."

Stan Holt agreed, saying that by his calculations, the market is taking care of itself in Pagosa Springs, pointing out that none of the retail stores and just a very few bars and restaurants allow smoking at all anymore.

"It's 95 percent smoke-free now and that's without Big Brother," he said. "I do think it ought to be posted smoking or nonsmoking and then the general public can decide for themselves whether or not they go in there."

The problem, Cotton and council member Bill Whitbred agreed, is when it comes to nonsmokers who are unwilling to patronize businesses where smoking is allowed.

"The people making those statements aren't the ones being forced out," Holt said.

Nonsmokers have choices. Banning smoking in town without a partner ordinance from the county would simply send both people and businesses outside town boundaries, council member Jerry Jackson added.

Tony Simmons was the only councilor to vote no on the motion to drop the smoking ban for the time being.

"To me, smoking kills," he said. "It's just a matter of when. I think smoking in public affects the rights of people who are nonsmoking no matter where it is." However, he did agree that the matter couldn't be properly addressed until the county was willing to consider a similar ban.

Carol Pierce, a public health consultant in attendance, asked the council to perhaps revisit the ordinance at a later date if it happened that a joint, town and county ban came to the table.



 Inside The Sun

Freshman orientation set

Aug. 19

The first day of high school can be a daunting challenge for some students.

It has been a tradition at Pagosa Springs High School to try to stave off some of the trepidation with a freshman orientation night.

The orientation will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 19 this year, with the school district hosting all freshmen and their parents for burgers and other edible goodies in the high school's Commons Area.

There will then be a short program in the auditorium alerting the new freshmen to the school rules, problems they may encounter, who to see for solutions and how to ease their way into the mainstream of high school activity.

Principal Bill Esterbrook said it's a good way for the kids to find out high school is "the place to be."


Town is in 'excellent financial condition'

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Town of Pagosa Springs is in "excellent financial condition."

That was the balance of the 2003 audit report presented by Michael C. Branch, CPA, at the regular town council meeting Aug. 4.

Because of a drop in sales tax numbers on the year, Branch said, total revenues in the general fund were about $400, 000 below budget.

"However," he said, "revenue exceeded expenditures by about $52,000 because you reacted during the year." In fact, the town managed to spend about $387,000 less than budgeted to make up for the difference in revenue.

As for the sanitation general improvement district, Branch said the finances were "very healthy," despite overspending on the three-mile line extension east of town along U.S. 160. Revenues from operations exceeded expenses, and expenses were up just 2 percent, less than inflation.

Branch did suggest, in the future, the board should adopt a supplemental budget in cases of overspending.

In other business, the council:

- approved an amendment to its six-month superstore moratorium slightly redefining superstore.

The new definition excludes buildings over the maximum 18,000 square feet in which no individual tenant occupies more than 25 percent of the retail floor area. This allows for single-building structures that might provide space for a series of stores.

- approved, on first reading, an ordinance designating the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on Lewis Street a local historic landmark.

- advised Town Manager Mark Garcia to bid a project for realigning and resurfacing Apache Street between 7th and 8th streets two ways - one with an asphalt intersection at 8th Street and one with concrete.

Garcia said heavy loads and braking through the intersection would likely cause problems with asphalt unless a special mix could be formulated. Cost for concrete at the intersection was estimated at about $74,000 more than asphalt.

- approved, on first reading, an ordinance changing the way the town publishes its monthly bills. If the ordinance is approved on second reading, the bills will be posted at Town Hall and on the town's Web site. In the past, the bills were published in The Pagosa Springs SUN. ing


Town strikes board of adjustment from regs

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The town council, a body of elected officials, should have the final say in approval or denial action on planning issues.

That was the board consensus at a special meeting Aug. 9 after Town Manager Mark Garcia queried the council on the subject.

Under the current ordinances, which are being reviewed and updated as part of a recodification process, Garcia said, the planning commission serves as the board of adjustment or the appeals board.

That means if the planning commission were to recommend a project for approval, and the town council denied the same project, any appeal would go back to the planning commission - which does include two representatives from the town board.

Garcia asked the board if they wanted the code to stay that way, or to change. He offered two alternatives: First, removing the appeals process all together and, second, creating three-member board of adjustment to include one planning commission member, one member of the town council and one member at-large. A board of adjustment, he said, would give developers one more option outside litigation.

Council members Stan Holt and Darrel Cotton both said the final decision in all matters should rest with the council as an elected body.

Jerry Jackson, another council member, said such situations where an appeal might be warranted happen so infrequently, it might be a good idea to put in place a three-member board just to keep an appeals process option open.

"They might only meet once a year, maybe not even that," he said.

The council agreed, even without a board of appeals, a developer would always have the option of addressing whatever issue was the basis of the denial and returning to the planning commission at that point.

In the end, the board directed Garcia to strike the board of adjustment from the zoning regulations altogether, leaving the final decision in the hands of the council.

The council will have the opportunity to review and vote on this change, along with all of the other updates to town ordinances, when the recodification process is complete. ing


Social Services awards $10,000 kindergarten grant

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The school district decision to go to full-time kindergarten this year got a boost Tuesday from another governmental agency.

The Archuleta County Division of Social Services delivered a $10,000 grant to Archuleta School District 50 Joint specifically for the kindergarten program as it applies to those who could not normally afford to send their children.

As a result of the grant, the school board Tuesday adopted a budget amendment to reflect the supplemental funds.

Kahle Charles, elementary school principal, said Erlinda Gonzalez, director of the Human Services Department, was instrumental in getting the grant for the program.

"It should be noted this is grant funding for the needy, not a condition for operating a full-day kindergarten," he said.

The grant and budget amendment were approved unanimously.


School staff changes set; open Aug. 23

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Final tweaking of staff was approved Tuesday as Pagosa Springs schools moved toward opening day Aug. 23.

The action included transferring Bob Hemenger from his recently appointed post as teacher for the School Within a School at the intermediate school to the special education teacher post at the high school. He replaces Gloria Hohrein who resigned last month.

Replacing Hemenger in the SWS position will be Heather Hunts.

In other staffing moves, the board approved administration recommendations to employ Debbie Hartvigsen as the high school half-time librarian, noting Meredith Bunning had opted not to take the job; Susan Kehret and Bruce Kehret as substitute bus drivers; and Ellen Murdock, Amanda Armijo and Jennifer Pierce as substitute teachers.

In other action following a 101-minute executive session dealing with superintendent evaluation, the board:

- approved a resolution required by Colorado High School Activities Association accepting the organization's constitution and bylaws as minimum standards for all interscholastic programs;

- scheduled staff orientation, including distribution of personnel handbooks and a review of computer software programs Aug. 18;

- approved a staff breakfast 7:30-9 a.m. Aug. 19 at the high school cafeteria; and

- tabled because of the late hour, review of superintendent evaluation procedures in other school districts with an eye toward amending the practice now used locally.


Teach to the test? School board

weighs CSAP math performance

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

After having a week to digest the scores, school officials are concerned about "having to teach to the test."

When Superintendent Duane Noggle made his report to the board of education Tuesday, he acknowledged that mathematics scores, particularly, are not up to par.

"We're doing reasonably well in other topics where 'trend lines' over time show continual improvement. But in math we lag behind a low state average," he said.

In answer to a question from Carol Feazel, school board president, Noggle said the math test is developed by a statewide committee of teachers and has moved from computative to word problem format.

"Are our programs not sufficient to meet the challenge?" Feazel asked.

Noggle reminded her the new Trailblazers program has been instituted in the elementary school and is moving up line. "We should see better score flow as it progresses," he said.

But what about the meantime.

Director Mike Haynes said he sees television programming showing teachers in Front Range schools "drilling students on CSAP testing questions. They're teaching to the test. Do we want to do that here?"

"Our teachers don't like the concept," said Feazel. "They want to educate, not teach how to take a test."

"Test tracing is not our practice," said Noggle. "But scores on these tests have a huge impact. People moving here want to know how our schools do. Some may resort to home schooling, not trusting the school concept."

"There is value in learning to take tests," said Feazel, "but it takes time away from teaching and learning which are our main goal."

Noggle said he had talked to a number of school administrators and "a great many direct the teachers to spend two or three weeks before the test date drilling students on test questions.

"I was told we'd see scores go up 10 to 20 percent by doing specific test prep work in classroom," he said.

"Maybe it's something we'll have to think about," said Feazel, "but I don't like it."

"It's a tough decision when a portion of our funding is based on test scores," said Haynes. "We have to increase scores, but I don't want to see teaching decline."


Out-of-state man's death called suicide

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A man wanted on charges stemming from an out-of-state domestic incident was found dead Sunday in Archuleta County, an apparent suicide.

Lt. T.J. Fitzwater said members of the Southern Ute Police Department called the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department around noon to alert them the man, Warren Harris, was possibly in the area and considered a danger to police.

Harris had apparently called his mother about 5:30 a.m. Sunday and told her he was considering suicide. He also threatened harm to law enforcement officers who might try to stop him. His mother notified local authorities and described a possible location in this area of Colorado. Officers narrowed down the description to either First Notch Road or Devil Mountain Road.

Deputy Tom Gaskins was sent to First Notch Road. Fitzwater and Jon Gaskins checked Devil Mountain Road. Southern Ute officials were using a helicopter to try and spot the vehicle.

"Prior to us arriving in the area, some people came across the victim near Monument," Fitzwater said. "He had taken his own life with a firearm." Harris was found about 40 feet from his vehicle in a grassy area. His age and home town were unknown at press time.


PAWS, Log Park move closer to water agreement

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The board of directors of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District moved forward this week with components of a pending agreement expected to result in the bulk sale of water to Log Park Water Company.

Approved during Tuesday night's session were various water service and release of rights agreements that further the intent of a preliminary pact struck between PAWS and Log Park officials in late April.

District benefits expected to result from the pending agreement, in addition to water-sale revenues, are water rights to one cubic foot per second from Park Ditch, one-half cubic foot per second from Fawn Gulch Ditch and nearly 21 acre feet of absolute storage in Thomas Reservoir.

In addition, the potential benefits of the agreement are twofold for Log Park Subdivision residents - access to a reliable, potable water supply and the avoidance of funding major improvements that would otherwise be required to enable the subdivision's outdated treatment facilities to comply with drinking-water regulations.

Except for legal fees, which will be split between the entities, the financial responsibilities of the endeavor - establishing the infrastructure for delivery/distribution of district water, acquiring rights of way, etc. - falls to Log Park.

On a related note, any resulting contracts will qualify as "out-of-district" agreements, not inclusions into the district, and will mandate water-service rates for Log Park that are higher than those paid by district customers.

Water-service negotiations between the district and Log Park have been occurring on a regular basis for over three years.

According to Carrie Campbell, district general manager, finalization of the remaining components of the agreement is expected this fall.

Stevens Reservoir

In other business this week, the board approved a $6,000 bid from JTL Appraisals LLC to perform fair-market value determinations of land parcels the district is seeking in conjunction with the ongoing effort to upgrade Stevens Reservoir.

The results of the appraisals will be used in negotiations with residents who own property surrounding Stevens as the district continues to delve further into its improvement plans for the reservoir.

In addition, preliminary work regarding geotechnical engineering, hydrology studies and design of the reservoir dam are expected to remain on pace.

Within the next week, "We'll start making a game plan on dam design and continue to finish up hydrology and dam classification reports," said Mike Davis of Davis Engineering Service, the firm charged with the bulk of preliminary work associated with the project.

Davis also indicated he expects to meet with Steve Harris of Durango-based Harris Engineering Tuesday to review draft geotechnical reports associated with the project.

In addition to collaborating with Davis on related reports, Harris is in the process of inking a timeline that will outline future project developments.

The enlargement of Stevens, estimated at about $4.4 million, is a main component of a slate of pending capital projects funded by $10.35 million in general obligation bonds approved by district voters during the 2002 general election.

For more information on district events, updates and operations, visit the district Web site at

Lake levels

According to the latest readings provided by Gene Tautges, district assistant general manager, district reservoirs were at the following levels early this week:

- Lake Hatcher - 36 inches below spillway

- Stevens Reservoir - seven inches below spillway

- Lake Pagosa - 11 inches below spillway

- Lake Forest - 15 inches below spillway

- Village Lake - 45 inches below spillway.


Legion Auxiliary yard-bake sale

slated Aug. 21

American Legion Auxiliary 108 will sponsor a yard and bake sale 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Legion Hall on Hermosa Street adjacent to Town Park.

Donations will be accepted 1-5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20.


Two special immunization clinics for kids

August is National Immunization Month and in recognition of the event, and to say thank you to all the parents who have had their children immunized, San Juan Basin Health Department will hold two special immunization clinics.

The first all-day clinic will be Aug. 16. A half-day clinic will be held 1-5 p.m. Aug. 24.

These sessions are planned to accommodate school registration and state requirements.

Parents must bring their child's shot records. Immunizations are $15 each. If the child has Medicaid or CHP insurance, please bring their card.

Young adults planning to attend college should ask about the meningitis immunization and others that may be required by a college prior to admission.

Regular hours in the clinic at 502 S. 8th St. are 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4:30 p.m.

For further information, call 264-2409.


Territorial daughters will meet

The Territorial Daughters of Colorado will meet Aug. 21 at JJ's Upstream Restaurant.

Anyone who would like a reservation should call Nancy Giordano at 264-5910 or Genelle Macht at 264-5473 by Aug. 18.A program is scheduled in addition to the regular meeting.


Pertussis in region; make sure children are vaccinated

San Juan Basin Health Department reports a confirmed case of pertussis (whooping cough) in a La Plata County infant. Several family members and close contacts are now having symptoms of pertussis.

Pertussis may be severe in infants, especially those who have not received at least three doses of the pertussis vaccine. Illness may result in hospitalization, seizures, long-term neurologic problems and death.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection that is spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs and another person breathes in the bacteria. The disease begins with a cough that progressively becomes more severe until the person develops coughing episodes.

Vomiting, difficulty catching a breath during coughing, a change in facial color and/or a whooping sound may follow the coughing. Persons who feel they could be having symptoms of pertussis should be evaluated by their physician.

Parents should take this opportunity to review their children's immunization records for protection against pertussis. The vaccine is abbreviated as DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus & Acellular Pertussis) or DTP and children by the age of five should have five doses of DTaP/DTP. The first three doses should be completed by six months of age. Children 7 years of age or older do not need the vaccine.

Please contact your physician or call SJBHD at 264-2673 in Pagosa Springs with questions about immunizations or additional information about the disease.


Electricity wholesaler hikes rates 13.8 percent, local increases will be smaller

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Electricity is an everyday necessity of life for Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County.

The cost of that everyday need will rise Jan. 1 - but nowhere near the amount it might have.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the power supplier for La Plata Electric which serves the local community, has announced a 13.8 percent increase in wholesale rates to the 44 member cooperatives and public power districts it serves.

The adjustment will raise Tri-State's wholesale rate to 4.9 cents per kilowatt-hour, the first time since 1986 that the rate has exceeded 4.6 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Tri-State's member rate either decreased or held steady from 1986-2001 before increases of 10.1 percent and 7 percent were implemented in 2002 and 2003 respectively. There was no rate adjustment from 2003 to 2004.

LPEA's David Waller says the rate hike for local users will be nowhere near as high as the 13.8 percent wholesale hike.

He said that figure "normally would scroll out to about 8.5 percent on the retail market, but we're not going to pass on the full amount."

"We're in good financial shape right now," he added, "and our people have begun pouring over the rate data and will have specific increase data, probably by mid-October."

Asked his gut feeling on the amount residential consumers can expect to see, he said, "probably in the 5 to 6 percent range."

Had an increase of this magnitude happened three years ago, he said, "we might well have been forced to pass almost all of it along. But our current financial position makes that unnecessary."

Rates charged by each of Tri-State's member systems, the supplier noted, are set individually of each other and of Tri-State, depending on the specific financial and operational circumstances faced by each member system.

Wholesale power supply expenses, Tri-State noted, normally make up the largest component of retail costs.

"We're in the business of delivering the most reliable, economical and environmentally responsible source of power to our member systems said M.M. Shafer, Tri-State's executive vice president and general manager.

"Raising rates," he said, "is one of the toughest calls we have to make around here, because we know the impact will be felt throughout our membership and on to the consumer at the end of the line. But at this point, we really don't have any other choice."

He identified the consistent increase in demand for electricity among the member systems - which has averaged 4 percent annually in recent years - as well as the continuing regional drought and its effect on hydroelectric operations, as two primary causes driving up costs.

"Our system is growing by about 100 megawatts a year and right now, our baseload, coal-fired power plants are fully committed," Shafer said. "That means in order for us to meet the increase in demand, we're out on the open market buying power that's significantly more expensive because it's being generated primarily at natural gas-fired facilities - a fuel that has increasingly become more costly."

Tri-State has traditionally been one of the largest purchasers of hydropower from the Western Area Power Administration. However, the amount of power available from the federally owned and operated hydro facilities have dwindled over the past few years due to the lack of precipitation and snowpack runoff.

"We'd like to see the hydro situation return to normal soon - or at least improve over what it's been the past several years," Shafer said, "but until it does, we have to find ways to make up for that deficit in capacity. Unfortunately the replacement sources of power are usually more than double the cost of the hydropower."


State Fair officials take steps to protect horses

State officials are taking added precautions this year to ensure the health of horses at the upcoming Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.

As a preventive measure against vesicular stomatitis (VS), all horses arriving at the fairgrounds will receive an on-site veterinary inspection before being allowed entry.

In addition, all horses arriving from another state will need a health certificate dated within 48 hours of departing for the event.

"We want to alleviate concerns that VS will impact the horse show," said Ed Kruse, fair general manager. "By taking these extra steps, we want to protect the horses as much as possible and give the owners a better sense of security while their animals are at the fair."

The fair, the state's 132nd consecutive event, is scheduled Aug. 21 through Sept. 5.

Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that affects horses, cattle and pigs. Visible signs include blisters and ulcers on the tongue, mouth, teats or coronary bands. Classical symptoms include excessive salivation and lameness and usually lasts seven to eight days.

Horses normally recover from the disease, but the best way to prevent its spread is to apply insect repellent daily to the horses, especially around the ears, and to reduce shared water and feed sources.

"VS is a disease that we're closely monitoring at the state level because it causes the same lesions as seen with foot and mouth disease, although FMD does not affect horses," said Wayne Cunningham, state veterinarian. "We have to be careful in differentiating the two diseases in today's heightened bioterrorism surveillance."

Fair officials say literally hundreds of horses participate in more than two dozen equine shows during the 26-day Colorado State Fair.


Pagosa Springs Enterprises annual meeting has full agenda

The annual meeting and election of directors for Pagosa Springs Enterprises, Inc., organizer and sponsor of the annual Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo, will be held at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 19.

At the meeting in the Archuleta County Fair building, two directors will be elected to three-year terms. There will be discussion about increasing the number of directors and voting to fill those possible seats.

Only certificate holders of record as of June 30, 2004, will be entitled to vote. Proxy votes must be in writing designating the person who is to cast the vote and must be presented to a member of the corporation.

The agenda will also include:

- discussion and voting on giving additional property to Archuleta County in order to build bathrooms and a 4-H wing on the grounds;

- discussion and voting on building an indoor arena on the grounds;

- discussion about dissolution of Pagosa Springs Enterprises, Inc. and formation of a new non-profit entity.

The maximum number of proxies any individual can represent is 10. Any certificate holder may call any board member for further details or to submit their proxy.

Present board members are Jim Bramwell, president; J.R. Ford, vice president; Pam Simmons, secretary/treasurer; and Terri House, Wes Lewis, Mike Ray and Craig Kamps, directors.


Pagosan reviews beef industry pharmaceutical technology

Rod Preston and Tom Elam previewed their recently completed review of technical literature - "50 Years of Pharmaceutical Technology and Its Impact on the Beef We Provide Consumers" - Wednesday at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's (NCBA) mid-year meeting in Denver.

In the paper, the authors take an in-depth look at the economic, environmental and beef-quality implications of pharmaceutical technology, as well as other technologies, that have been adopted by the beef industry in the past 50 years.

According to the authors, the research revealed a number of significant findings:

- Without the technological improvements of the past 50 years, the total U.S. cattle herd required to produce the 2004 beef supply would number more than 180 million animals instead of the current 95 million head, which would have major implications on land use and animal waste issues.

- At current stocking rates, 180 million head of cattle, nearly twice today's herd, would require additional land area about equal to the combined acreage of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Kansas to provide the additional pasture and feed grains.

- Beef production per head of cattle in the U.S. herd has increased by more than 80 percent over the past 50 years, making the U.S. the most efficient beef producer in the world.

- While decreasing resource use, cattlemen have increased total beef production from 13.2 billion pounds to 27 billion pounds in the last 50 years.

- Beef quality has improved while inflation-corrected retail prices have decreased by over 25 percent in the past 50 years.

Preston is Professor Emeritus, Animal Science, and former holder of the Thornton Endowed Chair at Texas Tech University and past president of the American Society of Animal Science.

He is currently conducting animal research and production consulting from his home in Pagosa Springs.

Elam is an Associate Lecturer in economics at Indiana University and is an Adjunct Fellow of the Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues. He is also president of Strategic Directions, an agricultural consulting firm in Carmel, Ind.

Their paper was funded by a grant from the Growth Enhancement Technology Information Taskforce, an organization of animal health company executives committed to providing educational materials to the beef industry and beef consumers.

A copy of the paper can be obtained from the NCBA issues management team, from your animal health supplier or by calling McCormick Company at (515) 251-8805.

Or you may download it at


Comments welcome on Kenney Flats restoration and fuel reduction project

By Pamella Wilson

Special to The SUN

For years, fire ecologists have been gathering historical data on the frequency and intensity of fire on national forest lands throughout Archuleta County.

This data shows that fire occurred every 12-20 years in the ponderosa pine forests.

After decades of all-out fire suppression, this leaves residents in many Archuleta County subdivisions that border the San Juan National Forest wondering not if, but when, a devastating wildfire might threaten their home.

In 2002 the Archuleta County Community Fire Plan was developed under the auspices of the National Fire Plan. It identified the Alpine Lakes subdivision near Kenney Flats, 13 miles southeast of Pagosa Springs, as an area of high concern.

The high priority areas identified in the CFP are used by the Forest Service and BLM to target areas for future fuels treatments on nearby public lands.

A process that began over two years ago will culminate today, when the U.S. Forest Service releases the Kenney Flats Fuels Reduction and Ponderosa Pine Restoration Environmental Assessment for public comment.

The EA analyzes the effects of several different treatments designed to reduce hazardous fuels and restore the ponderosa pine ecosystem.

Colorado State University Extension Agent Bill Nobles facilitated the public involvement for the Kenney Flats project which included two field trips and two indoor meetings.

"The Forest Service not only offered opportunities to view the potential treatment sites; they also had indoor programs for folks that didn't want to go out.," Nobles said.

The Kenney Flats EA is a landscape analysis meaning that, instead of looking at just one 300-acre parcel of forest that needs treatment, resource specialists looked at a much larger landscape - 15,400 acres to be exact. The proposal looks at treating about 3,800 acres or 25 percent of the area over five years.

The Kenney Flats area has some very nice "yellowbark" ponderosa pines which are considered to be of pre-settlement origin, meaning they were established prior to 1880. These trees are distinctive due to their platy orange- to yellow-colored bark and fat-topped crowns.

A concern expressed during early scoping was that none of these trees be removed; these trees will be retained for their unique characteristics and values.

Due to the decades of fire suppression, one of the challenges facing land management agencies is the need to thin some areas before prescribed fire can even be considered. Add six years of drought and the situation becomes even more complex.

Nobles summed it up with the phrase "the march of the drought." He explained, first, the drought lowered the fuel moistures in the trees and we saw large-scale wildfires and conditions that made it difficult to conduct prescribed burns; now we're seeing the waves of beetle infestations on the weakened and vulnerable trees. Normally, we might not even see one of these events in our lifetime but things have changed so much we are witnessing two or more at a time."

There is nothing that we as humans can do to stop the drought, but there are things we can do to slow the effects of a drought. The large wildfires of the past several years all have one thing in common - the fires slowed or dropped to the ground where fuel-reduction treatments (thinning and/or prescribed fire) had occurred in recent years.

Also, a less-dense forest allows for the remaining trees to receive more water and nutrients from the soil with less competition so the trees are healthier and can more effectively fight off bark beetles and other pests.

In addition to reducing fuels, one of the goals of the proposed projects is to restore fire to the ponderosa pine ecosystem. When fires burned through these forests every 12-20 years they kept the forest floor cleared of needles, duff, and dead branches. These low-intensity fires also pruned the lower branches of the ponderosa making it harder for a ground fire to move up a tree.

Fires also kept small shrubs from growing up under the trees and serving as ladder fuels. "If we can successfully restore fire to this ecosystem we won't have to spend as much money thinning areas by hand in the future," said Bob Frye, Supervisory Biological Scientist on the Pagosa Ranger District. Prescribed fire is a more economical means of treating fuels.

The District welcomes comments on their project proposal.

The Kenney Flats EA is available for review from the Pagosa Ranger District Office or on the San Juan National Forest Web site at:

Comments on the proposal may be submitted via e-mail to:, or faxed to Attn: Rick Jewell at 264-1538 or mailed to District Ranger, Pagosa Ranger District, PO Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. If comments are sent as an attachment to the e-mail message please submit them in Microsoft Word format in a common font such as "Times."

For more information contact Rick Jewell at 264-1509.

Pamella Wilson is the fire information officer for the San Juan Public Lands Center in Durango.


Here's what your children need for school

Attention parents!

You wouldn't go to work without knowing the things you need to make your job easier, would you?

You wouldn't try to fix a meal with having the ingredients, would you?

Your children can't go to school without having the proper supplies to help in their education.

Local school officials have released the following lists of supplies needed by Pagosa's students, by grade:


- eight real wood pencils (they sharpen better);

- two bottles Elmer's Glue-All (no blue glue, please);

- two boxes, 24 count, Crayola crayons;

- two 12-count sets of colored pencils (Sanford, Prang or Crayola if you can find one of those brands;

- one box of Kleenex;

- one box of Ziploc bags;

- one small box Dixie cups;

- backpack clearly marked with your child's name.

Please label all items of clothing. An amazing amount of unclaimed clothing is accumulated every year.

1-2 multi-age class

- two packages plain, yellow No. 2 pencils;

- two large pink erasers, not the pencil topper type;

- two bottles of school glue;

- two 16-count boxes of Crayons;

- two boxes of eight classic watercolor markers (not fine line);

- one box of 12 colored pencils;

- three pocket portfolios with the pockets on the bottom;

- one large box Kleenex (boys only;)

- one box of plastic bags, one-gallon size (girls only);

- one backpack.

Scissors will be provided.

First Grade

- three dozen pre-sharpened No. 2 pencils;

- four pocket folders;

- two boxes of 16 Crayons;

- two boxes of eight Crayons;

- two large boxes of tissue;

- two bottles of Elmer's white glue (4 oz. or larger);

- one supply box or bag;

- one pair Fiskars scissors;

- one large backpack;

- markers (eight-pack);

- two packages of pencil top erasers;

- four glue sticks;

- one box gallon size Ziploc baggies if your last name begins with the letters A through M; or

- one box sandwich size Ziploc baggies if your last name begins with letters N through Z.

Please label all your children's supplies before sending them to school as the teacher will collect them and disperse as needed throughout the school year.

Second Grade

- three dozen No. 2 yellow pencils (Ticonderoga work best);

- two pocket folders;

- one bottle Elmer's glue;

- one large box of tissues;

- two 16-count boxes of Crayons;

- two boxes of eight watercolor markers;

- one pair of scissors;

- one subject notebook, wide-ruled;

- two pink pearl erasers;

Girls: one box gallon size Ziploc freezer bags;

Boys: one box quart-sized Ziploc freezer bags;

All: A backpack.

Third Grade

(Teachers Farrow and Fox)

- four pocket folders;

- two dozen No. 3 pencils (sharpened, please);

- four glue sticks;

- one large box Kleenex;

- three large erasers;

- one gallon size box Ziploc freezer bags;

- one small supply box to hold pencils, scissors, erasers, etc.;

- one box colored pencils;

- one box Crayons (limit 16 count);

- two spiral notebooks;

- one pair scissors (7-inch or longer).

Please do not send large binders to school. They will not fit in desks.

Third Grade

(Teachers Halverson, Boudreaux and Mayo)

- three pocket folders;

- two dozen No. 2 pencils (sharpened, please);

- four glue sticks;

- one large box of Kleenex;

- one good pair of scissors;

- one pencil sharpener with shavings catch;

- two erasers;

- two spiral notebooks;

- one composition book, 100 sheet;

- Ziploc bags, quart size (last names A-M only)

- paper towels, (last names N-Z only);

- colored pencils.

Fourth Grade

- large, sharp-pointed scissors;

- No. 2 standard, yellow pencils;

- eraser;

- ruler (clear, transparent) with centimeters;

- small, white glue;

- three single-subject spiral notebooks, wide-ruled;

- small pencil sharpener with lid;

- markers, thin and broad tip;

- small colored pencils;

- two packages wide-ruled looseleaf paper;

- four pocket folders;

- simple calculator;

- two large boxes of Kleenex for classroom use;

- clipboard.

For teacher Buckley only: 1-inch ring binder (no larger).

For teacher Shipman only, 6 pocket folders.

For teacher Shaffer only, flat, medium-sized pencil box.

SWS 1-2

- two dozen pre-sharpened pencils;

- two boxes of eight Crayons;

- three wide-ruled 100-page composition books;

- one bottle Elmer's glue;

- four glue sticks;

- one 1-inch hard cover three-ring binder;

- one backpack with name on it;

First-graders only, one pair Fiskars scissors;

Last Names A, one box sandwich Ziplocs

Last names B: one box of 8-ounce paper cups;

Last names C-M, one box plastic spoons;

Last names N-Z, one box Kleenex.

SWS 3-4

- two dozen No. 2 pencils (sharpened, please);

- four glue sticks;

- one large box Kleenex;

- one good pair scissors (new students only);

- one pencil sharpener with shavings catch;

- two erasers;

- two spiral notebooks (only one if here last year);

- one composition book, 100-sheet;

- Ziploc bags, gallon size.

Fifth Grade

- ruler with centimeters and inches;

- No. 2 pencils (standard yellow, hexagonal);

- four red marking pencils;

- large, pointed, sharp scissors;

- glue sticks;

- Crayons (not needed for Mrs. Halverson's class);

- three large boxes of tissues;

- one padlock or combination lock. An extra key or copy of the combination must be turned in to classroom teacher;

- two spiral notebooks-single subject, wide lined;

- three Ziploc bags, gallon size;

- pencil sharpener made to hold shavings;

- three-hole wide lined paper (not college ruled);

- three-hole binder, 1-inch size.

Please, no mechanical pencils trapper-keepers or large binders.

SWS 5-6

List will be sent home from class.

Sixth Grade

Be aware these supplies will need to be replaced from time to time during the school year. Students need to have all their materials every day so they can be most effective:

- two boxes of tissue;

- one single subject spiral notebook (at least 180 pages, but not Neatbook) for math use only;

- one three-ring notebook with dividers for use in language arts, science, reading and social studies;

- lined looseleaf notebook paper without spiral edges, college ruled;

- dual ruler (metric and standard);

- inexpensive calculator (with name on it);

- colored pencils, box of 24, not Crayons;

- glue;

- fine markers;

- No. 2 pencils (one dozen); be prepared to replace as needed;

- supply bag or box (for smaller items);

- box of Ziploc style baggies (gallon size) for use in math and reading;

- red pencils or pens for checking;

- one shoe box or one empty, washed out, plastic one-liter bottle;

- sharp pointed scissors;

- one padlock or combination lock for hall locker. Combination or extra key will need to be turned in to homeroom teacher.

Seventh Grade

- three-ring notebook binder;

- 500-sheet looseleaf notebook paper;

- two packages of pencils;

- two packages of pens;

- scientific calculator;

- pencil pouch;

- seven subject dividers;

- colored pencils;

- four spiral notebooks (English, vocabulary, and two for science);

- White Out;

- box of Kleenex;

- composition notebook;

Shorts, T-shirt, gym shoes, sweat pants and shirt are required for physical education.

Eighth Grade

- two three-ring biders with pockets;

- 500 sheets of college rule paper;

- one calculator (preferably scientific);

- one pencil pouch;

- two sharpened pencils;

- two erasable pens;

- two regular pens;

- one eraser;

- one package subject dividers with tabs;

- three spiral notebooks (science and history); for math, graph spiral is preferred;

- two packages of index cards;

- one ruler with standard and metric scale;

- 11 pocket folder with brads.


Thrift shopping helps supply the teen center

By Karen Carpenter

Special to The PREVIEW

Oh, the fun that can be had on a trip to our many thrift shops. I got lots of stuff for our teens to use.

We have now installed two computers in the teen's quiet room. These will be used for "chat" (used to be called "pen pals"), educational computer games and homework research.

We have two new board games with all the pieces. They are "Survivor II" and "Modern Life." We have lots of pillows for pillow fights and for modified horseback jousting, and a beautiful new cue stick in a case.

A double elimination pool tournament will be held and someone will win this cue stick. Practice, practice and more practice as each player dreams of owning a cue of his/her own.

On Monday, we watched the Hall of Fame Bronco preseason opener against Washington. Tuesday nights are for volleyball games. This is growing in popularity and skill level.

At the time of this writing we do not know the results of the duck race but we are hoping our duck wins.

If you are a parent, teacher, or student of the junior high school we need your help and input. The Teen Center Advisory Board would love to fill the vacancy with you. Please give me, Karen, a call if you are interested.

Party or event leftovers? Feed the teens and watch them grow. They even devour healthy snacks. Any donation will be highly appreciated.

The Teen Center is in the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard and is open 1-8 p.m. weekdays. The phone is 264-4152.


Auction for the Animals will feature big variety

By Annette Foor

Special to The PREVIEW

Only 15 days remain until the 10th annual Auction for the Animals

The auction is a night you won't want to miss. This unique event attracts people from far and wide and seems to become more successful each year. You are sure to find something you need at the auction.

So far, the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs has received a large variety of donations with more coming in each day. You never know what you might need, or think you need until you come to the auction.

This year there are such items as all-you-can-eat barbecue, a horse-drawn wagon ride and campfire singing donated by Astraddle A Saddle; a flight in a Stearman open cockpit biplane donated by Wings Over Pagosa; a signed first edition "Wolves of the Calla, Dark Tower V" by Stephen King; a bottle of Trefethen Cutting Horse Vineyard 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon, donated by Don and Barbara Rosner; VIP pass for two adult fares on Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad; autographed denim shirt worn in concert by Clint Black; and so much more.

The auction will be held Friday, Aug. 27, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center starting at 5:30 p.m. Prices 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 and these tickets will include a commemorative wine glass or beer stein. Purchase without wine and beer tasting will be $15 in advance and $17 at the door.

Tickets are on sale at the Humane Society Thrift Store, Moonlight Books & Gallery, WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company, and at the Chamber of Commerce.

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, with auctioneer Jake Montroy and his trusty troupe of spotters.

Be sure to come early enough to make your way through the silent auction donations and get a good look at what will be in the live auction. It will definitely be a night to remember.

For further information contact our administration office at 264-5549 or e-mail

Get all decked out for this prestigious event and come on out for a night that's sure to be a good time. Enjoy beer, wine, and fun and help support a good cause.


Unitarians will explore options for social action

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will explore options for social action in Pagosa Springs Sunday.

A panel comprised of Eileen Haykus, April Merrilee, and Mike Greene will lead a discussion summarizing and interpreting the recent series of four services presented by the Pagosah UU Fellowship devoted to the problems associated with alcohol and substance abuse in Archuleta County.

This series had as guest speakers such local authorities as Judge Jim Denvir and Chief of Police Don Volger, who gave the legal and statistical foundation for the ensuing programs; counselor Steve Sewell, who explored the resources and possibilities for rehabilitation; Ken Puhler from San Juan Basin Health Services, who shared his insights on intervention, especially as it applied to young people; and Mary Jo Pakowski, representing Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, who presented areas where those concerned in our community and Fellowship could get actively involved.

The service and the children's program will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza, on Greenbriar Drive, off North Pagosa Boulevard. Unit 15 is on the east (back) side of the commercial plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. A hors d'oeuvres reception will follow the service. All are welcome.


Cash prizes, food, games

featured at K of C duck race

Everyone is invited to spend a fun day at the second annual Knights of Columbus Duck Race and Picnic Saturday, Aug. 14.

This fun-filled event features ducks racing down the San Juan, ducky kids' games, a food court and a grand assortment of raffles with prizes. Will Spears and KWUF will conduct a live remote from the scene.

Anyone can purchase ducks, for five dollars each. Buy as many as you like. Each duck is numbered. All ducks will be in the water and the race will start at 2:30 p.m.

Ducks will race for cash prizes. First place is $1000; second place is $500 and third place is $100.

Anyone who buys 20 ducks receives a free T-shirt. You can also purchase a T-shirt at the event for $5

Come join the fun and splash with ducks in Town Park. Buy your ducks from any Knights of Columbus member.

For more information, call 731-0253 or 731-3741.


Head Start accepting applications

By Annette Foor

Special to The PREVIEW

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.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.



Hunting's a rightful privilege:

I choose to be a fisherman

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

I'm not a hunter. I don't enjoy sitting in the woods on chilly autumn mornings, shivering in the predawn darkness, while waiting for enough light and the outside chance of shooting something should it happen by, and I don't care to kill animals.

That said, I am a steadfast defender of a citizen's right to bear arms, and the privilege to hunt.

I realize the two are entirely separate issues, and a discussion of each would require far more space than I am allotted here. Therefore, in respect to firearms, I will only offer a subtle reminder that our U.S. constitution grants us the right to own them, and I will refrain from suggesting which ones I think are appropriate, and which, if any, should be banned. Hence, for the purpose of this narrative, any reference to guns shall be limited to those typically used in the sport of hunting.

Of course, hunters legally exercise a variety of methods in the taking of game, and many don't employ firearms at all. Again, I will not endorse any individual approach over another, and I assume all hunters are properly licensed for their particular technique. As an emphatic flyfisherman, I would insist on the same of anyone angling Colorado's waters.

While I no longer take pleasure in hunting, there was a time when I found it both enjoyable and rewarding. I was a teen-ager then, and I used to stalk upland birds on a friend's farm in the Midwest. Most were doves or Bobwhite quail, which when flushed, would virtually explode from the dense nearby cover, and all but disappear in an instant. There was usually only time for one shot, and it had to be a good one.

Such moments were enormously exhilarating, and served to sharpen my senses. They also provided good reason to walk the brush for a few hours on weekends, thereby avoiding the assorted social posturing that invariably befalls a youthful and diffident outdoorsman living in the city.

As a young adult, I moved to Colorado where my outdoor interests shifted mainly to hiking and trout fishing. Nevertheless, a friend would call each autumn for a few years running, and at once we'd be walking the high mountain meadows in search of blue grouse. Back then, as I recall, we encountered relatively few hunters, and getting a limit of birds was something we almost took for granted.

I have friends who own a cabin on 40 acres of lush forest on the Uncompahgre Plateau. While living nearby for a few years, I was naturally drawn to the allure of their big game hunts every fall and early winter. Even before the cabin was ever built, several of us would converge on the property the day before opening morning and erect a virtual tent city, complete with a central fire circle and elaborate camp kitchen.

Of course, some members of the party were serious hunters intent on harvesting a fine elk or mule deer buck, while a few others, including me, found it nearly impossible to crawl out of a snug sleeping bag in subfreezing temperatures, only to stumble around in the dark for awhile, until the sun finally came up and gradually warmed enough to thaw out our frozen fingers and toes.

Then there was the time, just after daybreak one brisk cloudy morning, when a few of us were hunting national forest land, and a friend shot a spike bull. The rest of us rushed to his aid, and moments later, as we field-dressed the animal, some local ranchers rode up on horseback and claimed we were trespassing on private property. They suggested we leave the beast and vacate the area, and a fairly heated discussion ensued.

The cowboys couldn't have known that I was a land surveyor at the time, but knowing precisely where the boundaries were, I quickly convinced them of their supposed misjudgment, and they eventually rode off in a huff. But the upheaval of the whole affair seemed to lessen the group's enthusiasm, and the spike ended up our only prize of the season.

Ultimately, as I grew a little older and less willing to endure faint frigid mornings, or the ever-increasing challenge of finding truly uncrowded territory to hunt, I realized that in October, while seemingly every other sportsman is in the woods chasing Bambi, some of the more remote high-country trout streams are virtually devoid of human activity. It also occurred to me that to maintain energy levels, stream trout feed nearly all day long and, in fact, midday fishing in autumn is often better than that of early or late day.

So, I'm a trout fisherman and not a hunter. What's more, I carefully release the fish I catch, thus evading that dreadful choice of which lives to spare, and which not. It's a form of "hunting," if you will, that works for me. There are no stringent schedules necessary to assure success, crowds and competition are reduced at least part of the year, and I can truly relax and enjoy the outdoors without the anxiety associated with legitimate life and death decisions.

At this point I must say again, while I personally don't care to kill animals, I support the institution of hunting, and uphold it as a rightful privilege available to law-abiding citizens who obtain the necessary licenses, follow the rules, and behave responsibly in the use of firearms. Most hunters are decent folks with an abiding love of the outdoors, and as nature advocates, they have done more for wildlife conservation than any other group of people.

As an example, before the onset of hunting regulations in the early 1900s, Colorado's elk population was estimated at fewer than 2,000 animals. Today, as the nation's largest herd, there are more than 300,000. Such a comeback could not have been possible without careful regulation, and the willing financial participation of thousands of hunters.

Like it or not, hunting is a valuable and effective method of managing game and non-game species in a world where humans seem to be the only genus not currently controlled in terms of population. In fact, as our own numbers continually increase, broad reaches of sustainable wildlife habitat are dramatically declining, thus making careful species management more important than ever.

To hear big-city media outlets tell it, the modern world is a dangerous and sadistic place, and no city or town is immune to violent crime. While that may be true to some extent, gun control advocates and serious animal rights activists all across the country are dead set on outlawing guns and hunting in our society.

I wonder what deliberation any have given to alternative wildlife management methods, and I wonder if they've ever considered how best to control the human race itself.


Hunter education course Aug. 26-27

Hunter education classes will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center Aug. 25 and 26.

Class hours will be 6-10 p.m Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday. Students must attend both sessions. Cost is $20 per person.

The course will be open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. If you were born on or before Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license.

The course is sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Police Department in conjunction with the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

All programs, services and activities of the DOW are operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need accommodation due to a disability, contact Justin Krall, Doug Purcell or Mike Reid at 264-2131 or Don Volger at 264-4151, Ext. 239.

To assure DOW can meet your needs, please notify any of the above at least seven days before the class.




PLPOA myth

Dear Editor:

Road maintenance and construction in Pagosa Lakes has once again become a major problem. As noted in the Aug. 5 SUN the PLPOA board of directors has again raised the myth that the board cannot be involved with roads because this would be a "political issue" and PLPOA is a Sect. 501 c 3 non-profit organization precluded from political action.

This myth was first circulated in October 2000, and at the time was a surprise, because prior PLPOA boards had been involved originally in filing suit against "Fairfield" when promised roads were not completed, then joining with Archuleta County in litigating the same claims in the Federal Bankruptcy Court. On neither occasion was there any expressed concern that it was "political action."

Growing out of the bankruptcy claims was a joint court award of $6.5 million dollars to be spent "solely for road improvements in Pagosa Lakes." On Aug. 13, 1997, PLPOA and Archuleta County entered into a contract providing that the county would supervise and have total control over the roads project but that PLPOA would approve in writing all expenditures from road funds. PLPOA would also have access to all documents related to the project.

When it became clear that the road improvements were not being constructed per plans and specifications issued by the county, and that the county was not supervising the project as agreed, the PLPOA board was requested to act on behalf of the property owners. It was then that the myth became the excuse for no action by PLPOA.

The question that needs to be answered is: Why or how is the enforcement of a contract provision or provisions political action? Certainly the only remedy is not a campaign for or against the county commissioners, conducted in the name of the PLPOA, which would be a violation of the non-profit status. However, enforcing existing contract provisions in or out of court is not political action.

It is time that the PLPOA board takes action to protect the interests of the property owners pursuant to the bylaws. Roads are now a priority with potential for a tax increase to pay for the county's failure to manage the original project.

If the PLPOA board had hired an independent consulting engineering just a few hours a week to review the documents and inspect the work in progress on the original roads project we would not now be faced with paying for very expensive repairs and reconstruction. It would have been a small cost to protect a $6.5 million dollar project.

I would suggest that any concerned Pagosa Lakes property owners look at the District Court file for Bergmann v. Board of Directors, PLPOA 01 CV 87 (11-01-01), and the exhibits with that case. Then talk to your board representatives.

Glenn Bergmann


No insult intended

Dear Editor:

To the Christian congregations of the Pagosa Springs area and readers of the Pagosa Springs SUN: Last week's SUN was gracious to run an article in the "Preview Too" which announced special honors accorded our congregation by our national church body.

In that article I was quoted as saying: "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."

It seems that this remark has caused some offense to our Christian brothers and sisters of Reformed and non-denominational congregations in our area. I offer my sincere apology for the carelessness of my words and sincerely ask forgiveness from those I have offended by them. I did not intend to insult any other denomination and should have chosen my words more carefully.

Rev. Richard A. Bolland


Local produce

Dear Editor:

As a member of the board of directors of the San Juan Resource Conservation and Development Council, I would like to extend my support and thanks to the farmers and ranchers of southwest Colorado who work so hard to produce fresh, high quality produce and meat, feed and hay, handmade crafts, jams and jellies, and the many other fine products we're lucky to have at our disposal.

Judging from the throngs of people who frequent the growing number of farmers markets and roadside stands in our corner of the world, it appears more and more people are opting to buy local in order to find fresh, healthy, quality foods for themselves and their families. My fellow SJRC&D board members and I encourage all local residents to get into the practice of buying local (and therefore buying quality) whenever you have the choice. Your support keeps local agricultural producers in business while helping to protect one of our most treasured resources - our beautiful open spaces.

Consumers can find information on where to find quality local ag products and producers can advertise for free at We encourage everyone to use this free service, and continue to support our local farmers and ranchers.

Here's to a bountiful harvest.


Ann Brown


A real 'quote'

Dear Editor:

William Bennett returns to the fray (Letters, Aug. 5, 2004), this time to assert that John Kerry was quoted (in Simi Valley, no less) as saying that "it's time to reclaim the country from the churchgoers, the middle Americans, and the uneducated conservative masses."

Well, Mr. Bennett, if Kerry actually said that, you really should be getting your quote in the hands of Fox News and the RNC, instead of sharing it only with the limited but discerning readership of The SUN.

For my part, I've got a crisp new Jackson for you if you can come up with a credible source for your alleged quote, which undoubtedly sprang in reality from the fevered imagination of some troglodyte propagandist.

In contrast to Mr. Bennett's quote, here's a direct one from his champion, George W. Bush, on Aug. 5, 2004, at the signing ceremony for the military spending bill: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

Now, I don't think Mr. Bush actually meant what he said, but at least it's indisputable that he said it. I await for Bennett to credibly authenticate his "quote."

Ben Douglas


Let people decide

Dear Editor:

Before they extend or make permanent the moratorium on so-called big box stores in Pagosa Springs, if it's even legal, a vote of the citizens should be held first.

I believe the powers that be will be surprised to see how many people would like to be able to quit driving to Farmington or Durango, especially longtime locals who have been making that drive for as long as they can remember.

Perhaps the town doesn't need the money we're losing to real estate and sales taxes, with all their roads being paved and maintained, but the county sure could use it.

Of course the town has already annexed most of the commercial highway frontage, so even if the town actually permanently bans such stores, there may not be enough suitable property left in the county, outside the town limits, for the county to reap the huge windfall of tax dollars it sounds as though it desperately needs.

It's almost amusing when one considers the corridors leading into old downtown Pagosa Springs are already cluttered with small box metal buildings and embarrassing tacky tourist traps that contrast so distressingly with the new construction and renovations taking place downtown.

A store like WalMart would not have to be built right along the 160 corridor, but could be tucked back a block or two behind some extensive landscaping.

At least let the people decide.

Jerry Driesens


Too much fun

Dear Editor:

I'm back because fun things just keep happening.

There is a very small committee headed up by Jeff Laydon which is responsible for the Spanish Fiesta and I want to thank them for the wonderful day in the park and then at the dance later.

Was "Peter and the Wolf" great or what? Can't wait until next time.

Saved the best for last!

Pagosa is such a super place for retirement so Ron and I spent huge amounts of hours at the fair. This year's fair was the best ever and what an auction of the animals and the cake and surprise for J.R. The shuttle service was much appreciated.

Wouldn't it be tragic if we lost our county fair? It could happen; numbers are down so people, get with it. Come out next year for fun, or better yet, volunteer.

Cindy Gustafson


Job Corps site

Dear Editor:

Earlier this year I read several letters from your readers about a proposed land swap of the Forest Service property known as the Job Corps site.

Concerned that many Pagosa residents would not know of the proposal, I wrote a letter urging the citizens of our great community to get involved and ask anyone and everyone in a position of knowledge regarding the proposed trade, "Why is it necessary?"

Several times in the past few months I have had the pleasure to both ride and hike the Job Corps site. The vistas from the top are spectacular.

Located only 10 minutes from downtown, it is without question one of the finest remaining Forest Service sites in the local area and it would be a shame to lose it to development. Not only are the views from the top special, the site is abundant with both big game and small as well as the sights and smells of the great outdoors.

What is so important about this site is that I can leave downtown, be on a trail in 10 or 15 minutes, spend 45 minutes to an hour enjoying the woods, and be back at my desk in under two hours. Isn't this why we all live here?

Since I haven't heard anything new regarding the proposed trade, could the Pagosa SUN look into the matter and update the public on the status of the Forest Service action. Alternatively, if you know of a person or department that I may contact to get an updated status, I would truly appreciate that information. This one proposed trade that, in my opinion, should be questioned by every Pagosa resident before it is too late.

William Hodkin

Editor's note: The reason nothing new has been heard about the trade is nothing new has happened regarding the trade. The next step for the Forest Service will be the "Initial Scoping" phase of the project. The Pagosa Ranger District office can be reached at 264-2268.


Big box choices

Dear Editor:

A difficult decision faces the "Big Box Task Force." There are two sides, and a warning.

One says: We need a large variety of merchandise at low cost to meet individual and family budgets without having to drive to Durango. Other advantages of the big box are large parking lots, long hours of opening, etc.

The other side says: We are a small town and enjoy doing business with our local retailers. The big box tries to promote the image of concern for the community, but in reality it is a large, impersonal corporation which will replace at least two dozen small retailers.

A word of caution to Pagosa Springs retailers: If complacency has set in, this may be a good time to look at any improvements that can be made to your service to the community.

Pagosa Springs is small enough that a big box could ruin the town's economy. When it has replaced many smaller merchants here and in many other places, it could, on a corporate basis, increase prices as it would be the only store in town.

This would be a monopoly and any advantage to the shopper would be gone. There would be nowhere else to shop. This possibility should not be overlooked.

Clive Lamprell


Gravel suggestion

Dear Editor:

May I comment on the "paid for" notice in last week's Pagosa SUN entitled "Archuleta County Taxpayers Stand up and be Heard"?

Two fellow citizens, Joe and Terrie Collins, paid for that ad and I can well sympathize with their predicament: Namely, another gravel pit in their back yard.

I live in Pagosa Springs but spend half or more of my time at my ranch just across the La Plata County line. The Collins' already have two, one now in operation, gravel pits off CR 975. Both of those gravel pits are across the state line in New Mexico. And the operating gravel pit uses CR 975 and pays no taxes to Archuleta County.

I talked to Dick McKee of Archuleta County Road and Bridge last Friday and he told me there was a need for a gravel pit at that end of the county that could sell gravel at a competitive rate to Archuleta County. He also told me that in the proposal before the county commissioners that county equipment and men would be used during the slower winter months to bring CR 975 up to standards. He pointed out much of the needed repair to the road is from trucks coming across from New Mexico.

Two Archuleta County businessmen are attempting a business agreement to open a second gravel pit within several hundred yards of the operating New Mexico gravel pit. Carl Strohecker, the businessman who would lease the proposed pit and sell gravel to Archuleta County, told me Saturday morning that his company would spend about $500,000 to add turn lanes onto Colo. 151. He also told me the property owner, John Jaycox, would donate roughly $60,000 of gravel to Archuleta County to upgrade CR 975.

To this taxpayer of Archuleta County, I think this is a good business deal for the county. There is a need for a competitive gravel pit in that area that would supply gravel to that end of the county and you have two Archuleta County businessmen who are willing to spend over half a million dollars to develop it and pay taxes to our county.

So, county commissioners, I say let's proceed with an agreement that will benefit Archuleta County.

Paul Lerno


Known lie

Dear Editor:

I have been trying to stay out of the acrimonious political debate in the letters pages of The SUN. However, William Bennett's quote attributed to John Kerry requires a response. The supposed quote about churchgoers, Middle America folks, and uneducated conservatives is a joke, fabricated and published by a Web site called John F'n Kerry on June 9, 2004.

The Web site specifically states: "The John F'n Kerry Website is a parody Web site, intended for entertainment purposes only. The articles, comments and information entered upon these Web pages should not be repeated as the truth or be taken as a real quote, article, event, concept or happening." Senator Kerry didn't even hold a rally in Simi Valley, but was there only to privately pay his respects to the late President Reagan.

Even the Senator's detractors applauded his suspension of campaigning during the week of Reagan's funeral and his deferential remarks about him. Of course, the rabid right seized upon the joke speech and in their never-ending quest for smears, sent this known lie out over the Web as fact. If any readers doubt this, just spend a few minutes on the Web. You will find disclaimers and corrections by all kinds of reputable organizations. Mr. Bennett probably saw the quote on the Web site, which is dedicated to extreme attacks on all Democrats.

Mr. Bennett, you always accuse the left of "hatred." But, what does the repetition of a known lie to further your partisan and extreme views represent? I suspect you never met a "liberal" you didn't hate.

John W. Porco


Think bypass

Dear Editor:

Roy K. Boutwell's letter of Aug. 5, 2004, re. the subject attitude around here is spot-on. We indeed no longer live in the 19th century. It has been my opinion that our problems are caused by incompetent leadership (Note to the soon-to-be new commissioners: put his letter in your read file and refer to it often).

I would only add this to Mr. Boutwell's sage remarks: Think bypass! And not the Corner Store to 84 notion. Try Chimney Rock to east of 84. Compare Salida, Durango and Bayfield. Without a bypass, I predict that our quaint downtown will begin to die in a few years. Who wants to battle and listen to 18-wheelers all day. It's insane!

Bill Thomas


Community News

Local Chatter

Pay attention and talk with 'B'

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

Music in the Mountains 2004 has been a wonderful concert season. At the last concert, held Friday evening at BootJack Ranch, Jan Clinkenbeard, chair of the Pagosa Springs steering committee for the Pagosa Springs program and Sally Hameister, the Chamber of Commerce director, were recognized for their leadership contributions to the program. This was a timely tribute.

Johannes Brahms' "Piano Quintet in F minor (Opus 34)" was the final number on the program. When I got home that evening, I sat down to watch the TV news, but most importantly (I think) it was to talk to "Brahmsy." That's what I call the very large framed print of "Johannes Brahms at the Piano" by Willy Van Beckerath that hangs on the wall over the TV.

The print is delightful. B sits at the piano playing something. His left hand is crossed over his right hand and he's smoking a cigar. The smoke is pouring upward and the look of satisfaction on his face is so apparent I can feel it.

I said out loud to B (honestly!) "You sure were ambitious on this one." Four movements with a first movement so long that when it ended, I clapped. And that was a no-no. One does not clap between movements.

(I was enjoying the music so much that I forgot where I was.)

So how does one know when to clap, and what is a movement?

First, a movement is a major division in a composition and any movement can stand on its own. That's why people can sometimes think the piece is over.

So how does one know when a movement is finished? First, pay attention to the program: Who the composer is, what's the title and how many movements are listed. As one musical friend says, "Pay attention" (to the program) as to who wrote the piece, what's the work and how many movements.

Besides the fact that each movement can stand on its own and the number of movements have been counted, the artists themselves can clue you. Watch their body language. The finale is fast and loud and the artists react to it and when it has been reached, the musicians stop with a flare and stand.

Going back to the print on the wall, B is wearing a long white beard that he grew when he was about 50 years old. He explained growing it by saying, "A smooth chin makes people mistake you either for an actor or a priest."

He didn't have a family but he loved children and when making his long walks he filled his pockets with candy to give to the children he met.

Fun on the run

If the metric system did ever take over; we'd have to change our thinking to the following

- A miss is as good as 1.6 kilometers.

- Put your best 0.3 of a meter forward.

- Spare the 5.03 meters and spoil the child.

- Twenty-eight grams of prevention is worth 453 grams of cure.

- Give a man 2.5 centimeters and he'll take 1.06 kilometers.

- Peter Piper picked 8.8 liters of pickled peppers.


Senior News

90 balloons are worth a Million and there's a horn for her wheels

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

Wow, what a week we had Aug. 2-6. We celebrated Dorothy Million's 90th birthday on Wednesday. Her family and friends provided 90 balloons along with cake, ice cream and party favors and someone even provided Dorothy a horn for her "wheels." I wonder who did that?

Lots of you Foxes joined us Friday in wearing your Silver Foxes Den T-shirt. We sure have lots of spirit around here. Don't forget, every Friday in August is Spirit Day.

Unfortunately Kris Embree from the health department was not able to give us her presentation on West Nile Virus. Hopefully she will be back next month.

Eileen Goebel from Animas Valley Audiology was here Wednesday and provided some great info on hearing loss and hearing aids. One of our seniors said it was the best hearing aid talk he'd ever attended. Let us know if you need any information about hearing aids, she left us some brochures. We'll be working on a special day for Pagosan's to visit with her in Durango for testing, stay tuned for more information.

Bridge for Fun sure has been a hit. We've had five tables of you fun-loving bridge players lately, I dare you to make it six. There is room for more Canasta and Pinochle players if bridge isn't your thing and all our folks will teach you how if you don't know.

This Friday is our last Picnic in the Park for the summer. There were 93 of you in attendance last picnic; can we break 100? Be sure to attend at noon Friday in Town Park for a fabulous meal and good company. (Don't forget your T- shirt).

There will also be a senior board meeting after the picnic at 1 p.m. back at the center, so if you are curious about what goes on at the board meetings, please feel free to attend.

We have had word from Bev Brown that she won't be able to do massage for us on Tuesdays for a few weeks. She has been very popular, so we hope she will be able to come back soon.

We are looking for a volunteer with a CDL with a passenger endorsement to drive our seniors to occasional special events. This is a wonderful opportunity to have fun with seniors. For more information, contact Musetta at 264-2167.

Our Sky Ute Casino trip is scheduled for Aug. 17. As always, free transportation is provided to and from the "den" with a few freebies once you arrive. Please sign up in our dining room, limited space available.

Our very own cowboy, Bill Downey will be here 12:30 p.m. Aug. 18 to ply us with poetry. Bill has been reciting cowboy poetry for some time and our seniors have had the pleasure of hearing it here at the center in the past. Come hear our commissioner croon.

Game Day is Aug. 19. After lunch at 1 p.m. we will gather all our board and card games and even try some Bingo. Come in and join us for some fun.

The next meal day in Arboles is Thursday, Aug. 19, at noon in the Arboles Catholic Church. The kitchen staff will be whipping up scalloped potatoes with ham and cheese, broccoli, garden salad, whole wheat roll and plums. Reservations are required by Tuesday, Aug. 17. Call Musetta at 264-2167 for more information.

Free blood pressure check on Aug. 20. Come in from 11 a.m.-noon and Patty will check your blood pressure.

On Friday, Aug, 20, we will have our free movie at 1 p.m. in the lounge. This month's feature is, "Something's Gotta Give" a romantic comedy for older souls, starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. If that doesn't appeal, then you might want to play Pinochle at 1 p.m. in the dining room.


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

Monday, Aug 16 - volunteer meeting, get first pick of the sign up sheet, 10:30 a.m.; Medicare and drug card counseling, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m. 1

Tuesday, Aug. 17 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; no massage today; Free Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 18 - cowboy poetry with Bill Downey, 12:30 p.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday. Aug 19 - Game Day, 1 p.m.

Friday, Aug 20 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; blood pressure check, 11 a.m.; free movie day- "Something's Gotta Give," 1 p.m.; Pinochle; Spirit Day, wear your T-shirt.


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

Monday, Aug. 16 - Chicken enchilada, Santa Fe beans, Spanish rice, stewed tomatoes and fruit parfait.

Tuesday, Aug. 17 - Tuna salad sandwich with lettuce, tomato soup, mixed kiwi fruit and cookie.

Wednesday, Aug. 18 - Lasagna, Italian vegetables, tossed salad, bread stick and fruited Jello.

Friday, Aug 20 - Pork loin, broccoli blend, tossed salad, onion roll and orange wedges.


Library News

Friends annual book sale

Saturday at Extension Building

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

The Friends of the Library annual public book sale will be held Saturday at the Extension Building on U.S. 84.

Doors open at 7 a.m. and the sale will remain open until 2 p.m. Price cutting goes on throughout the morning. However the best bargains are available early.

New and used material will be available at low prices. The proceeds from the sale go toward supporting the public library.

The history of the sale goes back to when it was held on the Town Hall lawn. When the Friends incorporated in 1983, an annual book sale became the group's main fund-raising activity. Volunteers help with the books throughout the year.

Volunteer firefighters move the books from storage to the Extension Building. Frank Martinez and his helpers along with the building staff all work to make this a success.

When the doors close Saturday afternoon, members of Rotary take the remainder down to the Pack Rack, where they will continue to be on sale to help the Humane Society. This is truly a community affair.

Another milestone

Some folks mark the years with birthdays; I find myself marking the years with Friends of the Library annual meetings and book sales.

Kate Terry asked me for some history about the meeting and sale, and I've been looking through my notes. What a wonderful history we have had.

1983 was the beginning — 21 years of helping with book sales. The notes tell me that we made $260 the first year, and Kate Terry started our annual scrapbook collection. I am indebted to Kate because her scrapbooks are the true history of all we've accomplished in these many years.

Friend's membership was 35 in 1983 and it jumped to 110 the next year. By 1986, the membership was actively working to build a new library. Diana Martinez chaired the group, and the book sale brought in $1,336.

In 1988, we celebrated the ground breaking for the new Sisson Library.

The 1990 book sale made $1,700. Judy Wood was the incoming chair. By 1995, Warren Grams was chair and the sale brought in $2,682. Membership was about 170. In 1998 we netted $4,000. We continue to bring in about $3,000-$4,000 each year from sales and memberships. More than 300 people now belong to the Friends.

The Friends will hold their annual meeting and private book sale 6 p.m. Friday at the Extension Building. Friends get first chance at the books following the very short business meeting. People interested in joining the Friends may do so at the door. One must be a Friend to attend the affair. Membership is $5 for an individual, $10 for a family; $2 for a student and $100 for a lifetime membership.

The first meeting of the Friends steering committee was held in 1981. Members present were Leonard Marquez, David Mitchell, Beth and Joe Moore, Pat Pool, Barbara Tooker, Edna Turney, Betty Feazel, Marguerite Wiley and Lenore Bright. Ruby Sisson and Joan Seielstad joined them to begin to draft the articles of incorporation.

As one of the original members, I invite you all to join the Friends and come celebrate at this annual meeting tomorrow night.

Public book sale

The morning after - the public is invited to the open book sale and the doors open at 7 a.m. There are many bargains and blue light specials to be had all during the morning hours.

Doors close promptly at 2 p.m. Our thanks to Rotary members for transporting the materials. This assistance from Rotary was started many years ago by Jim Cloman. We also thank the many volunteers who help organize the sale and DNK Auto & Truck Repair, and our local firefighters for their part in making this a continued success.

Card catalog silent bid

Steve Costa won the silent bid on the card catalog at $210. Congratulations to Mr. Costa on his offer.

Health matters

The Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter for August talks about drugs that can create problems for seniors. It provides the "Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults" which lists 48 medications potentially inappropriate for people over age 65.

According to the newsletter, people older than 65 make up only 13 percent of the population, but they consume about 30 percent of all prescription drugs. Older Americans take an average of three to five medications not including over-the-counter products.

Ask at the desk for a copy of the Beers Criteria List and be sure and discuss the findings with your doctors.


This newsletter from the Colorado Geological Survey covers Colorado Avalanche information and a history of the Avalanche Information Center. Our own Mark Mueller's picture is on the cover.

The history covers the period from 1860 to 2004. Total known deaths are 643. It behooves us all to know more about this potential threat as avalanches are a hazard for anyone who lives in or travels through the mountains of Colorado.


Thanks for financial help for our building fund from Virginia Sheets, Rowena Adamson, Fran and Fred Shelton, the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation, Friends of the Library, Gene and Juanita Bilberry, Ethel and Don Rasnic in memory of Helen Gallegos Tabor. Thanks for materials from David Hibner, Julie Gates, Janet Rohrer, B. Ann and Don Luffel, and Dianne Gould.


Chamber News

Out-of-towners find us 'unbelievably friendly'

By Sally Hamiester

SUN Columnist

Let's begin this week in fine fashion with a very positive, complimentary letter from some folks who just visited with us in July.

These new fans were in from Colorado Springs and among the many amazing comments in their letter, were that "Pagosa Springs was beautiful inside and out" and "the residents are unbelievably friendly!"

Instead of their planned one trip into town, they came in three times and "were repeatedly amazed by the generosity and kindness of the people we encountered."

They ended the letter with this lovely observation: "It is rare to find a 'tourist town' that can also pride themselves on incredible residents." Take time right now to congratulate yourselves on being part of a community perceived in such a remarkably positive way.

Library private book sale

You must attend this event for me and buy many wonderful books, eat the great food and schmooze with neighbors. The Friends of the Library will hold their annual meeting and private book sale tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 16, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Extension Building.

I don't quite know how I will get through the next year without the stash I always purchase at this sale, but I guess I'll have to come to grips with the reality of it all. I assure you that you will 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 a.m. with barbecue and kids' games.

The food court will feature Hispanic food, hamburgers, hot dogs and brats. Along with all the food and fun, you will be able to purchase your very own Duck Race T-shirt for only $5. That is quite the amazing price for any piece of clothing these days.

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

Don't forget to pick up your ticket for the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Home and Garden Tour this Sunday, Aug. 15.

It is a great opportunity to see some truly beautiful Pagosa homes and gardens, and you can do it at your own pace. It's self-guided so you can map out exactly how you want to tour the five homes between the hours of 1 and 5 p.m.

Just so you have some idea, the homes are located in the areas of South Pagosa Boulevard, Meadows, Chris Mountain Ranch and Pagosa Lakes. 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. Please call Marti at 731-9770 or the gallery at 264-5020 with questions.

HSPS animal auction

Remember that Friday, Aug. 27, 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.

Memory Walk

It's a little early yet, but we just want you to save the date for the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk to be held Saturday, Sept. 11, in Town Park beginning at 11 a.m.

To get information about forming a team, incentives and schedules, contact Ernie or Diane locally at 731-4330 or They are hoping for a terrific turnout on their first event in Pagosa and invite you all to join them in "Taking steps to end Alzheimer's."


As much as I hate to admit it, I made a mistake last week that I would like to correct this week. Teena Roemer joined us last week with Video Works located at 266 North 5th Street. I failed to include Teena's phone number, 759-2639. I'm so sorry Teena, and feel free to take me to task at any time.

Just in time for Friday the 13th, I am happy to report that we have 13 renewals to crow about this week and will do just that.

We are delighted to renew Greg Schick with Sunset Ranch Cabins; Dawn Ross with Pagosa Auto Parts, Inc.; Melinda S. Short with Doors and More; Linda Delyria and Guy Gervais with The Tile Store; Larry Johnson with Johnson Builders; Jon Reed with Sportsman's Supply Campground and Cabins; Ralph Frank with both Subway locations; Walter Lukasik with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association; Faye and Gary Bramwell with Astraddle A Saddle, Inc.; George Meyers with Duckwall ALCO Department Store; Jean Taylor with the San Juan Historical Society, Inc.; Susan Durkee with Pagosa Nursery Company and Judy Smith with the 160 West Adult R.V. Park.


Veteran's Corner

House approves new veteran home loan bill

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted on a bill that would allow veterans better access to realizing the American dream of home ownership.

Brown-Waite's bill, H.R. 4345, passed the House with wide bi-partisan support.

Increased guarantee

The VA home loan guarantee program is currently capped at $240,000, but this bill increased the maximum home loan by indexing it to the Freddie Mac conforming loan rate (currently $333,700). This not only increases the veterans' housing benefit to an amount more realistic for today's housing market, it also allows the benefit to increase as the housing market continues to rise.

Soaring house prices

"Housing prices currently rise by a national average of 8 percent every year," Brown-Waite commented. "Veterans defended and served the entire nation; the value of their housing benefit should not vary depending on their local housing market, nor should it stagnate while housing prices soar."

The bill is actually forecast to save taxpayer dollars by generating additional revenue. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the bill will save $39 million in 2005 and $208 million over five years. Since the loans available to veterans will increase substantially, the revenue generated by points will also increase.

Veteran supported

Congress members testified along with representative from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion on behalf of the bill in the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. The bill was reported favorably out of the committee and brought to a vote of the full House where it passed. The bill now needs Senate approval and the president's signature to become public law.

Not a direct loan

The purpose of the VA loan guaranty program is to help veterans and active duty personnel finance the purchase of homes with competitive loan terms and interest rates. The VA does not actually lend the money to veterans. VA guaranteed loans are made by private lenders, such as banks, saving and loans, or mortgage companies. The VA guaranty means the lender is protected against loss if the veteran fails to repay the loan.

Application for the Home Loan Guarantee program can be made at this office with a simple one-page form. VA processing time is usually within a few weeks.

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

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


Arts Line

D. Michael Coffee's kiln-fired

ceramics on a higher plateau

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs Artist, D. Michael Coffee, is up to his elbows in clay.

His newly renovated Shy Rabbit Ceramic Studio is complete with two gas kilns he painstakingly designed and built himself. His unique stoneware and porcelain creations are all one-of-a-kind, finely crafted works, appealing to collectors throughout the world.

Through years of labor-intensive trial and error, he has honed his skills to an expert level and, as a result, he is able to trust in his own abilities and not dwell on self-conscious technique that could hamper his intuitive flow.

Coffee considers himself a "facilitator" when it comes to ceramics, as he gathers the materials, creates the work and then gives it over to the kiln to complete and transform into art. Coffee often incorporates Portland cement, wood-ash, local clay and feldspar into his creatively inspired work. He recently discovered an "illusive yellow-ash glaze" to add to his inventory of existing Shino, Tenmoku and wood-ash glazes.

Coffee fires all of his work to Cone-10, or 2,350 degrees. Firing at an elevation of 7,200 feet in an oxygen-starved atmosphere tests the limits of the clay and oxides used in his glazes, and has a dramatic effect on the outcome.

"I strive to work intuitively," Coffee said. "For me, the challenge is to let go of predetermined understanding and foresight, and to work at developing my instincts." He prefers to abandon the conventional for the thrill of the investigation. "I need to be surprised and actually welcome variability and naturally occurring obstacles. I enjoy forcing limits so that unusual results can occur. I never profess to fully controlling my work, as it is created by the extremes within the kiln. I see inherent beauty in the commonly misunderstood flaw. I believe in the aesthetic concept of Wabi Sabi or the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, incomplete, natural, and unconventional."

Coffee is well known for his exquisite Tea Bowls (also known as "Chawan"), which are widely collected by Tea Instructors and Practitioners. The Tea Bowl composition and the complexity involved in creating infinitely varying shapes and forms that must meet rarely attainable functional requirements is what intrigues him. Coffee is also known for his loosely formed vases, gestural bottles, and his soulful Tea Ceremony wares.

His recent work has taken a more sculptural direction, in the form of colorful stacked compositions and closed-forms that range from two to six feet in height. View a sampling of his work at

Coffee's work will be on display at the Lakewood Cultural Center, North Gallery, Lakewood, Colo., Aug. 23-Sept. 24, in a solo exhibition of ceramics and monoprints entitled, "Place of Mind; Works by D. Michael Coffee." For additional information, call (303) 987-7876. Coffee's Shy Rabbit Ceramic Studio is, 333 Bastille Drive, Pagosa Springs, Colo. (970) 731-2766. Please call for an appointment.

Home, garden tour

Get your tickets now for the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Home and Garden Tour 2004. This popular event sells out quickly. Tickets are now available at the gallery in Town Park, Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books, and WolfTracks. Tickets are $8 for PSAC members and $10 for nonmembers, and entitle the bearer to a tour of five homes and gardens with refreshments.

The tour is noon-5 p.m. Sunday and is self-guided with driving directions and information on each home found on the tickets. Each home has spectacular views of the mountains, valleys and lakes, and each has its own style of furnishings and décor. Favorable weather conditions have produced some of the best flowers seen in awhile and the gardens are quite colorful. This year, all of the selected homes are west and south of Piedra Road. Participants are encouraged to share a ride to ease traffic and parking.

The gallery in Town Park will be open 10 a.m.-noon Sunday to sell any remaining tickets for the tour.

Proceeds from this fund-raiser support the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and art and cultural programs for the community.

Artist opportunities

The first Juried Painting and Drawing Show at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council is scheduled 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 watermedia, 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-by-40, 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 on 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 on 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.

Judge's awards will be announced at a 5-7 p.m. reception for the artists Thursday, Sept. 2, at the gallery. A peoples' 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 and posted on the PSAC Web site at

Ongoing workshops

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

Upcoming workshops

Botanical Art and Drawing with Cynthia Padilla has been cancelled.

"Poems of the Brush" with Sharri Lou Casey, a five-day workshop in plein air, with studio painting at Blanco Dove, will take place Sept. 13-17. Sharri Lou Casey is a dancer, choreographer and costume designer who retired at the age of 30 from that career 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.

The retreat will include 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


Through Aug. 31 - Watercolor exhibit with Denny Rose, Ginnie Bartlett and Students

Today - Photo club, 5:30 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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


The Bills, RubberBand and Barra McNeils confirmed for folk festival

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

Tickets are going fast for the ninth annual Four Corners Folk Festival, but not to worry - you've still got three weeks left to take advantage of the advanced price discount.

This year's musical lineup is fantastic, featuring some of the best vocalists and instrumentalists on the acoustic scene today. The three-day event takes place over Labor Day weekend, this year Sept. 3-5, on Reservoir Hill.

The Bills (formerly the Bill Hilly Band) made their awesome debut at the Four Corners Folk Festival last year. The five young Canucks were stunned when the audience literally would not let them leave the stage before performing three encores. They'll be back to perform twice on the main stage (Friday at 5:15 and Sunday at 3:15) and once on the late night summit stage (Saturday at 10 p.m.) this year.

The five young men who make up the Bills hail from British Columbia's beautiful coast. They share a common purpose: to play timeless acoustic music with a passionate flair. From a mélange of European stylings to the rhythms of Latin America, the Bills have forged a kind of sophisticated, down-home music all their own. Audiences from Copenhagen to Cortes Island have thrilled to the Bills' blend of choreographed on-stage antics and infectiously danceable music. Whether it's blistering, Brazilian mandolin melodies and the hilarious use of random objects (a mandolin solo with a candelabra?), breathtaking, virtuosic two-fiddle flights, or outrageously exotic bowed banjo solos, the Bills are a musical and visual joy to behold.

Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand is making its fifth showing at the festival this year. The band's acoustic sound is a crossover style that is fresh and unlike any other. By blending elements of rock, country, folk, pop, bluegrass and jazz with the creative songwriting of Ryan Shupe, the band creates its own unique genre of music. The RubberBand features Ryan Shupe on lead vocals, fiddle, mandolin and guitar; Colin Botts on bass; Roger Archibald on guitar; Craig Miner on banjo, bouzouki, guitar and mandolin; and Bart Olson on drums. Garnering national and international radio airplay, the band won the 1997 Telluride National Band competition, was voted Best Bluegrass Band three years running by the Salt Lake City Weekly readers' poll and has appeared on CNN, E! Television and National Public Radio's syndicated program High Plains News Service. Ryan and the boys will take the stage at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4.

The Barra MacNeils have never played in this area of the country before, but by all accounts the band is poised to take the Four Corners audience by storm with its high-energy Cape Breton-style music. Sheumas, Kyle, Stewart and Lucy, the MacNeil siblings, grew up in the heart of Celtic tradition in Sydney Mines on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Along with all the extracurricular activities of any normal family, the MacNeil kids learned Celtic dancing from their mother and took the music lessons that formed the basis of their renown.

Whether it was at church dances or other public outings, the music of the MacNeils was certain to be the focal point of the evening. The Barras have performed as Canada's Celtic ambassadors in Scotland, England, Denmark, Germany and the United States, earning a Group of the Year award at the East Coast Music Awards, and a Juno nomination for Roots/Traditional Group of the Year for their most recent album Racket in the Attic. There are two opportunities to catch this dynamic group: Saturday at 2:15 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., both on the main stage.

Tickets to the Four Corners Folk Festival are on sale locally at Moonlight Books and WolfTracks Coffee & Books through Sept. 1 and also are available with a credit card online at or by calling (731-5582. After Sept. 1 tickets will be available at the gate.

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.

There are still a few volunteer positions available to individuals 21 and over; if interested please call 731-5582. The Four Corners Folk Festival is produced by FolkWest Inc., a locally-based non-profit organization and is supported in part by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts.


Community center's second anniversary

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

Did you miss the recent Music Boosters extravaganza, "The Hills are Alive ...!"?

Fret no more. On Friday, Aug. 20, three of the top performers from that show will repeat their numbers at the community center.

The occasion is to celebrate the second anniversary of the center and to honor the volunteers who make its operation possible.

Those who caught the Booster's event will remember the performances of John Nash Putnam, Oteka Bernard and Veronica Zeiler and will appreciate the chance to hear them again.

But that's not all: The Ladies Barber Shop Quartet will also perform a selection for the enjoyment of all.

Still, that's not all. The anniversary celebration will include dinner with barbecue chicken provided. To make this a true community event, everyone is asked to bring a favorite side dish or dessert to share with their neighbors.

Dining will be to the sounds of Father John Bowe on the organ and John Graves on the piano. It is thanks to people of the community that the center has both an organ and a piano.

The evening's festivities will take place 5:30-8:30 p.m.

The anniversary will mark another important event. Jan Brookshier, member of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition since its inception, will launch a new organization - Friends of the Community Center.

The staff of the center and the coalition are seeking individuals in the community who would like to see the center flourish, either by volunteering their time or their ideas about programs, events, fund-raising, publicity, etc. The center is working on an interesting list of benefits to bestow upon new and old Friends.

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

For more information, call 264-4152.


A brief look at the homes on Sunday's PSAC tour

By Marti Capling

Special to The PREVIEW

A blue heron might not be an everyday sight in Pagosa Springs and neither is a lighthouse, but both can be seen on the shore of the lake house belonging to Jere and Lois Hill.

This home, built for John Cameron Swayze of Timex fame, is just one of the homes offered on the fourth annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Home and Garden Tour noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15.

Along with an interesting arrangement of rooms, including an elaborate electric train area, this home has a beautiful lakeside patio and yard, complete with a pond and waterfall.

Flower gardens line the driveway leading to Don and Barbara Jacobs' mountain-style home off South Pagosa Boulevard. This three-story home truly reflects the skills and interests of the owners, as they've been involved in every step of the home construction process. Special features include open ceilings, pine floors, sun room, loft, lovely antiques and wonderful mountain views from the spacious deck.

Farther down South Pagosa is the contemporary hilltop home of Jerry and Lillian Smith, offering spectacular views of both mountains and valleys. This is also a custom home in which the owners were totally involved in both the design and construction. The formal portion of the home reflects an oriental influence, while the trophy room and the Crow's Nest reflect other special interests.

In the Meadows area the adobe Santa Fe style home of Dick and Gerry Potticary is surrounded by a fenced area for horses and a fenced side yard and flower gardens. The interior features stained glass windows by Gerry and wood carvings by Dick, antiques, a unique stairway and a carousel horse.

The traditional log home of Bob and Flo Pacharzina in Chris Mountain Ranch is filled with antique furnishings and family heirlooms, including a fainting couch. The wraparound porch will serve as the refreshment center for the tour. Participants can enjoy the lawn, rock gardens and views of Pagosa Peak and the east range.

Ticket costs are $8 for PSAC members and $10 for non members, available at the arts center gallery in Town Park, the Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books, and WolfTracks. For those last-minute shoppers, tickets will be available at the gallery 10 a.m.-noon Sunday.

All proceeds go to the arts council to continue and expand the classes, programs and exhibits designed to promote the arts in Archuleta County.


Food for Thought

Finicky eaters - they're not right in the head

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

Finicky eaters.

They deserve all the trouble we can give them.

Granted, there are kids who are finicky eaters, and they should be exempt from judgment until they have a chance to expand their horizons. With few exceptions (I was one - I'm told I would eat anything) children go through stages where they are willing to put certain foods in their mouths and not others, experience certain tastes and reject others.

Then, there are adults whose equipment has malfunctioned, whose systems cannot abide foods too sour, too rich, etc. There are also those poor souls who, with a blowout looming, restrict their intake of salt.

With the rest - adults who are just plain finicky - we must go on the offensive.

Admit it: It's a pain to dine with them. I'm sure some are fine folks, though I can't imagine they're interesting to engage in conversation. They are, after all, not right in the head.

Face it: It's a sign of mental imbalance when, confronting something generations of consumers have proven edible and desirable, you greet it with "Oooooh, ick. I can't eat that!"

And it's a sign of incurable goofiness to refuse to eat something you've never tried.

That's finicky.

That's my sister, Karen. To show the depth of my conviction and to illustrate the proper handling of the finicky eater, let me use her as an example.

I learned about finicky eaters by observing my sister as we grew up together. I learned to deal with finicky eaters by torturing her.

It's OK, she's not right in the head.

She was always finicky. Something in the double helix got bent when sperm met egg. She was on the fast track to finicky from the womb on, running at top rpm on a freeway with only one exit: Dullsville.

Why do I say she's finicky? Her diet mainstay, from age 5 to adulthood: St. Joseph baby aspirin.

While I was trying out new foods as a kid, experimenting in the kitchen like a mad scientist, she was snacking on baby aspirin. That's all she ate, as far as anyone could tell. She was the paradigm of picky. My antithesis.

For example: I'd belly up to the stove after a day of failing to pay attention at school, and concoct my favorite melange. I'd pop open a can of pork and beans, heat the contents in a small frying pan, slice a couple hot dogs into the beans then cube up half a brick of Velveeta and toss the cubes in. When the industrial-strength, simulated cheese product melted and amalgamated with the runny sweet bean ooze a food miracle occurred and, like all miracles, it was ephemeral. I had to chow down fast while the mess was still warm; once it started to cool, it set up like plaster of paris.

I remember Karen watching me from the doorway, her eyes wide open, a deer caught in the headlights, a witness to unspeakable horror.

"Want some?" I'd ask, extending a spoonful of rust-orange glop in her direction. She would flee screaming to her bedroom where she'd discover yet another decapitated Barbie.

Karen had no chance to be normal: She learned everything she knew about eating from my mother, Louie, whose idea of fine dining was two cans of Metrecal and a pack of Pepperidge Farm Capri cookies. My mother once took a case of Metrecal with her to Europe, so she wouldn't starve while everyone else ate at the best restaurants in the world.

Here's the truly irritating thing about my sister and other finicky eaters. They know how disgusted we are with their behavior and they try to placate us. If they'd simply fade into the woodwork, all would be well. But, no.

My sister still makes poignant efforts to appear to be a regular person.

When we speak on the phone, Karen will toss off a remark about food, make a comment about the lamb she's roasting or the fish she bought at the dockside market near her home in Maui.

She's fibbing, yanking my chain. I can hear the crunch crunch crunch in the background as she wolfs down another mouthful of aspirin. She pretends to cough, but I know what's going on.

It's a sad spectacle, but I figure as long as I don't have to dine with her, as long as she lives on Maui and I live here, things are all right.

Unfortunately, the other day I get a call from my brother, Kurt.

"It's Karen's birthday next week."

"Yes, I know. She's had one every August since she was born."

"She's turning 50. Big day for her, Karl. Big enough to bring her from the islands to Denver."

"Hmmm. Does she want gifts? Can I mail something?"

"She wants to have a family get-together. A big party, with dinner."

"Can't make it."

"Karl, we haven't been together for years. She's turning 50. You and I can work up some great food. We'll have a wonderful time."

"Can't make it."

"Listen, it's only a five-hour drive, and"

"She's a picky eater, Kurt. You know how I feel about picky eaters, even if it's my little sister. Can't make it."

"She's changed."

"Oh yeah? Will she eat chicharrone?"

"I think she would."

"Blackhearted liar. Menudo?"

"Yeah, why not?"

"Fat chance. Would she eat raw sea urchin."


"You're delusional. Seared foie gras?"

"Yes, I think so."

"OK, wise guy. Would she eat pork and beans, sliced hot dogs and Velveeta?"

It feels good to win.

It's a Pyrrhic victory, however. Kathy, and what little conscience I possess, force me to Denver.

When Karen greets me, she hugs me. Her face is close to mine. There it is: the distinct, sour odor of St. Joseph Baby Aspirin.

"I think she's changed, bro."

"A clever job of acting, Kurt. She's finicky. Always has been, always will be. I told you, they can't change. Ever. We need to isolate them, perhaps give them their own state."

"No, really, she came over to the stove and pointed out"

"She's been reading. She can tell you everything you need to know about a childproof cap, but she doesn't know a saucepan from a blender. Ask her the diff between a sauté and a sweat and she's lost. I say we take her kids to the basement and force them to tell us the truth."

Karen and I chat and she puts up a good front. Finicky eaters are sneaky. Sure enough, she tosses off comments about roasted lamb and goes into her spiel about fish. As she talks, there it is again, on her breath: The subtle tang of acetylsalicylic acid and artificial orange flavoring.

My first urge is to drive home, but Kurt convinces me the spectacle of the finicky eater trapped in unbearable circumstances will be entertaining. He reminds me: We have a duty to make the finicky eater's life miserable.

We decide to keep the meal simple: burgers and sausages on the grill; Olathe sweet corn; fresh, ice-cold Rocky Ford cantaloupe. For the burgers, a Maytag and garlic mayonnaise. We'll make some coleslaw some green salad, fetch some tidbits to nibble on prior to dinner. And bottles of wine, three or four white, three or four red, including a Malbec or two for the burgers and bleu.

Here is where my sister makes her mistake. All finicky eaters screw up sooner or later.

"What kind of sausage are you guys grilling?"

Kurt tells her we'll stop at the Polish deli, assess the contents of the meat counter and bring home a prize or two.

"Oooh, ick. I can't eat that."


Then she doubles the error. Once they stumble, they fall.

"Why don't you go to the natural foods market and find some chicken sausage. That'll be great."

Yahtzee! The cat is out of the bag - out of the bag, onto the street and run down by a Buick.

I am vindicated. Now, all that is left is the torture.

We find some soft, gray, chicken sausages at the natural foods market. (The joint is teeming with finicky eaters).

Then we hit the Polish meat market down the road and ask piercing questions of the butcher. This guy is definitely not finicky. He's wearing a bowling shirt with his name stitched on the pocket. There's grease on everything.

"What's that one, the big one at the back?"

"Like pork sausage, but dry."

"Slice me half a pound. What's that red one over there?"

"Like pork sausage, only dry."

"Half pound of that one too, Lazlo. How about the long one coiled up in the corner like a python?"

"Like pork sausage, only drier."

Next up, a Vietnamese bakery. Not for party goods, but for lunch. Nobody finicky here. Vietnamese subs, with pate and thinly sliced meats on a fresh baguette, the stack garnished with cilantro and assorted green crunchies, dosed with hot sauce.

We go in search of hors d'oeuvres and strike paydirt at a tiny cheese shop on Sixth Avenue. The joint is run by two cheese geeks - odd, but not finicky. They wear shirts with "Fromage, s'il vous plait" stenciled on the chest. They love to give customers samples, so we spend 40 minutes in the joint chewing on 10 exotic cheeses. We purchase nice wedges of three, including a remarkable northern Italian pavia, made from cow's milk. We snag a mix of olives highlighted by a great picholine, and a tub of vinegary cornichons.

We are solid, and ready to put the squeeze on the Princess of Picky.

I fan the slices of meat on a platter and put each wedge of cheese on its own plate with a cheese knife parked nearby. My brother has infused a high-grade extra-virgin olive oil with herbs and we cube breads for dipping.

It's the acid test, and Karen flunks soundly. She creeps up next to the hors d'oeuvres table, her little plate in hand.

"Well," I say. "A gastronome like you will be knocked out by this spread. Can I serve you some of these meats?" Heh heh.

The blood drains from her face.

"Oh, I've already tried them. Mmmm, mmm."


"Come on. With a sensibility as refined as yours, you gotta want a couple more pieces. I pick up a piece of the red sausage, (according to Lazlo it is like pork sausage but drier), and dangle it in front of her mouth.

"I better not. I don't want to ruin dinner." She is beginning to sweat.

"Well, this goat cheese with truffle won't ruin anything. I'm telling you, this is one of the best I've had in a long while. Let me put a bit on a piece of baguette for you."

She is near panic. She knows her gig is up. She has one last card up her sleeve. She whirls and shouts: "Erica, what did I tell you. Don't let that dog lick your face. Oh, geeez, these kids, what are you going to do with them? I'll be right back for some of that cheese. Looks deeeeelish."

It's sad. Her daughter is upstairs, watching a movie with a cousin; there's not a dog in sight.

"Don't leave without cornichon." Heh heh.

Get the picture?

Taunting a picky eater is a moral duty. If you know one, invite them over. Prepare foods you know they can't force themselves to eat. Let them know you are on to them, then press them relentlessly. Watch them squirm. Blood sausage is always a fine place to start.

Fortunately, the noxious presence of a picky eater at the party is soundly negated by the gusto shown by other diners. My daughter, Aurora, alone, obliterates any ill effects as she plows through the Polish meat products like a thresher through a field of ripe wheat.

Karen makes a point to sit as far down the table from my brother and me as she can. She's finished, revealed for all to see and to shame. We sit at the table in my brother's back yard, staring at her during the meal, offering to pass her various foods throughout the affair, listening to excuses that grow weaker by the moment.

By the time we're ready to serve the cake (she called from Maui and ordered her old, utterly bland favorite from Child's Pastry) it's getting dark. Our work is done. We toss back some port as Karen opens her cards and gifts. We can barely see to the other end of the table.

But we know she's there. Finicky eaters never go away.

We hear the crunch, crunch, crunch somewhere out there, in the darkness.

Our work is never done.


Cruising with Cruse

For a dunkee, the first drop is the hardest

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

When Carrie Toth recruited me last year to be in the dunking booth at this year's Archuleta County Fair, I said yes. How hard could it be? Especially after she promised me that THIS YEAR the water would be warm, and THIS YEAR the stint on the seat would be for half an hour, providing there were enough volunteers.

So last Friday I joined the ranks of such local notables as Donnie Volger, Warren Grams, Jim Sawicki, Kitzel Farrah and a bunch of others.

It's easy to make a promise when the event is months off in the future. As the days got close, however, I found myself contemplating afternoon thunderstorms, with their high wind and cold rain. I made a list of what to haul along to the fairgrounds: swimsuit, dry change of clothes, a sweater or maybe a fleece jacket, sneakers to trudge over the rocky path from the parking lot, sandals to wear afterward, a rain jacket. And possibly the wet suit I sometimes wear rafting.

I dithered about the wet suit. Would they think I was a wimp? Would anyone even notice? I obsessed over my hair, which is growing out. Should I take a comb? Should I wear a bathing cap? Which swimsuit should I wear, the one that covered things up or the one that bared all? They both let the cellulite show, so vanity had no place.

I fretted about everything imaginable, most of it totally insignificant.

The morning of my day for the event, I lay in bed, wondering if maybe I could get real sick real fast. The dunking booth - what was I thinking?

But when Carrie called, like the grim reaper, to remind me of my appointed time, I said I'd be there.

Actually I was there much earlier, with plenty of time to wander around and admire the exhibits in the hall. The quilts were beautiful, but my favorite entries were the faces made out of vegetable parts. Even though they were a little wilted.

A big hit with the kids was a bungee jump contraption. The kids were strapped into harnesses and suspended from some high metal frame over trampoline-like bouncy surfaces. If they got really flying they could even do somersaults in the air. But not all made it. The ones who didn't actively work at it gradually lost their bounce until they just hung in the air. Then the attendant would reach up, grab a hanging piece of harness, and give a mighty pull to get them started again.

I made the political rounds, got the cell phone pitch and declined any food before my stint at the dunking booth. And finally it was time.

Dick Babilis, the victim - er, dunkee - before me showed me how to raise the seat and click the mechanism into place. He warned me to keep my feet below me and try to land on them and not on my tailbone. He climbed out and I took his place.

The dunking booth seat, which looks like a very short diving board, is made of smooth dense white plastic, and it slopes ever so slightly downward. You feel as though you're going to slide forward right off the end, especially when it's wet.

There I perched, looking down at the water, wondering where to put my hands.

If I held on to the seat I might screw up a fall and hurt something. If I didn't hold on, I might slide off the end and hurt something.

The first drop is the hardest, because you don't know what to expect. But with each throw there's the anticipation of dropping, a gasp as the ball misses, or a stifled gasp as you hit the water.

I'm sorry to say that no hunters, outfitters or dog lovers showed up to try their aim and send me splashing. But there were a lot of kids. My favorite was a small boy who never said an audible word but indicated to his father that he wanted to try. Dad paid $2 for six throws. Ronnie Doctor, who was taking the money, positioned the kid about four feet from the round white target, and he hit it several times, but never hard enough to release the seat. Dad shelled out another buck. Three more misses.

Since nobody was waiting in line behind him, Ronnie kept saying, "Go ahead. Try again." Thanks, Ronnie. Time after time the little boy tossed, and I continued to sit there above him, air drying.

Then some other would-be dunkers showed up to try. Ronnie said the little boy could take three more shots. And wouldn't you know, on his very last shot he finally connected, and down I went. The water splashed over him. His mouth dropped open and his eyes got very wide. (I didn't see it, of course, as I was under water, but everyone else did.) I hope it made his trip to the fair memorable.

Maybe that little boy will turn out like the next one, a visiting grandchild from Texas, who has an arm like a future major league pitcher. His first five shots hit the mark hard, and I was getting a little tired of splashing in and climbing out. Ronnie moved him a little farther back with each shot, just to see if he could keep it up. For the sixth try, he must have been halfway to the livestock tent, and he finally missed.

Finally came the very welcome words, "You have five minutes left." And soon my shift was over. The weather had cooperated, with no storm downdraft until later in the evening. The dunking pool water was pleasantly warm. There was a bruise on my elbow, but other than that, I was in good shape. All in all, it was a good experience.

Besides, you can do anything for half an hour, right?


Extension Viewpoints

Voles can destroy seedlings, trees and field crops; here's tips for controlling them

By Bill Nobles

Preview Columnist

Quick facts about managing voles in Colorado:

- Eight species of voles are found in Colorado. They often are called meadow, field or pine mice.

- Voles are small mammals that cause damage by girdling seedling and mature trees in orchards, shelterbelts and forests. They also damage field crops and frequently construct runways in lawns.

- Damage by voles can be reduced by habitat modification, exclusion, repellents, trapping and poison grain baits.

Voles are small rodents that measure 4 to 8.5 inches long, weigh 0.8 to 3 ounces and vary in color from brown to gray. They are pudgy, with blunt faces and small eyes, small and sometimes inconspicuous ears, short legs, and a short and scantily haired tail (the long-tailed vole is an exception).

The eight species are distributed widely throughout various ecosystems of the state. They often are found in heavy ground cover of grasses, grasslike plants, and litter. Southern red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) are found in moist and well-developed coniferous forests. They are most abundant in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) stands, usually between 8,000 and 11,000 feet.

Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) primarily occur along the Front Range and south central Colorado. They tend to live in or near damp marshy areas or wet meadows. Montane voles (Microtus montanus) primarily are found in the western half of Colorado in moist meadows and valleys and in grassy areas from 6,000 feet to above timberline. Long-tailed voles (Microtus longicaudus) occur just below 5,000 feet elevation to above timberline in the western half of Colorado. They are most abundant in streamside meadows.

Mexican voles (Microtus mexicanus) are associated with grassy areas of Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests of southwest Colorado in Mesa Verde National Park. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are found along streams and irrigated lands in northeastern Colorado. Sagebrush voles (Lemmiscus curtatus) occupy the driest of all vole habitats in Colorado. They occur between 5,000 and 9,000 feet in the northwest. Heather voles (Phenacomys intermedius) are found from 7,000 to 12,000 feet in the forested mountains of central Colorado. They occupy a variety of habitats but are most abundant along streams.

Voles eat a variety of grasses, forbs and agricultural crops. They also eat bark on trees and shrubs, especially during fall and winter.

Biology, reproduction, behavior

Voles are active day and night throughout the year and do not hibernate. They usually live between two and 16 months. Their home ranges usually are less than 1/4 acre and vary with season, food supply and population density. Voles construct many surface runways and underground tunnels with numerous burrow entrances. A single burrow may contain several adults and young. Population densities of voles vary from species to species. Large population fluctuations that range from 14 to 500 voles per acre are common. Their numbers generally peak every three to five years. Population is influenced by dispersal, food quality, climate, predation, physiological stress, and genetics.

Voles have three to six young per litter and three to 12 litters per year. Their gestation period ranges from 20 to 23 days and they breed almost year around, although most reproduction occurs in spring, summer and fall. Females may become pregnant at 3 weeks of age.

Damage and control

Voles can cause extensive damage to forests, orchards and ornamental plants by girdling trees and shrubs. They prefer the bark of young trees but will attack any tree, regardless of age, when food is scarce. Monitor orchards frequently so control measures can be implemented before appreciable damage occurs. Most damage occurs in the winter when voles move through their grass runways under the protection of snow. The greatest damage seems to coincide with years of heavy snowfall.

Damage to crops, such as alfalfa, clover, potatoes, carrots, beets and turnips, is common and most evident when voles are at high population levels. Runways and tunnel systems constructed in agricultural fields can divert irrigation water. Voles often damage lawns and golf courses by constructing runways and burrow systems.

Vole damage to trees and shrubs is characterized by girdling and patches of irregular patterns of gnaw marks about 1/16- to 1/8-inch wide. Gnawed stems may have a pointed tip. Do not confuse vole damage with damage by rabbits, which includes stems clipped at a smooth 45-degree angle and wider gnaw marks. Stems browsed by deer usually have a rough jagged edge. Voles also girdle the roots of trees and shrubs.

Other signs of damage by voles include:

1) 1- to 2-inch wide runways through matted grass and burrows;

2) visual sightings;

3) hawks circling overhead and diving into fields;

4) spongy soil from burrowing activity. Trees that appear to suffer from disease or insect infestation may be suffering from unseen vole damage.

Methods to prevent and control damage are habitat management, exclusion, repellents, trapping, and poison grain baits. Voles are classified as non-game wildlife in Colorado and may be captured or killed when they create a nuisance or cause property damage.

Habitat management

Elimination of ground cover of weeds and tall grasses by frequent and close mowing, tilling, or herbicide application is the most successful and longest lasting method to reduce vole damage to orchards. This will diminish the amount of available habitat and reduce their numbers. Prunings left in orchards prevent proper mowing and provide a temporary food source, which may lead to damage by voles. Planting short grasses that do not mat or lodge, such as buffalo grass, blue grama, or dwarf fescues, will provide little protective cover and may reduce vole numbers.

Meadow voles are active during the day within their runways under thick grass and vegetation. Summer removal of vegetation (to within 2 feet of trunks of fruit trees) provides some protection because voles avoid exposed areas.

Damage to lawns can be reduced by close mowing in the fall before snow arrives and by mowing and removing tall grassy cover near lawns. To repair damage to lawns from runway construction, rake, fertilize and water the affected area. Close mowing and weed control in grassy borders adjacent to agricultural crops will reduce the habitat for voles and should reduce damage. If suitable, plant crown vetch (a legume unpalatable to voles) in orchard and field boundaries to reduce vole populations.

Important predators of voles are short-tailed shrews, badgers, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, barn owls, great horned owls, long-eared owls, short-eared owls, barred owls, screech owls, and some snakes. Predators will not likely keep an orchard vole-free, but they can help reduce the vole population. Orchardists should tolerate predators and protect them if they do not constitute a pest problem.


To protect against vole damage, encircle young trees and shrubs with 1/4-inch mesh hardware cloth or 3-inch diameter Vexar plastic-mesh cylinders. This barrier should project 18 inches above the ground and 3 to 6 inches below the surface.


Only a few repellents, including thiram and hot sauce (capsaicin), are manufactured to protect trees, shrubs and vegetable crops from voles. Little data are available on the effectiveness of repellents to deter vole damage. However, in one study thiram was reported to reduce damage to apple stems by 78 percent. A 20-percent solution of chicken eggs in water has been effective in reducing deer and elk browsing and may reduce damage by voles.

Thiram is manufactured by various companies and sold under various trade names. Products such as Nott Chew-Not Animal Repellent (Nott Manufacturing Co.), Bonide Rabbit-Deer Repellent (Bonide Chemical Co.), and Science Deer and Rabbit Repellent (Miller Chemical and Fertilizer Corp.) are labeled for protecting tree seedlings, shrubs, ornamental plantings, nursery stock, and fruit trees from voles. Most labels limit the use of thiram on fruit trees to the dormant season. Scram 42-S (Wilbur-Ellis Co.) and Gustafson 42-S (Gustafson, Inc.) are labeled for protecting pine seeds from voles.

Capsaicin (Hot Sauce Animal Repellent, Miller Chemical and Fertilizer Corp.) is labeled for use on ornamental trees and shrubs, fruit and nut trees, fruit bushes and vines, and nursery stock to protect them from vole damage. Limit application to fruit-bearing plants before fruit sets or after the fruit is harvested. Hot Sauce also is registered for use on beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, peas, brussels sprouts, squash, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, and cauliflower before edible portions and/or heads begin to form.

Predator odors, such as the urine from red foxes and coyotes, also may be effective vole repellents. These odors are not commercially manufactured, but fox and coyote urines can be purchased from some trapper supply houses.


Use mouse snap traps to remove small populations of voles from backyard lawns. Place traps perpendicular to runways with the trigger end in the runway and bait with small amounts of rolled oats or peanut butter. Set traps in the fall before most damage occurs. Trapping is not practical for controlling voles on large areas.

Poison grain baits

Rodenticides usually are a short-term solution to damage by voles. Habitat management usually is more successful than rodenticides for eliminating damage in orchards. Two percent zinc phosphide is the only legal grain bait for controlling voles in Colorado. Zinc phosphide baits are available in pellet form (Bell Laboratories' ZP Rodent Bait AG, Chempar's Ridall Zinc) on oats (Bell Laboratories' ZP Rodent Bait AG, USDA/APHIS/ADC Zinc Phosphide on steam-rolled oats) and on corn (Hopkin's Zinc Phosphide Bait).

One study indicated that pelleted zinc phosphide baits provide greater control of voles than zinc phosphide placed on oats or corn. Most of these baits are labeled for use in orchards and groves, nurseries, ornamental and non-bearing fruit trees, grape vineyards, and non-crop areas such as lawns, ornamentals, golf courses, and parks.

The labeled method of application varies somewhat among manufacturers. However, most of these products are labeled for hand baiting, broadcast baiting, and/or trailbuilder baiting in orchards and groves, nurseries, and ornamental and non-bearing fruit trees. In grape vineyards, these products are labeled for broadcast baiting. The Chempar product also is labeled for hand baiting. In non-crop areas, these products are labeled for hand baiting in conjunction with a prebait.

To prebait, scatter 4 or 6 pounds (see label instructions) of untreated oat groats, rolled oats or barley (see label instructions) per acre two to four days before placing a toxic bait. Prebaiting encourages consistent acceptance of bait.

When hand baiting around trees, place 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of bait at two to four locations around each tree in surface trails or at the mouth of holes leading to underground burrow systems. In non-crop areas, hand baiting generally consists of placing 1 teaspoon of bait around each active burrow or runway. The most successful control is achieved when the bait penetrates the grass cover to reach the runways. To broadcast bait, spread 4 to 10 pounds of bait per acre with a cyclone seeder or by hand. Bait also can be spread with a trailbuilder. A trailbuilder usually is pulled by a tractor, creates a burrow in the ground and deposits 1 teaspoon of bait at 4- to 5-foot intervals. Two to 3 pounds of bait per acre usually is recommended.

Zinc phosphide baits are limited for use only on voles of the genus Microtus. Some of the zinc phosphide products and/or usages are limited to meadow voles.

To minimize hazards to birds, do not apply zinc phosphide bait to bare ground, areas without vegetation, or in piles. Also, do not apply to crops destined for use as food or feed. Zinc phosphide can be applied to orchards and groves only during the dormant season after harvest.

The best time of year to use zinc phosphide baits on lawns is during fall before snow cover. Application of bait during spring, after snow melt, usually is ineffective.

Unpredictable rain and snowfall will severely limit the lifespan of baits exposed on orchard floors. During wet periods, place baits in jars, metal cans, bait stations, polyvinyl-chloride tubes, or under tar paper, shingles and split automobile tires. Unfortunately, baits placed under these objects and directly on the ground absorb moisture and generally do not persist more than two weeks.

Because zinc phosphide is toxic to animals, store it away from humans and pets. Zinc phosphide can be absorbed in small amounts through human skin. Wear rubber gloves to avoid contact with the chemical and take extra care to avoid breathing zinc phosphide dust.

Zinc phosphide baits are classified as restricted use pesticides, which means landowners must obtain private certification from the Environmental Protection Agency before they can purchase or use these products. Fumigants usually do not work for control of voles because their burrows are too shallow and complex.

Certification materials are available from the Archuleta County, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension office.


Pagosa Lakes News

73 are registered, 95 expected for triathlon

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Saturday is it for the folks who have been in training for the Pagosa Lakes Triathlon.

So far, I have 73 competitors registered and expect to hit around 95 on the morning of the race.

The race will start 8 a.m. with late registration and check-in 7-7:45 a.m. Runners will leave from the recreation center and return to the center to transition to the bicycle leg of the race. The third, and last leg, a half-mile swim, will be in the recreation center pool.

All supporters and spectators are welcome. The pool will be closed to open swim and lap swim until 11:15 a.m. Saturday. The rest of the facility will remain open 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Athletes - rest up for the race and don't forget to eat well so your body's engine is properly tanked for the physical demands that will be expected of it. Leave your concerns and nerves at home and show up Saturday psyched to do your best and have a good time.

There will be a Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association meeting at 7 p.m. today in the Pagosa Lakes clubhouse.

The meeting is open to all members and observers. Public comments are heard at the beginning of the meeting.

Dick McKee, supervisor of the county road and bridge department and Bill Steele, county administrator, will be at the PLPOA board meeting to make a presentation regarding a possible mill levy increase for road maintenance.

Since road maintenance is an issue that is a concern for many property owners, it would be an excellent opportunity to attend the meeting so you can be personally involved in the process.

The following agenda for the meeting was approved by PLPOA:

- call to order;

- approval of agenda;

- approval of minutes of July 8, 2004 board meeting and July 31, 2004 special board meeting;

- general manager's report;

- public comments;

- treasurer's report - written report from Treasurer Uehling to be distributed at meeting;

- committee reports from Recreation (no meeting since last board meeting ); Lakes, Fisheries and Parks (minutes included in board packet); Ad hoc Lake Study Committee (minutes in packet); ECC agendas and minutes included in DCC report for information. ECC will appoint a new board liaison at next committee meeting;

- old business: (none);

- recurring business: A continued discussion of property owner survey issues regarding covenant enforcement, Declarations of Restrictions and owner expectations; presentation by county officials on proposed mill levy increase for road maintenance;

- new business. Announcement of board officers: David Bohl, president; Hugh Bundy, vice president; Fred Uehling, treasurer; and Pat Payne, secretary;

- discussion of resolution to reactivate the Association Road Advisory Committee as discussed at annual meeting and special board meeting that followed. Previous committee charges and other information included for review;

- also, the term of ECC member Earl Eliason expired Aug. 8. He has requested reappointment to the committee of which he has been a member since 8/8/2000. ECC members and staff support his reappointment.

As with previous term renewals, we are advertising for further applicants. The last ad ran in The SUN today. We have received a few calls of interest but have not received any written applications. It is recommended we appoint Mr. Eliason to a temporary appointment until Sept. 9, date of the nest board meeting. At that time the board can consider a permanent appointment for either Mr. Eliason or another applicant;

- also, resignation of ECC member Jack Foley who is moving to be nearer family in Texas. He has been an excellent member of ECC and will be missed;

- affirmation of eight DCC unprotested fines. Copy of violations attached for review;

- correspondence: letter from Mr. and Mrs. Matcham regarding roads;

- adjournment.



Joan Anderson

Joan Taylor Anderson of Englewood, Colo., passed away quietly in her sleep Thursday, July 22, 2004, after a brief but valiant battle with cancer.

Born in Lyons, Kan., Joan graduated the University of Kansas, married Wayne C. Anderson, and began a married life that was to last 62 years and which took them to live in Aruba, Indonesia, Singapore, Okinawa and eight of the United States.

Joan and Wayne built their home on Steven's Circle in Pagosa Springs in 1992 and were part-time residents until moving there full time in 2000. They had moved to Englewood in 2003.

Joan is survived by her husband, Wayne; three daughters and sons-in-law, Robert and Patricia Fanning of Silverthorne, Colo., Daniel and Rebecca Seaman of Englewood, and Jess and Sally Jackson of Hot Springs Village, Ark; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent to Wayne C. Anderson, 3455 S. Corona, Apt. 724, Englewood, CO 80113.


Business News

Biz Beat


Mortgage One

Jody Cromwell, right, is joined by Sharon Crump, to further enhance the quality services offered by Mortgage One.

Jody came out of retirement shortly after moving to Pagosa from Prescott, Ariz. to bring her prudential investment experience to Mortgage One.

Sharon comes to Mortgage One with 15 years of mortgage experience behind her after moving from Santa Barbara, Calif.

Mortgage One has the goal of providing honesty, integrity and the best pricing in town to its clients. In addition to standard mortgage services, Mortgage One offers unique marketing strategies and an extensive portfolio of lenders.

For additional information, contact Mortgage One at 731-4166 or drop by the office, located in the Bank of Colorado, 205 Country Center Drive.



Preview Profile


Guy Paquet, M.D.

Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Clinic


Where were you born?

"Montreal, Canada."


Where did you go to school?

"I completed all my schooling in Montreal."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"I officially reside between West Fork and Dolores. I am technically retired but I work with the Locum Tenens company which sent me to Pagosa to fill in as a physician for the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Clinic."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I practiced medicine in Canada, in Jackson, Alabama and 20 years in Southern California."


What are your job responsibilities?

"I provide medical care for patients at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Clinic and I am also the director of the same facility."


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

"The most enjoyable aspect of my job is providing a service to the citizens of Pagosa. The least enjoyable aspect of my job is the bickering and political conflict."


What is your family background?

"My wife, Liz, and I have four grown daughters - Genevieve and Catherine, who are twins, and Veronique and Rachel."


What do you like best about the community?

"I like that it is a small community with pleasant people, the uncrowded atmosphere and that there is no pollution in the air."


What are your other interests?

"Being Canadian, I was born with a ski on one foot and a skate on the other. I have played ice hockey for 55 years. I ski, hunt and fish."


Cards of Thanks

Softball blowout

The 21st annual Pagosa Softball Blowout was an unqualified success, thanks to the efforts of many unselfish helpers.

Special thanks to Fred Manzanares, Jamie Lord, Cindy Gonzales and to Dave Belarde who secured, scheduled and directed all the umpires.

Thanks also to Shane Martinez, Jim Miller, Joe Lister Jr., Virginia Manzanares, and John, Matthew and Lucas Jones.

Members of the Club Ball organization who chased foul balls and home runs and helped in dozens of ways can't be left out. Thanks especially to Craig and Tanner Bersel, Bob Brown and son Tanner, Frances and Ricky Belarde and K.C. Lord.

Sue Jones

Tournament sponsor




Lorah Jacobson is proud to announce the marriage of her parents, Rebecca Condon and Keith Jacobson. The son of Vaughn and Judy Jacobson and Becky Roth, and the daughter of Todd and Janice Condon were wed July 24, 2004, in Pagosa Springs.



Drew Fisher

Drew Fisher of Pagosa Springs has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship per year for two years from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

The Foundation supports the search for the cause and cure of childhood brain tumors through research.

Drew is the son of Gary and Kelly Fisher.


Clint Cannon

Clint Cannon, the 2003 Resistol Bareback Riding Rookie of the Year, recorded a 92-point ride in winning the Ski-Hi Stampede Aug. 2 in Monte Vista - the third-highest-marked bareback ride in PRCA history.

Cannon is the grandson of Billie and Sidney Evans of Pagosa Springs.


Clint McKnight

Clint David McKnight of Pagosa Springs was among more than 800 students who have been awarded New Nebraskan or Nebraska Legacy scholarships to attend University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He received a $2,122 scholarship to attend Arts and Sciences with an English major.

The scholarships were created in 1995 to identify and reward the most talented students from other states who choose to attend UNL.

McKnight's scholarship will cover one-fourth the annual tuition.


Sports Page

Seventeen vying for PSHS golf squad; first meet in eight days

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Seventeen would-be Pagosa Pirate golfers got their short practice season off to a start Monday with an orientation at Pagosa Springs Golf Club.

Realizing it will be a rebuilding season after taking a full team to state playoffs for the first time ever last year, Coach Mark Faber stressed the tradition of excellence that has been established.

"We will play with honesty and ethics our constant tools," he told the first-day squad. "We have shown the state Pagosa Springs youth can play golf. It will be up to you to keep that tradition alive."

That said, it may be a stretch to equal last year's success.

The opening day turnout featured four seniors, only one of whom, Randy Molnar, saw action last year. While there will be depth at least in numbers, only one other player, Ben DeVoti, was with the squad last year.

Faber stressed keeping physically fit and alerted the golfers to the fact they will not, ever, use golf carts. "Physical fitness affects your performance," he said, "and you will be fit."

Golf has the earliest turnout of all the school prep teams and also the earliest season opener. The Pirates play Durango one week from today at the Hillcrest course and then come home for their only Pagosa appearance of the season the following day.

The Pagosa Pines Invitational Golf Meet will have a 9 a.m. start and families and fans are urged to come out and get their favorites going.

Who those favorites will be is a question Faber and assistant Tom Riedberger will have to answer quickly.

They will be conducting practices daily until Monday when they will have to begin running qualifying rounds to determine who will represent the school for the first meet.

Those qualifiers will be Monday and Tuesday, with the final day before season opening having the full squad practice with the team selected.

Generally, Faber told the players, the team will take five golfers to a tournament, "but there are some which allow only four." Sometimes, he said, "the practices and qualifying may be so close that we actually dress a junior varsity team and play them, too."

In addition to the practices and qualifying rounds, other factors will help determine squad membership - things like "dress, attitude, attending practice and showing a determination to learn the rules and the game."

"This squad lacks veterans, but if you work hard to qualify, you can help keep the tradition of winning alive," Faber said.

"Keep in mind," he told the squad, "We play in Class 4A for golf and that's everyone in the state outside the big 5A schools on the Front Range."

"It's more or less 5A and everyone else," he said, "is lumped into 4A. We proved last year by finishing 11th in the state in that 'everyone else' category that we belong. It is up to you to keep it going. You can do it if you want to work for it."

He warned players that "any coach on the course can have you disqualified if you break the rules. Another player, too, can report infractions if you don't penalize yourself. This is the only game where the player is expected to police himself and to take a penalty stroke on his own for a rules violation. That's where the honesty comes in. Aside from golf, it's a bigger lesson about life and what is fair."

First-day turnout, in addition to the two golfers mentioned, included seniors Darin Prokop, Tyr Persson and Timothy Kamholz; and a host of younger hopefuls including Cody Thull, Clayton King, Michael Spitler, Joey Bergman, Cameron Creel, Caleb Burggraaf, Saber Hutchinson, Joshua Pringle, Mike Bradford, Cody Bahn, Wes Holt and Mike Mundy.


United Way golf tourney set Aug. 28

Get out the clubs and start practicing your swing.

Then start calling your buddies and set up your team for the sixth annual United Way Golf Tournament scheduled Saturday, Aug. 28.

The format this year will be a four-person scramble and there will be three different flights - open, couples with two men and two women, and a "Let's just have fun" flight for the occasional golfer.

There will be contests and giveaways with the Pagosa Springs Golf Club hosting and volunteering to help put your team together.

Everyone is welcome to participate in this major fund-raiser for Archuleta County United Way.

The organization's goal this year is $62,000 which will be used to support 13 local health and human service agencies.


Fun Day rodeo dates changed

The Pagosa Fun Day Rodeo Series has moved the planned Sept. 12 rodeo to Sunday, Aug. 15.

The 5-and-under events start at noon and all other age groups will follow.

Rodeo photographer Henry Nakai will be taking photographs of contestants during all events Sunday. Viewing of the photos can be done the same day. Nakai photographs New Mexico Rodeo Association, New Mexico high school, Red Ryder Roundup and Durango Fiesta Days rodeos.

The final rodeo of the season will be the following Sunday, Aug. 22.

For information, call 731-5204.


Pirate cheerleaders snare four top awards

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Spirit is the name of their game and indications are they're right in line.

Pagosa Springs High School cheerleaders are the proud winners of four of six major awards in the area National Cheerleader Association camp.

With 11 girls participating, Coach Renee Davis' squad came home with the coveted Spirit Award, the Harkie Award signifying excellence in direct competition, an invitation to the national cheerleading finals and the Four Top Team Award.

In addition, nine of 11 team members were nominated for All-American honors and two were selected.

Those two, Nikki Kinkead and Lynda Johnson, will attend the All-American camp in Florida later in the sports season.

The girls are in practice now for fall sport routines, and it is expected others will join the award-winning squad as live competition puts on the pressure for performance.

Other members of the squad competing in Durango last week were Berklee Ruthardt, an All-American last year as a freshman, Stacy Dominguez, Beth Lujan, Erika Lucero, Amanda Kovacic, Jenny Tothe, Kelcie Mastin, Larissa Harwood and Kaitlin Simmons.


Spirited competition headlines 21st annual Pagosa Softball Blowout rate cheerleaders snare four top awards

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The competition may have been the best ever in the 21 years of the Pagosa Softball Blowout.

For example, the three-time defending champion female team was eliminated early and the distaff laurels had to go to a two-game playoff to determine a winner.

A Pagosa-based team representing both Pagosa and Monte Vista made it to the semifinals in the men's division.

Those were just two of the highlights of a two-day dawn to dusk tournament at the sports complex last weekend.

The women's division winner was the Red Willows of Ignacio. They did it on the power of a two-game sweep of previously unbeaten Elite of Albuquerque, which finished second. Third place in women's competition went to the Adcocks of Alamosa squad.

The Rebels of Colorado Springs, a squad featuring former Pagosan Shawn Christie, won the men's division, conquering the Farmington Gamecocks who got to the championship contest by outlasting Pagosa 10s/At Your Disposal in a slugfest that fans were beginning to think no one would lose. Members of the Pagosa squad are from both the local community and from Monte Vista.

Sue Jones, creator, coordinator and full-time arbiter of all tournament questions, was ecstatic at the caliber of play.

"From the first game to the last," she said, "we had top-notch players on the fields - all three of them."

Despite a few sprinkles, the weather was the best it's been in years for the tournament "though we were a little scared with all thunder Saturday," said Jones.

Twenty-eight teams were signed and paid ahead for the competition but one did not make either of its Saturday playing times. "The rest represented the best of the slow-pitch squads in the three states," said Jones.

The tournament, which always has as its aim the furthering of Pagosa Springs sports will benefit the community's Club Ball baseball program, members of which helped in a variety of ways during the tournament.

Total proceeds won't be known for a few days, Jones said, "but it will be in excess of $1,000 remaining in the community for sports development ... once I get all the bills paid."


Pagosa Sting Soccer Club seeks players

Pagosa Sting Soccer Club is forming several teams for boys' and girls' competitive play U18, U13 and U11 divisions.

Players will play exchange games with other regional club teams and will participate in three or four tournaments a year.

Registration now will be good through July, 2005. The fee is $20 for both individual registration and team membership. Checks should be made payable to Pagosa Sting.

Any youth wishing to play must have medical release form and a copy of their birth certificate.

Parent volunteers are still needed as coaches and assistant coaches, to carpool, make lodging arrangements, for fund-raising events and to provide snacks.

The registration deadline is Sept. 15. Call Michele Smith at 264-5998 to register or for more information.

The club played games this past year in Cortez, Albuquerque and Northglenn. Winter club action is generally out of state in warmer climes.

Practice and home game sites and times will be announced later.


PSHS, junior high fall practice schedules set

Pagosa Springs High School and Pagosa Springs Junior High School have set opening practice schedules for all students wishing to participate in this year's fall sports programs.

Students who intend to practice should report to the designated locations with their physical examination and parent permission forms completed. (Parent permission slips for participants in junior high programs will be available at each practice location the opening day of practice.)

Physical examination forms can be obtained from local physicians and must be given to a coach before a student will be allowed to practice.

Students should report to practice in appropriate workout clothes (shorts, T-shirts, etc.) and with enthusiasm to participate.

The following is a breakdown of opening practice sessions for this year's PSHS and junior high fall programs.


All students participating in the PSHS golf program reported to Pagosa Springs Golf Club at 5:30 p.m. Monday for the opening day of practice.


All students wishing to participate in the PSHS football program, as well as parents of prospective players, should report to the high school auditorium tomorrow night at 6 p.m. for an informational session to be conducted by the coaching staff.

The session will offer students and parents a chance to learn about the program, meet the coaches and fill out the required paperwork.

Students must then report to the high school for the opening day of practice Monday, Aug. 16, at 7 a.m.

Practice is scheduled from 7-9 a.m. for the first session, and again from 10 a.m.-noon for the second session.

For more information, contact head coach Sean O'Donnell at 731-5849.


All students wishing to participate in the PSHS volleyball program must report to the high school for the opening day of practice Monday, Aug. 16, at 9 a.m.

Practice is scheduled from 9 a.m.-noon.

Boys' soccer

All students wishing to participate in the PSHS boys' soccer program must report to the high school for the opening day of practice Monday, Aug. 16, at 7 a.m.

Practice is scheduled from 7-9 a.m. for the first session, and again from 6-8 p.m. for the second session.

Cross country

All students wishing to participate in the PSHS cross country program should report to the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center on Park Avenue at 7 a.m. Monday, Aug. 16. Practice will end at 9 a.m.

The rest of the week, practice will be at the Pagosa Springs High School. Practices will start at 7 a.m. until school starts.

Junior high schedule

Opening practice sessions for students wishing to participate in this year's Pagosa Springs Junior High School fall sports programs begin Monday, Aug. 16 at the following times and locations:

- volleyball - 9 a.m., junior high gym;

- football - 4 p.m., junior high gym;

- cross country - 8 a.m., junior high courtyard.


Ladies score in seniors, league events

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Springs Golf Club sponsored the annual Senior Championship July 31-Aug. 1 for its members 50 and older.

It was low gross, low net format.

In the ladies division, Jan Kilgore captured first gross with a 167; second went to Barbara Sanborn with a 174.

In the net category, Sheila Rogers and Julie Pressley were first and second with 138 and 140 respectively.

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a "Good, Bad and Ugly" format for its league day Aug. 3.

This format is actually based upon a modified Stableford scoring system where each player receives her full handicap and nine points for eagle, six points for birdie, three for par, one for bogey, minus one for double bogey and minus two for triple bogey or worse.

The golfers with the most points win.

Audrey Johnson captured first place with 73 points, Sue Martin was second with 68, Nancy McComber third with 60 and in a tie for fourth were Karen Carpenter and Jane Day with 55.

Jan Kilgore was sixth with 54 and Josie Hummel seventh with 53.


Parks & Rec

Last week for fall soccer registration

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

This is the last week for youth soccer registration.

Sign-ups for the 2004 Youth Soccer League season will end 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13. Cost per player is $20 ($10 for each additional child).

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

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

Games will be played Sept. 7 through October on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

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

Registrations will be taken at Town Hall.

Youth soccer clinics

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

The soccer clinics are free to any paid participant in our soccer program and $10 for all others.

Clinic dates and locations are:

Aug. 16 - 5- and 6-year-olds, 4-6 p.m. at the community center

Aug. 16 - 7- and 8-year-olds, 6-8 p.m. at the community center

Aug. 17 - 9- and 10-year-olds, 4-7 p.m. in Town Park

Aug. 18 - 11- to 13-year-olds, 4-7 p.m. in Town Park.

Help wanted

Parents, we need your help.

The Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department has made a huge effort to outfit your children in NBA and/or MLB replica jerseys this past year. While a majority of the uniforms have been returned, many have not.

If we must purchase new jerseys again next year, our fees will have to be increased for your children's programs.

If your children still have their basketball or baseball jerseys or pants, please return them to the recreation department as soon as possible.

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.

Manager's 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 additional information concerning any of the Pagosa Springs parks and recreation adult or youth sports programs, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, at 264-4151, Ext. 232, 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.




A respectful season

Most local school sport practices begin Aug. 16 as young ath-letes return to track, field and court. We like to indulge in a fantasy this time of the year: That this will be the season when all parents and fans treat school sport in a realistic and appreciative fashion, behaving in a way that shows respect to the youngsters, coaches, officials and schools.

Such behavior grows easily from a recognition of some simple facts. First, our society places undue emphasis on athletics, at all levels. Second, performance in the classroom is infinitely more important than performance in athletics. Third, the beauty of sport, the delight possible in a youngster's participation, is too often destroyed by those blindly eager to experience catharsis, desperate to live through the activities of others, including their children.

We need to strip the veneer off sport in order to change behavior. Part of that veneer gives way when we realize only a tiny percentage of young athletes are exceptional or elite, and the group most likely does not include our own children. A minuscule percentage of high school athletes go on to compete at the top level of college sport. Of those, a tiny percentage earns salaries as professional athletes. Compared to the acquisition of solid moral and relational values, and occupational skills, sport pales.

Too many among us do not deal with these facts, then go on to behave in negative and destructive ways.

It is wonderful that children dream of sport fame, but it is awful that many are pushed beyond innocent aspiration to a grim experience, drained of most of the joy it should contain. The problem: adults who cannot or will not understand that school sport experience is for the child, not them.

The problem peaks as athletes reach high school, where the nature of competition changes and winning is added to the mix. There is no reason high school varsity athletes and teams should not strive to be the best they can, to win as often as possible. But the inability of some adults to understand that quality is relative, that a decent athlete or team here is not accomplished elsewhere, taints the process and leads to unacceptable behavior when it is combined with infantile ego needs. For parents and fans to sour an experience with unrealistic expectations is unproductive and unfair to the child, just as it is in the classroom when parents demand the highest rewards for a youngster's less-than-average performance.

There have been some shameful incidents attendant to local high school sports during the past few years - displays by parents, family members and fans that were an insult to the efforts made by our youngsters and an embarrassment to the school and community.

Those responsible need to ask what kinds of lessons are learned when poor behavior is exhibited publicly or negative ideas are expressed in the home. What is gained when parents call for the firing of coaches, demean officials, taunt opponents and insult other fans? The efforts of youngsters are cheapened by uncivil or rude behavior. All of us who enjoy sport need to keep in mind we are not validated by the exploits of children on the playing field or court and we should behave accordingly.

Perhaps this will be the year when some of our fellow Pagosans get real about school sports and enjoy them for what they are: entertainment of the most transient kind, activities that are, first and foremost, for the kids.

If we can do so, and be content to simply enjoy the events, we will have given our young athletes and ourselves a valuable and enduring gift.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Set your own pace on walk of life

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

We pacers are a peripatetic population.

Unlike the magnificent physical specimens who jog and run the same courses, we keep in sight the limitations of age and the prospects of being able to do other things while in transit.

We take pictures, watch wildlife cavort in the nearby brush, swat mosquitoes, sing to ourselves, check out new construction, leap for safety from speeding autos and, generally, put on a happy face.

And we are legion.

Everywhere there are those who have adopted the pastime of pacing Pagosa as their own means of survival.

It gives one a chance to clear the cobwebs of a confused work day, consider the loss of loved ones, dip into the self consciousness of limitation, dream of the ultimate future and keep ourselves in relatively good condition all at the same time.

There is no limitation of old or young, tall or short, fast or slow. Everyone sets an individual pace to reach the destination chosen.

There is no coach or group leader to tell us when we must stop, turn around, give in to exhaustion or surrender to darkness.

It is more like what Thoreau described in "Walden," a phrase which has been greatly abused by others but which originally said:

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

There are no limitations as to direction save that of keeping off private property. There is no reason to set a specific point at which to begin the return trek. There are obvious reasons for keeping track of the time while traversing the terrain, but overall the walk is a cathartic, a means of cleansing the mind by letting it be unfettered by the worries of the day.

I often hear, "Hey, I see you everywhere," from people I do not know.

Everywhere is an exaggeration. No earthbound soul can meet that description. But within those same limits, one can be friendly to all.

Saying "Good evening," "Good morning" or "Good afternoon" to all you meet often turns heads. But it makes you feel good. And more often than not even those startled by the greeting will reply.

If they're from out of town, they may go back home and talk about the friendly community we all know this to be.

If it's a local, they know they are among those who call Pagosa Springs the ultimate setting for life, where a friendly smile and greeting are the way of the day.

Most common of the trails is the now familiar River Walk. And no better place exists for the short trek. You can stretch it into a trip down South Sixth Street to the high school grounds, a loop around the bus circle to 5th Street, then take Apache east to Hot Springs Boulevard and go to Pagosa Street for a stroll to the River Center ponds and then back downtown.

You will have accumulated over five miles of stress relief during that time and given dozens a Pagosa greeting to take away.



90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of August 21, 1914

Auto speeding in town is strenuously objected to - by those who have no autos.

A severe hail storm last week destroyed about half the crop of Geo. Cerney and Gene Turner and damaged the crop on the Dunagan place in O'Neal Park.

Johnny Johnson has a large acreage of oats on the Geo. Mee ranch north of town that stands five feet high and is estimated to harvest 60 bushels to the acre. Hugh Cato is up on the Weminuche at the Patterson ranches having made the trip in his little Ford without accident. Hugh is supplying the fish and grouse while the others put up hay.

The condition of Grandma Opdyke is quite serious. Little improvement has been noted the past week.


75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 16, 1929

The heavy rains of the first of the week washed out numerous culverts and otherwise made the road to Arboles, via lower Stollsteimer, impassable. The highway is now being repaired, however.

C.W. Gibson and S.A. Potter, under the firm name of Gibson & Potter have been issued a permit to engage in motor trucking between Pagosa Springs and Durango, and within a radius of twenty miles of Pagosa Springs besides, by the state public utilities commission.

Mr. and Mrs. Lee Cox returned home Saturday from their honeymoon trip to the Monte Vista Stampede and Trinidad. In the latter city their car was stolen and was this week located in Casper, Wyoming.


50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 13, 1954

Work was started this week by the Town on a long discussed improvement to the business section of town. Pilings are being driven in the river and rip-rapping will be put in place. After this is done a fill will be made and this will increase the parking space in the business section considerably. The project will be a definite improvement when completed and will make it possible for persons to find a parking space close to a desired location.

The 1954 valuation of Archuleta County was certified to the State Tax Commission this week and shows a drop of $431,270 over 1953. A good portion of that drop was due to the decrease in the value of the Railway as set by the state tax board.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 16, 1979

Heavy rains over the weekend caused the mud slide at the chain station to run again. This time it didn't leave too much mud, perhaps four inches, across the highway. However, it did muddy up the town water supply considerably for a day or town. The rains also caused a large number of rocks to fall on the highway on Wolf Creek Pass highway.

United States Forest Service firefighters have twice battled a five-acre blaze on Poison Ridge near Williams Creek Lake about 27 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs. Piedra District Ranger Ted LaMay said, "It's the largest we've had this year." One problem the crews experienced was hidden fire in the duff-rotten logs and accumulation of pine needles.



Pet Patrol

County animal control officers offer education, safety to public, animals

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Educating the public.

That's Phillip Valdez's job. Only he has no classroom, few books and the test is generally a verbal warning, followed by a written warning and then, if necessary, a fine.

Valdez, who's been a resident of the area most of his life, is one of the Archuleta County animal control officers and his job takes him over road after road as he attempts to enforce rules on dogs at large, vicious dogs, barking dogs and animal abuse.

He works 8 a.m.-4 p.m. five days a week, plus being on-call on the weekends. That will change, he said, when a second officer, Brian Hagenbuch, is trained and on the road. At that point, Valdez said, some overlap into the early evening hours will be possible.

Currently, Valdez checks in the office in the morning, picks up information on calls that have come in overnight, then heads for his vehicle - a white truck and topper covering a catchpole and a couple of traps in the back, with amber and white lights on top, if needed. The insignia of his office is on the doors. Most of the rest of the day will be spent on follow-ups, driving around, up and down county roads, greeting neighbors and answering calls that come in through dispatch.

"Most of my calls come in between noon and 4 p.m.," he said, or anytime he's sitting down to write reports. The majority are regarding dogs at large. Then come the barking dogs and, now and then, a welfare check or animal abuse case. He averages about seven calls a day, give or take a few, ranging from 30 minutes to a half-hour each, plus any incidents he comes across on the road.

"That'll keep you pretty busy most days," he said. According to Archuleta County Sheriff's Department animal control statistics, a total of 46,828 patrol minutes were logged from January to July. That included driving a total of 19,955 miles, just over 8,700 in the Pagosa Lakes area and just over 11,200 in the county. Sixty-six dogs were impounded from Pagosa Lakes and 45 were impounded in the county. A total of 129 verbal warnings were delivered, 28 written warnings handed out and 36 summons were issued. Citizen contacts totaled 124.

On a recent Monday, Valdez started out in the Vista Subdivision, something he does every day because it is an area with a high concentration of people and dogs. From there, he began patrolling Pagosa Lakes, driving up and down each separate road. Near Lake Hatcher, he came across his first stray. This one was out for a stroll, in the middle of the road, all alone.

Valdez got out to talk to the dog, but it was skittish and wouldn't come. A quick check of the area located the owner and sent him off in pursuit of the dog - a lab mix.

A neighbor driving by asked if there was a problem.

"No, just helping them find their dog," Valdez said. He recorded the call and drove on, this time to Aspen Springs in search of another stray reported over the weekend. He also performs welfare checks when needed, usually on horses or other livestock.

In most cases of animal abuse or cruelty charges, Valdez said, the callers are simply concerned and 95 percent of the time everything is fine.

"A lot of people feed and water their horses inside a barn," he said. "People see the horses outside and they don't see them being fed or watered. Or, people will see a horse chewing on a tree, and people call it in thinking the horse is starving. If it's bored, a horse will eat a tree."

Only once has he investigated a case where the animal was being abused and, eventually, the owner gave the animal up voluntarily.

Some of his job, Valdez said, is simply being visible.

"They like to see your truck go through," he said. "They like to see you do your rounds."

Public relations is another part of it. Sometimes, dog calls are an extension of a neighbor to neighbor dispute. And many times, Valdez said, the neighbors have never spoken to each other. In one instance, a woman called to complain about barking dogs three days in a row. When Valdez investigated the people she accused, he discovered they owned no dogs.

When he can, Valdez generally tries to meet the animal owner face to face and take a look at possible problems, "if they're willing to listen," he said. "Some of them realize it's their fault the dog is at large, and they're willing to work with you. And some of them want to rip your head off. Some people just see you pull in the driveway and get mad at you."

One simple mistake people make, he said, comes in the winter when snow piles up against the fences. If not moved, it makes a great ramp for an animal to get out.

So far, Valdez has not been bitten on the job. In fact, he said, only a very small percentage of the dogs he's handled have been a problem at all. Of the bites he's investigated, most have been cases of grandkids bitten by grandparent's dogs or vice versa. Another involved a person coming onto someone else's property.

He's had 150 hours of training, with more to come next month. And starting in about two weeks, he will be able to enforce state statutes regarding animal control as well as the county ordinance.

"You're always reading," he said. "It's nonstop reading. There's always something you don't know."

Generally, his travels take him to the Pagosa Springs Humane Society shelter at least once a day, sometimes more, either to impound a stray he's found or to check on animals that were brought in the night before.

Valdez said when a dog is found at large without tags, the dog is automatically taken to the shelter. It would be much easier if everyone simply attached a tag with phone number and address to the dog's collar.

"People are at work and their dog jumps out of the yard - I wouldn't mind taking them home, but if they don't have tags there's no way to know," he said. As it is, if the dog has tags, he will attempt to at least call the owner before taking the dog to the shelter. Once impounded, the owner is responsible for the holding fees when they pick up the dog.

Robbie Schwartz, humane society director, said shelter staff collect these fees to help offset the county's cost for animal control salaries, training, vehicles and other expenses.

That, she said, is part of the education that comes with having visible animal control officers patrolling the streets.

"Since the inception of animal control in 2003," said Schwartz, "we, of course, started to see an increase in the number of animals coming into our shelter. The positive side of this was the number of requests to help with injured animals (shot by neighbors or hit by automobiles) went down. The public is now becoming a 'good neighbor' by keeping their animals on their own property. As of June 2004, the number of animals coming into the shelter is down 10 percent from January to June 2003." A total of 700 animals came into the shelter in 2002. In 2003, that jumped to 799. Now, it is dropping again.

Prior to January 2003, only the town employed an official animal control officer. An updated county dog ordinance was passed in April, 2002. The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association employed its own animal control officer until October of 2002. Now, the county employs two officers at full staffing, one to patrol the Pagosa Lakes area, the other to patrol the rest of the county.

"Generally, I think we're getting a good report card from the public," Undersheriff Bob Grandchamp said. Numbers at the shelter show that people are starting to get the message and "becoming more responsible for the ownership of their dogs," he said.

The animal control officers are also checking for proof of rabies vaccine whenever possible.

Grandchamp said in the future he would like to see some form of licensing come into play, and some type of distinction in rules for pets and working dogs, those used for agricultural purposes.

The county ordinance

Currently, the county's dog control and vaccination ordinance adopted April 30, 2002, outlines prohibitions against dogs running at large, nuisance dogs and vicious dogs. It also requires that all dogs in unincorporated areas of the county receive rabies vaccinations.

Basically, the ordinance requires all dogs to be under the "control" of their owners at all times. In the ordinance, a "controlled" dog is one "on a leash of sufficient strength to restrain the dog; or confined in a building, fence, enclosure, motor vehicle, or other structure in such a way that it does not escape; or is on property possessed by its owner and is confined thereon in such a way that is does not escape or is in the presence of the owner."

A dog within sight and hearing distance of its owner, and one who returns to within four feet of its owner on command is considered in control. A dog that bites, jumps on, harasses, chases or attacks a person, domestic animals or wildlife is considered out of control unless it is acting in defense of the owner, owner's family or property.

Dogs not under control, which include nuisance dogs, vicious dogs and dogs at large, can be cited under the ordinance or under applicable state statutes.

A vicious dog is defined by the county's ordinance as "a dog that bites or attacks a person or other animal without provocation or a dog that approaches any person or other animal in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an apparent attitude of attack, on any public or private property." Exceptions include times when the dog is defending the owner's property, owner or family.

If found in violation of the policies of the ordinance, owners can be penalized through fines, jail time or both.

A violation of the ordinance which does not involve bodily injury to any person is considered a Class 2 petty offense. For a first offense, the owner may be fined between $25 and $50. A second offense could net a fine between $51 and $100. Third or subsequent offenses require the owner to appear in Archuleta County Court. Penalties in these cases can include a fine between $150 and $300, or jail time of up to 90 days, or both, for each separate offense.

If a person is injured during the violation, the charges are bumped up to a Class 2 misdemeanor as outlined under the Colorado Revised Statutes. Currently, penalties range from a fine of between $250 and $1,000 or imprisonment for three months up to 12 months, or both.

Any dog not under control of its owner may also be impounded at the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs. Notice of impoundment is given to the owner, providing and address or phone number can be found on the dog, or posted at the humane society. If the dog is not claimed within five days of notification, the dog is deemed abandoned. At that time, it may be placed for adoption or euthanized in accordance with the policies of the impoundment facility.


Pagosa's Past

Brunot treaty negotiations held in Pagosa Springs

John M. Motter

Staff Writer Before Pagosa Country could be settled, arrangements had to be made with the Southern Utes who owned and controlled the territory.

Those arrangements were made through a series of treaties, all of them controversial. Before the treaties were made, Utes controlled at least the mountain portion of Colorado.

The first two treaties were signed at Conejos in 1864 and 1868. Only the Tabeguache band of Northern Utes signed the treaty of 1864 which moved the Utes out of the San Luis Valley and the mining areas west of Denver.

The three bands known as Southern Utes who occupied Pagosa Country and the San Juan Basin did not sign the 1864 treaty. Nevertheless, they lost home ground in the San Luis Valley.

For the past few weeks we've been looking at Anglo and Hispanic settlement in the San Luis Valley, a step preliminary to settlement of Pagosa Country.

The first settlers in the Valley had been Hispanics who came as early as the 1840s or even earlier. Serious settlement began in the early 1850s.

By way of contrast, first permanent settlement in the San Juan Basin dates from the late 1860s and early 1870s. Settlement of the Pagosa Springs area began in 1877.

Before Archuleta County was formed in 1885, the entire area was part of Conejos County with the largely Hispanic plaza of Conejos as the county seat.

As we have already learned, prior to 1868, miners were swarming over the San Juans poking under every rock in a search for gold. The Utes were unhappy and ugly bloodshed appeared imminent.

In order to defuse the situation, the 1868 Kit Carson treaty was called in Conejos. Attending the 1868 treaty convention in Conejos were N.G. Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Alexander C. Hunt, Governor of the Territory of Colorado, Kit Carson, and the main headmen of the Muache, Weminuche and Capote bands of Southern Utes, and the Tabeguache, Yampa, Grand River and Uintah bands of Northern Utes.

Following this treaty, the Utes only owned land west of the Continental Divide.

One can only imagine what the little town of Conejos must have looked like with representatives of at least seven bands of southern Utes camped around its outskirts.

The U.S. dignitaries would, of course, have stayed at one of the hotels located around the town square. Surely they would have been wined and dined by Maj. Lafayette Head, Conejos' leading citizen.

For Kit Carson, the 1868 meeting in Conejos must have been his last official act. He attended as ex-officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Carson died May 23, 1868, in Fort Lyons, Colorado.

Yet one more treaty remained before Pagosa Country was officially opened for white settlement. This treaty completed in 1874 was called the Brunot Treaty.

Many of the negotiations for the Brunot Treaty were conducted at Pagosa Springs. Even the Brunot Treaty did not open up the entire Four Corners area for settlement. The Utes gave up the mining areas in the high country where gold was found, but retained a horseshoe-shaped reservation surrounding the mining country.

Even that settlement was later disputed. The Utes later argued they did not intend to give up the land, only the right to mine the land.

In any case, starting with the late 1860s and early 1870s, settlers poured into the San Juan Basin. By the late 1870s, that portion of Archuleta County to be formed from Conejos County was being settled.

I have read little about those years when county government for Archuleta County was conducted in Conejos. I have read that Alec Fleming, the man who shot Samuel Maxwell as Maxwell fled through a side door of the Rosebud Saloon, was tried and acquitted in Conejos.

Who was enforcing the law at Pagosa at that time? Unfortunately, the Conejos County courthouse burned, destroying a great deal of Archuleta County history.

As the Hispanics say, "Quien sabe."Before Pagosa Country could be settled, arrangements had to be made with the Southern Utes who owned and controlled the territory.

Those arrangements were made through a series of treaties, all of them controversial. Before the treaties were made, Utes controlled at least the mountain portion of Colorado.

The first two treaties were signed at Conejos in 1864 and 1868. Only the Tabeguache band of Northern Utes signed the treaty of 1864 which moved the Utes out of the San Luis Valley and the mining areas west of Denver.

The three bands known as Southern Utes who occupied Pagosa Country and the San Juan Basin did not sign the 1864 treaty. Nevertheless, they lost home ground in the San Luis Valley.

For the past few weeks we've been looking at Anglo and Hispanic settlement in the San Luis Valley, a step preliminary to settlement of Pagosa Country.

The first settlers in the Valley had been Hispanics who came as early as the 1840s or even earlier. Serious settlement began in the early 1850s.

By way of contrast, first permanent settlement in the San Juan Basin dates from the late 1860s and early 1870s. Settlement of the Pagosa Springs area began in 1877.

Before Archuleta County was formed in 1885, the entire area was part of Conejos County with the largely Hispanic plaza of Conejos as the county seat.

As we have already learned, prior to 1868, miners were swarming over the San Juans poking under every rock in a search for gold. The Utes were unhappy and ugly bloodshed appeared imminent.

In order to defuse the situation, the 1868 Kit Carson treaty was called in Conejos. Attending the 1868 treaty convention in Conejos were N.G. Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Alexander C. Hunt, Governor of the Territory of Colorado, Kit Carson, and the main headmen of the Muache, Weminuche and Capote bands of Southern Utes, and the Tabeguache, Yampa, Grand River and Uintah bands of Northern Utes.

Following this treaty, the Utes only owned land west of the Continental Divide.

One can only imagine what the little town of Conejos must have looked like with representatives of at least seven bands of southern Utes camped around its outskirts.

The U.S. dignitaries would, of course, have stayed at one of the hotels located around the town square. Surely they would have been wined and dined by Maj. Lafayette Head, Conejos' leading citizen.

For Kit Carson, the 1868 meeting in Conejos must have been his last official act. He attended as ex-officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Carson died May 23, 1868, in Fort Lyons, Colorado.

Yet one more treaty remained before Pagosa Country was officially opened for white settlement. This treaty completed in 1874 was called the Brunot Treaty.

Many of the negotiations for the Brunot Treaty were conducted at Pagosa Springs. Even the Brunot Treaty did not open up the entire Four Corners area for settlement. The Utes gave up the mining areas in the high country where gold was found, but retained a horseshoe-shaped reservation surrounding the mining country.

Even that settlement was later disputed. The Utes later argued they did not intend to give up the land, only the right to mine the land.

In any case, starting with the late 1860s and early 1870s, settlers poured into the San Juan Basin. By the late 1870s, that portion of Archuleta County to be formed from Conejos County was being settled.

I have read little about those years when county government for Archuleta County was conducted in Conejos. I have read that Alec Fleming, the man who shot Samuel Maxwell as Maxwell fled through a side door of the Rosebud Saloon, was tried and acquitted in Conejos.

Who was enforcing the law at Pagosa at that time? Unfortunately, the Conejos County courthouse burned, destroying a great deal of Archuleta County history.

As the Hispanics say, "Quien sabe."Before Pagosa Country could be settled, arrangements had to be made with the Southern Utes who owned and controlled the territory.

Those arrangements were made through a series of treaties, all of them controversial. Before the treaties were made, Utes controlled at least the mountain portion of Colorado.

The first two treaties were signed at Conejos in 1864 and 1868. Only the Tabeguache band of Northern Utes signed the treaty of 1864 which moved the Utes out of the San Luis Valley and the mining areas west of Denver.

The three bands known as Southern Utes who occupied Pagosa Country and the San Juan Basin did not sign the 1864 treaty. Nevertheless, they lost home ground in the San Luis Valley.

For the past few weeks we've been looking at Anglo and Hispanic settlement in the San Luis Valley, a step preliminary to settlement of Pagosa Country.

The first settlers in the Valley had been Hispanics who came as early as the 1840s or even earlier. Serious settlement began in the early 1850s.

By way of contrast, first permanent settlement in the San Juan Basin dates from the late 1860s and early 1870s. Settlement of the Pagosa Springs area began in 1877.

Before Archuleta County was formed in 1885, the entire area was part of Conejos County with the largely Hispanic plaza of Conejos as the county seat.

As we have already learned, prior to 1868, miners were swarming over the San Juans poking under every rock in a search for gold. The Utes were unhappy and ugly bloodshed appeared imminent.

In order to defuse the situation, the 1868 Kit Carson treaty was called in Conejos. Attending the 1868 treaty convention in Conejos were N.G. Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Alexander C. Hunt, Governor of the Territory of Colorado, Kit Carson, and the main headmen of the Muache, Weminuche and Capote bands of Southern Utes, and the Tabeguache, Yampa, Grand River and Uintah bands of Northern Utes.

Following this treaty, the Utes only owned land west of the Continental Divide.

One can only imagine what the little town of Conejos must have looked like with representatives of at least seven bands of southern Utes camped around its outskirts.

The U.S. dignitaries would, of course, have stayed at one of the hotels located around the town square. Surely they would have been wined and dined by Maj. Lafayette Head, Conejos' leading citizen.

For Kit Carson, the 1868 meeting in Conejos must have been his last official act. He attended as ex-officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Carson died May 23, 1868, in Fort Lyons, Colorado.

Yet one more treaty remained before Pagosa Country was officially opened for white settlement. This treaty completed in 1874 was called the Brunot Treaty.

Many of the negotiations for the Brunot Treaty were conducted at Pagosa Springs. Even the Brunot Treaty did not open up the entire Four Corners area for settlement. The Utes gave up the mining areas in the high country where gold was found, but retained a horseshoe-shaped reservation surrounding the mining country.

Even that settlement was later disputed. The Utes later argued they did not intend to give up the land, only the right to mine the land.

In any case, starting with the late 1860s and early 1870s, settlers poured into the San Juan Basin. By the late 1870s, that portion of Archuleta County to be formed from Conejos County was being settled.

I have read little about those years when county government for Archuleta County was conducted in Conejos. I have read that Alec Fleming, the man who shot Samuel Maxwell as Maxwell fled through a side door of the Rosebud Saloon, was tried and acquitted in Conejos.

Who was enforcing the law at Pagosa at that time? Unfortunately, the Conejos County courthouse burned, destroying a great deal of Archuleta County history.

As the Hispanics say, "Quien sabe."Before Pagosa Country could be settled, arrangements had to be made with the Southern Utes who owned and controlled the territory.

Those arrangements were made through a series of treaties, all of them controversial. Before the treaties were made, Utes controlled at least the mountain portion of Colorado.

The first two treaties were signed at Conejos in 1864 and 1868. Only the Tabeguache band of Northern Utes signed the treaty of 1864 which moved the Utes out of the San Luis Valley and the mining areas west of Denver.

The three bands known as Southern Utes who occupied Pagosa Country and the San Juan Basin did not sign the 1864 treaty. Nevertheless, they lost home ground in the San Luis Valley.

For the past few weeks we've been looking at Anglo and Hispanic settlement in the San Luis Valley, a step preliminary to settlement of Pagosa Country.

The first settlers in the Valley had been Hispanics who came as early as the 1840s or even earlier. Serious settlement began in the early 1850s.

By way of contrast, first permanent settlement in the San Juan Basin dates from the late 1860s and early 1870s. Settlement of the Pagosa Springs area began in 1877.

Before Archuleta County was formed in 1885, the entire area was part of Conejos County with the largely Hispanic plaza of Conejos as the county seat.

As we have already learned, prior to 1868, miners were swarming over the San Juans poking under every rock in a search for gold. The Utes were unhappy and ugly bloodshed appeared imminent.

In order to defuse the situation, the 1868 Kit Carson treaty was called in Conejos. Attending the 1868 treaty convention in Conejos were N.G. Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Alexander C. Hunt, Governor of the Territory of Colorado, Kit Carson, and the main headmen of the Muache, Weminuche and Capote bands of Southern Utes, and the Tabeguache, Yampa, Grand River and Uintah bands of Northern Utes.

Following this treaty, the Utes only owned land west of the Continental Divide.

One can only imagine what the little town of Conejos must have looked like with representatives of at least seven bands of southern Utes camped around its outskirts.

The U.S. dignitaries would, of course, have stayed at one of the hotels located around the town square. Surely they would have been wined and dined by Maj. Lafayette Head, Conejos' leading citizen.

For Kit Carson, the 1868 meeting in Conejos must have been his last official act. He attended as ex-officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Carson died May 23, 1868, in Fort Lyons, Colorado.

Yet one more treaty remained before Pagosa Country was officially opened for white settlement. This treaty completed in 1874 was called the Brunot Treaty.

Many of the negotiations for the Brunot Treaty were conducted at Pagosa Springs. Even the Brunot Treaty did not open up the entire Four Corners area for settlement. The Utes gave up the mining areas in the high country where gold was found, but retained a horseshoe-shaped reservation surrounding the mining country.

Even that settlement was later disputed. The Utes later argued they did not intend to give up the land, only the right to mine the land.

In any case, starting with the late 1860s and early 1870s, settlers poured into the San Juan Basin. By the late 1870s, that portion of Archuleta County to be formed from Conejos County was being settled.

I have read little about those years when county government for Archuleta County was conducted in Conejos. I have read that Alec Fleming, the man who shot Samuel Maxwell as Maxwell fled through a side door of the Rosebud Saloon, was tried and acquitted in Conejos.

Who was enforcing the law at Pagosa at that time? Unfortunately, the Conejos County courthouse burned, destroying a great deal of Archuleta County history.

As the Hispanics say, "Quien sabe."



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Temporary dry spell predicted through weekend

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Don't get used to it.

Not yet, anyway.

After dumping rain totalling over one-third of an inch in town Tuesday, it appears the monsoon will take much of the weekend off.

That's the latest word from Brian Avery, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"We don't expect there will be much happening, monsoon-wise, over the next few days," said Avery.

"We're heading into a fairly dry period, with not much day-to-day change expected until later in the weekend," added Avery.

There will be a daily chance for light or dry mountain thunderstorms over the San Juans, said Avery, but probably nothing that resembles the heavy deluges of early this week.

"Look for breezy, warm afternoons with temperatures in the 80s through Saturday," concluded Avery. "Then expect a return to wetter conditions heading into Sunday night and Monday morning."

According to Avery, spotty clouds will replace morning sun by early afternoon today. High temperatures should hit the mid-80s; lows should fall into the 45-55 range.

Friday and Saturday call for passing clouds, highs in the upper 70s to mid-80s and lows around 50.

The forecast for Sunday includes a 20-percent chance for afternoon and evening showers, highs predicted in the 70s and lows in the 40s.

Mostly-cloudy conditions are expected Monday and Tuesday, along with a 30-percent chance for thunderstorms, highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s.

Wednesday's forecast indicates a 20-percent chance for afternoon showers, highs in the mid-70s and lows near 40.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 79 degrees. The average low was 49. Moisture totals for the week amounted to just over six-tenths of an inch.

The Pagosa Ranger District rates the area fire danger as "high." For updates on fire danger and federal fire restrictions, call the Pagosa Ranger District office at 264-2268.

San Juan River flow through town ranged from an average of about 60 cubic feet per second to a high of 140 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of July 29 is roughly 135 cubic feet per second.