August 19, 2004 
Front Page

Mill levy hike decision tabled

until Monday

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

What are the pros and cons of a potential mill levy increase aimed at resolving Archuleta County's road woes?

It's one of many questions that lingered at the end of Tuesday's county board meeting after a presentation by Bill Steele, county administrator, outlining how voter approval - or disapproval - of a related ballot question could determine future road-maintenance policies.

The commissioners were asked to evaluate the proposals and, in the end, opinions were split as to whether or not the specifics of each scenario need further investigation.

As a result, the board made no decision this week regarding placement of the issue on the Nov. 2 general election ballot, but expects to rule on the matter during a special session scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday in the courthouse meeting room.

Though subject to revision and board approval, the following is a summary of the information presented during this week's board session.

Why and how much?

Why consider a mill-levy increase?

Quoting from the preface portion of this week's presentation, "Simply put, we currently do not have enough money to maintain all of the roads in Archuleta County," explained Steele.

Options other than a mill levy, either in combination or separately - maintaining current policy, rolling back maintenance to match incoming revenues or finding additional revenue sources - have all been investigated and apparently deemed unfeasible, said Steele.

Adding to the dilemma, said Steele, is the fact that most county roads currently score low on the "overall condition index," a scale ranging from 1-100 that is used to determine road health.

"We feel most of our roads ... fall between 40 and 50," said Steele, indicating such roads are four to five times more costly to maintain than those scoring near the top of the scale.

Thus the choice to "let the voters decide," an option described as one that, if given approval, will meet the needs of "nearly all" county roads through a long-term management plan.

Steele said the cost to accomplish such a plan amounts to just over $6.9 million.

After factoring in current county revenues (roughly $3.6 million), and other revenues such as new HUTF monies (about $367,000), as well as a "worst-case scenario" remittance of funds to the town of Pagosa Springs totalling just over $288,000 - the difference needed sits at about $2.9 million, said Steele.

Based on these figures, the proposed mill levy hike voters would be asked to consider amounts to 15.27. With regard to residential property taxes, that's an increase of $121.55 for every $100,000 of assessed property value.

When added to the current levy for road maintenance, which stands at 3.50, the new mill levy would equal 18.77.

Acknowledging that figure is a significant boost, Steele reiterated an earlier point, stating the reason the increase is "initially so high" relates to the fact the majority of county roads are at the stage where they cost four to five times more to maintain than roads in better shape.

"And we can't make it all happen in five years," Steele added.

Over the long term - a 20-year program, for example - maintenance costs would decrease as the new system progressed, said Steele.

A "yes" vote

Before explaining the main elements of a potential "yes" vote, Steele stressed two notions, stating that all monies collected from a mill levy increase would be used exclusively for maintenance purposes and that the county's goal is not to "advocate one choice over another."

Instead, said Steele, the goal is to provide information sufficient to allow voters to make an informed decision.

In addition, Steele stated an approved mill levy "would automatically sunset after five years" and voters would then be given the opportunity to decide whether or not they wish the program to continue.

According to Steele, if voters approved an increase, all public rights-of-way would be taken into the county maintenance system, and nearly all roads would receive routine summer and winter maintenance as needed.

Road improvements such as graveling and chip and seal procedures would also occur, said Steele, but "when and where" would ultimately be determined by a long-term road plan.

Road upgrades, such as paving, would only occur if a road's functional classification were to change, or upon the determination an upgrade would result in more cost effective maintenance.

Under a "yes" vote, property owners associations (POAs) could opt to form metro districts and maintain their roads accordingly, and the county would remit HUTF monies and a percentage of the mill levy.

If POAs should decide against the formation of metro districts, the county would take over maintenance of association roads on an "as is" basis.

Likewise, metro districts would have to decide whether to continue maintaining their roads and receive a remittance of HUTF monies and a percentage of the mill levy, or turn over maintenance to the county.

Gated and private communities, however, would be expected to continue to maintain their own roads and U.S. Forest Service roads maintained under "schedule A" would continue to be maintained accordingly.

With regard to roads within the town of Pagosa Springs, the county would not assume maintenance, but remit a percentage of the mill levy to the town.

A "no" vote

On the flip side, a "no" vote on an increase would mean only roads designated as "arterials, collectors and rural and recreational byways" would be maintained, receiving routine summer and winter maintenance as needed and in accordance with an established long-term plan.

All others that fail to meet the above designations, including those maintained by other jurisdictions, would not be maintained by the county (except for snow removal in cases where a "snow emergency" is declared by the board).

According to definitions listed in Tuesday's proposal, arterial roads are those "that link cities, towns and other traffic generators, such as neighborhoods." Examples are Trujillo and Piedra roads.

Collector roads are those "that provide a link from local access roads to arterial roads, and allow for the movement of through traffic in neighborhood." Buttress Avenue and Vista Boulevard are examples.

The third designation outlined by Steele, "rural and recreational byways," is a new addition to the scenario.

Rural and recreational byways, according to Steele, are those providing access to three or more parcels of over 100 acres while serving recreational uses and needs on public lands. A few examples are First Fork, Snowball, Mill Creek and Turkey Springs roads.

In the "no-vote" outcome, said Steele, the number of roads maintained decreases, but for those that meet the designation, "we would expect the level of maintenance to increase."

Reactions and concerns

In response, Board Chairman Mamie Lynch stated she feels the issue is of utmost importance, "But I am really concerned about the time frame we have here."

Wondering aloud if the proposals can be subject to changes or are "concrete" in nature, "I cannot stamp this as it exists, today," added Lynch.

Commissioner Bill Downey expressed contrary sentiments, stating, "We have an opportunity, now, to resolve this problem."

Indicating he is skeptical the issue will be laid to rest in the future, "This needs to be addressed, and needs to be addressed now," Downey concluded.

Commissioner Alden Ecker indicated he has several concerns with the proposals, especially the notion of a "sunset" after five years if the measure gained voter approval.

If the county were to assume the additional road responsibilities of POAs and metro districts that opt out of maintenance and a "successor program" is voted down after five years, "We fall back into the same situation we're in today," said Ecker.

Downey disagreed. "If we don't do this, we're going backward," said Downey.

"The public needs to understand what can happen if they approve this," replied Ecker. "Don't put up so many million dollars and not have a plan ... that's all I'm saying."

Citing significant increases, Keren Prior, county assessor, suggested the effects a mill levy increase will have on vacant land and commercial property taxes be considered carefully.

"They will be impacted heavily with this new mill levy," concluded Prior.

Furthermore, "The plan doesn't say if roads will be brought up to county standards," commented Ronnie Zaday.

"Ultimately, that's what is going to happen," replied Steele, "but not in five years."

Near meeting's end, other questions centered on whether or not monies in the county Road Capital Improvement Fund would continue to be used "as intended" should an increase pass.

In response, Dick McKee, county public works director, stated the RCI fund "has not been moved in any direction from what it is right now."

With no decision in sight after further discussion, the board reached a consensus to revisit the issue Monday.


Downtown conceptual plan eyed

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Combine kindergarten through 12th grade students on one campus. Move U.S. 160 around downtown. Open up the river views by shifting the courthouse out of the retail district. And create a civic center of town and county buildings, complete with central plaza on Hot Springs Boulevard.

These were just some of the downtown master plan concepts presented at a meeting of the Mayor's Council Wednesday morning.

For several weeks, employees of Hart Howerton, a consulting firm consisting of planners, architects and landscape architects, hired by the council, have been considering plan alternatives in support of both public and private interests for a downtown area stretching from the high school to Lewis Street and from the junction of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 to the elementary school.

They presented rough concepts and sketches to a group of about 20 to "stimulate ideas and stimulate conversation," another consultant, John Petty, said.

Schools first

And it did that. Over three hours of conversation that all stemmed from the first piece, or district, presented - the schools.

The consultants presented two alternatives for relocating the junior high school, intermediate school and elementary school near the current high school on 8th Street. Adding a community college site was also discussed. One of the concepts showed the campus expanding east. The other west.

David Brown, chairman of the Mayor's Council, also suggested looking at the idea of expanding north to Apache Street as part of a long-term plan to give the school plenty of room to grow.

From there, the consultants discussed the area directly east of downtown from the Forest Service office down to Hermosa Street, focusing on creating a sense of "arrival" for people coming into the community.

Roland Abborg stressed design and amenities, suggesting the town consider landscape planning that is more organic instead of the traditional tree-lined concept that can encourage more strip development. He also suggested playing up the alleys, especially with regard to parking and pedestrian access, and creating a unified architectural style through building materials, colors or signage.

Civic Campus

Along Hot Springs Boulevard, the consultants floated the idea of a civic campus at the southern end where all town and county administrative buildings could be located around a central courtyard and connected to downtown via a series of trails along the back side of the properties. This, Petty said, could result in removing the current courthouse and developing that land into a larger park or even a space for historically-designed bed and breakfasts where people could sit and look out over the river.

The northern portion of Hot Springs Boulevard would remain more commercial in nature, eroding into something more natural the closer a person got to the river.

Reservoir Hill

To give people a destination on that side of town, Abborg suggested keying into the amenities of Reservoir Hill, perhaps making the concept of an amphitheater more permanent and making the entrance to the hill more obvious.

As for the downtown business district, the consultants said the biggest complaints they heard from discussions with community leaders and preliminary reports from the community survey revolved around traffic and pedestrian safety.

To address that, they suggested possibly creating a galleria concept in the alley between Pagosa Street and Lewis Street where pedestrians could walk among booths rented out to retail merchants or routing the highway somehow around downtown. In all the alternatives, the planning assumed the junior high and intermediate school would be moved, creating space for new roads to rejoin the highway or public parking lots.

At the beginning of the meeting, Abborg said Pagosa Springs was in a rather unique position.

"There aren't too many places you can go where you have this kind of a setting that haven't already gone off in a direction of no return," Abborg said. He also listed egalitarian values, the sense of community and the number of trees on the surrounding hills, the sense that the town is part of the forest instead of separate from it, that are part of its strengths and should be maintained through the planning process.

Originally, the schedule had been for the consultants to take ideas presented yesterday, work them into the master plan concept and return for a second presentation in the middle of September. However, Brown asked the consultants to hold off to give the Mayor's Council more time to review the ideas presented and perhaps prioritize some items, or at least research the feasibility of some of the bigger changes proposed before moving forward toward a final document.


PLPOA resurrects road advisory panel

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Twin Creek Village residents rolled out their road woes again Aug. 12, pleading with their property owners' association to work for a solution.

Leading the verbal barrage was Jerry Baier of 172 Caleta Place, who demanded to know, "With the change of leadership on the county board (read primary victory by two challengers over incumbents) and a promise to improve roads, will you support that action?

"Or," he pressed on, "will you continue to disengage yourselves from the primary problem in this community."

"Will you finally grasp responsibility for what your constituents expect you to do?" he asked, adding, "You've done little or nothing so far."

That was enough to send Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association director Gerry Smith into defensive mode.

"That's the third time in recent months we've been accused of failing to act," he said, "and I want to respond now!

"Four years ago we faced road questions meeting after meeting," he said, "and we engaged the question formally with appointment of a road advisory committee.

"The gist of the problem, as we saw it, was that we should be able to see for ourselves how our roads were classified, what that meant in terms of maintenance and how status was determined by the county.

"We pursued that for over two years," he said, "meeting again, again, again and again with county officials trying to get some listing of roadway classifications and standards established."

He said the committee and some board members consistently attended county meetings "and consistently urged association residents to join us. Sometimes one or two did."

Then, he noted, the county created a road committee of its own and absorbed into it the PLPOA committee.

"Suddenly all the questions on our agenda were tabled," he said "awaiting their new committee plan ... which we are still waiting for.

"We felt like the only solution might be to dynamite the building or shoot the commissioners," he quipped.

Three weeks ago, he said, the board members attending a county meeting found progress on development of a countywide list of roads, their current status, proposed status, etc., "but three columns were still missing.

"They have promised to complete the work and we have promised to continue our four years of pushing for action. If you were all there at every meeting, they might get the message."

Despite that litany of past effort, Baier reiterated, "Will this board be practical and continue efforts for road solutions?"

Director Fred Ebeling said he and other members of the association had already met with the two victorious candidates in the primary election and won their "concurrence with the need to work at all levels for road improvements.

"My guess, however, is that the lame ducks will do everything in their power to hamper what the new commissioners might be able to do when seated in January," he said.

Baier persisted in demanding a specific statement from the board that it "will work for the betterment of roads the constituents want."

Director Hugh Bundy, president pro tem, told Baier, "one thing is certain. We can't do all the things you seem to think we can do. What are your specific recommendations? What do you perceive as our leverage? How do we go about it? What more do you think we can do?"

There was no answer.

But the discussion wasn't over.

George Esterly told the board that six years ago, when a county mill increase for roads was proposed, he was the only person in the audience.

"We need concerted action by all the people on anything we do," he said.

Mary Sealey asked if there had been any consideration of going back to the past and "annexing to the town of Pagosa Springs where they have real roads."

Ebeling said the annexation question came up in the past and at one time the town was amenable to the link, three subdivisions at a time, "if the roads were brought up to town standards."

That qualitative factor was present in all the discussions, he said.

Another member of the audience, who did not identify himself, said, "If we want roads as good as the town's, we'll have to do it ourselves. Most of the roads out here were never up to standard, are not and never will be with the authority now in charge."

Another Twin Creek resident said the issue of roads is more than maintenance.

"There is an increasing frustration factor," she said. "What this board has done for appearance and aesthetics has been very good. But the bigger factor of good roads affects all the other efforts of the board and the citizens.

"We are a community," she said, "with you as elected leaders to solve our problems. Property values are affected by bad roads and we've been told Realtors won't even bring prospective buyers into Twin Creek now."

She said the "people of PLPOA made the change of commissioners and we want this, our board, to support the effort for the roads we deserve. Make it a priority."

Director Bill Nobles said he doesn't like bad roads any better than the complainers do and the board will continue to work for improvement.

"But beware that it all takes money and the county's money supply is limited," he said. "There won't be new money flowing from the state government for some time. More and more privatization may be needed to provide services. People have to realize a lot more than is now available will be needed for what they want done."

Finally, the board voted to reconstitute its road advisory committee and seek volunteers.

Directors discussed how the panel should operate, who should be in charge, and what the charge to the committee should be.

A board member should be an ex-officio committee member but not the chair, it was decided. The chair should be a volunteer who selects the balance of the panel from other volunteers.

And the committee itself, should develop and present to the board for approval, its own idea of what its charge should be and how that goal should be approached.

As the meeting adjourned, a woman in the audience was taking names of potential volunteers for the committee and another was asking board members how many they should get.


 Inside The Sun

Buoy, oh boy! What a line

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A move by Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association to protect boaters and fishermen from errant golf balls has irked Village Lake residents.

They were vociferous in their objections at the Aug. 12 board meeting to a new buoy line stretching across the waters. And their argument may have paid off.

Bruce and Diane Sanders were the first to comment, noting their view of the lake is "beautiful when it's up, but it's down now."

The view from the breakfast table has always been a favorite, Mrs. Sanders said, "but one recent morning we looked out and there was this buoy line in the lake and we wondered 'why?'.

"What's going on? What event precipitated this action?" she asked. "We're not aware of any golfer being beaned in the lake."

It was noted by the board that discussion on the new line had taken place at two board meetings prior to the action, and that both had been reported in the press.

Walt Lukasik, general manager, said the action was to replace a line which had been in the lake for 12 years but had partially sunk about four years ago.

Mrs. Sanders argued the new line actually crosses the old one and "made a criss-cross effect on the water. It is not beautiful. It's an ugly sight. You people have been responsive to needs for aesthetics. I can't believe you weren't sensitive to this ugly thing being there."

"There must be a better idea than this eyesore," she said.

Lukasik said the line was moved slightly from the previous point to guarantee shoreline residents the right to use the lake themselves.

He said the terminus point behind the golf course third tee creates an area where boaters and fishermen are kept at a distance.

Director Gerry Smith told the crowd he spent two hours researching his position after being alerted their question would be on the agenda.

"We all want aesthetically pleasing view from our homes," he said, adding, "this was not a question of aesthetics but of liability."

He called owners' attention the fact the association's liability insurance went up about $56,000 this past year as the result of one incident, and as a result of that increase association dues increased about $8 per property owner.

"Our desire," he said, "was to protect the interests of all the association. The statutes say failure to act to prevent a dangerous situation can be interpreted as gross negligence."

The Sanders were unimpressed. "We homeowners," she said, "elected members of the PLPOA board to represent our interests and we believe there must be a better way, one less offensive."

Director Fred Ebeling said the association was not the prime mover for the buoy line. "It was the golf course which was concerned about the possibility of someone being injured by a drive. They paid half the cost."

Les Milliken, calling himself possibly the newest owner in the subdivision, wondered if the association owns the golf course. Told, no, he opined "the golf course must have liability insurance of its own. The guy who hits the ball which hits someone is the one responsible."

His argument then strayed to water level. "You sit here as a board supposedly representing us in Village Lake, but you allow the golf course to pump water out and you do nothing to control it. We see ourselves as at the end of a pipeline. The golf course is in it to get water for their benefit and the property owners are made to suffer.

"I don't understand," he continued, "how you can let the level of this lake get that low, how you can just sit here and not get involved. It's a disaster, very upsetting."

Another property owner said she was an even newer owner "just a week on the scene, and already my property value has been diminished. This line was put in without any communication with the property owners and without their prior knowledge.

"Don't detract from your mission," she pleaded. "Your bylaws say protecting and enhancing property values is priority one. Live up to that commitment.

"All the declarations speak to protecting property owners' rights," she said, "so there should be no problem in you doing that."

Still another resident, displaying what she said was a bag of 53 golf balls picked up in her yard in a week, said the buoy line won't protect people in their yards. When I complained I was told, 'when you purchased property next to the golf course, you assumed liability.'

"You have changed a designated 'no fishing' area without notice," she argued, "and you have set yourself for a liable suit rather than removing the possibility."

Larry Lynch the association's director of lakes, fisheries and parks, attempted with Lukasik to show a slide of the area and how the line looks from the shore. Most were unimpressed.

John Hays, saying he was a member of the association's ad hoc lakes advisory committee, said the committee never discussed the buoy line and was never involved in the decision. "Why? It seems you may have been more interested in what the golf course wanted.

"You made a decision and the primary standing committee was not even consulted," he said.

Finally, Director Bill Nobles, saying he voted for the initial installation, said he now believes "we made a mistake. I move that we go back and take another look, that we consult with the property owners and if it is decided we have to go back to the original line route, do so."

The motion passed unanimously.


Enforce current rules, don't create new ones, resident urges PLPOA

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A proposal for the board of directors of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association to have each member subdivision review its rules, regs and bylaws with a similar look at the association as a whole, drew opposition Aug. 12.

While the decision had not been formally made to go ahead, it had been set on the agenda for that meeting.

Larry Blue of Highland Estates, saying he had not been to a meeting in two years, prefaced his comment by saying, "I'm going to say almost the same thing I said then.

"I'm not inclined to see us spending money, time and effort to change our declarations, but to look at enforcement of rules we have.

"I feel perhaps you need some additional procedures administratively. As a scientist I always had a working plan for the future.

"You need to have a positive description of every person involved in your projects, what their job description is, their function, and who they report to.

"Then, concentrate on enforcement. You may need a budget increase for that, but it would be worthwhile to correct continually recurring problems.

"And," he urged, "allowing the person reporting an infraction to remain anonymous, would increase your opportunities to alleviate code violations."

Later in the meeting, the planned discussion of rules revision was tabled until next month even though Hugh Bundy, serving as president pro tem, noted it had already been delayed one month.

But before the vote to table, director Gerry Smith said "We need to look at what works and what doesn't in present codes. Then we need to fix the things which don't work for the sake of our constituency."

"Last, but by no means least," he said, we need to prepare for the year 2020 when we have twice as many houses and residents. I believe the property owners must be involved now in these decisions for the future."

In other action, the board:

- approved reappointment of Earl Eliason to the Environmental Control Committee and noted there remains an opening on the panel due to the resignation of Jack Foley who is moving from the area;

- heard treasurer Fred Uehling report 2004 dues collections have topped $845,000, 88.8 percent of the amount billed and collection rate is running ahead of last year;

- affirmed eight unprotested fines levied by the department of covenant control; and

- confirmed for the public the reelection in special session following the annual meeting of David Bohl as president; Bundy as vice president; Uehling as treasurer and Pat Payne as secretary.


State weather camera stolen

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

At 3 a.m. Aug. 5, a pair of headlights appeared on the Colorado Department of Transportation's weather camera mounted at a tower on Put Hill. Moments later, transmission stopped.

Neither the camera, nor a precipitation sensor at the same station, have been seen since.

Pagosa Springs police detective Scott Maxwell said the stolen camera and sensors, all enclosed in weatherproof housing, were worth an estimated $6,500.

"Neither one can be used without the hardware and software that goes with them," he said. The theft was reported Aug. 9. According to police reports, the camera was used to send weather and road condition information to CDOT officials. Cost to replace the lost items is estimated closer to $10,000.

Anyone with information regarding this theft is asked to call Maxwell at the Pagosa Springs Police Department immediately, 264-4151, Ext. 241.


Plat review of Village at Wolf Creek Sept. 16

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Mineral County Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a 7 p.m. public meeting Sept. 16 to consider the final plat for The Village at Wolf Creek.

The meeting will be held inside the Mineral County Courthouse, 1201 North Main St. in Creede.

Bob Honts, chief executive officer and president of the Leavell-McComb Joint Venture, has submitted the final plat for the proposed village to Mineral County.

According to a legal notice prepared by Mineral County officials, public comment will be taken during the meeting, "but limited to accommodate each interest at the meeting."

If developed according to plans presented by Honts during public scoping meetings conducted by the U.S. Forest Service this spring, The Village at Wolf Creek would occupy roughly 290 acres of private land in the Alberta Park area, entirely within Mineral County and adjacent to Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The resulting community would include 1,200 hotel rooms, 222,000 square feet of commercial space, 129 lots for single-family usage and 1,643 multifamily units.


City Market West will close for

final remodeling

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

City Market at 165 Country Center Drive, nearing completion of a massive expansion, will close at 5 p.m. Aug. 27 for the final phase of the project. The store will reopen Sept. 1 at 6 a.m.

Pharmacy customers will be able to pick up prescriptions Saturday, Aug. 28, Monday Aug. 30 and Tuesday, Aug. 31, at the front of the store.

All the while, department relocation and restocking will be taking place inside.

A grand opening of the expanded super market will be coming soon. Watch for the date announcement in The SUN.

City Market at 165 Country Center Drive, nearing completion of a massive expansion, will close at 5 p.m. Aug. 27 for the final phase of the project. The store will reopen Sept. 1 at 6 a.m.

Pharmacy customers will be able to pick up prescriptions Saturday, Aug. 28, Monday Aug. 30 and Tuesday, Aug. 31, at the front of the store.

All the while, department relocation and restocking will be taking place inside.

A grand opening of the expanded super market will be coming soon. Watch for the date announcement in The SUN.


Commissioners delay bid for

resolution on methane drilling

A By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of Commissioners was asked to consider adopting a resolution this week stating support for anti-drilling efforts in the HD Mountains.

The resolution was presented Tuesday by four members of the "Yellowjacket Outcrop Group," who are concerned with the findings of a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) regarding proposed coal-bed methane gas production in the Northern San Juan Basin.

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

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

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

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

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

To that effect, "We're not against harvesting the methane," said Yellowjacket Outcrop Group member Kathleen Delzell, "but we have more and more concerns about what might happen ... about the side effects."

The potential for water depletion resulting from drilling procedures, as well as possible pollution and contamination from methane seeps were a few of the issues outlined by Delzell.

Other issues addressed include the potential threats of coal fires, erosion and vegetation loss resulting from methane production in the HDs.

In addition, group members Bill Vance and Brian McCracken indicated at least a portion of the maps used in the EIS are at least incomplete, if not erroneous.

Vance said although his house was built in the 1890s, the maps apparently "show our group of ranches as undeveloped land" and list "only a fraction of the wells" and springs that exist in the area.

Echoing Vance's assertions, "It's just a scary proposition," added McCracken. "It's almost criminal."

Acknowledging such sentiments, "We're not in a position, today, to pass a resolution," said Mamie Lynch, board chairman.

However, Lynch indicated the board will consider taking an official stance after a meeting next week with La Plata County staff in which the coal-bed methane issue will be discussed.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 2-5 p.m. in the La Plata County courthouse.

USFS/BLM meeting

Other issues relating to the potential development of additional gas wells in the HDs surfaced during an informal meeting conducted Tuesday night in the county Extension building.

The session was attended by roughly a dozen members of the public and afforded project proponents, opponents, representatives from the Forest Service, BLM and BLM Southwest Regional Advisory Council to trade comments and questions in an open forum.

Information and ideas presented during the meeting were recorded in writing and are expected to be available for review on the Internet by the end of the week at or

The following is a breakdown of a few of the topics addressed during Tuesday's meeting:

- the apparent need for updated information for the portion of the analysis area extending into Archuleta County;

- concerns about state and federal setbacks regarding drilling near the outcrop boundary;

- discussion concerning potential methane contamination of domestic water wells and ground water depletion;

- effects development could have on area vegetation and wildlife/ecosystems;

- discussion of federal and private responsibilities related to mitigation and reclamation.

On a related note, the comment period for the draft EIS has been extended. Written public comments must be postmarked no later than Nov. 30, 2004, and mailed to Northern San Juan Basin CBM EIS, USDA FS Content Analysis Team, P.O. Box 221150, Salt Lake City, UT 84122. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to:

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

The document is also available on the Web at or


Mayor's council plans incorporation as a nonprofit unit

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Mayor's Council for the Future of Pagosa Springs is working toward incorporation.

The group, loosely organized back in February to consider growth issues and planning, agreed last month to hire a paid part-time director and is now taking the first steps in becoming a nonprofit group.

Some of the founding members met Aug. 11 to choose a board of directors and set an organizational structure.

After some discussion, members decided on a list of 14 board members to include representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, the tourism board, the Archuleta Economic Development Association Board and the yet to be developed design/planning board. Other seats were set aside for the mayor, a town council representative, a county commissioner and seven at-large members.

For the first year, the board agreed, the seven at-large members should be pulled from among the founding members - those who donated money to this point. After a year, a nominating committee will be designated to submit recommendations for members to serve two- or three-year terms.

Board members appointed Aug. 11 included: David Brown, chair; Mike Heraty, vice chair; Mark Weiler, secretary/treasurer; Ross Aragon, mayor; Darrel Cotton, town council; Mamie Lynch, county commissioner; Tony Gilbert, chamber representative; Carol Brown, founding member; J.R. Ford, founding member; Bill Dawson, founding member and Lisa Scott, founding member. Plans are for the larger board to meet monthly.

Members of the steering committee, a small group which will meet biweekly to create work plans, agendas and action items for the larger group, include: Aragon, Gilbert, Heraty, David Brown and Weiler.

The group's other immediate priority is fund raising. According to a revised budget, the group will need to raise about $95,000 to cover obligations to consultants hired so far. Since February, consultants have presented marketing plans, created a poster series to promote Pagosa Springs as a community and are working on ideas for a downtown master plan.

The downtown master plan concept will be presented at a public meeting sometime around the end of September or in early October. Once it is complete, it will be sent to the town council for review and possible action.


Volunteer naturalist training set

A Durango Nature Studies will offer free volunteer naturalist training in Pagosa Springs Aug. 25 and 27. After attending the 11-hour training, volunteers will guide children on nature walks weekday mornings on the beautiful Four Mile Ranch.

No experience necessary; just a love of children and nature. Contact Jennifer for more information or to register at 382-9244 or e-mail


Archuleta County Cattlemen will meet Saturday at Chromo

The Archuleta County Cattlemen's Association will meet 5:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Shahan Ranch in Chromo.

The ranch is on County Road 382, house No. 3791. Take CR 382 at the Chromo store and go east about four miles. This meeting is a membership drive; anyone interested in livestock may join. You don't have to own cattle to join the association.

Supper will be served after business is conducted. Archuleta/La Plata Association officers will be present, as will other members, to answer questions about the activities of the association.


Two blood drives slated in Pagosa

You don't have to be rich to make a charitable donation. Give blood - it's a needy cause.

United Blood Services, the community blood center for the Four Corners, has scheduled two blood drives in Pagosa Springs this month.

The first is today, 1:30-6 p.m. in Mountain Heights Baptist Church, 1044 Park Ave.

The second will be 2-6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.

Valid identification is required of all prospective donors. For more information, call (970) 385-4601 or (800) 863-4524. You may register at


IHM honors volunteers, Father John

The John Marinoni Stewardship Society of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish celebrated the participation of 175 parishioners in the 20 some ministries serving the parish with a potluck and barbecue Aug. 14.

Father John C. Bowe, C.R., pastor, presented certificates of appreciation to ministry members on hand. Assisting was Eileen Ide, chairperson of the Stewardship Society and Margaret Jones, society cochairperson. Bill Ide, aided by Barbara Hendricks, was the master of ceremonies.

Bill Ide presented a certificate of appreciation to Father John from the stewardship society. The award recognized Father John for "his outstanding leadership, pastoral care and constant example of holiness given so humbly and generously to the parishioners of IHM parish and its missions and to members of the Pagosa Springs community."

Highlight of the event was an interactive timeline of parish history. Everyone in attendance was asked to enter their family history on the 40-foot timeline mounted along one wall of the parish hall. Kathy Kulyk organized the timeline which included historical photographs depicting parish events and photographs of the parish church's beautiful stained class windows.

The event also noted the 100th year of the Theatine Fathers who have served in the parish since IHM's beginnings.

Father John, ordained a Theatine priest in 1968, came to Pagosa Springs as pastor in 1976. His tenure was interrupted in 1984 by time spent as supervisor of the North American Province of the Theatines. He returned to IHM in 1991.

Parishioners built Immaculate Heart of Mary church in 1948 when the community of Catholics outgrew St. Edward's Catholic Church. Bishop Joseph Willging of the Pueblo Diocese dedicated the church in 1949. Two years later, Immaculate Heart of Mary became a permanent parish with Father Bernard Rotger, C. R., a Theatine priest, as the founding pastor.

Today IHM, which is located at 451 Lewis Street, has more than 450 registered families.


55 Alive driving course planned Sept. 14-15

Would you like to sharpen your driving skills and reduce your auto insurance premiums?

You can do this by taking the AARP 55 Alive Driver safety Program, a motor vehicle accident prevention course for persons age 50 and over.

Students learn defensive driving techniques, how to compensate for normal age-related changes in vision, hearing, and reaction time, how to deal with aggressive drivers and much more.

Independent evaluations of 55 Alive graduates have demonstrated a reduction in traffic violations and accidents that result in injuries or fatalities. Legislation has been enacted in 36 states, including Colorado, requiring all automobile insurance companies doing business in the state to offer a premium discount to graduates of state-approved driver improvement courses and 55 Alive is approved in every state.

The course must be repeated at three-year intervals to maintain eligibility for the discount. Policyholders should contact their insurance agency for more information on discounts.

55 Alive is an eight-hour classroom course conducted in two half-day sessions for drivers 50 and older. There is a $10 fee.

A course will be offered 1-5 p.m. Sept. 14-15 in Community United Methodist Church. Contact Don Hurt, AARP volunteer instructor, at 264-2337 to make reservations Class size will be limited to 24.


Full moon program slated

Aug. 29 at Chimney Rock

There will be a Full Moon Program at Chimney Rock Sunday, Aug. 29.

Spend the evening watching the sunset and the full moon rise one more time before summer comes to a close.

Gates are open 6-6:30 p.m., the program starts at 7 and moonrise is at 7:55 p.m.

The program includes hiking up to the Great House Pueblo just before sunset. A presentation on the archaeology and astronomy of the site will be given as the full moon rises over the San Juan Mountains.

Live flute music by Native American artist Charles Martinez will accompany the presentation. Please bring a working flashlight and a blanket to sit on. Dress for the weather.

Reservations are required and must be prepaid with Visa or MasterCard. Tickets are $10 per person and the program is not recommended for children under the age of 12.

To make reservations, call (970) 883-5359 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.

Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs and 42 miles east of Durango via U.S. 160. Go south on Colo. 151 and follow signs to Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.

The Full Moon Program is sponsored by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Program.


County fair 4-H contest event winners listed

Names of winners in Archuleta County Fair 4-H contests were released Tuesday.

Inside Projects

Junior Leadership: Danelle Condon, Blue and Grand Champion.

Entomology, Unit 1: Keegan Caves, Red; Derek Lorenzen, Blue and Reserve Champion; Chase Purcell, Blue and Grand Champion; Dean Scott, Blue; Haleigh Zenz, Blue.

Entomology Unit 4: Davey Schaefer, Blue and Grand Champion.

Entomology, Unit 5: Emmi Greer, Blue and Grand Champion.

Entomology, Unit 6: Dylan Caves, Blue and Grand Champion.

Veterinary Science, Unit 1: Stephanie Zenz, Blue and Grand Champion.

Veterinary Science, Unit 2: Danelle Condon, Blue and Grand Champion; Taylor Cunningham, Blue and Grand Champion.

Sports fishing: Riley Aiello, Blue and Grand Champion; Evan Greer, Blue; Chris Nobles, Blue and Reserve Champion; Matt Nobles, Blue and Grand Champion.

Archery: Tristen Bennett, Blue; Sean Blanchard, Blue; Jessie Brammer, Red; Austin DeVooght, Blue; Zachary Havens, White; Jeremy Laughlin, Blue; Reyes McInnis, Blue; Max Miller, Blue; Britton Muhlig, Blue; Maiah Muhlig, Blue; Chase Purcell, Blue and Grand Champion; Crystal Purcell, Blue and Reserve Champion; Dean Scott, Blue; Myron Voorhis, Blue; Tanner Vrazel, Blue; Cheyann Walker, Blue.

Cake Decorating, Unit 2: Mattie Aiello, Blue and Grand Champion; Tristen Bennett, Blue; Alyssa Lee, Blue.

Food and Nutrition, Unit 1: Nicky Toth, Blue and Grand.

Outdoor Cooking: Mattie Aiello, Blue and Grand Champion; Tara Baca, Blue and Reserve; and Melissa Wollenweber, Blue and Grand Champion.

Foreign Cookery: Anna Ball, Blue and Grand Champion

Photography, Unit 2: Ashli Cunningham, Blue and Grand Champion; Britton Muhlig, Red.

Photography, Unit 3: Rachel Carrell, Blue and Grand Champion.

Oil Painting, second year: Allison Hart, Blue and Grand Champion.

Oil Painting, Advanced: Misha Garcia, Blue and Grand Champion; Del Greer, Blue and Grand Champion; Crystal Purcell, Blue and Grand Champion.

Beginning Clothing, Unit 1: Maiah Muhlig, Blue and Grand Champion.

Decorate your Duds: Audrey Miller, Blue and Grand Champion.

Style of your Own: Anna Ball, Blue and Grand Champion.

Heritage Arts, Needle Arts: Brooke Spears, Blue and Grand Champion.

Knitting: Kaylee Fitzwater, Red; Emmi Greer, Blue; Kailee Kenyon, Blue and Grand Champion; Crystal Purcell, Blue and Grand Champion.

Quilting: Justine Smith, Blue and Grand Champion.

Food Preservation, Unit 43: Katie Laverty, Blue and Grand Champion.

Food Preservation, Unit 44: Emmi Greer, Blue and Grand Champion.

Home Environment, Unit 2: Anna Ball, Blue and Grand Champion.

Dog Obedience: Courtney Spears, Blue and Grand; Bethany Wanket, Blue and Grand.

Home Economics

Cake Decorating, Unit 2: Tristen Bennett, Blue and Grand Champion; Mattie Aiello, Blue.

Creative Cooks Contest: Mattie Aiello, Blue and Grand Champion; Anna Ball, Blue and Grand Champion; Laci Jones, Blue and Grand Champion.

Fashion Revue: Emmi Greer.

Livestock Projects

Sheep: Raesha Ray, First and Grand; Raesha Ray, Second and Reserve; Michael Caves, Third; Re'ahna Ray, Fourth; Lauren Caves, Fifth; Re'ahna Ray, Sixth.

Goat, Light Weight Class: Tayler McKee, First; Mia Jones, Second; Danny Shahan, Third; Haleigh Zenz, Fourth.

Medium Weight Class: Victoria Espinosa, First; Keturah Class-Erickson, Second; Tayler McKee, Third; Kelsi Lucero, Fourth; Stephanie Zenz, Fifth.

Heavy Weight Class: Victoria Espinosa, First and Grand; Keturah Class-Erickson, Second and Reserve; Makayla Voorhis, Third; Waylon Lucero, Fourth; Myron Voorhis, Fifth.

Steer, Feeder Class: Cheyann Dixon, First; Chase Regester, Second .

Light Weight Class: Jacob Martin, First; Danelle Condon, Second; Mitchell Martin, Third.

Medium Weight Class: Kaitlin Simmons, First and Grand; Crissy Ferguson, Second; Austin DeVooght, Third; Danelle Condon, Fourth.

Heavy Weight Class: Crissy Ferguson First and Reserve; Charmaine Talbot, Second; Jessica Shahan, Third.

Heifer Class: Crissy Ferguson, First and Second; Austin DeVooght, Third.

Swine, Light Weight Class: Charmaine Talbot, First; Laci Jones, Second; Lauren Caves, Third; Danny Shahan, Fourth.

Medium Light Weight Class: Michael Caves, First; Roxanna Day, Second; Crystal Purcell, Third; and Shelby Schofield, Fourth.

Medium Weight Class: Raesha Ray, First and Reserve; Tyler Talbot, Second; Laci Jones, Third; Waylon Lucero, Fourth.

Light Heavy Weight Class: Lauren Caves, First; Re'ahna Ray', Second and Third; Danelle Condon, Fourth; Keegan Caves, Fifth; Waylon Lucero, Sixth; Dylan Caves, 7th.

Heavy Weight Class: Raesha Ray, First and Grand; Tayler McKee, Second; Kalie Ray, Third; Roxanna Day, Fourth; Kalie Ray, Fifth; Danelle Condon, Sixth; Kelsi Lucero, Seventh; Keturah Class-Erickson, Eighth.

Rabbit, Meat Pen: Makayla Voorhis, First and Grand; Bethany Wanket, Second and Reserve; Camille Rand, Third; Shea Johnson, Fourth; Breanna Voorhis, Fifth.

Showmanship results

Sheep: Junior Showman, Re'ahna Ray; Intermediate, Raesha Ray; Senior, Lauren Caves.

Goat: Junior, Tayler McKee; Intermediate, Keturah Class-Erickson; Senior, Danelle Condon.

Steer: Junior, Cheyann Dixon and Senior, Kaitlin Simmons.

Swine: Junior, Re'ahna Ray; Intermediate, Raesha Ray; Senior, Roxanna Day.

Rabbit: Junior Showman, Samantha Hunts; Intermediate, Camille Rand; Senior, Danelle Condon.

The Overall Showmanship award went to Lauren Caves.


Christian Women's retreat set Oct. 1-3

Ladies, it's time to register for the 25th annual Christian Women's Retreat Oct. 1-3 at Sonlight Christian Camp.

This year's theme will be "A Circle of Friends - Remembering, Rejoicing, Renewing."

Pagosa's own Peg Forrest will be the featured speaker. Peg's heart beats with a passion to lead women into a more personal relationship with their Savior.

Also appearing will be Joan Kelley, a former Pagosa Springs resident now residing in Kansas, who will return for this weekend to lead the group in praise and worship.

Registration forms are available at local churches or further information can be obtained by calling Nancy Rea at 264-2774 or Lindy Moore at 731-5353.

Space is limited, so reservations should be made early for the special weekend which will include a 25th anniversary celebration.


Donations are still pouring in

for Auction for the Animals

By Annette Foor

Special to The PREVIEW

You won't believe what we have! The tenth annual Auction for the Animals is one week away and we have received a wide variety of donations of all types. From collectibles to apparel, there's something for everyone at the auction.

This year, the Auction for the Animals will be held 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, at The Pagosa Springs Community Center. Ticket prices are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, includes wine and beer tasting and a commemorative wine glass or beer stein. Advance purchase without wine and beer tasting will be $15 and $17 at the door. Gourmet hors d'oeuvres will be served throughout the evening with the silent auction starting at 5:30 p.m. and the live auction, with Jake Montroy as auctioneer, to follow.

Among items you will find at the auction are a 14-karat yellow gold one-of-a-kind pendant containing a 2.43 ct pear shaped fine Tanzanite hung on an 18-inch, 14-karat yellow gold snake chain, designed by Summer Phillips; from The Springs Resort, we have a Romance Package that includes one night lodging in the Rio Suite, unlimited access to The Springs, dinner for two at Isabel's, a bottle of champagne, two logo champagne flutes, a basket of Encantos Soaps and Moisturizers made with special spring water and massages for two; from Aspen Winds Condo, we have a three night stay in a two-bedroom condo; a commissioned original watercolor portrait of your pet from artist Mary Ann Page; an array of signed first edition books, plus over 40 gift certificates for dining, recreation, lodging, services, merchandise and so much more with bidding starting as low as $10.

The auction is an evening you won't want to miss, so plan on attending, enjoy scrumptious food, fine micro-brewed beers provided by Durango Brewing Co., exquisite wines and non-alcohol beverages, and relax as you look for that special something you had no idea you needed.

Don't wait. Get your tickets now at these locations: WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Co, Moonlight Books and Gallery, Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Humane Society Thrift Store or at the door Aug. 27.

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


Ute tribal history is program topic

The oldest continuous residents of Colorado are the Ute Indians.

On Friday, Aug. 20, Lynda Grove D'Wolf and her daughter, Lalena Weasel, of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, will tell the history of their people, tell stories and demonstrate games.

The program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Teal Boat Ramp at Williams Creek Reservoir.

From Pagosa Springs, go north on Piedra Road to Williams Creek Road, turn right, then continue until you see the reservoir and the boat ramp. Bring a chair and flashlight and dress warmly.

The program is sponsored by the Southern Ute Tribe and San Juan National Forest.

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

For more information about the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, access their Web site at and visit the Southern Ute Indian Cultural Center in Ignacio. Web site for the Center at


Ed Center offers classes for young and old alike

The Archuleta County Education Center is gearing up for another year of classes for residents of the county. There are classes for young and old.

The center offers academic assistance and enrichment classes for all youth and starting the second week of school, Aug. 30, will offer after-school activities for students in grades K-4 for one week.

The elementary tutoring program will start the third week of school under leadership of Lucille Stretton. Enrichment courses will be offered after school Monday through Thursday. In addition the Friday afternoon elementary fun club will be held each week 1:30-5 p.m. and there are also activities for students in fifth-eighth grades.

Arts and crafts classes taught by Tessie Garcia will be offered for grades K-4 starting Sept. 7. Students will learn the art of making bird feeders and drawing with water colors.

Homework center

The homework center (grades 5-8) will provide help with homework and school assignments starting Sept. 20. Becky Johnson, coordinator, is planning another great year.

The center will also be offering Parent and Child Together Nights, fun-filled evenings that give parents and children the opportunity to work together on educational projects.

The first evening event is scheduled 5:30-7 p.m. Sept. 9 celebrating International Literacy Day with the theme focused on transportation.

Adult classes

Throughout the year, the center offers a number of first aid and CPR training classes. Those classes this year will be held 5:30-9:30 p.m. Sept. 8 and 9. Computer classes also will be offered ranging from beginning to advanced level as well as how to use a large variety of software applications.

For more information on any classes call 264-2835.


'After hours' youth programs start Aug. 30

By Livia Cloman Lynch

SUN Columnist

Over 10 percent of our county population participates in programs operated by the Archuleta County Education Center. This past school year 1,127 individuals and 846 families received services from our organization.

One of our important program areas is positive youth development. We operate "after-hours" academic and enrichment youth programs for children in grades K-8. Last school year, 485 youth between the ages of 5 and 18 participated in our after-hours program.

We provided several thousand contact hours of one-on-one peer tutoring and over 70 enrichment classes in the arts, languages, and science. Forty teens were hired to tutor children in the elementary, intermediate and junior high schools.

At the elementary school students gather each afternoon for reading and tutoring. Two tutoring sessions operate each week, a Monday-Wednesday session and a Tuesday-Thursday session.

A typical after-school tutoring session begins with a recess break because we know that kids need time to unwind and get "the wiggles" out before they can sit down and concentrate on their studies. After recess the kids come back into the building for a nutritious snack.

Following snack time each student is paired with a teenage tutor who works with him or her individually. Regular classroom teachers provide a written assignment sheet each week that lets our teen tutors know exactly what each child needs to work on for the week.

After lessons are completed for the day, the teen tutors and students participate in a mini-enrichment activity. The enrichment activity could be a craft, art or science project, or the group could learn a team or leadership game.

Our fifth- through eighth-grade "drop-in" homework center operates Monday through Thursday, 3:45-5:30 p.m. The homework center is located in the junior high library, which provides students with ready access to needed resource materials. Adjacent to the library is a computer lab that is also available for report writing and class assignments. Becky Johnson, homework center coordinator, is also a teacher at the junior high school, which provides important continuity for our program.

After-hours youth programs benefit the entire community. Our after-school programs help keep kids safe, help working families and improve students' academic achievement by providing critical opportunities for youth to learn and grow.

Students in our after-school programs often have better academic performance, behavior and school attendance and greater expectations for the future.

We have been busy at the Education Center for the past several weeks getting ready for another year of after-hours programming. On Aug. 30 our programs for elementary-age students will kick off.


Bible study begins Sept. 9 at Restoration Fellowship

A Precept Upon Precept Bible study, Genesis, Part 1, begins Sept. 9 at Restoration Fellowship, Children's Equipping Center Auditorium, 264 Village Drive.

The Precept Upon Precept study method is being used across the United States and in over 100 foreign countries by people seeking to know the truths of the Word of God for themselves. These in-depth studies are widely acclaimed for their practical, personal approach to Bible study. The study includes homework, discussion, and a powerful lecture time to direct you in unlocking the message of God's Word.

All who want to know the Word of God and the God of the Word - from seminary professors to businessmen, to housewives, teens - attest to the invaluable help of the inductive method used in Precept.

Precept Bible studies are written by Kay Arthur, well-known speaker, broadcaster and author. Her in-depth knowledge of the Bible as well as her gifted presentation of biblical truth has made the Precept method an effective study tool for thousands. The study is uniquely designed for the serious student with seminary experience as well as for the individual who has never studied the Bible before.

For further information on joining this Precept study and to register, call Restoration Fellowship at 731-2937, no later than Aug. 30.


Food, games, sales items at Shamrock Festival

By Christelle Troell

Special to the Preview

The annual Bazaar held at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in years past has undergone a metamorphosis this year and has blossomed into an all-day Shamrock Festival for the entire family. There will be plenty of food, fun, music, entertainment and children's activities.

The festival, set for Saturday, Sept. 11, is well underway thanks to the hard work of festival chairs Susan Thorpe and Lynne McCrudden.

No one will go away hungry. The festival will offer a breakfast featuring breakfast tacos; a lunch of hot dogs with a variety of toppings; and a complete BBQ chicken dinner. There will also be an afternoon tea.

The ladies will be selling the ever-popular frozen casseroles and this year have added frozen soups and cobblers, along with plenty of home-baked items.

There will be a Book Nook featuring gently-read used books, and a silent auction which will offer a Stetson hat and artwork from the home of Dick and Ann Van Fossen, among other things.

The men of the church will hold a garage sale concentrating on tools and other "guy stuff." Family Fun 2 will feature used toys, games and sports equipment that will appeal to the children in your family.

While mom and dad are browsing the festival, Just For Kids will feature face painting, games and prizes, a tractor pull ride and corn shucking contest. There will be plenty of entertainment including bag pipes, a variety of instrumentalists and the St. Pat's Choir.

There will also be a drawing. Tickets are already on sale for a handmade quilt assembled by a talented group consisting of Mary Kurt-Mason, Marilyn Harris, Linda Warren, Topsy Woodson, Ruth Newlander, Becky Dorian, Charlene Short, Wendy Rockett, Helen Rackets, Lynn McCrudden, B. Ann Luffel and Katherine Cruse.

The queen/king-sized quilt features the flying geese pattern done in shades of blue and off-white. The drawing will be held at 6 p.m. at the festival. You need not be present to win. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and are available at the church office located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd., next to the Mary Fisher Clinic. Call 731-5801 for information. Tickets are also available from church members.

Festival organizers stated, "This will be an old-fashioned church fair with something for everyone. Come join us at the Shamrock Festival."


Action at Teen Center picks up as school nears

By Karen Carpenter

Special to The PREVIEW

We completed our double-elimination pool tournament and I am happy to announce that Jake Bandy was the hands-down winner. He was never defeated.

This tournament was very interesting to watch. I didn't think it was possible to have so many teens in one room and still be able to hear a pin drop. This was serious business and the competitive spirit and sportsmanship was fabulous. Thanks to all who participated.

By now you have heard that "our ducks" didn't make it to the finish line before three others did. We'll try again next year.

Many of our teens have returned after taking the summer off. I am enjoying catching up and reuniting with them. School is almost in session. Welcome back and welcome, too, to all the newcomers.

We had seven members of Americorp join us for a few days. They had been working on Reservoir Hill. What great young people with whom to share a couple of evenings.

Some or our teens have began repairing and repainting the game room. It gets so much use that wear and tear begins to show. We should be done by the time of this printing.

This fall we may undertake putting a video documentary together. We have the creativity, talent and many ideas. Any teen interested is welcome to join in.

Tuesday night is volleyball. Make sure to check out the new Japanese Club that will meet here on Wednesday evenings. Friday is movie night or karaoke. Every night is fun night.

Do you have party or event leftovers? Feed the teens and watch them grow. They even devour healthy snacks!

The Teen Center will be changing its hours beginning Aug. 23. Monday hours will be 1-5 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday, 1-8 p.m. and Saturdays 4-8 p.m. We will keep these hours on a trial basis until November.

If you are a parent, teacher or student at the junior high school we need your help and input. The Teen Center advisory board would love to fill a vacancy with one of you. Give me, Karen, a call if you are interested.

The Teen Center is located in the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard. The phone number is 264-4152, Ext 31.



Methane coalbed gas drilling EIS comment period ends Nov. 30

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

Mark Stiles, San Juan National Forest Supervisor/BLM Field Center manager, announced the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service are extending the comment period for the Northern San Juan Basin Coal Bed Methane Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The current 90-day public comment period will be extended from Sept. 13 until Nov. 30.

"We've heard requests from the Town of Bayfield and La Plata County, as well as local citizens, that they need more time to review the Draft EIS, which is admittedly, a very large and involved document," Stiles said. "I know many citizens and representatives of industry are working hard to prepare substantive comments on the proposal, and believe our allowing additional time for them to review the complicated issues is appropriate."

The comment period, which began June 10, has included a public hearing, four open houses, and the first of three public meetings hosted by a subcommittee of the Bureau of Land Management Southwest Colorado Resource Advisory Council.

Interested citizens will be able to submit oral comments into the public record 6-9 p.m. today at San Juan Public Lands Center,15 Burnett Court, Durango

Written public comments must be postmarked no later than Nov. 30 and mailed to Northern San Juan Basin CBM EIS, USDA FS Content Analysis Team, PO Box 221150, Salt Lake City, UT 84122. Comments may also be e-mailed to:

The Draft EIS studies a proposal by six energy companies to develop 273 new coalbed methane wells in the Northern San Juan Basin of southwestern Colorado. The analysis area encompasses 125,000 acres north of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in La Plata and Archuleta counties.

The Draft EIS considers cumulative effects from development on private lands, but makes no decisions involving private property. It covers the overall development proposal, as well as specific proposals for well sites. The EIS includes seven alternatives that study different development scenarios and mitigation measures. Several issues are discussed in detail, including the physical, social, and biological impacts from development of leases.

CD copies of the Draft EIS are available at the San Juan Public Lands Center, 15 Burnett Court, Durango, (970) 247-4874, or the Columbine Public Lands Office, 367 Pearl Street, Bayfield, (970) 884-2512.

Because the EIS is very large, limited hard copies are available. The document may be viewed on the Web at or

For more information, call (970) 385-1304.


Snow Springs area open to

firewood cuts

Gretchen Fitzgerald, small sales forester for the Pagosa Ranger District, announced Tuesday that the gate to the Snow Springs area off Forest Service Road 628 will be open to the public for firewood cutting today through Sept. 2.

A fuelwood permit is required and can be purchased at the Pagosa Ranger District Office, 180 Pagosa St.

The policy regarding no cutting of ponderosa pine snags larger than 15 inches in diameter remains in place.

For further information call Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.


Sportsmen, Friends of NRA have local scholarship funds available

The Upper San Juan Sportsmen's Club, in conjunction with Friends of the NRA, have funds available to grant scholarships to several local students entering their last year of high school as well as those already attending college.

Interested students should prepare and submit an essay on the importance of the Bill of Rights with emphasis on the First and Second Amendments; or an essay on the importance of the hunting sports in America.

The essays should be a minimum of 500 words and should be submitted to Upper San Juan Sportsmen's Club at PO Box 3178, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, postmarked no later than Nov. 1.

The club assists young, inexperienced shooters in the safe and proper manner of handling and shooting firearms. The scholarships will be available to outdoor-minded, pro-gun, high school graduates for college assistance.

The funds are provided through a grant from the NRA Foundation as a result of money raised at the annual NRA banquet held in February in Pagosa Springs by the local Friends of the NRA Committee.


Black-tailed prairie dog taken off endangered species list

An updated evaluation of the best available scientific information has led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine that the black-tailed prairie dog is not likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future and no longer meets the Endangered Species Act definition of threatened.

Therefore, the prairie dog will be removed as a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. A finding that the black-tailed prairie dog does not warrant listing was delivered Aug. 12 to the Federal Register.

"With new information regarding the range-wide impact of disease, chemical control and other lesser factors and recent state estimates of occupied black-tailed prairie dog habitat, the Service has determined that the black-tailed prairie dog does not meet the Endangered Species Act's definition of 'threatened,'" said Ralph Morgenweck, director of the Service's mountain-prairie region.

Until now, the best scientific and commercial information available to the Service indicated that the impacts of disease, chemical control and other lesser factors were substantial enough to warrant listing of the black-tailed prairie dog as a threatened species. Since 2002, state and federal agencies, tribes, and other parties provided additional information regarding the black-tailed prairie dog which was considered by the Service in an evaluation of the status of the species.

Previously, the Service focused attention on a few large black-tailed prairie dog populations impacted by sylvatic plague and assumed that population losses at these sites were indicative of losses across the species' entire range.

Based on new data, these assumptions no longer appear appropriate. Dramatic fluctuations in the amount of black-tailed prairie dog occupied habitat at specific large complexes may occur due to plague or chemical control, but they do not appear to influence range-wide species persistence. Recent information illustrates the prairie dog's resiliency to short-term, site-specific population declines.

Since the prairie dog was first determined to be a candidate for listing, state agencies have employed improved survey techniques and now estimate approximately 1,842,000 acres of occupied habitat in the United States.

This represents a substantial revision in the estimated abundance of black-tailed prairie dogs from 2000, when the best available information indicated 676,000 acres of occupied habitat. Estimates of black-tailed prairie dog density vary depending upon the season, region, and climatic conditions, but typically range from 2 to 18 individuals per acre, with an average of 10 individuals per acre. If 10 is used as an average number of black-tails per acre, the estimated population of black-tailed prairie dogs in the U.S. would be 18,420,000.

New information also shows that the black-tailed prairie dog is more able to persist over time in light of ongoing impacts. The increase in the Service's knowledge of additional occupied habitat played a supporting role in the decision to remove the species from the candidate list.

During the past few years some states and tribes have made substantial progress in initiating management efforts for the black-tailed prairie dog, including completing surveys to provide more accurate estimates of occupied habitat. Additional activities included drafting management plans, enacting laws that change the status of the species from pest to a designation that recognizes the need for special management, establishing regulations that allow for better management of recreational shooting, and setting future goals for occupied habitat that will address population management needs for disease and other threats.

Prairie dogs are small, stout ground squirrels. The total length of an adult black-tailed prairie dog is approximately 14-17 inches and the weight of an individual ranges from 1 to 3 pounds. Individual appearances within the species vary in mixed colors of brown, black, gray, and white.

The black-tipped tail is characteristic. Black-tailed prairie dogs are diurnal, burrowing animals. They do not hibernate as do whitetailed, Gunnison's, and Utah prairie dogs. The black-footed ferret, swiftfox, mountain plover, ferruginous hawk, burrowing owl, and numerous other species are dependent upon prairie dogs to varying degrees.

For further information about the black-tailed prairie dog, visit the Service's Web site at:


Ducks Unlimited sets its banquet Sept. 27

The Pagosa Springs Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual banquet and auction Saturday, Sept. 25.

Cocktails will be available at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6:30. The auction will begin at 7:30.

Ducks Unlimited is a grassroots, volunteer organization that conserves, restores, and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl.

For ticket information contact Nolan Fulton at 264-2660 or Tracy Bunning at 264-2148.


Ducks Unlimited to manage duck stamp image licensing

Ducks Unlimited (DU) will manage how Federal Duck Stamp images are licensed to manufacturers who place the images on a wide variety of consumer products.

Under the agreement, DU will use its expertise to expand and manage the licensing program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Federal Duck Stamp Program.

"We're excited to have DU manage our Duck Stamp licensing program and the potential it will have to provide even more money for wetlands conservation," said Service Director Steve Williams. "I am confident that this agreement will help us fulfill the goal announced by President Bush of conserving three million acres of wetlands across the nation over the next five years."

Since 1934, the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, popularly known as the Federal Duck Stamp, has been sold to hunters, conservationists, and stamp collectors. In that time, stamp sales have generated more than $670 million that has been used to acquire more than 5.2 million acres of important wetlands and associated upland habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The stamps, which feature images of waterfowl painted by some of the nation's most prominent wildlife artists, are valued for their beauty.

Recognizing the stamps' popularity with the public, Congress authorized the Service to license stamp images for use on a variety of products in 1984, with proceeds going to acquire additional habitat for the Refuge System.

Since that time, dozens of licensed products ranging from embroidered hats and sweatshirts to knives, keychains and prints have been successfully marketed by private companies across the country.

By engaging the professional marketing and licensing expertise of DU, the Service hopes to take full advantage of the valuable stamp images to generate more money for conservation and raise public awareness of the Duck Stamp itself.

Under the agreement, DU will help the Service broaden the awareness of Federal Duck Stamps and the role they play in past, current and future conservation efforts. Like DU's current licensing programs that raise money for waterfowl and habitat, royalties generated from the sale of products with the stamp images will be dedicated to waterfowl conservation efforts.

"When waterfowlers purchase a product depicting a Federal Duck Stamp image, they're not only supporting a great conservation program and tradition, they're enabling the manufacturer of that product to donate important funds to habitat conservation, as well. Everyone wins," said Don Young, executive vice president of DU.

"DU and its members share our strong commitment to wetlands conservation, and understand the values that the Duck Stamp represents," Williams added.

"The Service has a long history of partnership with DU on wetlands conservation projects, and we look forward to deepening this partnership through our licensing program."

For more information on the Duck Stamp Program and how Duck Stamp funds have benefited a refuge in your state, visit on line

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited ( is the world's leading wetland and waterfowl conservation group.

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 after 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.


USFS seeks comments on Kenney Flats restoration project

The Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest is requesting comments on the proposed Kenney Flats fuels reduction and ponderosa pine restoration project.

The project is located at T 33, 34 N, R 1, 1 1/2 W and R 1 E, NMPM. The project would conduct fuels reduction and ponderosa pine restoration activities across approximately 3,826 acres of Forest Service land in the Kenney Flats area.

The pre-decisional environmental assessment (EA) is now available for public review by calling the district office at 264-1509. The project EA is also available on the San Juan National Forest Web site at

Comments will be accepted for 30 days after publication of this opportunity to comment notice in the Aug. 12 Pagosa Springs SUN.

Comments can be e-mailed to:, or faxed to Rick Jewell at 264-1538. Comments sent as an attachment to the e-mail message should be submitted in Microsoft Word format in a common font such as "Times."

Comments can also be mailed to District Ranger, Pagosa Ranger District, PO Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

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

To qualify for standing to appeal the subsequent decision on this project an individual or group must submit "substantive comments" during the 30-day public comment period.

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

Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered but will not have standing to appeal the subsequent decision.

For further information on the proposed project, contact Rick Jewell, environmental coordinator, at 264-1509.


Sporting clay event Sunday

The Upper San Juan Sportsman's Club will host another in a series of sporting clay target shoots at noon Sunday.

The location is 1.2 miles south of the fairgrounds on U.S. 84. There will be a sign on the green gate at the site.

All clay target shooters are invited regardless of skill level. For further information call J.P. at 731- 2295 or Nolan at 264-2660.




Road Quote wrong

Dear Editor:

Let's just say that a close friend of mine sent an e-mail from an associate of his who does indeed work with the RNC.

Unfortunately I am guilty of the same offense I have in the past attributed to others, particularly Pagosa high school biology and history teachers, and that is not checking my sources.

So to Mr. Douglas, your "Jackson" is safe, for now, unless Kerry gets into office. And Mr. Porco, my "extreme views," remain intact. Though my quote was indeed wrong, the context of my message remains "gospel" as the Democratic faithful's obvious contempt for Christian values continues in the party platform, and Kerry's refusal to obey the pontiff's orders on pro-abortionists not receiving the sacraments, shows his contempt for his religion of choice.

Most honest people, even on the left, know that Kerry is a "Slick Willie" politician and as such seizes on every phony photo-op, as he did when he posed in bird hunting equipment, even though he has consistently voted against the Second Amendment. His utter contempt for President Ronald Reagan, is a matter of public record, too lengthy to re-quote here. Kerry's "on record" flip flop on every important political, social, and religious issue shows that he is willing to say whatever the crowd wants him to say at the time, and appear caring and compassionate, when in fact all he cares about is power and influence.

Finally, and once again, I don't hate my enemies. I know how strange and bizarre a concept that is for a liberal. It's the contempt the left has for America, her history, traditions, her unborn citizens and the God who made her great, that I hate.

Deny it all you want, my views would not have been considered extreme until the radicals of the '60s became the revisionists and dividers of the 21st century.

So until the next time, I decide to enter the fray, let me "repent in sack cloth and ashes," and state that any misquote won't happen again. I was wrong. Not something you're going to hear from John Kerry, I promise you.

Be blessed,

William Bennett


Land swap

Dear Editor:

I recently read William Hodkin's letter in The SUN requesting updated information on the Job Corps land exchange.

In the spirit of complete disclosure, I am an organizer of a nonprofit organization known as Pagosans for Public Land which is opposed to this exchange. I have dealt with the Forest Service, the developer, Tom Smith, and their facilitator, Western Land Group, for the past year.

On Aug. 3, I accessed the Forest Service Web site and reviewed the status of this proposed exchange on their SOPA update. According to this document, the Forest Service outlined the following schedule:

1) Scoping to take place 2/05. This will be the first time that the public will be notified of this project by the Forest Service. I have requested a public forum for this scoping, but as of yet have received no commitment from Pagosa USFS personnel to public debate.

2) Decision in 6/05;

3) Implementation 8/05;

However, in discussion with Forest Service personnel on Aug. 4, I was informed that this scoping process could start as early as three weeks from now. In essence, the community may have less than a month to get educated on this issue.

Since I have worked on the project for the past year, I can provide some background. The following actions already have occurred:

1) Initial proposal to USFS by Western Land Group on 9/23/02;

2) Initial purchase of the Laughlin Park property by Tom Smith, developer in 11/02 for over $1 million;

3) Second purchase of Spiler Canyon property in 10/03 for approximately $800,000.

Before we, the public, have been formally notified of this exchange, the Forest Service told the developer and his agent what land to buy and he has already spent over $2 million to make these acquisitions.

Interesting, right?

While some would have you believe that nothing is happening, in reality, this train has been on the fast track and running with a head of steam since 9/23/02.

William Hodkin said it correctly. This is a much too valuable, beautiful and wildlife-rich area accessible to all who live in Pagosa, to swap for development. Let's keep some of the beauty of this county for future generations.

We Pagosans for Public Land are asking you to get involved. Remember three weeks to scoping and a decision in 6/05, less than eight months from now.

For more information and to express your opinions, e-mail us at or call me at 731-1260 or Marcia Jarvis at 731-6586.

Clyde Grimm


Fact finders

Dear Editor:

As a concerned parent of students who have and will play baseball at Pagosa Springs High School I attended last week's school board meeting and was in support of the questions being raised to the school board.

As publicly elected officials it was my understanding that they could be approached when questions arise concerning district projects including education, facilities and co-curricular activities. I very much appreciated the time they took from that meeting to listen to our questions.

I left the meeting with a positive feeling and it was not until I read your article that I began to think that others might have a different opinion. Not at any time during the meeting did I ever feel the concerned parents were disrespectful or "ripped" the group in any way. I listened as Theresa Bradford read from a list of approximately 14 questions and two requests. All of which had to do with the conditions of the local baseball field, the work that is currently being done, and the hiring of a new head baseball coach.

This was not a complaining group but rather parents on a fact finding mission. I absolutely do not remember Mrs. Bradford ever saying that the district was trying to undermine the baseball program and do away with it completely. This comment was grossly misquoted. She and the group only have the best interests of the youth in this community in mind. A comment like this would have gone against everything she and the other parents who attended stand for.

I was stunned when I read in your article that in the board's overview of the meeting they were embarrassed for the Hamiltons and the comments about them. As I have reviewed the questions that were asked there was only one in which David Hamilton's name was mentioned. This was not a series of questions about Mr. Hamilton, but rather about our kids and furthering the baseball program in this community and taking care of and improving the facility to bring it "up to a quality facility that other sports enjoy at Pagosa Springs High School."

As I listened to the questions posed to the board, their response was that the answers would be given to the group in writing. At the meeting they did not give any facts regarding the current situation. However, in their own review of the meeting, Clifford Lucero was quoted as saying, "they obviously did not have all the facts."

I want to reiterate that is why we were there, to get the facts. To make a comment after we had left and not to the group spins the tone of the meeting to that of us against them. This is far from the truth. The parents that attended that meeting had only one agenda, the youth of this community. We want the youth that play baseball, football, basketball, or any other sport to have a positive and safe experience, one that they can look back on with pride.


Darin Mundy



Dear Editor:

This may suggest that we are on our way out as a great nation.

An interesting analysis of the last presidential election:

At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, in the year 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinburgh) had this to say about "The Fall of The Athenian Republic" some 2,000 years prior: "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;

From spiritual faith to great courage;

From courage to liberty;

From liberty to abundance;

From abundance to complacency;

From complacency to apathy;

From apathy to dependence;

From dependence back into bondage."

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minn. points out some interesting facts concerning the most recent presidential election:

Population of counties won by: Gore - 127 million; Bush -143 million.

Square miles of land won: Gore - 580,000; Bush - 2,427,000.

States won : Gore - 19; Bush - 29.

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won: Gore - 13.2; Bush - 2.1.

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country.

"Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off government welfare ..."

Olson believes the U.S. is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy; with some 40 percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

Pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake in this election year and that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.

Russ Roberts

Chimney Rock


Election notes

Dear Editor:

Hasta la vista, Amigos!

Beivenidas Senoras!

Time for Margaritas.

Jim Sawicki


A real saving

Dear Editor:

Thank you PLPOA!

PLPOA is still accepting branches from fuel reduction and defensible space cleanup of PLPOA members. Since the county dump charged us $16 a load, our many loads constitutes a real savings.

They not only accept them free of charge, they chip them and offer the chippings in return. We really appreciate it!

Don and Nancy Strait


Water concerns

Dear Editor:

The rumors afloat that a potential land swap of private property for some or all of the U.S. Forest Service land at the old Job Corps site raises serious concerns for wildlife enthusiasts and for adjacent land owners, but the possible development of such a land trade should raise some even greater water supply concerns for the following in Archuleta County: most countywide residents, the county commissioners, the Archuleta County Planning Commission, the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District and the Upper San Juan Conservancy District.

What if drought continues and Hatcher and Stevens Reservoirs cannot be filled from winter flows through the Dutton Ditch and spring runoff?

What if further area development of water uses compel the Colorado Division of Water Resources to declare the Upper San Juan to be "Over-appropriated," as has recently happened to the Gunnison Basin: Can you still meet your water supply demands?

What if the drought continues and the Lower Basin States of California, Arizona and Nevada place a call on the Upper Colorado River System for delivery of the Colorado River Compact allocations to those states? The Lower Basin States have a priority of 1929. What are the priority dates of your water supply?

Finally, assuming that the federal government is not going to be releasing large tracts of land for private developers, is continued development of all of current private lands up to the maximum limit of available land and water supplies the most desirable environmental use of private land and water supplies in Archuleta County?

Is open space, both private and public, important to Archuleta County citizens?

Ron Tinsley


Why no carnival?

Dear Editor:

I want to publically thank all of the hard working fair board members who put together a fantastic fair. The hours that everyone contributes is astounding. We are all already working on new ideas for next year.

A thank you also goes to all of our sponsors, outside volunteers, superintendents, judges, and of course 4-H. Without the help of all, we simply wouldn't have such a terrific event.

I also want to address a community question that we, the fair board, get asked a lot. What happened to the carnival?

To discontinue this was not a decision we took lightly. The first thing the public should be aware of is that getting a carnival to come is difficult. From year to year, they go to the same fairs etc. They rarely change course.

Several years ago, we acquired a carnival. This carnival came with controversery. The last year they were here, there were numerous problems we ran into. The owners were difficult to work with. There was an issue with money being taken from a customer unfairly, and not returning it to them. Some of the carnival workers were clearly intoxicated. There were times when the carnival workers would not stop the ride to let small children off, even when their parents requested it.

The owners spoke to fair board members and to members of the public using vulgarity. When the contract arrived the next year, they demanded exclusives on all amusement activity and food. The board felt if we agreed to this, we would be trading what our county fair is all about.

We felt the fair would be missing it's wholesome, country feel. Since this decision, we have gone back to all independent amusement attraction venders. Each year, we try to add new attractions to please all. Safety and fun are our top priorities.

We thank the public for all of its support. Thank you for coming and enjoying the fair just as much as we enjoy putting it on! See you in 2005, Aug.4-7.

Carrie Toth

Fair board president


Community News

Local Chatter

Himalayan boarding school reunion draws Pagosans - to Estes Park

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

School reunions are great times for uniting school mates and this one is especially interesting.

Last week a class reunion was held in Estes Park, Colo., for those who live in this part of the world who attend Woodstock School, an international boarding school located in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in northern India.

Woodstock was established in 1854 and this year is celebrating its 150th anniversary. It was started by a company of British officers and two missionaries for the purpose of educating females. Eventually, it went from a boarding school (that did accept boys) to an international boarding school affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. But it kept its English sense of propriety and with emphasis on biology and botany stressed academic excellence. Today Woodstock School is one the top international boarding schools in the world. Beirut International School is another.

Ruth Vance attended Woodstock School for 10 years graduating in 1968. Don Rickard went to Woodstock in 1942. The parents of both Ruth and Don were missionaries.

Estes Park was selected for the stateside reunion because it is like the area in which Woodstock is located. Woodstock School will hold a reunion in October.

Ruth's class of 1968 held a special reunion the week before the main and this is what Ruth went to. Members were asked to bring memorabilia: scrapbooks, slides, recipes, and because Ruth was the only one driving in, she had room to take things.

They cooked Italian dishes. Everyone cooked something. Some 15 were in attendance, nearly half the class and all were from the United States.

They laughed and compared lives since school days and Ruth made the general observation that they all, despite their different backgrounds, were doing some sort of service and doing well. She found this interesting because the parents of the Woodstock students were in a service: as missionaries in education or with American international help organizations, etc.

Ruth's mother, Virginia Jacober, who spoke five languages, was known for her compassion for lepers and other sick people. Her compassion rubbed off on Ruth and she always intended to return to India after nursing school in the United States. But she met and married Norm Vance and they began working for the University of Texas Medical School - Ruthie as a research nurse in pediatric cardiology and Norm in nuclear medicine research. And then, in 1981, they moved to Pagosa Springs.

Ruth is now a nurse at Pagosa Women's Health and Wellness clinic.

Fun on the Run

The hunched-back man decided, very reluctantly, that he should go see a doctor after a few too many people have started to comment on his back.

Doctor: "I need for you to get undressed, sir." (Hunchback removes jacket and stops.)

Hunchback: I really don't like getting undressed, doctor.

Doctor: "If you want me to examine your back you'll have to get undressed." (Hunchback removes his shirt but leaves his T-shirt on.)

Hunchback: "I don't like showing people my back. They always laugh at me."

Doctor: "Do you want me to examine your back or not?" (Very reluctantly, the hunchback removes his T-shirt.)

Doctor: "And, just how long is it since you were at school?"

Hunchback: "Gosh, over 30 years. Why?"

Doctor: "Did you ever wonder all those years what happened to your backpack?"


Senior News

Chuckwagon dinner trip a big treat

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

Our seniors went to the Bar D Chuckwagon in Durango this past week and had a fabulous time. The Riders in the Sky were special entertainment along with the regular crew, so everyone heard a lot of singing and jokes.

Consider going yourself this summer if you haven't already, it's open through Labor Day.

Dr. Nelson's talk about cataracts was well attended Aug. 10. If you have any topics you would like to hear about, please give Laura a call at 264-2167.

Our amateur half hour was slow to start, but it was only because people were shy. Last week we had a number of people stand up and tell jokes, and I think we will have more people dusting off their instruments to give our crowd a try. Next chance to show off talent is Sept. 14. Mark your calendar.

Our last Picnic in the Park was very well attended and the weather was picture perfect! Everyone enjoys eating outdoors and the good company and fresh air definitely helped the festive atmosphere.

The free movie this month is "Something's Gotta Give," rated PG-13. Academy award winners Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton and Frances McDormand star with Keanu Reeves and Amanda Peet in a sophisticated romantic comedy. From writer/director Nancy Meyers ("What Women Want" and "The Parent Trap"), which proves that in matters of the heart, you can expect the unexpected. Join us Friday Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. and remember the movie is free and popcorn is 25 cents.

Do you want to cook for an elderly gentlemen? One of our seniors would like someone to cook for him. Please give us a call if interested, at 264-2167.

We are going to have a dance here at the center 3 p.m. Aug. 23. Bring your own music, your dancing shoes and kick up your heels.

We are pleased to announce the Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop singers will be entertaining us while we eat Aug. 24. Be sure to come in for lunch on that day - music aids the digestion.

What luck: Phyllis Decker will be here this week with two presentations. On Aug. 24 Phyllis will talk about the early forest rangers and how their families enjoyed the wilderness. On Aug. 26 Phyllis will come to our picnic and talk about the CCC camp at the Rio Blanco and what they built and did there. Phyllis knows a lot of local history at her young age; come and find out what Archuleta County was like long ago. RSVP so we'll make sure there is enough grub, bring a side dish. If you need a ride let us know and we'll get carpooling going.

We are sorry to say that Bev Brown won't be doing massage here for a few weeks. She will let us know when she can start rubbing us the right way again.

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.

Do you have any videos you would like to pass along? Our video library is shrinking, but we still have people interested in borrowing movies. If you want to share your movies, bring them in to our office.

Southwest Center for Independence in Durango wants to start a senior blind support group to learn and discuss the problems and the things that help when you have a vision loss. If you are interested in forming a group that meets in Pagosa once a month, please tell Musetta or Laura at the "Den" or call Gail in Durango at 259-1672.


Friday, Aug. 10 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; free movie, "Something's Gotta Give," 1 p.m.; Spirit Day. Wear your T shirt.

Monday, Aug. 23 - Medicare and drug card counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.; dance club, 3 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 24 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop chorus sings for us, noon; no massage today; Forest Ranger Families with Phyllis Decker, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 25 - Canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 26 - Seniors Inc. picnic at Rio Blanco Campground, noon (RSVP)

Friday, Aug. 27 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; Spirit Day and celebrate August birthdays, noon; pinochle, 1 p.m.


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

Monday, Aug. 23 - Roast turkey, stuffing, sweet potato with apples, green beans and citrus cup.

Tuesday, Aug. 24 - Pork chop with apple, seasoned broccoli, whole wheat bread and fruit cup.

Wednesday, Aug. 25 - Salmon patty, mixed vegetables, noodles, Waldorf salad and orange sherbet.

Friday, Aug. 27 - Braised beef, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, tossed salad, whole wheat roll and fruit cup.


Library News

Pair re-elected to Friends board

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

Cynthia Mitchell and Donna Geiger were elected to serve another term on the Friends of the Library Board of Directors. Debbie Hartvigsen Morton was appointed to serve out Dick Hillyer's term as he has moved from Pagosa.

Along with a short business meeting Friday night, more than 120 Friends enjoyed food and drink and a first chance at the books. The Library Building Fund is $5,000 richer today thanks to the hard work of many volunteers and participants who took advantage of the many bargains over the weekend.

We thank the following people and organizations for their part: Warren Grams, Duwane Ramey, Manny Trujillo, Bob Kanyur, Norm Niesen, Beau Mattison, Tammy Romaine, Barry Thomas, David Krueger, Glenn Raby, John Porco, Don Geiger, Gil Bright, David Bright, Frank Martinez, Maureen Covell, Donna Geiger, Lori Moseley, Ione Adams, Marti Capling, Susan Kanyur, Carrie Weisz, Susan Valade, Kate Terry, Becky Herman, Phyllis Decker, Kay Grams, Barb Draper, Nettie Trenk, Shirley Iverson, Jeanne Alexander, Sheila Hunkin, Patsy Broyles, Patty Sterling, Josie Hummel, the Pagosa Fire Protection District, the Upper San Juan Health Services District medics, Rotary, the Extension staff, DNK Auto and Truck Repair and the Humane Society Thrift Store.

New CDs for sale

The collection is now available and you can browse through the new CD's that will only cost you $7 as long as they last. They are on a cart by the front desk.

Local author

A new book showed up at the desk titled "Quest for Tularosa."

We found out later that the author, Richard Lucero, brought it to us. Lucero is a Pagosa native and graduated from high school here in 1963. He now lives in Henderson, Nev., but still has relatives here and was visiting. He got away before we could thank him. "Quest for Tularosa" is his first novel, and he is currently working on a sequel.

The book is about a couple, Pablo and Eufemia Cordova, who are caught up in the bloody revolution against Maximilian's French Army and also Mexico's worst drought in history. Wanted by a Juarista captain and his soldiers, they must escape from their farm in the Sierra Madres and flee to the United States, where they hope to make a new home and a future for themselves and their children.

The story is full of action and suspense, and the reader is drawn into their journey, with its life-threatening challenges, conflicts and confrontations. The author has another book in progress, "Billy Thunder." We're sorry he didn't stay to visit, and we hope he will be back with another book soon.

"Then and Now," by Stefania and Dominic Perring is a remarkable book that brings the greatest wonders of the past to life. The Perrings are English and European archaeologists who have provided colored reconstructions printed on flappable transparent overlays on the ruins of the Acropolis, the Colosseum, Machu Picchu and 17 other important ruins. The sights chosen for this book are the spectacular products of civilizations at their peak - the monuments of state built to glorify and perpetuate the ruling system. From Karnak to Teothuacan, enjoy the wonders of the ancient world in this well done book.


Thanks to Barbara Bush and Carole Howard for materials. There were many more donations that ended up at the book sale and I apologize for not getting all of the donors' names. Please know how much we appreciate all of you who have given us books, video, tapes, CDs and magazines through the year.


Chamber News

Community center gala will

include Sally's historical perspective

By Doug Trowbridge

SUN Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Community Center invites everyone to attend a Community Potluck Dinner and Volunteer Recognition Party. It will be held Friday, Aug. 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the community center.

The center will provide barbecued chicken and invites those who will be attending to bring a side dish or dessert to share.

Mercy Korsgren and Mayor Ross Aragon will be recognizing the efforts of all the volunteers who have helped make the community center a reality and have kept it running from day one.

Also on the program will be an historical perspective provided by our very own Sally Hameister and music provided by Father John Bowe, John Graves, the Ladies Barbershop Quartet and folks providing selected hits from "The Hills Are Alive ...!"

Other than a dish to share, the event is absolutely free and we encourage everyone to come out and show their appreciation for what these wonderful volunteers have accomplished.

Joe Keck

Business owners, listen up: Joe Keck, from the Colorado Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College, will be in town Tuesday, Aug. 24 to provide free counseling to anyone interested.

Joe has five one-hour appointments available to business owners on a first-call, first-served basis.

To schedule your appointment, call the Chamber at 264-2360 now. Joe has a wealth of knowledge to share and the price is right.

If you're looking for more information than one hour can provide, you might be interested in a training workshop Joe is putting together for the Pagosa area.

This Entrepreneurs Course is a 12-session intensive training program designed to encourage business expansion in a community. It focuses on teaching the art of better business practices while producing a comprehensive business plan to guide business expansion decisions.

Topics covered include planning and research, marketing, managing your money and much more. Starting date for this workshop is Wednesday, Sept. 15, 6-9 p.m. and the cost is $285 to take the class or $395 if you wish to use the course for college credit.

To get more information, contact Keck's office at 247-7009.

HSPS auction

Don't forget that next Friday, Aug. 27, is the date for the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs' annual Auction for the Animals at the Pagosa Springs Community Center starting at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are available now at $25 if you want a commemorative glass and the opportunity to sample various beers and wines, or $15 if you just want to browse the vast array of silent and live auction items. If you wait, you'll pay $30 and $17 at the door. Either way, you'll enjoy a grand evening of fun and food that you won't soon forget.

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. Drop by the Chamber and get your tickets today.

Memory Walk

The Alzheimer's Association will hold it's first Memory Walk in Pagosa Springs Saturday, Sept. 11, beginning 11 a.m. in Town Park.

To get information about forming a team, incentives and schedules, please contact Ernie or Diane locally at 731-4330 or at Call them today and get an early start for your team.

ColorFest Fall Ball

Hard to believe, but ColorFest is just one month away and already the decorations are rolling in, the cheeses are ordered and the wine list is being prepared.

Mark your calendars for the weekend of Sept. 17-19 and start preparing yourselves for this year's Fall Ball theme. The wine and cheese tasting takes place 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 in the Chamber parking lot and the ColorFest Community Picnic and Concert will be 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Extension building.

Add in mass ascensions of hot air balloons Saturday and Sunday mornings and a balloon glow after the picnic and you've got a weekend to remember.

We'll be passing on more info in the weeks to come so stay tuned and plan to attend.

Short notice

Last chance! Members who want to put an insert in the upcoming newsletter need to have 750 copies on 8 1/2 x 11 paper and a check for $40 in our hands by tomorrow.

The newsletter is scheduled to go out the first week of September and we need time to collate 750 sets of inserts, but if you want to take advantage of this offer and can't make the deadline, give us a call and we'll try to arrange a short extension. Give us a call at 264-2360 if you want to get in the upcoming newsletter.


Two new members and 14 renewals this week which always makes us happy at the Chamber.

Our first new member is Linda Paskey with Pagosa Lighting and Electrical Supply, Inc. They offer lighting and electrical wholesale and retail, and a supply warehouse and showroom. They also have a master licensed electrician on site to provide technical assistance. They offer the largest lighting and electrical selection. You'll find them at 953 Park Ave. or you can give them a call at 731-1777.

Next up is Jo Saul with Jo's Travel Service, LLC offering a full service travel agency that can book air, cars, hotels, cruises and tours. They also offer charters out of Durango year round to exotic destinations. Jo is in Durango. Give her a call at 382-9773 to learn more about her services.

Our renewals this week include: Ian Vowles with Mounted Rescue; Dick Warring with Landstar/Wolf Creek Logistics, Inc.; Anna Marie Gonzales with Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu and Santa Fe; Wayne Walls with Wilderness Journeys/Pagosa Rafting Outfitters, Inc.; Jann Pitcher with Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate; Jerry and Rose Mary Zepnick with Lantern Dancer Gallery; Marion Francis with Bank of Colorado; Stacia Aragon with Pagosa Glass; Crista Munro with the Pagosa Springs Dining Guide/Pagosa Graphics and, again, with The Four Corners Folk Festival; Jan Santopietro with Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors. And we have three associate members: Jim and Robin Struck, Fred and Mary Webb and Joan and Malcolm Rodger.

Our thanks to our membership for their continued support of the Chamber.


Veteran's Corner

Letter from a fateful day

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

The local daughter of an Army soldier of a bygone era stopped by my office the other day. She wanted to find out information on her father. Find out about his military service.

We filled out a Standard Form 180 for copies of his military records and sent it off to St. Louis National Personnel Records Center.

She also showed me a letter he had written to a member of the family while he was stationed in Snohomish, Wash. With the daughter's permission I thought I would share with you what he wrote so long ago.

Imminent war?

In the third paragraph of the letter home this soldier wrote: "Enough of that, what do you think of the prospect of war with Japan? Quite a surprise, the Japs bombing the Eastern outposts isn't it? Two other fellows, my two chums, and myself are to try to get in the Army Flying Cadet Corps School, and if we can't get in that, we are going to join the Navy, as soon as the war is declared. I'm in the Army Office listening to the news with Peck and Hazy, my two chums."

Infamous date

The letter was written by Billy T. Davis and the date on the letter is Dec. 7, 1941. The state of Washington is quite a few hours ahead of Hawaiian time so Billy probably wrote the letter in the morning, perhaps only minutes or an hour or two before events would unfold at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii that would change America and the world forever.

Grant vehicle

It is hoped we will soon have a second vehicle for veterans to drive to their VA health care appointments. It is planned at this time to purchase a four-wheel drive SUV type vehicle for all weather, winter mountain driving by our veterans.

This vehicle will be purchased with a $30,000 grant obtained from the Colorado Veterans' Trust Fund through our local American Legion Post 108. This is the second vehicle we have been successful in obtaining through the American Legion in two years.

Working together

Archuleta County government is working hand in hand with the American Legion to provide this service to our local veterans. The county has agreed to provide the maintenance, licenses and insurance for the vehicle.

Because the two vehicles are new and under factory warranty there is very little maintenance cost. Because the vehicles are obtained through grant funding there is minimal cost to our local taxpayers.

Veteran users provide their own fuel costs for their trips. Even that is often reimbursed if the trip is to the Albuquerque VA Medical Center because of the distance.

Norton to visit

I received word last week that Lt. Gov. Jane Norton will visit Pagosa Springs in the early afternoon of Sept. 15 to meet with local veterans in the Archuleta County commissioner's meeting room.

Norton is very active in veterans' interests in Colorado. I understand she personally raised the funds to help send veterans to the World War II Memorial dedication in Washington, D.C. last May.

WW II Memorial trip

Again, our local American Legion Post was successful in applying for money from these state funds to send three Archuleta County veterans to the dedication. They received about $2,500 in funds for the trip. Two of them also were assisted with airline travel.

Norton was the keynote speaker at the United Veterans Committee of Colorado annual awards banquet in April where I received the "Outstanding Veterans Service Officer" award for 2004. Needless to say that award proudly hangs in the office.

Legion fund-raiser

Speaking of the American Legion I was advised Legion Auxiliary will hold a yard and bake sale at the Post building 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 21.

Donations for sale can be dropped off 1-5 p.m. Aug. 20.

These hard working folks really deserve our support for all the wonderful work they do for our community. Let's show them our appreciation and attend their sale. Those ladies really know how to bake some fine goodies and all proceeds go for their veterans' projects.

The American Legion Post building is on Hermosa Street just east of Town Park by the river in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Durango VA Clinic

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

For further information

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

Students on line in annual show by Rose, Bartlett

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

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

This year, Inge Tinklenberg, Janey Bynum, Lynn Cluck, Fran Jenkins, Anita King, Sandy Martin, Jean Smith, Glessie Drake, Linda Bundy, Janet Nordmann, and Kayla Douglas are showing their work along with the work of the dynamic painting duo.

Personally, this is one of my favorite shows at PSAC and I never tire of seeing the gorgeous pastels, the subtle watercolors, the dimensional oils. It's thrilling to watch students blossom.

Linda Bundy, who took up painting last year, has two paintings in the show - one an impressive landscape with a building.

Jean Smith, whose botanical art is top notch, is showing a series of picture postcard watercolors from a trip to Southern France and Corsica. My favorite is "Maison de Campagne."

Janey Bynum, a part-time resident of Pagosa, "loves painting God's beautiful country." It shows in her oil painting, "Spring in the Rockies."

Inge Tinklenberg who took up oil painting 16 years ago is now experimenting with pastel.

Some of the best work in the show by the students is Anita King's "Autumn in the San Juans," and Lynn Cluck's "Pagosa Autumn," and "Desert Storm." The use of color in Cluck's "Pagosa Autumn" is refined, her palette capturing the essence of fall. In "Desert Storm," one can feel the electricity building in the air beyond the bluffs. King's soft and muted palette and her focus on a clump of trees in "Autumn in the San Juans" is peaceful, her years of studying drawing and composition evident in the painting.

As for the dynamic duo, I'm particularly fond of Denny Rose's "Not a Creature was Stirring . . . that snowy morning." The painting is mostly white and snowy, with snow covered valleys and mountain peaks, trees in the snow. It is an expert hand that can create with such a limited palette. It reminds me of a Pierre Mion painting. Virginia Bartlett's "Aspens Along the Creek," shows her mastery of brush stroke.

If you haven't made it to the gallery in Town Park to see the exhibit, put it in your schedule of things to do. The show is up until Aug. 31. Bring your checkbook or credit card - the holidays are right around the corner. An original work of art is a treasured gift.

Victoria Stanton

The charming young woman at the gallery in Town Park is Victoria Stanton, who has been apprenticing this summer with the Arts Council. Victoria is a senior at Pagosa Springs High School and will continue working part-time for the Arts Council after school starts next week.

Victoria loves art and is a student of Charla Ellis at the high school. "I love art! Ranging from Rembrandt to Denny Rose, Rodin to Pierre Mion," she says. After high school, Victoria plans to attend college and become an architect. When you are in Town Park, stop by the gallery and introduce yourself to Victoria.

Artist opportunities

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

Juror for this event is nationally recognized fine artist and illustrator Pierre Mion, whose 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 Monday, Aug. 30. Entry fee for PSAC members is $15 for one entry and $25 for two. 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. Judges' awards will be announced at a 5-7 p.m. reception for the artists Thursday, Sept. 2, in the gallery. A people's choice award will be announced at the close of the show Sept. 28. Artists will receive payment for work sold by Oct. 15.

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

Ongoing workshops

Drawing with Randall Davis continues 9 a.m.-3 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 21, at the community center. Bring a pencil, drawing paper and an eraser and learn the most critical foundation skill for all artists - drawing.

Beginning Watercolor with Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday 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, Sept. 13-17, is a five-day workshop in plein air and studio painting at Blanco Dove. 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. 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

Workshop ideas wanted

The calendar of events is getting shorter, which indicates that fall is approaching. Submit your workshop ideas, proposals, and recommendations to the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and let's fill out that calendar.

Gallery gift shop

The gift shop at the gallery in Town Park is available to local artisans. Please consider consigning your original work in our store. Contact PSAC at 264-5020 for more information.

Home, garden tour

The home and garden tour was a huge success with everyone enjoying the wonderful "Parade of Homes."

Chairperson for this event was Marti Capling, with co-chair, Charlotte Overley. The home and garden tour was Marti's idea four years ago and she has successfully managed this event every year. Thanks to Marti and Charlotte and PSAC president Doris Green for all their hard work.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council sincerely appreciates the time and effort by so many people who contributed to the success of the fourth annual home and garden tour Aug. 15. Special thanks to the homeowners who so graciously shared their homes and gardens: Jere and Lois Hill, Dick and Gerry Potticary, Don and Barbara Jacobs, Gerald and Lillian Smith, and Bob and Flo Pacharzina.

Also greatly appreciated are the volunteers who served as hostesses and parking attendants: Janie Baker, Richard and Frances Wholf, Phyl Daleske, Barbara Elges, Janey Bynum, Evelyn Kantas, Yvonne Ralston, Sandy Applegate, Jean Carson, Patty Sterling, Mary Ann Limmer, Charlotte Overley, Sara Scott, Nettie Trenk, Pierre Mion and Stu Capling.

Thanks also to the advertisers: The Pagosa SUN, KWUF, Sally Hameister, Leanne Goebel, Victoria Stanton, and Jeff Laydon Photography, as well as those who sold tickets: The Chamber, Moonlight Books, PSAC Art Center/Gallery, and WolfTracks.


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

Aug. 21- Third Saturday Drawing 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.


Folk fest lineup is solid from beginning to end

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

With a mere two weeks left until the gates are opened to the 2004 Four Corners Folk Festival ticket sales are booming.

The three-day event will take place over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5, on Reservoir Hill.

This year's fest - the ninth annual - features a musical lineup that is solid from beginning to end. You know there's not a weak spot in the lineup when the first band on Saturday morning is the Marc Atkinson Trio.

The Trio is back by popular demand for their second appearance at the Four Corners Folk Festival. Their self-titled debut CD has garnered constant airplay on CBC, National Public Radio, and myriad college stations in Canada and the United States. On that CD, the trio has filtered the essence of a number of diverse musical styles through the prism of Gypsy Jazz as exemplified by the great French Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.

But while the band acknowledges Reinhardt's influence, the trio has ventured into musical terrain that the King of Gypsy Swing never explored, including flamenco rumba, the 19th century classical music of Chopin, and Brazilian Choro music. The trio's music also reflects the eclecticism, laid back humor and casual "good time feel" of Canada's West Coast, which the musicians call home. This jazz is original, complex and challenging in its conception and delivery but remains accessible and absorbing. Three-day ticket holders will have two opportunities to hear the Marc Atkinson Trio: Friday on the Summit Stage at 10:30 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. on the main stage.

Sunny isn't usually the first word that comes up in a discussion of Gillian Welch's music. But maybe "partly cloudy" is a better fit for Soul Journey, the latest offering from this gifted singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. The album conveys much of what we've come to associate with her style - stark but powerful stories set to music whose bare intensity conveys an almost unbearable beauty. Gillian's status in the folk/bluegrass world is legendary; she's been nominated for four Grammy awards, taking one home for her work on "O Brother Where Art Thou?" She's also won three International Bluegrass Music Awards in the span of her relatively young career that was launched in 1996 with Revival.

Her face should be familiar to music fans after appearances on the 44th annual Grammy Awards, the ABC July 4th Musical Celebration, ABC World News Now, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Austin City Limits. Her voice can be heard in numerous movies including "The Good Girl," "Down From the Mountain," "Songcatcher," "O Brother Where Art Thou?," "Hope Floats," the "Horse Whisperer" and more. This marks Gillian's first appearance at the Four Corners Folk Festival, where she'll take the main stage at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4.

Eddie From Ohio will mark their fifth year on the bill at the Four Corners Folk Festival this year. Too energetic to be labeled just "folk," and not angry enough to be pegged "alternative," Eddie from Ohio continues to defy description with their unique blend of vocals and acoustic instrumentation. A bedrock foundation of hand and stick percussion and a textural flavoring of acoustic guitar/bass/harmonica support the four-part harmonies and lyrically-driven original music.

While this combination has drawn comparisons like the Grateful Dead meets Peter, Paul and Mary, or like Jewel fronts The Barenaked Ladies, EFO fuses a multitude of musical influences to create their own trademark sound. Performing Songwriter writes, "The manic strumminess recalls Ani DiFranco or Dave Matthews, but there's also a deep undercurrent of high, lonesome mountain harmony that should appeal to fans of Alison Krauss and Union Station."

With this trademark sound, EFO has produced seven CDs (selling over 100,000 copies to date), toured from Maine to California, received air play from hundreds of radio stations worldwide, played the main stage at prestigious festivals like Philadelphia Folk, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and City Stages, appeared on syndicated radio programs Mountain Stage and World Cafe, and were awarded Best Contemporary Folk Group by the Washington (D.C.) Area Music Association in 1998, 2000 and 2001.

Not bad for a Virginia-based band that began in 1991 playing covers in neighborhood bars when three James Madison University graduates (Robbie Schaefer, Eddie Hartness and Michael Clem) teamed up with Virginia Tech alumna Julie Murphy (now Murphy Wells). After more than a decade, with the same four members intact, EFO graduated from town taverns to renowned listening rooms and concert series throughout the country, where their tight harmonies and humorous lyrics, set against an eclectic array of musical forms, can be featured to best advantage. Eddie From Ohio will close the main stage on Saturday, September 4 with a performance scheduled to start at 8 p.m.

Tickets to the Four Corners Folk Festival are on sale locally at Moonlight Books and WolfTracks through Sept. 1 and also are available with a credit card online at or by calling (970) 731-5582. After Sept. 1 tickets will be available at the gate on the day of the show.

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. The Four Corners Folk Festival is produced by FolkWest Inc., a locally-based nonprofit organization and is supported in part by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts.


Humane Society cookbooks

available in local outlets

By Lynn Constan

Special to The PREVIEW

Paws-itively purr-fect!

That's what you'll be saying after trying just one of the 250 fabulous recipes from the Friends of the Humane Society in its new cookbook.

In gathering these recipes, supporters looked to their own specialties and also called upon their culinary-gifted friends and families. It took a lot of soul searching for many of the contributors to divulge the recipes that they are known for, the recipes that garner attention and praise at every gathering.

Not only will you find local favorites, but also recipes from as far away as Alaska! It is with pride that the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs offers these recipes for your enjoyment.

In addition to the traditional recipe categories of Appetizers and Beverages, Soups and Salads, Main Dishes, Vegetables and Side Dishes, Breads and Rolls, Desserts, and Cookies and Candy for entertaining your two-legged friends, there are also some tasty treats for your furred and feathered companions. Contained in This and That are recipes for healthy homemade treats for your dog, cat or bird.

The cover photo was designed by Barbara Rosner and shot by Jeff Laydon of Pagosa Photography. Somehow, the two got that kitten to smile. Both animals are from the shelter. Dash, the kitten, was adopted shortly after the photo was taken and Thoreau the golden retriever was adopted from the shelter in 1999. The luscious lemon tart shown on the cover was prepared by Kathy Keyes of Pagosa Baking Company and the recipe is included in the Dessert section.

The cookbooks may be purchased at the Auction for the Animals, at the Humane Society Thrift Store, the Chamber of Commerce, Sisson Library, WolfTracks, and Moonlight Books. The books are very reasonably priced at only $11 each and will make great Christmas gifts.

In buying this book, you not only receive a treasure trove of recipes, but you also help the organization to continue its work with homeless dogs and cats.


Unitarians will meet Sunday in

Centennial Park

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will meet at the Gazebo in Centennial Park (downtown behind the courthouse) 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 22 for its annual summer service of Music and Readings in the Park.

There will be group and solo musical presentations, along with poems and favorite inspirational passages read by members of the congregation.

A family potluck picnic will follow the service. Please bring your own chair and food to share. All are welcome.


Community center second anniversary bash is Friday night

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

Dining, dancing, singing, celebration and a chance to visit with your neighbors.

Where and why?

At the Pagosa Springs Community Center Friday night to celebrate the second year anniversary of the center and to honor the volunteers who have helped support it.

Dinner will feature barbecue chicken and beverages provided by the center. Attendees are asked to bring a side dish and/or dessert to share.

Entertainment will feature Father John Bowe and John Graves on keyboards; the Taps Dancers; John Nash Putnam, Oteka Bernard and Veronica Zeiler from "The Hills are Alive ...!" and the Ladies Barber Shop Quartet.

The dance floor will be ready for those in the mood to rock and roll.

Festivities begin at 5:30 and end at 8:30 p.m. No reservations are needed; just drop in, bring a side dish or dessert and join the fun.


The Pagosa Springs SUN Volume 89, No. 5, of Nov. 20, 1997, reported, "Nearly 18 months ago Mayor Ross Aragon started contacting local groups and individuals concerning the town's need for a new multipurpose community facility."

Counting back, this means the Pagosa Springs Community Center project began sometime around June 1995. This project did not begin with a survey in 1996 by the University of Colorado's Office of Community Service as I previously reported. My apologies for the wrong information printed Aug. 5, 2004.


Food for Thought

The perfect life: Olympics, food and nonstop TV

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

It's 1:30 a.m.

I've tiptoed to the living room. I am sitting in the dark, watching television, with the sound off. I'm watching Serbia-Montenegro battle Sri Lanka in a fevered mixed-doubles badminton match.

I'm getting amped up.

It's time for the Olympic Games.

Athletes from around the world have assembled in Athens. Oh, the meaning, the history, the glory, the spectacle.

Oh, the food.

And the long, blissful hours spent in front of the television set.

I'm in hog heaven: I can park myself in front of the TV and excuse my utterly unsocial behavior, for two weeks.

"I know you want to go to the concert, sweetheart, but the synchronized swimming finals are on tonight. Can't miss that. The Italians are pretty strong this time out. They've worked through some real adversity - injuries, divorce, food allergies and whatnot - and it would be great to see them win."

"Oh, what a shame, darling: Ordinarily I wouldn't miss a chance to drive 600 miles roundtrip to see our granddaughter Ipana's three-minute performance at a violin recital, but it's China versus India in table tennis, and you know how ferocious that will be. It only happens every four years, you know."

"Oh, really, Doctor Phil is on? I know how much you enjoy that goof, but I'm pretty wrapped up in this rhythmic gymnastics event right now. Look at the patterns the ribbons form. That's gorgeous, don't you think? Maybe you can go to a friend's place and ask to use their TV."

Wooowee, life does not get a whole lot better than this.

I'm totally ready for the Olympics. Just as athletes around the world practice for their Olympic moments, I've been doing special exercises at the gym for about a month now, working on increasing the strength in my fingers, laboring to boost my speed and endurance. Olympic coverage is beamed to me on at least six satellite channels and I'm going to be using the remote like a man possessed. I've worked on a multi-finger remote technique, using either hand. I have four monster packs of extra AA batteries available and I've practiced quick changes. I'm like a veteran NASCAR pit-crew member; I can put fresh batteries into the remote and have that baby back in use in less than 10 seconds.

Now, to be honest, I'm lukewarm about many of the Olympic events.



Equestrian competition?

Ho hum.

How about the action at that darned Velodrome?

Oh yeah.

Judo? Field hockey? Team handball? Table tennis? Horseshoes? Lawn darts?

Yawners, all. But that doesn't mean I won't watch them.

Though I find nothing interesting about the sport, I'll probably tune in to men's basketball just to see if a crew of smarmy, overpaid and immature Americans get their rears kicked by a bunch of gangly Slavs with names I can't pronounce.

I'll definitely check out women's soccer just in case someone scores a goal and tears her jersey off in a fit of joy.

Other competitions, I savor.

I get a thrill - the old "isn't it wonderful to be human" rush - when I watch burly guys and gals pick up heavy objects and put them down again, and when I watch wrestlers torque the snot out of each other.

I enjoy the fleet of feet, though I have no experience in common with them. I got hooked on track when my oldest daughter ran in high school. I like swimmers because my youngest daughter was one. Likewise volleyball.

I'm interested in gymnastics because I have a fondness for tiny people with well-defined muscles.

But, what my Olympic obsession really comes down to is the fact I spend endless hours in front of the TV, with great food at the ready.

Every Olympiad, I like to whip up eats that reflect the cuisine of the host country.

I cooked lefse when the Winter Olympics were in Lillehammer.

It was cheese grits for Atlanta.

I whipped up a mean molé for the Mexico City events.

Barcelona? A tortilla. The real thing, the Spanish version of a frittata.

Seoul? Bim bing gopoobie or something like that. It was beef and it was spicy, whatever else it was.

Sidney? Okay, I couldn't come up with anything. It's difficult to get fresh ostrich here and kangaroo was out of the question.

This year, with Athens the hub of activity, it'll be Greek cuisine. The sad part: I don't know a whole lot about it. I haven't made too many Greek dishes.

As with most non-Greek Americans, the bulk of my experience with the cuisine has taken place in Greek restaurants that, as far as I can tell, bear about as much relation to authentic Greek food as do typical Italian restaurants to genuine Italian fare.

What this means is: I've eaten gyros, souvlaki, moussaka, dolmades, avgolemono. I love to nibble bits of feta and I've scarfed down some pretty darned good spanatokopeta and tiropita. Kalamata olives? Yep. And I've had dreams about pastitsio and its macaroni/meaty/custardy goodness. Ouzo? Let's not talk about ouzo; I've yet to recover from an unfortunate one-night relationship with ouzo nearly 40 years ago.

At the same time, I know Greek cooking goes way beyond these clichés. I know Greek cheeses are varied and renowned. I also know most Greeks live within a short distance of the shore and seafood is a big food factor.

But, I doubt a full array of Greek cheeses will show up in the San Juan Mountains anytime soon and, since the terribly limited selections in the local "seafood" case are many days from finny freedom, I'm not going to make any headway there.

Nope, this Olympiad, I am going to deconstruct the cuisine, isolate and utilize some of the key elements in the Greek food universe and keep the recipes pretty tight to the vest.

As far as I can tell, researching the topic on the Web, I can get by with the following ingredients: lamb and beef, shrimp, fresh vegetables (especially eggplant, potato, zucchini and spinach), lemon, oregano, feta, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil - the -deepest, darkest, most olivey kind I can find.

Oops, I nearly forgot: I need to cross lamb off the list. Kathy refuses to eat lamb (she was damaged in her formative years) and there's no way I can disguise it. It's the least I can do for my wife, considering she is already thinking about killing me and hiding my body in the woods.

For the first full day of competition in Athens, I compose a simple menu.

Since it's salad season, I whip up a take on the prototypical Greek salad. I throw together a batch of mixed greens and add sliced cucumber, tomato wedges, kalamata olives, some thin rings of red onion and chunks of feta. I dress it with an emulsion containing olive oil, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, minced garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper.

I run across a lovely Greek-inspired side dish on the Food Network Web site, attributed to Curtis Aikens: Sautéed Zucchini with Feta.

You take a couple zucchini, slice them into thick rounds and slowly sauté the squash in olive oil until the rounds begin to caramelize. Pop in a lot of chopped garlic, the more the better, and continue to cook, without burning the garlic.

Oh, this is so easy. I guarantee it's possible to watch beach volleyball and cook this side dish at the same time.

When the garlic has softened and is golden, add a bit of freshly-ground black pepper, blast the mix with chunks of feta and a small fistful each of chopped basil and chopped cilantro. When everything's warm, it's done. And it's tasty.

Greeks are real good at rolling things up. Grape leaves are rolled around wonderful fillings, ground meats rolled into tasty treats.

Starting dinner, I decide to craft a hybrid of keftedes and soutzoukakia. I mix ground beef with finely minced onion, finely minced garlic, chopped mint leaves, salt, pepper and a beaten egg. I fashion the meat into blimps, about two inches long. The blimps get a fine dusting of flour.

I sauté thinly sliced onion in olive oil until it begins to caramelize and I remove it to a dish. I add a bit more olive oil to the pan (can't hurt) then brown the blimps all round. Out they come to a heated dish.

Into the pan goes a can of diced tomato, the onion and garlic, and a hefty amount of oregano. The mix gets reduced over medium heat and a splash of lemon juice is added. I put in a touch of honey as well - just enough to take the edge off the acidity. As the sauce nears the desired syrupy consistency, back in go the beef blimps. When the meat is cooked through the sauce gets an extra hit of the fruity olive oil and a touch of butter.

I ponder donning classical Greek dress and an olive branch garland and asking Kathy to recline on the couch in front of the TV, ala the symposium, while I serve her.

I think better of the idea.

Next up, I intend to celebrate the women's 200 butterfly with a filo packet containing shrimps, peppers, tomato, oregano/garlic custard and feta.

But, first, a snack is in order. Hong Kong meets Belarus in water polo at 2 a.m. and I'm going to need energy.

My pick is skordalia, the classic potato and garlic dip, containing so much garlic my pillow will reek for a year.

Pureed russets are mixed with a truckload of minced garlic, a batch of minced, blanched almonds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and a titch of white wine vinegar. The mess is left to rest for a while and, blammo, call me Athenian.

Just don't call me during the marathon.


Cruising with Cruse

A 43-pound catfish and the pictures to prove it

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

A friend here in Pagosa country recently entertained visiting grandchildren.

They went fishing, he told me glumly, with a long face, as though this was the most dismal activity he could think of.

"I thought you liked fishing," I said.

"Yeah, but they don't like the cleaning part. So I had to clean everything they caught."

Well, that's what you get for letting them catch those fish. You're not supposed to catch them. They don't call it fishing for nothing. If you catch too many, they might change the name to catching.

Near where Hotshot is living in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, there's a city park. It's a lovely space of green grass under tall trees. A divided road, called a parkway, runs through the middle, and there's an outdoor amphitheater with pools and fountains and flowering shrubs.

And there's a pond. A small pond. Not much bigger than a stock pond. Barely more than a puddle. It has grassy banks and there's a crushed gravel walkway around it, with benches to sit on. An interesting free-form sculpture, kind of a concrete Mobius strip, stands near the water.

A lot of mallard ducks live at the pond and wander through the park, sometimes stopping traffic. Last spring one of the Canada geese hatched a dozen goslings. In three months they grew from balls of fluff with legs into adult-sized birds, although they still seem to be dependent on mom.

If the geese are close to the path and you happen to be walking your dog along, they hunch their shoulders, lower their heads and hiss menacingly.

The park is a popular place. Dogwalkers, retired folks, young lovers, mothers with toddlers, dads pushing strollers - all sorts of people gravitate to the pond at some time during the day. Most of the time someone is fishing, or several someones. A lot of the fisherpeople keep two or three lines in the water. They lay the poles on the limestone blocks that form the edge of the pond, drifting back and forth to check the tension, occasionally recasting.

Hotshot and I think that fishing in this pond is more a testament to hope springing eternal than to any likelihood that there might be actual fish in it. It's definitely not Gold Medal, Quality Water. But hey, fisherman don't really need to catch anything to have a good time, do they?

One recent morning there were five people and six dogs, all on leashes, holding some kind of dogwalkers' convention. The Bassett howled a greeting at me. "He's just saying hi," said his walker.

There were a couple of old guys nearby, with their lines in the water. One of them was dressed more like a Colorado hunter than an Ohio urban fisherman. His faded camo print sweatshirt had large bright oranges swatches of color front and back.

Well, I had seen this guy about 3 hours earlier, as I drove Hotshot to work.

And here he was, still fishing. So being of an enquiring mind, I stopped and posed the big question, "Are there really fish in this pond?"

Back came the surprising (to me) answer, "Sure, there are." Or maybe it was, "There sure are." At any rate, he was pretty positive.

"No," said I. "Really?"

"Oh, yeah, plenty of fish. I caught a forty-three pound fish in here," he told me.

"No way," I said. "I can't believe that. What kind of fish?"

"A catfish. Forty-three pounds."

He didn't seem to want to volunteer much more than that, so I played a trump card. "My husband and I have a bet going, that there aren't any fish here."

Well, at that he perked right up. (There's nothing like volunteering something about yourself to get other people to open up. A bet. Suddenly he had a stake in the outcome.)

"I'll show you the pictures," he said. "Got them right here in my car. You just wait there, and I'll get them."

He had a picture of the catfish, and a lot of other pictures of other fish, as well. "I don't keep the fish, just take their pictures and throw them back. Well, usually. I'm keeping a two-pound cat that I caught earlier this morning; it's there in my cooler." And he indicated a small red and white cooler perched beside the pond.

"And you have a scale in your truck?" I asked. Well, yeah, of course.

There must have been 25 pictures of fish. Some he was holding up, some were lying on the ground. These were Polaroid shots, and he'd carefully recorded the date, the weight, and the type of fish on the margin of each one.

A 38-pound cat, a 22-pound cat, and of course, the monster 43-pounder. Now I know that the picture doesn't show the weight, but this fish's head came up to his chest and its tail lay on the ground.

And just in case you're thinking, as I did, that maybe these were all pictures of the same fish, getting bigger each year, the dates on the pictures showed that all these fish were coexisting in that tiny lake. And, they weren't all catfish either.

"That there's a bass," he said. The bass was about 25 pounds. "How do they get here," I asked. "Does the city stock the pond?" "No, they don't stock it," he said. "I think sometimes people release fish here."

"Now there's the prettiest fish I ever caught," he said, showing me a gold and white koi. There was another gold fish, which he told me was a goldfish.

I asked if maybe it wasn't also a koi. "No, it was just a regular goldfish."

I asked what he used for bait. He told me that bits of hot dog were the best.

My fisherman friend stuck the photographs back into their envelope and got ready to go tend his lines, leaving me with this last piece of information.

"The best part of fishing here," he said, "is that you don't need a license."


Extension Viewpoints

CCA plans annual meeting

during upcoming state fair

By Bill Nobles

Preview Columnist

The Colorado Cattlemen's Association (CCA) will hold its annual activities and meetings during the Colorado State Fair Aug. 30-31 in Pueblo.

Activities will begin Monday, Aug. 30, with the CCA Board of Directors meeting 12:30-6 p.m. at the Pueblo Convention Center, 320 Central Main St. The meeting is open to all CCA members.

The association's 18 steering committees will meet 9 a.m. Aug. 31 to set this year's goals.

Following the meetings, CCA will host its annual state fair lunch at 12:30 p.m. The beef lunch is $15 and is open to all CCA and Colorado CattleWomen (CCW) members. Both of these events will be held in the Colorado Room in the Palace of Agriculture building on the State Fair Grounds.

In addition, the Colorado State Fair has designated Aug. 31 as "Cattlemen's Day" with activities at the livestock pavilion including an all-day open bull show and the cattlemen's reception at 4 p.m. Hosted by the state fair, all cattlemen and cattle exhibitors are invited to the reception where the Supreme Champion bull will be chosen. Following the selection, cowboy poet Baxter Black will entertain guests.

The real excitement begins at 7 p.m. at the State Fair Horse Show East arena where CCA will host its annual ranch rodeo. There is no charge for this event and it is open to the public. Teams will compete for prizes in five timed events including team branding, where calves are sorted, roped, and branded with chalk; team doctoring, where a specially-numbered steer is sorted from the herd, head and heels are roped and its shoulder is marked (doctored); ribbon roping, where a numbered steer is roped and a ribbon is removed from its tail; and team penning, where specific cattle are sorted and penned away from the rest of the herd.

The last of the events is trailer loading, where cattle are again sorted, roped, and loaded into a trailer. These simulate typical duties performed on ranches, and this rodeo is an opportunity for everyone to witness some of the hard work that goes into getting beef on our tables. Continuing a new found tradition, members of the media have been invited to participate on each of the rodeo teams. Make plans to come out and cheer on your favorites.

CCA encourages members and nonmembers alike to attend the State Fair's Cattlemen's Day and CCA Ranch Rodeo.

Membership drive

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

Roast Beef supper will be served. For more information or to R.S.V.P. call Helen 264-4239 or Betty 264-2416.

Gall wasps and oak

Of all the insects that produce galls on woody plants, none are so numerous and diverse as the various gall wasps (Cynipidae) associated with oak.

In the United States and Canada, over 550 different types of galls have been recorded from oak (76 percent of all types of galls produced by insects and mites).

Most galls on oak are produced on leaves or twigs. Common leaf galls found in Colorado take the form of small pale-colored balls, reddish cuplike swelling, bright-red raised areas along the veins, or wooly patches. The woody galls found on oak twigs include 'bullet' gall forms, that resemble a chocolate drop, or generally round balls. Galls on oak leaves are generally innocuous, although they can be a considerable curiosity. However, some of the twig galls are associated with twig dieback.

The life cycles of gall wasps can be very complex, with alternating forms and types of galls produced by some species. For example, many of the twig galling species spend the winter in the woody galls, and only females are found in these galls. They emerge in spring and lay eggs in young leaves. Galls along the leaf veins are formed by this stage, which involve both males and females. These emerge in midsummer and females insert eggs into the twigs. The developing gall wasps feed on the twigs, producing the gall. However, gall development is slow and it may take almost two years for the wasp to complete this development cycle, emerging in spring of the second year.

Intensity of attacks by gall wasps is highly variable. Much of this is related to how much susceptible new growth is present when the insects are laying eggs. Gall wasps are also heavily parasitized by other wasp species.

Effective controls have not been developed for gall wasps. Insecticide applications, if attempted, should be synchronized with periods when adult wasps emerge from galls and are laying eggs. This may occur in late fall or winter, several months before symptoms of gall formation are observed.


Pagosa Lakes News

Triathlon winners enjoy the event and sense of pride

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Have you ever had the experience of striving for something challenging and finding out at the end of the road that you had the energy, the perseverance, and the motivation to follow through until completion?

And even better, you didn't kill yourself physically, mentally and spiritually to accomplish that goal, even if you thought you might? And you enjoyed (almost) every single bit of it - the training, the discipline, the focus and, finally, the energy and excitement of the race?

This, I believe, was the sentiment felt by a large number of the participants at the end of Saturday's twelfth annual Pagosa lakes "Hi-Tri" Triathlon. There were big smiles all around. Afterward. When the pain was starting to subside.

The event, made up of three legs - a seven-mile run, a 14-mile mountain bike ride and a half-mile swim had all the makings of a beautiful day. The morning was cool following a very light drizzle the night before. The rain had enough moisture content to dampen and pack down the trail without leaving it sticky. The sky was a Colorado blue. The wind slept in, and the sun was bright and cheery. In short, Mother Nature cooperated.

Participants commented on how much they enjoyed the event. It was hard work and some questioned the reason for their doing it while in the thick of the race and when the lactic acid buildup in the muscles had peaked.

Visiting participants remarked on the friendly, family-oriented nature of the event and the beauty of Pagosa Country. The triathlon course includes some single-track trail with a couple of technical stretches, some woods, some meadows, some gravel roads and some asphalt. Occasionally it takes someone from outside to remind us of the specialness of this place we call home.

Local athletes who participated in Saturday's triathlon did enjoy the opportunity to pit their athleticism against other participants, particularly the unknown competitors from outside Pagosa. There is, in general, a sense of everyone being there to share the day with each other. Enjoyment is partly enhanced by a low-stress, laid-back atmosphere.

This year I'm posting every participant's result because of the huge numbers of locals who competed very successfully and who have family, friends and co-workers who I know will be full of pride at their performance. Besides, I'm also very proud of everyone's effort.

In the men's overall division it was an exciting, gut-wrenching finish. Ethan Passant, (son of Sue and Jack Passant of Pagosa) from Crested Butte and local J.D. Kurz battled to cross the finish line. Ethan was clocked at 1:55:06 and J.D. triggered at 1:55:07. If they were both horses, we could have attributed the win to the horse with a longer snout. It was a photo finish that set the spectators wild.

Following in third place was Kevin Deiber (Laramie, Wyo.) 1:56:56. The rest that followed were: Carl Wilhelm (Laramie, Wyo.) 2:03:00; Douglas Gibula (Durango, CO) 2:04:03; Doug Purcell (Pagosa) 2:07:07; Zac Anguno (Durango) 2:08:34; Jack Searle (Pagosa) 2:10:28 - also first in the "old man division;" Robbie Johnson (Pagosa) 2:11:10 who supported the race by using the triathlon as part of his training for Ironman Canada at the end of this month; Chris Pitcher (Pagosa) 2:13:30; Nathan Wilhelm (Laramie, Wyo.) 2:14:28; Robert Pyle (Boulder) 2:15:37; Garth Schultheis (Durango) 2:17:49; Brian Burgan (Pagosa) 2:19:24; Richard Cyr (Pagosa) 2:23:22; Jesse Tigner (Estes Park) 2:27:29; Harold Thompson (Pagosa) 2:27:59; Hank McCallum (Cedaredge) 2:28:17; Patrick O'Brien (Pagosa) 2:28:18; Jonathan Williams (Colorado Springs) 2:28:50; David Dalton (Longmont) 2:43:14; Greg Neugebauer (Albuquerque) 2:43:16; and Richard Stam ( Albuquerque) 2:44:27 who was our oldest competitor at age 66. Admirable!

Women's overall results were: Emily Deitz (Pagosa) 2:16:33; Ming Steen (Pagosa) 2:21:30; Andrea Morehouse (Estes Park) 2:36:32; Melanie Tarutani (Kayenta, Ariz.) 2:41:03; Tammy Holcomb (Pagosa) 2:42:47; Julie Burch (Pagosa) 2:57:18; and Andrea McGinn (Pagosa) 3:14:22. Go girls! Let's have more ladies competing next year.

In team competition, 22 teams total, the threesome of Patrick O'Brien, Tre Metzler and Tiffany Thompson dominated for the third year in a row with a time of 1:49:12. Jerry Archuleta, Sterling Moss and Alan Stuebe came in second at 2:05:06. Also posting a strong finish to nab third in 2:05:46 were Joe Gilbert, Chris Schaefer and Aaron Miller.

The rest of the teams were as follows: James Westmoreland and Diana Hardy 2:07:08; Byron Castaneda and Audrey Miller (2:10:34); Aaron Hamilton, Scott Asay and John Hostetter (2:12:20); Coye Jones, Tim Decker and Carl Pitts (2:13:22); Tammy Holcomb, Matt Carmody and Dylan Caves (2:16:56); Michael DeGree and Margaret Burkesmith (2:19:03); Emily Schur, Laurel Reinhardt, Courtney Fuller, Teale Kitson (2:19:51); Cindy Gonzales, Denise McCabe and Josh Bramble (2:23:52); Ginger Smith, Denise Kimsey and Mackenzie Kitson (2:25:25); Michael Bir, Melissa Bir and Michael Caves (2:31:29); Mark Zigler, Dan Keuning and Peggy Walter (2:32:40); Lisa Raymond, Kurt Raymond and Steve Elges (2:34:57); Carla Fuller and Diane Aaberg (2:40:43); Steve Wagner, Cerissa Wagner and Cristee Wagner (2:40:56); Josh Taylor, Shaundra Taylor (2:45:30); Rachel Gurr, Lee Gonzalez (2:45:34); Julie Barber and Erich Barber (2:48:39); Shirley Hunter, Charlene Stipe and Jennifer Lockwood (2:53:35); and Erik Din, Cathy Swarts and Virginia Salas (2:59:23). Teams are great fun.

It was a good triathlon - a fantastic success for all the smiling, exhausted athletes. Everyone was applauded, not just those finishing first. We all gave it everything we had, all pounded out the mileage on the same course, and all are proud of having competed and completed.

Many volunteers offered logistical support the entire morning. Those volunteers gave form, order and direction to the event. Sponsors and businesses, as usual, provided generous cash support and door prizes. I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. The Pagosa Springs High School cross country team (some of whom participated in the race) will be the happy beneficiary from the proceeds of this event.



Bonnie Starkey

Bonnie E. Starkey, 90, passed away in Pagosa Springs on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2004.

The daughter of Elijah and Nettie Wall, she was born Dec. 2, 1913, in Chicago, Ill. She later married Alex Wiedenbeck in Chicago.

Bonnie moved to Pagosa Springs in September 2001 to be close to her daughter, Alana Koch.

She is survived by sisters Reva Rogers of The Villages, Fla., and Velma Mitchell of Yucaipa, Calif; daughter and son-in-law Alana and Thomas Koch of Pagosa Springs; son Al Wiedenbeck of Montclair, Calif.; granddaughter and grandson Mara Koch-Taylor and Jake Koch of Pagosa Springs; granddaughter Chelsey Wiedenbeck of La Vern, Calif.; and five great-grandchildren in Pagosa Springs.


Business News

Biz Beat

Babies on a Budget

Misty Talbot started Babies on a Budget to bring quality clothing at affordable prices to the families of Pagosa.

Babies on a Budget carries new and gently-used preemie to toddlers' (age 4) clothing, as well as maternity clothing, furniture and accessories at affordable prices.

Babies on a Budget is located at 150 Pagosa St., Suite 5, in The Old Town Mall behind Christmas in Pagosa. Call 264-8080.


Preview Profile


Jennifer Buzby

Administrative assistant, Archuleta County Road and Bridge Fleet Department.


Where were you born?

"Atlantic City, New Jersey."


Where did you go to school?

"At Egg Harbor Township in New Jersey."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"July 23 of this year."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I drove a forklift for Home Depot."


What are your job responsibilities?

"I perform general administration duties, accounts payable, etc."


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

"I enjoy getting to meet new people. The least enjoyable part of my job is having to take complaint calls about the roads. It's good that people are concerned about the roads but being unfriendly to the person taking the call doesn't help anything."


What is your family background?

"My husband and I live here and when our parents come down and visit from New Jersey they will never want to leave."


What do you like best about the community?

"I like that it is a very close knit community and that it is very friendly and welcomed my husband and me so warmly into the town."


What are your other interests?

"We have two horses that I love to ride and I enjoy hiking and water sports."


Cards of Thanks



Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center thanks Durango Orthopedics and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage for their sponsorship of the Pagosa Lakes Triathlon. What a successful race!

We thank the volunteers who offered logistical support: Pagosa Springs High School Cross-Country team, Jack Ellis, Karl Isberg, Kathy Isberg, Natalie Carpenter, Don DaDeppo, Rick Schur, Jane Schur, Chris Corcoran, Doug Galles, Judy Galles, Ed Funk, Lynn Funk, Wally Lankford, Linda Ball, Carole Walter, Richard Anderson, Jeremy Judd, Sue Passant, Dawn French, Chris Hostetter, Pam Barron, Laura Barron, and Tom Steen.

We also thank these businesses for door prizes: Miracle of Aloe, Juan's Mountain Sports, Shanghai Restaurant, Silver Mine, Pedal Power, Conoco West, Bear Creek, Pagosa Chiropractic, City Market, Springs Inn, JJ's Restaurant, Summit Ski and Sports, Cool Heads, Home Again, Wolf Tracks and Your Running Store (Durango).

No race is complete without nourishment from Peak Physical Therapy. To Gayle Eustis, your marvelous massages restored dignity to hurting athletes. To my faithful staff, you're awesome! To my co-race director, Scott Anderson, you lighten the load. I thank you all. You have donated not just time and money but have given form, order and direction for the continued success of this athletic event.

Ming Steen


Home tour

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council sincerely appreciates the time and effort by so many people who contributed to the success of the fourth annual Home and Garden Tour on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 15.

Special thanks to the home owners who so graciously shared their homes and gardens: Jere and Lois Hill, Dick and Gerry Potticary, Don and Barbara Jacobs, Gerald and Lillian Smith, and Bob and Flo Pacharzina.

Also greatly appreciated are the volunteers who served as hostesses and parking attendants: Janie Baker, Richard and Frances Wholf, Phyl Daleske, Barbara Elges, Janey Bynum, Evelyn Kantas, Yvonne Ralston, Sandy Applegate, Jean Carson, Patty Sterling, Mary Ann Limmer, Charlotte Overley, Sara Scott, Nettie Trenk, Pierre Mion and Stu Capling.





Luke and Sable Baxstrom of Pagosa Springs announce the marriage of their mother, Rebecca, to Willie Swanda. The outdoor wedding took place Aug. 5, 2004, in a picturesque mountain setting at Williams Lake. After uniting the couple, Roger Behr blessed the marriage and an evening reception followed at Williams Lake. The bride is the daughter of Richard and Frances Wholf of Pagosa Springs and the groom the son of Bill and the late Hazel Swanda. Maid of honor was Elizabeth Wholf, sister of the bride; Sable Baxstrom was the flower girl. Serving as best man was Kirk Stelting, nephew of the groom. Luke Baxstrom was the ring bearer. The couple is at home in Pagosa Springs.



Malonie and Cody Thull are happy to announce the renewal of vows between their parents, Steve and Belinda Thull, that took place on the beach on the big island of Hawaii this summer.



The families of Teresa Morris and Raymond Burk would like to announce their upcoming wedding, Aug. 29, 2004, at the home of Raymond's grandmother, Elaine Nossaman, at 4 p.m. Gifts will be greatly appreciated but a money tree will be most appreciated, too.



Ty Peterson

Former Pagosa Springs High School student Ty Peterson recently accepted an Alumni Scholarship/Award to attend Fort Lewis College this fall.

Peterson is a 2004 graduate of Pagosa Springs and the son of Pete Peterson and Betsy Carpino. He was a member of Future Business Leaders of America and the National Honor Society and is a CHSAA academic all-state performer.


Sports Page

Pirate cross country opening at home

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Pagosa's cross country runners and coaches started pounding the pavement, and the dirt and the hills around town this week.

Coach Scott Anderson said the first day of practice went well with 20 runners in attendance.

"We're pretty excited about the numbers," Anderson said. "I know a few are also still out on vacation."

Practice for the Pirates will last until Sept. 4 when they open the season at home with the Pagosa Invitational held, this year, on a course in Pagosa Lakes.

The varsity will then travel to Pueblo for an invitational overnighter against a broad field of competition over a former, and possibly future, state course. The junior varsity travels to Aztec that weekend.

Sept. 18, the distance runners will be in Shiprock, followed by a short trip to Bayfield Sept. 25. Mancos will be the destination Oct. 2. Their last regular season meet is set for Oct. 8 in Bloomfield.

Oct. 16, those vying for a spot at state will travel to Monte Vista for the league meet. It's back to Monte Vista Oct. 23 for the only shot at qualifying for state.

The state competition is set for Oct. 30 in Colorado Springs.


Horseshoe pitching champions named

By Mike Halverson

Special to The SUN

The 2004 Archuleta County Horseshoe Tournament was a resounding success.

The skies cleared just in time for the players to begin pitching and the level of competition was extremely tough this year.

In the doubles Doug Neuwald and Sheldon Donagan prevailed to take first place. In second was the team of Mark Bergon and Mike McDowell. Stan Ellis and Arthur Villareal followed them in a hard fought battle for third.

Singles competition was equally fierce.

Dean Hudson threw exceptionally well going undefeated for first place. Following closely was Donagan with Neuwald finishing third in consistent effort.

Along with trophies for the first place winners, there were prizes donated by local merchants including Alco, The Springs Resort, the Spa, Silver Dollar Liquors, Plaza Liquors, Copper Coin Discount Liquors and one individual, Andy Warden.


Pagosa Pedal Fest portion of mountain bike series Sunday

The next race in the Four Corners Cup mountain bike point series is scheduled Sunday in Pagosa Springs.

Pagosa's Pedal Fest is one of the original bike races in the now 6-year-old mountain bike point series and the next to last in this year's races.

The course will start and finish at the normal spot - the end of the paved portion of Piedra Road, six miles beyond the airport. Day of race registration will be accepted 8-9:30 a.m. with the race starting at 10.

The course this year will be three miles for youth, 16 miles for beginners, 21 miles for sport riders and 25 miles for experts.

A barbecue lunch will be served for all volunteers and participants after the race has finished.

The last race in the series, Vallecito Velo, will be held Sept. 26 on a course around Vallecito Lake. This year's series started March 13 in Utah with a triathlon, and races have been held in all Four Corners states.

For more information on Pagosa's Pedal Fest, the Four Corners Cup or Vallecito Velo, call Doug Call at 731-9245 or check the Web site at


Pirate gridders gear up for fall campaign

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

If you should hear it, don't be alarmed.

That rhythmic rumble emanating each afternoon from the high school grounds is expected in Pagosa Country this time of year.

Listen carefully, and you suddenly realize it's as natural as the change of seasons, as recognizable as the autumn echo of bull elk bugling from afar:

"B-u-c-c-a-n-e-e-r-s. B-u-c-c-a-n-e-e-r-s."

It's the signature chant of the Pagosa Springs Pirates' fight song, a telltale slogan announcing the start of another Pirate campaign on the gridiron.

And since the onset of two-a-days Monday, it has been voiced in unison by the likes of over 60 black and gold hopefuls at the end of another day's practice.

What can Pagosa fans expect this season from Head Coach Sean O'Donnell and the Pirates?

A revamped offense, for one, as well as several players who return from last year's team that posted an overall record of 5-5, claimed a share of the Intermountain League title for the fifth straight year and advanced to the Class 2A playoffs.

According to O'Donnell, the Pirate offense this year will feature a new look and a few "new" personnel at key positions.

Simply put, "We're just going to spread it out, this year," O'Donnell said during Monday's conditioning drills. "And it should be a lot more exciting to watch."

As for who will line up where in the new system, competition for playing time appears to be wide open in a number of areas, with one exception being the quarterback slot.

With regard to who is expected to serve as the Pirate field general this season, "I have a really strong feeling we're going to use (senior) Paul Armijo at quarterback this year," concluded O'Donnell.

Another apparent position lock for O'Donnell is junior Daniel Aupperle, who is expected to revive his role as starting place kicker for the third consecutive year.

As for the rest of the roster, a full slate of practices and a 1 p.m. scrimmage against Durango Aug. 28 should decide who will take the field at 7 p.m. for the Pirates' Sept. 3 home opener against the Gunnison Cowboys.

Look for detailed offensive/defensive breakdowns of this year's varsity Pirate football team in upcoming editions of The SUN.

Varsity schedule

After opening at home against Gunnison Sept. 3 (7 p.m.), the Pirates will host the Montezuma/Cortez Panthers in Golden Peaks Stadium at 7 p.m. Sept. 10.

O'Donnell's squad will then travel to Montrose Sept. 17 for a 7 p.m. clash with the Indians, and hit the road again Sept. 24 to take on the Taos, N.M. Tigers in a 7 p.m. contest.

Pagosa begins IML action the following week with an Oct. 1 home game against the Bayfield Wolverines, then travel over Wolf Creek Pass to face league foe Monte Vista on the road Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.

The Pirates will temporarily depart from their IML schedule Oct. 15 to face the Alamosa Maroons at 4 p.m., then return for their final, regular-season home game against the Ignacio Bobcats, which is scheduled for Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.

The IML and regular-season finale for the Pirates will take place on the road Oct. 30 when Pagosa travels to face the Centauri Falcons at 1 p.m.


Kickers sprinkled with dew of defense 'hazard'

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

In a sport where nothing short of the threat of lightning will cancel action, Pagosa Springs High School soccer players opened practice for the 2004 season Monday in a continual spray - from the practice field sprinkler system.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason put his squad of 20-plus (some unable to compete on first day without proper physical or parent forms) through two hour morning and evening practice sessions. The two-a-days were to continue for a week.

Kurt Mason continually urged his would-be kickers to "jump over the water. It's like a defensive hazard. Helps you get in shape."

The field, already sodden from combination of Sunday rainfall and sprinklers running all the same day, provided tough footing, but players seemed to take it in stride.

In fact, ball control drills were the rule of the day for the morning session, and veterans and newcomers alike seemed on the same page.

Kurt-Mason pointed out a number of players came to camp in top condition, having spent much of the summer participating in club soccer throughout the area. And conditioning, he preaches "is what makes winners."

The squad, having graduated eight seniors, including two-time all-stater and state scoring leader Kyle Sanders, number two scorer Kevin Muirhead, defensive stalwart Ryan Goodenberger, flankers Drew Mitchell and Drew Fisher and Ty Peterson, Ryan Wienpahl and Josh Soniat, has a strong defensive corps returning.

Key to that group are senior all-conference keeper Caleb Forrest and sweeper Levi Gill along with experienced senior midfielders Jesse Morris, and Keegan Smith and junior Chris Baum.

Offensive returners will include Moe Webb, the squad's third leading scorer last year, his younger brother Shon, Muirhead's younger brother, Paul, Smith, sophomore Caleb Ormonde and Derrick Monks.

Some youngsters, like freshman Tomas Martinez, are expected to add to the firepower but Kurt-Mason wasn't ready to make any predictions on a season that will include tough contests against perennial state contenders.

The season opener, in a change from the past three years when Pagosa went northeast, will bring the Manitou Springs Mustangs from the Tri-Peaks League to Pagosa Springs for a 1 p.m. contest at Golden Peaks Stadium Saturday, Sept. 4.

Then the competition gets fast and furious with eight more games in the next 24 days of September, including the next three in a row on the road.

The Pirates travel to Cortez for a 4 p.m. encounter with the Class 4A Panthers Tuesday, Sept. 7, and then close out the first week of action with Friday-Saturday contests at Roaring Forks in Carbondale (6 p.m.) and Basalt (11 a.m.).

Crested Butte comes to Pagosa Springs for a 4 p.m. league contest Friday, Sept. 17, and the following day Pagosa is back on the road in Ridgway for a 1 p.m. league match-up.

Then, Pagosa hosts three home league games in a row, all at 4 p.m. with Bayfield coming in Tuesday, Sept. 21, Telluride on Friday, Sept. 24, and Center closing out the month's action Tuesday, Sept. 28.

The Pirates will open October with a game against Durango's Class 5A Demons in Durango at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1. On Oct. 5 and Oct. 8, both 4 p.m. starts, they'll be in Bayfield and Crested Butte, respectively.

They come home to host Ridgway at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, and then go back on the road to end the regular season with 4 p.m. games at Center Oct. 14 and at Telluride the following day.

Regionals are Oct. 23, state quarterfinals Nov. 3, state semifinals Nov. 6 and finals Nov. 9.


Veteran Pirates face tough schedule, plenty of road matches

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Let the games begin.

Pirate volleyball players took to the court Monday for the first practices of the season and hopes are high as a veteran team looks at a difficult schedule and makes plans to establish itself in one of Colorado's formidable 3A volleyball traditions.

Last year, the Pirates took a junior-dominated squad to the regional playoffs, but not without difficulty as the squad had an up and down regular season.

Finishing the regular season slate, the Pirates were 15-11. The team's Intermountain league record was 5-3, with two losses to Bayfield and one to Ignacio.

The team rallied at the right time, however. Entering the District 1 tournament as the No. 3 seed, the Pirates performed as fans had expected all along and emerged as tournament champions. The Pirates steamed into the regional tournament hosted by Platte Valley, but the season came to an end one victory short of the state tournament, with a playoff loss to Colorado Academy.

This year, the road to state will not be easy. But then, it never is. The schedule includes several heavyweight Class 4A and 5A teams, as well as high-quality tournament opponents and difficult league matches.

Pagosa will get a good idea of how the team will shake out as the Pirates meet several teams from the southwest part of the state in the Four Corners Scrimmage, to be held at the high school gym Aug. 28.

The first game of the regular season is on the road, as are all but six matches this year. The Pirates travel to Cortez Sept. 2 to meet the 4A Panthers. Cortez and Pagosa have a long-standing and heated rivalry and the Panthers, a state tournament team the last few years, has had the best of the business for three seasons.

Next up is the first home match of the year, Sept. 10 against 5A Palmer, from Colorado Springs. This will be the second time the Terrors have visited Pagosa and they will, no doubt, be eager to avenge a loss suffered last year.

The second of three consecutive home matches brings the Kirtland Broncos up from New Mexico Sept. 16. The Broncos are a regular state contender in New Mexico 3A and the Pirates are looking to even the score following a loss at Kirtland last year.

Monte Vista comes to town Sept. 18 for the first of two IML matches with the Pirates. Monte's program has been rebuilding for several years, with the quality of play improving each time out.

The Pirates travel to Bayfield Sept. 21 looking to avenge losses to the Wolverines in 2003. Bayfield lost five of six starters to graduation but are likely to remain strong at setter and on defense.

Another IML match on the road looms Sept. 24 as the Pirates go to La Jara for the first of two regular season meetings with Centauri. The Falcons, under Coach Brian Loch, are invariably a well-drilled and athletic team that forces opponents into mistakes with excellent defense.

The Ignacio gym is the next stop for the Pirates as they clash Sept. 28 with Coach Melanie Taylor's Bobcats. Ignacio whipped the Pirates in the final league match of 2003, and Taylor's squad is sure to mirror the scrappy style of its predecessors.

Another trip to the San Luis Valley is set Oct. 2, this time to Alamosa to meet the Maroons. Last year, Pagosa beat the 4A team and a tough contest awaits on Alamosa's home court.

The Pirates board the bus again and wheel to Durango Oct. 5 for yet another chapter in a rivalry that goes back to 1995. The atmosphere in the Demons' gym will be intense, since the Pirates defeated their 5A foes the last two times the teams met.

It's out of the frying pan and into the fire Oct. 9 when the Pirates motor out to the eastern plains to the Fowler tournament. A predictable lineup of teams - the host Grizzlies (one of the premier 2A programs in the state), Lamar (a regular 3A state tourney team), 4A Fountain Fort Carson, and 3A La Junta - has provided plenty of action over the years in a classic, daylong melee in one of the hotbeds of Colorado volleyball.

By the time they visit Monte Vista Oct. 15, the Pirates should be tired of life on the road and the next night they get a reprieve, returning to the familiar confines of the PSHS gym for the second meeting of the year with Centauri.

Bayfield comes to town Oct. 19, then the final IML match of the regular season will take place in Pagosa's gym, with the Pirates clashing with Ignacio Oct. 21.

The last two matches on the schedule will be at Montrose, Oct. 23. The Pirates play 4A Montrose, with the Indians looking for revenge after several drubbings at the hands of the Pirates. Immediately after the Montrose match, the Pirates take on 3A Olathe, in the Montrose gym.

There will be a week without matches and plenty of time to heal and practice, before the District 1 tournament Oct. 30, at Ignacio.

Two teams advance out of the district fray and go on to regional competition Nov. 6. Sites for regional tournaments are decided once the 16 surviving 3A teams are seeded.

This year's state tournament takes place at the Denver Coliseum, Nov. 12-13.


Pirate golf lineup awaits coach's conference

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

After seven days of practice and two sessions of qualifying rounds the lineup for today's Pagosa Springs High School golf opener was still unknown at press time.

Coach Mark Faber said the decision was to have been made late Wednesday after further consultation with assistant coach Tom Riedberger.

The one thing clear, Faber said Wednesday morning, is that he will field both a varsity and junior varsity team for both tournaments this week.

As you read this, the team should have teed off in the Durango Hillcrest Invitational, among at least a dozen teams entered.

On Friday, starting at 9 a.m., the Pagosa Pines Invitational, again with a dozen or more teams on hand, will offer Pagosans their only chance to see the home team in action this year.

Faber apologized for the late decision on starters, but said "the field is young, determined and has shown amazing tenacity in spite of the short practice season and some really bad practice weather for the Monday and Tuesday qualifying rounds.

"We had a couple of youngsters who decided not to play, but picked up a couple who missed the first day, so have a field of 19 vying for playing spots," Faber said.

And, he said, there are several pushing each other for varsity spots and competition below that for junior varsity assignments. "We won't make a final decision until practice tonight (Wednesday)," he said.

The public is urged to attend the Pagosa home match Friday to watch prep golf at its finest.

"But," cautioned Faber, "the gallery must remember they are not allowed to talk with the players. They can follow them and cheer for them, but cannot converse with the players."

The fast lead time to competition and tough practices "have been a good experience for both players and coaches," Faber said.

"The attitude has been good, even among the youngest hopefuls on the course," he added.

"That's why the agonizing over starter assignments. We don't want to make a mistake, and there are several who could go in either squad," he said. "Some of the more experienced kids struggled a little and some of the less experienced showed no fear. Now we have to make our own decision."

After the two matches this week, the squad has an overnighter next week, playing the Black Canyon Invitational Wednesday and the Cobble Creek Invitational Thursday, both in Montrose.

That means they will have played four matches before the opening of classes for the fall semester. They'll be back on the road Sept. 2-3 for outings in Cedaredge and Delta.

On Sept. 14 they are scheduled to play the Holly Dot course in Rye; they play Sept. 16 at Buena Vista and Sept. 17 at Salida.

Faber said there may be changes in the schedule as the season progresses.


Jan Kilgore captures women's club crown

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

This year's 36-hole club championship event hosted by Pagosa Women's Golf Association and the Pagosa Springs Golf Club was a dream come true for the new ladies club champion, Jan Kilgore.

She said she was "delighted and relieved" with finally realizing her accomplishment.

Kilgore, league president, and Kathy Giordano, league vice president, were tournament co-coordinators.

They said this year's tournament "was a great success thanks to Terry Carter, club groundskeeper and staff for the courses' excellent condition, the wonderful weather and the good turnout." They also thanked Alan Schutz, club pro, and Missy Lee, assistant club pro, for all their assistance in organizing the event.

The ladies played the Meadows/Pinon courses with par 72 the first day and the Pinon/Ponderosa courses, par 71, the second day. The tournament format was low gross, low net.

In the championship flight, Kilgore shot a gross 166 to become the 2004 champion. Barbara Sanborn was second with 174. Lynne Allison and Julie Pressley were first and second net with 141 and 145 respectively.

In the first flight, Sheila Rogers and Nancy Chitwood won first and second gross with 213 and 215 respectively. Maxine Pechin was first net with 138 and Jody Lawrence second net with 142.

Winners of the special events Aug. 11 were:

- closest to the pin, championship flight, No. 4 Meadows, Jan Kilgore;

- closest to the pin, first flight, No. 8 Pinon, Nancy Chitwood;

- closest to the pin, second flight, No. 3 Pinon, Maxine Pechin;

- longest putt, all flights, No. 2 Pinon, Julie Pressley.

Winners of special awards Aug./ 12 were:

- longest drive, championship flight, No. 9 Ponderosa, Lynn Allison;

- longest drive, first flight, No. 9 Pinon, Josie Hummel;

- longest drive, second flight, No. 6 Ponderosa, Jane Stewart.

The ladies enjoyed an awards luncheon at JJ's Upstream immediately following play Aug. 12.


Newcomer wins men's low gross

By Richard Broom

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Springs Men's Golf Group event Aug. 11 featured low gross and low net competitions.

Rick Baker, a relative newcomer to the Pagosa golf scene, won the low gross competition carding a 74. Don Ford was second at 80 and Dennis Yerton had an 81.

The first net competition was won by Fred Jackson with a 67. Rick Taylor tied at second with Warren Grams at 78.

The event was the second low gross/low net event in as many weeks, enabling players to combine group rounds with matches in the ongoing President's Cup club match play championship.

The club championship, open to all comers, will be played Aug. 21-22; enter at the pro shop.

The Men's Golf Group is open to golfers of all levels with competition beginning at 1 p.m. every Wednesday. Sign up in the men's locker room or by phone (731-4755) before 5 p.m. the Tuesday before play date.


Tee off for United Way in sixth annual golf tournament Aug. 28

Now is the time to sign up your four-person team for the 6th annual United Way golf tournament.

This year's format will be a Scramble with three different flights - open competitive; a couples flight consisting of two men and two women; and a flight for the once or twice a year golfers called the "let's just have fun" flight.

Everyone is welcome to play this event.

The Pagosa Springs Golf Club (731-4755) will help set up your team for the Saturday, Aug. 28 9 a.m. shotgun start.

For nonmembers, the entry fee of $65 will get lunch, coffee and doughnuts along with greens fee and cart. For golf club members, the entry fee is only $30 with $10 going directly to United Way of Archuleta County.

Various contests and golf giveaways will be included in the event.

Call the pro shop today at the number above to sign up yourself or your team.


Archuleta County Fair Kid's Rodeo winners announced

A number of Archuleta County youngsters are the envy of their peers as they get ready to return to school.

The big smiles are on the faces of the winners in the Kid's Rodeo at the recent county fair.

Events and winners were:

Glove Race (ages 6 and under)

First - Dalton Lucero.

Ribbon Race (ages 7-10 team event)

First - Re'Ahna Ray/Cheyann Dixon.

Ribbon Race (ages 11-13, team event)

First - Danny Shahan/Bailee Ruthhardt.

Second - Marissa House/Raesha Ray.

Third - Hunter Williams/Kelsey Lucero.

Barrel Race (ages 7-10)

First - Payton Talbot.

Second - Re'Ahna Ray and Cheyann Dixon (tie).

Third - George Wolf.

Barrel Race (ages 11-13)

First - Marissa House.

Second - Raesha Ray.

Third - Hunter Williams

Barrel Race (ages 14-19)

First - Jamie Vernon.

Second - Chelsea Montroy.

Third - Amanda Brown.

Hitchhiking Race (ages 14-19, team event)

First - Ryan Montroy/Chase Regester.

Second - Jamie Vernon/Seth VanSullen.

Third - Brandon Baker/Ryan Montroy.

Calf Riding (ages 7-10)

First - Stetson Ruthhardt.

Second - Cody Shahan.

Third - Cody Kimsey.

Steer Riding (ages 11-13)

First - Waylon Lucero.

Second - Hunter Williams.

Third - Danny Shahan.

Cow Riding (ages 14-19)

First - Ryan Montroy.

Second - Jessica Shahan.

Third - Jeremy Judd.

Family Ribbon Roping (team event)

First - Travis Stahr/Chris Stahr.

Second - Megan Wolf/Faya Wolf.

Third - Randy Baxstrom/Cheyann Dixon.

Steer Hide Drag Race (team event)

First - Twyne Regester/Danny Shahan.

Second - Ryan Montroy/Ashley Maddox

Third - Chase Regester/Jessica Shahan.

Silver belt buckles were awarded to first-place winners, silver belt discs to second-place finishers and ribbons to third-place winners.

Leslie and Jake Montroy were the rodeo managers, Jack Rosenbaum the announcer; stock was provided by Jim Bramwell, Raymond Shahan and Cody Fahrion; hay for the stock was donated by Boot Hill Tack & Feed.

Sponsors for the rodeo were Jessie Formwalt Appraisal Services ($100 cash); Affordable Kitchens ($25 cash) and the following all contributed a belt buckle and $25 cash:

Debbie and Patrick Candelaria of Boot Hill Tack and Feed and, all from Alpine Lakes Ranch, Dolly and Jim Cowley, Marti and Bill Gallo, Robyn and Bob Harrington, LaWana and Bob DeWees, Pati and Mitch Frank, Sharon and Tom Hardin, Karen and Bruce Hoch, Susan and Mike Johnson, Marcella and Stan Maddux, Ann and Larry Mowen, Melinda and Mont Muldrow, Deborah and Ron Parker, Margie and David Richter, Inaette and Ronnie Rider, Jean and Gautam Shah, Gail and Dan Shepherd, Kathy and Henry Syverson, Susan and Tom Thorpe, and Dawn and Chris Truax.


Parks & Rec

Youth soccer signups end 5 p.m. today

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

Sign-ups for the 2004 youth soccer league season end at 5 p.m. today at Town Hall.

All players registered after today will be placed on a waiting list and assigned to a team if a spot opens.

We have held the application process open for six extra days and with over 260 children already registered for teams we must close applications at this time in order to place the children already registered.

Cost per player is $20 ($10 for each additional child in a family).

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

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

Games begin Sept. 7 and continue through October on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Business sponsorship for youth soccer is $150 which includes plaque with team picture, signage, designation in newspaper plus the sponsorship is tax deductible.

Placement workouts

In order to better place youth soccer participants in our 9-10 and 11-13 age divisions on fair and equitable teams, we will hold a workout in front of coaches to help them get an idea of placement levels for the season.

Be there Saturday, Aug. 21. Bring water, wear cleats and shin guards.

Placement Workouts will be held as follows:

- 9- 10-year-olds: 10-11:30 a.m. at Pagosa Springs Elementary School;

- 11- 13-year-olds: 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m., Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

Open volleyball/leagues

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, at Town Hall.

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, there are still many uniforms that have not been brought back. If we must purchase new jerseys next year, our fees will have to be increased for your children's programs.

If your children still have their basketball or baseball jerseys/pants, please return them to the recreation department as soon as possible.


Congratulation to our Adult Softball 2004 League Champions: Adult Coed Division - Radio Shack; and Men's Division - At Your Disposal.

Thanks to all the participants and for all of your support during the 2004 Softball Season.

Now hiring

The recreation 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 Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, please contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, 264-4151, Ext. 232, or 946-2810, 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.




Low voter turnout

Nearly everyone we meet has an opinion about the results of last week's local primary election. The Republican Party had pri-maries in two county commissioner districts and two challengers won their respective races against incumbents.

The results have been the subject of numerous conversations and comments about how or if things will change in county government.

Our response, as with any election, is to wait and watch. To those whose enthusiasm bubbles over the brim, we remind them the realities of office are always more difficult than pre-election rhetoric suggests; things can always be worse. To those who predict disaster, we remind them that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt prior to assuming a new role, and for a time after. New minds, new approaches, sometimes nudge a stalled ship of government from the shoal.

What is certain is more people are talking about the results than went to the polls.

The disappointing thing about the election has nothing to do with who won or lost, and everything to do with the low voter turnout. One commissioner race likely picked the person who will take office in January. The other selected a party candidate for a general election run against an independent challenger. There are few things more important here than the problems facing our commissioners and the primary signaled a general housecleaning. The choice of the status quo or of new blood in the body was a critical one. Few people made the choice.

Isn't it interesting our nation is fighting wars in other parts of the world, motivated, in part, by the desire to bring a democratic form of government to people who have been oppressed by ruthless, tyrannical authorities? While we recognize many motives behind our current international situation, we agree the creation of democratic government in places like Afghanistan and Iraq might act like a stem cell in a diseased body - growing and replicating, creating other healthy cells that reverse the course of an illness. We believe active participation of people in the politics of those nations and regions will create a better, more productive and satisfying life. We believe in representative democracy.

So it is disconcerting when more of our neighbors do not participate here. It is distressing when voters succumb to apathy and political weariness, surrender in the face of failures and imperfections in our political system. The task of participating in our democracy requires overcoming frustration and the cynicism bred by media all too eager to air dirty laundry and amplify the increasingly uncivil process of politics. Our system requires involvement.

We must participate to avoid the hypocrisy of preaching a system we do not validate with our votes, to invigorate a system too easily purchased by the wealthy and special interests if we do not act in a responsible, civic manner.

Among Republicans registered in the county, only 1,544 of 4,524 went to the polls for the primary; among Democrats, 378 of 1,712. Unaffiliated voters comprise over 20-percent of local registered voters, but only 118 of 2,000 cared enough about who will run county government to go to the clerk's office or to the polling place and affiliate for the primary vote.

There is another chance.

Next up is the Nov. 2 general election. It is a presidential election year, traditionally the time for peak voter turnout. We will pick a U.S. Senator from Colorado and a new district representative to the U.S. House.

Locally we'll select a county commissioner and we might be asked to increase our taxes.

Those who don't show at the polls will hand their choices to others and our system of government will be poorer for it.

Karl Isberg

Pacing Pagosa

Tunnel vision is taking over

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

I see a disturbing trend in public meeting actions in the area, a trend somewhat resembling tunnel vision by one-topic storm troopers.

Pick a board meeting, almost any board meeting, whether a group of paid citizens saddled with operating a taxing unit or a group of unpaid volunteers trying hard to operate multimillion dollar entities.

More often than not they are greeted by groups of one-subject complainers who make their pitch, get an answer - or not - and leave.

These same people are the ones who might later complain they didn't know about some major development. In many instances, had they stayed for the balance of the meeting after their own appearance, they would have been informed.

Recent appearances before the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint are a good example. Those with a gripe make their point and leave.

They don't know how many other topics of importance to taxpayers, themselves included, will come up after their departure. They get their problem off their chest and depart without knowing about the costs of running a school bus line, for example, or shifting teachers because of a resignation.

Sure, they can read it in the paper. But that isn't the point. People need to be involved in their government, whether legislative or supervisory. And you cannot be involved without being present.

Similar situations exist at Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association. Those with a tree whose bark has been clawed come looking for answers to their "bear of a problem" and accused the unpaid directors of shirking their duty if they don't get the answer they want.

And then they leave, the agenda for the night only half completed. If they got the answer they wanted, they feel vindicated; if it went the other way they accuse the directors of ignoring their plight and not listening to them.

Pat Payne poignantly made the point after last week's Pagosa Lakes meeting. "Where are all these people when we need volunteers?" she asked. "Where are they when there is an associationwide problem that needs addressing?"

The same situations often confront the board of county commissioners though their situation is slightly different because they are salaried.

Still, groups of citizens with complaints regularly regale them with tales of woe and then - leave. They show no interest in items on the agenda following their time in the limelight. Had they stayed, they might have heard about institution, or lifting of a new fire ban.

Going to a meeting of the board of Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District? Same kind of attendance. People with a "personal plight which requires immediate attention."

They get it - good or bad - and leave. Had they stayed, they might have learned water rates are holding steady because of good conservation efforts, or rising because of waste.

Everyone demanding government aid should be interested in all government, not just their own plea for its support. And all should attend meetings even when untroubled.




90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of August 21, 1914

The Hatcher Hardware Company this week shipped building materials to be used in the construction of a new 18x24 school house at Carracas.

C.A. Griffith sold the Cash Bakery yesterday to Wm. McConnell and wife. Commencing about September 1, the subscription price of The Sun will be raised to $1.50 per year. This will, of course, not affect those who have already subscribed, whether or not they are paid in advance, but refers only to new or renewals commencing September 1.

Robert W. Howe met with a serious accident last Friday, when he fell from the roof of his new house on upper Lewis Street while shingling the same. His leg at the thigh was broken.


75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 23, 1929

Pioneers of the San Juan! Frontiersmen who have helped to make some of the most romantic and colorful history of the Southwest! Attention! The San Juan Pioneer Association will hold its 32nd Annual Meeting at Pagosa Springs on the 6th and 7th of September, 1929. We would like to see every pioneer of the San Juan there. Every person coming into the San Juan Country prior to August 1, 1886, is eligible to join and so are the children of pioneers.

Marcelino Archuleta of Blanco Basin was arrested this morning by Game Warden Clarence Goad of Alamosa and charged with the unlawful shipment of beaver hides. He appeared before Justice G. S. Hatcher and gave bond for his hearing on August 31.


50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 20, 1954

The Town Board met on Monday night to consider applications for town marshal and hired the only applicant, O.L. Sanders. Sanders has been holding the job on a temporary basis until such time as applications were received. He is to be paid a salary of $325 a month with nothing additional for car expense and will be allowed occasional deputy hire.

August has been a very wet month to date with 2-1/2 inches of moisture through August 17. Figures from the official Forest Service readings show that the heaviest rain fell on August 11 with .73 being reported. This year the rain has been heavy enough that many toadstools and mushrooms have sprouted all over the country and mushroom lovers have found some giant plants.


25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 23, 1979

Geothermal well owners will be asked to shut off their wells Sept. 4 so that testing of the area's hot water potential can begin. Hydrologists will begin testing Sept. 4 to determine the capabilities of Pagosa Springs geothermal potential as an alternative energy source.

Archuleta County's total assessed valuation has surpassed $30 million, according to County Assessor Genevieve Phelps. The residential valuation accounts for more than half of the total with $19.99 million. The agricultural category ranks second with $3.027 million. The commercial category has an assessed valuation of $3.016 million and the industrial category $699,690. The assessed valuation for natural resources, both real and personal property is $895,430.



Serving Veterans

County officer goes above and beyond

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"The day I walked in here, I didn't know a thing about the job."

That was about three years ago when Andy Fautheree started as Archuleta County's veterans' service officer.

He came from the private business sector. He knew profits and bottom lines. He wanted to know service to the community. He wanted to help people.

And he had a goal, a charge from the hiring committee: Find the veterans. At the time, the county's database of veterans totaled about 750 entries and the federal government was paying $735,268 in compensation and pension claims to Archuleta County veterans.

"I didn't even know about the veteran's benefits available to me," Fautheree, who served in the Navy, said. "What that told me was no one was reaching out to tell me about the benefits - or I just wasn't aware enough. I want to make sure the veterans of Archuleta County have the opportunity to know and learn what benefits might be available."

Today, his database totals nearly 1,300 entries and county veterans received $1.163 million in compensation and pension monies in 2003.

Fautheree said the database includes all the veterans who have come through the office for any reason throughout its 30-some year history, both those alive and dead, and maybe some who have moved. He's also continually adding names.

"I told them don't ever move me from next to the driver's license office," he said. The veterans' office is located in the basement of the courthouse, tucked into a corner. The top half of the door swings open, allowing Fautheree to see people coming down the hall. "Almost everyone who moves here comes through to get their new license. The conversation usually starts when they ask, 'When's the driver's license office open?' I tell them I can't help them with that, but I can help them with any veterans needs."

Another outreach program he's had success with is a weekly newspaper column, "Veterans Corner," which he also sends out via e-mail to veterans and other veterans' service officers.

"Several times a week I will have veterans stop in and say, 'I've been reading your articles for some time now ' and that's how the conversation starts. Or the wives of the veterans read the columns and they'll come in and say, 'My wife has been telling me to come down here for some time now '"

Once they come to the office Fautheree said, it takes about 10 minutes for the initial interview, five minutes to gather data and five minutes to discuss their service experience.

"All of the information is confidential," Fautheree said. The next step is determining what programs or benefits the veteran might be able to access.

"I do anything I can to help the veterans in this county," he said, "go after lost medals, death benefits, headstones for deceased veterans, life insurance, education benefits, assist with purchasing homes, some can get pensions based on income."

At the very least, he encourages all veterans to sign up for health care services.

"It's my passion to get everyone involved in VA health care, " he said. "I'd say in Archuleta County the average veteran is between 50 and 60 years old. Many of them do not have health care, they may be ineligible for Medicare, and many of them are not in good health, or they are over 65, but have no prescription drug coverage."

He also helps veterans file claims for compensation for service-connected disabilities.

So many times, Fautheree said, like himself when he started, veterans simply aren't aware of the benefits available to them. In obvious instances where a veteran was wounded in combat, knowledge is there. What most don't know is that compensation is available for injuries sustained on base in peacetime, or injuries like post-traumatic stress syndrome, which only manifest over time.

"I doesn't cost a dime to file a claim," Fautheree said. "It's all part of the services provided by the county through the Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs."

It does take some paperwork. Fautheree said a typical compensation claim requires about 25 pages of paperwork - or about two hours of his time. And it is his time. Fautheree has created write-enabled pdf files of all the forms he uses. This, he said, allows him to do everything electronically instead of simply handing the veteran a stack of forms.

"If at all possible, I never hand a veteran a blank form and say, 'Bring this back," Fautheree said. "I do it for him or her. Then it's all cleaned up and ready to go." Fautheree also e-mails all of his forms to veterans' service officers in all 65 counties in the state, plus one office each in New Mexico, Wyoming and Oregon. He's constantly updating his forms and, once a year, he puts them all on a CD and mails that out. Now, he's working on "bundling" information on the forms, so if one needs a name written in three different places, the computer does it automatically on the first entry, once again to save time. As far as he knows, between 12 and 15 veterans' service offices are actually using his forms. Others don't have the program required or aren't funded at that level.

Since its inception 30 or so years ago, Fautheree said, Archuleta County's veterans' service office has received full support from the county commissioners, something that doesn't happen everywhere. His own efforts to improve those services have not gone unnoticed.

Mamie Lynch, Archuleta County Board of Commissioners chairman, said Fautheree, consistently "goes above and beyond to serve the veterans of this county."

Bill Belz, director for the Colorado Department of Veterans Affairs, nominated Fautheree for the 2004 Outstanding Veterans Service Officer Award, an award Fautheree received in April, "In recognition and appreciation of his dedication, expertise and commitment to provide guidance and services to Veterans and their families," according to the plaque.

"He's so involved with his community," Belz said. "Not only does he assist veterans in Pagosa, but in Durango and throughout the state. He just gets both feet in the fray."

Fautheree has also received special recognition from the Southern Ute Tribe for assisting its veterans' service office and he was invited to participate in the Korean War Memorial program held in the San Luis Valley last summer. There, he said, he had the privilege of meeting three Medal of Honor recipients.

"I served in peacetime between the Korean War and Vietnam," Fautheree said. "Here I deal with all these veterans who are combat veterans, people who experienced things I didn't have to undergo. I feel so privileged to help them." The awards and recognition simply show how people in small rural counties can make a difference, he added.

"I found people would tell me anything I wanted to know if I just asked," he said. "I became consumed. I saw this job was the best thing I'd ever done in my life. I'd say 99 percent of the time veterans leave this office better off and happier than when they came in, and the best part is the price - I don't have to hand them a bill. It's purely helping people and not asking for anything in return."

The Veterans' Service Office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday by appointment. Those interested in obtaining benefits should bring their DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office. For more information, the office number is 264-8375, the fax number 264-8376, e-mail


Pagosa's Past

Good books on which to base Pagosa history studies

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A number of books are available to the historian serious about learning Pagosa Country pioneer history. While much is known about our local history, much remains to be learned.

The best, overall survey of Pagosa Country history is my own book, "Pagosa Country: The First Fifty Years." My book, published in 1984, is out of print, but available as a reference book at the local library and in other libraries throughout the west.

The following books I consider "must reads."

"Pioneers of the San Juan Country" in four volumes is also out of print but available as a reference in most local libraries. These volumes were put together by the Sarah Platt Decker Chapter of the D.A.R. in Durango starting in 1940. Contained are a large number of pioneer first-person accounts.

For a good overview of our area's Hispanic pioneers, "Los Primeros Pobladores," by Frances Leon Swadish is indispensible. The original publication is out of print. Swadish later married a Quintana from Rosa and subsequently republished the book as "Pobladores." This book should still be in print.

Veronica Velarde Tiller wrote an excellent survey of Jicarilla Apache history. Tiller's book continues to be reprinted. A copy should be available if you look hard enough.

I have not read what I consider a good survey of either Ute history, Navajo history, or Anasazi pre-history. Having said that, I should point out there are a large number of books on all of these subjects in the Pagosa Springs and other libraries.

Local logging and railroad history is best summarized in "Logging Along the Denver and Rio Grande," by Gordon Chappell. Chappell's book is also out of print but should be findable in reference libraries.

My favorite reading on trapping history relative to our local area is titled "The Taos Trappers," written by David J. Weber. This is an old book but may still be available.

The best account of the Old Spanish Trail, a trading route between New Mexico and California that traversed Pagosa Country is "Old Spanish Trail" by LeRoy R. and Ann W. Hafen. A wonderful account of the Dominguez Escalante 1776 expedition through Pagosa Country is "Pageant in the Wilderness," written by Herbert E. Bolton.

There is no book about the pioneer cattle industry in the Four Corners Area. I wish one existed. My favorite cowboy history, "Diary of a Cowboy," by Andy Adams, contains nothing about our part of the country.

The foregoing is a short list of essential reading to begin to understand Pagosa Country history. In addition, one should read several books relevant to 1860-1900 U.S. history, Colorado history, and New Mexico history. Most of the communities around us such as Chama, Durango, Del Norte, etc., have local histories.

Before there was settlement in Pagosa Springs there were newspapers in Lake City, Silverton, Del Norte, Alamosa, and other nearby communities with articles about Pagosa Country. Many of these newspapers are available in Denver.

Beyond that, there are scads of additional books covering most of the topics I listed in my first outline, especially dealing with trappers, explorers, railroads and general history. The more you read, the better you will be able to put into perspective what you read.

A good rule while studying history is to try to find more than one verifiable source with information about any given subjection. You'll find a surprising amount of contradiction, even from eyewitnesses. When finding history sources, "more is better," is usually a beneficial attitude.

Finally, beware of storytellers. They are fun, they may be repeating good history, or they may be passing on out and out lies. Enjoy but be careful if you are searching for the truth.



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Weekend forecast suggests cooler, wetter trend

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Cooler and wetter.

That's the weather outlook for Pagosa Country through the weekend, according to the latest regional forecasts.

"Due to a low-pressure system seated over western Colorado, highs will probably struggle to hit the 70s for the next few days," said Brian Avery, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"We expect overcast skies and frequent periods of showers and thunderstorms each afternoon and into evening, with the heaviest activity (today) and Friday," added Avery.

"Over the weekend, the chance for steady rain should lessen at lower elevations, but temperatures may still come in five or six degrees below average," said Avery.

"And there will still be the chance for showers across the mountains of southwest Colorado," he concluded.

According to Avery, mostly-cloudy skies and occasional showers can be expected throughout today, with highs topping out in the low 70s. Evening lows should fall into the 40s.

Friday calls for partly-cloudy skies, a 30-percent chance of afternoon showers, highs in the 65-75 range and lows in the 40s.

The forecasts for Saturday and Sunday include a 20-percent chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms, highs predicted in the low 70s and lows in the 40s.

High temperatures should climb into the upper 70s to low 80s Monday and Tuesday; lows are predicted around 40. The rain chance for each day is listed at 20 percent.

Wednesday's forecast calls for mostly-sunny skies, a slim chance for afternoon showers, highs around 70 and lows in the 40s.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 79 degrees. The average low was 44. Moisture totals for the week amounted to three-hundredths 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 40 cubic feet per second to a high of 135 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.