September 30, 2004 


Front Page


'Nightmare' or boon? Big Box

ideas divided

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Some approved of a "big box" retail store in the future of Pagosa Springs.

Some called it a "nightmare."

Others asked the task force to consider the hard numbers behind such a store in Pagosa, including the amount of money traveling out of the community now and the dollars spent by tourists attracted to Pagosa Country because it doesn't have stores such as Wal-Mart.

Still others asked the task force to consider values that couldn't be measured - those based on character, heart and the unique qualities that define the area today.

Those were just some of the comments at a two-hour town hall meeting Sept. 22 sponsored by the "big box" task force commissioned to look into the social, economic and infrastructure impacts of large-scale retailers - those over 18,000 square feet in Pagosa's case - on small towns. About 40 people spoke in a little less than the hour and a half available, some more than once, with many more in attendance.

"My question is why can't we have just a few places like this to go to, or does everything have to be the same?" Karen Aspin asked. Similar statements were repeated several times by people who said part of Pagosa's draw is the lack of name-brand retailers. "McDonald's can't even get enough employees, how would we support a Wal-Mart?" Aspin asked.

Ron Gustafson was concerned about the increased littering that might come with such a large store. His wife, Cindy, voiced worries for the independent business people in the community who might have to close their doors upon the opening of a big box store.

"I'm impressed with the integrity of these people and want to see them continue," she said, adding later that although the area's beauty is "absolutely awesome, there's one thing that outdoes the beauty and that's the people here."

Farrell Trask also asked the community to keep the role of the small retailer in mind.

"There's not a town in East Texas where the downtown is not gutted, dead, with a Wal-Mart on the highway," he said.

Others asked the task force to look at money draining out of the community via the Internet, and at the possibility of a local large-scale retailer drawing business to Pagosa from northern New Mexico.

Karen Cox, a Pagosa Springs native, asked for "controlled growth," and "growth with integrity," that might allow the community to keep its uniqueness while still accepting change, adding that people need to take the time to ask themselves some questions.

"Why did you come to Pagosa Springs?" she asked. "Why do most people come here? What are your values?"

Another Pagosa native, who gave only his first name, Louis, said the community needs to consider those on a fixed income and some of the bigger problems such as an aging population.

"The beauty has always been here, but the money hasn't been," he said.

Later, Dennis Eamick, said with the increasing gap between the "haves and the have nots," being able to purchase items at a lower price closer to home might be absolutely essential to some people who have a difficult time making it to Durango to shop.

John Eagan suggested compromise. "Maybe there's a way to maintain the quality of life without giving in to Wal-Mart," he said. "This is a neat community with smart people and we can work together to do that."

Several people said the future of Pagosa Springs needs to be in the hands of the residents, not the retailer.

"It's important we're not letting those people tell us what to do if they do come in here," Muriel Buckley said.

Keyes said the task force had met three times since both the town and county enacted six-month moratoriums on big box stores and continues in the information-gathering phase of its process. The group has divided into pairs with each pair responsible for researching certain impacts of large-scale retail stores, including, social, jobs, historical character of the area, tourism, money exiting the community, infrastructure and community.

To augment their research, they have gathered studies from academic institutions such as University of California Berkeley, the University of Iowa and the University of Washington to create a preliminary pro and con list for big boxes and Pagosa Springs.

On the pro side, such large-scale development could create jobs, hold down general price inflation and keep sales-tax revenues at home.

According to the task force's early research recorded in a handout provided at the meeting, "People like deals. Four out of five U.S. households purchase at least some products from Wal-Mart each year."

On the other side of the fence, low prices could mean lower wages resulting in a higher cost of subsidizing social service programs, less competition because of a loss of smaller retailers and a large labor force of part-time employees.

Current median wages in Archuleta County rest at $9.28 per hour, according to the task force's research to date. Nonunion wages for major retailers are between $7.50 and $8.50 per hour.

The task force will also consider results of a community survey commissioned by the Town of Pagosa Springs to gauge priorities for future planning and development.

Preliminary reports, with 330 surveys in hand, show 39 percent of people, a sampling of residents and visitors, do "not support big box development under any circumstances." Twenty-six percent of respondents would support big boxes with some restrictions and 18 percent would agree to limit the number of big boxes allowed in the community. Just 5 percent support no restrictions at all and 11 percent are unsure. These percentages are not final as surveys are being accepted through today.

In addition to the paper research, the task force has heard a presentation from Rick Hill, a retail consultant specializing in small towns.

The group plans to conduct at least one more town hall meeting prior to making recommendations to the town council and Archuleta County Board of Commissioners. The final decision concerning planning for large-scale retailers will rest with those two elected bodies.

Task force members include: Cappy White, Kirsten Skeehan, Angela Atkinson, Rod Dunmyre, Claudia Smith, Bill Downey, Jerry Venn, Lee Riley, Lori Unger, Teddy Finney, Terry Smith, David Spitler, Angie Dahm, Ann Bubb, Darrell Cotton and Keyes.

Anyone still wishing to make a comment on large-scale retailers for the task force's consideration can visit online and click on the Web link directed at the task force.


Health district audit finds 'no significant discrepancies'

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

An audit conducted by a Grand Junction-based accounting firm reveals no significant discrepancies in the Upper San Juan Health Service District's financial reporting for fiscal year 2003.

The audit report was prepared by Chadwick, Steinkirchner, Davis & Co. PC and presented Monday to district directors during a special board meeting.

Though copies of the report handed out to board members Monday were recalled Tuesday morning, apparently for the purposes of numeric clarification, "To the best of its knowledge, (the firm) could not verify any fraud in management of monies in 2003," said Allen Hughes, interim business manager for the district.

Several passages appearing in a management report addressed to the board from T. Michael Nelson, a certified public accountant with Chadwick, support that notion.

"We noted no transactions entered into by Upper San Juan Hospital District during the year that were both significant and unusual ... or transactions for which there is a lack of authoritative guidance or consensus," says the report.

Likewise, with regard to district management's accounting estimates for 2003, specifically estimates of bad debt and contractual adjustments, "We evaluated the key factors and assumptions used to develop the allowances in determining that they are reasonable in relation to the financial statements taken as a whole."

A section of the report concerning potential disagreements with management related to the contents of the audit reads, "We are pleased to report that no such disagreements arose during the course of our audit."

However, according to the report, a total of 20 audit "adjusting journal entries" were made.

A few entries highlighting the list are "related to posting prior year entries not posted, adjusting depreciation expense, recording unrecorded accounts payable, adjusting the due-to and due-from accounts to a net balance of zero ..."

In addition, the report identifies several related instances and fiscal practices that drew recommendations from the firm.

For example, an audit of cash noted two instances in which voided checks had been signed but not prepared.

In response, "We recommend not signing blank checks to ensure funds are not misappropriated," said Nelson. "We also recommend consolidating several of the bank accounts into one account."

Other occurrences addressed in the report include mention of the subsidiary ledger of accounts receivable not being reconciled to the general ledger and a "significant portion" of receivables being greater than 90 days overdue.

Suggestions offered were reconciling the accounts receivable "subledger" to the general ledger on a monthly basis and "collecting accounts receivable on a more timely basis or writing off accounts that are deemed uncollectible."

Among other things, the report also points out that an audit of accrued liabilities revealed "vacation accrual was not updated on a consistent basis" in 2003.

"As a result," says the report, employees had the opportunity to take more vacation than earned."

Finally, the report lists "additional matters for district consideration."

Noted areas include budgeting enough revenues to cover expenses or limiting expenditures to available revenue, reviewing internal controls, reconciling balance sheet accounts on a timely basis and reporting clinic operations in total versus separating urgent care services from general clinic services.


Forest report endorses Dutton Ditch encasement

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board of directors learned Tuesday the U.S. Forest Service has approved district plans to encase Dutton Ditch.

Commenting on the Sept. 24 approval, "In a nutshell, this gets us one step closer to obtaining the special-use permit from the Forest Service that is critical for this project," said Carrie Campbell, district general Manager.

The district must receive the special-use permit from the Forest Service in order to access portions of the Dutton Ditch right of way that cross Forest Service land.

Dutton Ditch is currently an open ditch diverting water from Snowball Creek to two district storage reservoirs, Lake Hatcher and Stevens Reservoir.

With regard to district use, water in Dutton Ditch is often not available during the summer because of the allotment that goes to irrigators with higher water rights.

Because of freezing and other weather complications, water flows in the open ditch during the winter are often reduced to a trickle - far less than would be expected if a pipeline were in place.

Dutton is also subject to frequent washouts, which can render it nearly useless at times.

District plans approved by the Forest Service last week involve replacing the open ditch with approximately 29,000 feet of transmission pipeline to improve water flow and delivery efficiency.

The Dutton Ditch and Stevens Reservoir projects are the main components of a slate of pending capital projects funded by $10.35 million in general obligation bonds approved by district voters during the 2002 General Election.

Stevens Reservoir

After a summary presentation from Gene Tautges, assistant general manager for the district, directors approved a proposal from Briliam Engineering regarding the district's plan to enlarge Stevens Reservoir.

The proposal indicates Briliam will undertake preliminary design work related to the construction of a new water treatment facility at the Stevens site, which will aid district staff in the pursuit of associated construction/design bids.

"At this point, we feel we probably need to have about a 35-percent design so that when we bring a building team together, they have a slight clue as to where we want to go," said Tautges. "This proposal will give us that."

On a related note, pilot studies involving the temporary use of on-site miniature water plants that monitor water quality in Stevens are continuing, said Tautges.

The studies will help the district determine which type of water plant will best suit Stevens in the future.

Lake levels

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

- Lake Hatcher - 44 inches below spillway

- Stevens Reservoir - 10 inches below spillway

- Lake Pagosa - 24 inches below spillway

- Lake Forest - 18 inches below spillway

- Village Lake - 30 inches below spillway.

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


Workshops will follow county survey posting

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

If you're registered to vote in Archuleta County, you should soon discover a postcard from the county planning department in your mail.

The postcard won't depict a traditional, eye-pleasing scene such as a sunny tropical beach, a towering waterfall or a stunning mountain landscape.

Nevertheless, county planning staff would prefer you hang it on the refrigerator door, a bathroom mirror, a bulletin board - anywhere it will be easily in view for the next five weeks.

That's because the postcards are designed to offer residents an instructional reminder to participate in an online survey that will be used to further the all-important development of new county land-use regulations.

The survey is scheduled to be available for review, completion and submittal on the county's Web site by this weekend.

To access the survey, go to and click on the link titled "survey."

In addition to postcards, efforts to boost survey participation and awareness levels will include county advertisements and press releases in the local media.

Since maximum participation in the survey process is essential, public workshops will be conducted in order to provide additional survey information and address related questions.

The first workshop is scheduled to take place in the Vista Clubhouse Oct. 20, 7 p.m.

The second workshop is set for Oct. 28, 7 p.m. inside the county Extension building.

Though the preference is to have as many residents as possible complete the survey online, all county residents are eligible and strongly encouraged to participate in the survey, whether or not they have Internet service available.

Residents who would like to fill out hard copies of the survey can obtain them at the county planning department, 527 A San Juan St.

Until the completion deadline of Nov. 5, 4 p.m., surveys will also be distributed at the following locations: county commissioners' office, county clerk's office, county Extension building, Arboles Store, Chimney Rock Restaurant, Chromo Mercantile, Pagosa Springs Post Office, Ruby Sisson Library, Turkey Springs Trading Post and the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center (inside the community center).

Surveys are also expected to be available near polling locations during this year's Nov. 2 general election.

For survey drop-off instructions, refer to the postcard mailings or contact the planning department at 264-5851. Residents can also request surveys be mailed to their households by calling the department office.

In short, the survey will ask residents to assign specific values to a list of "performance criteria" that will be used to evaluate future development proposals within five respective, geographic areas of the county described as "planning districts."

The five pending districts are: Southwest District (including Arboles), Southeast District (including Chromo and the Upper Blanco area), Northeast District (including Pagosa Springs and the Lower Blanco area), Northwest District (including Aspen Springs and Chimney Rock) and Pagosa Lakes District.

A draft of the pending survey explains, "For example, people that live in the (proposed) Southwest District would be able to determine how important it is to encourage paving of parking lots within their district without influence from citizens in the Pagosa Springs area or the Chromo area."

Additional examples of performance criteria county residents will be asked to consider include evaluating the importance of having parks and/or playgrounds in subdivisions, covenants, and the preservation of historic buildings and mature landscaping, to name a few.







 Inside The Sun


Health district board weighs 'critical access hospital' conversion

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District Board of Directors is investigating the possibility of converting Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center into a "critical access hospital."

What's a critical access hospital?

Information provided by Colorado Rural Health Center representatives during a special board meeting Monday indicates the definition of a critical access hospital, or "CAH," involves several criteria.

According to a summarized list of CAH functions presented to the board by Lou Ann Wilroy, CAH program director, a critical access hospital "provides basic services necessary at the community level," including required services such as inpatient care, emergency care, and laboratory and radiology facilities.

Critical access hospitals, said Wilroy, also provide 24-hour emergency services, with staff on-call and available within 30 minutes.

Among other initiatives, Wilroy said critical access hospitals strike networking agreements with other hospitals and/or "quality improvement organizations" that include patient referrals and transfers, "credentialing," and progress toward upgrading quality and performance.

Quality improvement activities undertaken by CAHs often involve regional workshops, peer review services, recruitment and retention and "balanced scorecard projects," said Wilroy.

As far as eligibility for conversion to CAH status, which applies to 48 states, Wilroy indicated medical facilities must have been licensed within the past 10 years, "rural, and one of the following: a 35 plus mile drive to hospital or CAH - 15 minutes in mountains or areas with secondary roads - or state-certified as a necessary provider."

A medical facility that converts to a critical access hospital can apparently benefit on a number of levels, said Wilroy, with the primary benefit being "the move from the prospective payment system to a cost-based reimbursement system for both inpatient and outpatient Medicare services."

Other potential benefits include access to federal and state program and services, improved operating margins, workshops, training, education, grant funds and technical assistance.

In Colorado, the CAH Technical Assistance Grant Program states each community harboring a CAH is eligible for $20,000 per year in biannual grant cycles.

Activities related to the state's CAH technical assistance grant program include community outreach and education, needs assessment, network development and staff development and education.

A similar state CAH grant program for emergency medical services includes eligibility for $5,000 per year in biannual grant cycles, and activities including care for pediatric patients, EMS community planning and integration projects and public information, education and relations, or "PIER."

Overall CAH program effectiveness is monitored by a statewide survey of Colorado's 25 CAH facilities conducted every two years.

Past surveys, said Wilroy, have drawn a 100-percent return rate and identified important needs such as assistance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance.

In conclusion, "There's a lot to consider in order to determine if becoming a critical access hospital is the right move," said Wilroy.

"This is just an overview of what it means to become a critical access hospital," she added.

"You have to look at your patient population and associated payment mix - how much is Medicare, how much is Medicaid, etc., and then determine if CAH is the right fit," she concluded.

Though directors took no official action concerning the potential conversion of Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, the board's reaction to the CAH presentation was generally favorable.

"The presentation was well-received," said board member Dick Blide.

"The next step would be to perform a required, cost feasibility study, and it's something we will probably look into."


Eagle Scout project provides River Walk a new terminus

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Mark Truax is a teen-age achiever.

The 17-year-old who recently moved to Pagosa Springs from Denver, has his own business cards as a technical consultant.

And he has a concern for nature and its visitation.

Toward that end, one of his first acts in Pagosa was to begin work on an Eagle Scout project with assistance from area scouts.

He familiarized himself with the River Walk program, watched as the various plans for its extension worked out, and then began his project.

He envisions the job - and he's put over 200 hours into the planning, drawing site layouts and enlisting assistance, as the terminus of the walk extension at the northwest corner of Pagosa Springs Community Center.

He was at the site Saturday with plenty of assistants, measuring, nailing, planting and working toward completion.

He said all the materials were donated by local supply houses and builders and that the senior center's long-range plan for a senior garden will get any materials left over upon completion of the project.

Other local firms provided free pizza and doughnuts for the project builders.


Salazar Senate race finds small town values exciting

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County are close to the heart of Ken Salazar.

The man locked in a tight race with beer baron Pete Coors for the U.S. Senate seat made that comment to a Pagosa crowd Saturday as the race entered its final four weeks.

"The small communities, the small counties," he said, "are the heart of Colorado and I'm maintaining my desire to visit every one of them, again and again, no matter what size they are, because all are important to me, win or lose."

Archuleta County, he said, "stands for the same issues I do - conservation of water, reduction of health care costs, stemming the tide of foreign losses and seeking people of responsibility to serve them."

He was introduced to the crowd by Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon who called the San Luis Valley native "my friend, my mentor and my guiding light in service to the people."

Salazar, noting he's a Democrat and Aragon's a Republican, said party takes a back seat at times to common concerns.

"Ross has been responsible for the growth of Pagosa Springs and it has been noticed around the state as emblematic of a bipartisan effort in which the interests of the people come first."

That is where his Senate campaign is focused, too, Salazar said. "We need to look at all the issues, It is not just a joyful journey because I see the pain and suffering in our communities and I care deeply about those in our state who have no insurance, who are wondering if Social Security will be there when they need it, who wonder where the nation is headed militarily and who are concerned about local heritage."

Linked to the last comment, he noted his family has been in the region since moving into the Santa Fe area 406 years ago. And the last five generations, he pointed out, have tilled the soil of the San Luis Valley.

"I saw the sacrifice and hard work my family put in and it inspired an ethic of service," he said. "My parents instilled the values of historical perspective and the value of being an American in their children and through the Great Depression and World War II, five elements of life were their credo - hard work, community, faith, love for the land, and preservation of water, its lifeblood.

"We were taught the old lesson that government is by and for the people - all of the people - and that personal issues are resolved at the end of the day among family and with God," he said.

Salazar said he is looking for a safer less violent world in his campaign, seeking ways to make life both here and abroad a cooperative success.

Health care is a major concern, he noted, pointing out 800,000 people in Colorado alone have no health insurance.

As a child, he said, he learned the value of the water irrigating his family's farm and saw what happened in dry years.

"We are now at a point where we must defend our land and our water against all moves to transport it to other locales," he said. The difficult issues ahead, he said, "call for someone who understands and has lived with them."

Citing a meeting in Washington with Max Cleland, the war hero who lost both legs in combat and came back to lead veterans' organizations and serve in the Senate from Georgia, he talked about a man seeing a great country and having hope and opportunity.

"When I met him in the hallway, he was grinning from ear to ear and called me over," Salazar said.

It was at that point the Coloradan noticed Cleland had not only lost both legs, but an arm, too.

"He stuck his left arm out, grabbed me by the neck and pulled me down to say 'We have to take America back and that has to start in Colorado in November.'"

Salazar said Cleland warned him the "out-of-state interests will being pouring money into the campaign against you, just like they did against me. They will try to buy the seat for your opponent. You have some difficult times ahead as the opponents spend for power rather than facing the issues."

"It is happening in Colorado," Salazar said. "I will, in the end, be outspent about 8-to-1 in this campaign. But I will follow Mr. Cleland's advice. I won't let them buy this seat.

"The values I stand for are timeless," he said. "Preserving opportunity for all generations; showing respect for our elders and fighting against privatization of Social Security; cherishing our share of the places of beauty in our state and nation; and addressing the real issue of finding a lasting peace in the world."

In conclusion, he said he is "not afraid to stand up to the special interests, as evidenced by the enemies I've made by serving as the state's attorney general. I've made big business mad, I've made attorneys mad, I've even made members of my own party mad because I've stood by the letter of the law."

"I fought abuse of power, the prescription drug firms, unconstitutional redistricting of the state, and the battle against our no-call law.

"I am," he said, "a proud servant of all the state, all the communities, all the counties and its people of all ages.

"With your help," Salazar the told the Pagosa crowd, "we will continue that kind of service when we go to Washington."


Wolf Creek construction still going

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Nielsons Skanska's Treasure Falls asphalt paving project is nearing completion, but the traveling public may still experience up to 20 minutes delays.

With impending completion of the paving portion, the final phase of the project will be in full swing, including shouldering, environmental seeding, signage and pavement striping.

The tentative completion of this portion of the Wolf Creek project is scheduled for October's end.

At the same time, the ongoing Lonesome Dove to Windy Point project on the east side of the pass has overnight closures in effect 10 p.m.-5 a.m. Monday through Thursday.

Daytime traffic stops will occur periodically for blasting operations and delays of 30 minutes or more can be expected as material is moved and traffic cleared in each direction.

No vehicles over 12 feet wide or 105 feet long are allowed through the work zones at any time.

The Wolf Creek Pass tunnel project may also require stoppages of traffic for up to 30 minutes during the day only. A project hotline is found at (719) 873-2221.

The west side project contractors have also issued a request that the traveling public follow the directions of the traffic control personnel. This not only for their own safety, but the safety of the construction workers and the traffic control flaggers. The speed limits posted are for everyone's safety and Colorado State Patrol is routinely patrolling the project to ensure laws are obeyed.

The three projects are separate from one another, but all attempt to coordinate routine stoppages to prevent long time sitting still accumulations for drivers.


Bicycle Tour of Hope for cancer

cure coming to Pagosa Sunday

Lance Armstrong is taking his bicycling prowess on the roads of America in the quest for a cure for cancer.

The Tour de France champion has partnered with Bristol-Myers Squib and a team of 20 cyclists chosen from the cancer community for a week-long journey across the nation to help speed the search for cure.

At least a portion of the team will be in Pagosa Springs 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3 at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center and in Town Park.

The trip, originating in Los Angeles Oct. 1 and concluding in Washington, D.C. Oct. 9, can be tracked at but riders and sponsors hope Pagosans will come to meet them and support the goal personally.

Other riders participating, but not all necessarily appearing in Pagosa Springs, include:

- Kristen Adelman of Elkridge, Md., a lymphoma survivor and teacher;

- Colleen Reardon Chapleau of North Liberty, Iowa, a skin cancer survivor and associate director of the Iowa Marrow Donor Program;

- John Fee of Delran, N.J., a caregiver and patient advocate who works with the sponsoring drug firm;

- Andrea Glassberg of San Francisco, a physician and researcher in pulmonary and critical care medicine;

- Brandon Hayes-Lattin of Portland, Ore., a testicular cancer survivor and physician researcher at Oregon Health and Science University;

- Brian Highhouse of Meriden, N.H., an oncology nurse at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center;

- Sheila McGuirk of Madison, Wis., a colon cancer survivor and professor of large animal medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine;

- Darren Mullen of Wichita, Kan., a Wichita firefighter;

- Jim Owens of Edina, Minn., a brain cancer survivor and vice president of Owens Companies, Inc.;

- Kathy Parker of Athens, Ga., a vulvar sarcoma cancer survivor and professor of geography at University of Georgia;

- Rod Quiros of Suffern, N.Y., a lymphoma survivor and vice president of Merrill Lynch;

- Erika Rosettie of Corning, N.Y., a registered nurse specializing in oncology at Guthrie Cancer Center;

- Neil Shah of Woodland Hills, Calif., a physician-researcher and assistant professor of hematology and oncology at UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center;

- Bernie Sher of Cocoa Beach, Fla., a prostate cancer survivor and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel;

- Michael Siegel of Wilmette, Ill., a leukemia survivor and professional architect;

- Joseph Steele of Englewood, Colo., a testicular cancer survivor and an interventional radiologist with Radiology Imaging Associates;

- Elizabeth Sterling of Millmont, Pa., a high school biology teacher and caregiver for a son with cancer;

- Robert Stuart of Charleston, S.C., a kidney cancer survivor and professor of medicine at Medical University of South Carolina;

- Steve Verbanic of Virginia Beach, Va., a liposarcoma (tumor in muscle) cancer survivor, chief of information for Dataline, Inc., and caregiver to a son with cancer; and

- Ted Yang of Houston, Texas, a radiation oncologist at Greater Houston Radiation Oncology Associates.

Those who attend can sign the promise these riders have made to help in the search for a cure, learn more about cancer research, send a message of hope, and make themselves feel better for having participated.


After-school classes set at ed center

Archuleta County Education Center is offering a full lineup of fun and exciting after-school activities in the elementary school for students in kindergarten through fourth grade.

The classes include art, Science Kids, Spanish for Kids and Creature Creators. Classes are 3:15-5 p.m. every afternoon. Also offered 1:15-5 p.m. every Friday are Fun Friday activities.

There are also regular after-school activities for students in grades 5-9 in the junior high school.

The center offers first aid and CPR training classes, computer classes and Spanish classes as part of the community education program. GED instruction and English as a Second Language classes are also available.

If you would like to register for classes or need more information, call the center at 264-2835.


Monday's last day to register to vote Nov. 2

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Planning to vote in the General Election Nov. 2?

If you are not already registered to do so, time is running out.

Until 4 p.m. Monday, you may register in the Archuleta County Clerk's office on the ground floor of the courthouse in downtown Pagosa Springs.

If you want to change party of registration, change your address or find out your voting precinct because of a change, the same time limit applies.

June Madrid, county clerk, said absentee ballots are due to arrive Oct. 1 and will be immediately mailed out to all who have requested them.

Early voting for the election begins Oct. 18, meaning any registered voter can come to the clerk's office and cast a ballot. State statute allows this only within the 15 days prior to the election date.

If you have already registered and did not receive a voter registration card in the mail, she said, "it means we do not have a good mailing address for you and you should notify us immediately."

No one who is not registered by 4 p.m. Monday will be allowed to vote Nov. 2.


Step taken to create downtown historic district

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Owners of 70 percent of downtown properties have agreed to the idea of forming Pagosa's first locally designated historic district.

Now, it's up to the town council to ratify the idea.

Members of the Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board voted Aug. 23 to recommend the formation of a district extending from the corner of 5th and San Juan streets, down Lewis Street to 4th and around the corner, taking in Pagosa Street from Goodman's to the Heritage Building. The Archuleta County Courthouse on the other side of U.S. 160 would also be part of the district.

According to preservation board minutes, the vote was based upon district structures meeting five criteria for local historic designation found in current town ordinances. Buildings in the designated district had value as part of local heritage, association with people who offered significant contributions to the development of the town, exemplified the town's heritage, were important for maintaining neighborhood character and were of historical significance.

Town planner Tamra Allen said a letter was sent to all property owners in the proposed district requesting their consent. Under ordinance, agreement must be collected from owners of at least 51 percent of the properties within a district in order to create the district. Of the 63 properties within the proposed district, Allen said, the town received consent forms on 46. At this point, no one has come forward specifically opposed to the district.

The preservation board was to meet again today to determine which structures within the proposed district would qualify as "contributing" and which would qualify as "noncontributing."

Allen said time is generally the deciding factor. In order to qualify, a building must be at least 50 years old.

Buildings that meet the requirements will be eligible to apply for state and federal tax credits on historical renovations or remodels. The historic preservation board reviews these applications. The board will also be responsible for reviewing alteration plans on noncontributing buildings. Such reviews will insure that the integrity of the historical nature of the district remains intact.

The ordinance officially setting the district's boundaries will be considered by the town council on first reading Oct. 5. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in Town Hall on Hot Springs Boulevard.

In order to become law, the ordinance must be approved on two readings and could take effect in November.


Forest Service is amending misleading road closure signs

By Phyllis Decker

U.S. Forest Service

Special to The SUN

Sometimes signs clarify, sometimes they confuse. Recently, new and confusing signs have been going up on many San Juan National Forest roads.

The signs state: This Road Open to (symbols for hikers, cross-country skiers, horse riders, bicycles, motor bikes, ATV's, snowmobiles and full-sized motorized vehicles) CLOSED TO (symbols for motorcycles, ATV's, and full-sized motorized vehicles) NOVEMBER 1 - MAY 31.

Based upon the wording of the signs a reasonable assumption is that those roads will be closed from Nov. 1 through May 31. That is not the case.

These signs do not reflect a change in management nor regulations. They are stating regulations that have been in effect on these specific roads for many years. But they leave out one very important aspect: that the roads will be open or closed based on the condition of each individual road between the dates of Nov. 1 through May 31.

In the past between the dates of Nov. 1 through May 31, these roads were gated and the gates closed and locked when road conditions met certain criteria, then opened when conditions allowed.

According to Pagosa District Ranger Jo Bridges, "That policy has not changed and will continue. The closure is not automatic based on the date, but occurs within those dates. High elevation roads are closed earlier and longer, but within the same time period. Roads that are further south and at lower elevation tend to get snow later and dry out sooner, so they are closed for a shorter time period. I am very sorry for the confusion, concern, and any inconvenience that the new signs have caused people.

The signs are being altered to help eliminate that confusion. Generally most of our roads are open through mid-December to allow for as much public access as we can without having excessive, serious road damage."

Winter and spring are tough seasons on all of the area roads. Particularly susceptible are unpaved Forest Service roads, which generally were built to accommodate moderate use during dry weather.

In the past, heavy snows prevented access in winter, and most of the residents did not choose to drive wet, sloppy roads during the spring melt. A combination of scarce snow and an increase in the number of four-wheel drive vehicles has meant that more people are trying to drive these roads when wet. The resulting damage includes rutting and gravel pushed far below the road surface. In spring, the roads become saturated and more vulnerable to increased impacts.

The Forest Service Mission of "Caring for the Land and Serving the People" is often a tough balancing act of protecting resources and assuring that the public is able to enjoy their land. Although inconvenient for some, the seasonal road closures have many benefits. Temporary road closures care for the land and serve the people by:

- protecting the public from unsafe road conditions when gravel or natural-surface roads are muddy and impassable;

- preventing costly damage that would result from the inevitable ruts left behind;

- guarding against soil erosion and protecting fisheries; (the ruts channel muddy runoff water into nearby creeks, killing the microorganisms fish feed upon);

- such seasonal road closures are temporary and do not exclude public access. One can still hike, ski, ride a bicycle or horse and in most cases, ride a snowmobile be hind the closure gates.

However, the new signs are confusing. Our immediate response is to cover that part of the sign that confuses: CLOSED TO (symbols for motorcycles, ATV's, and full-sized motorized vehicles) NOVEMBER 1 - MAY 31.

Will the gates always be closed from November 1 and May 31?

No. As in the past, these roads will be gated and the gates closed and locked when road conditions meet certain criteria, then opened when conditions allow. These closures will occur during the dates now posted on the signs.

If it is Nov. 30 and the gate is open, is it legal to drive it?

Assuming the gate and lock have not been illegally tampered with, if the gate is swung open, the road is open.

As gates are closed, information about which roads are closed will be available at our office at 970-264-2268 and on the Internet (at

As with all areas on the Forest, damage to roads is not allowed. On roads that remain open, stay on the road and drive only as far as you are able without causing ruts or other damage.

What about people who have land located behind seasonal closure gates?

A primary concern we have in closing any road is to assure that the owners of private land surrounded by forest land, or inholders, have access to their land. By law, private property owners are guaranteed reasonable use and enjoyment of such property, but the law does not give them the right to damage the public's lands or resources in pursuit of private access.

Thus, prior agreement in the form of an easement or permit is necessary to safeguard the public's roads from possible damage due to private use.

Language in the permit or easement stipulates that the individual who is using the public's road (when the rest of the public is excluded to protect the road from damage) assumes some responsibility for the protection and care of that road. Other forest users such as owners of ditches, timber companies and utilities who may need access during seasonal closures are also issued permits. At times it is necessary for those with permits or easements to plow snow. To assure that the taxpayers who own the road are compensated for any damage that may occur, permit holders must post a bond and plow according to Forest Service stipulations.

The Pagosa Ranger District has over a thousand miles of unpaved roads that would be cost-prohibitive to reconstruct and maintain for year-round motorized public access. The compromise is to spend funding to keep them safe and drivable during the warm months, then allow snow to close roads in winter or to gate roads and leave closed until the spring snows have melted, and motorized traffic will not cause undue damage.

Temporary road closures are a tool to help protect your road investment, wildlife, and fisheries, while assuring safer and enjoyable summer and fall driving opportunities for everyone.

We certainly thank you for the temporary sacrifice of not being able to drive these gravel and dirt roads during the wet season.

Most areas within the Pagosa Ranger District are closed to off-road travel with wheeled vehicles. You may drive up to 300 feet off the road to park, if you can do so without causing damage to soils and vegetation.

Please do not leave road surfaces where the ground is wet. For additional information, refer to the San Juan National Forest Travel Map.

For more information on these or other aspects of your National Forest, contact our office at 264-2268, 180 Pagosa St. P.O. Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO.


BIA planning Sandoval Mesa

prescribed burn

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Southern Ute Agency will conduct a prescribed burn in the Sandoval Mesa area beginning the morning of Sunday, Oct. 26 and continuing six days.

The burn, aproximately six miles northwest of Navajor Reservoir at an elevation of 8,000 feet, will be approximately 1,000 acres in size - with target acreage of 200 per day - and is being done for hazardous fuels reduction and habitat improvement.

Some residual smoke may settle in the Pagosa Springs area during the evening and early morning hours.

For further information contact the Southern Ute Agency fuels specialist at 563-4571.


Volunteers sought for Treasure Falls trail maintenance

The San Juan Mountains Association is seeking volunteers from the Pagosa Springs area to help maintain and clean the Treasure Falls Trailhead Oct. 13.

Volunteers will meet at the Pagosa Ranger District office at 8:30 a.m. Please bring gloves, sturdy boots, water, and a snack.

Work should conclude shortly after noon.

For more information and to register contact the San Juan Mountains Association at 385-1242.





Beaver biology program is free to the public

On Oct. 9, you can learn about beavers and their habitat from San Juan National Forest wildlife biologist Skip Fischer.

His presentation on Beaver Biology will take place at an active beaver pond. Beavers are very busy in the fall as they prepare for winter, so you will see signs of their activity and perhaps even see a beaver.

This free program begins at 8 a.m. at the beaver pond. Go north on 2nd Street which becomes Snowball Road (County Road 200, then Forest Road 646) for approximately six miles to a point just past the ford of Fourmile Creek.

This program is sponsored by the San Juan National Forest.

Call Phyllis (Wheaton) Decker at 264-1528 for more information.


Thinning, shredding set in two forest areas

Work is expected to begin soon on fuels reduction thinning and shredding on the San Juan National Forest in the Turkey Springs and Martinez Canyon areas.

A contractor will be using a Hydroaxe® or a Hydromower® to thin small ponderosa pine trees and to mow understory oakbrush. These machines look like large front-end loaders with an eight-foot rotary blade deck mounted on the front.

These thinning projects will help to restore the forest to a density similar to its pre-1880 condition by creating openings between the larger ponderosa pine and removing vegetation that serves as ladder fuels to carry a fire into the canopy.

Before 1880, fires burned through the pine forest floor every six to 10 years. These repeated fires killed many of the small trees and reduced the amount of oakbrush. The larger trees survived the fires as can be seen by the numerous fire scars on the older trees.

Three areas in Turkey Springs will be treated this fall. Approximately 200 acres will be mowed near the intersection of the Piedra Road and the Turkey Springs Road (No. 629) adjacent to the Wildflower subdivision.

Eighty acres will be mowed on the west rim of Martinez Canyon just south of Martinez Canyon Estates subdivision and 40 acres will be treated northwest of the Turkey Springs Guard Station along the Piedra Stock Driveway ATV trail.

Mechanical mowing and thinning contractors are currently working in the following locations on the Pagosa District: upper Devil Creek area adjacent to the Monument Park Road (No. 630), Jackson Mountain adjacent to the San Juan River Resort subdivision and in Burns Canyon.

The public is advised to use caution when in an area where this equipment is working. The mowers propel debris up to 300 feet in all directions.

For more information contract the Pagosa Ranger District, 264-2268.


Last hunter education class of year scheduled

Hunter education classes will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center Oct. 15-16 and Oct. 28-29.

Times are 6-10 p.m for the Thursday sessions and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Fridays. Students must attend both sessions. Those attempting to enter the Friday session only will not be admitted.

The courses, at a cost of $20 per student, will be open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license.

These will be the last courses offered in Pagosa Springs this year.

Courses are sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Police Department in conjunction with the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

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

To assure that the DOW can meet your needs, please make that notification at least seven days before the scheduled class.



'Village' update

Dear Editor:

Recently, I had the privilege of presenting an update on the "Village" at Wolf Creek to the Gray Wolf Ski Club. At the meeting, it became apparent that many Pagosans feel the "village" is a "done deal" and there is no need for staying abreast of the process. Many seem to not be aware that:

1. As proposed, at 8,000-10,000 people, the village will be roughly half the size of Durango - on fewer than 300 acres.

2. The ultimate "comfortable carrying capacity" of the Alberta Park Basin is approximately 8,000 skiers. Wolf Creek already sees nearly 6,000 skiers on peak days supported by the current bed base in the Pagosa and South Fork communities.

3. An additional 8,000 skiers staying in Alberta Park could put as many as 14,000 skiers on a mountain that is comfortable with a maximum of 8,000. That's 75 percent too many skiers. Even at the village's low-density option of 5,500 pillows, that's still potentially 44 percent over the mountain's comfortable capacity.

4. Hundreds of jobs will be generated at the village, yet there is no intention whatsoever of providing employee housing. Most of those 1,600 jobs will be at the bottom of the income ladder, a level that already struggles to find affordable housing in Pagosa. Due to the geopolitical quirks of the area, neither Mineral County nor Creede will have to deal with the impacts of such a large number of low-income individuals. Pagosa and Archuleta County, along with South Fork, Del Norte and Rio Grand County will carry almost the entire burden of the sociological challenges created by the village.

5. Amongst all of Colorado's ski resorts, Wolf Creek is a unique place with a unique skiing experience. Only six ski areas in the state are not driven by real estate development. Of those six, four are inundated with Front Range skiers. The fifth serves mainly a small community population leaving only Wolf Creek with low density skiing and a wide range of ability levels and experiences. Only Wolf Creek reserves the bulk of it's terrain as ungroomed and gladed tree skiing. And, of course, only Wolf Creek provides the quality of powder snow that results in its truly unique skiing experiences. Assuredly, that uniqueness, along with it's relaxed, down home personality, will be destroyed by the absurd number of skiers the village will put on the mountain, rendering it just another overcrowded, skied out ski area.

Have no doubt that skiing is the backbone of Pagosa's winter economy. What the Village at Wolf Creek will bring is the assassination of the soul of that skiing economy and a substantial dilution to that economy by transferring revenues from lodging, dining, shopping and real estate to the village and it's wealthy developers.

In return, Pagosa and Archuleta County will inherit the lion's share of the educational, sociological and infrastructure burdens that both the developer and Mineral County are quick to shirk.

Dean Cox



Dear Editor:

We are so fortunate to have Junior Lister and Myles Gabel at the head of parks and recreation in this town. I get worn out just reading about all of the fun things going on under their jurisdiction.

Everyone should read the checklist for trying to develop a habit of good sportsmanship in last week's SUN.

This could be used as we accept the challenges our life encounters day by day as well as in the sports world.

Cindy Gustafson


Expert errs

Dear Editor:

As this is an election year, I have watched a little of the televised remarks by candidates and commentators. At some point an "expert" opined that Lyndon Johnson swept the country and no county in Colorado voted Republican in any capacity.

I beg to differ and would appreciate if you could correct this in some fashion.

Archuleta County voted in two commissioners, Louis Luchini and H.G. Diestelkamp and myself, Doris Hudson, as county judge. The election was Nov. 3, 1964, and the board of canvass made the canvass official Nov. 9, 1964. All of the above were on the Republican ticket for a four-year term. I was retained in 1968 for four more years.

This was the year that Justice of the Peace courts were abolished in Colorado; Ted Lattin had been judging those in his home. Six months later the judicial administrator in Denver forgave all untried justice cases and docket books were brought in by local police and placed in the basement.

Thank you for your time.

Doris G. Hudson,

Mesa, Ariz.


Tasks divided

Dear Editor:

The community meeting hosted by the Big Box Task Force Sept. 22 at the community center was very well attended. Thank you to everyone who joined us. Your input will be of great help to the work of the task force members.

We presented an overview of the work already completed, and it is available as a handout in the lobby of Town Hall.

You can also find a list of task force members and resources we are using. I encourage everyone to take a look at our work, and continue to contribute additional thoughts, opinions and sources of information.

You can contact us through

Our tasks have been broken into segments to be handled by individual task force members. We are looking at the impacts of large scale retail development on the following areas: economy, infrastructure, tourism, community, social, historical character, plus ways to attract businesses that fill community needs.

We want to thank the town and county for their support of our work and help in organizing the meeting. Thank you also to Laura Lewis of Operation Healthy Communities, who facilitated the meeting. Most especially, thank you to the many community members who have approached task force members with input, attended the community meeting, and contacted us via the town Web site. We appreciate your help in getting us to a position that represents the needs of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County, and applaud your desire and efforts to create the place that's right for all of us.

Kathy Keyes

Editor's note: Please see article on this week's front page.


An even split

Dear Editor:

It is my understanding that the percentage of military people, who will be supporting either candidate in the upcoming presidential election, is evenly split.

If this is the case, the current administration's Iraq policy is not evenly supported among the military. Our men and women in uniform do many wonderful things to bring aid to humanity. This has been recently seen in the humanitarian aid to the people of the Darfur region of the Sudan.

The military expects that soldiers will follow orders, and when necessary, sacrifice their life for our country. As a society, we expect this too. Therefore, Americans who support our troops do not have to support the current administration's policy in Iraq.

Since we put our soldiers in harm's way, we must be informed about the circumstances surrounding these decisions.

The current war in Iraq was based upon misinformation to the American people. First of all, there were no weapons of mass destruction, which the current administration offered as an excuse for war. Secondly, Osama bin Laden (the person claiming responsibility for the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks) is a Saudi, not an Iraqi. In other words, there is no connection between the World Trade Center bombing and the invasion of Iraq.

Therefore, it is not unpatriotic for military and nonmilitary folk alike to have an opinion about the need for a war in Iraq.

As informed citizens, we must equate patriotism with protecting our troops. We must not send our soldiers into battle unless there is no other way to resolve a deadly situation. Under our current administration, America has invaded Iraq under false pretenses to the American people. As a nation, we were born of people who "spoke up."

Protest for a war, whose cause was misrepresented to the American people, is not unpatriotic. As one soldier (Stars and Stripes, Sept. 23, 2004) writes in his letter to the editor, "Š corporate executives and institutional investors raking in vast profits from Americans dying in far away lands should not be held up as objects of esteem. Many, like former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney, managed to find priorities other than military service to occupy them during time of war. I am very disturbed by the methods Halliburton used to acquire its lucrative contracts in Iraq and I am angered by the disorganized and unprofessional manner in which some of them have been fulfilled." (Adams, S. Letters to the Editor, September 23, 2004). Perhaps it is time to listen to the voices of our men and women in uniform.

With kind regards,

Lynne La Corte



Smoke or drink?

Dear Editor:

Thank you for your editorial "Another Amendment" in the Sept. 23, 2004, Pagosa SUN. Too many nonsmokers see this as "Oh Goody! Another strike against smokers!" without further investigation of the consequences as you took the time to do.

My questions are: How come no one is jumping in with any new amendments to increase taxes on liquor for monies to assist victims and their families who have been devastated by the carelessness of drunk drivers? Or for higher taxes on some food and/or drink items to pay for the rising costs of health care for those victims of obesity which is known to cause many health problems including diabetes and heart disease, among others.

There are many smokers who are considerate and refrain from smoking around nonsmokers, and who pay for their own health care.

Do drunk drivers exhibit this same consideration?

Sharon Sawicki


High tech vote

Dear Editor:

The public can finally score a victory in the field of high tech renewable energy.

The renewable energy initiative, on the ballot this year as Amendment 37, has tremendous public support and momentum. It will create new jobs on a new Lamar wind farm, and exponentially decrease Colorado's air pollution.

Xcel Energy is attempting desperately to shoot down this initiative, and is not willing to convert to an environmentally friendly power plant system without legal pushes from the people.

I strongly urge the public to take the side of the environment, high tech progress, and positive social change, and vote yes on Amendment 37. It just makes sense.

Kane M. Verley



A misleader

Dear Editor:


Pearl Harbor was the first frightening attack on U.S. soil. President Roosevelt realized the negative effect of fear and said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

This set his realistic course for the splendid generation. Within four years Germany, Italy, Japan and their axis allies were no more.

September 11 was a similar shock, but now fear is embraced by the regime to herd the insecure behind the fearless leader. Unsubstantiated on-line chatter, a kaleidoscope of yellow to red disco lights, and crying wolf keep up the fear.

Now after three years-plus there is no victory as there was in 1945. Instead, the near universal sympathy for the U.S. was squandered. Now U.S. and worldwide polls see us as the most despised nation and the greatest threat to peace. Worldwide safety has declined and the enemy (al Qaeda) is more numerous and widespread. Fortunately below the public paranoia Homeland Security is quietly taking effective steps to more safety, because there will be more attempts as long as we threaten and occupy muslim nations.

FDR made the right choice, he was a leader. He who does not is a misleader.

Martin Witkamp


Scary policy

Dear Editor:

Reinforcing Bennett's and Feazel's letters of the 9/23 SUN, I submit that Kerry's newly proposed scary policy on Iraq is the paramount reason to keep him out of office.

On CNN's Crossfire, Kerry averred that we cannot depend on France and must be able to act preemptively. Then, flip-flopping, the day before Bush addressed the UN challenging the nations again to be relevant to world terrorism, Kerry asserted at New York University, "the UN must play a central role" and if elected, he will "recruit troops from our friends and allies for a UN protection force."

We cannot allow our troops to don blue berets under UN command or lose our national sovereignty.

Kerry has been unable to name one of the European countries he claims have pledged to support him, most of whom are already in the coalition of the willing. France is purported to be one, but, will Chirac send his troops into Iraq to be killed by the billions of dollars worth of French-made munitions now being used by the terrorists to kill coalition forces and Iraqi leaders?

Consider the scandal. Ollie North's March, 2003, revelation from Kuwait that "cash from the UN oil for food program went to buy votes in the Security Council was trashed by the New York Times and declared "preposterous" and "unfounded" by UN leadership. Now it is under investigation. We know that the money administered by Annan's highly-placed and trusted Benon V. Sevan went for everything but food, including politicos in France and Russia who also received Saddam's "coupons" for millions of barrels of crude oil to be sold for huge profits with no UN objections. Why does Kerry pursue association with France?

Annan declares the overthrow of Saddam as "illegal," despite the UN's own Resolution 1441 which authorized the use of force. Annan berates America's action in Iraq, but totally ignores Saddam's and terrorist's atrocities, including Jack Armstrong's beheading, and offers little but rhetoric for dealing with Iran's and others' nuclear threats and barbaric genocide in Sudan.

This arrogance of one who acts as the world's legal and ethical judge without accountability to UN member nations flies in the face of Kerry's call to give him greater say in how we defend ourselves from terror. Allowing Kerry his misguided way would make the world body irrelevant to present realities. Dealing rather with the corruption at the UN, and avoiding all dealings with its corrupt members might be wiser.

Or better still, the U.S. should get out of the UN and quit paying its highest costing membership. Following the League of Nations, the UN should formalize its irrelevancy and allow the Coalition of the Willing to replace it.

Eugene Witkowksi



Kate's Calendar


Kate's Calendar

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist


United Blood Service drive at Mountain Heights Baptist Church, 2-6 p.m. Reservations honored before walk-ins. Call 385-4601 to make a reservation.


The Sisson Library volunteers will meet for lunch at 11:30 a.m. at Dionigi's Italian Cafe (the former Italian Kitchen).

Oct. 1-3

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters will host the annual Southwest Colorado Community Theatre Festival. Please check The SUN for details.

Oct. 3

Pagosa Area Singles will meet for dinner at 6 p.m. at Dionigi's Italian Cafe. All singles age 35+ welcome. Call 731-2445 for reservations.

Oct. 8

Chili supper 5:30-7 p.m. at the Parish Hall, 451 Lewis St. Chili, cornbread, brownies and beverage for $5. The tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling 731-3061 or 731-4277. The supper is sponsored by the Archuleta Republican Club.

Oct. 9

The October meeting of the Piecemakers Guild will be held at 10 a.m. at the Mountain Heights Baptist Church. Patty Sallani will demonstrate how to make a flannel machine-pieced reversible block. If you are interested in this class bring your machine and fabric to the afternoon bee. For more information call 731-0472.

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 in Town Park on Hermosa Street for a short orientation, then drive to several places from town up to the Wolf Creek Overlook.

Oct. 9

A Four Corners Chi Omega Alumnae Chapter is being formed. Anyone interested is invited to meet at noon at the Cypress Cafe, 725 East 2nd Avenue, in Durango. For more information, contact Celeste Langdon Nolen, 264-5674.

Oct. 13

The Pagosa Women's Club meets at 11:45 a.m. at the Wildlife Park on U.S. 84. A picnic lunch will be served at noon followed by a program about the park and subsequent tour. Cost is $9.50 and reservations are required. Call Treva Wheeless at 264-0644 or 749-7153 by noon Oct. 11 for reservations.

Oct. 14

The Mountain View Homemakers will meet with Patti Sallami who lives at 380 Arbor Drive. Directions: Piedra Road to N. Pagosa Blvd. Turn left, then take a quick right on Falcon and another quick right on Arbor Drive. The program is about making your own greeting cards.

Oct. 14

The Newcomer Club will meet at The Office Lounge on North Pagosa Boulevard 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, please call Kim Braselman at 264-6826.

Oct. 14

Monthly meeting of the Wolf Creek Trailblazers snowmobile club, 6:30 p.m., at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on Lewis Street. Club members are anticipating good winter snow and will be discussing club day rides and overnight rides scheduled through the season. New and prospective members are welcome to attend. For more information, call club president, Charlie Rogers, 264-4471.

Oct. 14

Mountain High Gardeners will hold its next two monthly meetings on Wednesday, Oct. 6 and Wednesday Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to noon. There's always something new to discover so come and join us. It will be held at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds Extension office. It is always open to new members; whether you know a lot or hardly anything about gardening. Call Chris at 731-6900 or Frances at 731-2012 for more information.

Oct. 21

The Woman's Civic Club of Pagosa Springs will meet at 1:30 at Community United Methodist Church to plan the upcoming Christmas Bazaar scheduled Nov., 6 at the community center.

Nov. 13

Ladies of Fashion present the annual Immaculate Heart of Mary Fashion Show, with lunch beginning at noon, and the show shortly thereafter. Tickets will be available Oct. 1 at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center and are still only $18. For information, call Yvonne at 731-9324, or June at 731-5429.


Community News

Theatre Festival opens Friday in PSHS auditorium

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

The banner's up!

The schedule's set.

The annual Southwest Colorado Community Theatre Festival, hosted this year by The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters, will open tomorrow, Oct. 1, in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

Community theater groups from Crested Butte, Montrose, Paonia and Durango will be participating, as well as our own Music Boosters, in seminars and workshops for registered participants.

In addition, each group will present a theatrical production which will be open to the public for the small general admission fee of $2, payable at the door.

The performance schedule is as follows.

- 7:30 p.m., Friday, "Art", a premiere performance by the Durango Act Too Players in a three character satire on attitudes toward art;

- 9 p.m., Friday, A.P. Gurney's "Sylvia," produced by Montrose's Magic Circle Theatre, about a jealous wife and an anthropomorphic dog;

- 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2, "Greater Tuna," in which two actors portray many hilarious characters in a tiny Texas town, presented by the Crested Butte Mountain Theatre;

- 7:30 p.m., Saturday, "The Hills Are Alive ...", a reprise of the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters' joyous musical revue;

- 10 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 3: a mad melodrama, "The Perils of Paonia's Past or Will Fetch and Carry Get up and Go," will be performed by Paonia's Warehouse Playhouse.

With the exception of "The Hills Are Alive ...," these plays may contain adult language and situations.

For more information, call Michael at 731-5262.


Oktoberfest returns to benefit seniors

By April Owens

Special to The PREVIEW

October begins tomorrow and the third annual Oktoberfest is just around the corner - Oktober 16 to be precise.

This year's festivities kick off with a parade down U.S. 160 that ends up at the community center.

Next comes the main event - music, food, dancing, camaraderie, and a full evening of fun for the whole family.

The best oompah band in town will be back this year playing German music, and everyone is invited to sing along to such favorites as "Ach, du lieber Augustin" and "The Beer Barrel Polka." Zing-Along booklets are provided, so don't worry about trying to remember all the words!

This year's Oktoberfest will be bigger and better than ever, with more food and lower prices than last year. Adult and senior tickets include a full plate of German food and a 2004 commemorative Pilsner beer glass. The menu offers bratwurst, including vegetarian brats, German potato salad, and sauerkraut. Children's tickets include a hot dog, chips, and dessert.

Children love this event, especially doing the Chicken Dance. If you've never seen this dance, it is traditional Oktoberfest fare that gets the whole crowd laughing.

This year's celebration is 4:30- 9:30 p.m. at the community center. Tickets can be purchased at the senior center or Chamber of Commerce. Adult tickets are $13 in advance or $15 at the door; Senior tickets are $10, and tickets for children aged 5-12 are $8.

You can fill your new beer glass for a nominal fee at the Bier Garten (beer garden), and pick up one of last year's steins for only $2.50. Coffee and iced tea will be free; soda pop and bottled water will be available for only $1 each.

Oktoberfest is the biggest fund-raiser of the year for Archuleta Seniors, Inc., a non-profit organization at the Senior Foxes Den Senior Center.

All proceeds benefit the senior citizens of Archuleta County and help cover deficits in funding caused by shrinking federal and state program funds. What a fun way to support a great cause.


Student film to debut at theater festival

Successful performances and IML Awards received last spring by the PSHS cast of "The Bright Blue Mailbox Suicide Note" by Lindsay Price were the inspiration behind the documentary "BLUE" which will premiere at the Southwest Colorado Community Theatre Festival this weekend.

Filmmaker Clay Pruitt and director Dale Morris, along with the original one-act cast, spent the summer working to produce this student-run documentary.

There are plans to enter "BLUE" in several student film festivals, as well as to explore educational possibilities. "BLUE" will be shown at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, in the high school auditorium and is open to the public free of charge.


Jelly Beans and Squiggly Things after-school program

The Jelly Beans and Squiggly Things after-school club sponsored by Community Bible Church will open its third year Oct. 6 in Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

Hours will be 3:10-4:30 p.m. in Room 18 at the school.

Many of the participants have been with the program since its inception. Coordinators say time is well spent in music and games with the goal being in teaching lessons of lasting value and encouraging children to just "be who they are."

Call Tammy Searle at 731-3143 or Virginia Humphreys at 731-2937 for answers to any questions or for more information.

The staff says there are 11 ways the club helps meet the needs of today's child:

1. provides a safe place for a child one afternoon a week;

2. children feel cared about when an adult listens and accepts their feelings regardless of what they say;

3. helps alleviate some of the isolation and loneliness of being home alone after school;

4. a place a child can discuss feelings, values, philosophy or spiritual values;

5. brings a loving, caring, available, never-forsaking adult into the realm of everyday reality;

6. provides message of unconditional love;

7. provides an opportunity for forgiveness which is a difficult concept for children;

9. allows the child to begin to see value in himself or herself and learn they are loved;

10. provide direction and clarification of values for the child;

11. provides Bible lessons with real people who have both failed and succeeded.


Winter hours set at county's

landfill site

Archuleta County landfill hours, now 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, will change tomorrow.

That's when the winter schedule will start.

Winter hours will be the same on weekdays, but reduced to 10 a.m.-noon on Saturdays.

If you have a question concerning the hours, contact Clifford Lucero at 264-5660.


Wanted: One Witch with own costume and bewitching power

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

Goblin time is fast approaching and much remains to be done at the community center to assure kids a really fun time at the first-ever Community Center Halloween Party.

For example, the center is seeking a witch; only witches with own costume and bewitching power need apply.

Progress to date includes the following: The center will sponsor a costume contest with great prizes for Most Elaborate, Most Gruesome and Most Original. Members of the Arts Council will be present to do some spectacular face painting appropriate to the event.

We will have food - hot dogs and punch - thanks to the Kiwanis Club. The senior center and the teen center will get into the spirit in yet undefined but spooky ways.

Several other organizations are considering how they might get involved. We are still seeking individuals, organizations or businesses to sponsor additional games, activities, food, etc. We will keep you appraised as the scariest Halloween on record evolves.

The first meeting of Friends of the Community Center will be held at noon Oct. 13 in the center. Lunch will be served as Jan Brookshier introduces the mission and objectives of the organization. Election of officers and establishment of committees will follow.

All current members are invited and everyone interested in getting involved in our community is cordially invited.

Anyone out there looking for a place to meet? The community center multipurpose room is usually available during the mornings, 8 a.m.-noon and the center intends to offer it free of charge to groups seeking a place to meet.

Here is a place where all kindS of social events could take place and several at the same time since the room is so large. A sampling of interests includes - cards, board games, foreign language conversation, exercise, yoga, meditation, cooking, etc.

The community center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. All witches, potential Friends and Halloween revelers call Mercy or Pauline at 264-4152.


Churches plan annual joint Harvest Fest

Several area churches are again holding the annual Harvest Fest 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, in the gymnasium of Power House Youth Center.

The center is behind the Humane Society Thrift Store and across from the playing fields in Town Park.

Harvest Fest offers candy, balloons, games, prizes, food and refreshments for youngsters, preschool through sixth grade. Everything will be free except a $1.50 per plate hot dog dinner.

Costumes are optional at Harvest Fest, but are encouraged. However, it is asked that the costumes not portray evil.

A fun time is planned for all

For further information, call Donna at First Baptist Church, 731-9042.


Education center sets Oct. 9 Family Night

Parent and Child Together Family Night will be 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 9 at Archuleta County Education Center.

Hands-on activities dealing with housing will be the theme and a "build your own taco" dinner will be provided.

There is no cost for the event, but families should preregister by calling the center at 264-2835 by Oct. 5.


Here's your chance to learn the popular Country Two-step

By Marie Layton

Special to The PREVIEW

It's the dance every Pagosan needs to know - the Country Two-step. Learn it and you can dance everywhere you go.

Come learn with the In Step Dance Club 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, Wednesday, Oct. 13, Thursdays, Oct. 21 and 28 at the PLPOA Vista Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave.

A Halloween costume party at 8 p.m. follows the dance class Oct. 28 with games, prizes, dancing, music and best costume and best joke contests.

Dues are $20 per person or $30 per couple for the whole month. Singles without partners are welcome.

For information, call Deb Aspen at 731-3338.


King's Kids program opens series Oct. 6

"I'm Special - I'm a Child of the King," will be the theme for the annual King's Kids program beginning Wednesday, Oct. 6.

King's Kids will meet 7-8 p.m. every Wednesday through Nov. 7 in a seven-week program of Bible study sponsored by Church of Christ at 277 Lewis St.

It is designed to help children learn more about God's word and grow into better young people. All children, age 2 through sixth grade, are invited.

Six weeks of the program will be devoted to studying about how God made each person special. Topics will include: "I'm Special - God Made Me," "Sometimes I Get Mad," "I'm Special - God Loves Me," "Sometimes I'm Happy," "I'm Special - God Cares for Me" and "Sometimes I Feel Lonely."

Alternating weeks of study will look at how God made us special and how to deal with various emotions one may have. The seventh and final evening will feature an awards night.

Several local teen-agers and adults have been making preparations to teach the various age groups. Activities including singing, Bible study, games, prayer, crafts, refreshments and a visit from the always lovable puppets.

The Joy Bus will run to provide transportation in the downtown area.

For more information or to enroll your children call the church at 264-2552 or Dorman Diller, pastor, at 264-4454.


What does it mean to be a 'Born again UU?'

On Sunday, Oct. 3, at 10:30 a.m. educator and administrator, Dr. Peg Swartzkopf, will present a sermon for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship entitled "UU Born Again? Is It Possible?" Her presentation is based on a sermon first delivered by a prominent UU minister, the Reverend Jim Ellers.

What does it mean to be a "Born Again UU?" Ellers points out Unitarian Universalists tend to be self-defining. "We are people who find the less traveled paths. No wonder we have difficulty organizing ourselves."

Dr. Swartzkopf invites all "religious rebels, with your great talents and curious quirks," to come to this challenging exploration of UU doctrine, beliefs and activities.

The Fellowship meets in 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.


Fiesta Club announces Baile de Otono

The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club has announced plans for a Baile de Otono (Fall Dance) Friday, Oct. 8.

Entertainment will be by the popular band Latin Express and the dance will be hosted by Montezuma Vineyards. The band begins playing at 8 p.m. Cost is $20 per person.

All proceeds will benefit the club's community betterment efforts.

Viva la Fiesta!


Teens are learning new

videography techniques

By Karen Carpenter

Special to The PREVIEW

The video camera has been rolling. Teens say and do the darndest things, and then you put a camera in front of them.

Experience in interviewing, filming movement, panning and setting up the shot is a start. Many are beginning to think seriously about the content and what goes into a film production.

Friday night was movie night and "Mean Girls" was the title.

Pizza and hot dogs were served Saturday.

Jayme Lutz filled in Friday and Saturday while I was in the Midwest. Thank you very much Jayme.

Sign-up sheets are available if any teen would like to help with the Oct. 9 Fall Bash Dance, or with decorating and helping run a booth at the Community Halloween Party.

SWAP (School to Work Alliance Program) is now housed here in the Teen Center office. We are happy to have Chrys Figliolino working her program here where many teens spend their free time.

In the multipurpose room, Tuesday means volleyball. Frisbee football and basketball are played on other nights.

The Japanese club will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Friday night's movie will be "The Rock, Walking Tall." This is a solid action movie based on a true story. Rated PG-13.

Saturday's dinner has yet to be determined but I'm sure you will not be disappointed.

Two students from the junior high have requested to be on the advisory board. They are Jessica Martinez, age 13, and Patricia Stevens, age 14. The next advisory board meeting will be 5:30 p.m. Oct. 7.

Teen Center hours are 1-5 p.m. Mondays; 1-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 4-8 p.m. Saturday.

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


Texas pastor to lead revival at Mountain Heights

Dr. Howell W. Burkhead will lead Mountain Heights Baptist Church in a revival and spiritual renewal emphasis Oct. 3-6.

The pastor of First Baptist Church of Cleveland, Texas, he has been in the ministry since he was 15 and first began serving as pastor of a one-room country church while in high school. He preached his first revival when he was 16.

Joining him will be his wife, the former Tileta Johnson of Festus, Mo., an accomplished vocalist who has sung gospel professionally. They have two children, James, a junior at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, majoring in agriculture science and ranch management; and Emily May, a freshman at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas, majoring in elementary education.

Known as an entertaining and "down-to-earth" speaker, Rev. Burkhead loves getting to know people and learning from them. Although he has earned a doctor of philosophy degree, he is most comfortable being known as an "old-fashioned country preacher."

The revival services at Mountain Heights will begin 11 a.m. Sunday Oct. 3 and continue that evening and each following evening at 7 p.m. through Oct. 6. A potluck dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. on the last day.

For more information call the church at 731-4384 or 731-6515.


Local Chatter

Altitude, clear skies give us a clear view of man-made space objects

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

We are blessed with crystal-clear skies because of our high elevation. We are a mile and a half above sea level, therefore a mile and a half above the thickest part of the atmosphere, and also we have very little air pollution.

We can see the wonders of the heavens better than most other locations can and, also, we can see the wonders of man-made space shuttles and the new International Space Station commonly referred to as the ISS.

Although it has been in existence for some years, lots of people do not know that the NASA channel is now on Direct TV, the small satellite TV receiver channel 376. The NASA Channel offers complete coverage of U.S. and other countries space activities including space craft launches and landings, the ISS, and a variety of scholastic education for middle school level to real rocket scientists.

The NASA Channel has videos of past and present space activity. For instance, the recent Mars Rover Explorer mission was shown in detail and the space station astronaut activities, and the ongoing space station construction is shown daily.

The educational opportunities in science and math are extremely interesting because they are designed for youth - and classroom.

The NASA program for kids uses young actors and they are produced much like PBS educational shows.

Adults can watch the NASA news conferences. For instance, last week the news told of the discovery of several stars with earth size planets. This was the first time we have ever known that there were other "earths" out there.

The ISS is one of the brightest objects in the sky. It is brighter than any of the planets, but, of course, not as bright as the sun or the moon. All satellites that are visible can be seen shortly after sundown or shortly before sunrise. Some people are confused by lights in the skies - whether they are airplanes or satellites. Satellites do not blink. Planes have blinking lights. If you want to see the ISS, search on the Internet for NASA Skywatch, click on real time data and click on Durango, Colorado and you will receive the dates and time to look for it.

The ISS will be showing tonight, Sept. 30, at 8:13 p.m. Its next appearance will be 7:38 p.m. Oct. 2. It will be a very bright object slowly moving south to north. Good binoculars and a steady hand will help you see the shape of the ISS.

Also, on Oct. 11, a new crew will blast off from Russia, and they will arrive at ISS Oct. 13.

If you want the absolute best, go up to the Lobo Overlook at the top of Wolf Creek Pass. There isn't a bigger sky.

Fun on the run

(Repeated from last week when the punch line at end was inadvertently omitted. Several readers have asked "What happened?" So here it is, in full.)

When the minister picked up the phone, Special Agent Struzik from the IRS was on the line.

"Hello, is this the minister?"

"Yes, this is."

"I'm calling to inquire about a member of your congregation, a Dr. Shipe. Do you recognize the name?"

"Yes, he is a member of our congregation. How can I be of service?"

"Well, on last year's tax return, the doctor claimed that he made a sizable tax-deductible contribution to your church. Is this true?"

"Well, I'll have to have our bookkeeper verify this information for you. How much did Dr. Shipe say he contributed?"

"Twenty-five thousand dollars," answered Agent Struzik. "Can you tell me if that amount is true?"

There was a long pause. "I'll tell you what," replied the minister. "Call back tomorrow. I'm sure it will be."



Senior News

Flu shots for seniors scheduled Oct. 13

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

Fall means flu shot season!

San Juan Basin Health personnel will be here 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 to give shots to our seniors.

The cost is $20 or free if you have Medicare Part B. Please bring your card for proof. Avoid a bug this winter and get your shot.

Dr. Richard Shildt gave a presentation about skin cancer to a full house Sept. 20. Everyone was very pleased to see a doctor give a talk and asked a lot of good questions.

We thank Dr. Shildt for giving us his time.

Dru Sewell will be doing nail care on Fridays starting at 11 a.m. She was here last week and a couple of the men asked for pedicures. I think they were joking, but bear in mind, Dru will only do hands. Come in for a free file and paint job.

The third annual Oktoberfest is just around the corner - Oct. 16 to be precise. This year's festivities kick off with a parade down U.S. 160 that ends up at the community center. Next comes the main event - music, food, dancing, camaraderie and full evening of fun for the whole family.

Be a part of the excitement of Oktoberfest by volunteering. There are many ways to help out, and right now we are asking for people to sign up for making cookies. Our sign up list is in the dining room, just tell us your name and how many cookies you want to bring for Oktoberfest. You can also sign up for other positions as well, call Susi at 731-0866.

Andy Fautheree will be here at noon Oct. 1 to answer any questions you may have on veteran's benefits.

We will be starting a basic computer class in October. It will be on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

Don't forget the Seeds of Learning kids will be here Tuesday, Oct. 5, to sing to us.

They are also good at giving hugs afterward, but if you need more excitement on a Tuesday, be sure to show up at 1 p.m. for Game Day. We'll play any card or board game we have and with enough people will even play Bingo (with prizes).

We moved our Fall Colors Tour up to today, as the frost speeded up the colors.

We encourage you to get up to the high country as soon as you can to enjoy the fall.

One of our seniors has four upholstered, high backed chairs for sale. They are mauve in color and only $14.95 each. Call Phyl Daleske at 731-4589 for more information.

Water workouts splash

Pools aren't just for swimming laps. In fact, more and more of the physical activities we do on land are starting to make a splash in the water - walking, running, aerobics, ballet, even yoga and Tai Chi. In 1996, about 5 million people were taking some kind of aquatics class. Today that number is 10 million and growing. A lot of land movements are moving into the water because you're less weight bearing in water, which reduces the chances of injury. For instance, when you exercise in waist deep water, it supports half your weight, which lessens the impact of the exercise on your body. At neck level, water supports about 90 percent of your body's weight.

Other benefits to low-impact water workouts are:

- improvement to your posture, balance and flexibility;

- increased strength and muscle tone since water provides natural resistance during your workout;

- reduced risk of overheating during exercise;

- lessened pain and increased freedom of movement;

- prevents you from falling.

Water workouts generally are safe for most people, but since water pressure on your body can initially spike your blood pressure, you should ease your way into deeper water if your blood pressure is high. Also because water adds resistance to your movements, you also should be careful not to change them too quickly or forcefully, which could overtax your bones and muscles. Wearing aquatic shoes will improve your footing and help prevent scrapes on your feet.

An hour of brisk water walking can burn as many as 500 calories, about the same as running or walking a 10- to 11-minute mile. So what are you waiting for? Grab your swimsuit and dive in.

- Excerpt from AARP

Help! Our volunteers are leaving or are becoming too busy. We need more help in getting meals out to our homebound seniors. If you are willing to fill a vital need in our community, please call Musetta at 264-2167 and volunteer.

Our new sweatshirts are available and are they ever nice, they'll be warm and cuddly for the winter and will make great gifts too. The sweatshirts are $20, call and place your order today.

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center is run with state and federal funds as well as some monies from the county and a few private donations to fill in the gaps.

The state budget has been decreased and with the growing Silver Fox population and expansion of services into Arboles we are asking for your assistance. It's that time of year again that we ask you to consider donating to keep your "Den" alive.

Your donation is tax deductible and very much appreciated. Donations can be sent to the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, P.O. Box 1507, Pagosa Springs, Co. 81147.


Friday, Oct. 1 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; nail care by Dru, 11 a.m.; veteran's benefits with Andy Fautheree, noon; pinochle, 1 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 4 - Medicare and drug card counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 5 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; Seeds of Learning kids sing, 11 a.m; Game Day, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 6 - Canasta, 1 p.m

Friday, Oct. 8 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; nail care by Dru, 11 a.m.; blood pressure check, 11 a.m. and pinochle, 1 p.m.


Friday, Oct. 1 - Oven fried chicken, rice pilaf, gravy, asparagus, whole wheat roll and almond peaches.

Monday, Oct, 4 - Baked cod fillet, hash brown casserole, turnip greens, dinner roll and Mandarin oranges with oatmeal cookie.

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

Wednesday, Oct. 6 - Braised beef, parsleyed potatoes, spinach, muffin and mixed fruit.

Friday, Oct. 8 - Orange chicken, wild rice, broccoli, whole wheat roll, spiced applesauce and chocolate chip cookie.


Chamber News

Music Boosters host theatre festival at PSHS this weekend

By Sally Hameister

SUN Columnist

This weekend, we will experience another first for Pagosa Springs when the Music Boosters host the annual Southwest Colorado Community Theatre Festival with folks from Crested Butte, Montrose, Paonia and Durango.

In the past, our Music Boosters have taken to the road to attend this festival, but this time it's our turn and I'm sure our guests have a number of treats in store for them. Festival attendees will be invited to 11 workshops conducted by local theatre people including such interesting topics as Original Playwriting, Effective Auditions, Physical Comedy, The Art of Creative Costuming, Yoga and Anyone Can Dance to name a few. The conference keynote speaker is well-known film and stage producer, Edgar Lansbury, so clearly there will be no shortage of talent at this festival.

The public is invited to attend performances, albeit slightly shortened, of each group's biggest hit of season, and you have five opportunities to enjoy what is sure to be the crème de le crème. Each show will be approximately an hour long. You definitely won't want to miss our own Music Boosters' performance of "The Hills Are Alive Š" presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Oct. 2, in the high school auditorium. There will be a $2 admission charge for all shows.

The performances begin at the auditorium 7:30 p.m. Friday Oct. 1, with the Durango Act Too Players' production of "Art" followed by the Montrose Magic Circle Theatre entry, "Silvia" at 9.

At 4 p.m. Saturday, you will be treated to "Greater Tuna" presented by the Crested Butte Mountain Theatre, and at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3, the Paonia Warehouse Playhouse will present "The Perils of Paonia's Past or Will Fetch and Carry Get Up and Go." The really cool thing about these productions is that after each performance, audience members have the opportunity to meet cast members and offer comments or ask questions about the individual shows.

I can't remember when $2 could buy so much entertainment, and I hope you will take advantage of these wonderful performing arts offerings and the opportunity to meet and greet our guests from other communities. Please be aware that some of these presentations may contain adult language and situations, and, therefore, may not be suitable fare for children. "The Hills Are AliveŠ" is the exception and totally suitable for the entire family.

Witches and goblins

Even though it's a month away, it's time to start planning for the big Halloween party hosted by the community center 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. All local youngsters are invited to attend and participate in the costume contest as well as the food, games and activities with prizes galore.

The good folks at the community center are looking for organizations and businesses interested in sponsoring a food booth or any of the activities and/or games that evening. This promises to be a great evening for the young and the young at heart to dress up and enjoy the party together. Please give some thought to sponsoring an activity that night and call Mercy or Pauline at 264-5232 to offer your services.

Samurai Academy

Master Dan Gnos is proud to announce the grand opening of the second location of the Pagosa Samurai Academy, 6: 30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the PLPOA Recreation Center on Park Avenue. Please join them to congratulate them on their second location and to enjoy refreshments and demonstrations. If you would like more information, please contact Dan or Sandy Gnos at 731-2160. Congratulations to the Pagosa Samurai Academy.

"The Nutcracker"

Remember that Saturday, Nov. 13, is the annual Immaculate Heart of Mary fashion show and luncheon beginning at noon at the Parish Hall. This year's delightful theme is "The Nutcracker" featuring music provided by John Graves with dancing honors performed by local ballerinas. Our Pagosa merchants will supply the very latest fashions, and Dahrl Henley can always be counted upon to serve only the finest and tastiest food around. It's always a beautifully executed event and tons of fun.

Tickets are still only $18 and can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce beginning tomorrow, Oct. 1. Don't procrastinate on this one because this event will sell out very quickly as it has done every year, and you will miss a perfectly lovely event. Should you want to put together a table of ten, you must first purchase the tickets and then call Mary Daltroff at 731-5121 to reserve the table in your name.

The door prizes donated by our local merchants at this luncheon are always outstanding and feel free to call Chairwoman Yvonne Ralston at 731-9324 or June Geisen at 731-5429 if you would like to donate an item or two. Plan to attend this wonderful annual luncheon and bring all your friends.

Baile de Otono

The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club is happy to announce the 2004 Baile do Otono (Fall Dance) on Friday, Oct. 8, at Montezuma's Vineyards and Restaurant. This wonderful celebration begins at 8 p.m. and the entertainment will be provided by the popular band, Latin Express. The cost for this festive evening is $10 per person, and all proceeds will benefit the Spanish Fiesta Club's efforts in the community. Please plan to join the party Oct. 8 and support our Spanish Fiesta Club. Viva la Fiesta!


It's hard to believe that October has rolled around once again, and it's time for the annual Oktoberfest sponsored by the Archuleta Seniors, Inc. 4:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. The price of admission includes a commemorative glass beer stein and traditional German cuisine including grilled bratwursts, sauerkraut, hot German potato salad and, of course, German beer. As if that weren't enough, cookies, brownies and hot coffee will top off the evening for you.

If you have attended this event, you know that we will be entertained by local musicians who specialize in authentic lively German music and that everyone is invited to join in the group dances, the chicken dance and just about anything else they happen to dream up. It's a family affair offering everyone the opportunity to socialize, dance and eat in the great tradition of an authentic German Oktoberfest. Tickets for this event will be available soon at the Chamber of Commerce and the Community Center for $13 presale for adults ($15 at the door), $10 for seniors and $8 for children.

2005 SunDowners

For those who have expressed an interest in hosting a 2005 SunDowner, tomorrow morning is your big chance to claim one for your very own. If you want a particular month, we encourage you to arrive at the Visitor Center around 7 a.m. to await the "opening of the doors" at 8 a.m. SunDowners are awarded strictly on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you are the first to arrive on the porch, you will have your pick of the litter. Please keep in mind that there are only 10 available months due to the Chamber hosting both January and September. Good luck and may the best man/woman/business/organization/church/nonprofit win.


We have a banner week with two new members, one new owner and seven renewals. We just love it when we receive our membership forms and renewals and are even more pleased to share their names and businesses with you.

Lisa Sandoval joins us first this week with A Touch of Home at 2035 Eagle Drive. A Touch of Home offers all you can imagine in the home accents department: clocks, mirrors, wine racks, picture frames, tables, candles and candle holders, fireplace screens, chess sets and much, much more. You'll just have to go in and see for yourself all the amazing goodies Lisa has to offer, or you can give her a call at 731-1115 to learn more about A Touch of Home.

Our second new member is someone who has faithfully attended our SunDowners in recent months and is joining as a Real Estate Broker Associate with Adventure Real Estate. We're happy to welcome Earl S. Greenwood III who represents both buyers and sellers for all types of properties. Earl contends that life is an adventure and encourages you to start living your adventure today by calling him at 731-0480.

We couldn't be more pleased to welcome our next new member with a brand-new name for an existing business. Sandy Caves is an old friend of the Chamber who is beginning a new adventure in life - ownership of Kid and Kaboodle (formerly The Pagosa Kid) at 472 Pagosa Street. Kid and Kaboodle will offer a wide range of fun and educational toys for kids of all ages, and you can go in and check it out or give a call at 264-9334. Stop by and congratulate Sandy when she takes the helm Oct. 1.

Our renewals this week include Connie Prunty with CenturyTel; Puja and Udgar Parsons with Growing Spaces; Justin Davis with SkyWerx Internet Services; Kerry Dermody with Echo Canyon Ranch Association; Mary and Chamber Board Director Poor Don McKeehan with Old West Press; the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church; and Ronny and Doc Doctor with the Alpenglow Cabins. We thank you one and all.


Veteran's Corner

New rules for use of VA health care cars

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

Quite a few of our Archuleta County veterans make use of the Veterans VA Health Care transportation vehicle.

A list of approved drivers is kept in the dispatch office of the Archuleta County Sheriff's office.

Veterans using the vehicle pick up the keys and drop them off at dispatch, regardless of the hour, since it is manned 24/7. The dispatch person on duty verifies the veteran is on the approved driver list before giving them the keys to the vehicle.

Approved list

The process of getting on the approved driver's list includes filling out forms here in the Veterans Service Office and obtaining verification the veteran's Colorado driver's license is clear and valid.

One of the forms is a waiver of liability for the county in case the driver is injured while using the VSO vehicle. The other form has been a release form allowing the sheriff's office to verify the veteran's driver's license is clear and valid.

However, I have been informed the sheriff's office can no longer check driver's licenses except for law enforcement purposes. Checking licenses for driver approval of county-owned vehicles programs such as ours does not conform to the laws governing use of that information, even though we have a release of information form.

New rules

Users of vehicles who are not on the existing list will have to provide their own driving record on their Colorado driver's license to this office.

This proof can be obtained at any state driver's license office, including the office next to mine. However, the license office in Pagosa Springs is only open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. New drivers will need to allow adequate time to obtain this information before the appointment date and use of the VSO vehicle.

The veteran can also obtain their driving record report at the Durango driver's license office 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The number for the Durango office is 247-4591.

Driving record

A copy of the report must be submitted to this office prior to use of the vehicle if you are not already on the list. I understand the license office charges $2.20 for a license driving record. The driver's license holder must request the driving record. Anyone else must have a written and signed note by the license holder authorizing release of the driving record. I understand a printout of the driving record can be obtained while you wait.

Those veterans and drivers already on the approved list will need to provide this office with an updated driving record on an annual basis, following the procedures outlined above.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located 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 afautheree@ The office is open from 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.


Library News

New book seen as wake-up

call for ship monitoring

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

"The Outlaw Sea: a World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime," by William Langewiesche, explores the ocean world that covers more than three fourths of our globe, and the enterprises legal and illegal that flourish in the vast wet wilderness.

If we are truly concerned about terrorists attacking us here at home, we should be putting more of our efforts into policing the international shipping industry.

Did you know that Osama bin Laden is said to own or control up to 20 freighters known as the "al Qaeda Navy"? How easy is it to transport a variety of dangerous materials anywhere? The railroad type containers stacked high on ships can carry anything from smuggled humans, to drugs to nuclear devices with small chance of being discovered, and there is very little we can do about it.

Forty-three thousand massive ships sail the open ocean with little or no regulation, carrying nearly all the raw materials and products we depend upon. Many are owned by one-ship companies so obscure they exist only on paper.

Many ships are without allegiance of any kind, changing identity and nationality at will. Free enterprise taken to extremes.

Global problems now exist with shipwrecks, pollution, piracy and the maritime form of the new stateless terrorism. Langewiesche gives us surprises and astonishing observations of a place rarely seen.

The author also exposes the grim circumstances surrounding the disposal of old ships in the Third World and reasons for the hatred of the U.S. and other western countries. He makes the case that shipping is like the larger world in which it operates, an inherently disorderly affair, existing mostly beyond the reach of nations and their laws Š it is an amoral and stubbornly anarchic one.

This book is a wake-up call and explains that no matter who is in office come November, the ocean - like the world - is terribly difficult to police, and right now, both are impossible.

Voter registration

Forms can be picked up at the library. When filled out, they must be taken to the county clerk's office.

Raffle tickets

We have some great raffle items this year: a painting by Milt Lewis; a quilt from the Pagosa Piece Makers; money wreath and money basket, each with $50, and many other items. These will be raffled off at the Civic Club Bazaar Nov. 6. Tickets are $1 each, or six for $5. All proceeds will go toward the library building fund.

The raffle items will be on display at the library. Tickets can be purchased from any Civic Club member, or at the library.

Civic Club Bazaar

The one-day event will be held at the community center again this year. Artists and crafters will have their holiday season wares ready. There will be the usual good food served, and the tasty baked goods.

Mark your calendars for this fun day.


Thanks for financial help from the Chamber of Commerce. They keep a collection jar and tourists donate to our building fund.

Thanks for materials from Gerlinde Ehni, Joe Naus, Stan Stocki, Jim and Margaret Wilson, Cynthia Sharp, Ron Tinsley, Stevie Erickson, David Hibner, Scotty Gibson and Cindi Mortensen.


Arts Line

Six local artists in gallery show opening tonight

By Leanne Goebel

PREVIEW Columnist

Local artists Cappy White, David Smith, Donna Davis, Will Dunbar, Tim Reiter and Will Garcia will exhibit their work at the gallery in Town Park.

A reception for the artists is scheduled 5-7 p.m. today with food by Jean Smith. On display will be custom-made furniture, hand-turned wooden bowls, carved wall hangings, wooden-framed mirrors inlaid with stone and other gorgeous items for the artful home.

'Healing' highlights

The Colorado Council on the Arts (CCA) was created in 1967 by an act of the Colorado State Legislature, to stimulate arts development in the state, to assist and encourage artists and arts organization, and to help make the arts more accessible to the people of Colorado.

With public funds derived from an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Council has helped cultivate artists, arts organizations, and cultural opportunities enjoyed by million of Coloradans each year.

Elaine Mariner, executive director for the CCA, spoke at "Healing the Arts in Colorado." The CCA envisions a future in which the Council is viewed as a strong and reliable public voice for the advancement of the arts in the state, "establishing the paramount position of this state in the nation and in the world as a cultural center" (CRS 23-9 102.1g). We envision a state where the arts are part of everyday life, where Coloradans recognize and honor the entire range of cultural and artistic expression and where the arts are energetically promoted as an essential component of education excellence. We envision a state where artistic opportunities are available to all Coloradans, whether they live in urban or rural areas; and where the arts are fully integrated into community life, including strategies for economic development, health and social services, education, tourism and government. We envision a state where citizens create, participate in, and appreciate the arts.

The Council continues to offer opportunities like: Youth Reach, a funding program for providing culture programs for at risk youth; the Online Poetry Project; Learning Network; and Ties that Bind, a cultural heritage program. Other cultural heritage programs include the maintenance of three regional folklorists and the Scenic Byways Project. The CCA is a huge resource center and their Web site provides an online calendar of events, resources for performing, visual, and literary arts, an online grants workshop, and a list of arts councils. Other programs the council provides are peer assistance and a list of experts from around the state who are available to make presentations. Then there is the art in public places allocation of one percent of capital construction funds for new or renovated state buildings for the acquisition of works of art for the project site.

And of course the continuation of the grants to artists and arts organizations. CCA granted $701,547 to organizations around the state for valuable programming that benefits the economic development of the communities in which they exist. Regionally, groups such as Music in the Mountains, the Durango Arts Center, the San Juan Symphony, A Theatre Group in Silverton, Creede Repertory Theatre, the Durango Choral Society, Durango Community Access Television, the Town of Mancos, and of course Folk West, Inc. all received funding from the Council.

In Pagosa Springs, Music in the Mountains and Folk West, Inc. bring people to our town to stay, to eat and to shop. Let's hope the funding for these important cultural events continues well into the future.

Contemporary issues

DECAF (Durango Exhibitions and Contemporary Arts Forum) a contemporary art advocacy group, provides artists an opportunity to engage in contemporary art issues and practices including installation and performance works.

Artists or patrons interested in promoting the visibility and understanding of contemporary art through exhibitions, performances, happenings and educational event can call Jules Masterjohn at 382-0756 for more information.

Ongoing workshops

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

Upcoming workshops

Writing Workshop with Mary Sojourner, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 2, in Durango. Mary Sojourner will shape this workshop to fit the longings and gifts of ten writers-to-be, journal-keepers, daily writers, those who will, can, and MUST write. You will write for most of the time. Talk and Theory have their place, but not in Mary's writing circles. There will be room for jump-starts, honing of craft (character development, writing tight transitions, letting dialogue come alive), for moving into the stories you have meant to tell, the poems that ache and sing in your blood.

A 64-year-old writer and writing teacher, Mary Sojourner is the author of the short story collection, "Delicate" an essay collection, "Bonelight: Ruin and Grace in the New Southwest"; the memoir/meditation, "Solace: Rituals of Loss and Desire"; and the forthcoming novel, "Going Through Ghosts." Mary moved to Flagstaff 19 years ago with two intentions: to fight for Southwestern land and community and to write.

She keeps those promises on a daily basis. Mary lives in a scrap wood cabin with no running water, a woodstove, a computer, and only a little more solitude than is necessary for the work. You will need to bring a chair, a notebook, writing implements and intention. We'll work 9 a.m.-noon, take a two-hour lunch break and resume working from 2-5 p.m. Group size is limited to 10, so please register early.

To register, contact Mary at or send a check to Mary Sojourner, 7409 Old Munds Highway, Flagstaff, AZ 86001. Cost $100.

Durango Inkslingers' 10th Anniversary Workshop, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9 in Durango Arts Center, 802 E. 2nd Ave., Durango. Featuring three notable writers: Lisa Lenard-Cook, Candelora Versace and Pete Warzel, the workshop is designed for writers interested in professional advice from experts in the field and for interested readers as well.

Lisa Lenard-Cook's first novel "Dissonance" won the Jim Sagel Award for the Novel and is the 2004 selected book for Durango-LaPlata Reads! UNM Press has just published her second novel, "Coyote Morning." Lenard-Cook will conduct a workshop entitled "Naked Dreams: Why Writers Don't Write." She will show participants how to explore ambivalence about writing, help them identify personal writing saboteurs and to give themselves permission to write.

Candelora Versace is an award-winning 13-year veteran of the Santa Fe freelance writing community and current editor of Southwest Book Views, a literary book review magazine. Her credits include New Mexico Magazine, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Art of the West and more. Her presentation, "The Truth About Freelance Writing," will tell writers what the how-to books don't tell about managing time, professional relationships and finances.

Pete Warzel balances two distinct sides of a working life, writing and business. He has published fiction, poetry and non-fiction articles in national magazines. He is the recipient of the 2000 National Council of Literature Fiction Award. His talk, "Putting the Writer in the Writing," will help writers cross over from the clinical approach to writing, to integrating the writer's voice into the story, elevating the quality of the work.

In addition to the workshop sessions, participants will have an opportunity to network with the speakers over the included private luncheon catered by Steamworks Brewing Co.

Cost for the workshop is $50 per person, $35 for current paid members of the Durango InkSlingers. Space is limited and advance reservations are suggested. Make checks payable to Durango Arts Center and mail to InkSlingers Writers' Workshop, c/o the Durango Arts Center, 802 E. Second, Durango, CO 81301. For further information call 259-6145 or 259-5883.

FLC workshops

"An Introduction to Art History," 6-7:30 p.m. Mondays, Oct. 11-Nov.15. In this course you will discuss art history, the elements of art and principles of design, various media, and art interpretation with Terry Hobbs a visiting instructor in Fort Lewis College's Department of Art.

"Master Class in Oil Painting," 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Oct. 14-Nov. 18. This course is designed to provide intermediate level students with an even deeper foundation of oil painting. You will be provided a sound understanding of materials and techniques in the use of color and design, as well as the varied ways the combination of all of these elements may be used to foster the student's personal visual expressions. Class projects will include still-life work, portrait and/or self-portrait work, landscape work, exterior/interior work, and copy/inclusion work. Intermediate painting skills are necessary. John Maxon is a visiting instructor of art in the Fort Lewis College Department of Art. As an artist in the fields of drawing, painting, and sculpture, Maxon has had many solo as well as group exhibitions in not only galleries but also museums across the country.

"How to Get Your Book Published," 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 23. Learn the elements of -and how to write - a convincing query letter; the fundamentals of a compelling book proposal; how to find, and deal with, a literary agent; which publishers to approach for different genres of books; the basics of a publishing contract - advances, rights, royalties, copyright, sales, marketing, etc.; and much more. William R. Gray was a writer, editor, photographer, and publisher for more than 30 years with the National Geographic Society.

For more information, please contact Fort Lewis College Extended Studies Program at 247-7385, or visit them on campus at 450 Berndt Hall, e-mail or logon to, click on Community & Culture then Extended Studies.

Workshop ideas wanted

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

Gallery Gift Shop

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

Artist opportunities

Deadline today! 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. Sculptures will be delivered to the chosen artists no later than Jan. 1, 2005.

"Spirit in Hand" holiday exhibit and sale at Durango Arts Center, Dec. 14-24. "Spirit in Hand" is an opportunity for fine craftspeople and local artists to share their inspired and creative work with the community during the holiday season. This juried sale will feature fine crafts and arts in the Barbara Conrad Gallery.

Artists creating original, unique gift items in ceramics, jewelry, fiber, metal, glass, wood, paper, calligraphy, photography, sculpture, printmaking, painting, and drawing are invited to apply. Fine craft items are the focus of the sale. No reproductions or color copies allowed. Items should range in price from $15-$350. Participants should plan to have a minimum of 12 items in the sale, with additional back stock available. A maximum of four slides or photographs must be submitted for the selection process. Applications must be received by Oct. 22. Entry fee is $15 for DAC members and $30 for nonmembers. Contact DAC at 259-2606 or e-mail

"Durango Arts & Crafts Conference, Oct. 22-24 at the Strater Hotel. For information, contact Renate Widder, 699 Main Avenue, Durango, CO 81301 or call (866) 453-0005 or e-mail


Sept. 30 - Pumas on Parade design deadline.

Sept. 30 - Woodworking exhibit opens at PSAC Gallery in Town Park.

Sept. 30-Oct. 2 - Durango Cowboy Gathering. Call 382-7494 or visit www.DurangoCowboy

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.


Food for Thought

Outsourcing our way to garam masala

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

"Massive Debt Credit Card Inc. customer service department: This is Denise, may I help you."

"Well, yes, Denise, you can. I just received a bill from your employers for a service charge. The bill is for three dollars and thirty-five cents and payment was due last week - three days before I received the bill in the mail."

"No problem sir, we can delete any late fee you may have been charged. We apologize for the inconvenience."

"Well, Denise, that is the lesser of my problems. You see, I have not had a Massive Debt credit card for nearly two years. I believe if you check your records, you will see I paid my balance and all additional, sneaky hidden charges and cancelled the card almost two years ago."

Thus begins what is an increasingly common interaction for the American consumer.

It has nothing to do with a false charge on a nonexistent credit card. It could just as well concern a phone directory information request, or a customer service call to one of numerous corporations.

This interaction deals with one of the big bugaboos of our time - with outsourcing. The stuff which gives birth to political fever.

You see, despite her best efforts to conceal it - and I laud her for her accomplishment - "Denise" cannot completely hide her accent.

Her Indian accent.

That's right: Massive Debt Credit Card Inc. has joined the rush to the Indian subcontinent, moving its telecom services to India. Denise, AKA Rani, has taken some intense language modification classes and is on the line with American customers from 1 to 9 a.m., Bombay time.


It's pretty clear: they are stealing all the great minimum wage, no-benefit jobs. And they are doing outstanding work (unless of course you attempt to get a phone number in a town the name of which they can't spell - like Abiquiu. A name like this really throws an Indian operator for a loop.)

"Denise, may I ask you a question?"

"Of course, sir. We are able to address most of your inquiries. Particular questions about company policy and all investment questions, however, must be addressed by another department."

"It's nothing like that, Denise. All I want to ask is, Where are you?"

"Our billing center is in Columbus, Ohio."

"So you are in Columbus, Ohio?"

"That is the location of our processing center, yes. We have our corporate headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware."

"Denise, come clean. You are not in Columbus or Wilmington, are you? Tell me, where are you, right now, at this moment? And while you're at it, tell me your real name."

I hear Denise take a deep breath. This is followed by a moment of meaningful silence.


"Yes sir?"

"The call is monitored, isn't it?"

More meaningful silence. I listen for the sound of a tabla in the background, a bit of East Indian muzak.


"Yes sir?"

"I think you've done a marvelous job capturing the middle American accent. You sound like you are from St. Louis. Perhaps East St. Louis, but definitely from the general area."

"Thank you, sir. We will be happy to deal with the mistaken service charge and we will ask our billing department to check on the cancellation of your account."

"The overnight hours must be a killer. How do you deal with working through the night?"

"Good day, sir."

My encounter with Denise gets me thinking about Indian food. I wonder what dishes Denise brings with her to her little cubicle, what she nibbles as she smoothes her shiny black hair, adjusts her headset and takes yet another in an seemingly endless series of calls from debt-burdened idiots in the U.S. If I only knew how to reach her at Massive Debt Inc. I would call back and ask.

Chances are her meals are pretty fragrant, topped off, perhaps, with one of those odd desserts.

All this reminds me of a cookbook I read the other night: "Jasmine in Her Hair," by Huma Siddiqui, printed by White Jasmine Press.

In the book, Saddiqui gives the reader some brief insights into Pakistani life (nothing about caves and jihad or anything like that) and provides a number of outstanding Pakistani recipes - which, to my untutored eye, seem little different from many standard Indian recipes. But, what do I know? The bulk of my experience with things Pakistani has to do with a weekly playing of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's CD "Rapture." I like to listen to the incomparable "Sab Vird Karo Allah Allah," my all-time Qawalli favorite. I do so with the aid of headphones: I wouldn't want suspicious neighbors making a call to the Office of Homeland Security.

The similarity between the Pakistani recipes in the book and many ordinary Indian recipes means there is one ingredient that appears regularly in Siddiqui's writing: garam masala. If you want to produce any dish that faintly resembles an Indian or Pakistani creation, chances are you need to have some garam masala on hand.

You can buy this concoction at a specialty store (there's a stale imitation offered in the supermarket spice section) or you can descend to the depths and purchase a mess of cruddy curry powder and fuel your taste tank with its sad and bitter flavor. But why bother when you can make your own garam masala? Even tailor-make it to your own taste?

I bet Denise makes her own. I bet her sari reeks of the stuff.

Garam masala is a generic term that, for our purposes, can mean "mix of spices." The variations are numerous but most contain several common elements, most of which can be purchased at the local grocery. The only other thing needed is a small electric coffee grinder. This grinder will forever be used to grind spices - never coffee. Violate this rule and you will have a coffee experience you will never forget, and that you will never want to repeat.

Standard for the mix are cardamom seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds (preferably black cumin) cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, whole black peppercorns and nutmeg.

Try this: Take two tablespoons each of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds and black peppercorns, one three-inch cinnamon stick (broken into pieces) and one teaspoon whole cloves and put the spices into a heavy, dry pan over medium high heat. Toast the spices for up to 10 minutes, until they are noticeably fragrant. Empty into a large, shallow bowl or put on a plate and cool completely. Grind and add a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg and mix.

The blend can be stored in a tightly sealed jar and will be good for a couple months.

If you don't use it up sooner.

The trick is to never overdo it with the garam masala. This is pungent stuff and too much of it - as with the average cook's use of curry powder - can run a recipe off the road and into the proverbial bridge abutment.

I am reminded of this as I read Siddiqui's book. In it she offers a recipe for chicken tikka. I've eaten chicken tikka many times, in many places, among them an Indian cafe in Old Town Pasadena, a delightful third-story dive on 46th Street in midtown Manhattan and the marvelous but somewhat scary Anwar's near the University of London. When the tikka is good, it's capable of transporting the diner to a higher realm. When it is not good - perhaps there is too much garam masala? - the chicken should not have died.

Chicken tikka is nothing more than meat marinated in a yogurt-based, spiced sauce, then roasted in the oven.

The yogurt marinade tenderizes the meat, transporting the spices to the core of the flesh. The roasting browns and caramelizes things to a state of golden goodness (many Indian restaurants add red food coloring to heighten the experience).

Here is Siddiqui's recipe.

Take six skinned, boneless chicken breasts put them in a glass dish and coat with the following: one cup plain yogurt to which you add one teaspoon of garam masala, a half teaspoon each of chile powder, ground cumin and salt, and a quarter cup chopped cilantro. Rub the marinade into the meat, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350, put the chicken breasts in a roasting pan and drizzle the top of the breasts with a bit of olive oil. Cook for an hour. Garnish with more cilantro and with thinly sliced white or red onion.

Give Siddiqui's version of raita a try and use it and some basmati rice as sides with the tikka. To two cups yogurt add a half-teaspoon ground cumin, a teaspoon whole cumin, a quarter teaspoon each of chile powder and salt and a quarter cup chopped cilantro. I recommend adding a quarter to a half cup of chopped, seeded cucumber to the mix. Refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor.

The added bonus to food spiced this way, with the addition of garam masala, is the way the kitchen smells during the cooking process.

A lot like a Bombay phone boiler room on a hot and humid night.


Education News


By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

No column this week.


Cruising with Cruse

Touring Holland (Mich.) by bus lights no bulbs

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

On my recent Elderhostel cruise/tour, a program called Lake Michigan and Beyond, the first port of call was the quaint little town of Holland, on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.

Tourism is probably the biggest business there. The city orders and plants something like 6 million new tulip bulbs every year, for the spring Tulip Festival, which draws over 2 million people.

If you miss the festival, you can still go to one of several attractions with a Dutch theme. We were taken to Windmill Island, which boasts a genuine operating mill, imported from Holland (the one in Europe).

There's a small canal and a couple of bridges. Earnest young klompen dancers in historic regional costumes performed for us, clogging away in their wooden shoes. There were little shops that looked like the old country, although not like Amsterdam. In them you could buy authentic souvenirs, made in many different countries.

There were flowers everywhere but, in August, no tulips.

This is the face that Holland (the one in Michigan) wants you to see.

However, since my suitcase had not made the trip, I had to shop at a real store for real clothes. I wanted to get to the real Holland - the shopping mall, with K Mart, WalMart, Target and JC Penney stores -all those places where the residents go when they're not entertaining the tourists.

I persuaded our tour group leader to let me get off the bus, after taking a solemn oath to be back before the ship sailed at 5. "We're heading back downtown now," our leader Roger announced, "but first we have to make one little stop." And the bus swung into the mall area and pulled up in front of Penney's. I heard mutterings from the back of the bus. "Where in heck is he taking us?"

Coming home, I took the local Holland bus service. Now, THAT was an experience not shared by your average tourist.

There was a little glass-fronted shelter outside the mall, where a black woman waited. We smiled at each other. "Hello, how are you?" She answered, "I'm blessed. Every day I get up is a blessed day." Can't argue with that.

The Red Line bus arrived. The driver said I should wait for the Blue Line bus, and he checked on the radio to find out how long I'd wait. About 5 minutes. I got back off the bus and we waited some more.

I had just bought a combination backpack/wheeled suitcase to carry my clothing purchases. It also contained a lunchbox (which I'd left in the store) and a shoulder bag. I didn't think I wanted that either. So I pulled it out of the pack and showed it to my companion. "Do you know anyone who can use this?"

Her face lit up. "Oh, I could use that for my missionary work. I could put my papers in here, and this pocket is just the right size for my Bible. Oh, thank you. Thank you, Jesus."

When the Blue Line bus arrived, the driver disappeared. A red-haired woman with an Irish accent got off to smoke a cigarette. "He's gone to the bathroom," she said. She and the black woman got to talking about the sandals Red was wearing, the bag I'd donated, the quality of hospitals in Michigan. They agreed that Holland Hospital was no place for sick people.

The black woman said that she had bone cancer and she'd gotten worse during a stay there. "They kill people there," said Red, taking another drag on her cigarette.

The driver finally returned. "He's the slowest person in the bathroom," said Red. "I heard that," said the driver, whose name was Luis.

By now our bus was almost half an hour behind schedule. Dispatch wanted Luis to abandon the route and take the quickest way to the far end of town, and start again there. "I've got passengers," he said. "Yeah, he's got passengers," shouted Red and the black woman. Dispatch heard them, and we stayed on the route.

At one point Luis got in the left turn lane by mistake, two blocks before he was supposed to. Cars were coming, so he had stay there and make the turn.

The women offered advice. "You could just keep going," they said. But no, he had seen ahead to the stop he was supposed to make. "Someone's waiting for the bus," he said. He pulled into the parking lot of a tanning salon to turn the bus around. The women were delighted. Red said, "I'll bet it's the first time a bus has pulled up to that door."

The women complained about the new routes and schedules, which were confusing. They thought the dispatcher was an idiot. They said that the good one had been fired on Monday. They discussed where to let me off to catch the connecting bus, and Luis went two blocks off the route to leave me at the best stop. They told me that my next driver would be either a woman named Darla or Luis' sister, whose name I didn't catch.

While I waited for the Green Line bus, another Blue Line bus stopped. The driver, Mel, knew who I was and said I didn't want to get on his bus, that the Green Line bus was right behind him. Seems Mel had two women and their small children on his bus and they didn't speak much English, but he finally persuaded them to join me and get on the Green Line bus.

Our Green Line driver was indeed Luis' sister, who spoke fluent Spanish. She carried on two conversations simultaneously, in Spanish with the women and in English with me. When she let me off at my stop near the marina, she cautioned me about the street I had to cross.

"You be careful crossing there," she said. It's on a curve."

I was careful. My various shipmates seemed amazed that I'd ridden the city bus line and not called a taxi.

But if I'd done that, I'd have missed the real Holland. And a lot of laughs.


Extension Viewpoints

Archuleta County celebrates 4-H online; eyes local site

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Friday, Oct. 1 - Colorado Kids, Extension office, 2:15 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 3 - National 4-H Week starts

Pagosa Springs 4-Hers and members across the nation will mark National 4-H Week Oct. 3-9 with celebrations of 4-H's ever-increasing presence on the Internet including the much anticipated launch of the redesigned, 4-H's first national Web site for, by and about youth.

4-H Online! is the theme of National 4-H Week. Ninety-three percent of young people ages 10-18 are actively online and want to find the information they need from online sources, according to the Pew Internet Project (2003).

Recognizing this trend, 4-H is at the forefront of youth development organizations using the Internet as national, state and county 4-H programs and 4-H clubs are actively developing new and more innovative online presences with the support of the National 4-H Youth Technology Team, state and county 4-H youth technology teams and the 4-HUSA Web Crew.

The latest of these Web sites is the redesigned by the 4-HUSA Web Crew, a group of 14 teens from across the United States who created a site that focuses on youth 13-16 and demonstrates the size, diversity and value of the 4-H adventure.

The site features the most complete list of 4-H Web sites available, organized by state and many interactive elements including a national calendar of events and featured news headlines.

Coming soon are games, message boards, Web logs and e-mail aliases. Archuleta County Cooperative Extension and the 4-H program are in the final stages of creating their own Web site. Members of the 4-H program are involved in what will be offered in the 4-H area of the site as well as posting their own information from club and project activities.

Many other state and county 4-H programs have created initiatives to reach young people who might not have easy access to the Internet. For example, Washington 4-H's 4-H-T4 Mobile Technology Van equipped with satellite capability and wireless laptops travels the state as a teaching tool for youth who are exploring the Internet and the world around them.

Also, young people who participate in the Nebraska 4-H Cyber Fair are adept at mentoring others who want to learn how to use the Internet. Finally, 4-H Tech Wizards in Washington County, Ore., follow a four-year curriculum that teaches them how to use computers, create digital video productions and operate global positioning systems.

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Visit for more information about the 4-H adventure.


Pagosa Lakes News

Languages evolve to parody the vernacular

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Two weeks ago, in this same column, I used the adjective "gung-ho" to describe a certain group of athletes. Subsequent discussions with readers have led to a search on the etymology of the word.

Years ago, when I first came across the word "gung-ho," I told my husband that in my native Chinese dialect of Hokkien the word translates to "work good." I had even wondered aloud if the word found its way to this country with the immigrant laborers imported to build the railroads.

A search on the Internet explains that "gung-ho" is a military expression introduced as a slogan by Lt. Col. Evans F. Carlson and adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps Second Raider Battalion in 1942.

The original noun sense was "a spirit of teamwork, courage, and wholehearted dedication." The adjective means, "exemplifying this spirit," but has spread beyond the military, and its main current sense is the broad "very eager or enthusiastic." I was told that in the military "gung-ho" is often used in a disparaging manner as in "offensively ardent in one's enthusiasm."

The origin of "gung-ho" is rather amusing. The word is indeed from Chinese. While in China, Lt. Col Carlson greatly admired the spirit of a Chinese communist organization, the Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society, whose long name was abbreviated to Chinese words "kung" and "ho."

These words literally mean "work" and "harmony," and Carlson, invoking the spirit of the Industrial Cooperative, introduced the words to his men to mean, "work together." How ironical that one of the best-known Marine catch phrases of World War II is actually the name of a communist organization.

I've always been enamored with languages that evolve to parody the vernacular. It must harken back to my own experience as a child being expected to learn and speak the Queen's English - a version so pale and staid it practically faded in my memory. How could it compete with my country's language - Malay - so rich with puns, poetry and words borrowed from the vernacular of the various ethnic groups?

As hard as we tried in school to speak proper English, my friends and I were most comfortable conversing in our unique and baffling vernacular, Malaysian English. But not any more.

Malaysia's government has launched a crusade to banish Malaysian English - a mishmash of English, Malay, Hindi and various Chinese dialects - to the linguistic dustbin. "Poor English reflects badly on us and makes us seem less intelligent," said the Malaysian prime minister at the launch of the Speak Good English Campaign.

The Speak Good English Campaign has economic and social implications that belie any snickering comparisons to the musical "My Fair Lady." Since Malaysia prides itself on being an up and coming world-class business community, proper English is important to fit into the international business mold.

According to my family and friends who still live in Malaysia, "You see me no up when I talk Malaysian English. Cannot-lah talk like a Mat Salleh; no shiok."

"You see me no up" translates as, "You look down on me." "Cannot-lah" means "that's impossible." A hallmark of Malaysian English is the practice of ending a sentence with "lah," much like a Canadian might say "eh." "Mat Salleh" is a white man. "Shiok" means heavenly or pleasurable.

At least the prime minister isn't insisting on a faux-classy British accent, so reminiscent of the ingratiating native civil servants sucking up to their white-rajahs during the 100 some years that Malaya was under the colonial yoke of the British.

It saddens me to some degree to lose that distinctive local flavor and charm. "Aiyo! Stop pestering me - lah!" will no longer be heard on answering machines in Malaysia.

Tongue cutting, meanwhile, turns out to have some following in South Korea. Chop about half an inch or so off your tongue and become a fluent English speaker. That is the hope that recently drove one mother to take her six-year-old son for surgery aimed at ridding him of his Korean accent when speaking the language of choice in global business. Economic progress gone amok - a Malay word, by the way.

Here's a bit of cultural flip-flop. Interested in oriental martial arts? Pagosa Samurai Academy will be doing a free demonstration 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the recreation center.




Jonathan David Nasralla

Jonathan David Nasralla was born Aug. 11, 2004, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango, Colo. The 9 pound, 10 ounce, 22-inch son of Dave and Carole Nasralla of Pagosa Springs was welcomed home by sisters Kayla and Maya. Grandparents are Jim and Betsy Lehman of Wooster, Ohio, and Nahim and Maridee Nasralla of Olympia Fields, Ill.




Todd Lee Waddell

Todd Lee Waddell of Pagosa Springs died at Mercy Medical Center in Durango Sept. 23. He was 64.

He was born Feb. 25, 1940, in Chicago, Ill., to Orville and Hazel Waddell. He married Becky Martinez Dec. 18, 1971, in Las Vegas, Nev. They moved from California to Pagosa Springs in September 2001. Todd had worked as an automotive technician and was interested in NASCAR.

Survivors include his wife, Becky; son, Charles Salazar; daughter Bernadette Mondry and his son, Robert Waddell, all of Pagosa Springs; his daughter, Joyce Salazar of Highland, Calif.; his daughter, Kim Waddell of San Francisco, Calif; his daughter, Denise Goy of Garden Grove, Calif.; his daughter Alicia Mata of Westminster, Calif; and a brother, Wayne Waddell, of Arizona.

Family visitation was held Monday Sept. 27, 2004 at Pagosa Springs Funeral Options and recitation of the Rosary was 7 p.m. the same day. Mass of Christian Burial was 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004, with interment following in Hilltop Cemetery. Father Carlos Alvarez officiated the services in Immaculate Heart of May Catholic Church.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Todd Waddell Fund at Rio Grande Savings and Loan Association in Pagosa Springs.


Faye Mattie Brown

Faye Mattie Brown, 99, a lifelong Archuleta County resident, died peacefully at home early Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Majestic Drive off Piedra Road. Burial will follow in Hilltop Cemetery.

Visitation will be 9-10 a.m. Friday at Pagosa Springs Funeral Options, 243 Pagosa St.

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to San Juan Historical Society.

A complete obituary will be published next week.

Jeremiah Carpino-Carson

Jeremiah Carpino-Carson, 31, passed away Sept. 18, 2004 while attending college in Salem, Ore., where he was a 4.0 student.

Jeremy was the firstborn grandson of Paul and Lorrie Carpino of Pagosa Springs. His love and energy for life was contagious to every person he encountered.

He is survived by his parents, five sisters and brothers, all of Salem, Ore.; grandparents, numerous aunts and uncles including Betsy Carpino and cousins Trevor and Ty Peterson of Pagosa Springs.

Jeremy, you have touched our hearts and we will miss you so very much. Rest in Peace.


Harmon Minor Jr.

Harmon E. Minor Jr., 89, of Canon City, Colo., died Sept. 21, 2004, in Colorado Springs.

He was born Sept. 20, 1914, in Wichita Falls, Texas, to Harmon Sr. and Mary E. Kirkton Minor and grew up in Houston, Texas, moving to Colorado in 1942.

He served in the U.S. Army in World War II and then returned to Canon City where he lived until 1963 when he moved to Durango.

He then owned and operated The Notch Guest and Cattle Ranch north of Pagosa Springs, selling it in 1981. He retired and later moved back to Canon City.

He then began playing racquetball and won an international championship when he was 75 and another international crown after turning 80.

He was married April 1, 1962, to Florence Campbell in Canon City who survives. Also surviving are their children, Sandy (Art) Wentz of Golden, Colo.; Andi Townsend of Texarkana, Texas; Marilyn Minor of Pacific Grove, Calif; Judy (Doug) Stooks of Colorado Springs; Jack (Stamie) Minor of Lafayette, Colo.; Carol (Dave) Lick of Colorado Springs; Joe (Linda) Gray of Colorado City; and Shannon Gray of Hope, Alaska; a sister, Dorothy Petet of Aurora, Colo.; 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Kirkton Minor.

Cremation has taken place and, at his request, private interment services will be held at a later date.

Contributions may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.



Business News

McCabe's Repair Service

Denver and Denise McCabe own and operate McCabe's Repair Service at 100 Great West Ave. in Pagosa Springs.

McCabe's Repair Service specializes in heavy equipment, diesel, and heavy truck repair. They also work on generators, pickup trucks, autos and provide mobile services.

The McCabes have been in business 12 years and have recently added an experienced staff of service technicians. Denver McCabe, Clay Wilson and Chris Schafer offer a combination of over 60 years experience in the heavy-duty truck, diesel and heavy equipment industry. They also offer fleet service and welding, and can deal with any other mechanical repair needs.

Business hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call 264-9043.




Preview Profile


MaKaila Russler

Intermediate school and junior high physical education teacher.


Where were you born?

"Lander, Wyoming."


Where did you go to school?

"Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"August 2003."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I was a student in college, a snowboard instructor, coach and aerobics instructor.


What are your job responsibilities?

"My job responsibilities are to educate young students to be healthy for a lifetime. I am also a coach."


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

"The least enjoyable aspects of my job are when students don't try. The most rewarding is to know that, hopefully, I will make an impact and difference in at least one student's life."


What is your family background?

"Right now I am single. I have one sister who doesn't live here."


What do you like best about the community?

"I like the friendly people."


What are your other interests?

"I love to snowboard, backpack, fly fish, run, and hang out with friends."


Cards of Thanks


Olympic success

I would like to thank all of the people who gave so much of their time and energy to making the Fifth Olympiad of Pagosa Springs Elementary School successful.

The incredible help of so many volunteers and staff members is greatly appreciated. Volunteers worked late into the evenings setting up the Olympic Stadium. Help was given to classes as students learned about their chosen country, read books, memorized facts and prepared costumes.

The school display case held real gold and bronze medals on loan from our local Olympiad. Doves (homing pigeons) were loaned to the Olympic Committee for the opening ceremony and a representative of the team from Vietnam donated the Olympic Flame.

On the day of the Olympics, volunteers led the parade on bagpipes, delivered the Olympic Torch via paraglider, and dropped golden Olympic leaves from a plane. They also served as the "judges," cheering squads and media necessary to make the Olympics such a memorable experience for our young athletes, who are fortunate to be members of this great community.

Lindsey Kurt-Mason

Pagosa Springs Elementary School




No weddings this week.



Sgt. John Hermann

Marine Corps Sgt. John W. Hermann, son of Debbie A. Hermann of Pagosa Springs and Greg G. Hermann of Tucson, Ariz., and more than 2,100 Marines and Sailors assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), recently conducted operations in Najaf, Iraq, while stationed at Forward Operating Base Hotel, Iraq.

Members of the 11th MEU battled against Muqtada al-Sadr and his militia in the opening days of fighting in a huge cemetery, considered sacred to Shia Muslims.

Hermann's unit is deployed with the Belleau Wood Expeditionary Strike Group to the Western Pacific and Central Command area of responsibility in support of the global war on terrorism.

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

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

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

Hermann joined the Marine Corps in May 1996.


Sports Page


Pirate kickers blank Center 9-0; move to 4-1 in league

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Highly regarded Center, with a lone loss in league play and one of the state's leading scorers in Carlos Marino, met the up-and-coming Pagosa Springs Pirates Tuesday and went home thinking they'd been caught in a hurricane.

With Golden Peaks Stadium the forum and Maestro Moe at the podium, the Pirates delivered a lesson in soccer and left no doubt who was teacher and who the students.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason countered the acknowledged scoring prowess of Marino with freshman midfielder Keith Pitcher who totally frustrated the Center striker all afternoon.

In the meantime, the Webb Boys -Moe and Shon - were peppering Viking keeper Jesus Renteria with shot after shot of their own, or setting up teammates for goal attempts.

Lest you think the Webbs were showboating and running amok, keep in mind both had assists and both keyed breakaways for others with strong midfield play.

But, to be sure, the seven goals scored by the brothers were things to behold - unless you were the Center coach.

Moe got things started at 1:27 off a cross from Kevin Blue and the Pirates never looked back.

At 3:10 Shon matched his brother's game output to that point, scoring on a drive up the middle off a drop pass from Keegan Smith.

Then came an 11-minute lull in the attack action.

Shon was stopped on a dribbler up the middle and Chi Hoon Lee's header off a corner kick was wide right.

Blue's indirect kick from 30 yards at the 10-minute mark was kicked out by Renteria but Blue got the rebound and ripped a second shot, also hauled in by the Viking keeper.

Moe's bid for a second goal sailed high over the nets and then Levi Gill blocked the first legitimate Center attack of the day at the 13 minute mark, a play on which Center drew a yellow card for roughing.

A block-takeaway by Gill was wasted when Marino intercepted the outlet pass but his first shot of the day, at the 20-minute mark would prove to be his best chance and it sailed wide left.

On the ensuing possession, Moe Webb took a rebound deep in the defensive zone and maneuvered coast to coast through the Viking defense leaving defenders sprawling.

Renteria came out to cut down the angle and was left alone when Webb speeded around him and drilled goal number 4 at 20:13.

Defensive midfielder Jesse Morris, suddenly an offensive participant in the last two games, broke free on the right wing but his shot was wide right.

Forrest stopped a routine looper from Marino but Clemente Sandoval got the rebound. His shot was wide right. Marino was awarded a penalty kick from 30 yards but it, too was wide right.

Both Keegan Smith and Derek Monks were wide on consecutive shots on the next Pirate possession.

But the Moe Show continued at 38:16 when, once again, he roared full field, faked right, then came back left with a ground-hugger that beat Renteria again and the score was up to 5-0 for Pagosa.

Forrest made a routine save and his 50-yard outlet kick cleared all players on both sides but Pagosa freshman Felix Guittierez, making his first varsity appearance, ran down the ball and drilled a shot from the right wing that nailed the crossbar.

The first half closed with Keegan Smith drawing a yellow card with just nine seconds left for interference.

Any hopes Center had of making a second-half comeback died aborning.

In fact, less than a minute into the period Shon Webb put Pagosa up 6-0 with his shot off a corner kick by Blue.

Moments later, Blue, too, drew a yellow card. After another save by Forrest, Smith drew his second yellow and went to the bench.

Gill, on orders from the bench, drilled a 50-yarder on the next Pagosa possession, a free-kick. Unfortunately, he was only 40 yards out and the shot was high over the net.

But Pagosa was not yet done.

At 51:07 Moe caught the Viking defense keying on his right wing drive and crossed to sophomore Chris Nobles for the Pirate seventh goal and his first.

Routine midfield skirmishes followed with neither team mounting a strong attack until 69:29 when teamwork was again the key.

Blue drew a looping lead from Morris and raced the right wing. As the defense closed on him, he lifted a crossing pass in front of the net where Lee caught it in stride and drilled it into the net.

For the Korean exchange student, it was his first American goal.

Then Gill got back into the act, blocking consecutive Center shots before they could get to Forrest.

The Pirate lead advanced to 9-0 at 71:18 when, guess who, roared full-field through the defense to beat Renteria with a soft kick when he was expecting a drive,

You got it. Moe Webb with goal No. 5 for the day and No. 14 for the season, putting him at least temporarily atop the state Class 3A leader board, tied with Matt Marvin of Manitou Springs, each with 14 goals and three assists.

Marvin had four of those goals against Pagosa Springs early in the season.

With Pagosa playing down two players because of the score, Center still was unable to mount an attack and the final was 9-0 Pirates.

The Pagosans take their show on the road to Durango for a 5 p.m. game Friday and then come back to league action with a 4 p.m. game in Bayfield Tuesday.


Scoring: 1:28, P-M. Webb, assist Blue; 3:10, P-S. Webb, assist K. Smith; 14:09, P-M. Webb, assist K. Smith; 20:13, P-M. Webb UA; 38:16, P-M. Webb, UA; 40:59, P-S. Webb, assist Blue; 51:07, P-Noble, assist M. Webb; 69:29, P-Chi Hoon Lee, assist Blue; 71:18, P-M. Webb, UA; Shots on goal, P-19, C-11; Saves, P-Forrest, 9; C-Renteria, 6; Cards; P-K. Smith, 2 yellow; P-Monks, 1 yellow; C-Sandoval, yellow.


Pirates mine the lode for 8-2 win over Telluride

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Oh, what a wondrous Webb these Pirates weave.

Moe and Shon, that is, and soccer is their game. Then, paint the cast a little Blue (Kevin) and you have another win.

The Webbs proved the cliché decisively Sept. 24, scoring five of eight Pagosa goals as their Pirates ran off their third Southwest Mountain League win in a row to move to 3-1 in the league.

Not to be left out, sophomore midfielder Caleb Ormonde also notched a marker in the Pirate's 8-2 win over Telluride in Golden Peaks Stadium.

The die was cast early, at 57 seconds, to be exact. That's when Blue, working the right wing, beat two defenders, then dropped a centering pass to Moe Webb for the game's first goal and a 1-0 Pagosa lead.

Just 48 seconds later, however, a fluke gave the Miners the tying goal and had heads shaking in the stands.

Credit for the score went to Telluride striker Lane Smith who never saw the ball. It was a looping free ball into the middle from a six-man scrum at 22 yards. With Caleb Forrest coming out to play the ball, it caromed off Smith into the opposite corner of the net.

Then the Pirates went on a spree of shots which, on another day, might have gone in but on this one did not.

Blue had a steal but his shot was blocked. He got a penalty kick and it, too was blocked by Miner keeper Walter Kvale.

Keegan Smith's reverse off a corner kick was stopped by Kvale and then Moe Webb was stopped twice in nine seconds just in front of the 8-minute mark.

In that period, Telluride had only one attack, a shot blocked by Pirate sweeper Levi Gill.

Then, at 12:75, Pagosa took a lead it would never surrender with Shon Webb scoring unassisted after a steal just inside the attack zone and a left-wing drive that left two defenders on the ground after falling for his fakes before beating Kvale high to the right.

After Forrest made a stop on Telluride's Lance Kipfer a Pirate bid for goal number three off a corner kick was stopped by Kvale.

Gill blocked a shot attempt by Kipfer and his outlet to Blue produced a shot stopped by Kvale. Then it was Chi Hoon Lee's turn to be stopped. His shot from the middle at 18 yards was hauled in by Kvale.

Pirate Derek Monks was yellow-carded for "being out of control" said the referee and on the ensuing penalty kick Telluride's Will Hunt drove the ball wide left.

Keegan Smith was wide left on Pagosa's next possession, continuing a string of futility during which he's hit every post and crossbar in the region. That was proved on the next Pirate possession when his drive off a lead from Ormonde hit the right post.

Then Gill was high to the left on a 30-yard free kick before the Pirates worked the offensive gem of the game with a three-man attack resulting in Shon Webb's second goal of the contest.

It started innocently enough with Jesse Morris stopping a Telluride drive just inside the Pagosa defensive zone.

Smith recovered the ball and worked ahead to Moe Webb breaking into the middle. As Smith looped right behind Moe, defenders expected a return to him and overloaded the right wing leaving Shon open on the left for a drop from Moe and the score at 33:22.

On the next Pirate possession, Moe Webb was stopped by Kvale on fine defensive move but recovered the loose ball and dropped it back to Ormonde who notched the fourth Pirate goal at 37:03.

Another three-man Pirate attack led to a fifth goal just 23 seconds before the halftime break.

This one was triggered by Blue working off a midfield steal by Chris Nobles. Blue picked up Paul Muirhead on the left wing with a sharp cross drilled in stride across the goal mouth to the wide open Moe Webb for the goal.

As the second half started, Shon Webb was in goal and Forrest played the right wing for his first session on offense this year. He immediately got into the flow, drilling one from 25 yards that Kvale gathered in.

Then, 4:17 into the half, Smith ripped a cross from 30 yards to an open Moe Webb who beat Kvale high right and the lead was up to 6-1 for Pagosa.

Caleb Ormonde's header bid was just over the net and Smith hit the left post after stealing the inbound pass. After a block and lead pass by Gill, Monks was wide left from 25 yards. Telluride's Jesse Hope was wide left on a shot off a botched Pirate outlet pass and Gill blocked another Miner effort before Smith, breaking free at midfield, drilled one off the crossbar.

Kvale made his best save of the game on the next Pirate possession, a diving stop to his right on a blistering drive by Blue. But Pagosa kept the ball in the zone on a steal by Muirhead and Blue made it 7-1 at 66:41 ripping one into the high right corner.

Blue got the final Pagosa goal, too, when Gill led a long looper over the Miner defense at 69:39 and the freshman drove it home.

Telluride's Smith got his and the team's second goal with under nine minutes remaining beating Shon Webb low right on a breakaway to score unassisted.

That ended the scoring, but not the chances - for Pagosa.

Down the stretch Morris was stopped, Moe Webb blanked on a breakaway, Morris stopped again, Webb hit the right post, Lee hit the cross bar, Gill hit the cross bar and - you guessed it - Smith dented the right post.


Scoring: 0:53, P-M. Webb, assist Blue; 1:41, T-Smith, UA; 12:25, P-S. Webb, UA; 33:22, S. Webb assist Smith and M. Webb; 37:03, P-Ormonde, assist M. Webb; 39:37, P-M. Webb, assists Blue, Muirhead; 44:17, P-M. Webb, assist Smith; 66:41, P-Blue, UA; 69:39, P-Blue. assist Gill; 70:24, T-Smith, UA. Shots on goal, P-21, T-9; Saves: P-Forrest, 3; P-S. Webb, 3; T-Kvale, 12. Cards, P-Monks, yellow.


Pirate golfers fire 267; finish 10th of 21 teams in regional

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

His team is not going to state as it did last year. In fact, no member of the team will go as an individual either.

But Mark Faber is justifiably proud of his Pagosa Springs Pirate Golf Team which opened some eyes with a 10th-place finish in Class 4A Regionals Sept. 23.

The Pirates shot 267 to finish above 11 teams in the tournament on the Holly Dot course in Rye.

"They went at it hard, gave it a good effort, and I'm very proud of the way we progressed through the year," Faber said.

Leading Pagosa, in his last game, and missing the individual cut by just two strokes, was senior Tim Kamolz who shot an 83 for his best mark of the year.

"He said he didn't play a great game," Faber said, "but he just kept plugging away and stayed in contention for qualifying as an individual.

Only 15 individuals were advanced this year instead of 18 as has been the custom in the past. Three players were tied at 81 and a playoff was held to determine which would be the last qualifier.

Other scores for Pagosa were an 89 by senior Daren Prokop; 95 by junior Damian Rome; and 96 by freshman Joey Bergman.

"Daren was about where he's been all year," Faber said, "and with a break or two would have been lower."

Rome, he said, "played his heart out and he's the only member of the tournament team who played last year - on the junior varsity.

Bergman, Faber felt, "might have tried to play too strong. He struggled trying to play long and as a result had to fight thick rough. But he's a competitor. He'll get stronger and as a result better."

That kind of performance by youngsters has Faber excited about the future.

"We had mostly youngsters come out for the team this year and those who stayed with the program got a chance to play big schools, top opponents and fine courses," he said. "Those factors should stand our squad in good stead next year and down the line."

He noted the team has players who began the year shooting 140 and are now below 100. "That's progress while learning the game," he said.

No golfers in the tournament shot par (71) or below, but two came in at 72 - Darek Caplee of Pueblo South and David Saufer of Lamar tying as tournament medalists.

"We had youngsters who are learning to play the game right and will make us a factor to be reckoned with in coming years," Faber said.

He noted most of the teams which finished ahead of Pagosa are from the Pueblo area where they are able to play most of the year.

In fact, the first four finishers were Pueblo West at 232; Pueblo South, 236; Pueblo County, 238; and Pueblo Centennial, 242. They were followed by Alamosa, 248; Monte Vista, 249; Trinidad, 250 and Lamar at 265.

Trailing Pagosa were Pueblo East 14 shots back at 281; Swink at 284; Rye (the home team) 290; Pueblo Central, 292; Las Animas, 302; Rocky Ford, 310; John Mall (Walsenberg) 321; Eads, 331; Springfield, 348; and Cheyenne Wells at 349, 82 strokes behind Pagosa.

Only the top two teams in each regional advance to state finals competition.


Pagosa golfers capture Wolf Creek Cup series

The Wolf Creek Cup has a new home in Pagosa Springs.

Initiated in 2003 as a prize for the winner of showdown between male golfers of Pagosa Golf Club and those of the new Rio Grande Club of South Fork, it went to the other side of the pass in its first year.

But Pagosa's squad has won it this year.

Playing a home-and-home Ryder Cup-type format, the first day of play was at Rio Grande and Pagosa trailed at the end of day 29-25.

The second day competition was at Pagosa Golf Club and the hometown swingers prevailed 36-18, with the two-day total 61-47 for Pagosa.

The Pagosa club gets to keep the cup at least until next year, and all players for both squads marked the occasion with a steak dinner prepared by "Big Dog" in the clubhouse grill.

Bringing the cup home for Pagosa were club pro Alan Schutz, Rick Baker, Bob Kaiser, Russ Hatfield, Carlos Martinez, Casey Belarde, Don Ford, Jim Minor, Bill Cortiss, Dennis Yerton and Ray Henslee.


Pirates make it five in a row with win at Ignacio

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Five in a row.

After a slow start to the season when the Pirate volleyball team lost two consecutive matches, the team is now on a roll.

With a 25-16, 25-8, 25-15 win at Ignacio Tuesday, the Pirates are 5-2 overall and have beaten each of their four Intermountain League opponents in the first of two regular season matches with each team. Three of those four wins came on the road.

Tuesday's match against the Bobcats (who lost their outstanding senior hitter Mary Jo Kerrigan to a broken ankle) saw the Pirates operate freely in the confines of the Ignacio gym, with the majority of their opponents' points handed over with errors. The Bobcats earned only three points with their offense in the first game of the match, while Pagosa's hitters muscled the ball to the floor on the Ignacio side of the court with little resistance from the opponents.

Pagosa went out to an 11-4 lead getting points on an ace serve and two kills from Kari Beth Faber and kills from veterans Caitlyn Jewell and Bri Scott.

Jewell stuffed Bobcat hitters twice for points and the Pirates led 14-5. As the team surged to the win Lori Walkup nailed a point off a Bobcat block and Scott pounded an Ignacio overpass. Scott got another point with a solo block and Liza Kelley put an off-speed shot to the feet of Bobcat defenders.

With her team ahead 22-14, Jewell killed off the block and Ignacio surrendered a point when a player made contact with the net.

Pagosa got careless and gave up two charity points before the game ended with the Bobcats surrendering the last two points with mistakes. While the Pirates' game never got fully untracked, the win was in the books.

Caitlin Forest had her best night of the season on offense. The junior came alive in the second game, scoring four times from the left outside as the Pirates dominated from start to finish. Forrest scored the first earned point with a block and, following a series of Bobcat hitting and passing errors, Pagosa led 4-1.

Walkup returned serve with a kill and, with Forrest at the serve, the Pirates ran off five unanswered points. Jewell crushed an overpass, Forrest killed from the back row then hit an ace; Jewell stuffed a Bobcat hitter and Forrest hit another ace. Pagosa was in front 10-1.

There was no effective defense mounted by Ignacio as the Pirates rolled to the finish line. Walkup and Scott killed for scores and Walkup hit an ace. Forrest came up big again from outside then, with her team in the lead 18-7, she connected for points on two consecutive attacks. Scott scored from the back row then hit an ace. Forrest put an overpass to the floor inside the 10-foot line and Kelley did the same. The second win belonged to Pagosa.

While the Pirates won the third game of the match, two significant things happened to the team: seven service errors gave Ignacio points, and a mid-game tendency allowed control of the tempo and quality of the game to slip away.

The Bobcats stayed in the running, coming back from a 4-4 deficit, courtesy of Pagosa errors, to tie at 5-5.

That was as close as Ignacio got.

Scott killed to take back serve and Courtney Steen hit an ace. The Bobcats made mistake after mistake on defense and, in no time, the Pirates were ahead 12-9. Walkup then scored with a hit off the block and killed again cross-court to the sideline. Scott put a point on the board with a hit off the block and the Pirates stretched the advantage to 16-11.

Junior Emily Buikema killed from the middle and the Bobcats, under increasing pressure, continued to fumble away points. Pagosa was up 21-15. Jewell scored from the middle, Ignacio committed two errors to surrender points and Walkup put a huge blast to the floor from outside to end the game and match.

While coach Penné Hamilton was content to leave the Bobcats' den with a victory, she knows her team has yet to play to up its full potential.

"We were a little off," she said, "a little out of sync, and the quality of our play went down a couple times. I kept telling the girls to keep working hard on things now, because they'll need them soon, when they play Alamosa, Durango, Fowler, Lamar."

Many aspects of the Pirates' game, however, drew the coach's praise. "They're still hitting well," she said, "and the blocking is coming along, slowly but surely. I see improvement in the back row but we won't know how much it's improved until we meet someone who hits well."

That opportunity could come Saturday as the Pirates travel to Alamosa for matches against the Mean Moose. The C teams begin the action at Alamosa at 11 a.m.

Tuesday, the Pirates travel again, this time to Durango to meet the Demons. A fierce rivalry has developed between the Pirates and their 5A neighbors and the Demons, as always, will bring some tall and talented hitters to the court. The matches begin with junior varsity teams playing at 5 p.m.

"We're entering what I think is a good part of the schedule," said Hamilton. "We play a series of matches with tough opponents - at Alamosa, Durango and at the Fowler tournament. We've played everyone in the league and these upcoming matches will force us to get much better before we come back for the second round of league play."


Kills/attacks: Forrest 9-13, Walkup 8-15, Jewell 4-8, Steen 4-7

Ace serves: Walkup 2, Forrest 2, Faber 2

Assists: Kelley 13, Walkup 9

Solo blocks: Walkup 3

Digs: Steen 4, Walkup 3


Pirates cast shadow on Centauri Homecoming

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Pirates' volleyball match against Centauri at La Jara Sept. 24 was part of the Falcons' weekend Homecoming celebration.

Pagosa was the wrong guest to invite.

The Pirates' game continued to make strides toward the form players and coaches desire and, at Centauri, the offense took it up another notch as Pagosa went to 3-0 in Intermountain league play and 5-2 overall with a 25-11, 25-13, 25-9 victory. The win made it four in a row for the Pirates

The high point for the Pirates was the dominance shown at the net on offense. Seven Pirates hit the ball effectively against the Falcons with a trio of seniors - Lori Walkup, Courtney Steen and Caitlyn Jewell - leading the way.

Walkup blasted away at the Falcons from various points along the net, headhunting on a couple of occasions and forcing Centauri defenders to duck and cover or face the consequences. Steen slammed the ball relentlessly from the left side, with Falcon blockers unable to control the hits. Jewell put several balls down inside the 10-foot line and slid to the outside in a programmed play in the third game for an impressive kill.

Centauri's best moments came at the beginning of the first game, courtesy of three straight Pirate errors. Pagosa closed the gap to 3-2 but Centauri came back for a 4-2 lead - the last advantage the home team would have all night. The Falcon band played on in the stands, but on the court Centauri could neither control the Pirate hitters nor mount a consistent attack.

With Steen hitting off the Falcon block three times and Bri Scott putting a kill down from the middle, Centauri found itself behind 9-4.

Steen continued to dominate at the net; Jewell put up two solo blocks and Caitlin Forrest nailed a kill from outside as Pagosa cruised to the win.

The Pirates attacked from all points, including the back row, as the second match began. Walkup and Jewell scored; Scott stuffed a Falcon hitter and Kari Beth Faber hit an ace as the Pirates took an 8-2 lead. On the way to a 16-8 advantage, Liza Kelley killed off the pass, Scott scored with two aces, Kelley and Jewell blocked a Falcon for a point.

Centauri's scores at that point came courtesy Pagosa errors, with the exception of one ace serve. On the Pagosa side of the net, Faber scored from the outside, then again with a kill to the back line; Kelley hit an ace that bounced off the top of the net; Jewell annihilated an errant Falcon pass and Walkup drilled a hit inside the 10-foot line. Centauri surrendered the final three points of the game with hitting errors. Pagosa needed only one win to end the evening and head home.

That win came quickly. Walkup started the action with a kill, Forrest hit an ace, Jewell scored with a block, Kelley dumped a poor pass to an empty spot on Centauri's side of the net, Steen blasted two kills off the hands of Falcon blockers and Pagosa was in front 6-2.

At points in the match, the Pirates' case of the back-row blues caught up with them and, in the third game, several feeble Falcon hits got through poorly-set blocks and fell to the floor in front of Pagosa defenders. Centauri used two of those mistakes to close the gap to 6-4.

The Pirates did not weaken for long, though. Scott and Kelley blocked for a point then each put a kill down. Forrest nailed a point from the left side, Scott hit an ace and Jewell scored from the middle. The Pirates were ahead 15-6. From there on, it was a race for the finish, with the Pirates easily outdistancing their opponents, running several plays on the way to the win.

Forrest hit off the block for a point, Kelley scored with an ace, Jewell got three points with two kills and a solo block. The game and match ended with Walkup soaring above the net and blasting away from the middle.

"Our offense really took a big step up tonight," said coach Penné Hamilton. "Our passing and setting was the best it's been so far this season. It was great to see the girls run some set plays; we need to continue doing that. I thought our blocking was better than in previous matches and our back row is slowly improving. This was a good match for us."


Kills/attacks: Steen 7-13, Walkup 7-15, Jewell 5-16

Assists: Kelley 14, Walkup 7

Ace serves: Kelley 2, Scott 2

Solo blocks: Jewell 2, Kelley 1

Digs: Steen 9, Kelley 7



Pirates tame Tigers 22-12, face Bayfield Friday

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

"You're travelling to another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind ..."

Those words, made famous by the late Rod Serling, were likely echoing in Pirate head coach Sean O'Donnell's head Friday during the final seven minutes of Pagosa's 22-12 victory over the Taos Tigers.

"For a while there, I felt like I was standing in The Twilight Zone," said O'Donnell after watching his team endure a late offensive rally from their New Mexican hosts, who had struggled to dent the Pirate defense throughout the first 41 minutes of the contest.

Nevertheless, three Pirate visits to the end zone proved enough to thwart the effort, and Pagosa improved to 3-1 heading into this week's Intermountain League opener against visiting Bayfield.

After stopping a Taos fourth-and-four try on the game's opening possession, the Pirates took over at the Tiger 43-yard line.

Senior quarterback Paul Armijo ripped through the left side on first down for a gain of 13, then hit junior wideout Paul Przybylski two snaps later at the Taos 5 to set up first and goal.

Armijo's quarterback sneak on third and goal with six and a half minutes to play in the first quarter put Pagosa up 6-0.

With junior placekicker Daniel Aupperle out of action with a nagging hamstring injury, junior running back Josh Hoffman took an option pitch into the end zone to make it 8-0 on the two-point conversion attempt.

The Tigers' second possession began at the Pagosa 39 courtesy of a spirited kick return from Taos senior Angel Suazo, but a tackle for loss from Pagosa's Jake Redding and an incomplete pass on fourth down stalled the drive, and Pagosa took over at the 38.

Turnovers factored heavily in the final minutes of the first frame as the Tigers intercepted on the Pirates' ensuing drive, then Pagosa linebacker Bubba Martinez recovered a Taos fumble two plays later to return the favor.

Taos was in good shape at the Pagosa 35 after forcing a punt from the end zone on Pagosa's resulting possession, but Pirate senior Manuel Madrid quashed the threat with an interception at the 27, and the opening minutes of the second quarter saw each team punt on its respective possession.

Following a shanked Taos punt that went out of bounds at the Tiger 25, Pagosa was celebrating an apparent touchdown reception on fourth and long by Jordan Shaffer, but the initial call was soon overruled and the Tigers took over on downs.

After a three and out by Taos, the Pirates put together a drive that began at their own 28, but gave the ball back to the Tigers via an interception in the end zone with just under two minutes to play in the half.

Pirate senior Daren Hockett then dashed Tiger hopes for a late score with an interception at the Pagosa 44, and neither team mounted a charge in the final 90 seconds as the half ended with the Pirate lead holding at 8-0.

What was arguably the best stanza of the season for Pagosa began seconds into the third quarter as Hoffman returned the Taos kickoff to the Tiger 45, then took a first-down screen to the 32.

Przybylski brought down a toss from Armijo at the 8 to set up first and goal, and the Pirates boosted their lead to 14-0 on a fourth-down sneak by Armijo at the 10:02 mark.

Suazo and fellow Tiger running back Aaron Alaniz led a determined drive to the Pagosa 34 on the home team's ensuing possession, but Taos was held to a turnover on downs at the Pirate 43 after consecutive tackles behind the line from Redding, Craig Schutz and Bubba Martinez.

The Pirates wasted no time getting into Taos territory as Przybylski took a first-down reverse down the home sideline for a gain to the Tiger 23, then hauled in a third-down bullet from Armijo for a first and goal at the 2.

Hoffman plunged across the goal line one play later to make it 20-0, and Armijo threw to Craig Schutz for the two-point conversion to put Pagosa in front 22-0 with 5:28 remaining in the third.

Hoffman put the Pirates back in business on the ensuing Tiger drive with an interception at the Taos 40, but what appeared to be an incomplete screen to Przybylski on the resulting first down was ruled a lateral and the Tigers recovered near midfield.

Taos got as far as the Pirate 32, but was forced to punt late in the quarter after being pushed all the way back to their own 37 on a series of backfield tackles by Redding, Hoffman, Richard Lafferty and Bubba Martinez.

The Pirates seemed poised for a shutout throughout the final quarter until a Pagosa fumble at the Taos 44 resulted in a 56-yard scoring drive capped by a nine-yard dash from Suazo that put the Tigers on the board with 3:13 to play.

Lafferty intercepted the two-point conversion attempt to preserve the 22-6 lead, but the Tigers added another six points less than two minutes later as Alaniz scored from 38 yards out to make it 22-12 after a Pirate fumble at the Pagosa 39.

But the late momentum subsided as Suazo's two-point run was ruined by Redding and Lafferty, Craig Schutz smothered the Tigers' onside kick attempt with 1:33 to play, and Armijo drained the remaining time off the clock with a series of keepers ending at the Taos 23.

Recalling the temporary breakdown in the fourth quarter, "It's frustrating when things like that happen - especially late in the game, but we just lost our focus and paid the price," said O'Donnell.

Overall, however, the coach seemed pleased with the win.

"We had a heck of a time blocking again in the first half and Paul (Armijo) didn't have enough time to make his reads," said O'Donnell.

"But we settled down in the third quarter, and he was able to make some things happen because he wasn't running for his life," added O'Donnell.

Commenting on Przybylski's night, "We threw a challenge out to our receivers this week and he answered it," said O'Donnell. "And we're going to need more of that kind of effort from everyone to get where we want to be."

Where the Pirates want to be, for starters, is at the top of the IML standings - a quest which begins 7 p.m. Friday against Bayfield in Golden Peaks Stadium.

With respect to the Wolverines, "Coach (Dave) Close does a great job with his kids, and they're going to be ready for us," concluded O'Donnell. "In my mind, they're still the team to beat in our league, and we know we'll be in for a heck of a battle Friday night."


Pagosa 8 0 14 0-22

Taos 0 0 0 12-10

First Quarter

Pag - Armijo 1 run (Hoffman run for 2)

Third Quarter

Pag - Armijo 1 run (2-pt. try failed)

Pag - Hoffman 2 run (Armijo pass to Schutz for 2)

Fourth Quarter

Taos - Suazo 9 run (2-pt. try failed)

Taos - Alaniz 38 run (2-pt. try failed)


Pirate girls cross country team could soon be the target

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It seems to be only a matter of time before the Pirate girls' cross country team is a "target."

That's the opinion of coach Scott Anderson, reflecting on the team's second-place finish in a field of five teams at the Bayfield meet Sept. 25. The host team won the meet.

"We're still not what I'd call full strength on the girls' side," said Anderson. "Jessica Lynch was finally back with us after missing due to injury. I asked her to take it easy at Bayfield. And Heather Dahm was missing from the lineup because of injury. Given that, I'm pretty happy with where we are. In the past, we've been the target. This year, I don't mind playing the hunter."

How long that will last, said Anderson, depends on recoveries from injury. "I think Jessica will continue to move up each week now. And I think the team will progress."

Back to target.

Emilie Schur was top finisher for Pagosa at the Bayfield meet, taking second place with a time of 20 minutes, 5 seconds. The race was won by Bayfield's Sari Sundblom, in 19:42.

Next across the line for the Pirates was Laurel Reinhardt, sixth at 21:09. She was followed by Lynch (10th at 21:55) and Jen Shearston (11th at 21:56).

Pagosa's Elise McDonald took 13th with a time of 22:11; Drei Young was 20th (23:33) and Rachel Watkins was 21st (23:51).

Del Greer placed 30th with a time of 25:29; Pau Alves was 36th at 27:21; Esther Gordon was 40th at 27:55; MacKenzie Kitson placed 44th with a time of 35:16.

Shearston, McDonald, Young, Watkins and Greer all established personal records at the meet.

The Pirate boys' team was fourth in a field of nine.

Otis Rand was again the Pirates' top finisher, crossing the line in ninth place overall with a time of 19:09. On Rand's heels was Orion Sandoval, 10th at 19:10. Riley Lynch had a personal best of 19:36 to finish 13th. Isaiah Warren also posted a personal best, 21:04, for 28th in the field. Forrest Rackham hit a personal best of 24:17 to place 43rd.

"Our boys are a project, and it is coming along well," said Anderson. "They ran a really good race at Bayfield. Our top three finishers are packing together pretty well at this point: Otis was our first runner with Orion Sandoval following right behind him. Riley Lynch has made a lot of progress from last year and Isaiah Warren, our fourth runner, a freshman, is making great strides. By the end of the season, we'll have a solid team and we hope to be in contention."

The team travels to Mancos Saturday in a meet Anderson says "will probably be a bit bigger than previous meets."

Races begin at Mancos with junior high girls at 9 a.m. The varsity girls leave the start line at 11 a.m. the boys' varsity race is scheduled for 11:30.


Rising Stars golf tournament spawns junior golf program

The Rising Stars of Pagosa Springs is developing a new program to help more of our young stars rise.

The organization is planning a year-round junior golf program for children 6-14. It will be designed to teach youngsters everything they need to know including the mental aspect, rules, etiquette, swing fundamentals and basic history of the game. An indoor facility is available for use during winter months.

The goal is to create a program that includes ongoing training and involvement. Jim Amato will be program director. His experience includes over 25 years helping people learn the game and for the past two years has assisted Alan Schutz and Nikki Lepke with the local junior program.

The second annual Rising Stars Charity Golf Tournament will be played 9 a.m. Saturday at Pagosa Springs Golf Club.

The format will be a four-person scramble with two flights (championship and open). It will include tee prizes, cash prizes and lots of fun with proceeds benefiting the Rising Stars program. Teams should register with Schutz at 731-4755.

"There are many kids in our town who have interest in the game," said Amato. "This program will develop a group that will have the potential of being known around Colorado as the team to beat."

He said "golf also helps teach many of life's lessons, such as honesty, integrity, courtesy, confidence and sense of accomplishment. I am excited about this opportunity," Amato said.

Anyone interested in helping with the program can send donations to The Rising Stars, 1800 Majestic Drive, Pagosa Springs CO 81147 or call Jennifer Martin at 731-6983.

For questions about the junior golf program, call Amato at 731-4888.


Pagosa brothers take top two spots in tennis tourney

Don't tell the Searle boys tennis isn't played in Pagosa.

They proved the idea wrong and showed it is played well.

Visiting in Mesa, Ariz., the sons of Tammy and Jack Searle of Pagosa Springs finished first and second in a junior novice round-robin tournament with nine other competitors.

Riley Searle, 11, bested his 12-year-old brother, Ryan, for the first place trophy in the event.

Both youngsters are students of Dale Schweicker at Fairfield Pagosa tennis center and both also are involved in the youth soccer program in the community.



Parks & Rec

South Pagosa Park party features modernization

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

We're having a party!

It is a party to get the skaters, bikers and South Pagosa Park users together to clean up the park. We have purchased over $5,000 in materials to help fix the half-pipe and some of the boxes in the park.

So far we have received verbal commitments from Clifford Lucero, Jon Forrest, Assembly of God Church, Juan's Mountain Sports, J.P. Perea and the Pagosa Springs parks crew.

We have ordered 40 sheets of Drumlite skating surface to repair the steel surface we started out with.

We ask anyone interested to bring drills (to set screws), power saws, and other carpenter's tools to the park at 2 p.m. Oct. 8. Everyone is welcome but power tool usage will be limited to those over 16 years of age.

We plan to have food and refreshments for volunteers. In the planning will be a few drawings for prizes for school age volunteers. We would like all young volunteers to bring their boards and show us old- timers some of the tricks you have perfected at South Pagosa Park over the past couple of years.

Please call the parks and recreation office for further information at 264-4151, Ext. 231. We would like to have an estimate on how many volunteers to expect.

CPRA conference

Myles Gabel and I attended the 2004 Fall Conference sponsored by Colorado Parks and Recreation Association. At these types of conferences we get a chance to visit with vendors and attend classes that pertain to parks and recreation. Many smaller roundtable-type discussions take place, as do meetings with fellow parks and recreation professionals with similar problems and issues.

It is always fun to come back to work with new ideas, and a fresh outlook about our jobs and the great town we live in. Believe it or not we are doing a lot of things right, and it can only get better.

The river restoration project, River Walk extension, sports complex projects, and working together with the schools and Archuleta County has been great. Our little town is growing and things have to change, we will try to keep up with all the changes, with youth recreation as our first priority, and other special events and adult sports right behind.

Park news

Jim Miller and staff are busy with South Park renovation, work on Hot Springs Boulevard and fall projects. We plan to close restrooms around the middle of October and we will be blowing out water lines in preparation for winter.

Jim Miller extends a big thank you to Mark Truax, Kade Skoglund and Davey Schaefer for their efforts planting landscaping around the community center. The group was doing this civic project as part of an Eagle Scout project. It all looks great. Thanks again.


Kids need to know their effort's more important than win or loss

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

In 2004 we have seen a rise in the number of children participating in our youth sports programs. We now have children as young as four participating in one or more sports programs that our recreation department offers.

As town administrators, coaches, officials and parents, we should understand that the main reason children are drawn to sport is to have fun. Therefore, I feel it is our responsibility to create a sport environment so that the children enjoy their experience.

For example, maybe we should allow children to choose which position they would like to play during a practice/game or more importantly, why do we keep score? Shouldn't our goal be to teach the basic fundamental skills and have fun? Shouldn't we save the scoreboards and overly competitive conditions for junior high and high school?

Although competition is part of organized sport, I believe that we focus too much on outcomes rather than performance. I have been on the field and asked our children, "How was it?" or "How did YOU play?" Unfortunately, their answers almost always pertain to the outcome of the game.

When children lose, some may feel like a failure and perceive themselves to have less ability than others. Children should be told that their effort during practice and/or competition is the most important component and that they do not have to win in order to feel successful. As adults, we should help our children realize that their effort is more important than the outcome.

With youth sports becoming more and more popular in Pagosa Springs, coaches and parents need to help children learn how to deal with their games in a way that self-confidence does not suffer. If efforts toward this philosophy are made by everyone related to youth sports in Pagosa Springs, we will be able to help children enjoy their sport participation and this will help to keep kids participating longer.

Finally, remember that the only important question that should be asked at the end of a game is, "Did you have fun?"

Fall volleyball leagues

Volleyball leagues are still being formed. Put your teams together now for the upcoming season. We will be playing four person-coed for the upcoming year. Play will begin in October so get your teams together today.

Youth basketball

Youth basketball for 7- and 8- year-olds is right around the corner. We will begin sign-ups and putting together teams directly after youth soccer season has ended. Registration will begin, Monday, Oct. 11 and will continue through Friday, Oct. 29. Play will begin in early November. Stay tuned.

Youth soccer

We also continue to look for business sponsorships for youth soccer which has grown so much this year that the number of teams has surpassed our sponsors. The low price of $150 includes plaque with team picture, signage and designation in newspaper, plus the sponsorship is tax deductible. If you are interested in sponsoring one of our youth soccer teams, call me at 264-4151. Ext. 232.

Hiring referees

The department continues to seek individuals interested in officiating soccer, basketball, volleyball and baseball. High school students may apply. Compensation is $10-$25 per game depending on age group and experience.

Return uniforms

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. If your children still have their basketball or baseball jerseys/pants, please return them to the recreation department as soon as possible.

For any questions or additional information concerning any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, contact: Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor at 264-4151, Ext. 232, or 946-2810, 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.



Homeowners beware

The upcoming election provides the voter several chances to amend the Colorado Constitution. As was noted in this space last week, we believe that hallowed document is already littered with contradictory and restrictive amendments - measures put there with successful initiatives, arguably to the detriment of representative government and to significant state-funded programs and the citizens who need them.

Last week, we considered the proposed amendment raising the tax on cigarettes. This week we consider another proposal - Amendment 34. This one, depending on its interpretation by the courts, could conceivably operate to the disadvantage of any home owner who sells his or her property and who has made additions or repairs to that property prior to sale.

The proposal asks the voter to consider whether or not an amendment will be made to the constitution concerning recovery of damages relating to construction of real property improvements. The proposed amendment would establish that no law can be made that limits or impairs a public or private property owner's rights to recover damages that are caused "by the failure to construct an improvement in a good and workmanlike manner; defining 'good and workmanlike manner' to include construction that is suitable for its intended purposes." The amendment would exclude laws that limit punitive damages, afford governmental immunity, or that impose time limits of specified minimum lengths on filing lawsuits.

Last year, our Legislature passed a law that, while not eradicating a property owner's right to sue developers or builders, provided an out for the developer or builder - to fix the alleged defect prior to action in the courts. This is the type of law we desperately need. Any time we can develop a means to satisfy a complaining party without litigation we've found the preferred option. The proposed amendment would eliminate this legislation.

The proposed amendment would tie the hands of the Legislature in any attempt to limit damages that could be sought by a property owner for improvements poorly done. If passed, it would do away with law that currently limits recovery for non-economic damages - emotional distress, pain and suffering. Perhaps there is some merit to this idea Š until one considers the target for unbridled court action might not always be a developer or builder

It might be the individual homeowner.

What happens if the sky is the limit in terms of recovery of damages and the subject of that lawsuit is a homeowner who did minor repairs to the home, who added an addition, who remodeled a room? What happens when the seller is the object of court action to recover economic and emotional damages?

The proposed amendment does not clearly exempt the individual homeowner from it's scope.

If the amendment is passed, it will certainly go to the courts and if the courts decide the amendment is sufficiently vague and includes individual property owners, a lot of folks could be in big trouble.

Once again, the voters face a proposed change to our constitution that is flawed and could cause many more problems than it solves. Again, the voter is being asked to weaken representative government, to further restrict the ability of elected representatives to do their work to serve their constituents. Those who support this direct democracy invariably detail the failures of some elected representatives to do a thoughtful and efficient job. They rightly rail against waste and foolishness by elected officials. But what they propose - rather than the effective but difficult alternative of "throw the bums out" - is another addition to an already nasty mishmash of law that is undoable but for another amendment. And our constitution, with each new mutation, adds to the complexity, confusion and paralysis of our system of government.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

The 'Now you know' corner

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

One can get an other-worldly education by scanning the Internet.

Upholding the newspaper's responsibility to keep readers informed, I've scanned the Net to come up with these items you probably would never have known about otherwise.

1. Simply being naked on the streets of San Francisco, that left coast bastion of individual freedom, is not a crime. That was proven recently when city prosecutors said it is not illegal to perform naked yoga in the city, even at the crowded tourist destination of Fisherman's Wharf. As a result, they dropped charges against a limber nudist known as "Naked Yoga Guy" who had stripped for a seaside stretch.

2. Klingon, spoken by the bumpy-headed aliens of the "Star Trek" television series, has been added to the list of Web site languages used by German broadcast network Deutsche Welle. "The dialogue of cultures does not end at the edge of our solar system," said a DW spokesman. The site also utilizes 30 other languages. DW aims to make brushing up on Klingon "qay'be'" or "no problem."

3. The mayor of the small Dutch town of Spaarnwoude believes allowing Highland heifers to graze in a nearby nature reserve will help deter couples who have scandalized the town's upright citizens with their open-air sex antics. "Visitors experience great annoyance from people having sex in public and apparently the presence of the cows turns the people off having sex," the mayor said. Must be that cud-chomping noise.

4. Not every bank robbery is committed Bonnie and Clyde style with guns a'blazing, or modern mode with would-be explosives attached to the robber's body. In Aiken, S.C., the tool of crime was a rusty pitchfork. The robber got away and, so far, finding him has been like looking for a needle in a haystack. The man, wearing sunglasses and a mask, entered the bank and threatened employees with the 4-foot-long pitchfork, escaping with an undisclosed amount of money.

5. Calling your best gal for a date? Beware the cell phone you're using. A German telecommunications company said it is developing the first mobile phone that will alert users when their breath is bad or if they are giving off offensive smells. The phone will use a tiny chip measuring less than one millimeter to detect unpleasant odors, a spokeswoman for the firm said. If your girl has the same kind of phone, the date may be off.

6. If you're a bubble gum-blower you may want to reconsider your trip to Ireland where the government is mulling a tax on chewing gum to fund the cost of cleaning the sticky stuff from its pavements. A government proposed 10-percent levy on gum - equal to about five euro cents a pack - would raise around 4 to 5 million euros ($4.9-$6.2 million) a year. "Concerted and innovative action is required if we are to successfully address the gummed up works," a government spokesman said.

7. Drug store customers in a New York community can't buy stomachs - despite a coupon received in the mail offering a bonus discount of $4 "on any stomach purchase of $15 or more." Printers had unwittingly omitted the word "aid" between stomach and purchase.


The manager says the store wasn't selling stomachs, just stomach remedies.




90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Oct. 2, 1914

Regarding the item in last week's SUN concerning the town's temporary water supply, we have no apologies to make. Except that the language, if anything, was not strong enough. We reiterate that for several days the domestic water supply was pumped into the mains from an eddy into which the dirty water of McCabe Creek, mixed with the putrefied toilet offal from the Arlington Hotel sewer directly emptied. The present supply is alright, having been extended into the current of the river, while the dirty water has been dyked off by itself. To those who became offended, we have only this to say: "The health of the men, women and children of Pagosa Springs is of far more importance and is paramount to any petty feeling any individual may harbor."


75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 4, 1929

The Montroy building is undergoing extensive alterations. The first story, formerly occupied by the pool hall, is being prepared for the new Piggly-Wiggly store to be opened about Oct. 10th by Hersch's, while a portion of the second story is being converted into apartment suites.

Fire of an unknown origin practically destroyed the roof of the L.H. Birch residence on Lewis Street Wednesday noon, causing a damage of about $1,000, which is covered by insurance.

During the electric storm yesterday noon, lightning struck and broke the wooden globe on top of the flag pole on Pagosa Street, but apparently did no other damage.


50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 1, 1954

The historic log depot at Gato (formerly Pagosa Junction), is being sold, a small shed having been sent west as replacement in the Sept. 12 freight. The Gato building was an original depot built in 1881 at Amargo, moved to Gato after the decline of Amargo. The name was changed to Pagosa Junction when the lumber railroad "Rio Grand, Pagosa & Northern" was built and operated by the D&RG, the name changing back to Gato after that branch was abandoned.

Trainmen used to point out to passengers the numerous bullet holes in the log walls, relics of the rough times at Amargo and Gato. It is claimed one station agent was murdered in the building, which was closed as an office a couple of years ago.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 4, 1979

A proposed budget will be presented to the school board in the final proposed form at its meeting next week. The proposed budget calls for expenditures of $1,747,546 in the general fund, which is up $248,761 from last year. The increase is attributed to rapidly increasing enrollment and rising costs due to inflation. This is the largest proposed budget ever and the school has its largest enrollment.

Fall colors are arriving very fast and from all appearances this weekend may be the most colorful of the fall this year. Oak brush at lower elevations is very colorful this week and aspens are turning colors fast at high elevations. The colors are somewhat later than usual this year, but do have some very vivid colors.



Have food, will travel

Meals on Wheels volunteers

hit the road in community service

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"I really feel I'm getting more out of the program than I'm putting in."

That's what both Mercedes Leist and Dot Kirkham think about Meals on Wheels, a volunteer program run by the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center. Both are recently widowed and both have found friends and comfort from giving of themselves.

Four days a week, lunches from the senior center are delivered to the homebound, the ill and those caring for the homebound.

It takes about an hour. Two routes are available: one in town, one out of town.

Meals are readied by the county kitchen staff and drivers are given both a cold chest and a hot chest to carry meals for those signed up for the program, both regular meals and those prepared especially for diabetics. They also wear name tags so the people they deliver to know who they are.

"They know the time we're supposed to be there, they know the day we're supposed to be there and if we mess up, they'll tell us," Kirkham said. Her regular day is Wednesday. Leist handles Fridays. Both substitute when necessary.

Kirkham said she always tries to check to see what the day's meal is so she can tell people as she delivers. "If I forget, I always try to tell them how good it smells."

"We try to apportion our time," Leist said. Some of the people they deliver to like to talk. Others don't and all meals must be delivered hot and ready to eat.

"I try to make it a point to be real chipper and say, 'How pretty you look,' give them a little reason to get up and get dressed," Kirkham said. "I always try to find something positive to say."

Sometimes, Leist, added, these people don't have company, or any family in the area. And some have so many great stories to tell, about history and the people they've known.

"It's just a bright spot in their day," Kirkham said. And a bright spot in both drivers' day. Kirkham and Leist both lost their husbands in the last year and spent many days wondering what to do next.

"I just kind of prayed," said Kirkham, who'd been married almost 39 years. "I thought, 'I'm not going to sit here in my black widows weeds and weep.' So, when the request came out in the newspaper and a little voice kind of said, 'You need to do this,' I went to see Musetta (Wollenweber - senior center director)." After a background check and some training, she was on the road. A little later, she helped train Leist, whose husband of four years died of cancer in June.

"It's given me a purpose in my life," Leist said. She, too, saw the item in The SUN and saved it, going in to talk with Wollenweber about volunteering. "I told her, I'm yours, tell me what to do." The Meals on Wheels program seemed to be the best fit.

"I've been a volunteer all my life," she said. "This is my first time volunteering with seniors and I really like it. They deliver to me that warm, tenderhearted feeling of family that's very important to this program." It's also, Leist said, been a way into the community, a way to make friends.

"I consider the people on the route my friends," Leist said.

Both Leist and Kirkham take their responsibility of keeping an eye on the homebound very seriously.

"We don't take temperatures or anything," Leist said, "but we do check on their general well-being. We encourage them if they need help to ask for help."

Wollenweber, director of the Silver Foxes Den, said the Meals on Wheels program, funded by state and federal dollars, only recently became a volunteer program. It used to be handled through a paid position. However, statewide budget cuts meant some hard decisions had to be made. The Meals on Wheels program was hit hard by the axe.

"It's a national standard to have this be a volunteer-run program," Wollenweber said. So Archuleta County went with the standard, switching to volunteer drivers early in July to keep the program going.

Meals on Wheels is available to those over 60 who are homebound, the spouse of a homebound person or those suffering from a temporary illness. All are eligible to have meals delivered to their homes - as long as they don't live too far away. A donation of $2.50 per meal is suggested.

Wollenweber said all it takes to get started is a call to the senior center. People are also added to the list through referrals from the department of human services, the health department and local physicians.

Currently, eight regular drivers and three substitutes help serve meals to about 18 people.

"They really have a good relationship with each other," Wollenweber said of the drivers. "They great about calling each other for substitutes, but I could still use a couple more people."

Anyone interested in becoming a part of the program should call the Den at 263-2167. Drivers must provide their own vehicles and a background check is required.


Pagosa's Past

When Pilgrims landed, Hispanics were already in Española

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

Settlement of Pagosa Country was not, despite what we used to read in U.S. history, accomplished solely by covered wagon loads of U.S. pioneers who'd crossed "the wide Missouri."

We generally define settlement as the time when our Anglo pioneer ancestors arrived and started plowing the land. For the purposes of this newspaper column, I'm defining settlement as the time folks who had formerly lived somewhere else moved into the area and stayed.

After all, a number of Indian tribes occupied Pagosa Country for centuries before the newcomers arrived. Hispanic explorers and traders had been crisscrossing the area for at least 100 years, maybe more, before settlement. Even U.S. fur trappers had come and gone 50 years earlier.

Permanent settlement of Pagosa Country began in the 1870s. The culture and living patterns we enjoy today are an amalgamation of the cultures of the Native Americans who were already here, the Hispanics who already knew the area well and U.S. citizens looking for a home. We probably understand the western movement of our Anglo ancestors pretty well. We probably don't understand the northern movement of Hispanic ancestors quite as well. And that is why for the past few weeks we've been looking at Hispanic settlement of Northern New Mexico.

It is a matter of record that Hispanics settled in the Española area by 1598. Española is less than 200 miles from Pagosa Country, not very far. By way of comparison, our Anglo Pilgrim forefathers were just landing at Plymouth Rock 22 years later in 1620.

Hispanic settlement progressed slowly. By the mid-1700s, the Hispanic frontier in New Mexico was only a few miles north of Española in the Abiquiu area. It will certainly be interesting, if not instructive, to see how those Hispanic pobladores were living at that time. We turn to descriptions provided by Frances Leon Quintana in "Pobladores" for a look at how Hispanics in New Mexico lived at a time just prior to the American Revolution.

The new settlements moving north from the Española area produced a pattern of scattered ranches inhabited by expanded family groups. Buildings were generally built on high ground overlooking small fields located in river bottomlands. Often, in the early days, a single, multi-room house was built around a square patio which served as a center of economic and social activity for the extended family.

The principal subsistence crops of the settlers were corn, wheat, pinto beans (frijoles), and a few vegetables. Irrigation ditches were generally dug one to a ranch edging the bottomland fields. Lateral ditches irrigated the fields. With expansion and growth, mother ditches were dug.

Dwellings were built with doors and the few windows facing toward the south or a patio. Windows were small and secured against forced entry by wooden shutters or iron grills. The outer walls of a house built around a patio were generally windowless. Entry to the house was possible only through a single, heavy entry door.

Some ranches had a defensive watchtower built apart or into a corner of the outer wall. Corrals for the livestock adjoined the house and a separate patio might accommodate an outdoor kitchen with a brush-sheltered hearth and adobe beehive ovens. The beehive ovens, incidentally, are traceable through Hispanic history to North Africa.

Often, the first house built on an allotment was a jacal made of vertical poles chinked with adobe. It might contain but one or two rooms. Rooms were added as needed.

A millstone might be used for grinding wheat when stream flow made it possible. Domestic animals grazed on open range on the hills and mesa tops above the ranches. Only milk cows and mares with colts were kept on irrigated pastures close to the ranch house. Fruit trees were often planted in the irrigated pastures.

The nearest neighbors were often a mile or more distant and the nearest church even further. Some of the early settlers built chapels, even though they had no regularly assigned priest to conduct services for them.

A restored Hispanic settlement fitting the above description and called Las Golondrinas is open to the public just south of Santa Fé.

More next week on early Hispanic settlements in New Mexico and their relationship to Pagosa Country.



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