September 02, 2004 

Front Page

Year's first county West Nile Virus case claims horse

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

An equine case of West Nile Virus confirmed Aug. 23 is Archuleta County's first of the year.

According to veterinarian Kitzel Farrah of San Juan Veterinary Clinic, test results of blood drawn from an 8-year-old gelding in the Aspen Springs area that was euthanized Aug. 16 verified the animal was infected with West Nile.

Farrah said a call from the owners of the sickly horse prompted a visit from veterinarian Greg Schick, who reported the animal was down upon arrival and "exhibiting classic West Nile symptoms."

The owners opted for euthanasia, said Farrah, "because the animal was completely recumbent" and such cases are extremely difficult to cure.

"This confirmation came at just about the exact time we saw our first case last year," said Farrah, "and after the first case we started seeing about one per week."

By the time West Nile season ended last fall, Farrah's office had handled nine cases of horses infected with the virus.

This year's infection rate was expected to be even higher, said Farrah, "But we're not seeing as many cases as we thought we'd see, probably because a lot of people are vaccinating their animals."

Since vaccinating horses against West Nile is a six-week process involving a series of shots, it is probably too late for owners who have not vaccinated their animals this year to begin the procedure, said Farrah.

However, there are other precautions horse owners can take between now and the onset of autumn freezes, which signal the end of mosquito season.

One option is to treat animals with the West Nile Virus antibody, which was recently made available to veterinary offices by Novartis, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.

At $500, the antibody treatment is expensive, however, and according to Farrah, has only a "marginal effect."

Other options can be more effective, and are certainly less expensive. "Basically, we advise people who haven't vaccinated their horses to use a lot of insect repellent and stay current on all other vaccinations," said Farrah.

"Once the dead of winter hits, there are really no concerns until spring," concluded Farrah.

Last week's verification of West Nile within county boundaries brought the statewide total of confirmed cases in horses to 22.

Confirmed reports of human infections are significantly higher, however, and as press time the statewide total stood at 195, including four recent cases diagnosed in the southeast portion of neighboring La Plata County.

According to the San Juan Basin Health Department, there have been no confirmed cases of human infections of West Nile Virus in Archuleta County, to date.

The following is a list of precautionary West Nile information provided by the state health department.


While nothing can guarantee people living near mosquito habitat will not be bitten, the state health department recommends the following measures to lessen the risk of exposure to West Nile Virus:

- Limit outside activity around dawn and dusk; this is particularly important for elderly adults and small children.

- Wear protective clothing such as lightweight long pants and long-sleeve shirts when outside.

- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin when outside. Repellents containing DEET are effective, but should be applied sparingly. (Products with 10 percent DEET or less recommended for children).

- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair replace torn screens.

- Drain all standing water on your property.

- Stock permanent ponds or fountains with fish that eat mosquito larvae. Change water in birdbaths or wading pools and empty flowerpot saucers of standing water at least once a week.

- Check around faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or puddles that remain for several days

- Make sure roof gutters drain properly and remove any standing water under or around structures or on flat roofs.

- Remove items that could collect water such as buckets, empty cans and food/beverage containers.

- Eliminate seepage and standing water from cisterns, cesspools, septic tanks and animal watering tanks.

- To prevent standing water in lawns and gardens, avoid over-watering.


According to the state health department, most people who are infected with West Nile Virus never exhibit symptoms or become ill.

For those who do become ill, symptoms usually occur 5-15 days after becoming infected and include fever, headache, body aches and occasionally skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes.

In serious cases, the disease can progress and cause encephalitis and/or meningitis. Symptoms associated with these more severe conditions include persistent headaches, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, muscle weakness and convulsions.

Persons with severe symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

In horses, symptoms of West Nile include fever, stumbling, lack of coordination, weakness of limbs and/or partial paralysis. Persons who animals are infected should consult with a veterinarian.

For more information on West Nile Virus, call the San Juan Basin Health Department, Pagosa office at 264-2673, or visit the Internet at or


Routine traffic stop turns up marijuana bonanza

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A random traffic stop on U.S. 160 Aug. 30 led to the seizure of over 150 pounds of marijuana.

According to Pagosa Springs Police Department reports, Officer Floyd Capistrant stopped a vehicle at U.S. 160 and North Pagosa Boulevard about 5 p.m. because he spotted the driver wearing headphones.

Upon contact, the driver could produce no driver's license and no insurance identification. Both the driver, and one other occupant, were apparently taking the vehicle from Mexico to somewhere in eastern Colorado. Both were Spanish-speaking.

A consent to search the vehicle was obtained and officers discovered several large bales of a substance later identified as marijuana in duffle bags in the trunk.

"Depending on the quality, where it was sold and the quantities it was sold in, street value on the marijuana could be anywhere between $150,000 and $500,000," Pagosa Detective Scott Maxwell said.

Both people in the vehicle were arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Fabian Leopold, 35, of Mexico, is being held at the Archuleta County Jail. The driver, possibly a juvenile, whose identification remains uncertain, is being held at the DeNier Youth Services Center in Durango.

The Colorado State Patrol assisted in the arrests.


Village at Wolf Creek review set

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Have an opinion of The Village at Wolf Creek?

In two weeks - Sept. 16 at 7 p.m., to be exact - the Mineral County Planning and Zoning Commission will meet to consider the final plat for the proposed development, an endeavor that would occupy roughly 290 acres of private land in the Alberta Park area adjacent to Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The meeting will be held in the Mineral County Courthouse, 1201 North Main St. in Creede. After the plat review, the commission will be expected to pass along a recommendation to the Mineral County Board of Commissioners to be used in further evaluations.

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

Bob Honts, a real estate developer from Austin, Texas, will take special interest in the meeting. Honts is chief executive officer and managing venturer of The Village at Wolf Creek, which is also known as the Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture.

Unless they have changed significantly since he revealed them to a critical Pagosa crowd during a "public scoping meeting" conducted March 18 by the U.S. Forest Service, Honts will be asking for approval of plans that could eventually result in an alpine community comprised of roughly 10,000 people.

Honts' vision of The Village at Wolf Creek entails 1,200 hotel rooms, 222,000 square feet of commercial space, 129 lots for single-family usage and 1,643 multifamily units being constructed during a maximum development timeline of 25 years. That works out to an average population density - plus infrastructure - of about 35 people per acre.

According to Honts, the village would include underground parking for all but service-related vehicles, a transit facility featuring an antique-style locomotive fueled by compressed natural gas, architectural styles compatible with its wilderness setting and open space equalling about 50 percent of the total land area.

Except for law enforcement, which would be handled by Mineral County, all public services, says Honts, would be independently funded and available on site.

In addition, Honts has said the village is designed to use about 50 percent of the resources a community of the same size would normally consume, stating it could serve "as a showplace of energy efficiency."

He has used terms such as "public park style" and "pedestrian village" to describe the plan's character.

Finally, Honts has repeatedly referred to the potential tax revenues for Mineral County resulting from the project as "a huge, huge financial benefit," and has stated he feels nearby communities could profit as well because "we'd like to hire local folks as best we can."

But Honts' enthusiastic sentiments are not shared by everyone.

"There are so many problems with a development of this kind that one hardly knows where to begin," says Jeff Berman, executive director for Colorado Wild.

An example cited by Berman is the notion of affordable housing for a projected village workforce numbering around 3,000 - one of many issues Berman feels is being "ignored" by Mineral County officials.

Recounting a discussion of affordable housing he says occurred at a recent public meeting, "When the Mineral County attorney says, and I quote, 'We gave up on that years ago,' what does that say about the way this development is being pursued?" asked Berman.

In addition to the issues of adequate sewer, water and hospital facilities and the potential effects on the area's ecosystem, Berman lists the economic impacts to neighboring communities as top concerns.

"Pagosa Springs and South Fork are the bed bases for Wolf Creek Ski Area," said Berman, "and this project poses major ramifications to these communities."

With regard to the inflow of precious tourism dollars, "The village will only take away from that while destroying the very reasons most skiers go to Wolf Creek in the first place - because it's not an Aspen or a Vail," concluded Berman.

The proposed site of the village was acquired in 1986 as the result of a land swap between the Forest Service and Leavell Properties Inc., a corporation headed by Texas billionaire Billy Joe "Red" McCombs and the late Charles Leavell.

In exchange for roughly 1,600 acres in Saguache County owned by Leavell Properties Inc., the U.S. Forest Service agreed to trade the acreage in question to McCombs and Leavell "provided the development would complement the existing Wolf Creek Ski Area."

But plans for development of the area did not take large strides forward, according to Honts, until a conditional resolution granting preliminary plat approval for the development was unanimously approved by Mineral County commissioners in August 2000.

In related business, the March 18 public scoping session held at the Vista Clubhouse was aimed at gathering public comments regarding an application submitted to the Forest Service by Honts.

The application requests transportation and utility easements for the proposed development and focuses mainly on a 250-foot strip of Forest Service land that separates the proposed site from U.S. 160.

If approved, the application "would permit a perpetual easement through federal lands for year-round permanent road access, obtain or modify utility easements, and modify easement terms for Alberta Lake access" without restricting public access to Forest Service land.

Public comments concerning the application were included as data to be weighed in a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), which had been scheduled for release sometime this summer and is apparently still in the evaluation process.

The Forest Service's deadline for preliminary public comments on the forthcoming DEIS expired April 15, but a 45-day window for public comment is expected after its release.

In the meantime, the Mineral County Courthouse will most likely serve as the public battleground for proponents and opponents of The Village at Wolf Creek.


Explosion, fire destroy rural home

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

An explosion in the 4000 block of Terry Robinson Road Aug. 28 blew parts of a garage door 250 feet and started a blaze that completely consumed a single-family home.

Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams said the fire following the "propane-associated" explosion sent flames over 100 feet into the air.

According to fire department reports the homeowners, Mr. and Mrs. David Dingel, were sleeping when the explosion occurred, sending parts of the bedroom ceiling crashing down. The couple managed to escape with their dog, driving about a quarter of a mile to call for help.

The first firefighter arrived on scene about 1:18 a.m., with equipment a few minutes behind.

"By the time we got there, it was fully involved," Grams said. "The house and contents were a complete loss." A pickup parked outside the home also burned.

A total of 27 firefighters and eight pieces of equipment were available, but only two trucks could be used at one time because of terrain and distance to a water source, Grams said. Water had to be shuttled to the scene from a hydrant at U.S. 84 and Terry Robinson Road.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 6 a.m., but returned twice Aug. 29 to squelch hot spots.

Grams said investigation into the exact cause of the blaze will be handled by the insurance companies.




 Inside The Sun

Tara Mandala eyes facilities expansion

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Refuge, renewal and retreat.

These are the main goals Tara Mandala Retreat Center identifies as central to its mission - a mission which will soon benefit from a slate of improvements planned for the Buddhist retreat located 10 miles south of town.

This summer, Tara Mandala received county approval of a limited-impact use permit for the first phase of a development schedule aimed at expanding the retreat's capability to further its goals and teachings.

Total cost of the three-phase project is estimated at $4.5 million, with Phase I expected to carry a price tag of about $2 million.

With the aide of supporters, Tara Mandala has raised about $1 million thus far, and intends to hold a series of nationwide benefits, including one in Durango, to secure additional funding for future phases.

Plans for Phase I include construction of a small gathering temple, a community building, associated parking and installation of solar power facilities.

Phase 2 is estimated at about $1.5 million and entails construction of a Tara Mandala Temple and additional retreat housing.

Addition of a barn/workshop for herb processing and pottery, "elder housing" and resident housing are targeted in Phase 3, which is expected to cost $1 million.

All phases are intended to maintain harmony with Tara Mandala's vision statement, which reads, in part, "If a person goes in search of a silent and tranquil place, and applies the practice, their qualities will without doubt become infinite ..."

The retreat occupies 600 acres of mixed terrain between Mount Blanco and Hesperus mountain and ranges from about 7,500-8,000 feet in elevation.

According to the retreat's Web site, "The sacred space of Tara Mandala has to do with the shape and power of the landscape itself which has been recognized by Tibetan Lamas as the body of Tara."

Buddhists recognize Tara as the female Buddha of compassion, an entity having 21 forms "each depicting different kinds of enlightened capacity."

Mandala means "center and fringe." The mandala is a model for spiritual development, "the cosmological structure of Tibetan teachings ... an active diagram leading to realization, a practical structure for the development of the individual."

Thus, "To experience the phenomenal world as an integrated mandala of compassion is Tara Mandala."

Tara Mandala was founded in 1993 by Tsultrim Allione. In addition to traditional Buddhist programs, Allione, together with a wealth of other renowned Buddhist teachers, offers seminars on a variety of other topics, including deep ecology, natural medicine, ethics and Native American teachings.

Since the aim of Tara Mandala community members is to provide an opportunity "to fall deeply into the experience," phone lines and electricity are absent at Tara Mandala and, except in cases of extreme emergency, outside contact during retreats is severely limited.

In addition, due to the topography of the land, cell phone reception is often poor or nonexistent as well.

As a result, those wishing to attend a retreat are advised to take care of important business and personal matters prior to arrival.

Finally, except for retreat participants, all visitors to Tara Mandala must first be cleared through the office, 903 San Juan St.

For more information on Tara Mandala Retreat Center or to register for a retreat, visit the Web at or call 264-6177.


Who are the people of Archuleta County? Census data revealing

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Trying to keep up with the Joneses is as old an American tradition as baseball and apple pie.

No one wants to be considered one of the "less haves" and poverty - while staring many in the face - is almost as verboten in our lexicon as some of the political "trash talk" we hear.

Census data can tell us many things about ourselves, Ol' Joe next door or those in the economic heights many of us so want to emulate.

When the U.S. Census Bureau issued a report last week indicating both the number of persons living below the poverty level and the number without insurance coverage were growing by leaps and bounds, it prompted a look at some local data.

There is a wide and mixed variety of information available, but like all governmental service, is varied in content according to year. Some of what you're going to see here is based on 2000 census data (some based on 1999 surveys); some on Census Bureau actual data for 2002 and estimates for 2003 and some on projected figures supplied in online reports by the Bureau.

To set the stage for analyzing the other reports, it is necessary to note the Bureau estimates Archuleta County's population at 11,313 as of July 1, 2003, a 14.3 percent increase from the actual 9,898 counted in the county in the 2000 census (a figure most believe was way too low).

Based on the 2000 census data, 11.7 percent of the county's population was living below the poverty level. But that, too, has several caveats.

The Office of Management and Budget at the Census Bureau defines poverty threshold (on July 1, 2003) as $18,810 for a family of four; $14,680 for a family of three; $12,115 for a family of two; and $9,393 for an individual. Inflation could have made the percentage within the county higher or lower three years earlier.

The Bureau said the median household income (in the 2000 report) in the county was $37,901.

How flush with cash was the rest of the county compared to the median?

The statistics might surprise you.

So, let's look first at the high and low ends.

For 403 of the 3,989 households then in the county, total household income was $10,000 or less.

At the opposite end of the scale, 166 households had incomes of $150,000 or more, 103 of those at $200,000 or more.

The largest percentage of households (839 or 21 percent) were in the $35,000 to $50,000 bracket. Median family income was $43,259.

If people are making that much money, what are they doing to earn it. Where is the occupational center of the employment force?

Again, you may be surprised beyond No. 1 - construction, with 846 jobs.

Ranking second in employment numbers, with 775 posts filled, was the broad category of arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services.

Third, with 638 was retail trade and fourth, with 593, was educational, health and social services positions.

Haven't found yourself yet?

All you real estate people, including finance, insurance, rental and leasing along with sales, were fifth with 373 posts filled. Sixth, with 355, came another broad swath - professional, scientific, management, administrative and waste management services.

Seventh, other public services (except public administration) nailed down 256 positions. That public administration category had 213.

Still haven't found yourself?

Maybe these groups will add you to the mix: transportation, warehousing and utilities, 182; agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting and mining, 157; manufacturing, 125, information, 83; and wholesale trade, 56.

The Bureau said the county had a workforce of 4,891 and, as of April 1, 2000, only 239 of that number were unemployed.

Please recognize that workforce figure includes only those 16 and older and does not take into account the number of retired residents of the county.

So, how did all those people get to their jobs on the roadways of the county?

Of 4,465 who commuted to job sites, 3,153 drove alone in car, truck or van. An additional 689 used the same mode, but carpooled. Five used public transportation (a figure likely much higher now) while 376 worked at home and 170 walked to their jobs. The mean travel time was 19.2 minutes.

With 6,944 housing units as of July 2002, the county had an ownership rate of 76.8 percent, compared to 67.3 percent for the state as a whole.

Median value of owner-occupied housing units was $167,400, slightly higher than the $166,600 figure for the state.

The number of persons per household as of April 1, 2000, was 2.47, slightly lower than the statewide average of 2.53.

The biggest group (1,603 or 25.8 percent) of the county's homes, on the same date, were constructed in the period 1980-1989. Prior to that, the biggest surge was 1,223 built in the 1995-1998 time frame. Going way back, 210 occupied county homes were constructed in 1939 or earlier and 265 were built between 1940 and 1959.

The median home size, not counting bathrooms, was five rooms with 1,492 at that level; 1,318 had four rooms and 1,136 had six rooms; 627 had seven rooms; 327 had eight rooms and 248 nine or more rooms.

In 1,226 homes with a mortgage, 23 owners were paying less than $300 per month and 71 were dishing out $2,000 or more per month. In between were 50 paying $300-$500; 269, $500-$700; 326, $700-$1,000; and 144, $1,500-2000.

Here are some other quick facts based on the 2000 census which may be of interest:

- 5.4 percent of the 9,898 population was under 5 years old compared to 6.9 percent statewide;

- 25.3 percent was under 18 years old compared to 25.6 percent statewide;

- 11.9 percent were 65 or older, compared to 9.7 percent statewide;

- of the total population, 49.3 percent was female compared to 49.6 percent statewide;

- 87.3 percent of those 25 or older were high school graduates and 29 percent in the same age group had a bachelor's degree or higher;

- 1,939 of those five or older had a physical disability;

- 2.9 percent of the total population in the county was foreign born and 11.9 percent over age 5 lived in a home where a language other than English was the primary communication;

- persons of Hispanic or Latino origin represented 16.8 percent of the total county population;

- with 1,350 square miles of land area, the county's population density was 7.3 per square mile compared to the statewide average of 41.5;

- 1,855 county households had two or more vehicles and 936 had three or more;

- 1,679 homes were heated with bottled, tank or LP gas, 1,274 with utility supplied natural gas, 548 with wood, 414 with electricity, 36 with solar energy, eight with fuel oil or kerosene, four with coal or coke, and 17 with other fuel (not specified);

- 90 dwelling units lacked complete plumbing facilities, 76 lacked complete kitchen facilities and 67 had no telephone service;

- In 2002, federal grants to the county, town and other organizations in the county totaled $39.23 million of the $2.62 billion coming into the state the same year.

Finally, while the Bureau had updated 2003 poverty and uninsured resident data for larger geographic units, like states, none will be available for small communities (like Pagosa Springs) or smaller rural counties (like Archuleta) for several months.


Health services district changes ambulance policy

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Ambulances will return to delivering patients to local physicians' offices.

That was the 4-2 decision by the Upper San Juan Health Service District Board after a request from Jim Knoll, chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee.

"This request is made in order to get continuity of care by the patient's physician and maintain quality of care," Knoll said.

About two months ago, the board approved a policy directing Emergency Medical Services personnel to transport all patients to the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center instead of to local physicians' offices because of a reimbursement problem with Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The district received a notice June 30 from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services requesting the return of $2,909.06 in overpayments for transports made to physicians' offices in 2002. According to its rules, Medicare only reimburses for transport to a hospital, critical access hospital, skilled nursing facility or dialysis facility. None of the clinics in Pagosa, including the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, meet these qualifications. The medical center is licensed as an Emergency Care Center by the state, but further research showed that to be a state designation unrecognized federally.

Earlier this month, interim business manager Allen Hughes received direction from the board to research the possibility of becoming a critical access hospital under Medicare guidelines. Until then, EMS bills for ambulance trips covered by Medicare or Medicaid that terminate at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center would be retained in the district for possible submittal when either the status of the clinic changed or Medicare rules changed.

Under the policy, the patient's personal physician was notified of the transport and given the option of seeing the patient at the clinic.

Transports that end at Mercy Medical Center in Durango or another hospital facility are not a problem and can be billed as normal.

It is unknown at this time how long it might take for the medical center to become a critical access hospital, or for Medicare rules to change.

"I'm looking at nine months out as my target date," Hughes said. The district has 18 months from the time of service to bill Medicare, so if something changes within that time, the district could bill for all the transports it has made that it can't bill for now.

"I'd hate to see that retroactive ability to bill lost," he said.

Knoll said the board has to balance the question of quality of care and the continuity of care against the likelihood of ever getting reimbursed by Medicare.

"The previous economic reason for bringing them to the Mary Fisher Center is no longer valid since Medicare will not pay to bring the patient to either clinic at this time. When the MFC becomes a designated Medicare place then we will change back," he said.

The board approved, on a split vote, a motion to allow ambulances to transport to any accepting local physician's office. Jerry Valade and Bob Goodman voted against the motion, citing the concern over possible lost revenues.

In other business, the board approved a contract with Pagosa Family Medicine Center for on-call physician coverage at the district Thursday evenings and all day Sundays. The contract does not include staffing for the Urgent Care Clinic hours on Sundays. Currently, the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center is open from noon-4 p.m. Sunday for walk-in patients. The new contract will take effect Sept. 18. Urgent Care will remain open Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The move will mean a physician will cover calls for the district and Pagosa residents 24-hours a day, seven days a week with all on-call physicians within 15 minutes of the clinic if a response is needed.

According to a statistics sheet, provided to the board by Hughes, closing Sundays could reduce district revenue by about $6,600 for the year.


Pagosan in critical condition following motorcycle accident

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A Pagosa Springs man remains in critical condition following a motorcycle accident Aug. 26.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Brian Vining said Timothy Markham, 31, was apparently attempting to pass another vehicle on U.S. 160 just west of Pagosa Springs when he swerved suddenly, coming within inches of another vehicle, then laid the motorcycle down and skidded off the road.

Markham, who was wearing a helmet, and the bike, a 983 Honda, slid 253 feet sideways before coming to a halt.

"The helmet probably saved his life," Vining said. The accident occurred about 7:10 p.m.

Markham, who recently received custody of two sons, ages 4 and 2, was listed in critical condition at San Juan Regional Medical Center Wednesday morning.

Friends and his local employer, J. E. Sutherland Construction, are collecting donations to assist with the care of Markham and his two sons. An account has been set up at The Bank of the San Juans. Checks should be made out to Timothy Markham - medical expenses.


Public comments sought on proposed well in Price Lakes area

The Pagosa Ranger District is requesting comments on a proposed action that would allow V.F. Neuhaus Properties to construct a well pad and drill one exploratory (wildcat) oil well on an existing federal oil and gas lease on forest system lands in the Price Lakes area.

The proposed site is northeast of Chromo, and access would be from Navajo River and Price Lakes roads.

A level area of about 1.5 acres would be cleared of vegetation, including up to 15 small aspen trees, and an existing vehicle track would be upgraded for 350 feet from Price Lakes Road to the well pad.

The well site would be reclaimed following drilling. If the well is produced, a development plan would be required prior to production, and the unneeded part of the well pad would be reclaimed to provide for domestic livestock forage production.

If the well is abandoned, the entire site would be fully reclaimed to provide for domestic livestock forage production. No road reconstruction would be required for Price Lakes Road or Navajo River Road.

The Forest Service must consent to the use of its lands for oil and gas drilling and production.

If consent is provided, the Bureau of Land Management is responsible for approving the application for permit to drill.

A no-action alternative and one action alternative are analyzed and the environmental effects documented in an environmental assessment (EA).

According to Glenn Raby of the Pagosa Ranger District, exploratory wells have been drilled in the Price Lakes area in the past, but none have produced.

"They either did not produce at all, or were deemed unfeasible to pursue, from an economic standpoint," explains Raby.

If the Neuhas proposal were approved and drilling revealed a worthwhile endeavor, "The well would shut down and the full NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) procedure, complete with public reviews, would have to take place before further decisions were made," concluded Raby.

The pre-decisional environmental assessment for the Neuhaus proposal is now available for public review by calling the district office at 264-1515. The project EA is also available on the San Juan National Forest Web site at

The purpose of this comment period is to provide an opportunity for the public to provide early and meaningful participation on a proposed action prior to a decision being made.

Those who provide substantive comments during this comment period are eligible to appeal the decision.

The opportunity to comment ends 30 days following today's publication of the legal notice in The Pagosa Springs SUN.

The publication date is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for this analysis. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period.

Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, oral and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted.

Written comments must be submitted to: District Ranger, PO Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.

The district office is located at 180 Pagosa Street. Comments may also be faxed to Raby at 264-1538.

Oral comments must be provided at the district office during normal business hours via telephone, 264-1515, or in person, or at an official agency function (i.e. public meeting) that is designed to elicit public comments.

Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an e-mail message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), and Word (.doc) to

In cases where no identifiable name is attached to an electronic message, a verification of identity will be required for appeal eligibility. A scanned signature is one way to provide verification.

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 insure timely receipt by other means.

Individuals and organizations wishing to be eligible to appeal must provide the following:

- name and address;

- title of the proposed action;

- specific substantive comments on the proposed action, along with supporting reasons that should be considered in reaching a decision;

- signature or other verification of identity upon request, identification of the individual or organization who authored the comments is necessary for appeal eligibility;

- for multiple names or multiple organizations, a signature must be provided for the individual authorized to represent each organization, or for each individual that wishes to have appeal eligibility and;

- individual members of organizations must submit their own substantive comments to meet the requirements of appeal eligibility as an individual, comments received on behalf of an organization are considered as those of the organization only.

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 those who only submit anonymous comments will not have standing to appeal the subsequent decision.

For further information contact Raby at 264-1515.


LPEA urges 'no' vote on Amendment 37

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The board of directors of La Plata Electric Association is urging voters to vote "no" on Amendment 37 when they step to the polls for this year's general election.

According to an LPEA press release issued this week, the board reached the decision to campaign against Amendment 37 during a special session Monday morning.

Amendment 37, also known as the "Renewable Energy Mandate," would require utilities companies with a minimum of 40,000 customers to produce 3 percent of their electricity supply from renewable energy sources by 2007.

The proposal also stipulates that such companies would be required to produce 6 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2011, and 10 percent by 2015.

According to Amendment 37, sources that qualify as renewable energy include wind and solar power, hydropower and biomass.

Proponents of the measure feel the amendment could provide a way for the state's farmers and ranches to gain new sources of income.

Opponents argue a government mandate is an inappropriate approach to such issues.

In the past, proposals similar to Amendment 37 have died in the state Legislature, and LPEA Chief Executive Officer Emery Maez would prefer to see this one buried Nov. 2.

"La Plata Electric consumers could face increased electricity costs over the next 20 years if Amendment 37 is passed at the upcoming election on Nov. 2," says Maez.

Maez and LPEA board members argue the measure "appears to encourage" utilities companies to pursue more sources of renewable energy "but takes the choice of energy sources out of the hands of the consumers" while requiring business communities to shoulder the burden.

If Amendment 37 passed, says the LPEA release, the costs incurred by utilities companies that would be required to secure new sources of energy would likely be passed on to their customers.

La Plata also questions a portion of the initiative that states 4 percent of the eventual 10 percent in renewable energy must be derived from solar power.

"While the sunshine is free and abundant in our state," says the release, "the solar industry's power production costs are ... three to four times the price Colorado's co-ops pay for the power they buy from Tri-State."

In conclusion, the release states "LPEA supports and will continue to support the increased use of renewable resources made available to all of our customers who request them."

However, "Amendment 37 contains several provisions that are unclear and leave us to wonder what the impacts could be to consumers."

For more information on Amendment 37, visit the state Web site at and click on "Ballot Issues."


Local 4-H entrants do well at state fair

By Sandy Caves

CSU Extension

Listed here are local 4-H members whose projects qualified for Colorado State Fair.

The youngsters received a blue ribbon and a grand champion at our local county fair. At state fair, they placed projects according to the Danish System, which means that if a project has met and exceeded the requirements it will receive a blue ribbon. There is no limit to the amount of blue, red or white ribbons a unit can receive.

After all the ribbons have been awarded, the judges go back and place the top 10 blue ribbons into grand, reserve, then third through tenth. There are times projects get sent to state that slip past local judges and do not quite follow the state syllabus.

The following is a list of members and how they placed at the state fair:

Food Preservation: Katie Laverty - Blue and fourth; Emmi Greer - Blue and Reserve Champion.

Consumer Sciences: Anna Ball - Blue and Reserve Champion.

Sports fishing: Riley Aiello - Red; Matt Nobles - Blue and Reserve Champion.

Entomology: Chase Purcell - Blue and sixth; Davey Schaefer - Blue and fourth; Emmi Greer - Blue and fourth; Dylan Caves - Blue and Reserve Champion.

Leadership Skills: Danelle Condon - Blue and Grand Champion.

Foods and Nutrition: Nicky Toth - Red; Mattie Aiello - Red; Melissa Wollenweber - Red; Anna Ball - Blue and Grand Champion.

Knitting: Crystal Purcell - Blue and fifth; Kailee Kenyon - Red.

Quilting: Justine Smith - Red.

Home Environment: Anna Ball - Blue and fourth.

Photography: Ashli Cunning-ham - White; Rachel Carrell - White.

Decorate Your Duds: Audrey Miller - Red.

Veterinary Science: Stephanie Zenz - Blue and third; Danelle Condon - Blue and sixth; Taylor Cunningham - Blue and sixth.

Shooting Sports: Chase Purcell - Blue.

Creative Cooks contest: Anna Ball and Laci Jones both received blue ribbons.

Livestock News

Two young ladies represented local 4-H well as they took their hogs to the state fair this year.

This is the first time in many years we have had this kind of representation on the state level.

Raesha Ray was in class number 6001, Hampshire and brought home 12th place.

Re'ahna Ray was entered in classes 6404 and 640 - Crossbreeds. Her hogs took 10th and second respectively. Re'ahna was also able to enjoy the benefits of selling her second-place hog at the auction.

Also, there are some additions to our county fair results, for the Rabbit Project.

Showmanship: Senior - Danelle Condon; Intermediate - Camille Rand; Novice - Samantha Hunts. The Best of Show went to Bethany Wanket and the first runner up was won by Derek Lorenzen.

Congratulations to all of our 4-H members on a terrific job. Keep up the good work.


County 4-H member nets

$1,600 for hog sold at state fair

Some people just don't know when to stop.

Take the Ray sisters, for example.

Raesha, the older of the two, had the grand champion and reserve grand champion swine at the Archuleta County Fair.

Younger sister, Ra'ahna had the third place entry in light heavy weight swine.

In the livestock auction all three animals sold.

But Re'ahna wasn't done.

She took another porker to the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo. One of over 400 entries, it became one of 35 picked for the 4-H junior livestock sale Aug. 25.

The animal was purchased by Denver Rustlers for $1,600, the twelfth highest figure for the market hog category.

Top seller in the division was the grand champion shown by Tori Hett of Weld County, which went for $12,000, also to Denver Rustlers.

The state fair livestock sale generated $327,600, just $9,475 short of the sale record set in 2001.

The top selling animal was the grand champion steer shown by Brian Reed of Adams County which drew $44,000 from the Sam Brown family of Pueblo.


GED courses now open at Ed Center

General Educational Development (GED) classes started Monday at the Archuleta County Education Center.

These classes help the student prepare to take the five tests required to obtain a GED certificate. Students who pass all five tests are awarded a Colorado High School Equivalency Diploma.

This diploma is accepted by employers in private industry and government, as well as admissions officers at colleges, universities and vocational and technical schools.

Wally Lankford, GED coordinator, is available 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5-8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday to assist in tutoring or any questions you may have regarding the GED program.

Graduates of the program are rewarded at the end of the school year with a cap and gown graduation ceremony, along with a graduation picture.

If interested or need more information, call the center at 264-2835.


Parent/Child Together Night slated Sept. 9

To celebrate and raise awareness for International Literacy Day, Archuleta County Education Center will host its first Parent/Child Together Night of the school year 5:30-7 p.m. Sept. 9.

The family event is free, with a focus on literacy. It will feature hands-on games and activities for parent and child to enjoy together.

Hot dogs, chips and lemonade will be provided.

The center staff believes the whole community must work together to help improve the quality of life for our residents with reading difficulties and thinks the center plays an important role in helping bring parents and children together to participate in activities that strengthen reading skills.

The center also offers classes to adults enabling them to more fully participate in the local economy and in the education of their children and grandchildren.

Call 264-2835 to register for either the Parent/Child Together Night or adult literacy classes.


Auction for the Animals drew friendly competition

By Annette Foor

Special to The SUN

The 10th Annual Auction for the Animals was held Friday, Aug. 27, and the night was nothing short of magical.

Our humane society, just like other local non-profits must do a substantial amount of fund raising throughout the year to supplement our budget.

As guests filled the Pagosa Springs Community Center, the room came alive with chatter and anticipation as they made their way through the silent auction with hundreds of items available, including celebrity collectibles, gift baskets, artwork, antiques, gift certificates and much more while they enjoyed beer, wine and delectable hors d'ouevres provided by Page's Leaf Catering, Enchanted Valley Farm, TLC Catering, Victoria's Parlor and the volunteers and staff of the humane society.

Once the silent auction ended, the evening was turned over to auctioneer Jake Montroy and emcee Debbie Steele, assisted by spotters Mark Crain, John Porter, Aristotle Karas and Roy Corbett who kept the crowd on their toes and entertained as friendly bidding wars took place during the live auction on such items as limited edition embroidered Red Ryder denim jacket, being a guest D.J., a Infiniti Q45, a Tanzanite Pendant and other fabulous items.

The success of any fund-raising event depends greatly on community support and once again that was proven with the hard work of the many volunteers, humane society staff, those who donated to the auction and to the continual support of our wonderful community. Very special thanks to all of you who helped make the 10th Annual Auction for the Animals a success; we couldn't have done it without you.


GED courses now open at Ed Center

General Educational Development (GED) classes started Monday at the Archuleta County Education Center.

These classes help the student prepare to take the five tests required to obtain a GED certificate. Students who pass all five tests are awarded a Colorado High School Equivalency Diploma.

This diploma is accepted by employers in private industry and government, as well as admissions officers at colleges, universities and vocational and technical schools.

Wally Lankford, GED coordinator, is available 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5-8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday to assist in tutoring or any questions you may have regarding the GED program.

Graduates of the program are rewarded at the end of the school year with a cap and gown graduation ceremony, along with a graduation picture.

If interested or need more information, call the center at 264-2835.


SMILEY yoga program opens for special kids

Archuleta County Education Center has added a new member to its staff of enrichment instructors for the after-school program.

April Merrilee, MA, OTR, is a pediatric occupational therapist with five years experience serving children of all ages, focusing on activities that support the skills needed for learning and success n academics.

Merrilee is also a certified yoga instructor holding four separate teaching certificates, including "Yoga for the Special Child" and "Integrated Yoga Therapy."

For several years she has been actively merging the practices of occupational therapy and yoga for children together with her speech therapist partner, Diann Tator, of Dulce, N.M.

The result is a highly original program of yoga for kids that is designed to enhance both literary and handwriting skills through movement, songs and story telling combined with fine motor and visual skill building activities. The program is called "Sensory Motor Integration and Language Experiences through Yoga" or SMILEY.

The program consists of six different yoga routines using songs to tell stories; the characters of the stories are the names of the yoga poses.

The SMILEY program will be offered through the school year, September-May. Merrilee will begin teaching the first routine Sept. 13 in Room 3 of the elementary school with the story of Farmer Brown and a cow that gets sick.

For more information, call the center at 264-2835.


Unitarians set annual water rite

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold its second annual "Water Ceremony" Sunday, Sept. 5.

In this service, members and friends bring a bit of water commemorating a recent travel experience or adventure, and share memories and insights deriving from that occasion.

The service and children's program will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Unit 15 is on the east (back) side of the commercial plaza.

Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign.

All are welcome.


Our Savior scores high in Iowa tests

By Richard Bolland

Special to The PREVIEW

Our Savior Lutheran School began its 12th academic year Aug. 23 with a new face on the faculty and great pride in a set of test scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

Richard Buettner, a 35-year teaching veteran will bring that experience to the fifth- and sixth-grade students.

He comes to Our Savior from Concordia Lutheran School in Tacoma, Wash. where he taught nearly every subject at one time or another and also served as both vice principal and principal of the 500-student school.

He was installed at Our Savior Aug. 22 by the Rev. Randall Golter, president of the Rocky Mountain District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.

Students at Our Savior took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills last spring to measure their own progress and determine how they fare with students across the nation. This is the same test series Pagosa Springs public schools used prior to initiation of the CSAP program.

For the first time, instead of being compared with only other private schools, ITSB chose to compare them with those of the general school population and the results were termed "remarkable."

In the core subject areas of math, language and spelling, students at Our Savior scored an average percentile ranking of 80.33. That means less than 20 percent of the students taking the test nationwide scored higher than those at Our Savior.

Our Savior kindergarten and first-graders scored in the 98th and 90th percentiles, respectively while fourth-graders and eighth-graders scored at 96th and 92nd percentiles respectively.


Shamrock Festival will tease visitors' taste buds

By Christelle Troell

Special to the Preview

It's no secret that Episcopalians are fond of eating. Since it's a safe bet that most other folks are too, there will be a great variety of foods and fun galore at the Sept. 11 Shamrock Festival.

The all-day festival will feature breakfast, lunch and a catered dinner, as well as home-baked goods, frozen casseroles, soups and cobblers plus an afternoon tea. Children can join the fun by participating in a corn-shucking contest.

Ken Jones and his compadres, Bill Newell and Scott Woodall, will be cooking up some breakfast between 8 and 9:30 a.m. for festival earlybirds. Ken admits to a menu of tacos with onions, bell peppers, breakfast sausages, chile con queso and scrambled eggs. He'll reverse his apron at 11:30 a.m. and start cooking hot dogs served with a variety of toppings, including chili, until 1 p.m.

B. Ann Luffel and Topsy Woodson, along with their crew of talented cooks, will offer home-baked items along with the ever popular frozen casseroles. Offerings this year include lemon chicken, Swedish meatball, layered Italian and chicken green noodle.

New for this year are frozen soups - cream of broccoli, vegetable, chicken, and potato; and yummy cobblers - peach, cherry and peach-cranberry.

At 11 a.m. all children on the grounds are invited to participate in a corn-shucking contest.

Another new feature this year is an Afternoon Tea 2-3:30 p.m. organized by Ruth Newlander and Jan Nanus. A variety of teas will be served with finger sandwiches, cookies, shortbread, scones and bundt cake. A special treat during the tea will be chamber music provided by Melinda Baum on keyboard and flute, Dave Krueger on flute and Lisa Hartley on flute and clarinet.

It seems St. Patrick's has created a monster with its Book Nook - the walls and shelves are bulging with books of every description and category. Bookworms will want to arrive early for the best selection. You can walk away with nearly new best sellers. At $3 for hard cover and $1 for paperback, it may be the bargain of the day.

For an evening of relaxation, BYOB at 5 p.m. and join the final bidding on items in the Silent Auction or a chance on a hand-made queen/king quilt. The auction closes at 5:45 p.m and the drawing for the quilt takes place at 6 p.m.

Serving of a complete barbecue chicken dinner, catered by JoAnn Irons, begins at 6 p.m. along with some very special entertainment provided by instrumentalists and the St. Pat's choir. The dinner includes a baked potato, roasted corn-on-the-cob, spring mix salad, brownies and ice cream.

Tickets for the dinner are $7 for adults; $4 for children (ages 5-12); under 4 years eat free. Dinner tickets and tickets for the quilt are on sale at St. Patrick's church office, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd., Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. or from church members. Call 731-5801 for information.

Some of the proceeds from the festival will go toward St. Patrick's community outreach projects. The church maintains a food pantry and sponsors a clothing giveaway. They share their space with Weight Watchers and a fly fishing club. Parishioners are involved with the local 4-H program as both leaders and participants. St. Patrick's also supports the Archuleta County Victim's Assistance Program and the Health Fair's Vial of Life.


Community Center anniversary drew 200

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

Yellow balloons, yellow sunflowers, good food, good company and entertainment - the makings of a great party and all were found at the Aug. 20 community center second year anniversary and recognition of volunteers celebration.

Mayor Ross Aragon welcomed about 200 community members to the festivities and from all reports everyone had a great time. Sally Hameister, Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition member, shared some of the history of the center, including her early and immediate enthusiasm for the project and her doubt "that it would happen in my life time." But, thanks to the vision and determination of Aragon, and the persistent effort of the PSPFC, and a generous community, the project reached fruition in an amazingly short six years.

Jan Brookshier, also a founding member of the PSPFC, introduced the new organization - Friends of the Community Center - and a good number of individual, family and business memberships were submitted that evening. She indicated the coalition and center staff are still looking for good ideas concerning benefits that might be bestowed on the Friends.

Mercy Korsgren, facility coordinator, was surprised with a lovely bouquet of roses as a token of thanks for the many long hours of hard work she puts in to make the center responsive to the community.

The entertainment was varied and good - TAPS Dancers, a young troupe of tap dancers in lovely red velvet costume; performers from the Music Boosters' "The Hills are Alive...!"; the Ladies Barber Shop Quartet and Father John Bowe and John Graves. Pagosa is blessed with great talent, making it easy to have a great party.

Past and current volunteers were honored;. New volunteers Gail Reilly, Marvin Sacks, Elvina Hamby and Emily Wood took care to see that everyone was served.

Brea Thompson, Archuleta County Fair Queen, greeted everyone who came and saw to it that programs were distributed. Dennis Ford and other members of the town crew helped set up and take down tables, chairs and the stage. Ron and Cindy Gustafson, John and Judy Cramer, Phyl Daleske, some teens from the Teen Center and several others helped put chairs and tables back in storage for the next party.



Pagosa shooters hit bad weather at nationals

Five members of the Pagosa PathFinders Youth Shooting Club attended the NRA Youth Hunter Exchange international competition in Mansfield, Pa.

Making the trip for the competition starting July 26 were Allison Laverty, Benellen Laverty, Dusty Bauer, and Cole and Zane Kraetsch.

The event was conducted in extremely wet and muddy conditions which impacted scores.

In the individual events in the Senior Division, Zane Kraetsch placed third overall in the .22 rifle competition. Cole Kraetsch took first in the Junior Division in Wildlife ID and was in the top 10 overall among juniors. More than 320 youth and coaches competed in the event representing 13 states.

Next year's competition will be in Raton, N.M., and the PathFinders hope to take at least two full teams (junior and senior) to the competition.


Mounted Rangers seek new members

Colorado Mounted Rangers are seen at nearly all public events in Archuleta County and Troop F is now looking for additional members.

Troop F is an all-volunteer organization that serves Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County exclusively. The troop is one of six in the state that trace their history back to the organization's founding in Colorado in 1861.

The Mounted Rangers serve and assist in law enforcement, traffic control, crowd control, security at community events, help secure accident scenes, aid in disaster situations and assist in search and rescue missions.

Horsemanship is desirable, but not necessary for members.

Anyone interested in becoming a Colorado Mounted Ranger is invited to attend an 11 a.m. barbecue Sept. 11. Please RSVP by Sept. 6 at 264-0038.

Regular meetings are held the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Ranger building at 302 San Juan St.

For more information, call Dale at 264-1242.


Ducks Unlimited banquet, auction slated Sept. 25

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

Did you know that each year the United States loses some 100,000 acres of wetland habitat? Since its inception, Ducks Unlimited has raised over $1.5 billion and enhanced and restored over 10 million habitat acres, encompassing over 18,600 wetland projects in the U.S.

Come get involved; cocktails available at 5 p.m., dinner at 6:30, live auction at 7:30.

For tickets or more information contact Bill Schwab at 731-3335, Doug Bryce at 264-2696 or Michelle Thom at 731-3235.



Assume worst

Dear Editor:

It looks as if some people's information has gotten out of control, but they still think they're dealing in facts.

Here's one giant fact that everybody has missed: In the Vietnam era people volunteered for service because they could get their choice of jobs. If they waited to be drafted, the deal wasn't as good. Therefore, volunteering in the Vietnam era was not as noble and gallant as some are telling us. Those who volunteer now are the real heroes.

Here's another giant fact: Kerry won't graciously and unceremoniously release his military and medical records because he's afraid of them and there is no way he can fix them and have them look good to the public. It's easier to trash John O'Neill than to confront the truth. Kerry has brought the Vietnam War on us and this in itself is a crime. It has forced veterans to fight for our country again.

Here's another fact: Kerry has used his hair and arranged his heroics as decoys to deflect the public attention away from 19 years worth of deplorable Senate voting.

Here's a major question: Kerry volunteered when he was 24 when most everybody else volunteered or were drafted at age 18. What happened here? Did it take him six years to rig his position in the military? See. The best thing to do if we don't have answers is to assume the worst. We will never be let down with this kind of philosophy.

I don't know if the following is a fact or not, but it might be something to wonder about. If somebody makes a statement today that's true and one year from now that statement is supposedly wrong, does this make that person a liar? President Bush has not lied.

Actually, the anti-Bush people have nothing but contempt for America and its freedom, ingenuity, innovation and prosperity. They don't hate Bush; they hate America. They want to see it be another Third World country with a dictator who kills people for trying to be free and this is another giant fact which they can't run from, no matter what country they're from.

They have chosen to ally themselves with terrorists and are certainly no better.

John Feazel


Other opponents

Dear Editor:

The 8/25 edition of the StarTrib, Minneapolis/St. Paul's major newspaper had a headline that caught my eye: "In Colorado, Red vs. Green."

It detailed Red McCombs' (owner of our Minnesota Vikings) and partner Bob Honts' plans for Wolf Creek Pass. McCombs is unfazed by all the opposition. He thinks the only opponents live within a 75-mile radius and just don't want to share the area.

Honts said the grand opening is planned for Thanksgiving 2006. I rushed to the Pagosa paper to which I subscribe, and saw the Mineral County Planning and Zoning Commission's public meeting is Sept. 16 in Creede. I went to I checked the status on the Forest Service Web site, and learned the EIP isn't complete. Are McCombs and Honts merely posturing to gain a psychological edge over those who oppose this development? Do they have reason to believe it's a "done deal?" Why are the details of the 1986 swap of 1,600 acres of grazing land elsewhere in Colorado for the former Forest Service land so elusive?

Your residents (Davey Pitcher, Chris Gerlach, Ron and Annmarie Babb) and others expressed valid concerns about the economic and environmental impact of the project, but there were no substantive responses. "We're straightforward and above-board, and we're moving forward." (McCombs).

Because my friends, family, and many other travelers I know visit and love the wilderness and small town feel we experience in Pagosa and South Fork, we've spread the word of the challenges you face. We want you to know you have moral, financial, verbal and written support from outside that 75-mile radius: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Texas, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, California, Arkansas, Washington and Florida so far.

I mean no offense to anyone who supports the development; it's just that you have Red and Bob on your side, which should be sufficient.

Kathy Hanson,

Woodbury, Minn.



Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to a letter entitled "Christian Bush" by John Graves. His quoting of Jesus' teachings Blessed are the meek, love your enemies, etc., as though these establish the uniqueness of Jesus in the realm of social ethics and thus become normative for all Christians, is clearly uninformed.

Jewish scholar J. Klausner has concluded there is not a single ethical sentence in the whole of the New Testament which cannot be paralleled in Jewish literature ("Christian and Jewish Ethics," p.16). In his much-studied book, "An Introduction to New Testament Thought," Professor F. C. Grant says of the Beatitudes (Matt. 5) that Jesus' blessing is not some special blessing for a particular social class that springs fresh from the lips of Jesus, but that it simply reflects the whole poverty-piety equation of the Old Testament (p.198).

Clearly the disciples were not that impressed with the Sermon, for of the four Gospels, only Matthew and Luke contain this text. Mark, on the other hand, does not even mention the Sermon. When we remember that Mark is the earliest of the Gospels to be written, and that there is scholarly agreement that it represents the memoirs of Saint Peter, it should give some cause for reflection. The beloved disciple, Saint John, does not mention the Sermon in his Gospel, or in any of his other writings.

The Apostle Paul, aware of his late entry into the Christian faith (39 A.D.), is careful to tell us that before he assumed a leadership role in the Church, he consulted with Peter, John and James (Gal. 1-2). Thus when he instructs the Christian community in the capital city of Rome that they should be good citizens, he emphasizes their obligation to pay taxes and to respect the governing power of the emperor because "he bears not the sword in vain." (Rom. 13). Clearly Paul is reflecting the view of the entire Christian community that evangelism was to be the controlling issue, not social action.

Thus the great Christian apologist, Tertullian, in the late 100s A.D., in defending Christians as good citizens of Rome, notes that among other things, "we fight alongside you." The fact is that no significant segment of the Christian church saw in the Sermon on the Mount a mandate for pacifism until the late 1500s.

This of course does not settle the question of whether or not President Bush is a Christian. That can only be answered by answering another question raised in Matthew's Gospel by none other than Jesus himself:

"Whom do you say that I am?" (Matt. 16:15.)

Rev. Phil Janowsky


Kerry concerns

Dear Editor:

Many Vietnam veterans and their families are more concerned about what Senator Kerry did and said after serving four months in Vietnam than what he did as a Swift Boat commander.

His actions dishonored all the warriors on the wall, and their living survivors.

William G. Riggs,

Lt. Col. Infantry,

U.S. Army retired


Valor or verbiage?

Dear Editor:

The prominent centerpiece of John Kerry's campaign for the presidency is his heroic service in Vietnam made evident at the Democratic convention with his Swiftboat crew members on parade.

After multiple tours in Vietnam spanning a 33-year career in the U.S. Navy, I have a profound respect for anyone who answered their country's call and set foot in those jungles. These men never ran for the Canadian border; they honorably and courageously stayed the course.

Question for the liberal media: Why is it that you portray the 14 Swiftboat crew members who served on Kerry's boat as honorable, truthful heroes, but the 274 "Swiftboat Veterans for Truth" who are now speaking out against Kerry's alleged Vietnam heroism, to all be liars who should just "shut up!"

I guess none of these 274 highly decorated patriots are entitled to any First Amendment rights. Could it be that folks believe they are telling the truth? Or are they speaking out now only because there are 49 Swiftboat heroes engraved on the Vietnam Wall in Washington?

Someone should ask John Kerry: Who wrote those combat action reports that got you the Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts? Could it possibly be that Kerry, the senior man aboard the boat, wrote them himself? No, he wouldn't stoop that low; or would he?

There were, on occasion, ports of call in Southeast Asia where I was privileged to share some beers with Swiftboat crew members and listen to their lament. Some memorable remarks that will always stick with me: "After this brief rest and a little necessary relaxation, we've got to get back to our boat and our buddies. We haven't finished our one-year tour in Nam and there are only a few things that could keep us from completing our obligation. We'd have to lose some limbs, our vision, or take a bullet to the brain."

Questions for Sen. Kerry: How did you manage to leave Vietnam after four months and 12 days? I don't see any amputations; you have your sight; as for the bullet to the brain, that's debatable. It might be behind your waffling and causing you to appear an insidious fraud and trickster.

My gut call: Kerry is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief. This is not a political issue. It's a matter of his judgment, truthfulness, reliability and trust - all absolute tenets of command.

I believe Kerry arrived in Vietnam with a strong anti-Vietnam War bias and a self-serving determination to build a foundation for his political future. In an abbreviated tour to Vietnam, and with his specious medals secure, Kerry bugged out and began his infamous 1971 betrayal before Congress of all forces in the war with a severe stain of verbal sewage that he threw at returning veterans.

It is a fact that in the entire Vietnam war we never lost a major battle. We lost the war at home ... and at home John Kerry was the Field General.

Jim Sawicki


Thanks to Graves

Dear Editor:

Thanks to Mr. Graves for saying what I and many others have been thinking for some time now ( letter to the editor "Christian Bush?" which appeared in last week's issue of The SUN).

I have only one thing to add: If there is indeed an afterlife, as Christians believe, and Christ knows what is being perpetrated in his name, he must surely be very disappointed.

Patricia Waters


Kate's Calendar

Kate's Calendar

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist



Bingo at the American Legion. Doors open at 6 p.m. and games start at 7 p.m. Free coffee in a smoke-free environment. Bingo nights are the first, third and fifth Thursdays.


The San Juan Club is having a potluck and hot dog roast at the Sportsman Club starting at 6 p.m. Supper will be at 6:30 p.m. The club always welcomes new members. Call Paula Bain at 731-1009 or Glen Van Patter at 731-4795 for info.


The In Step Dance Club meets, 7-9 p.m., at the PLPOA Clubhouse. Call Deb Aspen at 731-3338 for questions or comments.

Sept. 4

East Fork Geology Tour with Glenn Raby, geologist. Learn about the complex and violent geologic history of the Pagosa area. This is a driving trip with several interpretive stops along the way. Meet at the Arts Council building in Town Park on Hermosa Street. After a short orientation, participants will follow Glenn in their own vehicles to several stops ending at the Silver Falls Cabin on East Fork Road. Bring a pack lunch, water camera and wear outdoor clothing and shoes. A vehicle with good clearance is recommended. For more information, contact Raby at 263-1515.

Sept. 4

The Manning family will perform many native dances, including the Butterfly Dance, Grass Dance and two-step Prairie Chicken, accompanied by fantastic drumming and singing, 7 p.m. at the Visitor Center Pavilion, Navajo State Park. Program is free, but a park entrance fee is required.

Sept. 4

Discover Arborglyphs with Peggy Bergon, 9:30 a.m. Meet at the V-Rock Trailhead at the end of Buckles Lake Road (FS 663). Bergon has collected photographs of arborglyphs in the Pagosa area for 25 years. These aspen tree carvings created by Hispanic sheepherders from the late 1800s to the 1950s are often beautiful and humorous or may tell part of a larger story. Enjoy a hike in the woods and discover historical delights. Bring a camera and water. Wear long pants and comfortable hiking shoes.

Sept. 4

Capture the Sunlight on the Mountains with John Taylor, photographer, 3-5 p.m. Meet at the Middle Fork Hunter Camp, at the end of Middle Fork Road (FS 638). Bring a camera, wear comfortable walking shoes and a jacket.

Sept. 7

The Pagosa Springs Community Choir will begin rehearsals for its annual Christmas concert at 6:30 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. Subsequent rehearsals will be every Tuesday evening from 7-9 p.m. at that location. New singers are welcome. Call Sue Kehret at 731-3858 for more information.

Sept. 8

The Pagosa Women's Club will meet at JJs Upstream Restaurant, 11:45 a.m. Lunch is served at noon, followed by the program, "Fashion Show by Satori of Pagosa Springs. Cost is $9.50 and reservations are required. Please call Mary Bond by noon Monday, 731-3990 for reservations.

Sept. 9

The Mountain View Homemakers Club will meet with Bobbie Carruth, 800 Prospect. The program will be Ancient Homemakers in Pagosa-land, by Jean Carson. Directions: Take U.S. 160 west to Vista Boulevard, go to Bonanza, turn left, go to Prospect, turn right. Last house on left (across from playground).

Sept. 9

The Newcomer Club will meet at the European Cafe on Pagosa Street at 6 p.m. Cost is $7 per person and reservations are not necessary. All newcomers are most welcome. The club is sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service. For more information, call Lyn DeLange at 731-2398 or Kim Braselman at 264-6826.

Sept. 11

Pagosa Area Singles will meet for breakfast at 9 a.m. at Victoria's Parlor. All singles age 35-plus are welcome.

Sept. 11

Shamrock Festival at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church on South Pagosa Boulevard. Scheduled events include breakfast, 8-9 a.m.; chili and nacho lunch, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; an afternoon tea, 2-3:30 p.m.; and a barbecue, with music, 5-7 p.m. Also included is a bake sale, a quilt auction, rummage sale, frozen casseroles and cobblers for sale, and crafts.

Sept. 12

The monthly meeting of the Archuleta County Genealogical Society will be a tour of the San Juan Historical Society Museum at 2:30 p.m. The museum is located at the corner of 1st and Pagosa streets.

Sept. 17-18

Auditions for the Music Boosters Madrigal Dinner, in the high school band room. Friday auditions are 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday auditions are 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sept. 18

The Southwest Land Alliance's third annual membership meeting and breakfast gathering at the Hershey Ranch in Pagosa Springs. Breakfast at 9 a.m. and meeting at 11 a.m. From noon on, hikes on the historic ranch. The event is for current and new members. Reservations needed before Sept. 10. Call (970) 264-7779.

Oct. 9

Pagosa Area Geology, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Pagosa area has a complex and violent geologic history. A driving trip with several collecting and interpretive stops will explain how the mountains, valleys, rivers and hot springs came to be, and what may be in store for the future of our area. Visitors of all ages are welcome, but small children will need to be watched, since the tour will stop along busy roads and near streams. Bring a pack lunch, water, camera and outdoor clothing. No lengthy hiking is required, but wear comfortable walking shoes. Meet at the Arts Council building at Town Park on Hermosa Street for a short orientation, then drive to several places from town up to the Wolf Creek Overlook.


Community News

Local Chatter

Forget the nursing home, try a motel

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

About six years ago, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church had a clothing giveaway. The clothing was free to the public.

The response wasn't much that first year but the news did spread and now there are two clothing giveaways a year - one in the spring and one in the fall.

The fall clothing giveaway is scheduled Oct. 23. Clothing donations will be accepted after Sept. 11, when St. Patrick's will hold its Shamrock Festival at the church.

This event takes the place of the annual bazaars of the past and offers a lot of new things. For instance, there will be an afternoon tea with chamber music, and, at the evening barbecue, there will be jazz and folk music. The casseroles have been a standard item and now soups will be offered. And there will be a special area for children with supervision. The whole thing will be neat.

Theater fest

Another special event is coming up in October (Oct. 1-3) when the Music Boosters will host the Southwest Community Theatre Festival. There will be workshops and seminars and five different productions - all open to the public for a general admission.

The Southwest Community Theatre Festival includes troupes from Durango, Crested Butte, Montrose, Paonia and Pagosa Springs.

Fun on the run

This item is making the rounds on the Internet.

While nursing homes certainly offer a valuable service, the escalating costs associated with all health care makes this worth reading.

No nursing home for us. We are checking into the Holiday Inn!

With the average cost for a nursing home care costing $188 per day, there is a better way when we get old and feeble.

We have already checked on reservations at the Holiday Inn. For a combined long-term stay discount and senior discount, it's $49.23 per night. That leaves $138.77 a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner in any restaurant we want, or room service, laundry, gratuities and special TV movies.

Plus, they provide a swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge and washer-dryer, etc. Most have free toothpaste and razors, and all have free shampoo and soap. Five dollars worth of tips a day will have the entire staff scrambling to help you. They treat you like a customer, not a patient.

To meet nice people, call a church bus on Sundays.

It may take months to get into decent nursing homes. Holiday Inn will take your reservation today. And you are not stuck in one place forever. You can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city.

Want to see Hawaii? They have a Holiday Inn there too.

TV broken? Light bulbs need changing? Need a mattress replaced? No problem. They fix everything, and apologize for the inconvenience.

The Inn has a night security person and daily room service. The maid checks to see if you are OK. If not, they will call the undertaker or an ambulance. If you fall and break a hip, Medicare will pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

And no worries about visits from family. They will always be glad to find you, and probably check in for a few days mini-vacation.

The grandkids can use the pool. What more can you ask for?

So, when we reach that golden age, we'll face it with a grin

Just forward all our e-mail to Holiday Inn.


Senior News

Center closed Labor Day; game day is Tuesday

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

It's hard to believe summer is soon officially over.

Remember that our Senior Center will be closed for Labor Day, but we will be back to work in full swing Tuesday with Game Day at 1 p.m.

We only had two people show up for Game Day last month, but we are hoping a new day will bring in more game-playing people. We will have board and card games available and, with enough eager players, we will also have Bingo, with prizes for winners.

Our annual Seniors Inc. Picnic was a great success. We met at the Blanco River Picnic Area, ate a lot of good food and Phyllis Decker gave a great presentation about the CCC camp that was located there. The weather was beautiful and we were happy to be outside. Thank you Seniors, Inc. for providing the food and thanks Phyllis for educating us.

Being slightly less than perfect, I forgot to mention in the newsletter that Andy Fautheree will be here at noon Sept. 3 to help people with veterans' benefits. If you have any questions about benefits (or black powder guns) be here.

On Sept. 9 we will be going to Durango to shop. It's a full day of fun; sign up in the lounge. Suggested donation for transportation is $10.

Our senior board meeting is 1 p.m. Sept. 10 and all members are welcome to attend. We will also have Patty Tillerson here to check your blood pressure free from 11a.m.-noon.

Carole Howard read the Senior News last week and came in to give us some videos to view. Most are travel videos - for example, Scenic Wonders of America and Alpine Adventures in Europe. This is a good opportunity to see the world from your recliner, so come in and check out our videos and a big thank you to Carole.

One of our seniors has bunk beds she wants to sell. They are old but in good shape, for only $50 OBO. Call Adelina Lobato for details at 264-2557.

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 want to get rid of old health aides ? Old walkers, toilet lifts, crutches etc., take up room and someone else might need it. We can't take it, but we can list your items in our newsletter or The SUN to help you pass this stuff on to someone who needs it. Clean out your closets and give us a call.

Alzheimer's-careers link

U.S. researchers have found a link between the mental demands of an occupation and later development of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University said people with Alzheimer's are more likely to have less mentally stimulating careers than their peers who do not have Alzheimer's.

The team studied 122 people with Alzheimer's and 235 people without disease, all of whom were more than 60 years old. They gathered information about their occupational history over 40 years, from ages 25 through 65.

The most intriguing finding was the mental demands of occupations during a person's 20s did not appear linked to later development of Alzheimer's but starting in their 30s, those people who did not develop Alzheimer's were found to have jobs that were more mentally stimulating than those who did develop Alzheimer's later in life.

That difference in occupational experiences in the two groups persisted even during their 40s and 50s, the researchers said.

Hey, here's a mentally stimulating idea get ship shape and fit for life on an autumn cruise.

Fifty-Plus Lifelong Fitness is hosting its third annual educational cruise in October, with the goal of helping older adults improve their health, fitness and well being.

The Fifty-Plus Fitness Cruise is a collaborative effort between Fifty-Plus and the HMS Travel Group of Santa Rose, Calif. HMS has created specialty cruises for such national organizations as Cooking Light Magazine and Lean Cuisine.

The seven-night cruise departs Miami Oct. 31 to the Western Caribbean on the recently christened Star Princess and will include seminars, workouts and optional fitness shore excursions lead by three senior-adult health and fitness experts. The shore excursions will include exercise programs.

One of the faculty is Dan McClure, a nationally recognized expert in healthy and successful aging. Linda Galdieri, a psychotherapist who specializes in women's self-esteem and counsels couples on creating healthy relationships, will also be there.

The cruise will visit such exotic ports as San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola and the Princess Cays, a private beach resort. While at sea there will be more than 16 free classes, seminars and fitness programs as well as private cocktail parties.

Rates start at $685 per person, double occupancy, excluding taxes, fees and airfare. Only $855 for an outside cabin. For more information contact Ray Stewart (650) 843-1750 at Fifty-Plus Fitness or Larry Martin, (800) 367-5348, at HMS Travel Group or access HMS Travel.

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, tell Musetta or Laura at the "Den" or call Gail in Durango at 259-1672.


Friday, Sept. 3 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; pinochle, 1 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 6 - Center closed.

Tuesday, Sept. 7 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; game day, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 8 - canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 9 - Durango trip

Friday, Sept. 10 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; blood pressure check, 11 a.m.; pinochle, 1 p.m.; senior board meeting, 1 p.m.


Friday, Sept. 3 - Beef stew with vegetables, mixed green salad, biscuit and fruit parfait.

Monday, Sept. 6 - Center closed.

Tuesday, Sept. 7 - Hamburger, potato salad, relish tray, Jello and bananas.

Wednesday, Sept. 8 - Pasta primavera, tossed salad, garlic roll, orange wedge and chocolate cake.

Friday, Sept. 10 - Hot turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, Ambrosia fruit salad and cranberry sauce.


Library News

State's 25-year road plan has us in congested corridor

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

The statewide draft 2030 transportation plan is here for public review and comment. More than 300 corridor visions make up the plan. We are on one of the corridors. It is considered one of the most congested.

This document comes with a CD that shows the general plans. The document is the end product of the Public Input Process. People on the Western Slope and metro Denver cited transit and alternative modes of transportation as their preferred solutions. Those on the Front Range and eastern plains favored adding lanes to highways. The "corridor visions" process enabled communities to detail concerns specific to their areas.

An example is the Amish community in the San Luis Valley, along Colo. 15 between Monte Vista and the Conejos County line, where the use of horse-drawn carriages, presents the need for shoulders to be wide enough to safely accommodate non-motorized vehicles. A fact one can learn from the document is that there is a major funding gap of $103 billion to get the job done.

The state's quality of life and economic well-being hinge on this crucial issue. Creative alternatives such as toll roads, commuter rail and coordinated land-use will be strategies for the future. We all must be involved in achieving this vision. The report may be checked out with the CD.

Colorado bicycling map

The state sent us two road maps designed for cyclists with such information as to which highways have four-foot shoulders and which roads are off limits for riders. The maps even show the volume of traffic on specific state roads.

U.S. 160 from Bayfield west is considered high traffic. From Pagosa to Bayfield is seen as medium. The grades for all of the mountain passes are given, and where hospitals and clinics are located.

CDOT road information phone number is (303) 639-1111. The Web site is I'm sure you can order your own bike map, but look at ours anyway. We'll check it out to you.

Sand Dunes monument

The Department of Interior sends us water fact sheets and the latest one covers the Sand Dunes in the San Luis Valley. Water issues will be with us for a long time and we will be called upon more often to be vigilant and protect our state's water rights. The aquifers in the San Luis Valley are especially important to us. This fact sheet explains a lot about them.

The age of the dunes is estimated to be between 2,000 and 12,000 years. The sand was transported by the Rio Grande River and deposited by the southwesterly winds. There are wetlands associated with the Dunes and the ponds have decreased markedly in recent years. Their sudden disappearance means a big change in the dunes' hydrology and the loss of important habitat for a variety of wildlife species that depend on the wetlands.


A recent speaker at the University of New Mexico was lecturing on problems with urban development. Dolores Hayden, from Yale shared some of the new slang expressions. My favorite was "Putting parsley around the pig," which translates to how the developers are adding a little landscaping to green up a development. Watch out for that parsley.

Holiday closing

We will be closed Monday for Labor Day. We look forward to enjoying the beautiful weather as the fall season begins.


Thanks for financial help from Rowena Adamson, Margaret and Jim Wilson; Ron and Cindy Gustafson in memory of Ross Cone. Thanks for materials from the Wells Fargo Bank, Kevin Toman, Carole Nasralla, Addie Greer, Annette Uehling, Ron Tinsley, Barbara Bush, Susan Mercer, Fran Moritz, Bob and Peg Cooper.


Chamber News

Folk fest, sidewalk sale and adoptathon are holiday weekend highlights

By Sally Hameister

SUN Columnist

The fabulous Four Corners Folk Festival gets underway tomorrow with yet another extraordinary lineup of performers including old favorites and brand new talent which will probably very well become old favorites.

Our wonderful Pagosa Hot Strings open the festival at 2 p.m. Friday and the ever-lovin' Tim O'Brien Band will close out the festivities beginning at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. You can grab a complete performance schedule at the Visitor Center or go to for more information.

From here on in, you will need to buy your tickets at the festival because the local outlets no longer have them. Don't miss one of Pagosa's premier events this weekend, the Four Corners Folk Festival.

Sidewalk Saturday Sale

Don't forget to carve out some shopping time this weekend to score some great bargains at our local stores from the far west of town to the far east of town.

When you take a break from the festival on Reservoir Hill, head out to your favorite stores to do some early Christmas shopping so you can feel ever so superior in December, or get a leg up on some birthday/anniversary business with ditto on the superior thing.

All local member merchants have been invited to participate, so chances are that your favorite store will offer some bodacious bargains on that day. The Sidewalk Saturday Sale has become a treasured annual event held in tandem with the folk festival, so take advantage of the opportunity to get out and about town, say hello to our local proprietors and save some dough all in one fell swoop.

Sidewalk sale/adoptathon

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is taking this Sidewalk Saturday Sale to new heights with their Friday/Saturday sale and adoptathon gala.

You can get some great buys on clothing, furniture and household items as well as save some bucks on adoption fees for puppies, dogs, kittens and cats. Special adoption fees for this event are being offered with felines going for only $22.50 and canines for only $32.50. Along with this great price, you will receive a five-pound bag of Science Diet food with each purchase.

Free lemonade and popcorn will be served 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each day as well, so you can munch away while you shop for a new furry, four-legged friend.

Open your heart and home to those sweet creatures that depend upon us to keep them safe and warm.

Leading edge training

Joe Keck, director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College, is looking for a few good entrepreneurs to join him for the Leading Edge Entrepreneurial Training in Pagosa Springs beginning Wednesday, Sept. 15, 6-9 p.m.

This is an intense 12-week program designed to encourage business expansion in the community. Topics will include planning and research, marketing, managing your money, better business practices and creating business plans.

Tuition for this course is $285 or $395 if you're pursuing college credit. You can give us a call at 264-2360 or call Joe Keck in Durango at 247-7009.

Alzheimer's Walk

Saturday, Sept. 11, marks the first-ever Memory Walk sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association in Town Park with registration at 10 a.m. and the walk beginning at 11.

The goal of this event is to raise funds for needed research on this dread disease and to support the caretakers, families and patients who must deal with this egregious condition.

Rarely do you meet folks today who haven't dealt with Alzheimer's in some way - either personally or through friends and associates. This is not a surprise when you realize that it affects more than 4.5 million Americans every year regardless of race, gender or culture and costs our nation over $1 billion annually.

There are promising new drugs and treatments on the horizon, but those things will require funds raised in Memory Walks held all over the United States.

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

Colorfest Fall Ball

Colorfest is shaping up to be a real blast this year, and you definitely won't want to miss the blastoff party, the Wine and Cheese Tasting with a "Fall Ball — Leaf Your Troubles Behind" theme.

As always, you will receive your commemorative wine glass with a gorgeous design created by K.K. Paddywhacks, and you will have the opportunity to purchase a stunning black Henley shirt to mark the occasion in your wardrobe. Wine glasses will also be available for purchase for those of you who are creating a collection or always buy for a friend.

You can also expect to see very colorful decorations celebrating the imminent arrival of the fall season, and you are welcome to dress in the bright hues of fall or truly anything that strikes your fancy.

Keep in mind that this event also doubles as the reception for our balloon rally pilots, so it gives you a wonderful opportunity to meet and greet them and volunteer to crew in exchange for a balloon adventure. Liz and Mike Marchand have done an extraordinary job of building this event over the years and can now boast at least 50 pilots in attendance.

The Wine and Cheese Tasting has become one of the best-attended parties in Pagosa for some very good reasons: at least a dozen varieties of outstanding cheeses from all over the country meticulously chosen to accompany and complement just the perfect wines selected by Bobbie Miller at Plaza Liquor. You will also find something ever so sweet to top off your evening provided by Kathy and Kirsten at Pagosa Baking Company.

Just when we thought things couldn't get any better, Dan Aupperle at Citizens Bank opted to purchase not one, but two kegs of beer for the occasion this year to accompany the free Citizens mug you will receive with your brew. Even better, Dan and Don Taylor will be there in person to serve you, so it just doesn't get any better than that.

You will be happy to know that we have not raised the price on this event in many years, so you can still gain admittance for only $25 per person presale and $30 at the door.

We might also mention that this is an adult party, and you must be 21 or older to attend. The festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday evening, Sept. 17, and tickets are available at the Visitor Center right this very minute.

I am happy to report that we have also wrapped up our plans for the Colorfest Picnic/Concert which will take place Saturday, Sept. 18, at the fairgrounds Extension building beginning at 5 p.m.

I sat down with Chris Powe and Mike Shaffer of Christine's Cuisine, and we selected a terrific picnic menu. Who wouldn't like twice-cooked beef brisket with homemade barbecue sauce, a sour cream and dill potato salad, homemade pinto beans with green chilies and homemade fudge-walnut brownies? Of course, tea, lemonade and coffee will be included.

We are absolutely delighted that Bluegrass Cadillac will be joining us again for the concert portion of the evening because you were all so happy with them last year.

Once again, we have kept our prices the same as last year: $10 for adults and $6 for children ten and under. You will also have the option of buying beer, wine, soda or water to accompany your meal if you choose. These advance tickets are also available at the Visitor Center.

With any cooperation at all from Mother Nature, we will witness yet another magnificent balloon glow at dusk in the fairgrounds arena following the picnic/concert. The Chamber of Commerce is proud to be the Balloon Glow sponsor for this year, and we always keep our fingers crossed that the weather will give us a hand. The Glow is always such an amazing "oooooh and aaaaaaah" experience for anyone lucky enough to witness the occasion, so we hope for the best every year.

Of course, balloon ascensions will take place on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and I'm sure that Liz will be sharing all that information in the weeks to come. We're all looking forward to Colorfest weekend, and especially looking forward to seeing you there.

Healing the Arts

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council and the Colorado Arts Consortium are pleased to announce their annual conference and workshops, "Healing the Arts in Colorado" Saturday, Sept. 11, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. This conference will include workshops on grant writing, mission vision and planning, board development and capital campaigns.

The keynote speaker will be Russell Willis Taylor, president of the National Arts Strategies, Inc. who will speak about "Challenge of Sustainability: How to frame the big picture in order to develop organizational stability for the future."

Other speakers will include Elaine Mariner, executive director for Colorado Council on the Arts, Cheryl-Bezio Gorham, program director for CANPO and Jim Copenhaver, president of Arts for Colorado. For more information on "Healing the Arts in Colorado" call Leanne Goebel at 731-1841.

Preparedness Month

The Southwest Colorado Chapter of the American Red Cross has designated September as National Preparedness Month and invites you to join them for an adult CPR class at the fire station on North Pagosa Boulevard Saturday, Sept. 11, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

The really great thing about this is that the price for this training is only $5 and includes lunch. One of our Diplomats commented recently that the class she took a couple of years ago was quite expensive making this quite a deal. Preregistration is required, so call 259-5383 to register or if you would like more information.

Shamrock Festival

St. Patrick's Episcopal is throwing a big ol' party Saturday, Sept. 11, from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and calling it the Shamrock Festival.

When I commented that I thought it was always called a "bazaar," I was told that this event is much, much more and most accurately described as, "a bazaar on steroids."

This all-out, all-day, old fashioned church fair will include a silent auction, kids' events such as a corn husking contest and lots of other games, crafts, a yard sale, lunch, high tea and chicken dinner, baked goods, those amazing frozen casseroles to save us from cooking and many other goodies too numerous to mention. Plan to attend this over-the-top Shamrock Festival Sept. 11.

Charity Corvette Show

Once again, Pagosa Springs will host the annual Pagosa Springs Classic Charity Corvette Car Show noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, during Colorfest weekend.

The great thing about this is that you can take advantage of this show and head right on out to the fairgrounds for the Colorfest Picnic/Concert/Balloon Glow. See how that works? This event will be held in the Bell Tower Park and proceeds will benefit The Compassionate Friends, a national nonprofit organization that supports families and individuals who have lost children.

If you have questions or would like to participate in this event, you can access information and/or a registration form online at

GED Classes

The Archuleta County Education Center began its General Educational Development (GED) classes Monday, Aug. 30, in the Center at 4th and Lewis streets and invites you to enroll and earn your certificate. These classes are offered to help the student prepare for five tests required to obtain a GED certificate awarded by the State of Colorado.

GED coordinator, Wally Lankford, is available Monday-Thursday afternoons 1:30-3:30 p.m. and Monday and Wednesday evenings 5-8 p.m. for tutoring or to answer any questions you might have about the program. Graduates of the programs enjoy a cap and gown ceremony at the end of the year replete with a graduation picture. Contact the center at 264-2835 if you would like to learn more about this program.


Summer might be waning, but the same is most decidedly not true for our membership.

This week we are happy to greet three new members and welcome back an even dozen renewals. Life is very, very good here at the Chamber.

Our first new member this week is Mark Sudden who joins us with Howlin' Wolf Music located in the Mountain View Plaza. Mark provides a variety of musical products and is always happy to order whatever you would like if he doesn't currently have it in stock. What he does have in stock includes CDs, cassettes, used vinyl (albums), guitars, harmonicas, printed music and an enormously wide variety of musical accessories. By all means, stop in to see Mark or give him a call at 731-9813.

Our second new member, Brian D. Collabolletta, brings us Luv Tile Setting and Finishing with offices located in his home. I'm guessing that Brian spells his last name for folks at least as many times as I spell mine, but I digress. Luv Tile Setting and Finishing can help you with new homes, remodels and commercial properties and is happy to give you a free estimate. Brian is local, reliable and insured and can be reached at (970) 903-2394. We are grateful to our valued Chamber Diplomat, John Middlebrooks, for recruiting Brian and are cheerfully sending him a free SunDowner pass with our thanks.

Marge Alley joins us this week with Higher Grounds Coffee located at 189 Talisman Drive. Higher Grounds is a new, exclusive coffee house specializing in gourmet coffee and espresso-based drinks in a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere. Internet access and wireless Internet are also available in their cozy lounge or you might prefer the relaxed patio seating during the beautiful fall days ahead. Hours are 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. You can give Marge a call at 731-3666.

Our renewals this week include Stacey Fitzwater with The Last Resort RV Park and Campground; Jim Morris with Bristlecone Learning, LLC; Linda Newberry, executive director, Southwest Land Alliance; Paul Aldridge with Ole Miner's Steakhouse; Scott Allen with Mountain Snapshots; Lisa and Lois Higgins with the Made in Colorado Shoppe; Julie Pickering with Rocky Mountain Health Plans in Durango; Martha Garcia with the Southwest Colorado Workforce Center; Crystal Howe with Bootjack Ranch; Jan Clinkenbeard with Music in the Mountains, headquarters in Durango; and Mike Dalsaso with Dalsaso Associates located in Durango.

Our Associate Member renewal this week is also a valued Diplomat and friend, Jackie Schick. Thanks to one and all.

Veteran's Corner

New policy and procedure

for VA ID card distribution

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

A new directive was received from the VA early this week outlining policy and procedures for the creation and distribution of the new Veteran Identification Card (VIC).

In 1996 VHA introduced a patient identification card system known as VIC. This system utilizes aging hardware that is failing and cannot be repaired. How well we in outlying areas such as southwest Colorado know about this.

We have not been able to obtain a VIC card at any local VA facilities for several years. Farmington VA Clinic used to make the cards as I understand, but that equipment failed some time ago and all veterans from this vicinity must get their VIC cards at Albuquerque VAMC.

Social Security concern

The current card contains the veteran's Social Security number and date of birth on the front of the card, which has caused concern about possible identity theft within the veteran community. The system also does not have standardized processes to assure that the cards are only issued to eligible veterans.

New system

Veteran Health Administration (VHA - don't you just love all these acronyms?) has developed a new VIC card production system in which medical centers will capture the veteran's identifying information through Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA - more acronyms!) and image using patient image capture software (PICS - that makes three so far) on workstations at the local facility. The information and images will then be electronically transmitted to a contract vender (what, no acronym?) who will produce and mail the VIC cards to the veteran's designated home address or to the facility requesting the card if the veteran is homeless or does not have a valid mailing address.

Name and picture only

The new VIC system and cards will have the ability to support current and future needs and will assure that cards are only issued to eligible veterans. The new cards will have a large color photograph of the veteran and only the veteran's name will be printed on the face of the card.

There will be no embossed veteran information, thereby eliminating the imprinting process currently used for patient identification on some medical record forms. Instead, a new VistA option has been created to print labels with the veteran's information to be used for labeling those medical record forms that cannot be produced electronically.

Verified eligibility

It will be the VHA policy that a VIC must be issued to eligible veterans whose eligibility and enrollment status has been verified; whose identity has been uniquely verified through the Master Patient Index (MPI - there we go again), and who request a VIC.

Veterans are not required to possess a VIC card in order to process or check-in for health care services. Any legal form of picture identification can be accepted for check-in and identification purposes, such as state-issued driver's license.

Local effect

What does all this mean bottom line? Just sit back and relax. It will all happen in due course and the veteran is not required to do anything until they are contacted or visit a VA facility. I have not received word that Durango VA Clinic will have the capability to do this right now, but it is likely they will in time.

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Veterans' Service Office on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, fax is 264-8376, e-mail The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.


Arts Line

Juried art show begins today in PSAC gallery

By Leanne Goebel

PREVIEW Columnist

Nationally recognized fine artist and illustrator, Pierre Mion, selected oil painting, watermedia, drawing and pastel artwork for the annual Juried Art Show in the gallery at Town Park. The show opens tonight with a 5-7 p.m. reception for the artists.

Arts workshop

"Healing the Arts in Colorado," a daylong workshop with keynote address by Russell Willis Taylor, president of National Arts Strategies, Inc., will be held Saturday, Sept. 11 in Pagosa Springs Community Center. Any local artists or advocates can sign up for the additional participant rate of $25 per person.

This special rate includes lunch and an evening reception. The program will include: Elaine Mariner, executive director of the Colorado Council on the Arts; Cheryl Bezio-Gorham, program director for CANPO; Jim Copenhaver, chairman, Arts for Colorado; Jim Morris, consultant for Bristlecone Learning, LLC; and a panel discussion on the do's and don'ts of capital campaigns. Workshops on grant writing; mission, vision, and planning and board development are part of the program.

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

Download registration forms from the CAC Web site at, or Leanne at (970) 731-1841 for more information.

Ongoing workshops

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

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

FLC workshops

"Fiction Writing," 6-8 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 9-Oct 28. Imagination and creativity are the two most powerful forces behind compelling fiction. National Geographic writer Will Gray will focus on expanding the creativity of each participant as well as on the key elements that contribute to successful fiction plot, characterization, tone, setting, dramatic detail, action, and language, among others.

"Expressive Writing," 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 21-Nov. 9 - Will Gray will show you how to venture into a new frontier of creativity in which you will learn to use language, structure and style to express your thoughts and emotions through various forms of writing. The objectives of this interactive seminar are to expand innovation, fluency, and imagination while improving each participant's writing skills, focus, and confidence.

"Discover Your Life's Work - The Career Decision Workshop," 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25. Doc Roberts will guide you through this highly acclaimed one-day workshop through a hands-on process, utilizing time-tested exercises and specialized vocational testing, to enable you to identify and do what you truly love for a living.

"Exploring the Cuisine of India," 6-9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27. Learn about the unusual ingredients and spices that make Indian cuisine so intriguing. You will also help prepare a delicious meal from soup to dessert and enjoy it with your fellow chefs.

"Northern Italian Cuisine," 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28. Northern Italian food is so much more than red sauce and garlic. Create an elegant menu, from hors d'ouevres to dessert for fall entertainment or just to treat the family.

Workshop ideas wanted

The calendar of events is getting shorter which signifies fall's approach. Submit your workshop ideas, proposals, and recommendations to the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and let's fill out our 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. Call 264-5020 for more information.

Artist opportunities

Arts Perspective magazine is looking for artists interested in painting, designing, decorating, or embellishing a newspaper rack. If you visit the Steamworks Brewery in Bayfield, you will find an exciting, original work of art by Tirzah Comacho. In exchange for your talent, Arts Perspective is offering a quarter page ad in an upcoming issue. For more information, contact Heather Leavitt at (970) 739-3200.

Pumas on Parade will use the display of painted life-size pumas to both showcase the work of artists and highlight the importance of careful stewardship of our vulnerable public lands. With seed money from the National Endowment for the Arts and USDA Forest Service Rural Communities Initiative Grant, the project will build strategic partnerships among artists, businesses, communities and public land managers. Timed to help celebrate the San Juan National Forest Centennial in 2005, the painted sculptures will debut in local downtown areas next summer.

Pumas on Parade is open to creative people working in all mediums: from the celebrated to the emerging artist, the professional to the amateur. Youths as well as adults are invited to submit designs.

Artists can go to to download the images and information forms. Or call Felicita Broennan at (970) 533-0241 for more information. Designs must be received by Sept. 30. Sculptures will be delivered to the chosen artists no later than Jan. 1, 2005.


Sept. 2-28 - Juried painting and drawing exhibit at PSAC Gallery in Town Park.

Sept. 3 - Eclectic reception with the artists, Durango Arts Center 5-7 p.m.

Sept. 3-Oct. 2 - Eclectic: DAC members exhibit, Durango Arts Center.

Sept. 11 - Colorado Arts Consortium: Healing the Arts in Colorado annual conference.

Sept. 13-17 - "Poems of the Brush" with Sherry Lou Casey at Blanco Dove.

Sept. 24-27 - "Hidden in the Ordinary: Seen in His Glory" Christian Artist and Writer's Retreat at Blanco Dove.

Sept. 30 - Pumas on Parade design deadline.

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

Oct. 5 - Trio Exhibit, reception with the artists, Durango Arts Center 5-7 p.m.

Oct. 5-30 - Trio Exhibit: Joycelyn Audette, Katherine Barr, and Lisa Pedolsky at Durango Arts Center.

Nov. 5 - Outsider Art: Visions from the Edge, reception with the artists, Durango Arts Center 5-7 p.m.

Nov. 5-Dec. 10 - Outsider Art: Visions from the Edge at Durango Arts Center.


Community Choir sets rehearsals for Christmas concert

By Bob Nordmann

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Community Choir will start rehearsals next week for its annual Christmas concert and welcomes new singers to attend.

For the past 13 years, members of the Pagosa Springs Community Choir have joined together to present an uplifting program of traditional and contemporary music celebrating the joy of Christmas.

This year the choir will give two performances. Concerts are set for the evening of Dec. 3 and a Sunday afternoon matinee Dec. 5, both performances in the high school auditorium.

Under the direction of co-directors Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer, this year's Christmas concert will include exciting new music selections, with a wide range of styles. Some of the selections will also feature local instrumentalists.

The first rehearsal will be 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, in Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.

Subsequent rehearsals will be 7-9 p.m. every Tuesday, also at the Methodist Church.

If you are interested in joining, contact Sue Kehret at 731-3858.


Pagosan's customjewelry in festivalat Canon City

Pat Rydz of Pagosa Springs will exhibit her one-of-a-kind custom designed and crafted jewelry in Holy Cross Abbey's third annual festival in Canon City.

The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey will host the festival Sept. 24-26 with food wine and arts taking center stage.

Hours for the festival in the Rosemary Gardens on the winery grounds are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.


Enroll now and sing in Children's Chorale

By Sue Anderson

Special to The PREVIEW

Attention children who love to sing: If you are between the ages of 7 and 14, you can enroll for the Children's Chorale fall/winter season now.

After giving a successful May performance during their first season, Chorale directors Sue Anderson and Rada Neal are anticipating enough new singers to create a second choir for ages 11-14, while the original Chorale will include ages 7 through 10. Six-year-olds who will soon turn 7, who can read at a first-grade level, and are able to stay focused for at least 20 minutes are also welcomed.

Parents can enroll their children by calling 264-0244 or 731-0021, through Sept. 17

Rehearsals will begin Friday, Sept. 10, and will be held every Friday at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. with snacks, musical activities and sight reading activities included.

A refundable music folder deposit of $6 and a suggested monthly donation of $16 is all inclusive with extra consideration for parents enrolling two or more children.

All children and parents must agree to rehearse and perform both sacred and secular seasonal songs for the winter concert Dec. 3 and 5 at the high school auditorium prior to the Community Choir's holiday show.


Four Corners Folk Festival performance schedule

Friday, Sept. 3

Pagosa Hot Strings - 2 p.m.

Matt Flinner Quartet - 3:30 p.m.

We're About 9 - 5:15 p.m.

The Bills (formerly the Bill Hilly Band) - 6:30 p.m.

the subdudes - 8 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 4

Marc Atkinson Trio - 10:30 a.m.

Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand - noon

The Barra MacNeils - 1:45 p.m.

Old Crow Medicine Show - 3:45 p.m.

Gillian Welch - 4:45 p.m.

Eileen Ivers - 6:30 p.m.

Eddie From Ohio - 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 5

The Barra MacNeils - 10:30 a.m.

Mark Erelli - 12:15 p.m.

The Waybacks - 1:45 p.m.

The Bills (formerly the Bill Hilly Band) - 3:15 p.m.

Drew Emmitt & Freedom Ride - 5 p.m.

John Cowan Band with guest Pat Flynn - 6:45 p.m.

Tim O'Brien - 8:30 p.m.

Friday - Nechville Summit Stage

9:30 p.m. - The Pagosa Hot Strings

10:30 p.m - The Mark Atkinson trio

Saturday - Nechville Summit Stage

10 p.m. - We're About 9

11 p.m. - The Waybacks

Workshop schedule

Friday, Sept. 3

10 a.m. - Sound Workshop with Glenn Webb of Jacobs Audio - meet at the soundboard at the Main Stage.

11a.m. - Guitar with Jared Payne of the Pagosa Hot Strings - Workshop Tent 1.

Noon - Mandolin with Josiah Payne of the Pagosa Hot Strings - Workshop Tent 1.

1 p.m. - Banjo with Tom Nechville of Nechville Banjos - Workshop Tent 1.

Saturday, Sept. 4

Noon - Mandolin with Matt Flinner - Workshop Tent 1.

1 p.m. - Guitar with Ross Martin of Freedom Ride - Workshop Tent 2.

1 p.m. - Fiddle with Jeremy Penner and Adrian Dolan of The Bills and Carson Park of the Pagosa Hot Strings - Workshop Tent 1.

2 p.m. - West Coast Gypsy Swing workshop with Mark Atkinson, Chris Frye and Glen Manders of the Marc Atkinson Trio - Workshop Tent 2.

3 p.m. - Songwriting and Arranging with Craig Miner and Ryan Shupe - Workshop Tent 1.

3 p.m. - Flatpick Guitar with Roger Archibald - Workshop Tent 2.

Sunday, Sept. 5

10 a.m. - Percussion/Rhythm with Kenny Malone (Tim O'Brien Band), Eddie Hartness (Eddie From Ohio) and Lorne Entress (The Spurs) - Workshop Tent 2.

11 a.m. - Mandolin with Tim O'Brien - Workshop Tent 1.

11 a.m. - Banjo with Dirk Powell - Workshop Tent 2.

Noon - TBA.

1 p.m. - TBA.

2 p.m. - Vocal Workshop with Eddie from Ohio - Workshop Tent 1.

3 p.m. - Banjo with Naom Pikelny - Workshop Tent 1.

3 p.m. - Flatpick Guitar with Pat Flynn - Workshop Tent 2.

4 p.m. - Guitar with James Nash and Stevie Coyle of The Waybacks - Workshop Tent 1.

4 p.m. - Western Swing with Mark Erelli - Workshop Tent 2.

Kids' schedule

Friday, Sept. 3

4 p.m. - Mysto the Magi Magic Show.

Saturday, Sept. 4

10 a.m. - Mysto's Sing-Along.

11 a.m. - Creative Dance with Stephanie Jones.

noon - Paul and Carla Roberts.

2 p.m. - Storyteller Sara Ransom.

3 p.m. - Pagosa Hot Strings.

4 p.m. - Mysto the Magi Magic Show.

Sunday, Sept. 5

10 a.m. - Mysto's Sing-Along.

11a.m. - Creative Dance with Stephanie Jones.

noon - Paul and Carla Roberts

2 p.m. - Storyteller Sara Ransom.

3 p.m. - Mysto the Magi Magic Show.


Freedom Ride, John Cowan Band and Tim O'Brien Band will be closing acts at folk festival

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

Noticing an abundance of tourists in town?

It's the beginning of the arrivals for the ninth annual Four Corners Folk Festival taking place this weekend on Reservoir Hill.

This year will feature 19 main stage acts, plus four late-night shows on the Summit Stage.

The last three acts to be featured in this series of articles also happen to be the last three acts of the festival: Drew Emmitt and Freedom Ride, the John Cowan Band and the Tim O'Brien Band. None of these phenomenal musicians is a stranger to the Four Corners stage.

Drew Emmitt, the dynamic lead singer and mandolin player with Leftover Salmon, is a true renaissance man, playing mandolin, guitar, fiddle, banjo, harmonica, flute and electric guitar. On his debut solo release "Freedom Ride," Emmitt recruited some of the hottest acoustic musicians around to join him and the result is the most exciting newgrass album to come down the pike since the original New Grass Revival.

Over the course of his career, Drew has composed innumerable tunes, many of which have worked their way into the wild and diverse Leftover Salmon repertoire and his pure voice and heartfelt lyrics have become a signature of the band. He has also pioneered techniques for taking the mandolin into new territory by using combinations of overdrive, slides and foot pedals to emulate the sound of steel drums and electric slide guitar. Emmitt's dedication and love for music have helped him to become one of the top mandolin players in the nation. Drew and his band are set to perform at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5.

Possessing arguably one of the most powerful and emotive tenor voices in today's music, John Cowan's history is forever entwined with the legendary group, New Grass Revival.

A professional music maker since age 14, he was a veteran of Louisville rock bands such as Everyday People and Louisville Sound Department by age 20. He auditioned for New Grass Revival in 1974. After several personnel shifts, Pat Flynn and Bela Fleck joined band mates John Cowan and Sam Bush in 1982. Then New Grass Revival took the acoustic-music world by storm with a string of sizzling albums, internationally acclaimed concert appearances, a musical collaboration with Leon Russell, Grammy nominations and reams of ecstatic press notices.

In 1990 the band called it quits. Following the breakup of NGR, Cowan began a career that can best be described as relaxed and eclectic, including a second band, The Sky Kings, and two solo recordings for Sugar Hill Records including the most recent release "Always Take Me Back." As a special treat, former NGR band mate Pat Flynn will be joining the JCB for their Four Corners set at 6:45 p.m. Sunday.

Over the last 30 years, Tim O'Brien has become one of the most respected and beloved singers and musicians in the ever-growing Americana explosion. Nominated for three Grammys and the winner of the 1993 International Bluegrass Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year, he is well known for his pitch-perfect voice and amazing talent with multiple instruments.

Throughout his career he has played everything from swing to traditional, bluegrass to country. His reputation as a perfect representative of this fusion was cemented when he was recently asked to serve as president for the International Bluegrass Music Association, an organization that believes in honoring "all the roots and branches," according to O'Brien. His songs have been covered by such artists as the Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, Kathy Mattea, and Nickel Creek and he's produced several other artists, including the Yonder Mountain String Band and Balfa Toujours.

This will be Tim's fifth appearance at the Four Corners Folk Festival, as he closes the show on Sunday at 8:30 p.m.

Advance price tickets are still available with a credit card by calling (970) 731-5582. Tickets will also be available at the gate throughout the weekend at slightly higher prices. Children 12 and under are admitted free, and are invited to participate in the many activities that make up the Four Corners Kids program at the festival.

Some of the highlights this year include Paul and Carla Roberts performing music from around the world, magic shows and sing-alongs with Mysto the Magi, creative dance classes with Stephanie Jones and enchanting stories from renowned storyteller Sarah Ransom. The Pagosa Springs Arts Council and Durango Nature Studies will also be offering a variety of free activities on Saturday and Sunday.

This is a wonderful event and should not be missed, especially since it's taking place virtually in your own back yard.

The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts. The Colorado Council on the Arts and its activities are made possible through an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information call 731-5582 or go online to visit the Web site at for a complete schedule of events.


Music in the Mountains starts

instrument donation program

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Do you have a musical instrument tucked away in your closet or garage, sitting there unused and unloved?

If the answer is yes, Music in the Mountains would like to help you donate it to a music program in Pagosa's schools.

This new initiative was inspired by the donation of an oboe by Dr. and Mrs. Bealer T. Rogers Jr., San Antonio residents who come to Pagosa every summer. Their son Dan started playing oboe in a school orchestra in third grade when they lived in California in the mid-1970s. In eighth grade he switched to band, and the oboe has been unplayed since then because their daughter preferred the clarinet.

The Rogers wanted a good home for their family's unused oboe, so they contacted Jan Clinkenbeard, chairman of the Pagosa Springs steering committee for Music in the Mountains. She in turn checked with Lisa Hartley, the high school band and choir director and also junior high band teacher.

Hartley responded enthusiastically to the offer of the oboe. In fact, she said the school has a great need for instruments for its various music programs, including the band.

Now sixth-grader Justine Smith, 12, is proudly playing the oboe once used by the Rogers' son. And the Rogers' generosity has inspired a second instrument to be donated. When Bob Howard heard of the effort, he offered his infrequently used 12-string guitar to the school system as well.

"We can promise donors that the children's music programs will make very good use of any instruments you give us," said Melinda Baum, Music in the Mountains' liaison to Pagosa's schools. "Another great need is for donations to help keep all our school's used instruments in good repair."

If you would like to contribute musical instruments or money to this new program, contact Clinkenbeard at 264-5918. She will coordinate your gift and also provide a tax letter for the value of your donated instrument or money.

"This exciting new effort reinforces the importance Music in the Mountains places on a wide variety of musical programs for young people," Clinkenbeard said.

Music in the Mountains' youth-oriented activities include bringing musicians to Pagosa schools to work with youngsters involved in music programs, sending our children to a Taste of Music concert in Durango, and providing scholarships for Conservatory Music in the Mountains programs at Fort Lewis College.

As well, for the first time ever, Music in the Mountains hosted a free outdoor family concert in July that featured "Peter and the Wolf" and drew almost 600 people to Town Park.

"These events give our youngsters the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with musicians who are eager to share their knowledge and love of music," said Clinkenbeard.

"Research has shown that early introduction to music helps young people perform better in their core classes and also encourages them to become concert-goers and performers," Clinkenbeard said. "Best of all, the children have fun while they are learning about music and experiencing great performances."


Music Boosters to host Southwest Theater Festival

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

The banner's not up yet, but our cultural community is getting ready for another exciting event.

For the first time, The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters will host the annual Southwest Colorado Community Theatre Festival the weekend of Oct. 1-3.

Community theater groups from Crested Butte, Montrose, Paonia and Durango will participate, as will our own Music Boosters.

Not only will there be seminars and workshops for registered participants, but each group will present a slightly scaled down version of its biggest hit of this season. Performances will be open to the public for a small general admission fee.

There will be weekly announcements and updates in The SUN, but keep spaces open on your calendar to take advantage of the outstanding theatrical events being offered on this special weekend.


Teens plan a mural in center, enjoy a taste of 'culture'


By Karen Carpenter

Special to The PREVIEW

Tonight we have a Teen Center Advisory Board meeting at 5:30 p.m. Anyone may sit in on these meetings and comment.

Last week we did not get the painting done; wall preparation took longer than expected. But earlier this week we forged ahead. The teens have once again decided to do a mural on one wall.

Getting collaboration from a group of teens is a monumental task so who knows when the mural will finally take shape.

The Paint Connection gave us a wonderful surprise. We now have two new fiberglass pool cues. They are so smooth and lightweight even I look like a pro.

We continue to have a good turnout for Tuesday night volleyball. The competition gets humorously fierce and we just laugh and have a great time.

As school schedules and routines develop the Teen Center attendance grows. Every Wednesday the Japanese Club meets at 6:30 p.m. Friday night is movie night, with popcorn and soda. We will continue the tradition as long as it is well received.

We were open for our first Saturday and many teens stopped in to relax and visit with friends. Several girls cooked spaghetti and meatballs, a salad and French bread.

We partitioned part of the gym and set the tables and atmosphere to simulate a cozy French restaurant.

That did not prove to be too inspiring to all in the group, but a taste of culture never hurts.

Labor Day weekend is upon us and the Teen Center will be open 4-8 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Monday. Please stop in if you are looking for something to do.

Remember the new Teen Center hours: Mondays 1-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday 1-8 p.m., Saturdays 4-8 p.m.

The Teen Center is in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. The phone is 264-4152.


Music Boosters set rehearsals for Madrigal Dinner

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

Who ever heard of auditioning for a Christmas dinner?

Well, now you have. Only this isn't just a regular holiday dinner. It's The Music Boosters first gala Madrigal Dinner.

This traditional holiday festivity goes back to the days when kings and queens, along with their knights and ladies, would host a huge yuletide feast in the palace hall.

A group of singers performed madrigals (an ancient form of part singing), wandering jugglers and magicians amazed and regaled the assemblage, while the court jester kept the elegant lords and ladies laughing.

Dinner was delivered to the head table on huge platters held high in a grand parade down the aisles. (Serving wenches could occasionally be seen running down the aisles to avoid the kitchen staff's amorous advances.)

The weekends of Dec. 3-4, and 10-11, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, will be the time and place for four such grand musical pageants, each staged around a bountiful holiday feast.

Auditions for singers, musicians, actors, and specialty acts will be held Sept. 17 and 18 in the band room of the Pagosa Springs High School. The hours Friday evening are 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; on Saturday, 10 a.m-2 p.m.

Call 731-5262 for additional information.


Human reasoning nourishes

false doctrine, blocks unity

By Rev. Richard A. Bolland

Our Savior Lutheran Church

Unity in the Christian congregation is a most precious, but fragile quality. Unity is highly prized by our Lord Himself and He does not equivocate with respect to the character and scope of that unity.

In the Gospel of John our Lord prays for those whom the apostles will bring into the Church, (that would be us):

"My prayer is not for them (the apostles) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John. 17:20-23)

Please notice that this complete unity is compared to the very unity of the Godhead itself. As the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one, so too is the Church to be one. And the purpose of this is twice stated, " so the world will believe that you sent me." This unity, therefore, is precisely for this world, not for some future world in heaven. Indeed, it is precisely this unity that is the model of the Church in opposition to the model for the way the world works seen in division.

This world is divided in every possible way. We are divided by ethnic groups, nationalities, social-economic groups, cultures, and the like. Division in the world is a mark of our sinful fallenness. Indeed, it was none other than Satan himself who divided men from God in the Garden of Eden when our first parents chose to make their own interests more important than God's interests. Satan uses every trick in his formidable book to divide the world and also the Church of Jesus Christ.

Some would sacrifice unity in the Church for the sake of peace. It is a mark of Satan's work in Christendom that there are so many different denominations when the essence of the true faith is complete unity. God, through Jesus Christ and His apostles, had one and only one set of doctrines (teachings) for the early Christian Church of the first century, but right away, divisions crept into the Church and the unity was fractured. St. Paul laments this sinful reality when he writes:

"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought." (I Corinthians 1:10)

What? Perfect unity in mind and thought? Now to the world that seems like pipe dreams or pie-in-the-sky. I would submit that the apostle of love is perfectly serious about this! Of course the truth revealed by Christ would be a perfect unity of one divinely given truth about all things. That's the very nature of God and He can't do things any other way. But we are dealing with sinful people who insist on inserting their human reason over the plain sense of the Word of God which is inerrant and infallible in all things addressed.

Instead of permitting the text of God's Words stand as they are, we want to make it more palatable to our reason so we get out our figurative scissors and paste and go through the Scriptures creating our own versions of "truth."

Division in the Church comes from such mistakes. In the Church we call this (along with Scripture) false doctrine. Anytime the truth is compromised in any way false doctrine is the culprit! There is no such thing as a benign false doctrine. Every last one of them is the Devil's work of division intruding into the perfect unity of the one true faith. False doctrine destroys a person's confidence in their salvation, and usually points to man rather than to Christ as the source of one's salvation.

False doctrine leads people to question their salvation lessening their assurance that all who trust in Christ's righteous living, His sacrificial death, and His glorious physical resurrection from the dead alone for their redemption really applies to them.

In reality, there ought to be no doctrinal distinctions between Christians at all! Such doctrinal variations reflect the division of the world, not the unity of the Kingdom of God. They reflect false doctrine, not the perfect unity of mind and thought which St. Paul describes, and the complete unity for which our Lord prays.

Fortunately, while God hates false teaching, He does forgive sin. That's what He came to accomplish on our behalf. That's why He lived and that's why He died and rose again. His gracious sacrifice sprinkles His precious blood as a covering over our false teachings, over our divisions and heals us. We are forgiven sinners united with Christ and His Church forever through Jesus Christ.

That doesn't mean that false doctrine should now be acceptable to His people. It never will be! But it does mean that true unity under the divine revelation of Holy Scripture is still our goal for this life as well as the next.

Let's put our human reason with all its defective permutations aside and simply listen to the Word of God. Let that pure, singular truth be heard, known and understood. God will indeed bless our humility before His mighty Word.


Author to speak at Methodist Church

Francine Rivers, author of the bestselling series, "Lineage of Grace" and "The Mark of the Lion" will give an informal public talk Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Community United Methodist Church.

Rivers also wrote "And the Shofar Blew," "The Scarlet Thread," "The Atonement Child" and "Leota's Garden," among others.

An offering will be taken, with proceeds going to the Pregnancy Support Center.


Education News

Education Center geared up for new year of service

By Livia Cloman Lynch

SUN Columnist

The Archuleta County Education Center is ready for another great year of academic assistance and enrichment classes for all youth.

Our elementary tutoring program will start the third week of school under the continued leadership of coordinator Lucille Stretton.

As usual, we will have tutoring and enrichment courses offered Monday through Thursday after school.

Our popular Friday afternoon fun club will again be held each week from 1:30 to 5 p.m. This will provide a safe and fun option for those parents who need childcare on Friday afternoons.

In addition to tutoring, we have a full lineup of fun classes available for your child. All classes are held after school at the elementary school.

Mondays we are offering a new class, Sensory Motor Integration and Language Experiences through Yoga. April Merrilee will lead this class and it will enhance literacy and handwriting skills using songs and storytelling with yoga poses, breathing, relaxation and visual skill building.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school, Tessie Garcia will be leading creative art projects at the elementary school.

Science kids will be led by John Clay and will explore a variety of fun science-related activities and experiments. Throughout the year we will be providing a variety of fun and educational classes in theater, dance, jewelry making, and many more areas.

Our homework center for youth in grades 5-8 will start Sept. 20 and will again be held in the junior high library. Becky Johnson our after-hours coordinator for this age group, will be available to help your child with their homework Monday-Thursday after school.

We are also offering the popular Horse Camp Sept. 17 for students in grades 5-8. This class gives kids the opportunity to learn about horses and participate in a trail ride. This event is limited to only 10 students so please register early.

During the first week of school we sent home with your child our annual school-age enrollment form.

Once we have a completed enrollment form on file in our office, you will be able to register your child for any of our after-school activities by either coming by our office at 4th and Lewis streets or by telephone when paying by credit card.

International Literacy Day

We are celebrating International Literacy Day Sept. 9 with our first Family Night event of the new school year.

Parents and children are invited to an evening of fun and food. This month's theme is literacy focused around transportation. There will be hands-on games and activities for you and your child to enjoy together. Hot dogs, chips and lemonade will be provided for dinner. There is no charge for this event but please register your family early.


Food for Thought

A befanged berserker makes a meager meal

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

Once upon a time, deep in the Amazon Basin, there was a piranha.

As piranhas go, he was nothing extraordinary, but you have to remember that piranhas rule the waters, so even a lesser piranha is pretty imposing.

Piranhas are the Spartans of the fish world; every little piranha is brought up by mommy and daddy to be a ruthless carnivore, ruler of its universe. As a member of a powerful group, a piranha and his pals can reduce a mature steer to a heap of scrap in a matter of minutes.

Our piranha was understandably haughty.

One day, the piranha was swimming with a school of his buddies, doing what piranhas do, when he was scooped up and plopped in a bucket of water. That was OK: The piranha was now the overlord of the bucket; he was important and being important matters a whole lot to piranhas. The bucket was smaller than the river, but the piranha made do. Ego invariably fills the space made available to it.

In no time at all, the piranha was plopped in a container of water. The container was put on a plane and sent north. Soon our piranha was deposited in a large tank. The tank was full of smaller fish. It was a perfect situation.

For the piranha.

The piranha looked around and, as was his nature, he reconnoitered the terrain and set about establishing that he was ruler of the roost. He flexed his muscles, took a few nips out of those who dared get in his way, staked out his turf - which was anywhere he happened to be at the time - began to control the situation and made plans for improving his empire.

His strength was such that he could do anything he wanted. If he decided to set up shop in the corner of the tank, it was his; any opposition risked his wrath, and disaster. The other fish got out of the piranha's way if he chose to move to the bottom of the tank. When he swam to the surface, the small fish went another direction. The piranha was king of all he surveyed; what he desired became custom. He rearranged his bailiwick inside the tank as he pleased.

Piranhas are pretty darned impressive fish. Just ask one.

One day, a beautiful and exotic fish swam past the piranha. You have to understand, a piranha frequently does something just because he can. He might give the other fish the impression he cares about them and protects them (as long as enough food falls in the tank) but he knows he is the strongest mother in the joint and he can force his will on any other resident. That comes with being top fish in the tank. If the top fish has a whim, the whim is the order of the day.

So, the piranha swims over to the beautiful and exotic fish and takes a large chunk out of its back. The piranha is oblivious to the pain he causes. After all, he's powerful. He has only to pretend to comprehend the plight of others. Mostly, he just ignores it and keeps on chewing.

For the piranha, all is right because he is right. And the other fish better know it, or else.

A few days later, another exotic, finny creature wanders too close to the piranha and, just because he can (he's not hungry, after all), the piranha takes a big chunk out of it.

Could things be any better? If you're the piranha?

Nope. But, remember, nothing lasts.

One night a strange object appears in the tank. It is a wad of stinky flesh, stuck on the end of a sharp, barbed piece of metal.

The piranha is wary. The blob of gunk jigs up and down in front of him, but something tells him this piece of meat should be avoided. He swims to a far corner of the tank. The few small fish left in the tank swim to the other end. With their departure, their obvious acquiescence, the piranha is lulled back to a sense of stability, security, absolute control.

So, who knows what went through the creature's mind (such as it was) when a net dipped into the water, closed around him and he was swept up and out of a seemingly perfect and enduring existence?

Think of it: In one instant, from emperor and masterful consumer to food.

Oh, let's just cut to the chase, ditch the parable and cease this pitiful quest for meaning: I cooked the piranha.

The fish belonged to a friend of mine and my friend had enough of the beast's terroristic ways. The piranha had to go. And, since it was not exactly a welcome house pet anywhere else, the piranha had to die. We all have to - it was the piranha's turn.

When I heard about the impending end of the brutal little rascal, I offered to take the fish straight to the kitchen and to a hot pan. The symbolism was too much for me to resist.

But, what to do?

How often have you thought about cooking a piranha?

I had never thought about it, so I did what any inquisitive cook would do: I Googled piranha recipes.

Believe it or not, there aren't many piranha recipes on the Web. If you want, you'll get hundreds of pages of recipes for offal. There's no way you can read all the recipes using sea urchin roe.


Slim pickings.

What I got were a few recollections by intrepid travelers to the South American backwaters where many types of piranha lurk - tales of dinners with natives that included piranha. But no recipes beyond chunk it up, roll it in cornmeal and fry it in oil.

I figured the down-home approach was too mundane for a fish that, moments before, dominated everything in its universe. You chunk up catfish and roll it in something and fry it. The catfish is a homely bottom dweller; it deserves a dismal fate. Not so a piranha.

So, I decided to give the fish a simple, but classical treatment. I figured I'd cook piranha meuniere: a dish melding the solid and staid with the utterly bizarre - a Baudelarian juxtaposition, a dish worthy of Salvador Dali.

So, I'm there when the piranha is removed from its cozy confines, jerked out of an environment permeated by its incredible arrogance.

True to form, the beast does not die easily.

If we can compare fish to machines, the piranha is an aquatic Abrams battle tank. The fish is built to be in combat, to deliver and survive massive blows.

First, there's the teeth, lot's of them. Definitely to be avoided.

Next, the skin - thick and tough as leather.

Then there's the bones. If you or I had a rib proportionately as large as a piranha's, it would be as thick as the barrel of a Louisville slugger.

Last, there's the instinct. This guy did not go gentle into that good night. He definitely raged, raged against the dying of the light.

I won't go into the details of what it took to finish off the piranha, but let's say, even after the head is separated from a piranha's body, the teeth still snap on the blade of a knife held to the fish's mouth. For quite some time after.

This was not a stocker trout coaxed out of a municipal pond with an awkwardly tied fly. It was no tilapia, raised on a fish farm. It was a persistent, super-aggressive little booger. Ours was three pounds of pure fight.

And about a tenth of a pound of food.

To say the piranha was bony is to sell the species short. Where some fish - most typical food fish - are flesh supported by bone, (many resembling underwater cows) the piranha is bones with a teensy bit of flesh jammed between them.

I originally intended to fillet the piranha and proceed with my simple stovetop treatment.

No way.

After my host produced the carcass, I halved the fish with considerable effort, cleaned the blood tracks (where the strong taste in most fish lurks) and kept the skin on. Each half of the fish was now the size of two packs of cards. Two packs of very bony cards.

I heated butter in a heavy pan, seasoned the pieces of piranha with salt and pepper and popped them skin side down in the hot butter. The smell was agreeable. The product was fresh, after all. The teeth were still clicking on the knife blade.

I cooked the skin side a few minutes, salting and peppering the flesh, then turned the pieces. After a minute or so, I tossed in more butter and, in a salute to the preferred citrus fruit of the piranha's homeland, squeezed in the juice of two limes instead of the traditional lemon. I added salt and pepper as the sauce emulsified, took the fish from the pan to a heated plate, adjusted the seasonings in the sauce (alas, there was no parsley at hand) and poured the sauce on the pieces of fish.

How does sautéed piranha taste?

Surprisingly sweet and nearly tasteless, contrary to what one might imagine, given the fierce character of the fish. It tastes like most mild, firm white fish - i.e. a lot like the sauce that accompanies it.

That is, when you can finally wedge a nibble of the flesh from it's prison of massive bones.

Thank goodness we had the foresight to grill some burgers.

This was one of those Voltaire moments: "Once a philosopher, twice a fool."

Should another friend inform me their piranha has to die, then extend an invitation to cook the fish, I'll decline. Piranhas are too much of a tussle for such a meager return.

If I'm in the mood for fish, I'll steer clear of the aquarium and buy my product at the local market. If there's sole available and it's not brownish gray in color, I'll do sole meuniere (perhaps work with lime instead of lemon, as a memorial to the sole's befanged berserker brother). If there's halibut available, I'll do my version of a recipe I read recently in Bon Appetit. I'll sauté sliced onion and some sliced red and green pepper in olive oil until limp, mix in a bottle of clam juice, four or five diced Roma tomatoes, a huge mess of chopped garlic, a splash of dry white wine and one of balsamic vinegar, some chopped basil, a couple handfuls of pitted Greek olives. I'll bring the mix to a slow boil and reduce it a bit, then toss in some large chunks of halibut (or salmon or grouper) and put the pan in a 425 oven for about 16-18 minutes. When I take the pan from the oven, I'll swirl a bit of extra-virgin olive oil and a pat of butter into the mix, add some more chopped fresh basil and large crumbles of feta cheese and make sure each chunk of fish is coated with sauce before serving.

It'll be delicious.

There'll be plenty of fish.

And it won't bite.


Cruising with Cruse

Before betting, read 'How to Read the Program'

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

On a mild summer day in central Ohio, sunny but not too hot and not humid, Hotshot and I went to the harness races at a track called Scioto Downs.

It can be a cheap date. Parking is free and general admission to the stands is $3. If you want to eat in the air conditioned restaurant, or on the open-air, more casual dining patio, you'd better make a reservation.

The racing didn't start until 7:30. The restaurant began serving at 6. We got there at 4. The parking lot was empty. The gates were open, so we walked in. The only activity was a tank truck watering down the track surface of finely crushed gravel.

Over at the stables things were quiet. A few grooms were lolling in front of stalls. Curious horses poled their heads over the doors, gazing at us with large liquid eyes. We strolled from one end of the row of stables to the other. We studied the different trainers banners and logos. We talked with grooms. We patted horse noses. We saw sulkies upended against the walls, the streamlined ones for actual racing and the ones with wire spoke wheels and longer shafts, that were used for training.

One fellow told us that harness racing is the logical descendant of buggy races on market days, back in the early days of the country. It may be a purely American sport. He also told us that Scioto is a nice track, but it's Hicksville compared to, say, Meadowlands, where the really fast horses compete. Where they run the Hambletonian, with its $1 million purse.

Hotshot and I managed to kill two hours and headed back to the patio restaurant, where a friendly waitress took our orders. Burgers or chicken? Baked potato or fries? Side of cole slaw with that, hon?

Then we turned to the serious reading, The Official Live Racing Program. You don't need a degree in rocket science to decipher this arcane document, but it would help.

There were 12 races scheduled that evening. All were one mile long, which is standard. Some were for pacers, some for trotters. Harness horses trot or pace, which is like a trot except that the horse moves the legs on the same side forward together. A comparison of winning times for horses in previous races indicates that pacers are slightly faster than trotters.

But the information on the program about each horse looks like a foreign language. Here's a sample: 7-13-04 ScD 5/8 ft84 2400 4000CL 1 28-3 100-1 129-3 158-1, and on and on like that, clear across the page.

Fortunately, there's a handy page at the back, How to Read the Scioto Downs Past Performance Program. It took both the engineer and me to decipher that what we were seeing was the date, the race number, the track, and the size of the track. Then comes the condition of the track (ft means fast, not feet) and the temperature at the time; 2400 means the size of the purse, i.e. how much money. Why didn't they put a dollar sign in front of it?

That 4000CL conveys to some people the class for the race, or the name of the race. I don't know about the 4000, but this was a claiming race. What does that mean, though?

The 28-3 100-1 and 129-3 indicate the times of the leader at each quarter-mile. The 158-1 was the winning time for the whole race. Lots more numbers follow these, to let you know which position this horse started out in, where he was relative to the others at each quarter-mile, his actual time for the first quarter mile, his time for the whole race, who his driver was, and a few more esoteric things relating to betting odds.

I wasn't planning to bet, but we're at a racetrack. When in Rome So we figured out which horses to bet on. With all that information, what I finally relied on was how well the horse had done in his previous races and what kind of track he raced on then. Well, duh!

I bet on Bad Boy Justin to show, meaning he only had to be one of the first three horses across the finish line. Hotshot bet on Galvanos Scooter N to place. Ol' Galvanos had to be first or second. You could do other betting combinations, Perfectas and Trifectas, naming the first two or three horses in the order you think they'll cross the finish line. No thanks.

It's really easy to place a bet. The book even explains the protocol for that. Just walk up to the nice teller and name the racetrack, the amount you're betting, the type of bet, and the number of the horse. Example, at Scioto, $2 to show on horse No. 4.

They have to know the track, because, through the magic of Simulcast and computer technology, you can bet on any race, any place, watch it right there on the huge array of television screens, and collect your winnings or tear up your ticket.

Some people were really there just to watch the races on television. They paid no attention to the spectacle out on the track, the horses warming up before a race, their legs a blur of motion, colors flashing. Besides the driver's bright silk shirts, each horse has a kind of blanket in a color that designates its post position. Then the contestants are led past the stands by a gal riding a prancing steed. They turn around, get in order and come back following the race car with its widespread gate. By the time the race officially starts, somewhere on the far side of the track, the horses are in full stride. The car pulls ahead, folds its gate wings forward, and gets out of their way.

In about two minutes they've come past the stand twice and the race is over.

I placed a $2 bet for each of us. My pick came in first and I won back $4. When I collected the winnings, the teller asked if I wanted to place another bet. "No, thanks."

But it's a heady experience, and before the second race began we had picked two more horses to bet on. "I'm back," I said to the teller.

She said, "I thought you would be."

Altogether Hotshot and I bet $12 on the first three races. We picked winners in the first two races, and the horse I picked for the third race came in second. We won back $11.20. It seemed a good time to leave.


Extension Viewpoints

Home alone: Guidelines for after-school snacking safety

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Friday, Sept. 3 - Colorado Mountaineers, Extension office, 2:15 p.m.

After-school snacks

Chew on this: Most of the estimated 7 million kids in the U.S. who are home alone after school have a snack every day. That's why it's important to teach your children vital food and kitchen-safety facts that can prevent illness or injury.

Whether your child chooses a cold snack, a ready-to-eat snack, a do-it-yourself snack, or a hot snack, it's never too early to teach the importance of clean hands, utensils, and the basic food safety techniques.

You might want to consider devoting some free time, such as Saturday morning, to a training session. Show your children around the kitchen and explain to them how to safely use the microwave and teach them some basic food safety information.

Here are some things you should make sure young snackers remember:

- Wash your hands with warm, soapy water before you make a snack. This will get rid of dangerous bacteria.

- Always use clean forks, knives, and spoons.

- Wash fruits and vegetables under cold running water before eating.

- Don't leave food sitting out on the counter for more than two hours. Put it back in the refrigerator or freezer.

Want a hot snack? Check out the microwave.

- Make sure your children can read before they use the microwave oven. Reading directions properly is important.

- Foods and liquids are heated unevenly, so stir or rotate food midway through microwaving. If you don't, you'll have cold spots where harmful bacteria can survive.

- Reheat hot dogs until they are hot and steaming. Pierce hot dogs with a fork before putting them into the microwave oven to keep them from exploding.

- Cover a dish of food for the microwave with a lid or plastic wrap; keep the wrap loose to let steam escape. The moist heat will help destroy harmful bacteria.

- To prevent burns, carefully remove food from the microwave oven. Use potholders and uncover foods away from your face so steam can escape.

- Teach your child to use a food thermometer. When reheating leftovers, be sure the temperature reaches 165° F.

- Do not use plastic containers such as margarine tubs or other one-time use containers in the microwave. They can warp or melt, possibly causing harmful chemicals to get in the food.

Burns can occur when children remove heated containers from the microwave and spill hot foods on themselves.

For more information and to receive a free coloring book and a CD of games about food safety, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline toll-free at (888) 674-6854 or visit


Pagosa Lakes News

Foot poultice curries thoughts of exotic taste

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

One of several methods of treatment that I've been undergoing for the last month for Morton's Neuroma is a cayenne, cinnamon and ginger poultice held in place over the bottom of my feet with tape soaked in cayenne juice.

If you've processed roasted jalapeños with bare hands, you'll know the sensation. Hot feet is what I've got.

So, if cayenne, cinnamon and ginger are good for inflammation, then topping off external application by ingesting these spices must be doubly beneficial.

What foods hold these ingredients, plus more, in abundance? Curry, and its many faces.

The word curry conjures images of hundreds of distinctive dishes incorporating ingredients from exotic corners of the world. But for all its exoticism, versatility and growing appeal, what is curry?

The word itself probably comes from the southern Indian "kari," meaning sauce. British colonials experiencing Indian food for the first time coined the usage "curry," which today describes many different dishes of Indian origin.

In India, curries take their flavor from complex blends of spices. Among the most popular are cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek, mustard seed, nutmeg, red pepper, ginger and tumeric, the spice that lends many curries their distinctive yellow color.

My friend Reid used tumeric to help him select a marble kitchen countertop that would be most stain-resistant. Your dental hygienist will also tell you it will stain your teeth if you have a steady diet which includes tumeric.

Back home in Malaysia where those spices are readily available and in most cases, fresh, cooks toast and grind them by hand using mortar and pestle to create fresh powder (paste really) daily. However, commercial preparation is a timesaving alternative.

Of course, not every spiced dish is a curry - and not every curry contains the same spices. The combination or use of a spice varies with a dish. There is a large variation in the cuisine between one region and another. Kitchens in the south of India turn out piquant coconut curries, while the northern part of the country is noted for rich curries thickened with cream or yogurt.

In Sri Lanka liberal use of fresh chili peppers makes Sri Lankan curries some of the hottest in the world. Even so, Sri Lankan dishes, like all curries, are not necessarily hot with spices. They also can be sweet, sour or bitter. A well-prepared curry might evoke several of those tastes.

Curries also have many distinct international interpretations. In the French West Indies, commercial curry powder still is called "colombo," after the Sri Lankan city of the same name, but curries are prepared with local flair.

Recipes borrowed from indentured laborers who once worked Caribbean fields now might be enhanced with a dash of rum or ground allspice berries.

The curries of Southeast Asia also are adaptations of dishes introduced centuries ago by merchants and workers from the Indian subcontinent.

My girlfriend Pao from Thailand cooks curries that incorporate many of the dry spices used in Indian cooking with fresh herbs and local flavors such as lemongrass, fish sauce, kafir-lime and blue basil.

Shirley, from Java, Indonesia, and I share a common root. Our curries are infused with the richness of coconut cream and roasted peanut paste (commonly know as peanut butter in this country). When we get together for a curry feast, the aromas linger long after the meal has been digested

All of these wonderful flavors can also keep you healthy, it seems. Garlic and onion have antiseptic properties. Tumeric can be a remedy for skin diseases. Chili peppers are high in vitamins A and C, besides also stimulating the appetite. The list goes on, making a curry recipe sound like an apothecary.

My trips back to Malaysia, although filled with filial duties, are as much to restor my spice larder. I skip a year or two and by buddy Karl goes into withdrawal. My last trip back to Malaysia in February was highly fruitful I brought back 22 kilos of curry powder of every conceivable combination. The drug-sniffing dog didn't even blink or sneeze.

As for my feet, the inflammation is subsiding and the ganglia appears to be breaking up. Bring on the curry. I feast in a cold room while my feet remain hot.



No births this week.



Joan M. Young

Joan Elizabeth Maurer was born April 2, 1919 in Crafton, Pa., the daughter of Gertrude Catherine McNey and Charles Peter Maurer.

When she was about 2 years old, her family moved to Warren, Ohio, where she grew up and graduated from Warren High School in 1937. Her father died when she was 15 and the Great Depression was in control of the country. As a consequence she was not able to go to college but was able to get jobs and work for three years.

In the fall of 1940 she was finally able to start at the University of Minnesota, majoring in dental hygiene. It was there she met the man who would become her husband, Harry C. Young, Jr., who was doing graduate work at the university. She completed her studies and graduated in the summer of 1942, and at the same time became engaged to Harry.

In 1943 she worked as the dental hygienist for Warren, Ohio, schools until she and Harry married on June 12, 1943. At the time Harry was a cadet in an Army Air Corps Photographic Laboratory Commanders School at Yale University. They were married in St. Mary's Catholic Church in New Haven, Conn., and lived there until Harry received his commission as a second lieutenant in August.

Their first assignment was to Lowry Field in Denver, where they lived until Harry was transferred to England in November. Joan returned to Ohio, where she worked with Harry's sister in the peach and apple orchards of the Young family.

When the war was over, they returned to Minnesota while Harry finished his Ph.D. and where their first child, Joan Ellen, was born. In 1947 they moved to Geneva, N.Y., where Harry worked at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station and where their second child, Christine, and third child, Harry III, were born.

In 1950 the family moved to Stillwater, Okla., where Harry worked at Oklahoma State University in the Plant Pathology department. After their fourth child, Barbara, was born and later when all the children were in school, Joan began to work as a dental hygienist in the office of Dr. David Heller.

She kept working in that office until both she and her husband retired in 1982 and built a new home in Pagosa Springs.

Here she worked with her husband in forming the Gray Wolf Ski Club; belonged to the Homemaker's Club; was a member of the accountability committee for Pagosa schools for six years; was a member of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association recreation center board of directors and of the Guadalupanas organization of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church until her death. In her spare time, she was a tutor in English as a Second Language and made lasting friendships through all her work.

She became ill in winter 2004 and was finally diagnosed with ovarian cancer on Aug. 5. An operation was performed to remove it on Aug. 27 but the operation turned out to be very invasive and long. She fought valiantly to recover but her heart was not equal to the test and she passed away early in the morning of Aug. 29.

She is survived by her husband, their four children, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, including her extended family in Ireland. She was preceded in death by two brothers, John and Charles, and sisters Katherine and Mary. She was a lovely lady who will be missed by anyone who ever knew her.

A mass of Christian Burial is scheduled today, Sept. 2, 2004, 10 a.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Pagosa Springs.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her name to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Memorials and Tributes Program, 825 NE 13th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73104.


Business News

Biz Beat

Budget Blinds

Toni Stansfield-Huwer owns and operates Budget Blinds and specializes in window coverings.

Budget Blinds offers both commercial and residential shutters, draperies, wood blinds, honeycomb shades, roller shades, verticals, silhouettes, woven woods, window tint film and more. Professional measuring, installation and free on-site consultation and estimates are also available.

Because of the more than 700 Budget Blinds locations nationwide, low overhead and high volume allows Stansfield-Huwer to pass the savings on to her customers, which means great quality at the lowest prices.

Budget Blinds serves Southwest Colorado. For more information, call 731-5700.



Preview Profile

Faith Richardson

Paraprofessional, Pagosa Springs Junior High


Where were you born?

"Traverse City, Michigan."


Where did you go to school?

"Tarrant County College, Texas."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"April 8, 1999."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I worked for a Kroger grocery store for about nine years."


What are your job responsibilities?

"My main purpose for being here is to assist students. To make learning fun!"


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

"The most enjoyable thing is watching the light go on for the students, and knowing that I had something to do with it. My least enjoyable part is when I have done everything that I can to help a student and the last step is for them to put in the effort and they just won't."


What is your family background?

"My husband and I lived in Texas. We put our house on the market from January to August and asked God to bring us someone to buy it. On July 8 it sold and we then started looking for job. I also have two children."


What do you like best about the community?

"I love that everybody helps everybody. People are very gracious."


What are your other interests?

"Sign language, and writing poetry. I am currently writing a book and would some day love to be a great writer."


Cards of Thanks


We would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for sponsoring our trip to the Cadet/Junior National Wrestling Tournament in Fargo, N.D.:

The Spa, High Country Title, Boot Hill, Michael Branch, Walter Auto Body, Goodman's Department Store, Sears, Sports Emporium, Summit Sports and Eleanor Hagan. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.

Michael Martinez

Dale August



The Pagosa PathFinders wish to extend a special thank you to the local NWTF Chapter and all other individuals and businesses helping to make the July 26 trip to Mansfield, Pa. possible.



Master Dan Gnos, owner and instructor of Pagosa Samurai Academy and Bayfield Samurai Academy and Stephen Haning, head instructor of Silver Mountain Samurai Academy, would like to extend their appreciation to everyone who contributed to make it possible for all the competitors to make their dream come true and to be able to participate in the 12th annual World Korio Gumdo Association and USNTF International championships Aug. 1.

Special thanks to Grand Master Dr. Duke Gun Kwon, Mark Oliger, Carol and David Brown, The Club Fitness Center, Mary and Jim Candy, Pagosa Lawn Landscape, Paint Connection Plus, Clarence and Donna Myercough, Jill and Jerry Phillips, Wesley Riker, Pagosa Power Sports, and Ronald and Valery Halvarson.



No weddings this week.


Zackary Beeson

Army Sgt. Zackary Beeson of Pagosa Springs, after first serving in the Marine Corps for four years with two overseas deployments, and then a year in the National Guard, is now in Iraq with the U.S. Army.

Beeson's unit, home based at Fort Hood, Texas, is in Iraq until February with a six-month extension probable.

He is hoping for a leave to visit home in December. Recently promoted to his present rank he is serving as a platoon leader, his first command position.

He says the hardest thing for him is missing his home and friends. You may write to him at:

Sgt. Beeson, Zackary

Bravo Company, 2/5 Calvary Division

Unit 90025

APO AE 09373


Sports Page

Pirates face Gunnison in football season opener

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Nearly three-weeks worth of preparation are in the books.

During that span, they've logged dozens of wind sprints, kissed the ground for countless push ups and digested an entirely new offensive agenda.

Throw in a scrimmage against Class 5A Durango last weekend, gallons of perspiration and myriad, traditional offensive and defensive drills and the stage is set.

Now, third-year head coach Sean O'Donnell and his varsity Pagosa Springs football team will weigh the fruits of such labor.

The Pirates' season officially begins tomorrow when they take the field for a home contest with the Gunnison Cowboys. Game time is 7 p.m.

According to O'Donnell, while the Pirates have several starters returning from last year's team that posted an overall record of 5-5, claimed a share of the Intermountain League and advanced to the Class 2A playoffs, a victory over the Cowboys will not come easy.

"They've already got a game under their belts (a 20-0 loss to Delta), so in my mind they're a step ahead of us," O'Donnell said Tuesday during a breakdown of this year's Pirate lineup.

One aspect of tomorrow's game O'Donnell is especially concerned with is "blocking, blocking, blocking.

"It's the area where we are probably the weakest," said O'Donnell. "From the wideouts to the offensive line - the players know it and the coaches know it, and it's something we'll definitely have to improve on."

O'Donnell said last weekend's scrimmage at Durango highlighted the need for the Pirates to execute more consistently in their blocking schemes.

"We moved the ball and did some good things, but overall, our blocking was still a weak point," said O'Donnell.

On the flip side, O'Donnell is optimistic a revamped, spread-type offense will cause headaches for opposing defenses this season.

"I think we are going to be a pain to prepare for, offensively," said O'Donnell.

"We'll probably be pulling people out of their regular defenses and making them account for the entire field," O'Donnell added.

"It should work to our advantage," he concluded.

As for this year's projected lineup, according to O'Donnell the Pirate offensive line will feature junior Jake Cammack at center and junior Bubba Martinez and senior Manuel Madrid at the guard slots.

Rounding out the offensive line at tackle will be sophomore Karl Hujus and senior Richard Lafferty.

After missing much of last season with a leg injury, senior Paul Armijo will be under center at quarterback, and sophomore Jordan Shaffer is penciled in as the backup field general.

This year's Pirate passing attack features senior Daren Hockett at wideout along with junior Paul Przybylski. Both were key figures in last year's offense.

Junior Craig Schutz will also lend experience to the Pirate receiving corps and is expected to split time between the tight end and wideout roles, depending on formation.

Lining up in the backfield will be juniors Dan Aupperle and Josh Hoffman. Aupperle will also serve as starting place kicker for the third straight year.

The Pirate kicking game will also feature Corbin Mellette, who gets the call as starting punter.

On defense, O'Donnell's squad will feature a number of players who will see a lot of time on both sides of the ball.

Early in the season, the Pirate defensive front will be determined "by committee," said O'Donnell, while the linebacker positions will be filled by two-way starters Hoffman, Madrid, Bubba Martinez and Richard Lafferty.

Since the Pirates will employ a 3-5 defense, Shaffer and junior Jake Redding will also share time at linebacker, said O'Donnell.

Finally, the defensive backfield will consist of Armijo at safety, while Aupperle and Przybylski will be the starting cornerbacks for the Pirates.

According to O'Donnell, adjustments may be made to the starting roster on a weekly basis, especially early in the season while the coaching staff is evaluating who plays best, and where.

Those evaluations will begin tomorrow night in Golden Peaks Stadium.


United Way golf tourney nets $12,000

The sixth annual United Way Charity Golf Tournament was held Saturday with the team of Don Ford, Dennis Yerton, Truett Forrest and Mark Faber winning the open flight with a score of 55.

In the couples' flight, Malcolm Rodger, Jeanene Bettner, Pete Yocky and Sho-Jen Lee won with a score of 61. Second place was Jan Kilgore, Ray Kilgore, Hugh Pressley and Julie Pressley with a 66. Third place was Lynn Allison, Brady Lee, Audrey Johnson and Charlie Hancock with a 68.

In the "Lets have Fun" flight the team of John Ranson, Bill Anderson, Dan Sanders and Bob Eggleston had a score of 68 to take first place.

The tournament raised more than $12,000 for United Way thanks to the sponsors and participants.

The title sponsor was BootJack Ranch - David and Carol Brown.


Pirates scrimmage eight teams, volleyball season starts tonight

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pirate volleyball players hosted members of eight other Four Corners region teams Saturday for a day of scrimmages at the junior high school gymnasium.

Joining the Pirates were teams from Durango, Cortez, Alamosa, Bayfield, Sangre de Christo, Ignacio, Mancos and Sargent. Each team played the eight other teams in unscored, but officiated 30-minute matches.

The mixed classification field (with 2A, 3A, 4A and 5A teams at the scrimmage) provided an excellent showcase and test for coaches prior to the opening of the 2004 season this week.

Pagosa entered the fray with just six players available for the eight matches. Two seniors were out of action. Middle hitter/blocker Caitlyn Jewell injured an ankle Tuesday at practice and was on crutches at the scrimmage. Senior outside hitter Courtney Steen missed the scrimmage because she did not have the requisite number of practices logged before Saturday.

Jewell's absence was immediately noticeable, with the 6-1 presence missing from the Pirate blocking scheme and from the attack at the middle. Coach Penné Hamilton brought Kim Canty up from the junior varsity for the day, playing the sophomore at one setter position and moving senior Lori Walkup to the middle hitter spot where her power could be used to maximum effect.

"Caitlyn being hurt required some changes," said Hamilton, "and there is no telling when we will get her back. Kim and Liza (Kelley, the second setter in the 6-2 scheme) played very well together. They set well, kept some balls in play and made some impressive saves to keep our attack on track."

Several of the matches were particularly revealing, as far as the upcoming season in concerned.

The matches with Intermountain League rivals Bayfield and Ignacio gave coaches and fans a glimpse of what might come in the Pirates' two regular season meetings with each team. Ignacio took the IML title last year, with Bayfield finishing second. Both teams suffered heavy losses to graduation, but each returns a bevy of capable players.

Pagosa and Bayfield played relatively even Saturday, due largely to errors on Pagosa's side of the net. Bayfield has an experienced setter and several athletes with notable height.

The Pirates seemed to have Ignacio's number throughout the half-hour of play.

The Pirates and 5A Durango played an even contest to start the day. The Pirates and Demons meet later in the season, Oct. 5, in Durango. Durango features several good-sized players and a decent attack and should be a significant contender in the 4A-5A Southwestern League this season.

Pagosa bested an erratic 4A Alamosa team in the scrimmage. The Pirates travel to Alamosa for a match on the Maroons' home turf Oct. 2

Perhaps the most instructive contest of the day was against 4A Cortez.

The Panthers have been at the top of the Southwestern League standings the last five years and a state-level contender for several seasons. Cortez returns a team this year with considerable offensive power on the outside. Saturday, Pagosa had problems dealing with the Panthers' outside hitters as well as with a triple block thrown at the attack by Pirate middle hitters.

"The girls got tired toward the end of the day," said Hamilton. "We played the same six girls every game and the day got long. But, our girls held their own. We struggled late in the day with our serve return, but it was off and on all day long. Against Cortez, we had a hard time getting our block up on their outside hitters, and we had trouble passing the ball. They don't miss many serves and they triple block our middle. They tend to bring one player up to gather in the tips and leave just one player deep. We need to be able to hit the deep corners to beat them. When we play them fresh Thursday (tonight) I think it will be interesting to see."

Against many of the rest of the teams, Hamilton saw a "dominating" performance by her Pirates. "I saw a lot of good offense going on all day," she said, "but we need to work on some things this week to improve our attack and be ready. Also, our back row was inconsistent and we need to deal with that."

Tonight marks the start of the regular season and the Pirates take the varsity, junior varsity and C teams to Cortez. The C team match begins at 4 p.m. followed by the junior varsities. The varsity start is expected at 7 p.m.

"We have a few days to work out the bugs before we play Cortez," Hamilton said Saturday. "It will be a good opener for us. It will show us where we need to be in the future, when we play similar teams in the post season - teams that can hit the ball, that serve well and play good defense. It's time to put the uniforms on."

Following tonight's match at Cortez, the Pirates have more time to refine their game. The team does not play until Sept. 10 when 5A William Palmer comes to town for a 7 p.m. match. A 5:30 junior varsity match will precede the varsity contest. The Terrors lost to Pagosa last season and no doubt hope to start a Four Corners road trip with a bit of redemption.

The third match of the season, Sept. 16, is the second of six home matches. The Kirtland Broncos come to town with a team that is consistently in the running for the New Mexico 3A title. The varsities clash at 7 p.m.


Pirates surprise coach in scrimmage; open against Manitou

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Put your team on the field against someone other than themselves for the first time and you can learn a lot.

The Pagosa Springs Pirate soccer team proved that maxim Saturday when it hosted five schools at Golden Peaks Stadium in a round-robin format.

Joining in the scrimmages were Bayfield, Alamosa and Telluride varsities and the Durango and Aztec junior varsity squads.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason was basically pleased with the offense his squad generated and both pleased and surprised by his defense which gave up only one goal all day.

With regard to defensive faults, he said, "We had a tendency to bunch too much and open up lanes for our foes."

But he got outstanding goalkeeping from Josh Stuckwish and Shon Webb subbing for the starter Caleb Forrest who was on a weekend tour of prospective collegiate basketball venues. He will also miss the season opener Saturday at Golden Peaks against Manitou Springs of the Tri-Peaks conference on the Front Range.

The day began with Pagosa taking on Bayfield, both members of the Southwest Mountain League, as is Telluride.

Because of the scrimmage format no score is kept but the Pirate offense was in high gear from the opening whistle.

Kurt-Mason was excited by the moves of Moe Webb and his formation recognition.

And left-winger Paul Muirhead set up a pair of Pirate opportunities with crossing leads out of the corner. A key element of the attack, he appears to have added perhaps a step and a half over last year, and honed his skills during summer club competition.

Moe wasn't the only Webb trapping Wolverine opportunities. Younger brother Shon also moved well with the ball and showed speed to the net from both center mid and right wing. On one play early in the contest he centered a lead to his older brother and was at the net awaiting a possible rebound when the shot was taken.

Sophomore Caleb Ormonde working the center mid offensive slot also showed marked improvement from last year and senior Keegan Smith demonstrated key ball handling techniques on the attack.

Still, Kurt-Mason wanted more passing, more movement from the offense, even urging standout sweeper Levi Gill to take advantage of defensive seams "and attack when you have the opportunity."

Chris Baum, a junior who started strong last year but was hampered by a foot injury, was flying around the field as a blocker and transitioned well to offense, setting up at least one scoring opportunity for Ormonde.

Also contributing to the attack were Korean exchange student Chi Hoon Lee who is just learning the intricacies of the American version of the game and freshman speedster Thomas Martinez who keyed several offensive drives with crisp passing.

But no Kurt-Mason team is ever complete without strong defense and he got it on this day from Gill, Morris, Keith Pitcher, Chris Nobles, Tad Beavers, both Webbs and Chance Adams.

Missing from the squad, in addition to Forrest, was sweeper Max Smith who was one practice short of the nine require for eligibility. Kurt-Mason expects he will be a key to the defense as the season wears on.

That defense was tested more by Durango's JV squad, but neither side got a clear advantage, both showing sharp defense but both shifting offensive lineups to get more players into the mix.

Against the Aztec JV Pirate offense took over again and wings worked cuts and reverses off the ball into lead passes on goal just the way the plays were drawn up.

Still, it was a junior varsity opponent, and some Pirates showed signs of disinterest as they seemed able to move the ball at will.

Kurt-Mason called a timeout before the half and told his squad he wanted them to go to ball control. "If you play keep-away, you have to concentrate and watch for lanes," he said. "That got their minds back on the effort necessary."

Against Alamosa both defensive squads turned in stout defensive performances, with only the Pirates denting the goal.

Defense, defense and more defense was the key to the contest, with Pirates reading the scoring lanes "extremely well" Kurt-Mason said.

He was not, however, as enamored of his team's performance in the day's final matchup with league foe Telluride.

"The defense again played well," he felt. "But on offense - and I know it had been a long day - they began to lose focus. That's not something you can afford against top caliber teams."

Overall, the coach believes his squad more than lived up to his expectations but there were some flaws that will be addressed.

"We need to be a little more consistent in execution, more one-or-two touch and pass moves on offense and more marking the thrower defensively," he said.

He was extremely pleased by senior leadership show on the field, particularly by Gill whom he nominated as his "lunchpail winner" of the day. "Just an all-round, complete workmanlike job," he said.

Now the scrimmages are over, in-practice attacks give way to real foes. Scores will count and errors will be costly.

The Pirates open their home season at 1 p.m. Saturday in Golden Peaks Stadium hosting the Manitou Springs Mustangs. Manitou will have a game in hand, having played Bayfield at 4 p.m. Friday. The visitors have seven returning lettermen from a team the Pirates defeated on the road last year.

Then the Pirates go on the road for a 4 p.m. Tuesday contest in Cortez.


Cross country racers host only home meet Saturday

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs Pirates cross country runners are ready for the first meet of the season - their one and only home showing - Saturday, Sept. 4.

"This is a great spectator course," coach Scott Anderson said. "This is a great opportunity for anyone who has any interest at all in cross country to come see a race and cheer on the home team."

The location is new this year. Instead of starting on Wolf Creek Pass, the team will race in a figure-8 over rolling hills in the Ranch Community's open space off Antelope Drive. Anderson said spectators should come to the far east end of the meadow and look for parking attendants. With a pair of binoculars, spectators should be able to climb a small rise and view most of the races.

Junior high races begin the day at 9:30 a.m., followed by junior varsity boys and girls at 10 and 10:30 respectively. The girls' varsity teams will leave the start at 11 a.m. and the boys will close out the morning at 11:30.

Starting on Pagosa's girls varsity team will be junior Emilie Schur, sophomore Laurel Reinhardt, junior Heather Dahm, sophomore Jessica Lynch and a new addition, sophomore Alise McDonald.

"Jessica is dealing with an early season injury," Anderson said, "and she may not run this weekend. If she can't, there are several people prepared to step in and fill her shoes."

The varsity will be five strong for this meet, but a sixth spot will open in later races. That slot, Anderson said, is still up for grabs. The list of hopefuls include sophomore Jen Shearston, senior Rachel Watkins, senior Pau Alves, a foreign exchange student, and Drie Young, a junior.

Members of the junior varsity for this first meet are: freshman Dell Greer, senior Esther Gordon, freshman Mackenzie Kitson, sophomore Kristen DuCharme, freshman Aubrey Farnham and sophomore Julianna Whipple.

On the boys' side, the Pirates will field a full team early in the season for the first time in a few years. The varsity includes: senior Junior Turner, senior Otis Rand, junior Orion Sandoval, junior Paul Hostetter and junior Riley Lynch.

Running for the junior varsity will be a younger contingent of freshman Forrest Rackham, freshman Isaiah Warren, freshman Travis Moore and junior Adrian Begay.

Anderson said teams from Bayfield, Aztec, Cortez, Sargent, Farmington and one team from Arizona, among others are expected.

Admission is free to the public.


Pirate golfers gird for road dual in Cortez scrimmage action

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Prep golf is one of those sports seasons which goes by so quickly you sometimes don't know it's happening.

And when one of your key early tournaments is changed to another date, it behooves the coaches to find ways of keeping the golfers' strokes on target.

That was the problem facing Pirate golf coach Mark Faber this week when two tournaments in Montrose were postponed until a later date.

The boys were champing at the practice bit and Faber with his cohort coaches in Durango and Cortez was able to set up a scrimmage between the three high schools on the Conquistador course in Cortez.

Faber was able to take 10 players, because it was scrimmage and not game format, including some who had not seen action the first two tournaments.

Again, he said, freshman lefthander Joey Bergman played extremely well. Senior Darin Prokop had trouble on one hole (wrong club choice for the first two shots, the coach said) but played the balance of the course well.

Getting their first taste of action this season were junior Damian Rome who had not been eligible the first week because of insufficient practices; Ben Devoti and Saber Hutcherson.

All three reacted to the challenge with competitive performances on the course two of the three were seeing for the first time.

Also playing well after shaving eight strokes off his score between the first and second season tournaments was senior Tim Kamolz "who seems to be getting more sure of his stroke," Faber said.

This week marks the beginning of the tough decisions for coaches.

The Pirates will travel to the Cedaredge Invitational Thursday and stay over to play in the Delta Invitational Friday.

In each of those tournaments teams are allowed only five players and count only the top three performances for team totals.

That means 14 or 15 golfers will be left at home.

"It's always a tough decision when you get beyond one and two in your lineup," he said. "Number three is usually, but not always, one who is improving as the season wears on. Four and five are the spots where sometimes as many as six players are nip and tuck for a roster spot."

The coaches were conducting qualifying rounds Monday and Tuesday and were expected to name Thursday's starters at Wednesday's practice.

Up next for the Pirates will be a Sept. 7 match in Monte Vista and then Sept. 14 in the Rye Invitational on the Holly Dot course often used in state competition matches.

The postponed Montrose tournaments - Black Canyon and Cobble Creek Invitationals - are now set Sept. 16-17.

Regional competition is Sept. 23 at a site yet to be named and state playoffs are Oct. 4 and 5 in Colorado Springs.


Samurai students score high marks in Chicago competition

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Master Dan Gnos, owner and head instructor of Pagosa Samurai Academy and Stephen Haning, head instructor of Silver Mountain Samurai Academy congratulate all their students who participated in the 12th annual World Koryo Gumdo Association and USNSTF International Championship Aug. 1 at Triton College in Chicago.

Students, and their finishes in forms and sparring, respectively, were:

Stephen Haning, second in forms and first and adult black belt grand champion in sparring;

Chris Gnos, third in forms and first and junior black belt grand champion in sparring;

Frisco Cruise, first and second;

John Dasteel, second and second;

Stephen Davis, second and first;

Luke Day, first and second;

Theressa Emmerich, second and first;

Richard Everest, first and first;

Robert Garcia, second and first;

Jaysn Ivery, second and first;

Dylan Koch, second and second;

Timothy Levoneus, first and second;

Tracy Lindsay, third and third;

Luke Matney, third and second;

John Mesker, first and third;

Chris Nobles, first and third;

James Oliger, third and third;

Elexer Palko-Shraa, second and first;

Adam Parnell, third and second;

Bob Portera, second and second;

Nomad Pendragon, first and first;

Joe Quick, first and third;

Wesley Riker, second and third;

Catlin Roberts, second and second;

Bradley Smith, third and third;

Mark Smith, first and first; and

Stephen Walker, first and second.


Pagosa swimmers in top ranks at state

Two swimmers representing Pagosa Lakes Swim Team have returned from state championships held at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Teale Kitson and Austin Miller both had qualifying times in the 50- and 100-meter backstroke. Miller also made the 100-meter breaststroke while Kitson qualified in the 50, 100, 200 and 400 freestyle and 200 backstroke for a total of seven events.

Kitson finished in the top 20 in all events and did a personal best in the 200 backstroke.

It was Miller's first trip to a state meet, and he finished in the top 30. He said, "It was exciting swimming in J.O.s (Junior Olympics) at the Air Force Academy."

This was the final event for the 2004 season.


Parks & Rec

Reservoir Hill Park provides unique site for folk festival

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The annual Four Corners Folk Festival begins Friday and runs through Sunday.

The festival has become one of Pagosa's brightest stars. With all the great summer activities that we enjoy, what better way to end the summer than to come up to Reservoir Hill to enjoy the food, drink and great music.

Reservoir Hill is an approximately 130-acre park within the town limits of Pagosa Springs. You can access the hill from the Spa Trail Head directly behind the Spa Motel; from there you can traverse the hill via trails of various difficulty.

The most popular route to the festival involves parking at Town Hall or one of the adjacent lots and catching a shuttle or walking up the service road next to the post office.

The festival staff is very considerate of the pristine setting and the natural beauty of the park, with every detail made with consideration to the park. Streets crews and parks crews from the town enjoy helping out for such a great special event. We have made the star shine a little brighter each year, with improvements to the park.

The setting for the festival is second to none. We have enjoyed the working relationship we have developed with the Folkwest workers and volunteers.

Many people who pay for a ticket, sit down and have fun, have no idea of the hours, days and months of preparation put into the folk festival by all parties.

If you do not have plans for the weekend I suggest you spend the time to come up to the top of Reservoir Hill. Whether you come in the middle of the day or enjoy an evening performance, you will see what all the hoopla is about. You can seat yourself in just the right spot, see nothing but the stage and the northern range, feel like you are in the wilderness, forget all your modern-day troubles, and enjoy the people who make Pagosa Springs such a special place to live.

Youth soccer

With approximately 345 children from the ages of 5-13, including three Dulce, N.M. teams, this year promises to be the most action-packed fall ever in Pagosa Springs.

We are changing some of the format due to the large numbers, but we will get all our games in, with a lot of fun and hopefully very few bruises.

Games are scheduled Monday through Thursday, with some games played on Saturdays. Fields are located at the elementary school and Town Park, and there may be a possibility of trying to use some of the practice fields at the high school.

With these numbers, parking and field space are our main problem.

If you have any questions about soccer call Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 231


Colorado Parks and Recreation annual conference is scheduled Sept. 21-24 at Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge.

The annual event features classes for park and recreational professionals with nationally known speakers to help us learn more about the parks and recreation fields.

Craig Zabocki, the keynote speaker, has spoken to over 600,000 people internationally and in all 50 states. He has shared the platform with President George W. Bush, Tom Peters and Al Gore. He was the first outside speaker to address the student body of Columbine High School after its tragedy. Craig's unscripted style has been compared to a hybrid of Robin Williams and Wayne Dyer.

This keynote takes a light look at the serious implication of positive humor in everyday life and work.

Other keynote speakers include Dr. James O. Hill, one of the nation's leading obesity experts. Representative Andrew Romanoff will speak on "State Government 101", and Steve Sewell, former Denver Bronco "Mr. 3rd down," will also address the crowd. Other educational offerings at the conference can be reviewed by going to

The Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department will try to send three representatives to this year's conference. Much will depend on scheduling and employee availability for this time of year.

Mother's lesson

A mom learns how to watch youth sports.

This piece by Tina Shaffer was posted on the Web Sept. 27, 2000.

"'Uh, Mom, I have something to tell you.'

"That sounded scary. Was this a life-altering moment? I hoped it wasn't something like, 'I accidently sold my brother to a nice man outside of school - but I got top price.'

"It wasn't that, but it was something surprising.

"'From now on at my games, you can only clap. No cheering, and most of all, never mention me by name.'

"Wow. That felt like the equivalent of, 'Ma'am, we'd like to escort you from the bleachers due to your severe obnoxiousness.'

"Well. Fine then.

"Of course, back then my son Nick was so enamored with the sport, my husband actually had to carry him, crying, onto the field. Then my husband would run off right before the whistle blew, and Nick would have no choice but to attempt to kick the oncoming ball. Ah, the joy of victory.

"My friend's son announced one day that he'd found his sport: baseball. 'How come?' his mother asked, expecting an answer about the fun of catching a pop fly.

"'I can't hear Dad yelling at me in the outfield.'

"By then I realized that most parents care about the game more than the kids do. Parents care about the team record. Kids care about the snack. Parents care about stats. Kids care about their friends on the team.

"This solidified my theory: Every kid would like to do well in sports, but too much 'encouragement' only makes them realize they're not only disappointing themselves, but their parents too. Hey, wasn't this supposed to be fun?"

Sponsors needed

We continue to look for business sponsorships for Youth Soccer. The sponsorship is $150 and includes plaque with team picture, signage and designation in newspaper. Plus, the sponsorship is tax deductible. Call Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 232 if interested.

Volleyball leagues

Fall volleyball leagues are right around the corner.

Start putting your teams together now for the upcoming season. The managers meeting for four-person coed and women's volleyball has been changed to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, at Town Hall in order to give managers more time to put teams together. Play will begin in early October.

Post softball meeting

The goal of this department is to meet the needs of our community.

To this end, we would like to schedule a meeting for anyone who would like to have input into our adult softball leagues in the future.

Please put in writing any item that you would like to see added to an agenda, bring to Town Hall or send to: m.gabel@

We will compile these agenda items and schedule a general meeting for all to attend in the near future. It is our hope that we will be able to present a softball program that everyone has a part in helping to make enjoyable and successful.

Uniform returns

Parents, We still need your help.

Thanks to everyone who has made the effort to return their children's team uniforms from this past basketball and baseball/T-ball season. Unfortunately, there are still many uniforms that have not been returned.

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.

Hiring soccer referees

We continue 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, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, 264-4151, Ext. 232, or 946-2810 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.



Clear light of day

Voters preparing for November's general election face an uphill battle as they seek to acquire enough information to make in-formed decisions about each candidate and issue, at every level. We have never been so polarized, never so prone to use the rhetoric of labels, never so willing to operate under the false assumption that anyone who disagrees with us seeks the destruction of all we hold dear.

Still, despite attempts by many candidates to capitalize on this situation, and their desire to ply the voting public with grand generalizations and bloated slogans, issues take shape and positions on those issues rise out of the mist.

There is one concern we believe candidates at all levels must address: their position regarding the need for open government. Regardless of their approaches to other issues, they must tell the voters where they stand with regard to government doing as much of its business as possible in the clear light of day, and reveal what they think of continuing efforts to limit the flow of information from records to the public.

There have been recent attacks on the public's right to know details about the day-to-day business of government and on open access to records. These are attacks on the foundation of our system and many aim to deny the citizen the information he or she needs in order to effectively scrutinize and criticize elected officials and government bureaucracies.

In Colorado, the closure of Department of Motor Vehicle records and the denial of access by journalists to the computer records of the state's judicial branch are roadblocks to the public's right to know.

At the federal level, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act now prevents the public from inquiring about a friend or neighbor injured or in the hospital due to serious illness.

At the local level, candidates should be asked about the tendency of some elected officials to retreat to executive session as often as possible, using any reason to do so. Does a candidate think the privilege can be abused? Does the candidate think the comfort of closed-door sessions works against the best interests of her constituency? Does the candidate prefer to avoid controversy, rather than have opinions and actions observed and analyzed by the public? Does the candidate worry about public debate? Does she recognize the fact that secrecy engenders suspicion that closed doors give rise to rumor?

We can't forget that in our system the people must rule the government and can do so only when everything is out on the table. Government cannot operate by the same rules as private enterprise. The voters select those who will act as stewards of the public interest; if those stewards turn to secrecy and camouflage, they subvert the public trust. They must discuss in public all but a very few items that come before them. Any decision on a topic discussed in closed session must be made in the clear light of day, with as much detail made available as is possible. The fewer discussions held in private, the fewer decisions announced without benefit of supporting information, the better.

It doesn't matter what is considered, or at what level of government an issue is entertained. From road maintenance to a problem with a local education policy or procedure, from national health care issues to animal control - if tax dollars are involved, the public should know every relevant detail.

Before we vote for any candidate, we should know where he or she stands concerning the need to conduct public business in the open.

It is in our best interest, as individuals, as a community and as a nation to vote for candidates who do not fear our persistent gaze.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Time steals on and on and on

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"... the days grow short when you reach September."

The closing to the first stanza of Maxwell Anderson's "September Song" from "Knickerbocker Holiday" puts us perilously close to the change of time from daylight saving back to standard and closer still to the Irving Berlin's "White Christmas."

It seems unreal. We already are into the ninth month of the year; those juniors we watched escorting seniors down the aisle just 12 weeks ago are now seniors themselves, reading the college catalogues and the scholarship application brochures.

It is just another reminder of how fleeting time can be.

Datewise, we're just two months from the election of a president, a county commissioner and a variety of other state and federal officeholders.

Labor Day is here, the first holiday of the new school year and for many the signal to begin the last harvest of summer gardens and prepare the soil for a new growing season six icy months ahead.

Before long we'll see and drive in snow and begin watching the sales for that perfect Christmas gift; waiting with breathless anticipation for the sigh of satisfaction we're sure it will elicit from the intended recipient.

Movies and songs help us dream about the thrills lying ahead in the calendar of life.

But what of the realities?

Daily we're bombarded with threats of civilization's demise. The terrorists, we're told, already have targeted our infrastructure and just last week the nation was told its veteran health care facilities could be the next targets.

Then there is the threat of disease. Last Thursday the nation was told there is the very real threat of a flu pandemic this winter.

The following day we were told at least half of the flu vaccine already produced by a single manufacturer in Britain may be tainted and its delivery to America has been put on hold.

Now there's a suspect timing of news events if I've ever seen it. If it is pandemic, meaning extremely widespread, it could equal one in 1918 which claimed 20-40 million lives worldwide.

No one would accuse a prestigious medical manufacturer of helping create the scare to raise the price and profit, would they?

Then, we were told the number of Americans living in poverty is increasing at an alarming rate and that the number of those not insured is increasing at almost the same pace.

What a surprise. If you fall into the poverty category, how can anyone keep insurance? It's hard enough to do so when gainfully employed. And talk about timing: within hours of the poverty-insurance announcement candidates on both sides of the political aisle were vowing to overcome the new stigma on the nation.

Oh yeah, the time passes quickly when you're having fun ... or trying to stay alive when faced with the exigencies of survival.

Get ready for two months of rhetorical garbage flowing from your political media outlet and don't forget - Jan. 1, less than four months away - will give the signal to start the paranoia all over again. My, how time flies!



90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Sept. 4, 1914

Ed Friend is building a new barn on his premises on Lewis Street.

Dr. A.J. Nossaman left this morning for Boulder to attend a medical clinic.

Clyde Tackett left yesterday for Pueblo to assume a good position.

If you want to vote at the primaries, you must register. Monday is your last day - bring two friends to vouch for you.

O. Vermillion this week brought in 60 pounds of monster spuds dug from two hills on his ranch north of town. Archuleta County and particularly that portion north of town can skin the world in the spud line.


75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 6, 1929

Owing to the severe rains of this week, members of the San Juan Pioneer Association throughout the San Luis Valley and San Juan Basin are encountering great difficulty in arriving here today.

School opens Monday, Sept. 9th. Monday forenoon will be for registration only. Pupils should leave the school building and grounds as soon as registered. Mothers of adults should accompany first grade pupils to give needed information on registration cards.

At the meeting of the town board Monday night, Fred Hamlin resigned as town clerk, and Earl Mullins was elected to the position.

Bathe at the Arlington - largest concrete plunges in town. Baths only 25 cents.


50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 3, 1954

After the announcement last week that school opening would be delayed one week, school authorities have made up a complete schedule for the coming year. School will open on September 13 for a session of 178 school days and will close on May 27. This will give local students 8 more days of school than is required.

Registration fees of $2.00 for all students in grades 1 through 8 will be required and $3.00 for those students in grades 9 through 12. These fees cover workbooks for the elementary students and locker fee and laboratory fees for the high school students. High school students will be offered new subjects this year including shop, woodworking, auto mechanics, metal working and advanced home economics.


25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 6, 1979

There have been several small forest fires the past week but to date this season there have been no large fires in this area. Forest Service officials ask that anyone in the woods take particular care with fire because the fire danger is very high at present.

The town board Tuesday night voted to make application for a grant to hire a town manager for next year. It was estimated that as much as $14,000 could be obtained for next year, with the town providing an additional $6,000.

More money has been appropriated for work on Wolf Creek Pass in the new state highway budget. There are funds for both sides of the Pass and hopefully this side may be completed next year.



Living it up

Pagosa couple uses campground host job to stay fit, active

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

When Jim and Marie Corcoran pulled into space No. 10 in the Teal Campground near Williams Creek Reservoir June 20, it was dark and they were apprehensive.

Despite living in Pagosa 17 years, they had never seen the little lake nestled in the mountains. And they were starting a new job - campground hosts with just five days experience under their belts. Five days at the Ute Campground on U.S. 160 looking after someone else's rig. Now, they were in their own 21-foot trailer, trying something new. Committed for one month only.

Retired, they were looking for a way to get out more. To be more active. But Marie was uncertain. What if Jim, who suffered a massive stroke in 1998 that still impacted the use of his left side, couldn't handle the work? What if the people weren't friendly? What if they just didn't like it so far from town?

The next morning, they woke to see grass and wildflowers spilling from outside the door to the lake below, the mountain peaks stretching up to the clouds.

"I said, 'Well, I think we'll just stay here,'" Jim said, seated in one of two easy chairs in his brand-new fifth-wheel parked behind a equally brand-new 3/4-ton pickup. After two months on the job, the retired couple is hooked and already making plans to come back next year in mid-May.

"We want to come early, so we can get a lot of this stuff done before the campers come," Marie said. As camp hosts, employed by United Land Management, which is contracted by the U.S. Forest Service, the couple is expected to maintain the campground - including restrooms, tables and fire pits - collect money and keep general order.

"When we got up here, there were weeds up to your waist," Jim said, "The tables "

"We painted them," Marie added.

"The firepits were in bad shape, we've maintained them and kept them clean," Jim said.

"We've replaced the screens in the restroom, to keep the flies and whatever out," Marie said.

"If you were a mother with a little baby, you wouldn't have any problem at all putting him on the floor in there and worrying about what he might put in his mouth," Jim added.

They've also painted the bathroom floor, fixed up the door to the restrooms and kept up with the weed growth, cutting down the tall grass around the camping amenities, including the posts that delineate each spot so that people arriving in the dark can see.

Both said maintaining the campground has improved their health, not hindered it.

"He's painted posts, he's painted tables, he's painted bathroom floors," Marie said of Jim. "You name it, he's done it. I would've never thought of painting this many tables at home."

Home for the Corcorans, until June, was a house in the San Juan River Resort. A house they built shortly after moving to Pagosa Springs in 1987. They had always been very involved, Marie said. In 1998, it took nearly four months of recovery for Jim to regain the use of his two left limbs. That's maybe slowed them down, but certainly not stopped them.

"We were determined we were still going to have a life, to do the things we've always done," Marie said. And they'd always enjoyed the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, going several times a week.

"I did turn 69 the other day," Jim said, smiling. "That slowed me down a little bit."

In fact, Jim said, he offered to buy a bigger table for the lunch room because they had so many friends crowded around. Then, one day, Hal and Pam Hess, area managers for United Land Management, came to the senior center with a request. Besides managing 10 local campgrounds and associated hosts, they also work as hosts themselves, at the Ute Campground on U.S. 160. In June, they had a family reunion to attend and needed someone to fill in for a few days. Would anyone like to volunteer?

The Corcorans agreed, and after trying it, they kind of liked it.

"We were sitting at home, I was sitting too much, wasn't exercising enough," Jim said. "We thought this would be more active."

They were right. Each day now, the couple gets up and begins a morning check of bathrooms and other facilities in both the Teal and Cimmarona campgrounds. They collect money - either from the Forest Service drop-off box or from campers themselves, it's about half and half, Jim said, and do any cleaning necessary. They also do a quick scan of the area for any wildfire starts.

Once a week, they make the trip into Pagosa Springs for groceries and mail. Marie said they have missed church and their friends at the senior center, but have made many new friends at the campground.

"We have met some of the sweetest people out here," Marie said. That includes a local author and a handful of new friends from Texas and Oklahoma to name a few.

Charles and Di McRae, of Yantis, Texas, camped just two spots down, are their unofficial "assistants." Charles, Jim said, is always willing to help on a big project.

"We've been to fish fries, oh have we been to some fish fries," Jim said. Others have invited them to ice cream socials. Plus, on Friday and Saturday nights, a buffet is offered at the Indian Head Lodge, just around the corner.

"We're used to having lots of people at our house in Pagosa," Marie said. "Basically, we do the same out here. We put our little awning out and do whatever we want to do."

Monday, someone was bringing over brisket. Someone else was making homemade ice cream, "and someone else will bring something else," Jim said.

Mondays are also when they generally get a visit from the Hesses who bring the hardware and painting supplies, serve as the liaison with the Forest Service, and Waste Management.

"They answered our call at the senior center and have been absolutely wonderful hosts and hard workers," Pam Hess said of the Corcorans. For their services, they receive a small monthly stipend.

"We've found good hosts are the lifeblood of the whole campground," Hess added. "Some people will come back to the same campground year after year just to see the hosts." Pam and her husband have been full-time RVers for several years. They began working for United Land Management two years ago, spending their first season as area managers in Jackson Hole, Wyo. They're returning to Pagosa again next year for the second year of a contract.

"This is such a beautiful area," Pam said. "It's such a joy to work here, such a beautiful place to be."

And, at least right now, the Corcorans are planning on a second summer of service as well. After all, they have a fifth-wheel now, something Marie said they'd been talking about even before becoming hosts. And they're toying with the idea of putting their house on the market.

Marie said as they were bringing the new camper out to the lake they stopped in Bayfield to visit family and acquaint themselves with the new rig.

"It was the first time we ever hooked up a fifth-wheel ourselves," she said. "I called my grandson as we left and told him, 'We're on our way and it's still following us, so I think we're OK.'"


Pagosa's Past

Early rail lines brought commerce to the county

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

History is all around us. All we need to unlock its secrets is an observing eye and an inquiring mind.

For example, consider the narrow gauge railroads that used to chug through every river valley in Archuleta County. If you know where to look, you can still see the railroad beds.

Most obvious is the railroad bed east of U.S.84 in Halfway Canyon. That railroad ran all the way to Lumberton on the south and Mill Creek on the north. It was used by Ed Biggs for logging the portion of the county it traversed.

Sullenberger's railroad ran from Pagosa Junction to Pagosa Springs through Cat Creek. You can still find portions of that route. In plain sight, but not so obvious unless you recognize what you are looking at, is the portion near U.S.160 stretching from Hell's Hip Pocket to a point opposite Pagosa Lodge and even skirting the hill south of Put Hill and into town.

The now fallen building across U.S.160 from the lodge was a sheep loading station called Sunetha. The railroad bed is clearly visible just north of the former building and angling toward U.S. 160 and crossing approximately where Citizens Bank is located. From there it traversed that business district and remains clearly visible as it skirts Vista Lake while heading back toward U.S. 160 in the Hersch Ave. vicinity.

Last week we promised to point out old Hispanic sites. While traveling south on U.S. 84 and immediately after crossing the Los Brazos River between Chama and Los Ojos, look at the shape of the fields on either side of the highway as defined by the perimeter fences. You should notice long, narrow fields running perpendicular to the river. The fields are a reminder of the Hispanic settlement patterns during both the Colonial, Mexican, and even Territorial periods of settlement. As you continue south to Española, you'll again see the same pattern, especially along the river south of Abiquiu.

During the earliest colonial years, the Spanish created walled, fort-like villas. The settlers lived inside the stockades. During the day, the pobladores (settlers) worked the fields outside the stockade, then returned at night to the presumed safety of the fort. You can still visit a restored villa of this type at Los Golandrinas (The Swallows), south of Santa Fe.

As time passed, the settlers discovered the walled city plan didn't work. In fact, it acted more like a magnet. Consequently, the idea was abandoned. No longer was an attempt made to wall the villas. Residents still continued to live in clusters of houses and conduct agricultural pursuits outside the cluster.

The pattern of fields was the result of land allotment techniques. From the first, the Hispanics constructed acequias, irrigation ditches. The strips of land stretched between the ditches and the rivers or streams.

Incidentally, while crossing the Los Brazos, pull off to the east where the old community of Los Brazos is located. You'll find a good example of adobe architecture there, especially the building restored for use as a bed and breakfast. A number of communities, including Los Brazos, were founded shortly after 1860.

You'll remember that by 1860, the Mexican-American War was concluded and by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago, Nuevo Mexico was incorporated into the United States as the Territory of New Mexico. Hispanics had been running sheep in the Tierra Amarilla area at least since the 1820s, but had been unable to live there permanently. Why? The Utes objected. Early Ute policy allowed Anglos and Hispanics to pass through, but not to build permanent homes.

The Americans built a fort near today's fish hatchery just outside of Los Ojos. The fort aided permanent settlement. A day spent driving around Los Ojos, Los Brazos, Ensenada, and Tierra Amarilla is a day well spent for those interested in old adobe buildings.

Further south, pull into Abiquiu, the frontier gateway to Pagosa Country, Utah, and the Old Spanish Trail between new Mexico and California. Abiquiu was a Hispanic frontier village, During American times it served as a trading post and Indian agency. Such well known frontiersmen as Kit Carson and Albert Pfeiffer were well acquainted with Abiqui as were any number of beaver trappers.



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Holiday weekend forecast: unsettled, cool

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Will the monsoon go to work over Labor Day weekend?

It looks doubtful, as the latest forecasts for the Four Corners region suggest the rainy season may be losing a bit of intensity.

"Although it certainly seems to be more of a hit-and-miss pattern recently, I don't want to say it's over," says Jim Daniels, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"But there doesn't look like there will be a reappearance of the monsoon in the next few days, added Daniels.

Instead, said Daniels, a low-pressure system will provide most of the chances for showers across Pagosa Country over the weekend.

"We've got unsettled conditions, with a cold front out of the northwest that could move through sometime Friday night and bring a slight chance of scattered showers through the weekend," said Daniels.

"As for early next week, we expect a return to mostly-clear and warmer conditions, with temperatures at about average," concluded Daniels.

According to Daniels, skies are expected to remain mostly-sunny throughout today, with breezes in the 10-15 miles per hour range predicted to kick up in the afternoon.

Highs today should hit the upper 70s; lows are predicted around 40.

Southwest winds should increase to 10-20 mph by Friday afternoon, but temperatures are expected to fall, as highs are predicted in the 65-75 range. Evening lows should drop into the upper 30s. Chance of overnight showers is listed at 20 percent.

Saturday's forecast calls for partly-cloudy skies, a 20-percent chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms, highs ranging from 65-75 and lows in the upper 30s.

The forecasts for Sunday through Tuesday suggest a weak chance for isolated showers and thunderstorms, mostly-clear conditions, highs in the 70s and lows in the 35-35 range.

Wednesday's forecast predicts a 20-percent chance for rain, highs in the mid-70s and lows around 40.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 77 degrees. The average low was 38. Moisture totals for the week amounted to zero.

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 25 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 30 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of Sept. 2 is roughly 100 cubic feet per second.3

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